Letters to the Editor: March 18, 2016

Common ground

Both groups would deny it, but there are a lot of similarities between Republican and Democratic partisans.

First, they share denial of this. Trump’s Republican followers are characterized as furious with establishment Republican leaders — bitterly angry that they’re constantly promised relief from stagnating wages and the lack of good jobs but get no action once they put their candidate in office.

Instead, once in office, their candidates attack Social Security that voters have contributed to all their working lives while they don’t do anything about jobs.

The corporate Democrats who control the party under Debbie Wasserman Schultz treat their party’s base exactly the same way. They can’t win office without the working voters who support them, and they make inspiring speeches to get those votes. Once elected, they turn their backs on the party’s base until the next election.

Both parties’ leaders are known for their inability to work together and accomplish anything for their constituents, yet they have no trouble at all uniting to pass another trade agreement that will further hamper the living standards of their party’s base voters.

Yes, trade will increase, and corporations will grow more prosperous, but voters won’t share in that prosperity. They only get to share when things go bad and there are losses to pay.

The partisan voters in both parties are convinced that they have nothing in common. As long as they remain divided, they’ll have a declining standard of living and lower wages that look and feel quite the same. As far as blaming each other for what does get done, it makes no sense either, since it typically isn’t what voters elected their candidates to do.

Fred Fawcett 


Trump? What a riot

I respect everyone’s right to choose and encourage all citizens to cast a secret ballot.

If, however, you are considering a vote for Donald Trump, I request you please reconsider that choice. Many will support Trump out of frustration with the growing polarity of established Washington politics.

I share your frustration with the lack of meaningful legislation and responsible governing. Unfortunately, Trump is not the answer. His brashness and lack of empathy will only lead to further obstructiveness and antagonism in our country.

Consider for a moment what happened in Chicago Friday night. Vitriolic and racist rhetoric by Trump has turned American citizens against each other and led to increased violence. We can only imagine the future if this trend continues.

Cameron Urnes 


Do the math, Boquist

It’s hard to believe such a silly statement coming from state Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas, who opined that the Legislature’s increase in the minimum wage will be exactly cancelled by an increased cost of living.

Yes, the cost of living will be increased by a small amount, say 2 percent a year each year through 2022, when the rate for Portland will be $14.75 per hour. In that case, the purchasing power of the near 50 percent increase in the minimum wage will be reduced by 12 percent, leaving a net increase of 38 percent. The effect on employment levels is unclear. Extensive previous studies of moderate increases have failed to detect any effects. However, this increase is a large one, so we are in uncharted territory.

The increase will have no effect on doctors’ fees, since specialists make about $150 per hour, or on rents or on mortgage costs or on gasoline and only a small amount on food.

It will affect sit-down restaurant costs where labor amounts to 30 percent of costs, so that a 50 percent increase in wages would increase costs by 15 percent to be covered by increased prices.

A $20 meal might go to $23. Fast-food restaurants with much smaller labor costs would see prices rise much less. Ditto for Walmart where labor costs are about 5 percent of total costs. A $5 blouse might rise in price to $5.25.

Businesses will have a big incentive to reduce employment by increasing the recent lagging productivity growth. That’s how our standard of living is increased.

It’s disappointing when our state senator is so uninformed. We deserve better.

Anthony Bell 


Spring into veganism

After another winter of severe snowstorms and floods, I look forward to the first day of spring, balmy weather and blooming flowers.

Hundreds of communities welcome spring with an observance of Great American Meatout, asking neighbors to explore a healthy, compassionate diet of vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains.

Indeed, 56 percent of respondents to a GlobalMeatNews poll said that they were or are reducing meat intake. U.S. per capita red meat consumption has dropped by more than 16 percent since 1999.

Mainstream publications like Parade, Better Homes and Gardens and Eating Well are touting vegan recipes. Even the financial investment community is betting on plant-based meat startups, like Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods, while warning clients about the upcoming “death of meat.”

The reasons are ample. Last year, the World Health Organization found cancer to be associated with consumption of processed meats. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommended reduced meat consumption. The media keep exposing atrocities perpetrated on factory farms. And animal agriculture remains the chief contributor to climate change, water scarcity and pollution.

Each of us should celebrate our own advent of spring by checking out plant-based foods at our supermarkets and vegan recipes on the internet.

Milo Nakamura 


Be true to our schools

I am a proud graduate of the McMinnville School District. In fact, the first year that I returned to teach in our community, I had the opportunity to teach kindergarten in the exact same classroom where I had gone to kindergarten.

One of the attributes that makes our community special is our commitment to state-of-the-art education for our kids.

