Letters to the Editor: Nov. 2, 2018

Integrity and intelligence

As a father, small business owner and active member of this community, I strongly support Jennifer Chapman for Yamhill County Circuit Court judge.
Why? Because I think our judges should be a reflection of our community.

We have three judges on the bench who were former prosecutors, reflecting the important role that law enforcement plays in our community. But do we really believe that crime and law enforcement are all that matter?

When I look at Yamhill County, I see families. I see businesses. I see quirky events and parades and festivals, like Turkey Rama, the UFO Fest, Brews & BBQs, Cruising McMinnville and more. For me, this is just as much a part of our culture than anything else, if not more.

I think our courts should prioritize the issues of our families, businesses and everyday people just as much as they prioritize law enforcement. After all, crime represents only a fraction of what brings most people to court.

When I look at Jennifer Chapman, I see an intelligent attorney, a mother of four boys and someone who “gets it.” She has an impressive background, both professionally and personally, and she wants what’s best for Yamhill County.

Indeed, she has resisted every opportunity and provocation to take her campaign negative, insisting the “edge” she might get wasn’t worth the long-term consequences for our community.

We can trust Jennifer Chapman to reach fair, consistent and efficient decisions in both civil and criminal cases. She has the integrity, humility, open-mindedness and intelligence to do just that.

I urge Yamhill County residents to join me in voting for Jennifer Chapman.

Rodrigo Lagunas



Dedicated to public safety

I am writing today to express my support of Lisl Miller for judge. As evidenced by the number of law enforcement officials who have endorsed her, Lisl has shown she’s dedicated to community safety. By the fact that her endorsers cross political lines and extend through every corner of the county, we know she’s committed to hearing every voice.

If this is all I knew about her, she’d have my vote for judge. But, of course, I’ve known her for 15 years. Lisl started in 2003 as a deputy district attorney in my office. She distinguished herself specializing in person crimes, which all too often mean cases of child sexual abuse.

She has not only handled many of Yamhill County’s most serious cases, but has led them to resolutions that makes victims, their families and all of us safer. We are all safer because of Lisl’s work. The role of the circuit court judge is to resolve both civil and criminal cases. Lisl is the candidate with the most experience in both areas.

Trials come before our judges every week, and Lisl has tried more than 100 cases in Yamhill County. A judge should bring extensive trial experience to the bench, and Lisl does. The citizens of Yamhill County have trusted and respected Lisl for 15 years. I trust and respect her as well.

I know she would be the kind of judge we’d all be proud of. Lisl Miller has earned, and deserves, our vote.

District Attorney Brad Berry



Spare us the toxins

Recently, my wife and I visited some friends on their small ranch south of McMinnville. While we were there, they proudly invited us to meet their barn owl.
She was perched high in the rafters, overlooking and overlistening the area where hay and grain are stored — the perfect draw for rodents, who are the perfect draw for the barn owl. You couldn’t ask for a more helpful neighbor.

A single barn owl eats about four small rodents per day. A family of five would eat 20. And they are far less trouble than a herd of house cats.

This family’s farm is focused on livestock, so there is little chemical use. However, it is surrounded by industrial-strength hazelnut orchards. You can click here for a look at the many toxins used on Oregon hazelnuts: catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em8328.pdf.

Growers are advised to avoid a sprayed area for 12 hours, 24 hours or, in a few cases, even 48 hours. Who’s going to explain that to the barn owl? Who’s going to warn the owl that the rodent she finds staggering down the hazelnut row may be dying of poison?

I can only hope the barn owl I met finds enough prey right there in the feedway, and doesn’t have to go soaring through the toxic zone nearby.

One danger that all American owls share, if they get near people, is d-CON. It can kill predators as large as mountain lions, if they get into poisoned prey or a poisoned carcass. (https://earthjustice.org/features/d-con-taking-aim-at-a-wildlife-killer)

Barn owls are great allies in keeping rodents out of homes and crops. They need our help, not our poisons.

Harry Fuller



Land of immigrants

There has been a lot of worry in terms of what will happen to immigrants. No concrete agreements or plans have yet been set, which is leaving several individuals distressed.

