Letters to the Editor: June 9Don Stackpole, 2017

Helpers come forward

Famed children’s television host Fred Rogers often told a story about his mother. When he would see scary things in the news, his mother would say to him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

While I was at work in the West Valley the other day, my wife and our four precious children were involved in a motor vehicle crash in McMinnville (not a great event by anyone’s standards, but fortunately, everyone is OK).

What struck me about my wife’s account of what happened was that she was so blessed by all the helpers. She told me about a kind man who stopped to make sure she had his information as a witness. That same man also helped her move our vehicle out of the roadway so she wasn’t blocking traffic.

A kind, teenage boy took my three oldest kids to the sidewalk and watched over them while my wife took the baby out of the car. She said that boy stood with his arms wrapped around my kids like he was their “guardian angel.” A nearby resident offered my family shelter in his garage so they could get out of the rain. Other nearby residents came out and swept up the debris so that my wife could focus on the children.

I am so grateful to all the helpers who took a few minutes of their day to comfort and assist my family. We have a great community in Yamhill County, and it is people like you all who make it so.

Don Stackpole



A slap in the face

As reported in the News-Register, Yamhill County Commissioner Stan Primozich took it upon himself to present his own personal opinion as that of all Yamhill County when he contacted a Portland Metro councilor to lobby her to vote against an ordinance that would prevent Metro waste from coming to Riverbend Landfill after Jan. 1, 2020, because “we would really appreciate you supporting Yamhill County and not stopping the flow of Metro trash to our landfill.”

There is no record of any meeting in which Primozich consulted his co-commissioners Rick Olson and Mary Starrett. Thus, he took this action without any discussion, let alone a vote by the board, to publicly state a position of which the other commissioners had no knowledge. His action is the antithesis of transparency in government and is not how county government is designed to work.

We have three commissioners for a reason. They represent various points of view and hold discussions to form a consensus on county issues prior to making any statements, private or public, on county policy. To have a single commissioner act on his/her own personal opinion and then deliver that to another governing body in the name of Yamhill County without consulting his co-commissioners is both a slap in the face to Starrett and Olson and unethical.

What if all three commissioners behaved this way? How would citizens know whom to believe and what the actual county policy is? It would be total chaos. The fact that the county lacks any limitations on this type of action by sitting commissioners requires that the board of commissioners immediately address this serious issue and develop a policy which prohibits this type of action from occurring again in the future.

They owe complete transparency to both themselves and the citizens of Yamhill County.

Susan Meredith



Rethinking bigotry

The music teacher at St. James School, a talented professional named Gus Pappelis, commutes to McMinnville from Portland.

His job description includes a youth Mass on the first Sunday evening of each month at St. James Church. Gus is also a music minister at Christ the King parish in Milwaukie, which hosted the wake and funeral services for Rick Best, the Army veteran who was a heroic victim of the Max train stabbing May 26.

The volunteer musicians at St. James were honored to substitute for Gus at our youth Mass last Sunday evening so that he could serve the Portland community and Rick’s family. That event gave me pause to consider why we find ourselves in this situation.

I hear a lot of concern regarding the threat of terrorism with the assumption that it originates overseas and is tied to the religion of Islam. It appears that we Americans are breeding our own domestic terrorists, as exemplified by the Max train incident, the 2015 murders in the South Carolina church, the Oklahoma City bomber and the many assailants who have entered our schools to slaughter our children.

These people resemble the “melting pot” that has historically defined our population, and they profess a variety of religions or no faith affiliation at all.
The history class I took at Linfield College in 1975 entitled Western Religious Heritage taught me that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all descended from Abraham. If we have one father, that would make us brothers in the same family. Could it be that the rhetoric of hate in which we participate is alienating our brothers?

I propose we have work to do on ourselves as suggested by Christianity, which quotes, “You need to remove the board in your own eye before assisting your brother with the sliver in his.”

Kathleen Bernards



A hero for marijuana

Mary Starrett is the hero in this story. She is the only one of the three commissioners who consistently supports farmers.

Yes, that includes marijuana farmers. Marijuana is a farm crop. Processing marijuana is no different from making wine, cheese, apple cider, jam, pasteurizing milk, drying hazelnuts, butchering chickens and many other items processed on a farm.

The other two commissioners are way out of line. I am an approved marijuana processor in Yamhill County. I have had my license since March. My application went through without a hitch because it is legal and consistent with farming. There are other processors who have also been approved.

What is the difference, you may ask? The money from the wine industry speaks loudly and is given deferential treatment. There is no threat to them. The nonsense about odor is only speculation. In California, marijuana and wine are being grown side by side.

