Letters to the editor: Oct. 18, 2019

Foreign invaders

Jonathan Booth is correct if he is speaking in the past tense. We were a nation of immigrants for many years.

Three of my grandparents came in as immigrants — in the legal fashion, where they were evaluated for character and disease before admission. We now are a nation of unchecked foreign invaders for the most part, with no evaluation as to health, character or willingness to work.

The current program of free food, housing, education and medical service, at the expense of working citizens, has to be very attractive. The only requirement seems to be sneaking an illegal ballot and voting Democratic.

Elmer Werth

Grand Ronde


Taking personal responsibility

Hunger, homelessness, gun violence, low graduation rates, inability to get and keep a job and home. What is happening?

I believe the high cost of living is only a small part of the problem. People are no longer expected to take responsibility for themselves and society has excuses why they can’t. I believe this has a profound affect on all of us.

Think about this:

I went to high school in the ‘60s and knew very few who didn’t graduate. No one had to tell me to stay in school. I knew it was expected, from parents to educators. Nothing was said. It was just an expectation.

In the ‘80s, my son and his friends took rifles to school so they could go hunting afterward. There were no school shootings, as guns were for hunting.

Responsibility begins at home.

My friends and I worked to buy school supplies and clothes. Yes, those with more money had more than the rest of us. But that is life! Someone always has more.

Many people don’t know the difference between needs and wants. That’s because we, as a society, tell them they can spend as much as they want because we will take care of their needs for them.

Yes, there are those who cannot care for themselves, particularly the mentally challenged. We need to focus our dollars and energy on helping these members of our society, not on those who can shoulder responsibility on their own.

Carolyn Sauers



Urges a no vote

I urge a no vote on Measure 36-202, which would amend the city charter to permanently restrict regulations and fees on care facilities.

These fees do not represent a tax — either unfair or discriminatory — on either seniors or the disabled. They represent a tax on corporate greed.


Instead of incurring the cost to train its staff on the proper method to pick a fallen resident up off the floor, the center calls 911 and lets taxpayers pay for it. Since the city enacted a $1,500 fee for medically unnecessary 911 calls by care facilities, the number of such calls has dropped precipitously, saving taxpayers a great deal of money.

When the fire department looked into the rash of medically unnecessary calls, it discovered the staff at care facilities was not properly trained for proper fire response either. So a $200 per bed per year fee was imposed to cover the cost to train the staff and monitor its compliance with fire regulations — a small cost to protect the safety of seniors and the disabled.

To amend the city charter to privilege one industry sets a bad precedent. Let’s just amend 36-202 to include brew pubs or (insert your favorite industry here).

Moreover, it will hinder the city in planning for or reacting to social and economic change.

Robert Mason



Outright repeal unwarranted

It was with disappointment I read the current voter’s pamphlet.

Signature gatherers indicated Measure 36-202 give us a chance to revise Ordinance 5059 and Resolution 2018-54, regulating care centers, but the ballot measure seeks to amend the city charter so that no taxes, fees, fines can ever be primarily or exclusively levied on care facilities.

This is a bad idea. If passed, it would encourage every entity to seek similar exemptions. We certainly don’t want to set that kind of precedent. I, like many others, think the current ordinance and resolution are rather heavy-handed. Nevertheless, they have been effective in reducing frivolous call-outs.

If you read this paper — and I think you do if you are reading this letter — you know the city was already working on revising these regulations, but had to stop the process when Measure 36-202 won a place on the Nov. 5 ballot. Come on, children. Sit down and work out your disagreements.

Does it seem unreasonable to reduce unnecessary EMT call-outs? I think not.

How about an escalating fine system — a slap on the wrist for the first offense, enough of a fine on the second offense to know the city is serious, and a large fine on the third and subsequent offenses?

Rather than a per-bed fee to cover care center safety inspection and training costs, how about a training requirement for all staff to familiarize them with the rules and perhaps review lifting techniques or other procedures. This could be done in a large group setting off-site for a nominal fee — maybe $10 for a two-year certification. There could be a fine established for non-compliance. Even though I think the current system is flawed, I’m voting NO. Post-election, I encourage the city and care home representatives to sit down and work out a reasonable compromise.

John Dolan



Collaborative policymaking

The McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce encourages a YES vote on Measure 36-202.

Once passed, this measure will repeal redundant regulations and punitive fines on our local senior care facilities. It will also overturn new fees and specialty business license requirements enacted without meaningful engagement with McMinnville taxpayers.