Throughout the decades that I have lived here, I have benefited from that commitment, and I have watched my fellow classmates also return to this area to enrich, enhance and evolve our community.

If you look around McMinnville and Lafayette, we have former Grizzlies serving as lawyers, doctors, farmers, teachers, winemakers, nurses, restaurant owners, public servants, mechanics, bankers, professors and more. I think it says a lot about how special this place is when our youth return here to share their talents as adults and raise their own children.

We would not be able to have the strong education system that we do without the cooperative spirit of our taxpayers. This collaboration has allowed us to meet the needs of our growing population and do what is best for kids in the changing field of education.

As our economy changes, so do the skills that our graduates need to be successful. In May, our school district will be asking for approval on a bond to replace the 1997 bond that retires this year. It is my hope that our community continues to recognize that the hard work of education is best done with a resounding “we,” because together we can, we are and we will continue to grow the talents of our youngest citizens into the future for our beautiful area.

Kourtney Ferrua 


m or s

I was looking for the letters to the editor for March 11th. There were several letters regarding dump expansion. Is there a reason that they have not been posted online?

Don Dix

Fred Fawcett has a hammer ... and he nailed it!

Don Dix

Cameron Urnes -- and it looks like the other 'choice' has been member of the politically established 'ruling class' (for 40 years). It's no wonder Trump has tingled a few nerves!


In the response to what a great education our kids get in McMinnville I would agree. Is it a total well rounded education? I'm not so sure. One of the things that teaches kids team work,social skills,and work ethic is athletics. Sports have been totally ignored for in this district for a long time. We have went backwards in the last 12 to 14 years. We have lost facilities,great coaches,and a winning attitude that make a huge difference in kids skill set when they get into the real world.


Jim, you keep bringing up sports being neglected. How much more do you want our district to spend on sports? We have a new million dollar football field, new quarter million dollar tennis courts, one of the best tracks in the state, a half million dollar all weather baseball field with batting/pitching cages and an almost new basketball court.

Every school in Oregon has some shortcomings. You can't just spend #150-200 million on new schools just to fix some of the shortcomings. Right now the capacity of the high school is fine and better than most high schools in Oregon. McMinnville students are not getting shortchanged in any way and have better facilities/opportunities than most of the high schools in Oregon.


Cameron, I don't care for Donald Trump either. Who would you suggest as an alternative? I would hope it is not Bernie or Hillary. It comes down to the philosophies of the different parties and both are flawed in many ways.


I am curious the meaning of Anthony Bell's statement, "Businesses will have a big incentive to reduce employment by increasing the recent lagging productivity growth. That’s how our standard of living is increased".

I realize that increasing productivity increases our standard of living, but is the tradeoff of unemployment a positive for our standard of living?


Kona maybe you believe everything the school district puts out in their propaganda I don't . Your million dollar football field is a field for nine programs between soccer and football. The state of the art baseball field is joke. No drainage,no covered batting cages,no dressing rooms,inadequate parking and the list is longer. The new gym they built 25 years ago is three feet to short on both ends resulting in many injuries over the years. There are 1A,2A,3A schools with much better facilities than we have because their community cares about their athletic programs. My mission is to get a larger part of our student body out for sports and not on a cell phone or computer. Do you want them out for sports getting physical exercise or setting at a fast food restaurant on their cell phone.


Jim, how many football fields would you desire? How many soccer fields would you desire? You said, the "baseball field is joke". The drainage and "no covered batting cages" does not make it "a joke". For 75 years of high school baseball at McMinnville there wasn't better drainage, nor batting cages (let alone covered cages). I do agree (along with everyone else) that the second gym is too short for competitive basketball, but that doesn't make it useless for physical exercise and other sports.

You said, "There are 1A,2A,3A schools with much better facilities than we have because their community cares about their athletic programs". Which schools are you referring? There might be some, but not very many. It has nothing to do with whether, or not, "their community cares". It is ridiculous to measure how much a "community cares" by their athletic facilities.

You said, "My mission is to get a larger part of our student body out for sports and not on a cell phone or computer. Do you want them out for sports getting physical exercise or sitting at a fast food restaurant on their cell phone". That is a noble ambition. Physical exercise is important. All of the things you mention don't warrant spending $150 million for a new school.
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Everybody is entitled to their opinion Kona. I just don't share yours. There was four inches of water standing in the outfield the other day so I'm sure it's drained well. The dugouts where built thirty years ago and built by volunteer help. Nice parking on one of the busiest streets in town. I also believe the tennis courts at the high school along with the baseball field got moved off campus for a parking lot. If that school site isn't out of room I must be all wrong. I believe for a school of that size today they need 60 acres. There might be thirty total now. Let's just move all athletic facilities off campus and build buildings and pave it all .

