Letters to the Editor - January 4, 2013

Standing up for our island

Protect Grand Island Farms (PGIF) has decided to appeal the Yamhill County Commission’s recent re-approval of the Baker Rock quarry application. We believe there are firm legal grounds for this appeal. Our attorneys, Crag Environmental Law, are preparing a brief to submit to the Land Use Board of Appeals. This brief will outline the legal errors we believe are contained in the county’s response to the recent remand sent to the county by LUBA

For the PGIF board members, this is a costly and stressful process that we do not take lightly. However, Grand Island is a place of historical, recreational and agricultural significance to those who live and work here, and to the many Yamhill County families who come here every year to visit our beautiful Willamette Mission State Park, ride bikes, walk dogs, eat wonderful food, get a Christmas tree, pick a pumpkin or ride the Heiser Farm’s Grand Island train. These experiences will be diminished if Baker Rock’s quarry permit is approved.

And yes, we live here, and farmers make a living here. This is also at risk.

This is why we choose to stand up for our island. But we are not alone in our fight. We are grateful to the hundreds of people who have spoken out in support of Grand Island, donated money to help with the legal battle and given their time to help us over the past few years.

Grand Island is everyone’s “secret” place, and we will do everything to keep it the island we all love.

Kris Bledsoe



Downtown lights elegant

The interpretation of beauty lies within the eyes of the beholder.

Downtown Third  Street in  McMinnville, at least in the eyes of these beholders, is a tribute to how a small “village” with limited funds is capable of achieving a stunningly-beautiful display whose inspiration could only have come from van Gogh’s Starry Night.

This elegant display is a welcomed alternative in celebration of the holidays to the crass commercial displays we are accustomed to in the neighboring malls.

Grace and beauty have an ageless attraction, while colored and loud light shows emphasize a brief commercial attraction that somehow seem faded and dated by December 26.

So, out of sincere appreciation to our little “village” nestled within the city of McMinnville, we would like to thank the creators  for establishing and maintaining the classic beauty that presents itself to the eyes of these beholders every Christmas season. It has not gone unappreciated.

Catherine A. Barnes

Joyce Siegel



Armed staff not an answer

There is a faction of the National Rifle Association that seems to think that their Second Amendment rights are infringed if they cannot possess all of the sophisticated weapons employed by the U.S. Armed Forces or the police. They would apparently like to be able to challenge our armed forces in combat to preserve their “rights.”

Of course, this sophisticated weaponry will filter down to the mentally ill perpetrators of mass shootings as well.

Second: Mr. LaPierre, president of the NRA, has repeatedly said since the Newtown shootings that the solution is armed guards and armed teachers in all U.S. schools.

Wouldn’t these guards need full body armor, Kevlar helmets and NVGs (Night Vision Goggles) to protect them in case of a shooting incident? Also, a pistol could hardly trump an assault rifle so they would need to upgrade to fully automatic submachine guns such as the Israeli Uzi. Also, a couple of shoulder fired grenade launchers would help. And, the school entrance could be mined with Claymore mines which would pop up and explode if someone felt there was an intruder.

And, just to be safe, every school could have nerve gas canisters placed at various strategic locations.

Or: We could just ban assault weapons and take better care of our mentally ill.

John Scoltock



Time for rational gun talks

Is the League of Women Voters responsible for the massacre of 20 first-graders, as charged by David Terry in his December 28 letter (“Where were armed staff?”)? Is it the fault of unarmed first grade teachers? Is it the fault of the National Rifle Association, which fanatically promotes gun ownership?

This blame game mentality is unproductive and just plain stupid.

As a member of the League of Women Voters for more than 55 years, a former grade school teacher, and the wife of a hunter who owns and uses guns, I do not understand why citizens need to own and use military weapons. 

I have a right to support gun regulations, particularly those related to rapid fire weapons designed to kill people, not deer or ducks.  It is time for a rational discussion on how to prevent future massacres. We do not need the usual NRA slogans and propaganda that inflame passions and prevent discussion.

Thousands lose their lives in auto accidents caused by drunk drivers. Should we blame Mothers Against Drunk Driving for alerting us to the dangers of drunk driving? Smoking causes lung cancer. Should we blame those who told the truth and supported anti-smoking regulations for the increase in smoke-free places?

Citizens are learning more and more about the large amount of military-type weapons with high capacity magazines that are available for anyone to use to kill people. I hope that the time has come to put aside the propaganda and look at the facts, or will someone next blame the Girl Scouts or the Tooth Fairy?

