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Letters to the editor: 052220

What about judicial races?

Few citizens of Yamhill County appreciate what a rare privilege Judge Jennifer Chapman and her opponent Lisle Miller gave them last election. These two talented, eminently qualified women ran positive campaigns that enabled voters to decide who would best serve their community.

I was therefore dismayed when I began to fill out my ballot and discovered that almost all of the judges at the state and local level were running for re-election, unopposed. A quick perusal of the voters pamphlet confirmed that these judges were so confident in their reelection that they hadn’t even bothered to submit statements.

What’s more, I don’t recall reading any news articles or editorials about these judges, not even Ladd Wiles, who sits on the Yamhill County Circuit Court bench.

James Crawford

Yamhill

 

No to smear tactics

I feel compelled to express my feelings about the flier I received in the mail regarding Barbara Boyer, who is running for county commissioner. As if the pandemic weren’t enough, is it really necessary to stoop to such a low level — to use a smear campaign in an effort to humiliate and shame another person?

I don’t know who paid for this 8.5-by-11-inch piece of propaganda, but it certainly wasn’t kind. Nor was it necessary. In fact, this type of action only makes me question the people running against her.

I simply don’t understand this kind of politics. I never will. I think some of us need to go back to kindergarten and learn the basics about being a good human being.

I believe in this: First, do no harm.

There was already an article in the paper about Barbara’s past that covered what this flier rehashed in a very cruel way.

I believe people can learn from their mistakes. Let’s use our energies in more loving and positive ways.

Karen Willard

McMinnville

 

No involvement

In your editorial titled, “Attack ads here tend to backfire,” you state:

“Suspicion fell on two relatives of County Commissioner Mary Starrett, husband Ron Fennern of the politically active RAF Enterprises and brother Kevin Starrett of the politically active Oregon Firearms Federation. However, all parties associated with the Chenoweth camp denied involvement.”

I have never been associated with the Chenoweth camp and don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean. A search of my records shows the very first communication I ever had with Mr. Chenoweth was last February, when he invited me to speak to the Yamhill County Republicans.

A web search I did of “Kevin Starrett” and “Chris Chenoweth” came up with zip. A search for “Kevin Starrett” in your rag came up with exactly two other mentions of me aside from this idiotic editorial. Neither mentions Chris Chenoweth.

I don’t know whose “suspicions” you are referring to — maybe you just invented that crap too — but I can quite assure you that if I ever attack anyone, my name is going to be on the attack. That’s a lot more than can be said for whatever moronic coward wrote this twaddle.

Kevin Starrett

Canby

 

Tailpipe emissions

In a recent letter, Judy Robinson asks this question of cap-and-trade promoters: “When the pandemic hit the U.S. and the stay-at-home order was applied, limiting highway traffic to trucks transporting necessities, why did the pollution clear from our air?”

We cap-and-traders appreciate the easy ones, so here is my simple answer to her simple question: Fewer internal combustion vehicles on the roads equals less pollution. So, asked and answered.

Of course, her question isn’t actually even credible as written, because the “pollution” did not “clear from our air.” Pollution levels did decrease, but they didn’t disappear.

But perhaps I missed the point. Was she proposing cars stay off the roads, with only trucks remaining, so as to lower pollution levels? Though that idea would pass muster in terms of the science, somehow I don’t think it very practical.

Go ahead and write your elected state senator and representative, proposing a bill that establishes such a policy. Not only would the Republicans walk out of the Capitol building, so would the Democrats. That would constitute a rare instance of bipartisan agreement.

Or is Ms. Robinson arguing trucks do not pollute, only cars? If that’s her argument, I can only conclude she’s been breathing too much of what comes out of those tailpipes.

Rick Hammond

Amity

 

Meatless Memorial Day

There is good news from COVID-19 for this Memorial Day. We won’t be getting stuck in traffic jams and the meat shortage will keep us safe from outdoor grills.

Folks who grill hamburgers and hot dogs face a nasty choice.

The U.S. Meat and Poultry Hotline advises grilling at high temperature to avoid food poisoning by E. coli and salmonella bacteria. But the National Cancer Institute warns that high-temperature grilling of processed meats generates cancer-causing compounds.

