Letters to the Editor - June 13, 2014

Refuting gay marriage claim

Regarding “Truth on gay marriage” (Readers’ Forum, May 30).

I have to refute the claim that gay marriage is wrong based on the subject of procreation. If the sole reason for marriage was for procreation, then it would follow that if procreation were impossible for a couple, they should not marry or, if already married, the marriage should then be dissolved.

If one became sterile for any reason, there would be no reason for the couple to be together. If a woman has a medical issue and has a hysterectomy, end the marriage. She ages into menopause, end the marriage; the man has a vasectomy, end the marriage; catch them purchasing birth control, end the marriage; and so on.

Humanity received the gift of self awareness, and with that, emotion. Animals may mate solely for the purpose of procreation. We humans are not animals. We do not just mate. We feel love.

We do not engage in sex just for the purpose of procreation. For most of us, sex is the way we express the emotion of love in a physical way. We want the one we love to be pleased by our touch and to be touched in return. The bonding we gain from this activity is unique and irreplaceable.

Robin Zimmerman



MHS, city well represented

Director Joe Demianew and drill, dance and flag squad directors should be very proud of the McMinnville High School marching band’s first appearance in Portland’s Rose Festival Starlight Parade.

The kids marched, danced, waved and played along the streets of downtown Portland behind the MHS banner. It was exciting to see. They represented their school and city well among the best marching bands in the region.

Principal Kris Olsen and Superintendent Maryalice Russell should be congratulated for making this happen. Go, Grizzlies!

Sam Justice



Condemn gun violence, access

Yet, again. Another act of senseless violence. Sad, tragic, unbelievable?

We must condemn gun violence and those who continue to call for unrestricted access to all firearms, who call out for cutting taxes and programs providing resources for mental health, early childhood development and public education.

We are a civil society where the rule of law has been long respected. However, we have had our moments when fear-mongering leaders and politicians have tried to lead us down dark pathways.

I cite Joe McCarthy of the ’50s, segregationists during the ’60s civil rights struggles, and now I would cite those extremists who live in fear and paranoia, such as those of the NRA and the tea party. These people pose a recurring threat to our civil society.

However, the greatest threat to our civil society now, and to our security and our proud history of trying to do the right thing, is indifference and apathy. Speak up for peace, community, justice and the common good.

Preston Henry



Landfill caused FFA decision

In this era of tear-down politics, I think it necessary to respond to the News-Register editorial board claims that I am to blame for the FFA not siting its leadership and agricultural center next to Riverbend Landfill.

Land-use restrictions and lack of Highway 18 access are the reasons the FFA cannot build its center alongside the dump. I, among others, informed the Stewardship Committee of this legal reality at its first meeting two years ago.

Given this known reality, the only clear motivation for amassing Yamhill County’s impressive group of well meaning do-gooders to “Dream It, Do It” was to advance the legal and public relations agenda to justify landfill expansion. One needs only to read the recent county landfill zone ordinance to understand how much the Stewardship Committee was utilized as evidence to justify expansion.

The only thing I am guilty of is that I made sure the indigenous farming kids around the landfill were not pitted against the FFA kids in Waste Management’s drive to destroy farmland with imported Metro trash.

This is a moot point, since the editorial board and the Stewardship Committee know I have offered to donate land for an FFA center next to the historical museum (on land my family donated), where the land use and road access are favorable and safe. The offer is conditional on closing the dump.

I know first hand how awful it is to work and live next to the dump. If it expands, FFA kids deserve a better locale than next to a toxic, farm-destroying, smelly, leaking pile of trash.

I guess, in its zeal to fault my tenacity, the News-Register forgot to mention my compromise and benevolence. I am not the reason the FFA is not locating in Yamhill County — expanding Riverbend Landfill is.

Ramsey McPhillips



House animals at county

If the county does not put money into fixing the animal control center, it will cost the taxpayers of Yamhill County more in the long run.

The News-Register reported an offer from Randy Freeman of Pets Stop Inn to house dogs for the county program. If dogs and cats are outsourced to a private kennel such as Pets Stop Inn, the cost will be much higher than building a new kennel, and subsequent cost increases would be passed on to allow the commercial organization a profit.

I do not want to see tax money spent for a private facility if they could be housed more cheaply at a county animal control site. The animals can be cared for by inmates from the county jail, providing re-entry into the community, which is beneficial for taxpayers in the long run.

Renee J. Callanan



Get a leash — and a clue

To all dog owners who walk their pets without leashes or allow them outside the house unrestrained: It doesn’t matter how sweet or submissive you think your dog is.

My dog, which is on a leash, has a dominant nature. She’s old, but she doesn’t know that. If your unleashed dog makes it past my pepper spray (sometimes I miss the target), and my leashed dog sustains an injury, you will pay my vet bills. It happened last week to the tune of $485.

It doesn’t matter which dog nips first. What matters is which dog owner had control of his animal and which did not. Dogs have their own agenda, and you can never predict the chemistry between two particular dogs.

We need to be smarter than our pets. If you intend to take your dog out in public where it can interact with others, you really need to get 1. a leash, and 2. a clue. Learn something about dogs.

Kurt Cyrus



Seek ways to serve

I have been able to spend time recently with a playful and curious chocolate lab named Marty. We walk and run all around the west side of McMinnville, Marty often stopping to smell a bush or bark at another dog, while I tug him along. Exercising Marty brings laughs, stronger muscles and a few small blisters. More than that, though, it gives me a sense of accomplishment and an overwhelming, humble joy.

Marty’s human “mom” has Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes that requires chemo every other week, medications, shots, a strict diet and lots of rest. Marty’s “dad” is working hard to provide for them both and support his wife through this hard stage of life. The free time they have is filled up with naps, doctors’ appointments and trying to keep up with the everyday housework. Rightfully so, it’s hard to make Marty’s exercise a big priority.

When I offered some of my time to take him out, I didn’t realize the benefits I would receive in return. It’s true when people say a dog is man’s best friend. Marty has become a friend, and we both look forward to exercising together. Caring for Marty gives me the inexplicable joy that comes only from serving others. I am humbled to serve someone who, at this time, needs more than I do.

I am not at all trying to make myself look good. I simply want to challenge our community to seek out ways to serve. You never know who could be struggling behind the door across the street from you. Walk up and ask. See where you can bless someone, because you never know how you will be blessed in return.

Anna Polivka



E.J. Farrar

Thank you Ramsey McPhillips for setting the record straight.

Don Dix

To my understanding, the FFA didn't care to place themselves in the middle of a highly controversial issue by immediately accepting the land offer from Waste Management. Good call!

The local knowledge is that Mr. McPhillips has and will do anything within legal means to close the landfill, which is his indisputable right. His offer of land for the FFA is commendable, but was that offer on the table before WM made theirs? Or was it just reactive?

Mr. McPhillips sees himself as benevolent, above the fray. But by placing closure of the landfill to any land donation, Mr. McPhillips has effectively tarnished any credit for benevolence he may have mustered. In other words, at least in my opinion, using any form of extortion to gain a personal desire cannot be ( and should not be ) construed as a simple gesture of kindness or benevolence, no matter how it's spun.

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