Letters to the Editor: Aug. 5, 2022

Officer goes missing

For a couple of years, we have had a police officer with a radar gun patrolling our neighborhood.

This was no ordinary officer, as he was made out of cardboard. He dutifully stood out in all sorts of weather.

We watered and fed him at least three times a week. The dogs loved seeing him, as did the neighborhood children.

More than once, folks had their picture taken with him as they passed by and said hello. Rumor is that our own Mac PD chief even had his picture taken with the officer.

Sadly, someone cut his supports and he has vanished — a very tragic end to his heroic service!

We live in the northwest section of the city.

When new housing developments were built and roads cut through, our street became a thoroughfare after more than 14 years as a dead end. Speeding through the neighborhood soon became routine.

Since there are bunches of kids, dogs and people walking and riding in the area, so many people added signs or little green stick figures announcing kids at play. That helped some, but the officer did more to get people to slow down.

We purchased him as a cardboard cutout and attached him to a tree in our front yard, along the road. We are bummed that someone decided to take him.

Was it a teenage prank, or one of the speeders getting cranky? I guess we’ll never know.

While this is strictly a first-world problem, it’s disappointing that someone felt the need to come in our yard and steal the officer. We would gladly welcome him back if he is able to make it home.

In the meantime, I guess it’s back to waving and staring at speeding drivers.

Peter Hofstetter



Close white gate

I am one of the affected residents who signed the petition to close the gate at the end of High Heaven Road. The main reason is to reduce the threat of fire.

There have been several fires west of the white gate, requiring a response from McMinnville Fire Department. These are started by people who have no regard for the land or its residents.

The worst of them stemmed from a vehicle that was abandoned, shot up, then set on fire.

The folks who did it just drove away. I, for one, am very thankful for my neighbors and their quick action to douse the flames.

It appears that the people who come up to High Heaven and go beyond the white gate feel there are no rules, so anything goes. But the land is owned by people, companies and the state, and it is open to folks to enjoy only within the rules set forth by the owners of said property.

I’m advocating for the closing of the gate during fire season, but just for motorized vehicles. It would still be open for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

It would be a shame if all the property beyond the gate had to be closed off due to dumping, shooting and fires. It is not just the land owners’ problem when access allows this activity to continue.

I have one question for the board of commissioners: How many fires does it take for the threat to go from “perceived” to real?

Most prudent people would say one. What do you folks say?

Close the gate before it results in a charred landscape.

Tim Novak



Rules of the road

I have been a cyclist since 1968.

I lived in Rhode Island in the 70s, and it is only 43 miles long. I lived in Foster, about five miles from the Connecticut border.

A friend and I would cycle to the beach, which is as far as you can go, then return home.

I have been on four week-long, 500-mile Cycle Oregon rides here. If you break any traffic laws during one of the rides, your participation is terminated. Cyclists are supposed to follow the same laws as motorists.

Recently, I almost hit a cyclist who rode through a stop sign. I see this all the time! Police need to start giving cyclists tickets.

Another good piece of advice: When you are out in a group, ride single file along the side of the road when a car is behind you. 

Sandra Ponto



Unresponsive in Mac

We have been calling the Recology Western Oregon over and over again. No one answers, and this has been an all-year problem.

We are disabled. Then there’s the price of gas. So we would rather call than visit the office in person.

We have been wrongly charged for an extra pickup. It never happened. And an extra $10.53 is a lot for us.

There’s no other way to call them, and we were unable to find an e-mail address. So now we face having to drive to the office in McMinnville.

It’s about time someone brings this up to them.

Helga Lacock



No safe places

The takeaway from the Texas school-shooting incident is that making gun-free fortresses out of our schools isn’t working.

The police were there within minutes, but did nothing for more than an hour. What if one or both teachers had been armed and trained?

Shooters seek out gun-free zones. Courthouses don’t count because they have numerous armed officers.

We recently had a gunman in a church killed by an armed citizen. Another church shooter was killed by a worshiper who went home to get his own firearm and returned. And we had a mall shooter stopped by an armed concealed-carry person.

The assassination in Japan was carried out with a home-made gun. So how are we going to get rid of guns?

Even without guns, a knife-wielding assailant in China went into a school and killed 19.

An assault weapon? What is that?

If I attack you with a hammer, is that an assault weapon?

Henry Evers



Mass killing weapons

Mr. Howard (Letters, 7/22) objects to the term “assault weapon” because such a weapon can also be used for defense. So what should we call high-capacity, rapid-fire weapons?