It’s disheartening to know the leader of our country harbors such resentment toward immigrants, when America, based on being the land of opportunity, has been developed by immigrants. America was once much more accepting of immigrants.

I encourage everyone to please take a moment to think about your own family’s history. It’s truly remarkable to be able to continually share those memories and stories with each other at gatherings. Those stories and moments will remain with evolving generations to pass along.

Everyone has his own definition of what it means to be “American.” To me, being “American” is helping my neighbors, not only my own community, but in other communities as well.

There’s such an array of diversity of cultures, languages and people that I am honored to get to witness all this color in our community and nation.
But it is threatened by Measure 105. That measure would repeal a 31-year-old anti-profiling law prohibiting police from using staff, resources or facilities to detain people based solely on the color of their skin, their accent or their perceived immigration status.

Let us all utilize our privilege to vote no on Measure 105 and help keep our neighbors safe from fear.

Stephanie Villalobos



Common-sense gun policy

I received my first toy rifle at age 1 and my first real rifle — along with an NRA firearms safety course — at age 5.

My parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents trained me in firearms safety. They made me keenly aware of the risks associated with improper firearms usage, lessons I still apply today.

I support protections for responsible firearms ownership. And Danny Jaffer, candidate in House District 23, agrees.

As a U.S. Navy officer, Danny swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, including the Second Amendment establishing the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

At the same time, Danny understands the dangers posed by firearms and believes we can do more to reduce risks. For instance, he supports incentivizing gun safety as a way to reduce unintentional deaths from improperly stored firearms.

Danny believes common-sense measures can reduce the tragedy of gun violence. He supports measures to keep guns out of the hands of individuals with dangerous histories, including felons, domestic abusers, individuals with unstable mental illnesses and those in danger of committing suicide.

Please join me in voting for Danny Jaffer and common-sense gun policy.

Pat Welch


Editor’s Note: House District 23 extends south from the southern edge of McMinnville to include large portions of Polk and Benton counties.


The right person

My family and I chose to vote for Lisl Miller for circuit court judge. The reasons are simple: Lisl has proven her devotion to protecting our community, our children and victims of crime, and has worked personally with children rights advocates.

My responsibility as a father and husband is to protect my family, and I take that very seriously. Lisl and I have that in common, as she is sworn to protect our families. And she’s proven great at this. There’s a reason Lisl has endorsements from our county commissioners, the district attorney, law enforcement, children’s advocates, members of our great community and others. She’s been a civil and criminal attorney for 25 years, serving as a deputy district attorney here in Yamhill County for the last 15 of those years.

She’s tried more than 100 cases here, so knows how to keep the community safe. She has a tough job, and has been driven to do her job to its fullest potential. Her many supporters know how important this position is and agree Lisl Miller is the right choice. As the replacement for Judge Ronald Stone, I believe that Lisl will bring the fairness, safety and accurate decisionmaking we need in Yamhill County. She’s the right person for this important responsibility.

Mick Forlines


Best for the community

The editorial board made several factual errors in last Friday’s editorial. Among them, the Ron Miller that is helping Chris Chenoweth’s campaign is not a Portland attorney. He is the husband of judge candidate Lisl Miller.

I could identify other factual errors, but I’m most troubled by the newspaper’s continuing characterization of the judicial race.

Lisl Miller is not an “insider.” She moved to Yamhill County shortly before announcing her candidacy.

And her opponent, Jennifer Chapman, is not an “outsider.” She has lived here for 14 years and her large family has been active in the community for almost 40 years.

More importantly, Jennifer Chapman is not running strongly, and likely winning, because of union money. Lisl Miller is spending just as much as Chapman on this race.

Nor is Chapman’s union support a “head-scratcher.” Chapman has dedicated most of her career to performing public service (while with the Department of Justice) and helping workers (while with AFSCME).

Like most of us, Chapman is not wealthy. And with a family of six, weathering an expensive campaign is difficult.

Of course, Chapman’s co-workers and union brothers and sisters would want to help her. She has touched every person she has ever met with her passion, integrity and intelligence. She has helped so many others, and devoted so many of her personal hours to helping others, that people would naturally be passionate about her and devoted to her cause.

