Letters to the editor: Dec. 13, 2019

Mission deserves better

I have volunteered at the Yamhill County Gospel Rescue Mission in the past, and have seen how compassionate and caring the staff is first hand.

Yes, there are rules. The staff has to be strict sometimes so everything is fair and everyone is safe. Remember, this is a warming shelter open to all, even if they are drunk, on drugs or coming down off drugs.

The mission also has a main facility that operates 24/7, 365 days a year. It’s for people who’re down on their luck, but have chosen to get clean and sober in order to rebuild their futures.

If you’re unhappy with the way the mission operates, go volunteer and help make it better. You will be amazed at how much the staff provides for, cares for and forges relationships with each guest. The shelter’s workers and volunteers are truly serving out of the kindness of their hearts.

I have to question the type of people who would rather sleep outside in freezing temperatures than follow simple rules, such as checking in meds to keep them safe, keeping showers short enough that everyone gets a turn and being respectful to others. As for not allowing people to loiter before the morning opening hour, the shelter is in a residential neighborhood and that’s important to its residents.

I am more than a little disappointed to see the mission under attack by the people of McMinnville at a time when everyone has been complaining that someone needs to do something about our homeless population. That’s especially true when it comes from a local church with its own shelter program.

The mission is serving a vital role here in McMinnville. It deserves a chance to respond to concerns before they are used to shame it in front of the entire community.

Alan Bernard



At what cost?

Change is inevitable, and our community has certainly changed. Growth is inevitable, and our community has certainly grown. But at what cost?

In a News-Register article, we are told city planners are meeting regarding yet another subdivision on Baker Creek Road. Up for discussion are the following proposals:

1. Change a zoning designation from commercial to residential.

2. Change another from a mix of single family residential and exclusive farm use to a mix of commercial and multi-family residential.

3. Allow up to 120 apartment units.

4. Allow development of 280 single-family homes on 48.7 acres, adding who knows how many more cars to our current bumper-to-bumper back-up.

Why would any reasonable planner consider more development before more infrastructure to handle it? Are these the same folks who planned for the growth in Hillsboro, Tigard and Beaverton?

Adding works of art, roundabouts and landscaped medians does not address the traffic problems we face!

Trying to make a left turn at any intersection is a courageous and dangerous act. In an emergency situation, one can only hope that police, fire or rescue will be able to get through the traffic backup to save someone you love.

Who are the planners and city officials allowing this to continue? The uncontrolled building of hundreds of homes, without first planning for new infrastructure, lacks common sense.

Suzanne Farmer



On road to ruin

Why care about Ukraine? What has it to do with me? I’m worried about health care, taxes, potholes. It’s just political noise. Americans are either lethally polarized over the Ukraine inquiry or find it irrelevant to their lives. But those who do not care should. American’s future depends on it.

The Ukraine mess has revealed an existential threat to America’s rule of law and survival as a republic. If we do not act to preserve the governing principles that have made us the envy of the world, America will devolve into the hollow shell of something once wonderful. Trump doesn’t frighten me. History is replete with criminals and hucksters who found their way to power by cynically trading on the fears of others while pretending to hear their needs. As those before, he will pass from the stage. What will not pass is the obscene cowardice of elected officials who know better. They admit it privately, but won’t take a stand for truth and say “enough,” lest they lose their little corner of influence. What will not pass is the damage he and his followers already have done to foundations of our republic — especially to the checks and balances our founders so presciently wove into our Constitution. What will not pass is the damage he has done to our standing in the world. Allies and enemies alike are watching our influence fade, and with that, their capacity to trust our word or our willingness to meet our commitments. What will not pass is the bitter division emerging in our land where your vote defines your friendships and even your family ties. We must care because Ukraine is the crest of a deadly iceberg that will crush America as we know it — an urgent flag of warning that our ruin lies beneath.

Erma S. Vasquez



Citizens lost their say

The citizens of McMinnville are now paying the price for failed city annexation attempts by losing their only avenue to meaningful input into the future of their towns.

The citizens voted no on the original Shadden Claim. In response to such losses at the polls, the Oregon Building Industries Association got the state Legislature  to remove the right of Oregonians to vote on annexations.

