Letters to the Editor - March 21, 2014

Defense spending not so high

I realize that when one reads an opinion piece, one should expect a certain degree of rhetoric. But as I read Patrick Evans’ community commentary titled “We’re suffering from 50 years of collective loss in America”(News-Register, March 14), I was dumbfounded at the extent of hyperbole, especially with respect to defense spending.

Under President Obama’s projected budget for 2014, the U.S. government will spend about 21 percent of the total federal budget on defense this year, including military retiree pensions and veterans’ benefits. A sizable amount, for sure, but nowhere near the 62 percent claimed in the commentary.

Stan Wood


Editor’s note: The number cited in last week’s Community Commentary (News-Register, March 14) was intended to characterize military spending, including veterans’ benefits, as a percentage of discretionary funds in the federal budget. It incorrectly indicated “total budget,” which includes earned-benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare.


Prosecute cat case to fullest

Having survived an accidental near-drowning, I can tell you that drowning isn’t as quick as people like to think. I wouldn’t be here if it were.

Robert Wright’s victims were too small to successfully resist his overpowering and drowning them. Their terror, panic and struggle for their lives in the time before they died is terrible to imagine.

Wright’s behavior is similar to others who have sadistically killed animals and then turned to people. When police officers arrived at his house, he said he was “sorry” and led them to the bodies of Crystal, Ariel, Patches, Monkey Face, Squirt and Suzy.

Now, Judge Easterday has decided that since Wright is a Yamhill County mental health client, she will check with his caseworker to see if he is suitable for a conditional (has to stay away from animals) release. Wait a second! Why is his release even on the table? Does anyone really think he didn’t know, at least after he drowned the first cat, that he was inflicting a torturous death on them?

I would bet anything I have those kitties fought for their lives with all their might. The proper place for Wright is either in jail doing a long time for his crime, or in a mental institution.

Rightly objecting to Wright’s release is Deputy District Attorney Holly Winter, who seems to have a better understanding of the seriousness of crimes against animals. The law is behind her, and I am behind her. It will be truly outrageous if this case is not prosecuted to the fullest.

Antoinette Marcel



Set aside abortion opinions

Susan Dehm’s letter (Readers’ Forum, March 14) brings emotional humanity to the debate of pro-life and pro-choice. While opinions vary in our society, it is most unfortunate that some voices from both sides are loud and lack compassion or understanding for the women and men in the midst of unplanned pregnancy.

No one of either persuasion has the right to judge or condemn the decision to abort a child. In doing so, this action pours acid onto an already fragile, emotionally devastated woman. Those voices can drive the woman into a grave of silence and suffering which can — and often does — affect every aspect of her life.

Would it not be better to set aside the “either or” opinion and instead to come alongside the hurting one with kindness and compassion? Offering a listening ear, a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on is more productive toward her healing and wholeness than a loud voice speaking words of shame and condemnation.

There are safe places to begin confidential counseling for women who have experienced exactly what the letter-writer described. There is freedom after abortion.

Carmen Dorshimer



Trash, litter ruining scenery

Driving down the backroads of Yamhill County is becoming more and more unpleasant for me. Instead of seeing beautiful scenery, I look at hillsides, bare of trees, remaining bare for two or three years.

I see pop and beer cans, and tons of paper and plastic trash everywhere.

Worse yet, someone is dumping trash off the slope of Eagle Point Road, southeast of McMinnville. I am talking furniture and garbage in truckload quantities.

Can we do anything about this? A litter fine of around $1,200 is set forth, but is the fine amount just a scare tactic? Is anything else being done about this? Have our Yamhill County crime scene people picked up one piece of garbage and fingerprinted it? Have we any prisoners who could pick up this garbage?

What do we do with all those cans and bottles after they are picked up? Could we not take the deposit on them and use it to help pay for catching some of these people who do not care about our environment or scenic views?

Take time to pause before you toss something out of your vehicle. Take time to care. Please care.

Genevieve K. Bridges



Health plan ‘lipstick on a pig’

Mom was always one for wise sayings: “A penny saved is a penny earned.” “Honesty is the best policy.” “All work and no play makes Kenny a dull boy.”

Looking back through the years, I credit much of my success in life to those bits of motherly wisdom, each a jewel to be treasured.

Early on, it was evident that tenacity was in my blood, and even then it was reinforced with, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

That one pushed me to success in many a challenging situation.

As I launched out into life, I discovered something about tenacity. Occasionally, you run into a situation where, no matter how hard you try, it just wasn’t meant to work out. That’s usually when another wise saying kicked in, such as, “You’ve got to know when to hold, know when to fold” — that one, actually, came from my dad.

As I reflect on Cover Oregon, I can’t help but think of these wise sayings. Cover Oregon, the most troubled state-run health care program in the country, could benefit from some of those jewels. One in particular comes to mind: “Don’t try to put lipstick on a pig,” with all due respect to pigs.

I appreciate their tenacity. They’ve tried, and tried again, to make it work. But the truth is, contrary to the propaganda, the whole thing is flawed, not only the implementation but the concept — especially the concept.

Extreme collectivism such as Cover Oregon is unsustainable because it’s based on faulty principles. It may be able to limp on its own for a while, but any accomplishments will be short-lived, as the fundamental deficiencies of the Affordable Care Act and its entitlement mentality begin to undermine and take their toll.

Ken Marts


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