Letters to the Editor: Feb. 5, 2016

Board sides with militants

Are there other News-Register readers who see the irony among the various stories in last Friday’s paper?

Our esteemed county commissioners once again governed (and I use that term loosely) by knee-jerk response, spending time, energy and county money to align themselves with the recent disastrous occupation in Harney County.

Granted, the $4,000 was allocated to the “litigation fee” to help fund a lawsuit brought by other counties against the Bureau of Land Management and not necessarily directly to the militia groups amassing in Burns. But if one is to believe the original perpetrators of the Malheur Refuge takeover, their purpose was to confront the BLM over land use practices -- so it is not much of a stretch to connect the commissioners’ action as supporting the occupation.

It appears that the $4,000 of county money was approved just prior to the commissioners allowing a “3 Percenter” paramilitary patriot to basically direct the rest of the meeting, spouting his views on the illegal militia occupation.

Now look at some of the other stories in the same issue, The City Council was told that crime is up in Mac and heard discussions about minimum wage and the lack of available housing in our county. It is my understanding that our commissioners were elected as nonpolitical/nonpartisan civil servants to address and attend to the many issues that affect Yamhill County, not to espouse their political views and agenda.

They are also to respect and uphold city, county, state and federal laws whether or not they agree with them They also need to gather all the facts before making irresponsible statements such as blaming the BLM for LaVoy Finicum’s death. Our commissioners are accountable to all the citizens of Yamhill County, not just self-named patriot groups who hold similar ideological beliefs.

Eric Witherspoon 


School deserves money

I am writing to urge a yes vote on the upcoming school bond.

There are two distinct components to this bond: funding for needed upgrades throughout the school district and funding for a continued remodel of the existing high school.

The first component is straightforward. We need our schools to be safe, healthy, energy efficient and well-maintained. To do anything less would be a disservice to our community, our teachers, and, most of all, our children.

The second component of the bond is funding to continue the remodel of the existing high school. Over the past two years, I have been part of McMinnville School District’s Long-Range Facility Task Force. The task force was made up of citizens, school board members and district staff with a charter to determine how best to manage the infrastructure requirements of the district. When we started, like many members of our community, I was confident that we needed to build a new high school on Hill Road. Over the course of our meetings and deliberations, my view has changed. As much as we all want to abandon the old campus, there are insufficient arguments to make the case.

The cost to build a replacement high school would require an untenable increase in property taxes. Although I would personally vote for the tax increases, we have no confidence the voters would pass such a bond. The proposed bond will allow the school district to complete Phase II of the remodel started after the last bond and do so with no change in the tax rate.

The improvements at the high school will further expand the vocational offerings available to our students, replace antiquated infrastructure and make energy efficiency upgrades.

A community’s health is measured by many features, chief among those is the strength of the schools. A vote for this bond is a vote for the community we call home.

Carson Benner 



Horse with no name

I hear you Eric Witherspoon and I also like the way Carson Benner emphasized the importance of healthy educated children. Maybe if we had a little more education and a little less cockamamie political ambition, the county could come together on important issues instead of being constantly divided.


Our commissioners have once again set a dangerous precedent and very poor example as leaders of the county. Hey kids, the commissioners think that its okay and actually required of "patriotic" citizens to take up arms against their government. Never mind peaceful protest and your right to air your grievances...they think grabbing a gun and taking over federal property is just fine with them. Break the law and get killed and in their twisted ideology they think its the government's fault. Way to be upstanding leaders county commissioners. If the issue isn't about big bad government, guns or their right to force their religion on everyone else they just don't care much.


I read Carson Benners letter and agree we need to upgrade our facilities and implement more safety features at our schools. On the other hand the tax payers are being lead down the rosy path on the high school remodel. Number one they cannot have a solid number on their remodel so 60 million is a target. They will be back in three years to ask for more money to finish what they started. The projects for vocational jobs were in all schools at one time and slowly cut. Are we reinventing the wheel? The district had chances from outside people to have shop space and on the job training for free and turned it down. Saving money again. I am all for a new school that addresses all of our children's needs. One large high school under one roof. Wake up McMinnville a small group of people are trying to shove a large project down our throats that will cost you again in a short amount of time. Let's take a time out and do it right. I am all in for the kids but not with this waste of time and money.


I agree with Jim.


Abe Lincoln would have been a far better scholar had there been energy efficient upgrades at his school.


Don't forget healthy lunches, Lulu.