That was the most blatant power grab I have seen in my 88 years. The developers and OBIA just couldn’t stand letting pesky citizens have a say.

The results showed very clearly with the recent Oak Ridge development. Citizens wrote letters to the editor expressing frustration with thwarted efforts to work with city planners and developers.

A past classic example was the original Shadden Claim, whose ultimate population would have equaled that of Amity, Sheridan and Carlton. It was voted down because Baker Creek Road wasn’t ready to handle that much traffic and citizens weren’t ready to handle that much development.

Through my involvement in Shadden Claim, I tried to broker a deal with the developer. But he refused to commit to a build-out phased in over 10 years.

Shadden Claim is now being developed anyway, and the traffic on Baker Creek Road is increasing. The north side of Baker Creek is also being proposed for development, and combined with the Oak Ridge development, that will increase traffic even more.

But the biggest price citizens have paid for failed annexation attempts is loss of the freedom to shape the future of their communities through the democratic process.

John Englebrecht



Opening doors to living wage

A living wage is the basis of a stable workforce, and no one has been more visibly supportive of this than Direct Support Professional.

This dedicated group provides immeasurable value to the thousands of Oregonians living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their wages have been woefully underfunded — until now.

We want to celebrate Sens. Kim Thatcher and Brian Boquist, who supported legislation making higher wages possible for them.

By supporting HB5026, DSP wages received a much-needed boost. The subsequent feeling of value and stability among DSP clients is priceless.

Our agency — Partnerships in Community Living, which has been based in Monmouth for the last 33 years — helps people live and work in eight Oregon counties: Polk, Marion, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Lane, Josephine and Jackson.

We employ 500 DSPs. They play an extraordinary role, and Sens. Thatcher and Boquist have provided the vision to support a wage matching the importance of the work.

We are looking forward to more collaborative work, further developing professional recognition of Direct Support Professional in the lives of neighbors, family, and friends living with an intellectual and developmental disability.

Joanne Fuhrman



Working for us

The latest News-Register had a commentary from Mel Gurtov and letter to the editor from Steve Rutledge, both telling us President Trump is the worst thing since Satan and a threat to our democracy. I don’t know either of these gentlemen, and I have never met the president, so I will have to be my own judge.

I remember that after Donald Trump won the election, before he was even sworn in yet, he was busy persuading companies planning to move to Mexico to keep the jobs in the U.S. instead. I can’t think of another president who has worked so hard for America before actually taking office.

The Obama administration, which had no business experience, had a heyday imposing new regulations on companies. President Trump has said that for every new regulation, we must get rid of two old ones.

His policies have given jobs to people who otherwise might be on welfare. And jobs can give a person a sense of self respect that you can’t get from welfare.

For decades, politicians have promised to do something about securing our southern border. President Trump is actually keeping his campaign promise, in spite of Nancy Pelosi insisting she would not allow one dollar for a wall.

Why wouldn’t you want the immigrants who come to our country to be legal?

I suspect the reason a lot of liberals hate the president so much is because he has a brash nature and always looks like he’s scowling. Well, I learned long ago that a smooth-talking politician with an easy smile is not always your friend.

Craig H. Pubols




Turning deaf ear

In June, I attended my first ever McMinnville School Board meeting. I wanted to introduce myself, as my children were transferring from private to public school.

During the meeting, I learned the board was planning to vote on a school-based health clinic.  I objected, as the general public was never notified this was happening. But the board went ahead, based only on selective input from the sponsors – the Oregon Health Authority and Yamhill County Health & Human Services Department.

The board did not review the impact to families, based on new laws that went into effect in 2017. Nor did it notify parents via Facebook post, robocall or other means.

This violates clear protocols for public meetings. I asked for a work session on the issue, but was denied. 

In recent weeks, I have gotten other families involved. But on Dec. 9, the board changed its policies to disallow two-way communication between parents and board members. And I have had numerous families tell me the superintendent’s office doesn’t respond to calls and e-mails for weeks, if at all.

I have reached out to other school boards about this. Three told me they respond to parents through an open, public e-mail system and value parent input. 