Fortunately, we no longer need to choose between food poisoning and cancer. Enterprising U.S. food processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a rich variety of convenient, healthful and delicious plant-based burgers, dogs and nuggets.

These products don’t harbor nasty bugs or cancer-causing compounds. They are missing the cholesterol, saturated fat, drugs, hormones and pesticides of their animal-based alternatives. And they are waiting for us in the frozen food section of our favorite supermarket, along with nut-based ice creams and other dairy-free desserts.

This Memorial Day, in the shadow of COVID-19, let’s stay safe in more ways than one.

Melvin Nysser

McMinnville

 

Yes on trail

It would appear a vociferous minority of landholders and anti-growth activists has jammed a foot in the door to keep the Yamhelas Westsider Trail open for further review.

For commissioners who listened to countless hours of public testimony, evaluated the facts and voted for the trail, knowing it was a good thing, you have my sympathy. I thank you for your patience in reading another public comment, so I shall be brief.

First, no land is being taken from anybody. The land bordering the trail has been subject to a railroad easement for decades, and was then purchased by the people of Yamhill County. Individual landholders did not buy or maintain the property set aside for the trail, so we have no big government conspiracy or attack on private property rights.

Second, the recreational and commercial benefits that would flow to Yamhill County far exceed the inconvenience and/or agricultural detriment that could be posed to the small minority along the route. And should opponents need reminding, those owning real estate within timber and agricultural zones are automatically subject, by deed, to formal right to farm privileges.

Notices or warnings could be posted to inform users they could be exposed to hazards from active farming, forfeiting any right to a cause of action for personal injury. This should go a long way in reducing any fears.

Third, I wonder if opponents would come out of the woodwork should Union Pacific wish to reassert its rights and resume railroad operations. I make this point only to highlight that the environmental impact and hazards of pedestrians and bicyclists on farming pale compared to the havoc of railway traffic. Yet farming seemed to survive all those years of rail traffic.

Despite the noise, stay the course. The trail would benefit the entire community for years to come.

David Polite

Carlton

 

Continuing pattern

In 1980, Reagan told us government was the problem, not the solution. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said there was no such thing as society, only individual men, women and families.

For 40 years, media outlets and so-called experts have been drilling these ideas into us. They have become part of our DNA. At every level — federal, state and local, the government has become the bogeyman.

Lack of effective federal response in the current crisis should come as no surprise. The federal response to Hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Katrina, and the 2008 financial crisis, foretold the absolute failure we are experiencing today.

The corona pandemic is nothing more than a business opportunity for corporations and the well-connected. They are reaping billions under the guise of relief. Human outcomes aren’t part of the calculus.

We praise endlessly the “greatest generation,” featuring those who fought in World War II. But their sacrifice was only made possible because they had a dynamic and determined government backing them every step — a government not afraid to confront Corporate America on behalf of the nation as a whole, thus delivering the material and moral support our fighters needed.

Today, I don’t think we could fight our way out of a paper bag.

Can anyone tell me what the 50-year war on drugs has accomplished? How about the 20-year war on terror?

Do you see any government efforts to solve gun violence, poverty or homelessness? By design, there won’t be any federal solutions to these problems, because ineffective government is good for business.

The never-ending circus we are witnessing now is the culmination of a dirty war against good government. It has raged my entire adult life.

I would trade a hundred Jeff Bezoses, Warren Buffets and Elon Musks for one Tom McCall or Wayne Morse.

Larry Treadwell

Sheridan

 

 The blame game

Concerning your political cartoon with Trump blaming Obama:

Did you put a similar cartoon in your paper when Obama was blaming Bush?

Darren Nettrouer

McMinnville

Comments

gophergrabber

Nice one Darren!

Don Dix

Rick Hammond -- Sorry, but you did miss the point -- my understanding of Mrs. Robinson's question was thus --
An obvious side effect of this 'pandemic' has produced evidence of how to clean the air. Harmful internal combustion exhaust pollutants include carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), benzene (C 6H 6) and formaldehyde (HCHO). As you stated, less driving = less pollution -- and that equation has nothing to do with the state's proposed 'money grab' (cap and trade legislation). The proof is positioned squarely in your path -- that you choose to ignore it in no way supports the argument for cap and trade.

