Letters to the Editor: April 8, 2016

A balanced voice

Commissioner Allen Springer is a huge disappointment.

After running as someone who promised to bring the community together, he routinely goes out of his way to antagonize those with whom he disagrees. I once saw him browbeat an attorney in a public meeting for “not knowing his Bible”-- at least in the way Springer reads it.

He often makes important decisions without explanation as to his reasoning nor referencing any deliberations. He seems to get most of his input from places other than his constituents. He’s more interested in his personal religious views and federal issues rather than pressing local ones.

I was relieved to learn that McMinnville Mayor Rick Olson is running to replace him. Olson is a well-known and respected civic leader and Navy veteran with decades of long, demonstrated history of dedicated public service.

He will be a voice of balance and reason on a board that has shown little of either as of late. He’s known for his willingness to speak with all sides on any issue and make thoughtful decisions based on what’s best for the county as a whole rather than ally himself with vocal special interests groups and fringe ideologues as does the current commissioner.

We need a commissioner who works for us and not some broader, murky political agenda.

Susan Karp



 The money’s there

I read with great interest about the homeless problem in McMinnville, especially in the downtown area.

City Manager Martha Meeker and others have made some proposals. Each has said that it may incur some extra funding. But wait, the money is already available to ameliorate the pressing needs of the homeless and to make McMinnville a model for other cities to follow.

Perhaps we could use some of that “dirty” money that the city has “stolen” from unsuspecting travelers who are forced to pay that dreadful room tax. That’s more than $600,000 of this money in the city’s vault. It’s not asking too much to throw some of that mnoney into the mix to provide some beds and shelter for the homeless so that they won’t be scaring people who patronize the downtown area.

It’s time to open up the community chest and do something positive that would bring a solution to the homeless situation in McMinnville. When travelers inquire about the 8 percent room tax, the hotels and motels could proudly proclaim that it goes to help the homeless.

Dan Hibert



Traditions need support

McMinnville has a long-standing tradition of supporting McMinnville schools. I have two students at McMinnville High School and know first hand the importance of high school facilities and vocational and technical pathways. The high school needs expansion and improvements in significant ways.

McMinnville High School’s Pathways program has been very important for both of my children, especially my daughter, who will be graduating in June. She chose horticulture and natural resources management as her pathway. It has helped her choose what she wants to study in college and what career she would like to pursue.

Horticulture classrooms are currently in modulars, which are inadequate facilities. Passing the new bond issue will create a new vocational/technical center which will include the horticulture program.

Passing of this bond will also create many more technical and vocational pathways for students that choose not to go to college.

Please support McMinnville Schools. They are our future!

Tara Rich



He’ll treat us well

We have the opportunity to elect a new county commissioner who will be hard-working, respectful to all, conservative in his views and who will truly represent all the citizens of Yamhill County.

I have known Rick Olson for more than 25 years and have worked closely with him while he served as mayor and city councilor. I have observed his public service leadership on many, many occasions.

Rick is tireless in expending the energy necessary to fulfill his position as a public servant. Earlier in his life, he served our citizens as a volunteer firefighter for many years. Rick also honorably served our country as a member of the U.S. Navy. He is respectful to the public and to public employees.

The staff at the city of McMinnville have been treated well with Rick as their mayor. He is highly educated, professional and dedicated to being an inclusive leader who will serve all citizens. As he conducts public meetings, he is courteous to all who speak, even those with whom he may disagree.

Rick is a native Yamhill County resident who knows all the communities very well and is also highly respected throughout the state as a civic leader. His successful professional business career will serve us all well as a leader at the county.

I have observed him navigate Oregon’s public budget laws with a keen understanding. As mayor, he has led McMinnville through difficult economic circumstances while maintaining essential services. He will bring positive energy and enthusiasm to the county. Rick has the proven experience and qualifications that we need.

Murray Paolo



They sold us out

Any control we citizens had over the future of our towns is now dead,

It was killed by a disease called the Oregon Legislature and Senate Bill 1573. It was hoped the governor would veto the bill.

There has been a great effort over the past 20 years by the Oregon Homebuilders Association at the Legislature to prevent citizens from having any meaningful control of their cities’ futures. The association promoted a bill in 1995 to require urban growth boundaries to expand automatically to provide a 20-year inventory of land.

During the recent short legislative session, SB 1573 took away our right to vote on the issue.

These bills turned control of all Oregon cities over to the growth industry. Now we citizens must put up, by law, with the industry’s control. It can now do as it pleases and not worry about citizen interference. This is government at its worst.

John Engelbrecht



Well, if it’s murder ...

The social conservatives who earnestly equate abortion with murder should be clear about the implications of their formula.

A person who hires a hit man to commit a murder will be prosecuted along with the one who does the killing. In the eyes of the law, the employer and the employee are both culpable. If abortion is murder, then the logical conservative position should be that both parties are to be tried for that murder.