They were designed to kill as many people as rapidly and as efficiently as possible. They were designed for military battlefields, not urban neighborhoods. So let’s give them a name that fits their purpose — “mass killing weapons” or MKWs for short.

Mr. Howard worries that banning MKWs would represent a step toward disarming citizens.

Firearm death has become a public health crisis in the United States. And according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the problem is getting worse.

When faced with a public health crisis, we identify its etiology.

It may, for example, be the work of a harmful bacterium, virus or fungus. When we figure out what it is, we destroy it to protect ourselves.

In the case of firearm deaths, guns are the harmful pathogen. We need to remove them from our neighborhoods, starting with MKWs. 

Robert Mason



Edge of history

I just read a chilling sentence by Bill Lueders, editor of The Progressive: “We stand at the frayed edge of history, with disaster knocking at the door and a sizable share of the populace clapping their hands over their ears.”

What does this mean for the rest of us?

It means recycling more than a mere 9% of the plastic we produce. It means buying less, particularly when it comes to plastic-packaged goods, from screws to salad greens and peanut butter to bottled water.

It means understanding the implications of entire island and low-lying communities having to relocate to higher ground, coming at great expense to those who can least afford and those who value living on ancestral grounds.

It means watching polar bears leap from ice floe to ice floe or swimming to gain footage on the next one. It means watching the number of extinct species rise before we have the chance to fully understand the interdependence of all life.

It means knowing the climate goals set by international agreements are not only inadequate, but also going unmet. It means experiencing extreme weather events in areas never having experienced them before, leading to unnecessary loss of life, property and sometime the hope of ever rebuilding.

It means moving your money from big banks who fund the fossil fuel industry that is killing our planet. It means voting for candidates who believe in climate change and will tip the balance toward a green job economy, more environmental protection, healthcare to mitigate the diseases of polluted air and water, and salvaging any hope we may have for a future for our children and their children.

Linda Werner



Windows, not walls

Words matter.

What an obvious, banal observation! Who doesn’t know that “I love you” and “I hate you” and all the creative racial epithets ever invented really matter to those to whom they are directed.

But what about other words — words we use and hear every day without giving any real thought as to what they mean?

The word that is troubling me lately is “fight.” It seems to me that every political candidate representing every political party this election season is pledging to fight about — well — everything.

Fight for you. Fight against you. Fight for this right. Fight against that right. Fight, Fight. Fight.

It’s no wonder our government accomplishes nothing when everyone in it is fighting with everyone else about everything.

How refreshing it would be to hear candidates tell us how they plan to work across the aisle, listen to all points of view, seek common ground and compromise (yikes!) to get the people’s work done.

The more we fight, the more we promise to fight, the more we brag about fighting, the farther apart we become — as individuals and as a nation.

Of course, there many different visions of what America is and what it should be.

If only we would allow our visions for this nation to be windows and not walls, to see and hear one another and fight only for understanding and the common good.

If only.

Erma Vasquez



Great travesty

A great travesty is being perpetrated in our nation by our own government and the world elites.

Public-private partnerships and investment under environmental, social and governance guidance are responsible for our high gas prices, supply chain shortages and lack of fertilizer for farming.

We must also consider the encouraging of electronic money for convenience and safety. Some convenience there may be, but not safety.

The system has been hacked. Does it benefit only those who control it?

A serious violation occurred when Congress ignored President Jefferson’s warnings and created an independent central bank, forerunner of today’s Federal Reserve System. The coining of our money has been turned over to a corporation, and we are in great debt to it.

In effect, you are not in control of your own money. You can’t use it with a flip of the switch.

An inroad has been gained by dividing our nation to hide the true agenda. It’s time to wake up, drop the axes, converse, research, seek the truth and pledge resistance.

We have a duty to our nation to see it is governed constitutionally, but we’ve been manipulated and deceived. We’ve abandoned our duty and will pay dearly if we don’t wake up.

Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

Mary Novak



Recology Western Oregon

Regarding Ms. Lacock's letter about Recology, we will reach out to her and hope to get her issue resolved shortly. Our call center does sometimes get overwhelmed with calls, and we want to apologize for the frustration this causes for our customers. Another way to reach us is by email at rwoinfo@recology.com. Many of our reps are still working remotely; a few of them cannot connect to our phone system, but they do monitor this email account. This means that some customers get an answer via email in less time than it takes to reach a rep over the phone. Thank you.

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