Don Dix

Larry Treadwell -- you are absolutely correct!

Hambone

Don Dix - The whole point of cap and trade is to lower greenhouse gas emissions by putting a price on those emissions, and thereby incentivize people and businesses to get off fossil fuels. It's not less driving, it's less driving of fossil-fueled vehicles. Right now, none of us who drive those vehicles pay anything for the environmental damage those vehicles do, most specifically (but not limited to) contributing to climate change. Cap and trade is one way to address that issue. How would you address it?

Don Dix

Hambone -- first of all, most CO2 occurs naturally (over 95%). The world wide reduction of traffic has made little to no difference in the CO2 levels, but reduced atmospheric levels of those pollutants mentioned above.

Oregon’s proposed program sets a statewide limit — the cap — on emissions in terms of metric tons of greenhouse gases. Over time, that limit is reduced. The trade part: Total emissions are divided into allowances. One allowance corresponds to one metric ton of greenhouse gases. An allowance, simply put, is a certificate allowing a producer to emit that one ton.

A state run auction would distribute those allowances to companies, who may also trade them with other companies. In other words, companies would buy the right to emit. That's just rearranging the chairs -- at a cost.

Who loses -- consumers, with the increased cost of all products under the cap and trade. And business is at the mercy of out-of-state competition that is not under the same restrictions.

And who wins -- the state government! Can you really believe the state will pass on all money collected? Not at all likely, considering recent history of Oregon's never-ending quest for more ways to extract money from state residents and businesses.

The climate has never been settled throughout history --ever --, and human's limited study is much smaller than the .04% atmospheric concentration of CO2. Basing a 'tax' on such minuscule information is a sneaky way for the state to get it's hands on more money -- yours!

Hambone

Don Dix - There is so much wrong with your last lengthy diatribe that I hardly know where to begin. When I asked you what you would do instead of cap and trade, your answer appears to be "Nothing, because humans don't cause climate change." The facts are abundantly clear that we do. The rapidly accelerating changes to our climate are caused in large part by the large-scale burning of fossil fuels, which began with the advent of the Industrial Revolution . We can ignore that completely (as we did for many decades), we can take some limited - but largely ineffective - action (as we are doing now), or we can undertake much larger actions. Only the latter will preserve the planet in a form anything like it is now. And even those measures might not succeed unless we get going on them immediately. You can stick your head in the sand by denying the science, but facts are facts. So I repeat my question: If not cap and trade, then what?

RobsNewsRegister

Reforest on a global scale to reabsorb the CO2. Cap-n-Trade in a non-industrial state like Oregon would have limited impact, on a global scale anyway. Our CO2 is dwarfed by countries such as China & India.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/massive-forest-restoration-could-greatly-slow-global-warming/

Hambone

RobsNewsRegister - 1)Reforestation on a global scale would be huge, but is not enough by itself. We need a multi-faceted approach. And groups like Timber Unity fight any effort to increase forests. 2)Yes, Oregon's contribution to GHGs is small compared to China and India, but so is our population. Per capita, we Americans dwarf those two countries, not to mention our total emissions over the last 2+ centuries arguably makes the U.S. the worst offender. Cap and trade is not perfect, but doing nothing is not an option.

RobsNewsRegister

But we aren't an industrial state. All cap-n-trade will do here is drive individual Oregonian energy costs up significantly (e.g. at least 45 cents per gallon of gas and much higher electric bills) while not impacting global CO2 in any measurable way. Worse yet, we may drive industry out of the state through higher costs (e.g. our Steel Mill). They would just offshore and the item then produced at a far higher CO2/unit cost wherever it goes because 90% of the power for our steel mill comes from our hydroelectric dams (one example).

I personally would be willing to pay some tax for a state/federal forestation effort - even if it involves buying some land - it has the best cost/impact ratio of any solution to date that I am aware. I believe the low cost is a reason many individual land owners plant trees to obtain farm deferrals rather than other options (e.g. grow some other crop).

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