Letters to the editor: Sept. 11, 2020

Postal slowdown

Lately in the new, there has been much about the federal government changing the operation of the U.S. Postal Service.  If one of  the goals is to slow down mail service, there is immediate evidence of success regarding mail in and out of McMinnville.

Earlier, a letter from here to Kansas City took two days to arrive. A recent letter took nine days. Earlier, a letter to Atlanta took four days. In August, it took 11 days.

Packages move more slowly, too.

Two packages bound for Kansas City were mailed to the same address on the same day, but took different routes. One went via Seattle, the other via Portland, then Shreveport, Louisiana. As a result, one arrived six days later than the other.

A priority package used to take five days to reach the same address. It recently took twice as long.

If mail service throughout the nation is suffering similarly, then the federal government’s changes have quickly made mail delivery slower and less dependable.

There may be reasons for changing the way our important U.S. Postal Service works, but I regret what’s happening and hope others do, too.

Charles Walker



Fallen flag

I drove through Lafayette on Labor Day and noticed an American flag had fallen onto the sidewalk. I couldn’t find a place to put it back up, so I rolled it and stood it upright by a building.

By the time I was able to stop, dozens of people had passed by. I am still dismayed that not one took the time to pick up the flag.

John Caster



Rage fueled by racism

Racist attitudes are deeply ingrained in our society. Folks who deny it are turning a blind eye to what lies in front of them.

Cornel West, a professor at Princeton, was driving north on the New Jersey Turnpike in a new BMW when a trooper pulled him over. The trooper said he didn’t see how a Black man could afford such an expensive car.

In another instance, West recalled: “While driving from New York to teach at Williams College, I was stopped on fake charges of trafficking cocaine. When I told the police officer I was a professor of religion, he replied, ‘Yeh, and I’m the Flying Nun. Let’s go, n-----!’”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recalled how difficult it was for his college coach, John Wooden, to grasp the daily insults he endured. Then one day he was standing outside a restaurant with Wooden, when, in his words:

“An elderly white woman came out of the restaurant and just stood there, staring up at me. Finally, she asked Coach Wooden, ‘How tall is that boy?’ ‘Seven foot, two inches, ma’am,’ he said.

She considered that for a few seconds, then shook her head and said, ‘I’ve never seen a n----- that tall.’”

Arthur Ashe, infected with HIV from a tainted transfusion, said it was more difficult to live as a Black man than an AIDS victim. He said the daily insults sent the message, “You don’t belong here.”

Paul Robeson said slights he suffered on tour “contributed to building up a potentially explosive amount of anguish and rage,” which he contained in public but sometimes let loose in private.

Triggered by the wanton killing of Black men and women, the pent-up anguish and rage of people of color has now, quite understandably, exploded onto the streets of Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York, Portland and Kenosha.

Robert Mason



The fees are piling up

What a wonderful time to raise our rates, Mac Water & Light: The Great Pandemic, record unemployment and thousands threatened with eviction.

This is the third year in a row of water rate increases. It’s part of a five-year plan to increase water rates by 15%,  according to MW&L’s current budget.

In 2019, the city approved a 7.8% sewer rate increase and a 1.9% electric rate increase for residential customers. In addition, the city just gave Recology a 2.9% increase for its trash collection services. The current city budget projects property taxes will go up 5.26% in 2020 and another 4% in 2021.

Water & Light just spent $2.25 million to provide water to Lafayette.

According to General Manager John Dietz, “Lafayette will reimburse MW&L $1,529,382 over 10 years at 3.3% variable based on LGIP,” the acronym standing for Local Government Investment Pool. The difference leaves almost $725,000 donated by you in your capacity as Water & Light customers here in McMinnville.

Lafayette will pay 1.5 times the standard bulk water rate. Water & Light estimates revenue from Lafayette at $50,000 for fiscal 2020-21, so it could take 20 years just to break even.

This represents a continuation of McMinnville city policy to provide financial subsidies to developers and insist Water & Light do the same. Growth at any cost, as long as YOU pick up the tab.

Peter Enticknap



A time for flexibility
Thank you for your editorial of Sept. 4, “Employee concerns deserve a full and fair consideration.”

I have read the flyer the McMinnville Education Association is circulating around town. The teachers’ ideas seem reasonable to me.

In a time of great uncertainty, such as this, people need to be flexible — not entrenched in previous plans and agreements.  It appears the teachers are trying to meet the needs of their students and their students’ families, but the school board is not supporting them the way it could and should.

I hope people will  support the signing of a memorandum of understanding so teachers and students can begin the school year in safety and harmony. 

Margaret Shields


Backing McCracken

Two years ago, when he was making his first run for city council, Chris Chenoweth knocked on our door to introduce himself.

He let us know he wanted to meet everyone in the ward, not just fellow Republicans. I liked that, as this is a nonpartisan position. 

However, Chenoweth did not make a good impression. He made statements that were not accurate, and in the ensuing discussion, never altered his view.
I voted for his opponent. But over the past two years, we have continued our conversations via Facebook, and I think we agree the interaction has provided us a glimpse of how the other side is thinking.

This is an important aspect that is needed everywhere. We must be willing to talk openly about how to achieve common goals.
I do not know exactly how anyone else gets information, but I read at least five different news sources from across the spectrum, as well as one or two international news sources. I also read medical and scientific information.

In all the time we talked, Chenoweth admitted not knowing facts a few times, but never changed his stance about anything.
For this reason, I will confidently cast my vote for Lisa McCracken. Her personal experiences and work background show that she understands the value of embracing the richness diversity provides.

McCracken shows an eagerness to approach issues with an open admission that she is not a politician. However, as a military veteran, she has experience representing all of those she serves. And she is dedicated to serving the McMinnville community.  
You may choose Chenoweth. If you agree with him, you will most likely be pleased.

But if you want a Ward 1 representative who will consider the comments of all residents, you would be wise to vote for Lisa McCracken.

Beth Rankin

Seeking justice
I wish to express my gratitude to this paper for having the courage to allow letters addressing ECT or electroshock treatments, which expose more people to risk every day than COVID. Peers that have undergone such treatment have suffered repeated brain injuries.

The California courts have proved this, yet it continues. And material risk of brain injuries is still missing from consent forms, so victims can find little help in addressing damages and rehabilitation.

Most cannot even get referrals to neurologists. If they do, they then struggle to get appropriate testing, as any damage that would found would most likely be tied to ECT, and that raises the risk of suits for their peers.

Most are told they are dissociative, malingering or still suffering from the psychiatric issues used to justify the treatment in the first place. Some victims have resorted to killing themselves as a result of the gaslighting, dismissal and abandonment.

If you have NFL players in acute distress from a series of concussions, what about those among us who’ve sustained multiple traumatic brain injuries at the hands of medical providers — people who’ve been hung out to dry upon trying to get help afterward.

Providers in the community, I ask you to search your hearts as healers and speak the truth, as so many are suffering while you pretend otherwise.
There are two class-action suits taking place now, one in England and the other in the U.S. So this will eventually come to light.

I hope you, as providers, will move to address this now and not later regret the opportunity. Please see videos under you YouTube heading of “ectjustice” to learn more.

Deborah Schwartzkopff


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