Letters to the editor: May 3, 2019

Save our wetlands

It was frustrating to read about the debate going on over the proposed developments along Baker Creek. I remember opposing all that w-a-a-a-y back, years ago, when it was a Jones development.

The city used to put it to a vote. Now, evidently, it just forges ahead to see how many houses it can approve.

Before relying on the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, city officials might want to review recent news. Look at the flooding this past winter and spring on the Missouri River.

The Corps channeled that river, which increased its velocity. The resulting mass of water moving downstream produced destruction that’s still going on.

There’s a reason for wetlands and floodplains. They spread and absorb heavy rainfall when it happens, and not necessarily by the calendar.

Those who mentioned traffic are probably the folks that wait in long lines through multiple signals to get into town.

I wish the officials who make these decisions would quit trying to make McMinnville a bedroom community for Salem and Portland. Most of use moved here for the country atmosphere that you’re rapidly destroying.

Eleanor Fuhrer



Disenfranchised in McMinnville

Attending the April 18 McMinnville Planning Commission meeting was an exasperating experience.

I was part of a group of 100 citizens who wished to express displeasure with parts of a proposal for residential development along Baker Creek. The 6:30 p.m. meeting lasted until 10:30.

Our group was provided 30 minutes to state our disagreement at the end of the four-hour meeting. We felt poorly served by the process and left frustrated.

Any governmental body must remember that it gains its legitimacy from the consent of the governed. It draws that consent from the public by affording citizens their guaranteed First Amendment rights to equal time to state their case on an issue.

Those of us who came to the meeting to have our say regarding the development felt strongly that the meeting was structured in such as way as to disenfranchise us. The experience left us with a feeling of powerlessness.

Planning commissioners need to understand that their meetings are not designed to serve them, but instead to serve the public. If commissioners wish to regain a measure of legitimacy, they must provide equal time for testimony and be willing to interact with the citizens they have been elected to serve.

Our system of democracy requires nothing less.

Jim Norby



Perfect for the job

A friend of mine sent us this on Facebook, and I felt it should be shared:

I voted for Trump in 2016.I didn’t vote for Trump’s personal life.

I voted for a guy who hates the poison of politics as much as most of us.

I voted for a guy who wouldn’t take any crap and would get things done.

I voted for a guy who loves America as much as I do.

I voted for an imperfect guy who was perfect for the job, and I’ll do it again in 2020.

Make America Great Again.

Rich Roberts



Just say no to needles

How many potholes could $50,000 fill? Call me a cold-hearted hard-ass all you want, but one filled pothole on a county road is worth way more than any scum-sucking, welfare-abusing, thieving, useless, drug-abusing drain on society.

Yep, there I said it! Now others can feel free to follow and agree.

It may not be politically correct, but it’s exactly what the majority of people I know think. They are just too afraid to say it publicly. Maybe now they will feel free to express their true feelings without too much retribution.

I, for one of many, am opposed to the use of my tax dollars to support a needle-exchange program.

Duh! What a stupid idea. Just look at what the practice of a liberal, bleeding-heart “compassionate” philosophy has already wrought in the city of McMinnville.

Although I’m not a practicing Christian, I still ask myself, “What would Jesus do? I’m gonna venture a rational response here and assume He would say something like, “Hey, you low-life. Try being a contributing member of society!”

If Silas Halloran-Steiner is so convinced of the virtues of a drug paraphernalia and addiction assistance program, he should have no problem administering it from his own front door. Anything less is proof of cowardice, ignorance, membership in the Democrat party or all of the above.

Now, a word to our county elected officials.

I have already sought legal advice, and have garnered enough financial support to mount legal challenges that will cost the county far more than the estimated price of such a stupid idea. The ball is in your court.

Dale Lux



Problems with the hospital

Several of the letters in the April 23 Viewpoints impressed me.

One was headlined “Tactics of Tail-Gunner Joe,” which was a good review of anti-socialism. I have nothing to add to it.

Another was headlined “Restore local control,” about new policies at the Willamette Valley Medical Center. I offer some points:

1) Reduced number of beds. My now partner was recently in the hospital, and it took the staff five hours to find her a bed.

2) Staff morale. I don’t know about that one way or the other.

3) Infection risk. In 2000, my wife of 46 years got non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Every time we took her to the hospital, she had to be transported to Salem Hospital in a day or so because she got staph infections. She died in hospice care in 2002.

