Letters to the Editor: July 15, 2016

City needs new rec center

I’m writing to express my support of a new parks and recreation bond.

I was pleased to see the July 5 front page article in the News-Register dreaming of this same thing. McMinnville is a truly great place to live. During my 12 years here, I have been impressed with the spirit of McMinnville as well as the thought that goes into running our city. I have long thought that the one thing we are missing in McMinnville is an updated community/aquatic center. Both the aquatic center and community centers in our town were built when our population was much smaller, and despite their ages, are well used by the community.

We have a thriving swim team in McMinnville that could go further with an updated facility. As a parent, I hope for more swim hours and lesson times for my small children. As a community member, I envision robust group exercise program options.

I had the privilege of being a member of the Nampa Recreation Center in Idaho. Look it up. It is a beautiful recreation center owned by the city. When I envision what I want for McMinnville, I envision the Nampa Recreation Center.

In rainy Oregon, now that we have expanded our outdoor options, let’s expand our indoor options for making our community healthy and fit.

Sunshine John



Doctor needs second opinion

I would like to point some things out in response to Dr. Les Howsden’s July 8 letter.

I comprehend what he’s saying about the zygote and blastocysts, but how often does a woman know at that stage that she’s pregnant? Very rarely, I’m sure.

By the time a woman realizes she’s pregnant, she’s already well into her first trimester. If the fetus has a heartbeat, it is a living human being. Stopping that heartbeat is taking a life. The heartbeat begins around six weeks and may be seen and heard at around eight weeks. You want me to believe that a baby born prematurely or stillborn is not a baby because it didn’t survive outside of the womb?

I will never believe that!

Tonya Granger



Sorry, doctor, it’s a baby

Dr. Les Howsden uses medical definitions in his July 8 letter that identify the stages of development of a human embryo from fertilization to delivery from the womb, and I agree with him.

The term “baby” is bantered around in many instances, but in biology, it is a term used to differentiate the term “fetus,” (still in the womb) from “baby” (out of the womb).

A baby is a “living human” and can live outside the womb and not depend upon nature, as Howsden puts it, to either terminate the pregnancy or to sustain it until delivery. None of the terms from “zygote” to “blastocyst” define a baby! Howsden used the term “potential babies,” stating a “potential” person should not be treated as an “actual” person. I disagree emphatically.

That “potential” person is living tissue with a beating heart and blood flowing through its arteries and veins. If undisturbed by illness or an external force, it will thrive and arrive into the world as a baby. It has been “alive” since impregnation.

Howsden used the term “in nature.” Can he define nature? Can he define how the universe just happened? As a physician, he can say, “It’s just natural that 50 percent of all blastocysts will abort spontaneously.” Does he state then that the other 50 percent are going to continue their natural development and become actual persons unless acted upon by some external force that terminates their lives?

Women deciding to terminate a viable pregnancy have, by definition, made a premeditated decision to kill another human being. And that is murder!

William Lawrence



Th-th-that’s all, folks!

After watching the evening news channels coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign candidates, I decided to watch the cartoon channels. I really could not tell the difference between the news and the cartoons. In fact, Daffy and Bullwinkle talked less and made more sense.

Imon Pilcher



One weird job applicant

So you plan to support Donald as president because the thought of Hillary makes you queasy?

Let’s talk about hiring. Imagine you own a company needing a manager, or you’re a homeowner needing a housekeeper.

How would you go about hiring someone? Remember that hiring a president and hiring someone to work for you directly are essentially the same thing -- the only difference being the nature and scope of the jobs. And, of course, presidential actions and judgments have international consequences.

Foremost, you would want to know about the person’s qualifications. You would surely ask how their prior jobs relate to the opening you have (similar skills, knowledge base and so forth).

Attitude and approach would be important to you. You might explore how your applicants solve problems and see if they have taken the time to find out what your job entails.

If an applicant tells you that he or she is the absolute best to fill your job, but acknowledges having no experience whatsoever, would you hesitate? If they assure you that they will be the finest, smartest, most stellar worker ever (so good, in fact, that you will get sick of “good”), how would you take that?

How would you feel if this person tells you that the very fact that he has no experience makes him perfect for the job? Would you scratch your head on that one?

Then wouldn’t you select someone with the most related experienced — even if imperfect — over someone without experience or knowledge, someone who offers only self-promotion and promises?

