Letters to the editor: March 22, 2019

Expand county commission

I’m pleased to see Commissioner Casey Kulla is holding meetings around the county focusing on a five-member board of commissioners.

When I first moved to McMinnville in 2005 from my hometown of Juneau, I was amazed that a county this size, with a complex mix of urban and rural concerns, had only three commissioners. The commission serving the city and borough of Juneau, population about 35,000, has nine members.

The Juneau commissioners represent a cross section of urban, rural, Native, business and private sector residents. This allows for lively discussion about issues affecting the area and ensures decisions are made with all points of view considered.

With only three members, our board in Yamhill County has the potential to be one-sided. And if one commissioner is absent, a vote is taken with only two members.

I have seen this lead to decisions made with virtually no discussion, which is not good for representative government. We must have at least five members making these vital decisions.

I hope to see at least two more members added in the near future. It’s about time.

Phyllice Bradner



Supportive local paper

Thursday and Friday, March 7 and 8, were busy days at the corner of First and Cowls streets in McMinnville. Those were the days of the 83rd annual rummage sale sponsored by the Presbyterian Women of the First Presbyterian Church.

Much credit for that lively response goes to the News-Register story and photos, published in the paper on Tuesday, March 5. The story was headlined, “Running the show, McMinnville woman steps into lead role to preserve beloved rummage sale.”

Feature writer Starla Pointer did a remarkable job capturing the personality of Donna Reynolds, who, at age 89, tirelessly led the large crew of rummage sale volunteers. Thanks also go to News-Register photographer, Marcus Larson, for his fine photos.

As a result of the sale, more than $7,500 was raised for the mission work of Presbyterian Woman, both local and national, and unsold sale items were donated to Homeward Bound, City Outreach, Backpacks and Good Will. The success of the sale, a longstanding McMinnville tradition, is a testimonial to dedicated volunteers, a caring community and a supportive local paper.

Dianne Barske



Vessely will be missed

I am sorry to hear that the Willamette Valley Medical Center is not retaining Dr. Michael Vessely. I’m so disappointed over this decision.

I would like to know how you thought this was a good idea. I thought you were trying to make the hospital a better place for the community.

Dr. Vessely is one of the best knee and hip surgeons you will ever find. Shame on you.

I hope he will open his own facility and you will feel the loss.

Connie Bobb



Giving up meat

Spring brings renewed enthusiasm for all sorts of endeavors. It offers a superb second chance for actualizing those New Year’s resolutions favoring more exercise and healthier eating.

The shift toward healthy foods is omnipresent.

Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell and Wendy’s all offer plant-based options. Vegan recipes are part of most food websites, and Global Meat News reports nearly half its consumers are reducing their meat intake.

The financial community is taking note of innovative plant-based start-ups, like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. According to Gallup, plant-based food sales grew 8.1 percent in 2017 and exceeded $3.1 billion last year.

Britain’s The Economist declared 2019 the “Year of the Vegan.” Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has linked processed meat consumption with elevated cancer risk.

U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend reduced meat consumption. The media keep exposing factory farm atrocities. And animal agriculture is a chief culprit in climate change.

We can celebrate spring by checking out the rich collection of plant-based food options in our local supermarkets. An internet search on vegan foods offers an unending variety of recipes.

Melvin Nysser



Protect choice in vaccination

We are told that vaccines are safe and effective. But the unvaccinated are actually more at risk, as the vaccinated carry the live virus asymptomatically in their bodies and can spread it.

You can get the disease from the vaccines. Outbreaks can occur in 100 percent vaccinated areas, as herd immunity only applies to unvaccinated populations.

It’s also false to claim vaccines are a means of protection against the immune-compromised. They are even at risk from simple respiratory infections.

Since vaccines haven’t fully proven effective against disease, do we risk harming our children and the immune-compromised with the dangerous side effects warned on the vaccine inserts? Currently, even though we are the most vaccinated population in the world, we have the unhealthiest children.

Most adults aren’t updated on the 72-dose vaccination schedule. Are they considered a threat, the same way “anti-vaxxers” are?

The mainstream media incite fear with words like epidemic, dangerous and deadly. The inaccurate fear of catching a disease, or that it’s become epidemic, deadly or dangerous, reflects ignorance about diseases, vaccines and the immune system.

We ought to know what we are choosing. Otherwise, we’re placing full trust in mainstream health professionals, many of whom are funded and trained by pharmaceutical companies.

Unfortunately, most people are inadequately informed. Thus, many adults and parents are ill-equipped to make a truly informed decision, much less to impose political demands on fellow citizens.

The reality is, not all health professionals agree on the efficacy and safety of vaccines, so this issue cannot be decided with absolute law on either side. 

This should not be a state issue anyway.

What’s to stop the state, given such power, from forcing other procedures of its choice? This choice should forever remain a freedom.

Sources were supplied to the editor.

Jaime & Hannah O’Halloran



Land supply adequate

It’s the same old thing: “Just give us more land if you want lower-cost housing.”

That’s the excuse the growth industry is using as a reason to expand or tear down the urban growth boundary. It’s always,  “More land will reduce homebuilding costs and provide for low-cost housing.”

The Urban Growth Boundary, established in SB 100, originated during the Tom McCall era. It was implemented to ensure planning for livability and protection of farms was part of the future of Oregon.

It paved the way for the Beach Bill and public use of various rivers. And Oregon citizens have benefited immensely from those efforts.

The Legislature amended the UGB element, at the request of Oregon builders, so there would always be a 20-year supply of land for residential development.

Cities now must continually expand to satisfy state laws. That will require expansion of the cities until they run hard up against each other, as in the Portland area quagmire. But no expansion of the UGB has been enough to satisfy the growth industry’s penchant for land grabs.

The argument, “More land will reduce building costs,” fails when you drive around town and examine the actual homes that have been built. Apparently, the growth industry prefers building more expensive homes. Could it be that there is more profit in building more costly homes?

Whatever the cost of homes, citizens must ensure the cities and state use due diligence when planning for the future. They must prioritize how to provide food and water to sustain the population of those homes.

John. W. Englebrecht



Don Dix

John. W. Englebrecht -- you have been involved with the 'no-growth industry' (friends of Yamhill County) for 25 years. And every proposal put forth by McMinnville's UGB was disputed. Appeal after appeal comes with a cost, so possibly you could relate the number of appeals that were forwarded by your group against Mac's UGB proposals (we all burden the costs).

And after all this time, studying every aspect of growth, and seeing land prices rise as the buildable land inventory shrinks, you fail to acknowledge the simplest factor of pricing -- supply and demand. It effects every cost scenario in daily living, from gas prices to groceries.

That you (and others) were completely immersed in opposing any UGB expansion since the mid 90's, says volumes about your concerns today (not in a good way). The 'constant chirping' in the letters to the editor completely ignored everything but the desire to limit buildable land within the city limits (just as this letter).

The collateral damage (high cost of land) has a distinct and direct relationship with supply and demand. Deflection to the 'same old' argument changes nothing, but the rising price of land. Own it!


You know the old saying "It ain't what you got, it's how you use it." To me that saying can apply to land use. The developers out west side are building massive single houses with 3 foot and 5 foot side yard. Seems with that kind of clutter and packing doesn't use what they got for developing moderate priced houses.


Phyllice Bradner wants "to see at least two more [commissioners] added in the near future." Not gonna happen without a county-wide vote in favor of a home rule charter. That process takes at least two years from the appointment of a home rule charter committee. The board can appoint one, or the citizens can initiate one. The last time this was on the ballot, in 1998, the proposal failed (as it had the previous two times). But, good luck next time.

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