4) Missed diagnosis. In November 2018, I began to have sharp pains in my left side. For the second time in my life, I was talked into going to the emergency room at this hospital. They gave me many tests, including X-rays, scans and an EKG, but couldn’t figure out what was causing the pain, which was migrating.

A day later, my partner figured it out because she spied a row of pox marks on my back and side, all on the left. Obviously, I had one of the oldest known ailments — shingles.

With shingles, it’s important to get early treatment. But I couldn’t see my own doctor for two days, or even a substitute, because it was a weekend.

The hospital staff tried but failed to diagnose this ancient disease, which is common in people my age (83). If they had, I could have gotten the recommended early treatment.

As for going back to what the hospital used to be, I don’t think so. But going back to nonprofit would be good.

Ralph J. Turner



Keep our volunteers safe

Created with the merger of our rural and urban firefighting forces in 1988, the Yamhill Fire Protection District has gone through many changes. The core ingredient to making it work are the volunteers.

At present, we have one paid chief and 32 volunteers. The chief is an essential part of keeping things organized. He also responds to fire and rescue calls himself. After the chief, the rest of the work falls to the volunteers — men and women of all ages and corners of our community. New volunteers have to put in 88 hours of training in firefighting and basic first aid before being allowed to respond, and about 100 hours a year after that to keep certified.

In 2018, Yamhill volunteers spent 3,693 hours in training and 4,191 hours responding to fire and rescue calls. You may ask about compensation. On average, they get one paycheck per year for approximately $300. The volunteers give up personal and family time to put on a pager and respond to the district fire and rescue calls. They are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays.

As a volunteer firefighter and fire district board member for the last 43 years, I urge voters to look hard at what the district is asking for in May 21 balloting. It is designed to keep our volunteers safe, which is our most important job. Yamhill Fire has a website and Facebook page helping provide information. You are also welcome to stop by the fire hall during daytime hours.

These are the first responders when you call 911 for help. I believe they deserve your support.

Vote YES on Measure 36-200.

Jim & Cathy Phillips



Fluke important to Dayton

To my chagrin, I’ve learned the performance and integrity of Dayton High Principal Jamie Fluke have been called into question, and she has been pressured to resign.

I worked alongside her for many years. Last week, I returned as a substitute and felt I was coming home.

This atmosphere of warm inclusiveness did not happen by chance. It reflects the skill of a highly principled person making decisions with intelligence, precision, compassion and discernment. Her frontline leadership has brought the community together, to the benefit of the students.

When many of us attended public schools in the ‘70s, as young migrant students, we faced crushing racist attitudes. It was rare to encounter a teacher who embraced young members of the Hispanic community as legitimate inheritors of the American Dream, as Ms. Fluke does. She is a humanitarian who has successfully endeavored to bring together a multicultural community.

Her efforts have resulted in Hispanic children gaining access to privileges and opportunities normally reserved for Anglo students. She has made Dayton High a place where Hispanic students can feel at ease, regardless of their ethnic or socioeconomic status, thus concentrate on becoming truly educated.

If Ms. Fluke has achieved so much during her tenure, why would anyone create the upheaval and divisiveness going on now? It can only come from the myopic judgment of a few people, who refuse to acknowledge the harmonious functionality at the junior high and high school were spawned by Jamie Fluke and those sharing her goals of equity and excellence in education.

The stakeholders have not taken into consideration the remarkable strides made in ethnic equality and assimilation on her watch, or weighed the potentially irreparable harm of her removal. As a representative of the Hispanic community, I unequivocally endorse Ms. Fluke as an outstanding educator.

Petra Mendoza



Going unheard in Salem

I was present for the legislative hearings held April 10-11 on the tobacco tax measure, HB 2270.

I was signed up to provide testimony, but wasn’t picked on the 10th, so had to come back the 11th. I thought for sure I’d get to speak, but never did.

The chairwoman reduced the time allowance from three minutes to two. At the end, she thanked us all for coming, making it seem everyone had been heard.

It seemed everyone who was heard either owned a business or held a healthcare job. I had to listen to people recite statistics and percentages; proclaim ownership of a vape business after watching their parents die of smoking; and insist they would have to lay off employees or even go out of business if new taxes were imposed. It was all about greed and self-centered issues.

You call it a public hearing. Well, I am the public, so I’m asking you to please read my testimony:

My dad, who lived in Oregon, died of lung cancer on Oct. 2, 2018, after being diagnosed in mid-July. He smoked all his life, from age 14, but if he’d known what it would do to him, maybe he would never have started.