I urge the community to follow the lead of the nurses, janitors, electricians, social workers, doctors, attorneys, correctional officers, office assistants, and more who make up AFSCME and vote for Jennifer Chapman.

Josh Rojas


Editor’s Note: See correction at bottom of the page.


Vote with care

Are you as concerned as I am by a shrinking ability to stay on budget?

It’s harder to make ends meet, yet there is a continuing call for more taxes. Where does the money go?

As I recall, government should spend no more than the revenue received. The specter looms that, eventually, we may not get a paycheck, only an allowance for food, shelter and healthcare.

Please help me understand. Am I living in a fascist/communist nation or in America? It’s time to reduce government, get rid of the bureaucrats and bureaucracies that  squander our money.

Don’t be swayed by candidates’ rhetoric. Their words have proven meaningless.

Research each one. Check the voting records of those already in office.

Vote for honest, responsible, reliable candidates and hold them accountable. Our future depends on it.

Mary Novak



Already prepared

I support the re-election of Stan Primozich, our current Yamhill County commissioner.

Having known Stan for all of my 25-plus years here in McMinnville, I can attest that he is a man of honesty, integrity and good communication. He’s an extremely hard worker who is passionate about his job.

Stan has broad experience in business, finance, education, transportation, youth issues and veterans’ affairs. Although he is from McMinnville, he has a commitment to the livability of all of Yamhill County. He works hand in hand with the many cities on common issues.

I have found Stan available to address issues within the city of McMinnville as well as the individual concerns of the citizens of Yamhill County. And he represents Yamhill County on numerous transportation committees, making him knowledgeable enough to represent our best interest regionally.

The process of representing the county as a commissioner takes time and energy, which Stan has invested over the past four years. He has served as board liaison to the county’s transit, tourism, public works and economic development agencies, as well as the Cultural Coalition.

Because the learning has already taken place, we are now prepared to take full advantage of his knowledge for the next four years. I would ask for your support for the re-election of Stan Primozich.

Mayor Scott Hill


An exemplary life

Chris Chenoweth is not a politician.

He is a business owner. He is a husband. He is a father. He is a friend. He is a problem-solver. And he is the best choice for the McMinnville City Council.
Chris has sound judgment. He asks questions and analyzes a situation before offering advice.

Chris has led an exemplary life, both publicly and privately. He is free of scandals. He is exactly the kind of person who should be in a leadership position for the city.

As a retired municipal judge who worked closely with the McMinnville City Council, I am certain Chris’ ethics, hard work and desire to help make McMinnville thrive is exactly what it needs.

Kevin Kinney

Laguna Niguel, California


Voting a sacred duty

Don’t vote? For shame!

Hundreds of thousands have been killed or wounded defending this country.

Millions of people of many backgrounds have served to protect America. People like Danny Jaffer, a career officer now running in House District 23; my father, a Purple Heart recipient in the Pacific; my brother, a Navy veteran; my friend David Bentley, a veteran of 11 months in the Vietnam jungle; and me, a veteran of 28 years. But you don’t plan to vote? What could possibly be a good reason for that?

Your vote doesn’t count? You’re wrong. Too much trouble? You’re kidding. Don’t want to spring for a stamp? That ranks at the bottom of the barrel. By not voting, you prove yourself to be an uncaring American.

What would it take to submit a ballot? An hour to give the voters pamphlet a going over and 10 minutes to fill out and mail your ballot. At what cost to you? Not your health or life, most certainly. You don’t vote? Millions suffered or died so you could vote, but you don’t. Shame on you.

Fred Brown



Making a difference

Thank you for reading my first-ever letter to the editor.

For the past two decades, I’ve plied my trade as a commercial real estate broker in the Pacific Northwest. I call Yamhill County home, having graduated from Yamhill-Carlton High School and George Fox College, now a university. My children are the third generation to call Yamhill County home.

Given my vocation, I have a strong desire for a robust local economy, one that creates meaningful work, living-wage jobs and sustainable growth. I’ve seen at street level how cyclical swings and macro-economic forces lead to vacant storefronts and boarded-up homes.

I’m also fiercely protective of the natural resources and overwhelming beauty of our valley. My first jobs were all agricultural. Through them, I learned about caring for livestock and crops and gambling on unpredictable weather to provide for our families and communities.