McMinnville schools have a lot to be proud of. I love my kids’ school, teachers and principal.

There is much progress being made in our small district. My kids are thriving.

Yet the board and superintendent are doing their best to throttle parent involvement, input and comments. 

Please start coming to school board and PTA meetings. Start looking into the policies they are voting on. Start raising your voice to ensure your rights aren’t being subjugated to those of special interests.

Brittany Ruiz



 Chosen by God

I certainly agree with the glowing testament Steve Rutledge ascribes to Jesus in his recent letter. Jesus was the standard to which all of us aspire.

Though I try, I would fall far short of that comparison. So would everyone else, including President Trump.

That being said, Trump is not expected by those of us who elected him to be a new Messiah. He was elected to do the tough job of U.S. President, arguably, the most powerful position in the world.

He promised to put America First and he has done as well as anyone possibly could. Our economy continues to be strong, and he continues to stand up to friends and foes alike to represent the best interests of our country.

I would be pleased to have a president who was a Boy Scout. That’s not Donald Trump, but he’s still the best person for the presidency.

As a conservative evangelical Christian, I believe, as the Bible states, that the powers that be are ordained of God. I believe President Trump was chosen by God for the position he is in at this time in history.

Many of God’s chosen leaders in the Bible were heavily flawed individuals.

The Apostle Paul persecuted Christians before God used him to spread the Gospel. God even use a donkey once to rebuke a wayward prophet. As hard as it is to accept, even the cruel Roman government was placed by God so that his Son could die on a cruel cross for crimes he did not commit.

Steve Wozniak




Brittany Ruiz good luck with ever getting a meeting with the superintendent. You will have more luck scheduling a meeting with the Pope or President Donald Trump. I have been trying to get a one on one meeting with a school board member for about six years. No luck. You will find the farther you delve into this district it is all smoke and mirrors. There is a whole lot of business that goes on behind closed doors. It’s a public school district ran on taxpayer dollars but the superintendent and school board act like they are running a private school. They don’t want parental or grandparent help unless you buy into their ideas 100%. If you do them a favor or help them in anyway they might have to let you on the inside of their little click and that’s a very private group in a public setting.

Mike D

Mr. Wozniak. That you see God as responsible for virtually everything is a testimony to your faith. Hitler, all horrors of wars, all God's will. Were does our human free will? You know that which can send us to heaven or hell. Those decisions the Satan is always trying to trick us into. Your Christianity is very interesting. No Satan, no human free will, just God responsible for it all.


Can we go ahead and throw out the nonsensical 'obstruction of congress' impeachment charge now that the Supreme Court has decided to hear the president's financial records cases? In an irony of irony, the court rules it will hear those cases the VERY SAME DAY the House committee votes to forward the baseless charge. It's absolutely crazy to declare the president is obstructing congress when he takes something to the 3rd branch of government (courts).



Much to consider in the forum today. I am a long-time supporter of the YCGM and appreciate the defense from Mr. Bernard of the dedicated staff and volunteers who work so hard to provide this compassionate invaluable service to our community.

I also express gratitude that Ms. Vasquez has outlined some of the challenges and realities we all face living under the current ruler. It is painful and difficult to accept the fact that so many of our fellow Americans are okay with the status quo. Another letter today points out the fact that we have never had a perfect President, and that is the undeniable truth. But the “accomplishments” listed in that letter are subject to interpretation, and not everyone agrees about the impact of those policies. (Some among us are sickened by the cruelty and un-American treatment of immigrants, for example.)

McConnell just declared he is “……coordinating with the White House counsel” so it appears that any hope of an impartial hearing in this critical trial phase of the impeachment process is greatly diminished. I will continue to hope for profiles in courage though. The Senators did take an oath to the Constitution; it is not too late to honor that oath regardless of McConnell’s naked intention to rig the process. If the Senate continues to be an obedient rubber stamp and Senators fail to honor their oaths, the worst is yet to come. The vindictive “leader” will have his royal proclamation confirmed:


The implications are horrifying if checks and balances are rendered obsolete.


