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Letters to the Editor: July 13, 2018

Work toward a solution

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici’s July 2 bulletin describes the Oregon congressional delegation’s visit to see first hand the 123 immigrant detainees at the federal prison in Sheridan. In the bulletin, she states twice, “It is not a crime to come to the United States and request asylum”

She is correct, but we do have rules on how to do that. My questions for Bonamici are: Did you ask these 123 detainees how they got into the country and at what point they requested asylum? Did they follow our laws in their effort to obtain asylum?

While there has been an uproar about how our southern border is being protected, Bonamici indicated the largest group of detainees is from India. She said these detainees were “planning to request asylum because they faced severe religious persecution in India.”

Rep. Bonamici: Just how did these people arrive here? Could they have overstayed visas or sneaked across the border, both illegal acts justifying their deportation?

The congresswoman then outlines the plight of two Spanish-speaking men, one who had been shot twice and the other who suffered an open leg wound. She says both men responded negatively when she asked if they had been seen by a doctor.

Rep. Bonamici: Did you bother to verify this claim with prison officials? If not, I am highly skeptical.

There was more to the bulletin — about ongoing issues with our southern border, the removal of children from their parents and our country’s heritage as a nation of immigrants.

I don’t dispute any of that, but do find it disingenuous. That’s because the problems date back generations, but our politicians use them to gin up their bases instead of working toward solutions.

I ask all members of the entire delegation to work both sides of the aisle and do the job you were elected to do.

Rick Johnson

Newberg


 
Still time to save the show

McMinnville’s annual Dragging the Gut Festival was initially intended only as a one-time, nostalgic celebration — a grassroots effort enthusiastically backed on Facebook by supporters more than 2,000 strong.

However, over the course of nine years, founder Ruben Contreras almost single-handedly grew his creation into an annual extravaganza — equaling, if not surpassing, Mac’s two other major events, the UFO Festival and Turkey Rama.

Such an accomplishment should be lauded under any circumstances. All the more so because its success was achieved without the sponsorship of any community organization.

But as the Gut Fest increased dramatically in size and attendance, so did its complexity. Regrettably, Contreras was unable to reach a favorable working relationship with the city. Conflict mounted, ultimately leading him to discontinue his efforts.

Although the announcement came as a surprise to many, it triggered an immediate and serious-minded response. Several groups have stepped forward, extolling their ability to take on the task of continuing what has already become a local institution.

Having had a close involvement in the event from the outset, I would like to suggest the best way to move forward — through the team of longtime auto executive Tim Elliott and KLYC station manager Dave Adams. They are ready to take off running.

Elliott offers not only his professional expertise, but also several years as Contreras’s closest adviser. And the contributions of Adams, both from a promotional and management standpoint, are readily apparent.

All others should consider what these gentlemen bring to the table and face the reality of an Aug. 24 deadline. Please assist them in any way you can so the grassroots pebble Contreras turned into a gemstone can continue to add sparkle to our city.

Karl Klooster

McMinnville

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