I’ve also seen how mindless adherence to nonsensical bureaucracy, from plain dumb rules to “it’s just the way it’s always been done” undermines economic productivity and public trust in institutions that are supposed to be serving our common good.

With these lifelong experiences serving as fixed stars, I had occasion to meet Casey Kulla.

In Casey, I immediately recognized shared values and common-sense thinking. Enough to persuade me to pen this first-ever letter to the editor. And enough to enthusiastically recommend Casey Kulla for county commissioner.

I believe electing Casey will make a positive difference for all of us in Yamhill County.  

Phillip Higgins


More listener than talker

I support Stan Primozich for county commissioner for a multitude of reasons.

He is more of a listener than a talker. He actively seeks information about problems and carefully evaluates before he makes a decision.
He isn’t afraid to take on problems. He was on the McMinnville School Board for many years.

He is one of the few candidates who raised his hand to join the military, in order to protect this country. And he has worked hard to help the veterans of our county and state.

The knowledge he’s gained in his last term will help him get to work right away. I believe Stan is our best choice for a county commissioner to work for us through the next four years.

Hank Evers



Youthful dynamism

Thank you for your Oct. 19 editorial endorsing Casey Kulla for county commissioner. We are fortunate this year to have two good candidates for that position, but one of them is outstanding — Casey.

His experience and educational background in agriculture, forestry and small business make him ideal for Yamhill County. And he has the youthful dynamism and inquiring mind to plan ahead and get things done.

I was also impressed that in his Voters’ Pamphlet statement, he mentions specific projects and future priorities, not just the usual generalities.

We’re lucky to have this kind of a candidate; let’s vote him in!

Jane Kristof



High-road campaign

I agree with everything the News-Register wrote about why it is endorsing Casey Kulla for Yamhill County commissioner. But there is one thing I would like to add to the list of reasons why Casey would be a wonderful commissioner:

He has run the most  positive and above-board campaign imaginable. That’s because his campaign reflects his character. I have heard Casey speak at many campaign events. At no time has he ever resorted to making derogatory comments about his opponent.

He has been unfailingly polite and positive when comparing their policy ideas. Even in the face of blatantly untrue comments his opponent has spread about him — aka lies — Casey has refrained from publicly calling them out. He has not once lowered his standards. There are plenty of issues that Casey could be raising about his opponent’s conduct over the years, but he has not brought up any of them. He has stuck with his commitment to run a truly positive campaign. It’s hard not to call out someone who has said untrue things about you. It requires a level of integrity that gives us yet one more reason to vote for Casey Kulla for county commissioner.

Ilsa Perse 



Eat plants, not animals

I have no fear of zombies, witches or evil clowns lurking on Halloween. What really scares me is the meat industry.

This industry deprives, mutilates, cages and butchers billions of cows, pigs, turkeys and chickens -- animals who feel joy, affection, sadness and pain, as we do. It exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages, and exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating market prices. It contributes more to our epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer than any other, then bullies health authorities to remove health warnings from dietary guidelines.

This industry sanctions world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals instead of people. It generates more water pollution than all other human activities, spews more greenhouse gases than all transportation, and destroys more wildlife habitats than all other industries.

Fortunately, my local supermarket offers a rich selection of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams, as well as a colorful display of fresh fruits and veggies.

The meat industry publication Feedstuffs admits that sales of plant-based foods doubled last year. That gives me both courage and hope.

Milo Nakamura


City at a pivotal point

Having grown up in McMinnville, I have seen waves of change that have come over our town over the years.

McMinnville is now sitting at a pivotal point, in which our downtown, our neighborhoods, our schools and our businesses are feeling the pressure of an ever-increasing tourism industry and national, even international, publicity for all the wonderful opportunities we have to offer. It is in this time that we are in need of leadership that is perceptive about the growth and potential of our town while still respecting the integrity of where we’ve been.

Enter Zack Geary, candidate for the McMinnville City Council.

I first met Zack when we were both enrolled in ASB Leadership at McMinnville High School. As a younger peer, I admired the way his presence was undeniable but also warm. It allowed me to feel valued in my input and inspired me to be creative toward developing practical outcomes and realistic expectations for our efforts.

