By editorial board • 

Elections, of course, dominate Readers Forum topics in 2017

The News-Register prints its top ten news and sports stories of the year, which its done annually for many years. We also find it interesting to recap the most frequently discussed topics in our Readers Forum throughout the year.

The top 10 in today’s A section are all local issues because that’s what our news staff covers. The Viewpoints section, however, incorporates a combination of local, national and world news and opinion.

In a presidential election year, it’s no surprise that candidates, measures and politics were the most written about issues. Of the roughly 150 letters to the editor printed, more than half related to an election matter.

The presidential election garnered the most letters; not surprising given the race’s contentious nature from the primaries into the final days of the Trump/Clinton showdown. Letter writers were about split 50/50 in their endorsements between the two candidates.

Despite the engaging races for public office, the next most popular topic in the forum was school bonds. The McMinnville school district had plenty of backing with 22 letters for their school bond compared to just four against. The Yamhill-Carlton bond also generated four “pro” letters. 

In the race for the House District 24, eventual victor Ron Noble incurred 16 endorsements compared to seven for opponent Ken Moore. And in the May election for county commissioner, winner Rick Olson had an insurmountable amount of support in the forum, with 21 letters in his corner compared to just two for incumbent Allen Springer.

The trend of most letters to the victor was spoiled in the House District 23 race, where Jim Thompson earned all six endorsements sent our way but lost handily to incumbent Mike Nearman.

The Riverbend Landfill is a perennial selection to our top ten news stories, and the same can be said for the Readers Forum. Letters regarding the landfill totalled a baker’s dozen. 

But that wasn’t the most discussed issue outside the election. The proposed Yamhelas Westsider Trail earns that nod with 14 letters. 

Other issues with total letter counts in the five to 10 range include: the Malheur Refuge takeover, gun control and violence, general business of the county board of commissioners, homelessness, abortion, race relations and general business of the state government. Also, we’d be remiss to not mention the dedicated work of Melvin Nysser and Milo Nakamura, who together submitted seven letters this year advocating for people to eliminate animal products from their diet.

In an age when anonymous user commentary floods the Internet, the editorial board is as pleased as ever for such an engaged readership who understands the value of productive open debate. 

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