RobsNR - as usual your logic escapes me. This impeachment is not related to the myriad of financial improprieties to be litigated by the court. The second article of impeachment is black and white. NO ONE was allowed to testify and NO documents were allowed to be released. We all watched or heard Trump make those dictatorial statements therefore no interpretation is even necessary. His actions represent the very definition of obstruction and offers the middle finger to the duly empowered House of Representatives, and to the Constitution. (Seems to me that middle finger extends to all American citizens as well.) His message was clear, the rule of law does not apply to Donald J. Trump.

Don Dix

Mr.Englebrecht uses Shadden Claim as an failed example of rapid growth and states, 'the ultimate population would have equaled that of Amity, Sheridan and Carlton'. Funny that. In 1999, here is what he wrote in the forum -- 'the population from this development will equal the combined populations of Carlton and Amity'. Gee, how the story grows!

Rapid growth -- in 2004 he wrote -- 'the city's citizens don't want the explosive growth that the four or five year buildout of that development would have brought' -- truth? There was never any plan to build that entire property so quickly, and today (20 some years later), it is nowhere near complete. But what is there now is a jumbled, in-congruent mass of patchwork neighborhoods. To whom goes the credit for this ugly mess?

And Englebrecht's 'involvement' in Shadden was strictly opposition -- from sewer overloads, Baker Creek Road traffic, narrow shoulders, and any other complaint he could muster. The developer, Don Jones, made many concessions and changes to his plan at the behest of the 'friends', only to find the same opposition afterward. Censorship of language does not allow any quote from Jones about his interaction with this group of detractors, but his words were explicit, pointed, and personal (in a very foul tirade).

And since his residential outlet couples with Baker Creek Road, it leads to a strong argument that Englebrecht is (and has been) only interested in smoothing his own path. So claiming any benign involvement (in Shadden) is pure BS (and Don Jones has concurred).


Treefarmer - an the logic of this charge makes no sense to me. If the House wants to get that material under executive privilege they are well within their rights to go to the courts but they won't because of (time) and because they may lose. Obama exercised executive privilege numerous times (e.g. Fast and Furious investigation) yet I fail to remember the 'obstruction of congress' impeachment charge against him. You can't have it both ways. Either a president has executive privilege or they don't.


Mike D

Robs. I don't remember was Obama being impeached and not cooperating with the inquiry. About having it both ways, if Obama was being impeached and did not cooperate he would be wrong. Okay, that means the current occupant is also wrong. This argument it is okay because someone else did it is weird. That last guy burgled your house and so it is okay for me to burgle your house. Not hard to understand the going back to point at someone else, it is a good trick, magicians use it all the time to divert attention. It sometimes works, but not always.


Mike D - I think you are missing my point. The Obama administration, per their rights, resisted the House subpoena. There was no impeachment charge immediately following their refusal to turn over documents - eventually a settlement was reached. The executive branch has every right to take subpoenas to court or fight for a settlement. This baseless charge is a clear abuse of power - by congress.


Mike D

Robs. There was a settlement. Maybe I've missed it but I've seen no attempt by the administration to reach a settlement. They have the witnesses to clear the matter and show the House Democrats the door. The Administration wants this drama. It is a good show.


This is why I make sure Fox News is in my media rotation now. The evening network news has become so biased and filters out far too much real news. For the FIRST time EVER, the FISA court rebuked the FBI (for misleading it with the Carter Page warrants) yet ABC, CBS, & NBC didn't mention it at all in their evening news last night. An FBI agent literally altered an email from the CIA stating Carter Page was an asset to "not" an asset. That was just one of the 17 egregious examples cited in the IG report.


Bill B

Rob, you might as well be talking to a hoe handle.

Mike D

robs. ustoday reported the fica rebuke on the 17th, cbs reported it on the 18th, nbc reported it today, brierbart, the daily mail reported it on the 17th, the hill reported it on 18th. It gets reported. why are the outrage toward certain media outlets?


Finally, after nearly three years they are just beginning to report the FISA abuses. The democrats claim foreign interference in our elections when they themselves have been interfering and continue to do so and are trying to determine 2020 by their cat and mouse game and manipulation.