But go ahead. Hire Donald. See what happens. Then you can join all those Brits who Googled “What is the EU?” one day after voting to leave it. You can Google, “What was I thinking?”

Erma S. Vasquez



Church sets good example

Congratulations and kudos to the Rev. Erika Marksbury of the First Baptist Church of McMinnville.

She continues the journey pioneered by the Rev. Bernie Turner in the 1990s and solidly maintained by the Rev. Kevin Harrop. Her step forward is to make office what has been a reality in that congregation for decades now. The congregation is, in fact, welcoming and affirming of everyone, including the LGBTQ community, in its sanctuary.

The sanctuary is a safe place for many who find themselves exiled, shunned and/or reviled in our community.

The congregation of First Baptist Church is to be commended for “walking their talk” and being an example for the city of McMinnville and Yamhill County.

Michael S. Groshong





And you go ahead and check your box for Hillary. If you can do that with a clear conscious than I feel very sorry for you. Four to eight more years of Obama Part II is sickening.


It is a bleak time to be a voter. For me the last principled President was Jimmy Carter. He got one term, was eased out by oligarchy which has had a nice run since both with Rs and Ds.. The Ds have a slightly more social consciousness regarding a few issues. Nothing to really concern the interests of the ruling oligarchy. The Rs have been pretty loyal until now, creating a stale mate except for bailing out the big money folks and doing wars. Both sides have vilified one another around social issues to point that our system is in jeopardy. At this point the Rs worry me more than the Ds. I would like to see a 3rd party that could create leverage to make the Rs and Ds compromise and maybe weaken the power of the oligarchy. That is not at the National level. It has to start at State levels and sneak into Congress. A long slog.

Don Dix

Erma -- Evaluating a job applicant's qualifications as you suggest is quite appropriate. However, the most important quality is glaringly absent from your list, and solely eclipses all others. That would be trust!

If the applicant cannot be trusted, whether it by performance, attitude, or specific knowledge, rejection is the educated response.

You have chosen to bash Donald, rather than promote Hillary, as if she is above reproach (she certainly thinks so).

So, did Hillary land in Bosnia under sniper fire? .... was Chelsea actually jogging around the World Trade Center on 9/11? .... did Hillary turn over all of her e-mails? .... is the Clinton Foundation really charitable? ... was Hillary named after Sir Edmund Hillary? ... were the Clinton's broke when they left the White House? ...This is a very short list of claims made by Hillary over the last 25 years, and the answers to all are all an emphatic no!

If the job applicant cannot be trusted to be truthful, then any positives carry little weight. Sorry, but Hillary's penchant to embellish, exaggerate, and flat out lie should eliminate her from any consideration, especially handling sensitive, classified information that comes with the job!


So well stated and that's just a very small sample of Hillary. As we know the list is so much longer and more dangerous.


Don----the trust argument works both ways...If you don't see that Mr Trump "embellishes, exaggerates, and flat out lies" as well, then you're not paying attention. By your own standards, Mr Trump should be eliminated from consideration as well.


As I have said previously, the choice is terrible and will make the country more divided whoever wins. The vote will most likely be decided when thinking about the coming Supreme Court nominations. What direction will the voters chose? I'm guessing the vote will be more liberal because Donald Trump has made a mess of his chances. The default vote will go to Hillary Clinton which will be repulsive for much of the country. If Trump would have presented a less electric personality he would have won without much problem, but the cat is out of the bag.


Nobody here that I can see has argued that Hillary is above reproach. She's a politician with a long career and actual experience, and her record on truthiness is accordingly. But Trump has a much deeper and much more devastating trust problem: I'd never trust him to actually be able to handle the job, particularly in light of recent events. He'd be every terrorist leader's dream: a weak, insecure president without any experience in foreign policy or military affairs, who could be counted on to be flailing wildly around the world, making lots of enemies while being utterly ineffective in fighting them. I wouldn't trust the guy to effectively run a girl scout meeting; he's run enough businesses into the ground, the only thing he's good at is selling himself.
THAT'S the kind of trust I look for when selecting a president, and in that respect it's really no contest at all.


With gerrymandering giving the Rs a pretty good lock on Congress for years. A H. Clinton POTUS will likely be stymied at every turn. The Rs may continue to block appointment to the Surpremes for her whole term. Both Rs and Ds are and have been War enthusiasts. A bleak time. Clinton's team of advisors may be slightly better and more knowledgeable than Trump's family. For those who would like to see America to change Trump is a very dangerous gamble with lives and the future. For those who would like to see American change H. Clinton as POTUS is business as per the past 40 some years.


