Letters to the Editor: Dec. 9, 2016

She deserved more

It is commendable that the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office has admitted error in the suicide of Debbie Samples, but I think the most important, most central question is: Why was Samples taken to the jail at all? Suicidal and in desperate need of treatment, she is put into jail?

How can any reasonable, moral society justify such a thing? Why was Samples released from the hospital after being deemed suicidal by professionals at that hospital and not taken to the proper medical setting for appropriate care? That’s my question — for the sheriff, for the hospital, for all of us.

Rob Schulman

(Schulman is the vice president of the Yamhill County Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.)


Parties at fault

The recent election shows quite clearly that the people running the two major parties leave room for improvement.

I’m not talking about the two presidential candidates or their vice presidential partners. On the Republican side, we have a long list of party big shots who spent the campaign telling us that their party’s candidate was beyond not qualified and was a downright dangerous threat to the nation.

Amazingly, these people have done an about face without skipping a beat. Mitt Romney is the latest to switch from calling Trump a threat to saying he’s a great guy who’ll be a wonderful president. No reasons are given for the change. Yesterday, Trump was a menace, and today he’s our salvation.

Come the next Republican primary, these unstable individuals should be replaced by steadier folks.

The Democrats offered a different flavor of political sewage this time round. Instead of finding their candidate unpalatable, the Democratic National Committee seemed to have a problem with the voters. Apparently the possibility that the pre-selected candidate might not prevail set off a panic. The extent that they tipped the scales in Clinton’s favor is an insult to representative democracy.

Reading the details requires some extensive Googling. The quality of the candidates aside, we voters should expect and demand better from the parties and the process.

Fred Fawcett



State shows flaws

Wait. You mean to tell me the state shut down a foster facility for youth, turned the youth out into the streets and then some kids ran and a few became pregnant?

How is that better supervision and care than the facility? And where are the state’s reports of abuses? Where’s the transparency?
Foster parents in only four states (as of May) are paid less than Oregon foster parents: Idaho ($382), Missouri ($321), Nebraska ($345) and North Dakota ($390). See the pattern? Since when is the cost of raising a teenager $415?

Someone needs to investigate all health service branches in this state.

For instance, the Legislature refuses to pass legislation granting psychotherapists parity to collect from insurance companies. Only social workers are reimbursed. Social workers are not mental health counselors. Yet that’s what Oregonians get when they want counseling.
Reciprocity (qualifying a license from another state) can take a year or more, and after hundreds of dollars in outlay, there’s no guarantee it’ll be granted. Get into the 21st century, Oregon.

A study released in September by the Oregon Women’s Foundation, women in Oregon drink more alcohol than women in all other states, and more women in Oregon are depressed than the women in all the other states.
Gov. Brown, put your house in order.

Sheila Hunter



Tax nonprofits, too

“In a very tight fiscal environment, we can no longer afford to keep these types of preferential tax treatments.” (Gov. Kate Brown) Does this administration even consider a serious reduction in spending? I think not. So what does the governor propose to do? Raise the cigarette tax and liquor surcharge, which will affect low- and middle-income families disproportionately. Raise taxes on partnerships and subchapter S corporations, which will affect a disproportionate number of small businesses. Raise taxes on hospitals and insurance companies, which already take a significant bite out of family budgets at all levels — especially the lower and middle class. Maybe it’s time to shift the tax burden to those who have enjoyed “preferential tax treatments” for as long as I can remember. How about taxing nonprofit organizations? Let’s impose a tax on churches and religious organizations. But if we do that, then we should include other nonprofits such as labor unions, environmental advocacy groups such as Sierra Club and Greenpeace and a plethora of other special-interest groups.

Perhaps it is time for members of Oregon’s public employees unions to impose a self-determined surcharge and/or a tax on themselves to help bail out their own pension fund. Would that ever be introduced or considered by this administration? I seriously doubt it. They will continue to try and find ways to take from the worker bees and give to the drones.

Steve Sommerfeld




Steve Sommerfeld is absolutely correct.

Don Dix

The Ds in this state are all about 'taxes'. They appear to be like rodents -- when one tunnel (to taxes) is blocked or doesn't fit the need (M97), they dig another (more tax on cigs and liquor). It has been this way for 30 years -- and every session produces a 'new tunnel' to feed the spending habits.

Keeping Oregon green has a whole different meaning to the
ds in our state government --- $$$$!


Fred Fawcett - The state of politics is a mess. Parties pushing people supported and paid for by the rich and powerful. Trump a self-proclaimed billionaire and Clinton a member of a dynasty. Meanwhile, we face a president elect that won office without the vote of a majority of Americans. A man who refuses daily intelligence briefings because he says he's smart and its a waste of his time to listen to the same information every day. Sound familiar? George W Bush thought the same of intelligence briefings and Americans died tragically on 9/11. GWB was briefed that bin Laden was going to attack with airplanes and he did nothing to prevent the loss of thousands in the World Trade Center buildings. Nothing. God forbid that America is attacked again, but we should never forget that our president elect is refusing daily intelligence briefings and finds them too boring.