Letters to the Editor: June 2, 2017

Invalid parking

I moved to McMinnville 12 years ago and was impressed with how safe and pleasant of a community it was.

I have worked downtown for the past 10 years, using the parking garage as a daily place to park. With more businesses and restaurants opening in the downtown area, parking has become very scarce during business hours, making the parking garage even more valuable.

Every day, I come to work and find people camped in the parking garage, taking two to five spaces with vehicles, tents, air mattresses and garbage. I’ve contacted city officials three times in the past year and have even contacted police a few times because of fights and other unlawful behavior.

The city staff members I speak to state they are looking for ways to help the homeless, and there is no law in McMinnville to keep anyone from camping in the parking garage.

City officials have now placed a portable toilet in the southwest corner for them. As another summer approaches, and the city attracts people from all over the country, what will all these visitors think of our great little community?

I see and hear these homeless people every day. They are not people with mental issues. They are lazy people who have a vehicle and should look for jobs so they have a bed to sleep in rather than a parking garage. When will city officials take control of this nuisance?

What about the people who need a place to park every day so they can go to work and pay taxes to support this community? Where’s our help?

Toni Schroeder



Give us a bathroom

Riverside Terrace apartments in Sheridan, a 27-unit housing facility for low-income disabled and senior citizens, desperately needs a bathroom for people with disabilities.

For more than 20 years, the residents have been asking the Yamhill Housing Authority to build a bathroom in the commons/laundry room. Every year, we are given a questionnaire to fill out on what we would like to see improved, and at least 75 percent of us ask to have the commons enlarged and a bathroom accessible to people with disabilities.

There are many people living at the facility who are handicapped, using walkers and wheelchairs, and not able to get back to their apartments to use a bathroom. We were told we could use the bathroom in the manager’s apartment (which is attached to the commons).

The problem is the manager is not always there, and the bathroom is not accessible to people with disabilities. We also have outside workers who do repairs and maintain the yard with no bathrooms for their use.

I recently presented the Housing Authority with a petition signed by 31 Riverside residents, urging the agency to build a new bathroom. I was told there just isn’t any money in the budget because all the money from rent is spent on maintenance.

Housing Authority officials said Riverside residents could launch a fundraising campaign to pay for a bathroom. It would be kept in a separate fund. Residents are getting bids from contractors and then plan to ask local residents and businesses to support them.

If anyone wants to help (either by donating funds or working on a fundraiser campaign) please call me at 971-237-9279 and leave a message. I was a longtime Riverside resident who recently moved to another Housing Authority apartment in McMininnville, but I remain committed to helping Riverside get this much-needed facility.

Viamae McKnight



A unique life

In response to Alisa Owen’s May 26 letter, it is not strange that those of us who advocate for smaller government would be interested in lives started in a woman’s uterus.

It seems the premise you start with is that the baby is you, but this is a completely new and different human being from the beginning. It will develop its own circulatory system, nervous system and brain waves. Any science deniers out there?

Its disadvantage is its location inside your body. As for all vulnerable people, we have laws against harming them since they cannot fend for themselves.

While there are those of us who would like to see the practice of abortion abolished, I don’t think you will ever have to worry about people’s right to kill their own offspring going away in your lifetime. Many people are far too selfish and irresponsible to allow this to happen.

Darren Nettrouer



An alternative suggestion

I agree with Alisa Owen’s May26 letter that the government should not tell you what you can or cannot do with your uterus. However, if you are asking the government to pay for something, well, you kind of don’t have a leg to stand on. The issue of abortion in this day and age should not be what we are fighting about as women. We should be fighting for the right to prevent pregnancy however we see fit.

Abortion is not, nor ever should be, a method of birth control. It should be a last resort. There are so many ways to prevent pregnancy. It is your responsibility to take care that your uterus is not exposed without protection. I am very willing to pay for preventive birth control, whatever you may choose.

I would even be willing to pay for permanent solutions for both men and women. Let’s make abortion a non-issue; yes, still available, but used so rarely that as a society we don’t even see a need to argue about it. Are you in for that?

Gail Craven



History lesson

As I attempt to respond to Elmer Werth’s xenophobic fear of foreigners, I struggle to remind myself that this is Memorial Day, a day which we Americans celebrates our many differences and similarities that make us unique among the world’s nations.

Contrary to Mr. Werth’s reasoning, many of my ancestors not only did not speak English, many had never even heard it spoken. The first they knew of it was when Europeans (of several languages) came to our shores.

These newcomers came to this land to escape wars and oppression from others like themselves, but did not come to learn to speak our language or treat the native people as they wished to be treated themselves. Further, they generally treated the native population as though they were the interlopers and trespassers.

I am as much amused as I am amazed that Mr. Werth lives in Grand Ronde and seems totally unaware of this distinction.

David Terry



Too wide a brush

Elmer Werth’s diatribe against Muslims does not comport with my experience. Over the years, I’ve worked, socialized and broken bread with a number of Muslims. None of them was bent on replacing “our laws with their own barbaric and brutal system.” They are a hardworking, devout and disciplined people who pray five times a day, refuse alcohol and donate 10 percent of their wealth to the poor.

To paint all members of a group with the negative characteristics of a few members is the very essence of bigotry.

Robert E. Mason




Darren Nettrouer - "It seems the premise you start with is that the baby is you, but this is a completely new and different human being from the beginning."

Darren...can you get pregnant?...have you been pregnant? When you pee on a stick and it turns blue I'll be all ears. In the meantime, why don't you practice your beliefs as you see fit and let women decide "what is" and "what isn't" for themselves? We don't need or want your input.


Darren--if you and your partner face an unplanned pregnancy, how you deal with it is your business alone. How other people respond to the same situation has absolutely nothing to do with you or your opinion regarding what's best for those you've never met but obviously insist on controlling. Butt out.


Gail Craven - I agree with you that prevention should be the focus. As far as asking the taxpayer to pay for abortion we have the following in place:

Hyde Amendment
In U.S. politics, the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape.


Regarding birth control, all methods currently available should be absolutely free to everyone, irrespective of age.


Lulu is a lulu.


I agree with Lulu.

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