Horse with no name

Fred Fawcett - Perfect! When you can get me and Don Dix on the same side you have connected with a pretty good point. I suspect many of the commentators, that have disagreements with each other, that seem impassable, do have overlapping interest and that is where they should work from to find working solutions. Grinding on an issue that's not going anywhere, with no desire to look for commonality or seriously consider other viewpoints just develops complainers, not solutions. I don't know you Fred, but would you consider running for public office, we could use some help.

Horse with no name

Anthony Bell also has a hammer and is ringing a bell with it for people to seriously consider who they vote for and why. Electing ideologues just gets you a government of "NO" as we've seen from the Tea Party. There can be a government of compromises that try's to accomplish the best for all citizens. That's what the founders had in mind. That's called civilization using intelligence and reason to forge solutions for the future. Boquist thinks anybody not like him is evil, totally wrong, blah blah blah. It's ridiculous the guy got elected but when you play to peoples fears and prejudices you don't get good long term solutions. Think and Vote next time.


Fred Fawcett - "The partisan voters in both parties are convinced that they have nothing in common."

The rancor many feel toward the "other" party has not developed by accident. The hatred of the other guy has been carefully crafted and droned into the psyche of the American people with precision. I believe that when the voter realizes that they have more in common than not the country will change. Those that run this show know that they will never get what they want when people are united in mass. As long as they can keep us hating "the other" they will win. My experience has demonstrated that when engaging people of differing ideologies and getting past the talking points, I find that we actually agree more often than not.

Don Dix

Horse -- I have no political affiliation, therefore any partisan bickering only deepens that conviction. The 'politics' that are played throughout government cause gridlock and hard feelings, which is counterproductive to the entire process. Both sides talk big yet act little, and hardly could be called 'representatives'.

And have you noticed that 'nominees' are never (with exception to a few like Trump) outside the established circle. Hilary has been in that circle for 40 years, and she apparently is addicted to the lifestyle and power that comes along with it. Her record of leadership is nearly non-existent.

Yesterday (3/19), it was reported that Kitzhaber will make an attempt to return to public life. Only a year from being in the middle of a government scandal, and he wants (or needs) to be involved again? If the Ds allow him his wish, it's obvious Kitz has never been outside, just on sabbatical (and most likely in constant contact)! I haven't forgotten how Kitz was thinking with his 'small head', leaving Oregon in the costly lurch ... maybe the Ds have grown a set in the last year, but looking at this year's legislative agenda, I doubt it!

Don Dix

Milo -- I respect your conviction to vegan -- I also appreciate the fact that if enough people reject meat, the price will decline, and I will not have to worry about waiting behind you @ the meat market!

Don Dix

Anthony Bell wrote -- "The effect on employment levels is unclear. Extensive previous studies of moderate increases have failed to detect any effects. However, this increase is a large one, so we are in uncharted territory."

Best guess -- By raising pay for the bottom of the employment ladder, many of the rungs will also see an increase in pay (especially the one's nearest the bottom). If 'minimum wage Bob' sees an increase from $9.25 to $13.00, his counterpart, who was making $12.00, also must be raised to about $16.00. This wave effect simply has to ripple up the ladder. Every wage is based on the minimum, and usually experience, productivity, and longevity are factors of moving upward (in wages).

Oregon's blanket raise has no bearing in any of these factors, which automatically increases costs. With approximately 100K workers receiving the minimum, every dollar increases the overall cost to do business in Oregon $100K/hr. And that's just the minimum wage workers.

Oregon's one-way government has been promising all sorts of foolishness for 30+ years (example -- M66 & M67 will solve the state funding problem). As it turned out, every business that fell under the auspices of these 2 measures simply passed the extra costs on to the consumer. Effect? The cost of living upwards!

And the 'studies' have never dealt with an increase this large, so there is no precedent -- none! Watch carefully as the Salem government tries to explain what went wrong in a couple years -- 'we didn't account for that', or 'our information wasn't complete in that area', etc. Duh!


This "minimum wage increase" is a good example of the differences between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats believe they can manipulate the markets while Republicans believe in market forces. It is why unions are at their lowest membership in history as a percentage of the workforce. The artificial wages that Democrats and unions believe are not backed up by reality. Oregon is a fertile state to promote artificial wages because of the liberal/progressive mentality in this state.


Cameron: You say Trumps racist comments brought on the thugs that "protested" Really? What comments were those? And lack of empathy? How do you know what is in his heart? How do you know how empathetic the is or is not? You do realize that your OPINION is no more empathetic or less empathetic than any others, don't you?

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