If that’s too much for social conservatives to stomach, then they should rethink their premise.

Bill Johnson



A trusted name

Rick Olson will be a great county commissioner. His proud service to our country as a Navy veteran and his longtime commitment as a local mayor provide him with a well-rounded perspective that is sorely needed in Yamhill County.

Olson is a sincere, helpful person who can be trusted to look out for our best interests with balanced and carefully considered decisions. It has been several years since we have had a county commissioner whose main concern is Yamhill County residents and their families.

A vote for Rick Olson is a vote for fairness and transparent, well-reasoned decisions that will benefit all of us.

Ed Farrar



Change the flow

While McMinnville is upgrading streets, I have a suggestion. In the interest of clean air, prevent idling at red lights by changing the lane designations at major intersections. Many intersections presently have a lane marked straight ahead and a turn with the flow of traffic and another lane marked turn the opposite direction. That means that a person wanting to turn with the flow of traffic is behind a person wanting to go straight across the street. Both have to wait until the light turns green to proceed.

The straight-ahead lane should be put with the lane waiting to turn against the flow of traffic in the nearest lane. Then the driver turning with the near flow of traffic could proceed when safe. This change would eliminate needless idling while waiting for the green light.

James Churchwell



Vote for schools

There is a school bond coming up on the ballot. Let me explain why I will be voting yes and believe you should, too.

You are reading this newspaper, so you are educated, value the community of McMinnville and are connected to this town.

Schools are the embodiment of a community. They are a projection of who we are. Schools are where we gather for the arts, for sports, to learn and to support our town’s children.

This bond just replaces an expiring bond. It maintains our current tax rate. Frankly, it is a Band-Aid, which allows us to barely maintain our current school infrastructure. Nevertheless, it is necessary.

I would argue that we should be thinking about how we can project a better sense of who we are by really investing in bettering our schools, but that will have to wait for a later election.

For this election, I encourage you to vote yes. I live in McMinnville. And even though my kids attend the Sheridan Japanese School (a charter school in the Sheridan district), I support the McMinnville schools with my taxes, and I will even if my kids never attend them, even if I don’t agree with the current administration and even when my kids are grown and off to college.

The schools are who we are. They reflect our values and our belief in our community. I believe in McMinnville. This is my home. I am proud of this town and will be voting to invest in its future.

John Linder



Beyond bird moment

I went to Portland to hear Bernie Sanders. The media picked up on the bird landing on his podium, and I didn’t mind because it caught him in a fun moment, reacting with the crowd spontaneously, showing a sense of humor and lightness.

But I wished they would carry on with real news — that we have an amazing opportunity to set a new direction in this county. On the way home, I jotted down some of the reasons I will vote for Bernie Sanders.

He has a strong sense of justice and will work to change unjust economic policies that unfairly benefit a very small segment of society. He speaks boldly of the opportunity, timing and responsibility to protect our Earth and develop solar, wind and geothermal power. He recognizes that clean water for all is basic and essential.

I need him to say more about foreign policy, but he exemplifies his stand by pointing out the disaster that has followed the Iraq War, which he did not support. That’s a good start.

He knows that elections should not be “for sale” and walks the talk, a huge accomplishment. He describes policies that negatively affect Latinos, blacks, women, homosexuals and commits to leadership for respect and fairness.

He believes we must honor Native American rights, and be open to learning our story as a nation and what that means for today. He offers leadership in providing true and adequate health care in this country, using the Medicare model that works for many of us already rather than allowing health needs and debt to destroy families’ and individual’s livelihoods.

We have some problems with voting, but Oregonians still have until April 26 to get registered and have a voice in the tremendous choice before us.

Kathy Beckwith





Bill Johnson - You have made a very good point. Trump let the cat out of the bag when he said that women should be punished if they have an abortion. This is the end result of the forced-birth extremists. It only makes logical sense that if you believe that abortion is murder then what should we do with the murderers? Some of those on the anti-choice side have stated that women should be charged with murder and punished, but for the most part they try to keep that part of their agenda under raps. Don't be fooled into thinking this is about protecting women or "babies." If these radicals get their way many of us would be looking at time behind bars.


I have read two more articles favoring the up coming bond. I am all about kids and truly believe we need to upgrade our facilities. The major problem with this bond is it will not fix the major issues in our district. The Pathways program that we have and the district's new 30,000 sq ft building to enhance it is all smoke and mirrors. The new building will not turn out auto mechanics,carpenters,plumbers,electricians, or any other major trades that the job market needs right now. The second thing this bond does not provide is athletic fields of any kind. It has new gymnasium's but nothing for fall or spring sports. We are far short now of enough space for kids and outdoor sports and this would provide even less. We need to build a large high school on 60 acres that will include everything for our kids well rounded education. What our administration and board is trying to do with this bond is waste of time and money. Let's do it right McMinnville.

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