Letters to the editor: June 7, 2019

News or opinion?

Tom Henderson’s Viewpoints article, “A threat to the free Flow of information,” was lengthy and convoluted.

I read the article three times to decipher its intent. If the intent was to blur the lines between news and opinion, then the article could have been more accurately distilled into the following:

“In a speech at Linfield College, Ginger McCall claimed that she was overworked as a U.S. Department of a Labor attorney. This situation occurred for two reasons. The Trump administration chose not to fill 40 percent of the high-ranking executive branch vacancies to save taxpayer money. The prolonged number of vacancies also was compounded by Senate Democrats’ slow-walking the approval process for political appointees. Ms. McCall loves her new job as Oregon’s state public records advocate.”

Instead, the staff reporter crafted his article into a criticism of the Trump administration that included the president’s out-of-context quote that brands the press  “the enemy of the people.” The president was referring only to the liberally biased and/or fake news media. Besides, the quote was an irrelevant lead-in for an article primarily focused on McCall’s speech.

The reporter’s conclusion that the federal government has become “increasingly hypothetical” makes no sense. Since the word “hypothetical” was not enclosed in quotation marks, I assume it was the reporter’s indecipherable interpretation of one of McCall’s remarks. Or, maybe the wrong word was used.

Ironically, if the liberally biased media did not make so many FOIA requests, there would not be a turnaround problem. However, in their endless fishing expeditions to find anti-Trump material, the media have overwhelmed the system.

Boo hoo!

Randy Johnson



Tap business for fair share

In response to the Viewpoints editorial of May 24 regarding the “massive K-12 package,” I must come to the defense of our Oregon schools and teachers. The editorial relayed too many false statements.

First, concerning Oregon schools allegedly suffering some of the nation’s lowest graduation rates:

Rob Saxton, past deputy superintendent of public instruction, said Oregon’s graduation rate actually falls more in the middle of our nation’s state rankings. He warned, “Definitions and requirements are not identical from state to state, so comparisons should be made with caution.”

Even the statement about Oregon’s length of school year is misleading. Washington, for example, includes activities toward instruction time in their calculation, whereas Oregon does not. And a recent report suggests, “Making students’ school experiences better, not longer, should take priority.”

Concerning the Public Employees Retirement System:

The editorial again calls PERS a “lavish and over-generous pension system.” Yet years ago, our state Legislature addressed the excessive amount going into this system. One only needs to do a bit of research to understand how much it has changed.

The editors say the state should first commit to “plug loopholes and stem abuses.” I would ask them, “What loopholes and what abuses?”

It is so important, when relaying information to the public, that complete and honest facts be given.

Why are teachers and unions always the bad guys? Why is PERS always equated only with our teachers?

And I will never understand why it is so wrong for Oregon businesses to contribute their fair share when they utilize our state services.

Liz Marlia-Stein



Time to dump Trump

It’s an old truism that a person’s letter to the editor of a newspaper also represents the voices of a thousand others too busy to write. Today, I am that person.

My message, shared with U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, is this: Impeach Donald Trump now!

In light of what Mr. Mueller said for all to hear, as head of the Department of Justice’s special investigation team, the president did collude with the Russians during the election of 2016. And now Putin’s Russia, the country who brought us the Chernobyl nuclear incident, is poised to foment war in Iran, in the hotbed of the Middle East.

That means we must act now. It will be too late in 2020. Besides, the next election stands to be compromised as well.

Already, 68% of the people he has hired in his first two years have left his administration. He has attempted every way possible to hide his income tax filings from the public and Congress. Why are we allowing this person to remain in office?

By one count, Trump has lied to the American people  more than 9,000 times since being elected. Do we need to hear more? But, of course, there is so much more.

He hired surgeon Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Carson does know REO’s from Oreos.

That’s frightening, but what’s more frightening is his excusing the killing and dismemberment of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi. And then there is the huge increase in hate-motivated crime and violence across the country, traceable to him.

Act now! Mr. Trump needs to go!

We’ll face far worse if we allow the bankruptcy king to continue residence in OUR White House.

L.J. Barnett



Don’t make free food a crutch

I see that 18% of Oregon’s children are considered in need of food. Who are they? And why?

I can understand hunger in some countries. But America?

When people say they need food, we give. We don’t ask why they are hungry, in order to address the root cause. We just push food to those who say they are hungry, no questions asked.

We need to think seriously about this. Nothing is accomplished over the long haul unless we work with those who have the needs.

A family of four living on one income of $12 an hour and paying $1,000 a month in rent would receive about $399 a month in SNAP benefits through the Oregon Trail Card program.

No one in that family should be going hungry, so its members should not be allowed to also make pickups at a food pantry. It’s a matter of budgeting the purchase of nutritious food and avoiding snacks. To supplement that, the WIC program offers free meals for children.

I am well aware of the price of food. I know I could provide a list of items that would provide a family of four with nutritious meals all month on $399.

Yes, as income goes up, the SNAP benefit goes down. But with careful budgeting, any family can get by.

Don’t forget that low-income families also receive Earned Income Tax Credit benefits at tax time. Most families receive $3,000 to $6,000.

Invest that in savings and draw out 1/12 every month. It will make living on a low income more workable.

Nothing is gained in the long term by simply giving away more and more free food.

Some feed their families on very little, so may need donated food on a limited basis. But as long as food is freely offered, many will neither budget effectively nor stick with nutritious fare.

Carolyn Sauers



We must all pull together

There is something called the tipping point. It’s where an issue stops being somebody else’s problem and becomes everyone’s problem, even the most reluctant and most distant from it.

Homelessness is an example. It is growing, is not going away. And it cannot be solved by shifting large numbers of people out of sight, whatever that may accomplish short term.

Its sheer scale demands that we as a community and state give up on cosmetics and politics and pay attention — that agencies, cities, counties and other parties recognize what started as a crisis for lots of unfortunate strangers has become a crisis for everyone, so everyone must own some part of if, even if only to protect his or her own self-interest.

The nature and scale, and certainly the solution, require resources beyond the local reach of even the largest communities. It seems, therefore, that along with short-term efforts, local governments should join forces with the state to create reqional facilities for the mentally ill and addicted, and explore ways to cooperatively assist the homeless and jobless.

It doesn’t matter if you or I created the problem, are part of the problem, or are spectators to the problem. We have a problem and it will require all of us it solve it.

Darrell King



No action from city

I have a parking problem where I live. Cars park too close to the exit, so I can’t see oncoming traffic when I am trying to pull out on to the street.

I contacted the McMinnville Public Works Department. In a callback, I was told city engineers had approved moving the no parking sign back somewhat, but no action has been taken on it and things have not gotten any better.

What is the problem? I’m tired of waiting.

What does it take? No wonder people think government sucks.

Michael Cornell



Don Dix

Liz Marlia-Stein again attempts to defend Oregon's teachers and their compensation package -- 'attempts', but hardly successful.

Oregon pays it's teachers the 8th highest salary nation-wide (not including benefits). And Oregon's graduation rate is the 3rd lowest in the nation. These numbers prove conclusively higher pay does not result in better grad rates. The total yearly compensation in District 40 is approaching $100K. In Oregon, tying the grad rate to pay scale would reduce salaries, yet all that is heard is 'teachers need more pay'! Not with present results!

PERS? The legislature 'has tried' to tweak the system, knowing all along the courts would strike down changes (which the courts have done) -- such as the guaranteed 8% yearly growth, money match, and requiring members to contribute to accounts. The system has always been protected, mainly because the legislature and the courts are also 'recipients of PERS' (and financially backed by all entities PERS), which effectively shelters the status quo.

A 'complete and honest' report to the public would have included these facts, but glaringly, that wasn't the purpose of this condescending letter in the first place.


Carolyn Sauers - Seriously? If corporations like Walmart paid a living wage instead of a starvation wage these people you resent so much could afford to buy their own food. Why don't you call or write Walmart and other corporations like them and ask why they rake in huge profits while we the taxpayer subsidize their employees with food stamps and other welfare programs? How much less would it cost us taxpayers if corporations pulled their own weight instead of mooching off of us?

Don Dix

L.J. Barnett -- Apparently you are referring to the 'Steele Dossier' (where all this started). Mueller's report pointed out much of the dossier claims were unsubstantiated, but the Ds have formed a mythology around it because of their hate for Trump.

What Mr. Barnett is ignoring is thus: The Russians did try and ultimately were successful at disrupting the American political process to make it more divisive. The Russians wanted us at each other's throats, and they got it.

And all of this commotion has occurred simply because Hillary lost to a Washington outsider. Don't forget the Ds 'fixed' their primary to guarantee Hillary would be the candidate. How about the Clinton Foundation? -- who benefitted and where is the foundation and it's money now? What about Bill Clinton's 'chance meeting' with AG Loretta Lynch at a Phoenix tarmac just previous to Hillary testifying before Congress? Don't those explanations matter at all?