Mike D - because the double standard is so blatant. The party in power in 2016 literally used its own candidate's opposition research, from foreign (including Russian) sources no less, as “central and essential” to obtain warrants to spy on the opposition campaign during a presidential election yet it doesn't even make the evening news. If this was the other way around, say - Donald Trump was the Democratic candidate (he once was a Democrat), reporting would be nonstop until those responsible went to jail.


Food for thought:

The forest was shrinking
but the trees kept
voting for the axe.
For the axe was clever
and convinced the trees that
because his handle was wood
he was one of them.

(Asian fable)


Didn't do anything for me treefarmer. Trump 2020.


Hey Finch – Can’t say I expected you would recognize the truth in that old fable. But I do wonder how you felt watching the axe-man demean and degrade a recently deceased honorable statesman in his own home state last night? Or mock the man’s grieving widow as she heads into her first Christmas without her husband? You have observed that the fan gatherings indicate passionate support for Trump. Well, that special form of adoration was certainly on display during his unhinged red-faced impeachment rant last night. (If you had been in that crowd would you have joined in the enthusiastic laughter and applause that erupted in response to the many vile and hateful remarks?)

We are being ruled by a soulless bully who drags war heroes, gold star families, autistic teenagers, and widows (not a comprehensive list) into his sewer without a hint of remorse……..and is instead SO PROUD of doing so. I watch him telling us who he is every single day and wonder how decent folks continue to stand behind, and find ever more creative ways to defend such a morally bankrupt excuse for a human being. May God grant courage, patriotism, and wisdom to our U.S. Senators.

Merry Christmas


I find it more reprehensible that a fake dossier paid for by the Clinton campaign started this in the first place. We had a rogue FBI and people in high levels of government trying to impact the last election. They continue to do so at every turn and this whole fake impeachment is nothing more than trying to stop him from winning re-election at any cost. They hate him so much that they don't care about the American people. It's a sham and a huge waste of our tax dollars which I have said often enough could have been spent on things far more important. Everyone is screaming the Russians - heck, they're laughing at us I'm sure because it was an inside job by our own people spying on the Trump campaign. I'm sure if it was the other way around you would not be defending it.

No other president and his family has been treated more poorly than this president. Yes, I've also said that I don't approve of his behavior at times. Imagine if he had any type of respect from the left how things might have been so much better. But no, every single day since BEFORE he was sworn in the democrats and the media have been on this tunnel visioned course of impeachment. Three years of it!

I'm thrilled with the economy, low unemployment, my 401K, rolled back regulations, etc. and I'll gladly support him in the next election. All of the shenanigans are backfiring. I don't care which side of the isle we're on these people are being paid to represent us and work together. It just keeps getting worse. In spite of everything he keeps on working and more and more people are wising up to this circus in DC.


>circus in DC

Circus is right. We have to hurry, hurry, and hurry to impeach without full due process before Christmas to then... stop. Huh? And now they refuse to turn the articles of impeachment over to the Senate. I would have never imagined such a clown show as we see now. Embarrassing.


Did you see old Pelosi stammering and sputtering all over herself? Cannot even articulate what the next step is. Doesn't have a clue.


RobsNewsRegister - "I would have never imagined such a clown show as we see now. Embarrassing."

You know what a real clown show looks like? A president who claims he's innocent, but refuses to mount a defense or produce even one witness with first-hand knowledge of the events or any documents that exonerate him.


Finch- Very predictable – you state “…..I don’t approve of his behavior at times.” and then in the next sentence you proceed to defend his hateful “behavior” with the suggestion he doesn’t get enough respect – as if that could justify the vitriol and lies. Boo hoo, poor man. He really has done a number on some folks, hasn’t he? He is just an innocent victim - or so he keeps telling y’all. Have you considered the ACTUAL reason he gets so little respect? Could it be because he had not EARNED any? How nice that your 401K is up! And I guess you don’t mind that the “rolled-back regulations” have reversed policies that now allow polluters a free reign, and are you happy with all those demands to discontinue energy-efficient cars and light bulbs too?