In recent years, I have been able to work with Zack in a variety of town efforts. I have seen the same leadership skills I was impressed by 15 years ago come through in a refined way.

Zack remains a holistic thinker. He is perceptive of the needs of the group while remaining dedicated to the final result. He understands that as a representative of larger groups, there is a need to absorb concerns and ideas of others and to create solutions in a timely manner.

Not only am I proud of how he’s grown in our community, I am also proud to know there is someone as dedicated to our town’s maturation as he is. All in all, I give a hearty yes to Zack for Mac.

Susanne Sayles


Navigating growing community

I met Casey Kulla when I started buying produce from his family farm about five years ago.

Casey has a contagious energy that welcomes everyone who comes through the door, and I quickly came to respect how he and his wife had become integrated members of our Yamhill County community.

Over bins of vegetables, we talked about ideas, possibilities and hopes for our children as we navigate a growing community that needs leadership for all citizens to thrive.

What I most appreciate about Casey is his willingness to listen and show empathy toward someone else’s struggle. That is really rare!

As someone who works with those who are experiencing addiction, abuse, homelessness or incarceration, I value smart, creative thinkers who can help the community problem-solve. We need our elected officials to welcome effective ways of dealing with mental illness, housing and support for our many organizations that a healthy community counts on to thrive.

When Casey sits at the table, he is striving to listen, bring people together and show the value of helping Yamhill County grow in a sustainable manner, together. This is why I am voting for Casey Kulla as Yamhill County commissioner.

Taaryl Taylor



Duplication of duties

How interesting that current Yamhill County Commissioner Stan Primozich touts himself as “the pollinator” in his self-proclaimed role as the county’s business liaison. Here I thought that county commissioners were pretty much supposed to pay attention to roads and land use as their primary job responsibilities. I did some research of the N-R archives, and saw he also led the no vote in denying a Health and Human Services employee an opportunity to take an education leave.

This from a former school board member? No wonder the retention rate is so low at Yamhill County. I see the county has added layers of administration, and recently re-branded the assistant county administrator position as a “business manager”position, with a mission to review contracts and build business relationships.

Hmmm. Do we really need that level of duplication of job duties? Or would that put Stan out of his self-appointed job? Just sayin’.

Annette Fernandez-Madrid



An analytical approach

Still undecided? This county won’t stop growing. We need people in county government who recognize and understand the potential impacts. Who better than Casey Kulla?

Born and bred in rural Oregon, he has an analytical mind that helped him earn a bachelor’s in biochemistry and master’s in forest ecology. He chose to become an organic farmer in Yamhill County, and has now farmed here for more than a decade.

He understands the impacts of climate change, including decreased water quality and quantity, along with increased fire risk. Mr. Kulla will be the voice of farming and forestry in land use decisions. What else?

Asked at a forum about “transparency and accountability,” he promised upon election to post his calendar each Friday so we could all see who he was meeting with. That’s refreshing.

He wants us to give input in setting goals. And he wants to expand the board to five in a manner that ensures all parts of the county are represented. How better to build trust and unify our county? He is passionately invested in Yamhill County’s future, for us as well as his young children. Join me in voting for Casey Kulla for Yamhill County commissioner.

Susan Karp




Rodrigo Lagunas - "Because I think our judges should be a reflection of our community."

And what evidence do you have that the other candidate(s) do not reflect the same?

"When I look at Yamhill County, I see families. I see businesses. I see quirky events and parades and festivals, like Turkey Rama, the UFO Fest, Brews & BBQs, Cruising McMinnville and more. For me, this is just as much a part of our culture than anything else, if not more."

And this has what to do with the price of tea in China?

"I think our courts should prioritize the issues of our families, businesses and everyday people just as much as they prioritize law enforcement. After all, crime represents only a fraction of what brings most people to court."

They already do and always have, based on STATUTORY LAW as it is written, not what you want it to be.

Experience counts where it matters.


Josh Rojas - there are just too many factual inaccuracies to mention let alone delve into this close to the final voting date. All I can say is, for what you lack in facts you make up in...well...I don't know.


Milo--maybe the same people ate twice as much.

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