As the cartoon character Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Merilyn Reeves




"Thousands lose their lives in auto accidents caused by drunk drivers. Should we blame Mothers Against Drunk Driving for alerting us to the dangers of drunk driving? Smoking causes lung cancer. Should we blame those who told the truth and supported anti-smoking regulations for the increase in smoke-free places?"

Well put.

Dances with Redwoods

"We have met the enemy and he is us." --Marilyn Reeves

The true enemy is the occasional deranged individual ..or.. group of individuals that commit unjustifiable acts of homicide and terror, for whatever their reasoning or cause.

What is also a truly unconscionable act, is the suppression of a peoples ability to defend themselves, their families and their homes through superior firepower against any, and all with designs of commtting unjustifiable acts of homicide and terror upon them or their neighbors.

Michael Tubbs Sr
Grand Ronde, Oregon

Dances with Redwoods

The highest level of unjustifiable homicides committed in America occur where ever liberal/progressive thinkers congregate in the largest numbers.

Coincidence perhaps?

Don Dix

Merilyn Reeves -- "I hope that the time has come to put aside the propaganda and look at the facts"

Easily said, not so easily done.

Unfortunately, incidents such as the Ohio National Guard firing upon unarmed students protesting the invasion of Cambodia at Kent State in 1970 must be included in the discussion. The numbers here include 67 rounds in 13 seconds, leaving 4 dead and 9 wounded.

So, which category is this? A justifiable action, or a mass murder?

Dances with Redwoods

"So which category is this?" --Don Dix

For the sake of argument, sayl law enforcement officers (each) believing their life is in emminent danger, fire their weapons at a mistakingly identified person, believed (by discription) to be an armed and dangerous murderer. That person then draws his or her legally concealed weapon, returns fire resulting in the death of those officers.

Would that person, having returned fire in self defense of their own life, resulting in the deaths of those officers be judged as having committed justifiable homicides, or a mass murder, in your opinion, Don?

What say ye, yay..or..nay.

Dances with Redwoods

That being said, what if there had been an armed Kent State University professor with a concealed weapon license that had returned fire at the persons killing his un-armed students on that campus that day. Something to consider, is it not?

In a college setting, should only staff be allowed to defend themselves yet not allow students that have already been licensed to carry concealed firearms?

Do you remember the term 'Going Postal' as applied to more than just a few disgrunteled federal employees some years back. Now we have larger numbers of 'Road Rage' incidents where people actually drive their motor-vehicals into groups of other people for whatever reason that seems logical at the moment.

I watched a recent CBS 60 minutes segment about the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the change/effect that has occurred as a result of the city having banned all advertising. Perhaps we might consider doing the same here, in America.

Especially, commercials that advertise violence such as rape and murder for the purpose of entertainment. Any thoughts?

Don Dix


I say there is a huge difference between hypothetical and reality. Your scenario is only a possibility. Kent is an unfortunate part of history.

The question was asked because incidents such as Kent State did not involve someone stealing a gun(s) and going on a shooting rampage. The shooters were "provided" with weaponry, and just as Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Clackamas, etc., the victims were unaware (of the possibility of being shot) and unarmed. Many similarities after the shooting began, wouldn't you say?

Dances with Redwoods


I agree, but I would also add that my hypothetical's do have a much higher probability of occurring in America today due to the proliferation in the issuance CCL's.

I believe ( I could be wrong) that CCL's were much harder to attain in the past than they are today for the average citizen. That being said, how people react to any reality that they must..or..at least be expected to, will differ depending upon the individual and what they determine to be the best course of action at the moment.

Some people prefer to mull over possible consequences to themselves before reacting to or acting upon a particular life saving ..or.. life taking action, when seconds count more than minutes, and mass murders appear in full dress tactical gear, same as the good guys.

Here's a quote from an article I'd read this morning ... "Initially, I would hear guys say 'This is way more than I signed on for."

That is/was a quote from a law enforcement training officer. At the time, he was introducing his people to hypothetical scenario's, out here in Grand Ronde.

Don Dix

Actually, up until about 30 years ago, CCLs weren't a priority, yet many 'carried'.

When I was in high school (long ago), it was more common than not to see rifles in the back window of the pickups in the student parking lot. Many would go hunting after school. The idea that a visible weapon could be considered safe in a locked (sometimes) vehicle has long past. But the point here is that 'back in the day', even some students were armed while at school, just not during class. Try that today!

CCLs are fine for those who use handguns, but that would be number three on my list of preferences. The shot gun and high-powered rifle would be 1 and 2, respectively. And no concealed permit necessary!

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