Letters to the Editor: December 8, 2017

Council shows wisdom

The McMinnville City Council voted unanimously last week to stop sending our garbage to Riverbend Landfill.

Councilor after councilor cited ending the hypocrisy of the city outwardly protesting the expansion of the landfill while at the same time sending our trash there. Yamhill County’s largest city has made a bold statement by pulling its trash from Riverbend and made a very wise business decision.

Recology’s representative told the council that by sending their trash to a new landfill just north of Vancouver, McMinnville will be first in line from Yamhill County to reserve stable, cheap, disposal space for a long time.

This new landfill, just off Interstate 5, does not affect farmland, leak into a water source, stink businesses out of their livelihoods or rack up lawsuit after lawsuit. It has room for only so many daily trucks, and McMinnville has slipped our trash through that gate.

The city council should be congratulated for working with Recology to build a compacting transfer station that only marginally increases our rates. Smart.
There were no businesses pleading Riverbend Landfill’s case at the hearing — no one from the mills, manufacturing, construction or retail. The Chamber of Commerce, which has always advocated for the landfill, sat quietly on the side and proclaimed neutrality. Waste Management was not there offering a $15,000 “gift.”

When asked about the city voting to stop using Riverbend Waste Management’s representative said, “It’s not about McMinnville … It’s about volumes. It’s about economies of scale…” No PR love lost there.

Conversely, I guess our city council said by its vote that it’s not about Waste Management, either. It’s about one of its competitors offering a lower tipping fee and a fiscally responsible plan for stable garbage rates while being mindful of safe drinking water, our tourist brand and the farmland.

Ramsey McPhillips



Trash redirect hardly ‘symbolic’

I disagree with the negative editorial you published last week regarding the decision of the city council to discontinue dumping at Riverbend.

By saying the decision was “symbolic,” you denigrate the many citizens, farmers, and business owners who are committed to sound environmental practices. These practices include education, increasing the number of recycling containers in public spaces, prohibiting single-use plastic bags, cooperating with local businesses and Linfield to audit and improve our trash disposal practices, cooperating with Tillamook County to recycle styrofoam, and supporting Recology’s efforts to help people save on their trash service costs.

These efforts enhance McMinnville’s reputation as a beautiful, livable town that attracts tourists internationally, which, in turn, helps our economy. Such efforts are hardly “symbolic.”

It is disappointing to hear the editors of the News-Register take such a negative, fatalistic view. The garbage mountain is an eyesore. It is poorly sited in a flood-prone area, attracts nuisance birds that contaminate crops with E. coli and destroy crops, releases greenhouse gases into our air, and absolutely stinks.

Waste Management takes the lion’s share of the profits back to Houston and leaves the environmental damage to us. Such a deal.

Our city council is to be commended for studying and supporting responsible, viable alternatives that improve our city. I rather like representatives who solve problems instead of just coveting a quick (dirty) buck with no thought to the future.

Margaret Cross



The biggest losers

While most Americans win big under President Trump’s tax plan, guess who the big losers are? Hint: No deduction for state and local taxes. You probably already figured it out. It’s the rich in high-tax blue states.

Oregon doesn’t top that list, but it’s in there. Who do you think might be removed from office over this?You’re probably thinking the same thing I am. It’s Obama Democratic politicians.

Who else is a big loser? It’s the 60 to 70 elite private universities with at least 500 students and endowments in excess of $250,000 per student. Far-left Harvard University will now be taxed on earnings from its roughly $34 billion dollar endowment.

Similarly, sanctuary cities such as Portland stand to lose substantial federal funds. And who do you think might be removed from office over this? You already know. It’s Obama Democratic politicians.

On Monday, while the Supreme Court voted 7 to 2 to uphold President Trump’s travel ban, our populist president went out west to Utah. Trump returned more than two-million acres grabbed by the executive overreach of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton to the citizens of Utah.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney plans to carpetbag Utah if Sen. Orrin Hatch retires. Hatch traveled with Trump round-trip, all 9,000 miles. It’s time for the president to sweet talk the 83-year-old Utah senator into staying on.

Dan Katz



Editorial off base

The News-Register’s Dec. 1 editorial regarding the McMinnville City Council’s decision to stop sending garbage to Riverbend landfill was puzzling.

Along with criticizing the council for that vote, it characterized as “symbolic” McMinnville’s decision to ban plastic bags. Huh? Cities all over America are trying mightily to enact such legislation, and McMinnville did it. Why is the News-Register criticizing this environmentally responsible ordinance?

The newspaper further chastises the city since now garbage will move out of the area on diesel-powered tractor-trailers. For more than a decade, 75 pollution-spewing semis carried out-of-county waste into the county daily.

