Letters to the Editor - May 10, 2013

How slow is too slow?

In WhatchamaColumn (News-Register, May 3, “Don’t hit others with your cane”), Jeb Bladine identifies the most common causes of road rage as “tailgating, flashing headlights, honking horns, excessive speed, improper lane changes and driving too slowly.” Then he suggests “The obvious advice is, don’t do these things.”

Most of these are clearly illegal, but how slow is too slow? Certainly blocking traffic is illegal, but some drivers consider driving the speed limit too slow. Even if one cheats a little because they aren’t likely to get a ticket, or to compensate for a speedometer that might be a “bit off,” others will pass at high rates of speed, sometimes dangerously cutting back in too close.

I was recently driving north on Highway 99W from Corvallis traveling about 55 (OK, closer to 60) when a motorcyclist passed me at what had to be triple-digit speed. I felt like I was really going south. I suspect he thought I was driving too slowly.

How many of us have slowed down on unfamiliar streets or when looking for an address on dimly lit porches? And what about farm equipment? I had better leave myself an extra five minutes in the summer months for the gargantuan machines that are still farming our rich valley soils, for which I am grateful.

I agree with Jeb’s concluding remark about the police sergeant who suggests that we be careful out there. But I don’t think the police are especially concerned about slow drivers.

Robert Porath



Celebrating celiac awareness

Although May is the month for raising awareness for celiac disease and gluten intolerance, there is a group of people in McMinnville who celebrate every month. Locally, there are so many supportive grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, etc. that I cannot list them individually; it makes me proud to tell potential visitors that McMinnville is a great place to stay if one is gluten-free.

Once thought to be rare, it is estimated that celiac disease affects one in 133 people in the United States. Experts report that one-third of American adults try to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diets. We have come a long way in understanding gluten intolerance.

The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) of McMinnville offers free educational sessions, resources and a support group the first Saturday of every month, October through June. We organize a statewide gluten-free Thanksgiving potluck held here in McMinnville.

We are proud to be an organizer for one of Oregon’s largest gluten-free fairs. The ninth annual Gluten-Free Food Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 18. The event is held in the Mittleman Jewish Community Center in Portland to accommodate the 60 local and regional vendors who provide free samples of gluten-free foods and beverages. There will be educational workshops from local experts and a raffle.

This is our group’s only fundraiser, enabling us to provide free services and resources to people in McMinnville. It demonstrates our commitment to coordinating education and support with the other GIG branches in Northwest Oregon.

GIG McMinnville sends its sincerest thanks to a community that supports people who have gluten intolerance.

Susan Chambers



Carter champions education

I support Barbara Carter for Position 2 on McMinnville School District’s board. Barbara has served the district and the community in many roles. She was employed by the district as a teaching assistant, was president of the local classified association and served as a leader in past bond initiatives.

Her communication is articulate, and she listens for true content. Her decision making is logical and open-minded.

During her time as a classified employee association leader, she acted in an unbiased, professional manner. She fairly represented and understood her members and dealt with administrators and management in an open and honest way.

Barbara understands the issues of the district and the needs of children in the community. She has been a champion for education. She is a valuable resource and would be the best choice for a level-headed, informed board member.

Debbie Vickers



Roberts deserves re-election

In my two years on the McMinnville School Board and several years on the district Budget Committee before that, I have found Tim Roberts to be a prudent and dedicated public servant.

He has the experience on the board that is needed as more new members come on board lacking the institutional memory that helps guide deliberations.

He is a thoughtful, balanced, and hard-working member of the team who deserves to be re-elected to this important position. I encourage voters to re-elect Tim Roberts to the McMinnville School Board.

Scott Gibson



Carter puts children first

I am casting my vote for Barbara Carter to fill the Position 2 school board vacancy. Barbara has proven her willingness and ability to work on behalf of our children.

She has always supported and worked for those things that were in the best interest of student education. Whether it is working to pass bonds for building construction or advocating for kids on local television, providing the best education for students has always been her top priority.

Before her retirement from the district as a special education paraprofessional last year, she worked closely with the district in leadership positions. She has regularly attended school board meetings and is currently on the Budget Committee.

She has the experience to understand the issues and the ability to make the right decisions. I know that with Barbara, our children always come first. She is the best candidate to represent us on the McMinnville School Board for Position 2.

Karen Lightner



Has skills, qualifications

I am excited that Barbara Carter has chosen to run for Position 2 on the McMinnville school board. I worked with her closely for eight years when she served as president of the classified association. She has the skills and qualifications to serve the district well.

During these years, I found her to be thoughtful, knowledgeable and caring. She cared and continues to care about the impact this economy is having on both students and staff. She developed a close working relationship with district administrators. Over the years, she has attended many school board meetings and budget committee meetings.

She has worked in both the private and public sectors. She retired last year after 19 years with the district as a special education assistant. However, she’s not done with education. She volunteers at Patton Middle School, working with students in reading and math, and she serves on the budget committee.

With Barbara’s experience, she will be able to step right into the role of school board member, as she is familiar with district administrators, staff, students, schools and board members. She also knows the difficulties the district faces as it continues to provide a quality education for our students during these tough economic times.

I believe that Barbara Carter is the best choice for Position 2. I ask you to join me in voting for her.

Cathy Navarra



Yes, Amity candidate caters

“ca-ter v. To provide a service; to act deferentially toward.”

Trish Stephens caters to special interest groups. She caters to at-risk youth. She caters to underpaid and under-supplied educational staff. She caters to special needs students. She caters to those with economic, social and cultural barriers. She caters to talented and gifted youth in the areas of the arts, academics and athletics.

Yes. Trish Stephens caters to special interest groups, and I’m grateful she does.

Ann Gage



Stephens deserves support

I am a member of a school board, am active in education policy issues and believe Trish Stephens deserves your support for Amity School Board. Trish has 20 years’ experience in the field of education and education funding.

She’s been a dedicated volunteer for Amity schools, including committees to hire staff and a principal. She’s dedicated to Amity athletics and is committed to the community as an Art Conspiracy Board member.

Best of all, Trish is proud of the wonderful education her four daughters received in the Amity School District, and she is committed to preserving the quality of Amity schools for students and the community.

Betty Reynolds

West Linn

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