Marijuana has the potential to be as important to the state economy as any other agricultural product, including wine. Just remember Prohibition. Maybe it is time to reconsider the use of alcohol. That worked well, didn’t it?

Kris Bledsoe



Common ground

I agree with Gail Craven’s June 2 letter. Let’s make abortion a non-issue. Let’s allow women to make their own choices for their own bodies without outside interference.

I am also completely in favor of no-cost, readily available birth control of all types along with comprehensive, fact-based education about all methods. I would wager the number of women who choose abortion as birth control is virtually zero.

Again, the reason one might choose abortion is nobody’s business and it needs to remain a part of women’s reproductive system health care.

Alisa Owen



A Trump triumph

It was fun watching the wizardly President Trump create leverage out of the harmless trace gas carbon dioxide, just 0.04 percent of thin air, by walking away from the nonbinding Paris accord. And it’s going to be interesting seeing how that leverage is used.

“I’m willing to immediately work with Democratic leaders to either negotiate our way back into Paris, under the terms that are fair to the United States and its workers, or to negotiate a new deal that protects our country and its taxpayers,” Trump said.

Meanwhile, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler are negotiating against the United States by joining the subnational U.S. Climate Alliance, chaired by New York, California and Washington state. This coalition seeks official status with the countries that signed the Obama-era Paris agreement.

Brown and Wheeler are putting in with boring California Gov. Jerry Brown, who says his state will partner with China, Canada, Mexico and Germany in implementing the Paris agreement. It’s long past time for Oregonians to show Brown and Wheeler the exit door.

The population explosion and mass immigration into consumer societies — not carbon dioxide — is the fundamental environmental and resource issue. Over the next 11 to 12 years, world population is set to increase by another billion people, from 7.5 to 8.5 billion. That increase alone is seven times the current Russian population of 143 million.

Dan Katz



Freedom bagged

In response to Beth Dell’s June 2 missive implementing the Zero Waste decree, this ordinance prohibits retailers from offering plastic grocery bags to their customers.

Dell declares these bags are like “plastic tumbleweeds.” I don’t like the color or odor of this ban. In Dell’s wild suppositions, she accuses us of improperly disposing of these bags. Shoppers put their groceries in these plastic bags, take them home and then, just out of devilment, scatter them in streams, highways and ditches.

No, they don’t. The truth is that McMinnville residents have achieved an outstanding record in recycling these bags.

Almost all the plastic bits that are in the oceans are traceable to the thousands of ships that ply the ocean and carelessly release this plastic trash.

I have not seen any plastic grocery bags floundering in the wind. People reuse bags for a variety of reasons. The real culprits in the degradation of the landscape are fast-food containers, plastic cups, styrofoam plates and plastic sandals, toy knives, forks and spoons, etc. But heck, all of these are exempt from the ordinance. Duh!

This ordinance is unneeeded, unenforceable and only benefits the Zero gangstas who have successfully liberated $10,000 from the city of McMinnville. They are acting as proxies for the city council to intimidate retailers. Their goal is to obtain “zero waste” by 2024. This timetable can never be achieved.

The bottom line is you don’t count. Only the Zeroes have the authority to make choices they feel are right for you. You’re not smart enough to make your own choice, so they have done it for you.

Dan Hilbert



Not Trump’s fault

I don’t agree with the News-Register’s June 2 editorial which lays on Donald Trumps doorstep responsibility for the tragic TriMet stabbing.

Jeremy Joseph Christian was a convicted felon and had been proven mentally deficient way before Trump was elected. He must have been crazy because he was a Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein supporter.

And you trying to make Trump look bad because he didn’t declare such acts “ unacceptable” quickly enough is petty and obviously partisan. I don’t remember you criticizing Barack Obama for not sending flowers after the fatal stabbing of the Linfield College student at the 7-Eleven in 2014.

If you have a problem with the coarsening of American speech, maybe you should tune in to the late-night comics or check out Kathy Griffin’s photo shoot and write an unsigned editorial about that.

Steven Roberts



Trumped-up charge

There is some truth to the News-Register’s June 2 editorial about the “coarsening of American speech and conduct,” but my question is, is it by design that you left out blaming other prominent Americans for promulgating coarsening of speech, racism, and bigotry?

Members of Congress spew their hatred and contempt for Donald Trump. Late-night talk show hosts use disgusting language during their feeble attempts at political humor. Blacks killing cops have been emboldened by organizations that openly hate white people as well as leaders that don’t seem to find their acts outrageous.