I have no recollection of the News-Register worrying about the environmental impact of those trucks. All that imported trash made millions upon millions of gallons of toxic leachate, most of which was hauled out of the county daily on (you guessed it) 18 diesel-powered tanker trucks.

There hasn’t been any News-Register hand-wringing about those leachate-hauling diesel tankers, just as there was none about the 75 dirty diesel trucks carrying garbage to the banks of the South Yamhill River for more than a decade.

With less imported trash, “only” around 13 diesel tankers now move Riverbend’s leachate daily to water treatment plants as far away as St. Helens. Without McMinnville’s trash, perhaps the number of trucks will go down to12.

Why isn’t the News Register editorializing against leachate spills, leachate leaks, seismic dangers or the nauseating odors coming from the landfill and its leachate pond? Though no longer explicitly cheerleading for Waste Management, why is the News -Register criticizing McMinnville for wanting to be part of the solution, not part of the problem?

I look forward to News-Register editorials suggesting non-symbolic environmental regulations. Maybe they will urge county commissioners not to approve dump expansion next time around.

Ilsa Perse


Monumental stupidity

Trump’s wall on the Mexican border was back in the news in his response to the acquittal of the undocumented immigrant charged with murder in San Francisco.

It amazes me that Trump has completely abandoned his promise to have Mexico pay for the wall. It would still be a colossal waste of money if they did pay, but they won’t. Trump’s phone conversation with Mexico’s president confirms it was never true from the start, and Trump knew it.

Now he expects us to waste some $20 billion that would be better spent on infrastructure, public schools, veterans’ care and a long list of other pressing problems. This wall, just like the existing fence, would soon have a freeway system of tunnels running under it. Or maybe the people who finance the tunnels would just have a couple of semi-trucks filled with high explosives pull up to their side of the wall and turn it into a $20 billion pile of rubble.

Then there’s the issue of U.S. agriculture being dependent on the cheap migrant labor that crosses the border. In addition to the $20 billion, are we all prepared to spend a lot more money for the fruits and vegetables we eat?

General George Patton said that fixed fortifications are monuments to man’s stupidity. If man can conquer the mountains and cross the oceans, then nothing man-made will stop man. Let’s put our hard-earned tax dollars to good use instead of wasting them on political gimmicks.

Fred Fawcett



Don’t blame immigrants

There may be defensible reasons for not having sanctuary cities and states, but population control isn’t one of them, as a letter writer argued last week (“Stop the huddled masses,” Elizabeth Van Staaveren).

Sanctuary jurisdictions are safer because immigrants can interact with local and state law enforcement without fear of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In one survey, 70 percent of undocumented immigrants and 44 percent of Latinos indicated they would be less likely to report a crime if they were not living in a sanctuary jurisdiction.

Sanctuary jurisdictions are needed to protect undocumented immigrants from what appears to be capricious and inconsistent action on the part of ICE agents, in many cases. This even is a more serious factor with the planned undoing of DACA.

Population control should first be approached by making sure every child is wanted. While the rate of unintended pregnancies has been droping, it is still far too high. In almost half the unintended pregnancies, the women reported difficulty accessing contraception.

While I support the need for available abortion, I do not support its replacement of contraception as a means of birth control.

Recent actions by the administration to undo the Affordable Care Act, which required insurers in most instances to cover contraception as a preventive service, will almost certainly result in a dramatic jump in the number of unintended pregnancies.

When are conservatives going to wake up to the fact that failure to provide fertility control is associated with almost endless ill effects on our society? Population growth is only one.

Les Howsden



Don Dix

Mac quits Riverbend, which will most likely extend it's useful life in years, and the same company that owns Riverbend (the despised Waste Management) is bidding to buy the new dump site in Washington state. Probably didn't see either coming, eh?


There is no evidence that crime reporting by immigrants suffers when local police cooperate with ICE; it is a myth created by anti-enforcement advocates. “The most reliable academic studies and government data show that robust cooperation between locals and feds does not affect crime reporting by immigrants.” See https://cis.org/Vaughan/Top-Justice-Official-Scoffs-Immigrant-Crime-Reporting-Chilling-Effect


I hardly think a quote from a DoJ bureaucrat, whose job it is to fight against sanctuary, in a hearing, claiming that this isn’t a factor, qualifies as a serious counterpoint to actual studies, and justifies your bombastic statement “There is no evidence ...”. Quite on the contrary, there is plenty of evidence, and quotes of some guy’s opinion don’t change that. And Mr. Blanco’s claimed 28 years in law enforcement were all spent as a government attorney, not as a cop.

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable