Letters to the Editor: March 17, 2017

It’s my body

Dear state Rep. Mike Nearman,

I have called your office five times during the past three weeks, requesting a return call to answer a question. You state on your website, “Answering your questions and responding to your concerns is my top priority.”

I have yet to see evidence of that. My question is, why do you think you should be in control of my body? This is not a rhetorical question. Abortion restrictions (House Bill 3017) are an attempt to control the decisions I make for my body. I am the only appropriate person to make those decisions. I believe I am entitled to an explanation of why you think you should control my body.
You have my phone numbers. I await your response.

Alisa Owen



Some good ‘Reefer’

When I was in school, there was a film called “Reefer Madness” that warned us and our parents about what would happen to our society if we dared to smoke “the stuff.” We were quaking in our boots, and now in this era, it’s all very topical and relevant again.

However, there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio! Our culture is endangered once again by “Reefer Madness,” and if you don’t believe it, you haven’t seen the wonderfully revisited film, now a musical. It plays through this weekend at our own community theater on Second and Ford streets.

The cast and crew do a masterful job of presenting this important material once more. Director Theresa Vandeveere Pratt has nailed the thematic material in her set. The costumes fit in as well as all the other details. The devil is in the details. The cast couldn’t be more delicious.

Jacqueline Salkield



Traffic headaches

It’s interesting to read that a roundabout at Baker Creek and Hill Road will ease congestion for those using Baker Creek as a bypass through town. When can we expect the city or Oregon Department of Transportation to install a left turn signal at Baker Creek and Highway 99W? At certain times of the day, it’s almost impossible to turn there without waiting through two cycles.

Elaine Noe


How insurance works

Speaker Paul Ryan and the others crafting the Republican replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act seem unaware of how insurance works.

They are desperate to keep popular parts of the ACA, such as allowing people with pre-existing medical conditions to get coverage. But they have vilified the individual mandate to buy insurance for so long that they have no good plan on how to solve the pre-existing condition conundrum.

What they have concocted is a 30 percent surcharge if let your insurance lapse. But you are free to have no insurance at all. So you could wait for until you got abdominal pain, quickly buy insurance, have your $15,000 gall bladder surgery paid for, then drop your insurance. A $15,000 surgery for the cost of a few months of insurance. Or wait until you feel a lump, then get insurance, and all your scans and chemo are covered. Not bad for you, but unsurvivable for the insurance companies.

Ryan went so far recently as to say that the ACA system of having large numbers of healthy people buy insurance that paid for the small number of sick people is “unsustainable.” No, Mr. Speaker, that is how insurance works.

Obamacare could be fixed with some moderate effort. Reviving the public option of letting people buy into Medicare, which is highly efficient and affordable, is an obvious possibility. The Gordian Knot being tied together by Ryan is a recipe for insurance market meltdown and skyrocketing premiums. This week the Congressional Budget Office estimated 24 million Americans are likely to lose health care coverage if the Republican plan is enacted. We have seen this before, prior to Obamacare, and it is ugly. People died due to lack of insurance. We must not let it happen again.

Scott Gibson, MD



Radical answers needed

I voted, not so much for Donald Trump, but against the established politicians on both sides, against the elite media and against the elite entertainment industry.
I am in one of those “baskets of deplorables” Hillary Clinton denounced. If you keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results. If anyone, either Republican or Democrat, with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders, would have won the election, they would have tweaked the system a little bit left or a little bit right.

I’m sick and tired of the way things have gone in D.C. for decades. We have serious problems which require radical solutions, not tweaking. I am tired of the arrogant people in the news media and the entertainment industry asserting that if you disagree with them you are a hater, a racist, a homophobe or just plain stupid. Their rhetoric is fanning the flames of disunity and discord in our country, maybe even to the point of being unpatriotic.

These people who have preached tolerance to the world and tried to shame others for being intolerant are the most intolerant I have witnessed.

The greatest challenge facing our country is disunity. Both sides are guilty of helping create this situation. If Congress is truly concerned about our country, it will start the healing process. One surefire way to do that is to create a truly nonpartisan national health care system.

Health care is not a political football. It’s a life-and-death situation for thousands, if not millions, of our most vulnerable citizens. The Democrats made the mistake of not including Republicans in the original health care act. Republicans should learn from the mistakes of the Democrats and show the world that you can solve problems despite political differences.

Ivan K. Brewer



Go local

Ever since the inauguration, the editorial page has been filled with letters about national politics. I would suggest it’s time for all to focus our attention on state and local politics; an arena where we may actually have a chance to affect change.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a Viewpoints article written by Chris Ray, operations captain for the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office. In that article, he highlighted the drug crisis epidemic in our area. What is even more disturbing is that the governor’s budget threatens to cut funding to use state police as part of the interagency drug enforcement team. Yet the governor could find enough money to create three new administrative staff positions with a combined annual salary of $325,000.

As a community, we need to contact our state and local lawmakers to tell them this is not acceptable.

Closer to home, Waste Management has asked the Department of Environmental Quality to allow vertical expansion that would add an additional 500,000 tons (1 billion pounds) of garbage on top of the oldest part of the dump and closest to the river and keep it open for another three years.

Instead of focusing your energies for or against Trump, let’s team up to help stop this end run by Waste Management and close the dump now. This is one of many local issues that we can all come together on to help make this county and our neighborhoods a better and safer place to live.

Steve Sommerfeld



Let’s see him negotiate

We have heard “Obamacare will implode” because premium costs are getting out of control. I agree with the cost reasoning, but not the solution.
Paul Ryan gave an example that is so true for so many. He stated if you asked a health care provider to give you an estimated cost for a medical procedure, you wouldn’t get one. Is that because of the ACA? No. The health care industry and insurers are the culprits.

We seem to blame the ACA for rising costs in insurance premiums, but the healthcare industry has a captive audience. If you need it done, you will pay what you’re charged.

The Republican alternative is a competitive environment where we can all shop for the plan we want at a price we want to pay. More importantly, we would given access to health insurance, but not mandated to buy it. We would be given the opportunity to have a health savings plan where we can save for future bills.
They have not explained how those folks who wake up every day and must choose between buying groceries, paying the heating bill or buying health insurance will be able to set aside money in a savings plan to cover unexpected bills.

The ACA was designed to help all Americans have affordable health care. It must start by ensuring providers and insurance companies are charging fair prices for their services.

Our president ran partly on being a great negotiator. His proof was reducing the cost of our fighter jet program by renegotiating prices with the contractors involved. He should sit at the negotiating table with health care providers and insurers to work out a deal that puts American citizens first.

Jim Frelka



Spring into vegetarianism

Where is global warming when we need it? I do look forward to the first day of spring, balmy weather and flowers in bloom.

The first day of spring is actually a perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf in our personal habits — to clean house, to jog outdoors and to replace animal foods with healthy, delicious vegetables, legumes, grains and fruits.

The shift toward healthy eating is everywhere. Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Quiznos, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s offer plant-based options. Parade, Better Homes and Gardens, and Eating Well are touting vegan recipes.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt views replacement of meat by plant protein as the world’s No. 1 technical trend. The financial investment community is betting on innovative start-ups like Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods, while warning clients about “death of meat.” Even Tyson Foods new CEO sees plant protein as the meat industry’s future.

Indeed, Global Meat News reports that nearly half of consumers are reducing meat intake. Beef consumption has dropped by 43 percent in the past 40 years.
Each of us can celebrate spring by checking out the rich collection of plant-based dinners and desserts in our supermarket’s frozen food, dairy and produce sections.

Melvin Nysser




Melvin--each time you and your little friend Milo write the identical boring letter, ostensibly protecting the rest of us from what we're too dense to accept, I mark the occasion by buying a steak.


Not all things that can be said, need to be.....


"Abortion restrictions (House Bill 3017) are an attempt to control the decisions I make for my body."

Alisa, takes us back to the question,"when is it a person's body and when does it become two bodies".


Kona--good news! You don't have to worry about when life occurs or doesn't. Never again lose sleep counting minutes, hours, weeks and months and subtracting them from the normal gestational figure to determine viability.
The decision is between the woman and her doctor. Not you, not me, not Donald Trump, not the man in the moon. I hope this answer relieves your concerns.


Ivan - "I’m sick and tired of the way things have gone in D.C. for decades. We have serious problems which require radical solutions, not tweaking."

Congratulations...you achieved your goal. We have "radical" running the country right now. Extremists who believe that the government should be so small you could drown it in a bath tub to quote Ronald Reagan. A quick look at Trump's budget will tell you everything you need to know about the goals of those currently in power. I hope you are finding satisfaction in your "billionaire with a monkey wrench" strategy.