Speakers at the national Women’s March in Washington, D.C., used language that was beyond coarse and fanned the flames of bigotry. Obama’s indifference to past tragedies was no less acceptable then, as you now find Trump’s delayed “tepid statement” unacceptable.

The “haters” that are found from all ethnic backgrounds will find any excuse to carry out acts of horror and misery, but to single out Donald Trump as being the catalyst for the actions of this extreme right-wing killer is wrong.

Steve Sommerfeld



Patriotism warped

How do Americans define patriotism? Has the idea of patriotism changed since the foundation of our country? What does it mean to be a patriot?
Patriotism is defined as citizens who vigorously support their country and are prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors. Who is now the enemy?

ho are the detractors? In light of the recent brutal attacks in Portland, the suspect’s outburst during his hearing stating he was a “patriot” and the tone of the country right now, it seems the definition of patriotism is shifting. This shift is frightening.

This tide of what I call “cult patriotism,” a wave of hate and discrimination, seems to be taking over what had been culturally defined in this country by an understanding that we are all in this together — an idea solidified during the Great Depression and World War II.

Instead, the examples we have seen in the last several years are anything but that idea. Now we have a leader who was elected on hate and discrimination and continues to perpetuate these sentiments to the world via daily Twitter rants. Has patriotism become subjective? Can we ever again agree on foundational principles that define our patriotism? The facts we held so dear as our foundation seem to be on shaky ground. Facts themselves are under great debate. America feels like a leg cramp that just refuses to relax.

Where do we go from here?

Lisa Bear



Read the Quran

Fact: The Quran commands Muslims to kill infidels. Fact: Many professed Muslims are not aware of or ignore the brutal aspects of their belief. Which ones?

Elmer M. Werth

Grand Ronde


Make it a food fight

Are you fighting mad about Trump pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord? Then let’s fight back three times a day by adopting an eco-friendly, plant-based diet.

Yes, our diet is pivotal. A 2010 United Nations report blames animal agriculture for 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 38 percent of land use and 70 percent of global freshwater consumption.

Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by fossil fuels combustion to operate farm machinery, trucks, factory farms and slaughterhouses. The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

In an environmentally sustainable world, meat and dairy products in our diet must be replaced by vegetables, fruits and grains, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar and other pollution-free energy sources.

Each of us has the power to protest Trump’s failure to maintain America’s leadership in moderating climate change, simply and effectively, by what we choose at the grocery store.

Milo Nakamura



Don Dix

So Milo, do you know how many wild mammals inhabit this Earth? Billions! What will you do to keep them from 'belchin' and poopin' in the woods'.

And when you use the UN numbers to support your Climate Change thoughts, credibility has taken a powder. The UN has repeatedly ignored the Sun and naturally occurring gases (as causes of CC, if there is one) because there is no profit there. They can't cap volcanos, they can't control lightening, they can't stop the rain, snow, or the wind, they can't do anything about the most powerful and abundant GG (water vapor), and certainly can't control anything about the Sun.

It doesn't take a genius to figure of that 4 tenths of one percent (CO2 presence in atmosphere -- 400 pts./million) is a trace gas. And humans only account for 7% of the .04 (the remainder occurs naturally). Simple math -- 7% of 400 is 28 pts./million. So take man out of the equation -- 378 pts./million remain. Happy now?

One other thought Milo -- it has been determined that CO2 levels of 150pts./M will not sustain life on Earth, while OSHA claims 5000pts./M is the high danger level. Now by which level are we threatened? You workplace (if indoors) is about 600 to 800pts./M (up to double the present atmospheric level).

Greenhouse growers pump up to 1200pts./M into the enclosure to increase yields, so you are arguing against what you are arguing for (sorry, ending in preposition). Now what did you say?


@ Dan Katz:
“I’m willing to immediately work with Democratic leaders to either negotiate our way back into Paris, under the terms that are fair to the United States and its workers, or to negotiate a new deal that protects our country and its taxpayers,” Trump said.

And there's the main problem. This had nothing to do with the climate, but with sticking it to the Democrats. Trump seems to be unaware that international treaties are negotiated with other countries, not the Democrats. But he keeps failing to achieve anything at all (the exception being a Supreme Court justice who would have been a shoo-in anyways given the majorities), he has to fall back on achieving "victories" and "successes" that require nothing but saying "no": no expertise, no alternatives, no actual policy, just a signature, accompanied by rhetoric. The "base" is ecstatic, liberals are appalled, who cares about actual consequences? Mission accomplished.


Milo, you're a one-trick pony. What a joy being around someone who preaches without ceasing.

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