By editorial board • 

Downtown issues need a community response

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More often than not pedestrians jaywalk or cyclist pay no attention to the signals on 3rd. If basic safety laws are not kept by people of all ages and and/or groups, what makes one's who break laws that are deemed more offensive think hey should follow the laws. A man was murdered on 3rd and the powers that be didn't feel it needed to be prosecuted. Skateboarders and taggers don't seem to really be the only problems, but I would venture they are usually the youngest. We should enforce safety laws, smoking laws, loitering laws equally to all. Why don't we have regular walking patrols? We can't point fingers at others when few laws are being upheld on 3rd St by anyone.


Wait, why was the US Bank Plaza created, designed, and filled with benches if not to give people a place to gather? Or are we just talking about certain kinds of people? For that matter, what constitutes "offensive body adornment", as separate from "dress" and "demeanor"?

In order to be deemed sufficiently inoffensive and acceptable for gathering, will citizens have to meet minimums on piercings, tattoos, scars, and birthmarks? Will verified payers of property tax be allowed some leniency? Maybe have a special Downtown Association* Approved card to show the foot patrol when they come to "move along" someone they feel has sat long enough?

It will be a sad day when the freedom and generosity of spirit that I love about McMinnville is replaced with the Almighty Association's idea of what our town should be. All they care about is wine and tourism. If you're from here and don't drink, they don't give a rat's butt what you think about downtown.

*I'm not going to refer to the Association by its initials. The Muscular Dystrophy Association got dibs on that quite a while back and I'd hate to create confusion.

Marna Porath

Hey, Bonny Bedlam,
I wonder whether you would be willing to write 500-600 words in support of the freedom to loiter on Third Street in McMinnville.

If so, would you please contact me at We might want to run such an essay in Viewpoints as an op-ed or as part of a pro/con on allowing loitering, both of which would require your actual name and photo. It's a great opportunity to make your point to thousands of readers. Please e-mail me.

Marna Porath

My address is

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