If cigarettes and other tobacco products had become more expensive, maybe he would have quit. Raising the tax high enough will hopefully make people second-guess purchase of tobacco products, allowing dads to be around longer.

My dad’s lung cancer was a direct result of his smoking. Cigarettes killed my dad.

Raise the taxes so high no one can afford them. I don’t care if that drives tobacco companies out of business.

Approving the tobacco tax proposed in HB 2270 would give other children more time with their dads. It’s crucial for saving lives.

I beg you, please pass the tobacco tax!

Margaret Kallunki



Cap PERS for the elites

In response to Mr. Peralta‘s Viewpoints cover piece on PERS, and the comments that followed online:

Let us remember that teachers were promised PERS in lieu of pay raises many years ago. I am sorry, but the bill has come due.

If we want to reform PERS, we only need to take it away from the elite by capping their benefits. I am referring to politicians, professors, doctors on the hill and coaches and athletic directors at state universities.

This will not be solved by placing it on the heads of those on the low point of the totem pole — police officers, teachers and firefighters. Just common sense here in my two cents worth.

Gerry Sullivan



Better oversight needed

I was a private agency caregiver for two years. I began professional caregiving without any experience, got little training on tasks like skin care or administering bed baths, and was never trained to provide the specialized care my clients needed.

For example, with a hospice patient, I was not trained to do occupied bed changes, yet was required to do them.

Another caregiver and I attempted this and had the patient standing beside the bed when the client care coordinator arrived and intervened. We had no idea it was dangerous for a hospice patient to be put in that situation.

No serious consideration was ever given to prioritizing client well-being over expediency, or to matching caregivers with clients.

The agency often said, “Just send anyone who’s available.” It didn’t matter if a female client was uncomfortable with a male caregiver, or if female caregivers repeatedly faced unwanted touching by male clients.

The agencies we entrust to care for vulnerable people need to be held to higher standards of care, with vigorous oversight and enforcement mechanisms. To accomplish that, I urge Rep. Ron Noble to join me in supporting Senate Bill 669.

Erik Leggett




Mr. Roberts – interesting perspective on the person you supported in the last election and declare you will support again. I assume you believe what you re-posted from Facebook? So you didn’t vote for the “personal life?” That’s understandable. Hard to defend his long immoral reprehensible history. (serial sexual assault, multiple marriage infidelities, cheating his business associates, etc.) If he truly hates the “poison of politics” one wonders why he has taken corruption to a new and toxic level by surrounding himself with criminals and filling government posts with sycophants and incompetents. He has transformed the “swamp” he ranted about into a stinking sewer. Doesn’t take any “crap?” Does that mean the bullying and the vile commentary and the complete failure to observe any pretense of dignity or decorum or decency can be somehow be considered a “positive?” Do folks genuinely believe this wanna-be authoritarian loves America? It appears he could not possibly care less about America. He has proven time and time again that he cares only about himself. He has been systematically lying to us, attempting to destroy our faith in the rule of law, the first amendment, and worst of all - the truth. (“Who ya gonna believe, ME or your lying eyes?”) He has diminished our standing in the world, dangerously compromised our national security, and worked tirelessly to turn our citizens against each other to strengthen and energize his base. Are these the qualities of a real leader? Is this the way we deserve to be governed? I assume that his supporters are patriots. This treacherous man is not worthy to lick (let’s say “spit”) off a patriot’s boots.

“Imperfect?” Could that be a euphemism for a perfect catastrophe? Make America Great Again? Not until we can get the dangerous divisive narcissist out of power. Until then we can but speak out, vote - and pray.


Mr treefarmer. Nice sanctimonious dig, anybody who retweet’s a political meme about President Trump must be too illiterate to spell the original post. Is that what you meant? Or not educated enough to think about someone else’s comments before agreeing and passing them along? I’m glad these comments are anonymous so that when you smell a Trump supporter at the Walmart you won’t know its me. After careful consideration I do agree with Mr Roberts. You see, I have finally aligned some of my political attitudes with the democrat party. I don’t care if President Trump cheated on his previous wives and has been divorced multiple times. I learned that from the Clintons, I remember being told that it was a personal matter between him and his family and character has nothing to do with his ability to lead, I finally agree. And sexual assault, well need we say more than the Clintons? I’ll disagree with the sycophants and criminals comments. Please list a few outside of spy gate. As far as draining the swamp just wait until the real indictments drop regarding the spy gate scandal, it’s just about to get good. He has also all but replaced the cronies in leadership positions at the State department and the 3 letter agencies and has appointed more conservative judges and at a pace that will change this country for the better, you might say ‘fundamentally changed’, into the next generation. I could go on and on but I’m almost out of characters. The point is, I don’t care if he offends you. He won and the witch lost, thank God. I don’t care if he offends the liberal elite journalists, they need to be offended. Truth is they do a poor job. I care about a permanent underclass pouring through our boarders by the millions, without boarders we have no nation. Call me a racist if you want, I don’t care. I care about unborn babies, abortion is murder. Like I said I could go on and on. I hope I didn’t offend you, if I did, I don’t care.