Trump's ego and arrogance are what scare me the most. His inability or unwillingness to approach world issues from an intellectual standpoint makes it difficult to see how he can make informed decisions. On the Homefront, to get anything done will require compromise ....he won't be able to fire or sue anyone that disagrees with his proposals. At the moment, He can't even persuade his own party to support his candidacy.....I find it hard to believe he could develop consensus in congress and succeed in the position.


That is what is difficult about this election. Absent Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton is the most flawed candidate in my lifetime including GW.


Don Why on earth do you turn a blind eye when the candidate you support "embellishes, exaggerates and flat out lies"? Mr. Trump lies constantly, even when there is great evidence he is telling another lie. It's amazing how many of Trump's supporters complain about other candidates but refuse to see the farce that the Trump campaign is. So many times Trump says outrageous things to fire up supporters and then claims to have never said something, yet it is all on video from when he did. Why do so many Trump supporters relish in the lying and misinformation from their candidate Please help me understand.

Don Dix

Yes, it's evident Trump is a bombastic, loud, in-your-face personality. But he is 'an outsider' to the political arena, so he also doesn't carry the political baggage that nearly every president has. You know, the 'you owe me for my favors of the past' that influences government direction. If anything, it would be refreshing to know the president is not being manipulated at every turn.

Here's a little (very little) list of original bills during Hillary's senate 'experience':
A bill to name a bridge
A bill to name a post office
A bill to establish a national monument

That's it! 8 years of basically doing nothing. At what point does this 'experience' qualify one to claim the knowhow to operate as POTUS?

As for terrorists and the 'fear of retaliation', Trump is a wild card, likely to do anything at any time. That may not be the best approach. But compared to Hillary's actions during the Bengazi incident, at least Trump would have actually tried to save our people who died there, in my opinion.

The other question is --- when Obama was elected, what experience did he have to deal with worldly matters? Frankly, none! So using 'political experience' as a requirement to hold the highest office is not any kind of useful standard (unless partisan politics are the boundaries).

For decades Hillary has been lying to the public about everything. From Whitewater to Travelgate to cattle futures to Castle Grande and on and on. It's seems (by examination) that Hillary has trouble with the truth when the truth tarnishes her image. There is no avenue to trust her for that simple fact.


Don. Didn't you complain earlier the Erma "bashed Donald rather than promote Hillary" ? Didn't you just spend time bashing Hillary rather then promote Donald, other than to say he's bombastic, loud in your face outsider who you think doesn't have the right approach for dealing with terrorists. Another thing is you seem to know how much money Hillary has. Is that from her releasing financial information, including tax returns? Trump tells us, we have no need or right to see his. What is lurking there? Is Donald afraid of some truths we don't need to know. Please give me some reason to support this guy other than the hate you have for Hillary


I am curious why tax returns have any importance? So many of these politicians go into government service with modest incomes and then come out as multi-millionaires. What is the purpose of the tax returns? Who should care that Donald Trump has had complex (some great, some disasters) business adventures and that Hillary has made a boatload of money for speeches to the Wall Street folks? It is pretty much common knowledge.


I would hope that Dr. Les Howsden would followup his comment, "For me, an abortion prior to viability outside the womb is not murder."

That leaves the impression that he believes that an abortion after "viability outside the womb" is murder. Or, is it morally unacceptable to have an abortion after viability except in extenuative circumstances? Is the exit from the womb that is the litmus test for pro-abortion feelings?

Don Dix

yamhillbilly2 -- I have no party affiliation, and between the two (Clinton and Trump) if pressed, Trump would get consideration, but no guarantee -- and there is a 100% chance I will not vote for Hillary!

Tax returns? All wealthy people use the tax laws in their best interests. Loopholes, reinvestments, and profit-loss accounting (as well as others) are the tools that keep the government from getting too deep into the pockets of taxpayers.

The Clintons have used the Clinton Foundation to hide donations (foreign and domestic). In 2013, the foundation took in $140M in grants and pledges. but spent only $9M on direct aide. The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends. Family friends? As well, there were 1100 undisclosed donations, mostly from foreign entities. That is a precise definition of a slush fund, which, in this case, delivers influence for donations.

If one believes the Clintons should be back in the presidency, take a thorough look into how this came about. The facts are abundant and readily available.


