Letters to the Editor- May 17, 2013

Please clean up your trash

I often stop at our neighborhood park here in McMinnville to enjoy a short walk after taking the kids to school.

The peacefulness of this morning’s walk was ruined by the sight of trash strewn all over the park. This is an ongoing problem, which I fail to understand since there are multiple trash cans around the park. I was joined by a city worker in cleaning up because he couldn’t do his job until the trash was tossed.

I am pleading with the community to please be responsible citizens and clean up after yourselves. Parents, we need to teach our young children the importance of this task, because these lessons begin at home, right in our own neighborhoods.

It’s about personal responsibility and respecting others’ space. It’s about basic common courtesy.

The sad part of this is that I think the trash in question was left by a group of “adults” I see playing basketball at the park on a daily basis. Mr. Chegwyn would be heartbroken to see the land he so generously gave to our community being treated like a landfill. If everyone would make a vow to be responsible for just their own space, the problem would be rectified.

Please, do it for yourselves and your children. Do it for your community. Do it just because it’s the right thing to do.

Jennifer Keikkala



Area should be posted

The 40-acre BLM/Gooseneck fire was half a mile from our home. We wish to give a huge, appreciative thank-you for the incredible response by Sheridan, Southwest Polk, Amity, West Valley and McMinnville fire departments; the Dallas, Eugene and South Fork Tillamook divisions of the Oregon Department of Forestry; helicopters dumping water; and the bulldozer that carved a line at the top to keep it from spreading to the homes below. They are all our heroes. Thank you for your dedication and hard work.

The fire was started by someone shooting on a clearcut covered with dead wood and brush, a real tinderbox. This area is used almost every day for target shooting and occasional campfires, but it is not intended for that use. We are gun advocates, but we feel this is not a safe area for target practice during the dry season.

Our community of homes begins a half mile away. Fires can spread so quickly that people would be lucky to escape from their homes and certainly might have no chance to evacuate their horses, cattle and pets. We were very lucky this time that the wind gusted and blew the fire away from us.

During the dry season, this area needs to be posted no shooting or campfires. Fines should apply, and it should be patrolled for enforcement. It has cost our community a great deal of money for emergency response, helicopters, water, and extended days of ground crews, tankers and helicopters.

We are just so lucky there was no loss of life or homes this time. And people are up there shooting again.

Cheryl Hudson



Has experience with schools

This year, there are three positions open on the McMinnville School Board. For Position 2, I am casting my vote for Barbara Carter. Of the three candidates for this position, I feel that Barbara brings the most expertise to the table.

She was a district employee for 19 years. During that time, she served as a paraprofessional working with special-needs students. She not only taught academic skills but also helped her charges develop positive self-awareness. She was known to assist those in need with school supplies, clothing, Christmas gifts and food.

Barbara developed positive relationships with staff and administration. She served on district committees, including interviewing administration candidates, working for the passage of bond levies and negotiating fair contracts for the classified employees. Administrators and current board members fully know the impact she has had on the district.

She seldom missed a board meeting in eight years and was selected to serve on the district budget committee this current year. She has the experience, knowledge and leadership skills to serve our students and community well.

Please join me in casting your vote in support of our schools. Cast your vote for Barbara Carter.

Dorian Herrick



Supports Jones in Amity

Ryan Jones has experience and knowledge handed down from his parents and grandparents. He attended school in the Amity School District. He lives and works in our community and has children enrolled in Amity schools. This gives him great pride and the drive to become part of the Amity School Board.

We teach our children in school that everyone should be given an equal opportunity to succeed. All children need the best education we can provide.

Vote for Ryan Jones.

Carl J. Dauenhauer


Our major tourist distraction

This summer, take a drive to what has become Yamhill County’s major tourist distraction. For an entry fee of only $13, you can drive to the top of Riverbend’s mountain of garbage. From atop this 13-story manmade trash heap, you will be afforded expansive views of much of the Willamette Valley.

Dress accordingly, for what you see can see you. Enjoy the great smells and sight of millions of tons of garbage (40 percent imported from Portland) being spread below your feet. And if an earthquake hits while you are up there, you might get the thrill of sliding into the Yamhill River.

Oh, Riverbend, oh, Riverbend, what a tourist distraction you have become.

Arnie Hollander



Understands education issues

Several weeks ago, I was happy to learn that Barbara Carter had decided to run for a position on the McMinnville School Board. I have known Barbara for many years and have found her to be a very thoughtful and caring person with a deep understanding of the issues facing public education in our community.

She worked for our school district for 19 years before retiring last year. In addition to her work in the classroom, she was involved in contract negotiations and the organization and promotion of special bond levies. Equally important are her abilities to listen carefully and build consensus as she seeks solutions to issues.

Since retiring, Barbara has continued her involvement in our schools as a member of the district budget committee and a volunteer, providing help to students needing academic assistance.

I believe this combination of experience, skills and strong commitment to public education would make Barbara Carter a very valuable member of our school board.

Mark Trumbo



Voting for Stephens

Like most of my hardworking friends and neighbors in Amity, I am a pretty busy person. I have a great job that I love, but it is demanding and also requires that I make a long, daily commute.

Yet, I have chosen to use some of my “off” time to work in support of Trish Stephens and her goal of serving on the Amity School Board. That’s because I have always admired her work ethic, her generous spirit and her commitment to the Amity schools and community.

Trish and her husband have raised four intelligent and gracious daughters through an abundance of love, hard work, and the belief that a good education is crucial to the success of all children. She is a thoughtful and honest person with a huge heart for children and a genuine desire to serve them.

She is also smart, focused and extremely well informed on the many complex issues challenging our schools. Trish has worked hard over the years as a volunteer in our schools and community and her commitment has won my trust and my gratitude.

If elected, Trish will take a fair and balanced approach on issues and work collaboratively with other school board members to solve problems and make decisions that are in the best interests of Amity students.

I urge you to support Trish in her effort to expand her advocacy for our students, staff and parents. Please vote for Trish Stephens for the Amity School Board.

Christy Wilkins



Volunteer at soup kitchen

For the past four years, I have been volunteering at the St. Barnabas Soup Kitchen. This experience has changed my outlook on life and how I view those who are less fortunate.

I am usually a very humble guy and try not to brag about what I have versus what others may not have. Ever since I started volunteering at the soup kitchen, I have become even more humble and had a greater appreciation of what I have.

Many people come to the soup kitchen and they have nothing, but they do not have a “woe is me” type of attitude.

It is a great idea for anyone to volunteer at a soup kitchen, and not simply because it will look good on a resume. Working at a soup kitchen also lets you compare your life to someone else’s. It makes you see how fortunate you really are as compared to some of the customers of the soup kitchen.

Even if you just want to volunteer one time, I would still encourage you to do so because you never know -- you just might meet some amazing volunteers and customers who will change your life greatly, and you will not regret it.

Matthew Stenson


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