Hello Bigfoot – that’s quite the response. I recognize your talking points for what they are, and the “pretzel” logic used by many to justify the destructive words and deeds of your guy. If you can’t see what is happening to our democracy, if the lies and illegal conduct and erratic behavior don’t bother you, if you aren’t concerned about the perilous state of our national security, I guess that must be a comfort? Lucky you. (Do yourself a big favor and do not read the Mueller report.)

Will you be disappointed to know that your insults missed the mark? They actually just reflect back on your anonymous self, and are perfectly in line with the bellicose tone set by the great divider in the White House.

p.s. You may want to rethink calling someone out on their spelling.

Don Dix

I wasn't aware that ANY federal politicians were perfect and completely honest and above board. If so, who are they?

Bill B

Same old same old treefarmer. You need some new material. Stick to what you know; I presume that would be trees.

Say what you will, but the president has made a difference in my opinion. Would I have done it the same way; no, but that's what's great about this country. And to you really think Barry and Bill made a difference?



Good lord.

Take your rambling nonsense somewhere else.


Hey TF. I am perfectly fine with your view of the Trump Presidency. Hells bells, if I made it through 8 years of Obama and the night terrors thinking that witch would get elected than you can certainly put up with 8 years of President Trump.
All sarcasm aside. Is trying to control our southern border ruining our country? Is trying to negotiate with NK destroying our national security? Is our democracy being threatened? How? Are you still referencing the first amendment? What about the second amendment? Is that one important to you? Unbridled illegal immigration threatens all that you described. I could be wrong but I have a pretty good idea which side of the border fence you fall on that one.

I assume you have read the mueller report. I’m personally waiting for the Lifetime Network mini series based on the original work. Starring Alec Baldwin as a guy who can’t act and Monica Lewinski as lisa page. Maybe Tanya Harding can play Storm Cloud the stripper.

I am waiting with baited breath for the follow up book. Spygate, starring Comey, Brennon and Clapper as the 3 stooges and Barry Obama as Dr Evil. Grab your popcorn and enjoy the show.

Pace yourself, if you are sick of President Trump now wait until the real indictments hit the fan. Snow flakes will be melting all over the country.


Loved the letter Mr. Roberts and then every response since (excluding treefarmer) made my night. Great responses. Bigfootlives -- awesome! I can't wait either.


Is it really asking too much to elect a dignified president? One with integrity? One who can't thumb through his old marriage licenses like a deck of cards? One who isn't fixated on Eurotrash? One who doesn't admire how North Korea's maniac Kim Jong-un can instantly make his people sit up and shut up? Or else they'll be doggy dinners? Trump is a racist, sexist, narcissistic misogynist, who happens to share the exact crackpot philosophy as his biggest fans relaxing in their Lay-Z-boys turned on by Fox News. How about Make America Good Again?


Hello critics: I note that you don’t like my commentary…..how awful for you. May I offer a simple solution (as suggested previously) that might insulate your delicate sensibilities? STOP READING MY POSTS. Problem solved. (I assume you won’t mind that I continue reading your opinions and trying to understand them?)

In case you are still reading, here is a pertinent indisputable fact: Nixon didn’t think the law applied to him either……until it did. Lots of folks supported and defended Tricky Dick before they finally realized the ugly truth he had worked so hard to keep hidden. In that dark chapter of our history we came together not as ‘D’s or ‘R’s, but as Americans. Evicting a criminal from our White House should not be a partisan issue. We are all bearing the consequences equally.


Dale Lux

Thank you! Couldn't have said it better myself 👍


Jim Norby

Our Commissioners only answer questions when they run for office. Attend a meeting and you can speak but... you can't ask questions?

We need someone to arrange a town hall and they need to be publically available for questions


I like the idea of a town hall meeting with the commissioners--provided they show up.

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