Letters to the editor - Feb. 13, 2015

Kids’ fundraise for nonprofits

Can you be 60 years old and still be stunned by the youth of our community? I surely was, and representatives from six other nonprofits were, too. Duniway Middle School leadership students honored the organizations we represent last week.

Executive directors, board members and managers from nonprofits were ushered into a classroom, along with parents. The room darkened as seven groups of five students stood in front. Each gave a Power Point presentation and told us of their experiences, successes and failures trying to raise money for their favorite charities.

It was amazing to hear youth sympathize with families’ anguish when loved ones were suffering from cancer at Willamette Valley Cancer Center. They spoke of a Shih Tzu dog named Bam Bam and kittens abandoned on roadsides finding forever homes at Homeward Bound Pets, of their relationship with Carmen Banke of See Ya Later Foundation and its mission to inspire youth and encourage families, of volunteering for YCAP and The Soup Kitchen at St. Barnabas, where they learned how too many families can’t make food budgets last to the end of the month. Realizing that diapers were desperately needed for A Family Place clients, they arranged for numerous bags of diapers to be donated. More than 300 stuffed animals were given to Juliette’s House, where young children receive help in extremely trying times.

It was heartwarming and, at times, difficult to hear students talk about proposed fundraisers or projects that were never realized. Yet their enthusiasm and determination were remarkable. They laughed, teared up and thanked their wonderful teacher, Maria Drennen, for her guidance and skills.

Even with failures, they succeeded in their goals.

Teams raised more than $3,000, which they distributed to the seven nonprofits. Homeward Bound Pets received $525.63. My hat is off to these future leaders of our community!

Dawn Vyette Witt, executive director

Homeward Bound Pets Adoption Shelter



Ideology endangers residents

Yamhill County Commissioner Allen Springer is giddy over the fact that he chairs a three-member board, all of whom are conservative. “That’s a tremendous … foothold for the citizens … .We can work from that foothold and gain ground, and that’s really what the purpose is.”

Really! The purpose of being elected county commissioner is to spread conservative ideology?

It is unseemly for public officials to use their offices as bully pulpits to broadcast their ideology. Their purpose is to govern, securing the health and safety of their constituents.

Let’s see what this conservative board has wrought in the few months since they took office:

1. They took a stance against the health of their constituents, passing a resolution against renewing the federal Clean Water Act. 2. They took a stance against the safety of their constituents, passing a resolution against Oregon expanding background checks on the sale of guns.

3. They took a stance for conservative Christianity, opening public meetings with prayer and bible reading. 4. One commissioner (Mary Starrett) took a stance against constituents’ enjoyment of nature, voting against funding for the rails to trails program.

5. They took a stance against the safety of their constituents, opposing a plan to put the 911 communication system on a sound financial footing.

Oh my! What a sorry mess!

What really smokes my socks is that taxpayers’ money is being used to underwrite this barrage of conservative ideology.

Robert E. Mason



Not that big a polluter

The News-Register’s front-page headline describing Cascade Steel as a “top polluter” is somewhat misleading. It’s like saying a runner who placed 74th in the Boston Marathon was one of the top runners.

One has to read the whole article to see that Cascade Steel is obviously doing an admirable job of contributing to the local economy and controlling its manufacturing waste.

Not all people would agree, as indicated by comments uttered by Mary Peveto, the executive director of Neighbors for Clean Air in Portland. Perhaps Peveto should stick her nose in the toxic plume that emanates from Riverbend Landfill on a daily basis, caused by Metro-area garbage.

Peveto and her ilk run around like Chicken Little crying, “The sky is falling.” She crows about the fact that there’s a school 1.5 miles from the plant. Oh, my!

Their time and energy would be better spent coming up with common-sense solutions to help employers such as Cascade Steel improve their efficiencies in manufacturing or ways to use their waste byproducts.

Increased regulations will lead only to manufacturing facilities closing and moving elsewhere, leaving their employees and communities more dependent on the ever-growing welfare state.

Steve Sommerfeld



We’re the militia

A couple of letters to the editor (News-Register Readers’ Forum, Jan. 31) bring up the militia clause of the Second Amendment. George Mason, who wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was the model for the Bill of Rights, had this to say on the subject: “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”

Recent events in France and England demonstrate that even the strictest gun control laws do not keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. As for calling 911, that is what you do after something has happened.

Alan Olsen