Do you think the Clinton's are the only benefactors of the laws for non-profits/foundations?.....bottom line their are probably hundreds of such organizations, and unfortunately for us regular tax payers, the 1% crowd has the ability to cover/divert income because the foundations and non-profits are legal... as are the donations to them.

Regarding Mr. Trump's return....I would be interested in knowing his boasts of having billions are true...If not, it might be a bit of an embarrassment as that was his claim to fame.
Tax returns (while not the complete picture) are important for identifying the background and affiliations and puts light on a candidates true dealings...not just what he/she says.....I think if Mr. Trump was being truthful about his wealth, he would be more than happy to show off his returns....

Don Dix

tagup -- I completely agree that the 1% take full advantage of the tax rules. and some of the money they save goes into political pockets to keep the status quo.

The Clinton Foundation is a money dump, designed to be able to dole out cash for favors without oversight. And spending only 5% of donations to fill it's charity obligations raises a lot of questions. Now, if asked, do you really believe Hillary would be truthful? That's the point ... it is already an established fact that Hillary struggles with the truth, always has.

Trump's net worth is somewhere between $4B - $5B (according to Forbes). His golf courses and resorts are worth over $1.5B alone. And he should offer his tax returns, as should the Clinton's charity.

Here is how I see it -- On the one hand is a candidate accused of lying (Trump), and another who has a long history of proven lies (Hillary) ... it's really a no-brainer, if one is actually casting a vote.


tagup you asked, "Regarding Mr. Trump's return....I would be interested in knowing his boasts of having billions are true..".

Tax returns do not measure a person's wealth. They certainly would not give an accurate indication of his net worth. So you are out of luck about that.

Then you said, ".I think if Mr. Trump was being truthful about his wealth, he would be more than happy to show off his returns...". Why would anyone (even Donald Trump) be happy to show off their tax returns? Are you "happy" when you show off your returns?


Don--I think you are being pretty generous by using the word "accused" ( of lying) when describing Mr Trump. I think there is plenty of evidence that he has played fast & loose with the facts at times. I think will agree to disagree about our choices, but one thing (I think) we can agree on, is neither choice is optimal.

Kona---a tax return can certainly give some indications of a taxpayers wealth....and it's irrelevant whether I would be happy showing mine...I am not running for office. Candidates sharing returns has been common practice in the past....what's the problem? Isn't transparency the goal?


Tagup, I agree a tax return "can certainly give some indications of a taxpayers wealth". It will not indicate the net worth of an individual. A tax return is a "snapshot" of a specific time period.

I don't think any (or very few) politicians are, even though running for office, "happy" about showing their tax returns. I do agree that "transparency (is) the goal" and that works for all including your candidate (which has been considerably less than acceptable).


I see the deflection reply is still the first line of defense. You avoid completely the question of "what's the problem" (with sharing a tax return). Instead, you want to point fingers at the other candidate, (who by the way has presented her return),or debate what information can be gleaned from a return, or argue about the word "happy". I guess there's no more to discuss....


No deflection intended. There shouldn't be any problem submitting a tax return when running for public office. It goes with the territory. There is a difference however when submitting a tax return that has yet to be approved by the IRS and a tax return yet to be approved. Yes, submit the tax return. Is that going to change your mind about whom to vote? If you are "happy" about the return will you vote for Donald Trump?

Why do you insist on making an argument about these comments. I apologize if you inferred something that I didn't imply. Ask me a question and I will give you a reply, no need to run and hide on this forum.


Obviously, Trump's return would help verify many of his business related claims. It isn't a stand alone basis for a decision....Your last paragraph does not merit a reply...


Tagup, if the last paragraph doesn't merit a reply then keep your little snippy comments to yourself.


I would never vote for Trump, but voting for Hillary will involve some epic contortions to hold my nose hard enough to fill in the box. Our electoral process and media eliminated the best candidate for the people imo, so there remains two awful choices. One is a no go and the other is just more of the same failed (for the average American) establishment status quo. With Trump or Hillary the oligarchs win and the powers that pull the strings have once again managed to manipulate the process to give us the illusion of choice. People are waking up and it won't be pretty when we finally say enough is enough.


However, we do have other choices like Jill Stein with the Green Party.


Unfortunately, the way things currently stand, I think a vote for any of the other choices will be in essence a vote for Trump......


I agree tagup! Our elections have become a game of smoke and mirrors designed to make us think we have "freedom" and "democracy" in America.

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