As the voice for business in the McMinnville area, the chamber strives to be a solutions-oriented partner in the development of local public policy. Despite our active participation in conversations about local business licensing in the past, we were not invited to discuss the new specialty business licensing fees and regulations embedded in a new city care facility ordinance.

Since it became law, the ordinance has sparked numerous discussions among our members. Many have asked important questions: What type of business isn’t a “specialty” business? Will my specialty business be the next target of new fees and regulations?

The chamber understands that calls for help to senior care facilities make up a significant share of emergency calls in McMinnville, as in jurisdictions across the country. Other cities and counties in Oregon have successfully partnered with their local facilities to reduce the burden of non-emergency calls, sometimes by enacting fair and sensible fee-for-service policies.

A YES in November will reopen the community conversation around this complicated issue and encourage development of a policy ensuring the emergency services we all rely on remain viable. Please vote YES on Measure 36-202.

Your vote will send a message that you support a more collaborative approach to policymaking in our community.

Gioia Goodrum

Chamber President, McMinnville


Supporting repeal

Rock of Ages Valley View Retirement Village, a retirement center in McMinnville, and LeadingAge Oregon, a statewide association of not-for-profit aging services organizations, urge you to vote YES on Measure 36-202, to repeal an ordinance unfairly targeting care centers.

Not-for-profit senior care providers know additional expenses make providing affordable care more challenging, and most seniors are already concerned about the rising cost of long-term care. We don’t believe senior care providers and their residents, many on fixed incomes of moderate means, should be singled out to help raise additional revenue.

A set of new fines and fees could cost some facilities more than $20,000 a year. We believe revenue-raising measures should be fairly applied, but McMinnville’s is not. The $1,500 fine for calling EMS unnecessarily is too high. It could scare caregivers out of calling 911 when perhaps they should. Our caregivers should be focused on one thing alone when making tough decisions about calling 911: Does the resident require a higher level of assistance?

Scaring caregivers with the prospect of a $1,500 fine if they make an unnecessary call puts senior care at risk. After all, that’s about half of what Medicaid pays a month toward assisted living care all told. At Rock of Ages, we currently care for 110 seniors, most on fixed incomes. Medicaid pays for the care of many.

We lie outside the city, so aren’t affected. But the city shouldn’t be making it harder and more costly for others in our industry, whose focus, like ours, is on providing quality care for residents.

Tell City Hall that scaring seniors and their caregivers is not the McMinnville way. Please vote YES on the measure to repeal these fees and fines.

Ruth Gulyas



Five better than three

There are lots of good reasons to expand the number of county commissioners from three to five: increase the points of view; increase representation for under-represented parts of the county; spread the work load between more people, giving them time to work more thoroughly on fewer issues; eliminate the possibility of having major issues decided by only two people if one commissioner is absent or opts to recuse.  

To that end, several Yamhill County residents have spent countless hours doing the heavy lifting to make our government more representative. They did not undertake this difficult task because it would be better for them personally, but because it would be better for everyone.

Their work was not done behind closed doors in smoke-filled rooms. They held countywide listening sessions to hear from a large and diverse group of people.

It’s my understanding that none of the people who oppose a five-member commission came to any of the community meetings. What a shame.

They could have had a voice in the process. Instead, now we hear talking points that are in many cases not true or are wildly exaggerated.

Metro has no interest in absorbing Yamhill County into its orbit. And increased salary costs can be addressed by lowering commissioner salaries. Then folks might run for the office not because of the fat paycheck, but because they want to improve county government, not eliminate it

The county has grown dramatically over the past 30 years. More points of view are needed on the board  to make the hard choices required to deal with issues stemming from growth and a changing economy.

Five heads are better than three. 

Ilsa Perse



Black eye for Oregon

A retired gerontologist, psychologist and professor, I have been a senior and disability advocate in Oregon for more than 45 years. I write today representing myself, as well as the Oregon State Council of Retired Citizens and United Seniors of Oregon, in asking for your YES vote on Measure 26-202.

My involvement began in July, when I waited more than four to testify before city councilors on the issue. My aim was to inform them that their fines and fees on senior care providers were not only ill-conceived and unfair, but dangerous.

Ultimately, my testimony was not taken until after midnight — hardly representative of an open and public process. In addition, the policy is deeply flawed.

Ordinance 5059 completely and blatantly discriminates against elders and people with disabilities. Other elements of the citizenry don’t face outrageous fines for non-emergency use of EMS services in McMinnville, just those in need of the greatest care.

In some cities, there are much more limited penalties when there has been an established pattern of misuse of the EMS system. But nothing this severe.