I find it quite amusing when one political party falls all over itself trying to smear the other, while it's own inter-workings should be subject to considerable national scrutiny as well (an adequate reason to not belong to either.) One might think government is doing the work of the people, but, lately, it's only about a never-ending assortment of 'gothcas'!


The Russians did try and disrupt our political process.....and what actions have the current administration taken ( besides denial) to make sure it doesn’t happen again?...

Seems to me that the biggest issue for Americans in the next election is the Russians....none of the Clintons hold office...


LJ Barnett. For what crimes should he be impeached? Being mean to the press? Calling Nancy Palozy crazy? She is by the way. Maybe it’s his brash attitude, maybe it’s his in your face posture, maybe it his hair, maybe it’s just ‘orange man bad’!

Four investigations, FBI, congressional, senate and special counsel. All cleared him of any wrongdoing, period! No matter what Mueller said in his press conference to the dems, hint-hint, wink-wink. He had nothing. All of his charges were process crimes or crimes from years before they ever worked for the President.

It’s just like democrats with elections, keep recounting until you get the results you want. Well, the dems have had four goes at investigations and still nothing. Now let’s just impeach him and throw him in jail for nothing before the dems lose another election.

Ridiculous. Get another dream, that dream is over!


No one who has read the Mueller report could continue to believe the Big Lie that Individual 1 has been “cleared of any wrongdoing.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Obstruction of justice is what sealed Nixon’s fate, sooner or later it will seal this criminal’s fate too.

Don Dix

tagup -- Exactly who knows what security measures have been implemented to stop future foreign interference in US elections? -- not the average Joe, for sure. However, didn't the Russian interference in the 2016 elections occur under the sphere of the previous administration?


Don Dix - "tagup -- Exactly who knows what security measures have been implemented to stop future foreign interference in US elections?"

There are a number of election security proposals by Democrats and Republicans that have been put forward, but Republican Mitch McConnell will not bring any forward. The Secure Elections Act is bipartisan and provides funding for states to revamp and secure their elections. Lawmakers are trying to fix this but the White House and McConnell are refusing to find a solution. Why? Maybe because it helps their chances of winning?


For obstruction of justice to occur there has to be a crime to obstruct against. Nixon had crimes. What are Trumps? Mueller was prosecuting people for jay walking if it led to the President. He found nothing on Trump or he would not have slithered away with his mouth shut and nothing more to say.


Apparently some folks are unaware that Mr. Mueller is a life-long Republican, a decorated war hero, a true patriot, and a man of impeccable honor. It was evident from his thorough and meticulously documented report that in the course of his investigation he found MUCH to alarm him, much that should alarm the nation. And I predict we have NOT heard the last from him. The reference to “slithering away” is repulsive. He is a consummate professional who completed a thankless task (under constant attacks on his integrity from the Bully-in-Chief) which was then undermined by the lapdog Barr who immorally mischaracterized and lied about the findings. The prosecutions in the report were akin to “jay-walking?” Seriously? I wonder who proposed THAT absurd line of wishful thinking? Might be a good - and patriotic - idea to actually read the report. As is most often the case, the truth is quite different from the propaganda.

I remain astonished at the tolerance level of those who continue to support and defend someone who feeds malicious lies to us daily, shames us on the world stage, is enriching himself at OUR expense, who seems hell-bent on destroying our economy, our environment, and recklessly courting war on a regular basis. Oh yeah, and then there is that love affair he so proudly crows about with the murderous dictator in North Korea. A perfect union spawned in hell. What is it going to take before some of my fellow citizens have had enough? If there is no spine for impeachment, I suspect the answer to that question will be a monumental disaster as opposed to the rolling destruction and degradation we must endure every day.

May God bless and protect America.


I think somebody needs their medication.


Oh snap “Finch”………who in the world could you be referencing? If it is me AGAIN, may I respectfully suggest that when you can’t argue the facts, snark is not really an adequate substitute. (Have to admit you provided a moment of amusement though.)


Treefarmer - it doesn't matter how I present the facts to you since you are laser focused on your hatred of this president. Barr and Durham are plenty busy and when the "truth" finally comes out I hope some of these haters will have the decency to finally put a lot of this blame squarly where it has belonged for a very long time.


Did I miss the “facts” you presented?


Well, if anyone is interested in “alternative” facts (i.e. lies and propaganda) one can always suspend common sense and tune into Fox for the Hannity “Hour of Deceit and Delusion” Show.

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