Your first paragraph contains many constantly repeated talking points from the Repubs that you have obviously accepted as fact.....from the false claim that he was SPIED on (the IG report totally discredits that) to the stunning notion that impeachment is a “sham.” But you are 100% correct about Putin laughing his ass off. He has succeeded in creating chaos and division in America (and other nations) beyond his wildest dreams. And he couldn’t have done it without all that dutiful assistance from the White House.

Face it Finch – you are always going to view Trump as an innocent little puppy and I am always going to perceive him as a large venomous viper. Should we give up on the dueling opinions?


Oh Mudstump = there you go again believing your own eyes and ears and applying LOGIC. What a concept!


You can continue to pick and choose your own 'facts' and lecture people on these and I'm sure other forums because we all are, after all, beneath you.

Unplug your little battery powered car with perhaps a coexist or Hillary sticker and drive around and enjoy the beauty of the season.


“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”

― Mahatma Gandhi


Treefarmer >.....from the false claim that he was SPIED on (the IG report totally discredits that)

What IG report are you talking about? They hit four campaign members [Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, General Flynn, Paul Manafort] with wired up human informants (spies) and then failed to include exonerating information from that spying in their records. A FISA warrant is to... SPY. Sheesh. There were also all sorts of other electronic spying too (e.g. Carter Page warrant). This report was constrained to active DOJ/FBI employees - just wait for Durham who wasn't constrained.

Evidently, everyone was so focused on the sham impeachment they missed Horowitz's second day of testimony where he clarified earlier remarks and stated that he did NOT clear the FBI of political bias.

“We have been very careful in the connection with the FISA’s for the reasons you mentioned to not reach that conclusion,” Horowitz told Hawley. “As we’ve talked about earlier — the alteration of the email, the text messages associated with the individual who did that, and our inability to explain or understand, to get good explanations so that we could understand why this all happened.”



> but refuses to mount a defense or produce even one witness with first-hand knowledge of the events or any documents that exonerate him.

This is America. You don't need to 'exonerate' yourself - you need to be proven guilty. Just because the president waived his attorney-client and executive office constitutional rights to get out from under the Russia-Collusion Hoax doesn't mean he's required to continue to waive his constitutional rights. Take him to court. Wait - the Dems couldn't do that because they were in soooo much of a hurry which is why they now... stop.


RobsNewsRegister - "This is America. You don't need to 'exonerate' yourself - you need to be proven guilty."

He was proven guilty.

Trump and Mulvaney admitted what they did and you still don't believe them?


Oh Finch, you crack me up. You have such amusing ideas about how to insult someone. For example, you often complain that I keep posting FACTS. How unforgivably presumptuous of me to base my opinions on FACTS! You accused me of “trying to be SO articulate!” Now THERE’S the ultimate sin, eh? (If only I would embrace those “alternative facts” and dumb it down!) You drop nasty little digs that I guess you hope will –what – hurt my feelings maybe? (“STICK IT!” comes to mind) And now I see that you have imagined the worst yet - oh the shame of it all – I PLUG IN MY CAR. I am going to have to correct the record and confess right here in public, I do indeed drive a hybrid. Does that make me only HALF deserving of Finch-contempt? For some reason being environmentally conscious is proof in your mind that I see others as “beneath me,” so here is some additional ammunition for your sad little insult file: I RECYCLE too. I await your scorn.

Your political logic has always escaped me, but your criteria for judging other people is in a class all its own. You are truly a credit to your idol.


The DOJ reviewed the phone call months ago after the complaint. No crime. He has every right to ask about Ukrainian interference in 2016 and as of yet no one has explained to me how Joe Biden is somehow immune from investigation. Must be great to be a Democrat.


You mean the DOJ run by Bill Barr?.....not exactly shocking that they chose not to investigate....

Mike D

We all are having such fun here in these comments. I'm glad we are all supporting the News Register so we can do this ping pong. We are lucky to have an independent family run real news paper.


I second your post, Mike D - The push and pull is always interesting. I value and appreciate the N/R, and am grateful for the forum.


I have great appreciation for the News-Register. We are lucky to have such a fine publication serving our area.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and best wishes to all at the NR for a great 2020!

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable