"Whatchamacolumn" by Jeb Bladine

The News-Register publisher writes about the community; people; local, state and national affairs; and sometimes whimsey.

Jeb Bladine: Health care debate on a whimsical ride

America — albeit through backroom deliberations by a single political party — is struggling to design an efficient, humane and affordable health care system. As that national controversy continues ...

Jeb Bladine: ‘Maintaining a safe, livable environment’

There are many roles in solving the problems of a growing homeless population — local and state government, social service agencies, religious and humanitarian institutions, and volunteer citizens, ...

Jeb Bladine: Story had lesson about cycles of life

Our Tuesday story about Cal and Debbie Kearns touched many readers with its calm, composed yet emotional telling of a human condition that too often is hidden from view. Debbie, assisted by Reporter Starla ...

Jeb Bladine: Traditions provide community strength

Currently, city leaders and others throughout the community find their attention increasingly focused on a complex mixture of homelessness and vagrancy challenges requiring strong consensus for responsive ...

Jeb Bladine: Time to move the sidewalk bedroom

McMinnville is experiencing some fallout from political correctness. Uncomfortable with offensive labels, we have created a homogeneous concept known as “The Homeless.” Compassion for human ...

Jeb Bladine: Americans in dark on health care law

Our national attention suffers from a scattershot effect that features one high-profile news cycle after another. We leap from travel ban appeals to climate change treaties; from Russian hacking to deadly ...

Jeb Bladine: Former FBI chief takes center stage

I’m all in with this week’s testimony by former FBI Director James Comey. It’s 7 a.m. Thursday; Comey just started his Senate testimony; and my column deadline is in two hours. The stage ...

Jeb Bladine: Beware risks of muscle memory

Drivers in downtown McMinnville need to leave their muscle memory behind and pay close attention to new traffic patterns and controls. Citywide transportation bond projects became reality this week with ...

Jeb Bladine: Slave cabins convey sense of our history

We winced in early May when President Donald Trump declared achieving Middle East peace is “not as difficult as people have thought over the years.” Days later, we shuddered when the president ...

News-Register file photo##May 7, 1955. But mom, She’s so little — Just nine days old on Mother’s Day will be Marsha Jean Colvin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Colvin. Older daughter, Carolyn, 10, and son, Mike, 6, look with wonder at their tiny baby sister held by Mrs. Colvin. Mother’s Day will have special importance this year in the Colvin family.

Jeb Bladine: Memories emerge from vintage photos

Margaret Carriker Assmussen told me we must continue printing the weekly Vintage News-Register photos, saying she regularly mails them to a family member who enjoys the nostalgia triggered by images from ...

Jeb Bladine: The great gift of a second chance

Second chances are great to get, but even more important to give. Our newspaper received a second chance from a long-time reader who had let her subscription lapse due to negative reporting and commentary ...

Jeb Bladine: A mixed response to drugs and crime

Last week, staff writer Tom Henderson produced a powerful story about the ravages of drug addiction and current threats to funding for drug treatment programs. Oregon legislators, one source said, “understand ...

Jeb Bladine: Reckless moments can devastate lives

Last month, nine months following his graduation from McMinnville High School, a young man walked out of WinCo Foods with $3 worth of stolen candy bars. When confronted by the loss prevention officer and ...

Jeb Bladine: "Obamacare' is a toxic label for American health care policy

We know that labels can be shorthand instruments of racism, sexism, idiologisms of all kinds. Labels created to be cleverly descriptive can become verbal sledgehammers that penetrate our psyches and threaten ...

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