Letters to the editor: May 10, 2019

A grateful patient

Having read a recent letter critical of the Willamette Valley Medical Center, I felt I should write about my own recent experience, which was caring, professional and humane.

In February, I suffered a blood pressure spike severe enough that my husband took me to the ER. I was scared, as that hadn’t happened before and I didn’t know what to expect.

Their person at intake rushed me through the process and I was whisked to an examining room — even before my husband got back from parking the car. I was then treated, comforted and tested by every known means.

A person with an X-ray machine, another with an EKG machine, and people with needles and clipboards, made the examining room a busy place. But everyone was calming and kind.

The doctor came in and took more information, also in a thoughtful, confortable and attentive manner. After conferring with the cardiologist, he suggested I stay overnight for observation.

The nurses cared for me as though I were their only patient. When my medication arrived, they pulled out the hose for the oxygen I use at night. After we decided what lights to leave on, and they showed me how to tilt the bed, I settled in.

The next morning, another EKG was performed, followed by a stress test. After breakfast, I was cleared to go home. I was instructed to make appointments with my primary care doctor, my cardiologist and the cardiac rehab unit.

During the next two days, the rehab unit called to set up an intake interview; the offices of my primary care doctor and cardiologist called to set up appointments; and the hospital called to ensure I was following instructions.

Thank you, Willamette Valley Medical Center staff. My husband and I are grateful we live in your neighborhood.

Lynda Corbin



People don’t choose poverty

The homeless crises in McMinnville will not abate until two things change — our attitude toward the homeless and the local job market. Here, I want to focus on  attitude based on a belief the homeless have chosen to live outside of civil society.

In Rambler 53, English poet, playwright and essayist Samuel Johnson wrote:

“There is scarcely among the evils of human life any so generally dreaded as poverty ... In the prospect of poverty, there is nothing but gloom and melancholy. The mind and body suffer together; its miseries bring no alleviations; it is a state in which every virtue is obscured and in which no conduct can avoid reproach; a state in which cheerfulness is insensibility, and dejection sullenness, of which the hardships are without honour, and the labours without reward.”

These remarks were born of Johnson’s experience of living under grinding poverty while trying to eke out a living as a Grub Street hack. And what was true of the poor in eighteenth century London is also true of the poor and homeless in twenty-first century McMinnville.

People do not choose to live in a state of melancholy or dread. They get pushed out of civil society by the attitudes we harbor against them, and by a labor market that does not afford them a living wage.

Until we change these two conditions, the homeless population will continue to grow in McMinnville.

Robert Mason



Kinder and gentler

While our whole world and everything on it is suffering due to lack of care, our government and its salivating followers are trying to figure out how to generate more money and more hate.

Our country has the resources and the ability to help solve problems, such as global warming, immigration and health care, but it appears the main concern is money, money, money — that and spite. We definitely need a kinder, gentler nation.

Janet De With



Made my day

Last week, I was on my way to Sherwood to see a friend. It was a beautiful day, so I decided to drive the scenic route, which takes me through McMinnville.

I stopped at the Safeway Starbucks for some coffee. What a surprise I had when a gentleman in the line ahead of me bought my coffee drink.

Random acts of kindness for this older lady made my day. Thank you, sir. And thank you, McMinnville, for cultivating such a person.

Delores Porch



Homeless Heights expanding

Apparently, it’s official.

The new subdivision located at Fourth and Adams streets must have obtained all needed building permits. I say this because the tenants in this beautiful addition to our fair city have started putting foundations under their condos.

Yes, sir. In an attempt to make these marvelous dwellings more energy-efficient, the residents are placing pallets under their black plastic-covered dome tents.

Another good sign of the building boom in McMinnville is the fact the original condo community has grown from four to six.

This addition to our beautiful community begs the question as to whether or not recalls need to be started on the mayor and all city councilors. This is just disgraceful!

Gary Beard



Make it plant-based

Mother’s Day, coming up May 12, celebrates the cherished bond between mother and child.

But mother cows, the very icons of motherhood, never get to see their own babies. Newborn calves are torn from their mothers at birth and turned into veal cutlets, so we can drink the milk meant for them. The grief-stricken mother cows bellow for days, calling in vain for their return.

Dairy cows spend their lives chained on concrete floors, with no access to the outdoors. Each year, they are impregnated artificially, to maintain production, and milked by machines twice a day. When production drops, around 4 years of age, they are ground into hamburger.

Dairy products are laden with cholesterol, saturated fats, hormones, pathogens and antibiotics, leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. And most African and Asian Americans lack the enzyme for digesting dairy products in the first place.

But help is on the way. Food manufacturers throughout the world are developing excellent nut and grain-based dairy products. U.S. sales alone are expected to exceed $2 billion.

This Mother’s Day, let’s honor motherhood and compassion. Let’s replace the products of cow misery with delicious, healthful, cruelty-free plant-based milk, cheese and ice cream products, all offered at our local supermarket.

Melvin Nysser



Respect our wetlands

My mother died in Washington in February 1996, and flooding prevented me from getting even as far as Dundee. The realization hit me of the price we were paying for filling in wetlands.

That finally led us to respect our wetlands. Or have we forgotten? Are we once again going to disrespect them?

Wetlands once covered 2.3 millions acres in Oregon. Over the years, nearly a million acres have been lost to agriculture and urban development. Haven’t we stolen enough of our wetlands?

I live in the hills in Sheridan, and I’ve learned nearly all of north Sheridan lies in wetland. When it’s wet, I see the shimmer on the land below.

Many years ago, people who either didn’t know or didn’t care built the highway connection from Sheridan and Willamina on wetlands. It was right by the Yamhill River and a pole-treating plant that later became a Superfund site. The dump is also on the river.

We don’t have examples of good behavior in government or individuals, either one. My heart cries for the disrespect for nature and life.

Someone wanted to put in a solar farm on wetlands near Sheridan, but the answer was no. Someone wanted to site an equestrian center on wetlands near Willamina, but the answer was no.

The city now seems determined to let a developer turn a flood-prone wetland into a subdivision. Living in the country, it seems, we can see better. We realize that nibbling off a piece of the cookie will eventually encourage people to feel it is all right to take the rest. I’d like to see the city remain a place to be proud of, not a place that allows building willy-nilly, using excuses to fudge or bend the rules.

Helen Bitar






Robert Mason: People don't "get pushed out of civil society by the attitudes" of others. Most of the people who end up on the margins of civil society have gotten there through a series of their own poor choices, whether it's drug abuse or poor planning for their own needs. Many of them have burned bridges with their families and friends through their own bad behavior, thereby severing whatever natural supports were available to them at one time.

People dig their own holes. It is not the attitudes of others that dig it for them.


Sponge - So very true. Actions have consequences.

Gary Beard - Got a chuckle out of that. Cannot believe that's being allowed.


Gary Beard 👍

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