Letters to the editor: Aug. 9, 2019

Ensuring equal treatment

Open letter to the Yamhill County commissioners:

I am writing to urge you to approve the diversity and equity training being requested for the county’s Health and Human Services employees. I am unable to be present, but would be happy to clarify any of my concerns.

It’s astounding to me that any leader tasked with making decisions about the collective whole would see opportunities to learn about ways our society has historically oppressed, discriminated against, marginalized and mistreated individuals — based on race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and/or disability — as “overtly political,” “incendiary” and “offensive.”

What is overtly political and offensive is having an elected official take nearly verbatim, without providing due credit, her illogical arguments from such a dubious online source — Dennis Prager of PragerU, credited with linking “conservative media consumers to the dark corners of the extreme right.”

Schools, agencies and corporations all see the value in training designed to increase sensitivity to how historic oppression shapes treatment of colleagues, students, patients and customers in ways that may cause economic and psychological harm.

When the impetus comes from individuals who have directly confronted racism, sexism and/or prejudice from a co-worker or supervisor, those in a position of power should react quickly. And it sounds as if that’s what HHS Director Silas Halloran-Steiner is trying to do.

Frankly, if Commissioners Mary Starrett and Rick Olson were employees raising concerns the way they have, their boss would likely make diversity training a condition of their continued employment.

As elected officials, commissioners, you have to answer to the citizens you were chosen to serve. I strongly suggest that not only is the responsible action to listen to the professionals reporting to you, and approve the training, but also to consider personally participating in that training with an open mind. 

Tanya Tompkins



Supporting care for all

I thanked the editors on their editorial related to the lack of oversight in the senior care industry. Now it’s time for me to thank the president and publisher of the News-Register, Jeb Bladine.

He captured the plight of small businesses, the backbone of this state’s economy. They would love to offer health care to their employees, but find costs are usually too high.

If this country had a single payer, neither employers nor employees would worry about health care. We would all be in; no one would be left out.

Why is this important? A lot of reasons.

It’s all about disposable income — the money left after you feed, clothe and house yourself. That’s the money you have to buy things, thus fuel the local economy.

I think the single-payer health care system is a win-win, so I’m in. Please join me and others in the quest for a system with everyone in and no one out.

Mike Sullivan



The Maltese professor

Seeing how so few people in the mainstream news media care about the Trump campaign being spied on during the election of 2016, I have re-set how I think about Watergate and former president Richard Nixon.

No one seems to care that the Democratic party used CIA, FBI, State Department and NSA assets to spy on the other party’s campaign, using human intelligence sources, sophisticated electronic eavesdropping and FISA foreign intelligence warrants, with their own candidate’s opposition research forming the basis.

It now appears that the shenanigans started all the way back in March 2016 with Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud. Comparatively, attempting to use a bug and tape recorder to spy on the DNC was utter buffoonery, a complete nothing-burger.

I guess Lynyrd Skynyrd in the “Sweet Home Alabama” song was right. Watergate shouldn’t bother me.

Robert Wilson



Victory inspires

Congratulations to the McMinnville Futures baseball team.

State champs! What an accomplishment!

It’s unfortunate the News-Register only had photos of the semifinal game. It would have been great to see photos of McGwire Coad getting his hit, Spencer Seehawer pitching and Tyler Thorkildson’s walk-off winning hit.

Congratulations to the entire team. You are all champs.

Bill Moore




Don Dix

Tanya Thompkins wrote -- 'When the impetus comes from individuals who have directly confronted racism, sexism and/or prejudice from a co-worker or supervisor, those in a position of power should react quickly.'

Absolutely react quickly -- with discipline, probation, or termination.

Doesn't it seem that HHS Director Silas Halloran-Steiner's recommendation of diversity training circumvents the duties of the position of director?

Racism, sexism, and prejudice within any workplace need an approach that stops such activity abruptly, not some cuddly, feel-good program that guarantees nothing. Common sense might reveal some in society are simply not capable of positive, stable interaction in particular arenas. Deal with the individual(s) one on one, and stop rationalizing for a department-wide solution.


I was very encouraged to read this week’s letter from Ms. Tompkins. There is some highly inflammatory, ill-informed, and/or ignorant commentary posted on this topic elsewhere on the N/R forums. How ironic that those “voices” seem to have no awareness or concern that they are playing a major role in the current malevolent trend in our discourse. Anonymity may cloak one’s identity, but it doesn’t disguise the escalating deterioration of decency we are witnessing . More power to those who strive for awareness and sensitivity. This is not about “political correctness,” or the first amendment. It is about values - the essential foundation of a civilized society.

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