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Letters to the Editor: Jan. 18, 2019

Buyer beware

If you are contemplating buying a house, and it may have any historical significance, check with the planning department first. If it’s on a list kept by the city’s Historic Landmarks Committee, you will have to follow committee requirements in order to modify the exterior.

I feel the department has been negligent in not ensuring Realtors are given a list of all houses in the committee’s inventory. This would allow them to inform potential clients that they fall under the committee’s modification requirements.

I was adding a new deck and replacing the railings on our porch. The contractor found a lot of dry rot, so had to get a building permit.

He was informed the house was on the city’s historic landmarks list, making it subject to review. And the appointed five-member committee did not approve the railings, because they were polymer rather than wood.

Before this problem arose, I didn’t even know we had a Historic Landmarks Committee.

We had already purchased the polymer railings, which had been cut to fit between the posts. They almost exactly matched the original railings in appearance.

We could not match the railings in wood because the type of board used for the horizontal pieces is no longer made. To make matching railings out of wood would require custom milling, a very expensive procedure.

I feel people not informed their house is on the historic landmarks list at the time of purchase should not be bound by the committee’s requirements. Until I meet those requirements, the city won’t sign off on the construction work, even though it has already been passed by a city inspector.

I have heard of other cases where the Historic Landmarks Committee has also imposed requirements on homeowners who did not know their newly purchased house was on the list.

Jeff Sauter

McMinnville

 

Climate follows its own rhythm

Climate change has been happening since this planet became a planet.

About 20,000 years ago, an ice sheet estimated at one mile thick covered what is now New York City. And historians tell us that Ice Age producing that sheet was just one of several in the more distant past.

The Missoula Flood, which helped carve the Columbia River Gorge on its way to flooding our valley, was a remnant of the last Ice Age. Locally, a well driller friend told me he hit a redwood log 80 feet down, which indicates redwoods grew here at some point in the past, when conditions were very different.

Today, the threat stems from warming rather than cooling.

But I understand CO2 is a result of global warming rather than the cause. If CO2 is a natural byproduct, how does reducing it affect climate change?

Henry Evers

Dayton

 

Tipping environmental balance

Dwindling snowpacks, warmer temperatures, bigger and more explosive wildfires. Fires from British Columbia to California sending choking smoke into our skies with ever-increasing frequency.

The science is clear: Climate change is right here, right now. And reputable researchers concur the dire effects are accelerating.

I could go on, but you’ve heard this tune many times already. We must act immediately and boldly if we want to limit the damage to our ecosystems, both local and global.

So what, exactly, can we do?

One worthy action would be supporting the Clean Energy Jobs Bill in Oregon’s upcoming legislative session. The bill aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2025, 45 percent by 2035 and 80 percent by 2050.

To help us reach these goals, the bill would put a price on pollution.

It would authorize sale of permits or allowances to sources of more than 25,000 metric tons annually, which are collectively responsible for 85 percent of Oregon emissions. Permits would be bought and sold at auction, creating an estimated $700 million annually for investment into clean energy generation, public transit, energy efficiency and so forth.

Oregon is not re-inventing the wheel here. Ten states and three Canadian provinces have some form of this strategy in place already.

As a person of faith, I am called to be a good steward of God’s creation. As an environmentalist, I am called to take care of this planet. From a practical point of view, there’s no difference!

Doing nothing is just not an option any more. Please read up on this bill — more detailed information is readily available — then contact your state senator and representative, as well as local elected officials.

Ask them to support the Clean Energy Jobs Bill. Future generations will thank you.

Rick Hammond

Amity

Comments

Don Dix

Rick Hammond -- a little clarification -- of the last 21 Cal. wildfires, 17 were started by power lines -- is that why Oregon should impose a carbon taxon the residents, or is it so Kate Brown and her Ds will have more government money to waste?

Don Dix

Henry Evers wrote -- 'Climate change has been happening since this planet became a planet.'

That's a fact that the 'doomsayers' cannot dispute, even though they try to ignore it. And using the last 100 years of recorded climate fluctuations is such a small sample size compared to Earth's age is bogus. Coming out of the Little Ice Age, the Earth has warmed, naturally!

Mike

Mr Hammond. Here may be an answer to your question how does CO2 effect climate change. Increasing ground temperatures results from the physical properties of CO2 and that atmospheric CO2 absorbs outgoing long-wave energy. The Earth's been able to cycle CO2 through the oceans and plants like trees. Our Industrial civilization which we are at the heart of today has been ingenious at extracting and producing CO2 and dumping it into the atmosphere. At the same time the nature cycle the Earth uses to deal with CO2 we are damaging. But hey we're had a wonderful run and it likely will go on for another 100 or so. Your great grand kids will likely have an interesting life.

Believing the concern for the future is a political scheme to extract and waste money and believing we humans are not capable of killing ourselves on a huge scale without firing a shot is wonderfully optimistic. I believe it is too late to turn aside what we are doing to our home. Just to be clear those who want to try and spend money now to reduce our spewing of CO2 are wasting their time and money, even if they're concern for their children is in the right place.

Mudstump

Jeff Sauter - Real estate contracts in Oregon have an inspections (due diligence) page where the buyer has ten days to perform any and all inspections they want. Once you sign off on the inspections the property is sold "as-is". It is your responsibility alone to find out as much as you can about a property before you buy it.

In many cases property owners receive tax credits, tax incentives and lower interest rates for purchasing and owning a landmark to offset the associated costs that go along with custom windows, moldings and materials.

You need special insurance for historic properties because of the additional costs of replacement.

It sounds like you are rightfully upset, but the fault falls squarely on your shoulders. Next time do your due diligence before you sign off.

Ossie Bladine

@Mudstump

I believe the incentives you listed are only for properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as a contributing property of a Historic District. Simply being placed on McMinnville's Historic Resource Inventory does not qualify for state or federal assistance.

Ossie Bladine
Editor

Mudstump

Ossie Bladine- Thank you for the correction. I searched for more information on McMinnville Historic committee, but found little to know information online.

Regardless, it is the buyer's responsibility to do their due diligence prior to purchasing a property. It would be interesting to read the seller's disclosure statement to see if they disclosed the designation.

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