Letters to the Editor: June 30, 2017

Harvest of facts

I was heartened to see the enthusiasm in the community about McMinnville High’s pathway program, as evidenced by letters to the editor voicing concerns about halting the horticulture pathway.

I would like to clarify some of the issues that may have been misunderstood about the district decision. First, I would note that interested parties were able to express their opinions at length to the school board. The rationale for the decision was clearly explained. This was not a matter hidden “behind closed doors.” Next, the horticulture pathway was dropped only after years of effort to grow the program. Despite those efforts, students have largely chosen one of the other 17 pathways available.

In the 2016-17 school year, 344 pathway endorsements were awarded, only three of which were for horticulture (less than 1 percent). In that year, only four students attended horticulture class, and only five attended advanced horticulture. The decision on horticulture was essentially made by students, and the board recognized that choice. Finally, the district continues to recognize the importance of supporting agricultural education.

Ag-related courses are available to students in other pathways. They can take classes in veterinary science, fabrication, food science, and natural resources, which will provide instruction in many aspects of the ag industry. McMinnville School District has been Oregon’s leader for more than a decade in the pathways program, and we continue to adjust courses to meet the preferences of our students.

Our role is not to dictate choices, but to provide opportunities within the constraints of our budget. We welcome the agricultural community’s assistance in encouraging students to consider the career opportunities in the food production industry. We commit to remaining responsive to student career interests, and to providing educational opportunities that match their needs. Together, we can help develop the next generation of agricultural professionals.

Scott Gibson



Don’t encourage them

Homeless activity in downtown is a significant concern, as the News-Register has stated.

My concern is the apparent attempt to make it easier to be homeless. If homeless people are provided free and easy access to beds and other items, then more homeless will come.

Everyone who is provided a bed, housing or services needs to work to pay for what they receive. People need to be helped to be responsible versus not responsible, as in taking handouts with no effort made to repay their debt to society for giving them something.

If you stay in a shelter, you must help clean the shelter and perform other duties that contribute to the community. This kind of policy will teach responsibility and sends the message you will work for your “free” bed or food in McMinnville.

Steve Caldwell



Freedom from meat

Here are the 10 best reasons for barbecuing veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs at this year’s Independence Day gatherings, rather than ground-up animal body parts:

n Focusing on traffic and fireworks safety, rather than food safety.

n Giving your eyes a break from reading government food warning labels.

n Not sweating cancer-causing compounds if barbecue temperature is too high.

n Not sweating nasty E. coli and salmonella bugs if temperature is too low.

n Not wondering about the real contents of that burger or hot dog you’re chewing.

n Giving your body a holiday from saturated fat, cholesterol and hormones.

n Not sweating the animal cruelty and environmental devastation guilt trips. Not having to explain to your kids why we cherish Fido but eat Babe.

n Enjoying the exploration of veggie meal offerings in your supermarket.

n Celebrating a day of independence from the meat industry.

Melvin Nysser



Don Dix

Melvin -- I admire your dedication (along with Milo's), but a NY steak is 'a cut', and never 'ground-up animal body parts' (along with rib eye, T-bone, sirloin, flank, etc., and all roasts). And taste and flavor? -- no contest!


Porterhouse--best of both worlds.