Letters to the Editor: September 22, 2017

Signs of whining

Ten years ago, McMinnville reached out to the chamber, seeking business leaders to help draft a sign law for council consideration, and I signed on. It was not popular or easy, as views varied widely.

It took 18 months to produce the first draft. That draft was cussed and discussed for several more months, then turned over to a second committee.

After more debate, more presentations, more input, a final draft was presented to the council, which granted approval. It included an eight-year compliance delay, which I felt was absurd.

But it was my understanding that when property changed hands, the ordinance would come into play immediately, serving to ease the problem.

Many businesses complaining today were part of the committee insisting that enforcement be delayed, and I have a beef with that. I also have a beef with the city’s failure to enforce provisions upon changes in ownership.

The city simply posted the terms on its website and expected businesses to comply voluntarily. That’s shameful.

In addition to enforcing the law when ownership changed, the city could have mailed letters and held forums to give the issue continued currency. Now, the generous timeline is finally expiring, and the city is going to “explore” other options.

It is, apparently, not willing to hold steadfast on work that took local citizens, businessmen and councilors two years.

I don’t understand how a business or municipality can just choose to ignore policies, procedures and ordinances, especially when our city is becoming more of a destination than ever.

How visitors view us determines whether they will sing our praises and pay return visits.

The word integrity comes to mind as well as the word disappointment. I am aware that we’ve had a complete change in staff and council leadership in the past 10 years, but this not OK.

Linda Schwichtenberg



Bag the ban

Well, McMinnville is out to save the world by doing away with plastic grocery bags.

It’s not a bad idea ... if you do not want to be re-elected. It is kind of funny if you think about it. The stores sell all sorts of plastic throwaway products that will never turn to compost.

We need the dump and for it to be managed correctly. If the city was to do some good, it would put out lots of free dumping containers for people who could not afford to go to the dump or anyone who has something to dispose of when the dump is closed.

Has anyone thought to make the businesses who sell products pay for this? As I look at the streets and sidewalks, they’re full of throwaways. Whatever happened to simple logical sense in McMinnville?

James Galbreath



Bags no loss

I was sorry to read people are upset about the plastic bag ban. There are many reasons to get rid of plastic bags.

They’re made with petroleum products and/or non-renewable natural gas byproducts. It takes a lot of water and energy to make them. We’re talking billions of gallons of water, billions of pounds of fossil and nonrenewable fuels. The end result is billions of pounds of solid waste as well as tons of CO2.

It’s waste that never goes away. It gets into the water, soil and air. The bags virtually never break down. They just clog up the waterways, clog up the dump and impede natural processes of all kinds. The molecules that leach out of them cause health problems. Birds and animals get caught in them or swallow them and die.

These bags aren’t free. Somebody makes money manufacturing them. In spite of expensive campaigns against banning plastic bags, they are going away and for good reason. Tons of plastic bags are made in China, but China banned plastic bags in 2008. Bangladesh was the first country to ban plastic bags in 2002, and now just about every single nation on the planet is phasing them out.

Getting rid of the bags helps a little bit to at least limit the trouble they cause. It’s such a good cause. Everybody should feel good about doing their bit. Besides, permanent bags and baskets -- in use in many parts of the world for eons -- are far more interesting, prettier and non-polluting.

I hope people who see plastic bags (of all things) as some kind of badge of personal freedom can start to see the permanent bags and shopping baskets that way instead.

Kate Fuller




To James,
We don't need to expand the dump. What we need to do is to STOP accepting trash from everywhere else in the area OR build a Waste to Energy power plant so the trash coming in can WORK FOR US AND OUR ENERGY USES!!!!

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