Letters to the Editor: Aug. 19, 2016

Time for tough love

Every week for the last several weeks, the homeless issue is at the forefront of local news, especially here at home and in Portland.

The Aug. 2 News-Register article “Street Kids” features the frustration of downtown street merchants in dealing with the kids.

The article focused on the problems, but more troubling, it featured a pair of “kids that go by the names of Jesse and K’Oynn. I would like to point out that Jesse is no “kid.” He’s an adult drifter.

K’Oynn, on the other hand, is the real tragedy. She is a product of parents who are caught up in a devastating life of meth. She is the one who desperately needs to be rescued. If there ever was a candidate for help from social services, it is K’Oynn.

I’ve stated this before as quoted on my birdseed bag: “Feed them, and they will come.” It’s the same with the homeless drifters who wander into our community.

I believe it’s time to face a hard reality and start turning away those who are not from here and are not productive members of our community. It’s time to send them back where they came from. It’s time to identify them and refuse to provide them with Oregon Trail Cards and other free handouts, whether it is from the government or well-intended charitable organizations.

Portland is a case in point. It’s an attractive place to be. The weather is good, and they are bending over backwards to accommodate the homeless population. So what is happening? The homeless population continues to swell, even though it is said that the economy is improving and unemployment is low.

Accuse me of being less than compassionate or heartless (which is far from the truth), but it’s time for “tough love.”

P.S. It’s time for the Department of Family and Youth Services to rescue K’Oynn.

Steve Sommerfeld



This isn’t whine country

Your odd Aug. 12 Pendleton newspaper reprint, “State of Oregon owes rural counties,” made me say, “Wait! Huh? What?”

Historically, such topics make our Yamhill County commissioners go berserk, hence this letter. Before launching their usual posturing, ideological rants and melodramatic swoons, Mary Starrett, Allen Springer and Stan Primozich should take Prozac and read on. First “no-duh” fact: Pendleton’s arid Umatilla County contains no state forest and has no dog in this fight. Second: Linn County’s Santiam Forest is the smallest of four state trust timberlands; Tillamook is seven times larger. Clatsop is three times larger, and Coos County’s Elliot State Forest is two times larger. If the Oregon Department of Forestry is fudging, wouldn’t Tillamook County be leading this charge? Third: Trust counties still own those forests. Oregon courts have affirmed county ownership, and that the county/ODF relationship is contractual. Instead of lawsuits and whine-outs, trust counties can revise the Forest Plan, renegotiate terms or fire ODF and hire their own management.

The latter slashes “administrative cost,” (e.g. fleets of expensive, late-model pickups driven by legions of state employees).

By comparison, Weyerhaeuser, Green Diamond, Hampton and other timber companies manage several million private acres, in compliance with Oregon’s Forest Practices Act— with stunningly small staffs. Linn County wants to squeeze more income from Santiam Forest by moving the goalpost. Dear Yamhill County commissioners and News-Register: try tackling meaningful local issues instead of parroting phony, long-distance tantrums.

David Godsey



Into the abyss

The cartoonist George Price once wrote, “Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t the line between sanity and madness gotten finer?”

Although he died in 1995, I am pretty sure he was referring to our current political situation.

Robert Porath




Steve Sommerfeld is right.
McMinnville is becoming a seedy city.

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