Letters to the Editor: June 16, 2017

Quit protecting him

The situation dealing with McMinnville police officer Tim Heidt teaches us that the arbitration process of dealing with problem officers is flawed in achieving adequate resolutions because it favors the employee over the department and fails to protect the public from an officer who has committed the most egregious act.

Heidt is a stain on his department, but the department had no choice but to take him back. He dishonors every man and woman who serves in law enforcement and who are trying to do their jobs well while dealing with increasingly combative people as well as an increasingly hostile public.
Every time Heidt sued the department, his gall, overwhelming ego and complete lack of remorse for what he did to that poor man proves he is unfit to serve as a law enforcement officer in any capacity.

His job as a law enforcement officer protected him from being tried and serving time under Measure 11 for an unprovoked brutal assault. Anyone else would have faced that punishment. Heidit should have faced it the moment the video of the assault was discovered.
The protection of him needs to end.

Dawn Tedder



No to handouts

No one should be hungry or homeless.

To support this ideal, I have contributed to the food bank and soup kitchen as well as the building of an expanded shelter in McMinnville. I am not without compassion for those in need.

However, there is a fine line between assisting those who genuinely need help and are working toward self-sufficiency and enabling those who have made it their lifestyle to exist on handouts.

This issue has become more defined with the growing number of panhandlers on street corners and homeless taking up residence in doorways, parks and the downtown parking garage.

I was disgusted to see the homeless group that recently took up residence in the garage. I was appalled to see city officials contributed a portable toilet to the encampment so campers would stop urinating and defecating in the corner of the structure. That action clearly crossed the line into enabling.

If there is no law against camping in public places, there should be. If there is one, citizens should demand it be enforced. I travel throughout the United States and have visited numerous communities that prohibit panhandling and camping. Some make it an infraction for drivers to pass money out of vehicles.

It is beyond time for our city to take a stand against panhandlers and squatters. In addition to being a nuisance and eyesore, these activities have a negative effect on our growing tourism industry and will ultimately turn away potential guests and return visitors.

McMinnville has many charities to assist those in need. Support them, but do not enable begging and overlook squatting. Demand that the city council and police department address these issues thoughtfully, decisively and immediately.

Lee Vasquez



Freedom’s real peril

When Obamacare was first enacted, the Republican opposition called it an attack on our freedom.

I have never understood that angle. An attack on legitimate reform? Yes. But not freedom. The charge rang hollow considering the Republican Party’s silence about Obama’s genuine attacks on freedom, including his signing of Unlimited Detention of U.S. Citizens in 2012, his claim that the president can order the death of U.S. citizens without due process and the four citizens who were put to death. There was also his push to enact the Trans-Pacific Partnership with its attack on sovereignty via dispute resolution tribunals.

All these genuine attacks were not only ignored, but his Republican critics joined him in their actual or attempted enactment. Back to government health care, if Obamacare was truly an attack on our freedom, how is the current attempt to enact Trump/Ryan care any different?

It obviously attacks the benefits provided and our ability to afford care, but how might freedom be at risk as it was said to be with the passage of Obamacare? I am not sure how the same people who said government insurance made us less free and exposed us to the horror of death panels can now with straight faces offer us government insurance.

Fred Fawcett



Matter of perspective

It would appear that Elmer Werth is still beating that dead horse, even though he has no concept of the creature’s anatomy, not to mention the actual content of the Quran or the Bible.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believed in should not perish but have everlasting life.” — John 3:16.
I do not pretend to speak for others, but I sincerely doubt that anyone reading this would actually send one of his or her own children to certain death for the sake of total strangers. Please note that I am not saying “the risk of death.” Is there anyone who seriously believes all human life is totally interchangeable?

David Terry



Ban the bomb?

Something big is happening — a move to ban nuclear weapons from the world.

From June 15 to July 7, the United Nations will renew work on negotiations to ban nuclear weapons. Decades ago, many of us in Yamhill County joined efforts to promote a nuclear freeze, but it seems that with time, the danger to life on this earth from nukes has been pushed aside by society and almost ignored.
Rather than carrying out our commitment in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons by us and other nations that hold them in exchange for non-nuclear states not developing them, the U.S. government now has plans to “modernize” its nuclear arsenal at the cost of a trillion dollars.

That’s a figure very hard to comprehend in lost opportunities. But not all nations are willing to ignore what the nuclear-armed states are doing. More than 130 governments are attending these negotiations. The United States is choosing to boycott and work against passage of such a treaty. I encourage our community to learn about this and share with others what we learn. We can stop ignoring the potential for horrid destruction and a trillion dollars to promote even more. We can act against it. Life matters. Our earth matters. Our children matter.

They deserve nothing less than a world without nuclear weapons. Our government needs to promote the health and hope of children, rather than acting in fear and the belief that violence can solve it all. You can learn more at www.worldbeyondwar.org and www.icanw.org. The United Nations even has a webcam covering the events if you want to see it up close.

I’ve heard it explained that trying to solve international problems with nuclear weapons, or the threat of them, is like doing heart surgery with a chainsaw.

Kathy Beckwith



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