I think $1,500 is an outrageous amount to charge, so outrageous it may in fact be dangerous. It may make caregivers question whether to call, thereby putting seniors at risk.

If every local government in Oregon adopted the same approach, it would create a patchwork of different regulations and care standards. City-by-city regulation would create conflicts with the extensive state and federal regulations for care providers and lead to confusion for care providers and their employees.

Oregon has long been a leader in long-term care services. McMinnville’s actions give our national reputation a black eye.

Please vote YES on Measure 36-202.

Jim Davis



Reject the big money lies

Suppose you needed a new roof and, after researching your options, you hired someone for the job. Imagine your surprise if the roofer showed up with no ladders and said you’d have to pay extra for someone else to provide ladders and people to climb them, that he lacked the equipment and his employees lacked the training.

This is what nursing homes in McMinnville have been doing. They’ve been asking you to pay to have city emergency services to respond to non-emergencies that should be part of the ordinary, expected duties of caring for people in nursing homes.

To ensure more responsible use of funds and services, your city enacted new rules for nursing homes that have worked well. They figure to save the city as much as $1 million a year.

But now, big money has stepped in to force you to pay for an election questioning that decision. McMinnville should say No.

No, we’re keeping our local solution, which is working. No, we reject the lies and misinformation that outside money has been spreading. No, you may not go back to abusing and monopolizing our emergency services.

Please vote NO on Nov. 5.

Glenna Green



Nothing we can do

In reaction to the climate change protests being staged all over the world:

Climate changes. It has done so since the beginning of time.

Once upon a time, most of the land mass in what is now the desert Southwest and Texas was an inland sea. Then it dried up. The Arctic Circle was a swamp. Then it froze. There are many things causing climate change that human beings cannot control, such as meteors striking the earth. Just ask the dinosaurs.

And remember when we had more than 20 inches of snow in 2008? For six months prior, there was very little if any solar flare activity, which also contributes to climate change.

Just 100 years ago, farmers used the frozen surface of the upper Willamette River to bring goods down to Oregon City on wagons from Aurora. In 1991, the No. 1 polluter in the world was Mount Pinatubo, a volcano in the Philippines. And Lake Monoun in the African nation of Cameroon continuously emits high levels of deadly carbon monoxide. The bottom line is that there are many factors we have no control over. Ocean levels rise, ocean levels fall. Sometimes the weather is hot, sometimes it is cold. Water warms, water cools.

Calm down. It will be OK. The world really will not end in 12 years. In the meantime, do what you will.

As for me, I will keep on recycling, eating methane-producing herbivores and being the best steward of the land I can. So perhaps I can leave it a better place for my children and yours.

Nick Schaffner




Campaign torrent misspent

I ask the voters in McMinnville to take caution before they vote on Measure 36-202, regarding the regulations and fees of our elderly care facilities.

A few months ago, I was alerted to an article in the October 2017 issue of Consumer Reports titled, “Who Will Care for You?” In this article, I discovered a large number of facilities are owned and operated by private, out-of-state businesses with no state or federal oversight.

Consumer complaints are on the rise. The central focus is “understaffing, delays in response to calls for assistance and threatened eviction.”

I have to wonder why facilities in McMinnville don’t have qualified staff available to address the needs of our seniors. Looking at the expensive billboards, mailings and television commercials we are experiencing to encourage a yes vote, I am concerned this measure is supported by “big money” that could be invested instead in better care for our elderly.

Please, I ask those of you voting to look into the facts before deciding to vote yes. Even though there are many more statements in support of this measure in our Voters’ Pamphlet, it is difficult to discern the real truth just from these statements.

I must agree with our city councilors on this issue and ask for a NO vote.

Liz Marlia-Stein



Fees and fines not fair

I relocated to Oregon last year, and have been a resident of McMinnville for 14 months. I have spent the last 20 years working in healthcare, and currently serve as administrator of a memory care community in Beaverton.

While my community is not affected by the McMinnville ordinance that enacted fees and fines on care providers, I still strongly support a YES vote on the repealer, Ballot Measure 36-202. I have several reasons.

The state and federal government already extensively regulate care providers. McMinnville’s ordinance adds another layer of regulation at the city level that actually conflicts with existing state and federal requirements.

No other city in the country has local regulations on healthcare facilities.

McMinnville’s city staff does have the training and expertise needed to provide that regulation. Such expertise lies with DHS at the state level and CMS at the federal level.

If every city in Oregon did what McMinnville has done, we would have hundreds of different standards of care. Plain and simple, it makes no sense. While many letters I have seen printed in the paper have addressed the $1,500 EMS fine, I would like to address the bed fee portion.

The city says it expects to take in about $250,000 per year off this fee.

Care providers in McMinnville already pay more than $1 million per year in property taxes, which go toward city services like EMS and fire and life safety. Asking them to pay again is not right.

Please vote YES on Measure 36-202.

Candy Smith-Kumani




Vote NO on Measure 36-202.

The fees adopted by the city council are somewhat heavy-handed and need fine-tuning.

But they are not a tax on seniors, they are a successful strategy to stop the blatant theft of taxpayer money by largely out-of-state corporate interests.

Paramedics paid by us are supposed to deliver the specialty care services (lifting, transfers, etc.) for which the care corporations don’t want to hire trained staff and the appropriate equipment. Because that costs money. And the thousands of dollars charged each month for “care” should preferably go to profits, not costs. So let the taxpayer fund the tab instead. That’s what this is all about.

Don Dix

Nick Schaffner -- history has been ignored in order to promote a distribution of wealth using fear of climate change and not environmental concern (an admission by the UN demigods).


Nick. I agree there are a lot of factors impacting our environment and weather. Where there 8 Billion humans driving millions/billions of miles along with those historical events? Where the natural resources of the earth being extracted for the use of 8 billion folks at the same time? I see my partner Don has added the conspiracy it is all about transferring wealth. Well here in America most of the wealth as already been transfer to 400 families, leaving the rest of us getting by some how with a little help from our friends.

Don Dix

Mike -- 'partner'? More like point and counter-point, wouldn't you say? I will say it is healthy to discus with all considerations on the table.


Don. Just trying to relax. Yeah we're point counter point. It is good we come with different frames of reference. I enjoy the discussions. You've mentioned the distribution of wealth conspiracy a while ago but haven't brought it up much until recently.


Why do we always have to kowtow to the poverty stricken illegal immigrants who are a drain to resources? Bring in some true diversity into Oregon court some wealthy Hong Kongers to build businesses and immigrate here, for instance. Implement a system like Canada has, no job first you can’t come in. Why must we offer welfare as incentive to come? We should be offering tax breaks for well to do immigrants to come here and help the economy and lessen our reliance on cheap Chinese crap. Produce it here import the talent and the money.

Don Dix

A conspiracy is secrete or concealed.

Ottmar Edenhofer, lead author of the IPCC’s fourth summary report released in 2007 candidly expressed the priority. Speaking in 2010, he advised, “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.”

Or, as U.N. climate chief Christina Figueres pointedly remarked, the true aim of the U.N.’s 2014 Paris climate conference was “to change the [capitalist] economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”

That's clear intent, and hardly anything climate.


Thanks Don. Interesting read.
"Ottmar Edenhofer: So far economic growth has gone hand in hand with the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. One percent growth means one percent more emissions. The historic memory of mankind remembers: In order to get rich one has to burn coal, oil or gas. And therefore, the emerging economies fear CO2 emission limits.
That is from the 2010 interview. He is complaining that the current policy of letting emerging economies, India, China, Africa, have unlimited CO2 emissions does not solve the climate problem. But it does shift where the wealthy investor class put their money, in those emerging economies that can dump lots of CO2.
Where are those wealthy investors. Who are they? Are they our fellow filthy rich Americans?


Don. A conspiracy also takes people to hatch and carry out the plan. Is it the wealthy Americans, who are some of riches folks in the world? A scientists whining about the policies are not addressing the problem and are simply shifting where the money goes, does not say who those conspirators are.
What's your guess?

Don Dix

Mike -- Hatch and carry out - IPCC. Scientists who are more about funding than truth (historical numbers 'adjusted' to fit the warming mantra).

Edenhofer made this statement long before India and China had been basically exempted from controlling emmissions, and he clearly states 'international climate policies are not about the environment, but about redistributing the world's wealth'.

'redistribution of wealth' -- money (read taxes) from the industrial nations, including us. And the smart bet is the UN will also get a little reach-around before any dollars change hands (as usual).

But the real issue is the 'taxing of a natural, yet basic necessity for all life, compound occurring in atmosphere'. In this case, Mother Nature provides for everyone (CO2), and her contribution is proposed to be taxed. Going after a 'trace gas' that is not the biggest or most powerful atmospheric influence will never solve this made-up crisis, but it is the only one that can reap trillions (nothing can be done about the other, more influential players [water vapor, methane, oxygen, nitrogen, and most importantly the Sun}).

Read all the 'assessments'. Frankly, it becomes more clear with each 'assessment' put forth (if one looks with a critical eye).

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