Letters to the editor: Jan. 10, 2020

Slow the growth

The future of McMinnville is in the control of those with a bulldoze-and-build mentality. They are intent on creating new subdivisions with hundreds of homes.

The official line is that to keep McMinnville a wonderful place to live, there must be more of it. So how well did this argument work for Washington County’s Hillsboro?

City planners claim people are clamoring to move to McMinnville, creating pent-up demand for housing. Unless there are invisible lines of people queuing up at our city limits, though, this claim ignores the reality, which is, “If you build it, they will come.”

Planners maintain new construction will make housing more affordable for those in jeopardy of becoming homeless. But rows of new homes with prices approaching the half-million mark do nothing for low- and fixed-income families.

Another implication is that more local people will promote the creation of more local jobs. However, if good-paying jobs don’t already exist, adding more people just produces a city of commuters — of part-time residents crowding highways to elsewhere for the income they need to afford expensive housing.

Then there is the claim that more people paying taxes helps the city better afford essential services. The truth is, more people puts additional strain on already stressed police, fire, street, utility and school needs, thus adversely affecting current and future residents.

To stay healthy and vibrant, our city must grow — but slowly and carefully, a few new houses at a time.

The city of McMinnville needs to reject the fallacy that a snake swallowing its own tail makes sense.

If city leaders and planners cannot divorce themselves from the siren call of large-scale development, McMinnville’s only hope for a better future will be a thorough housecleaning of its growth-at-all-costs adherents.

Ken Dollinger



Money eroding democracy

We the people are buying our elected officials.

It seems that whoever raises the most money wins. Is this really what the foundling fathers of our country intended?

Because of this, governmental policies are established to favor those at the top of the economic ladder, thus making it more difficult for the economically disadvantaged to have a voice in any aspects of governmental decisionmaking.

Do I have to send money to a candidate for my voice to be heard? Are we headed for a plutocracy, where the rich alone rule?

I believe it is imperative that we work to remove the conception that you must have a lot of money in order to win an election — any election. Putting strict limits on campaign contributions would help especially to limit corporate contributions.

Also important would be overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. In positions of power, we need people who have integrity, are focused and qualified, have experience, and are willing to pay attention and learn.

Let’s not lose our democracy to money.

Janet De With 



Senior Center a local gem

The McMinnville Senior Center, located in Wortman Park, is very popular with seniors in Yamhill County. Keys include the director, Anne, and greeter, Erin, along with Ed and all the other volunteers working there.

They make sure everything is in working condition and everyone knows what activities are available. In addition, they are always on the lookout for new activities.

When I was living in California, I didn’t join the senior center because I didn’t feel I was old enough. I don’t feel that way in Mac because everyone who participates is young at heart.

We all look forward to the exercises, activities and classes, to having a good time and learning everything we can. The leaders work hard to assure everyone has everything that’s needed.

The lunches served there on Tuesdays and Thursdays — for only $5! — are so nourishing and healthy they are hard to ignore. Most times, the lunch area fills and flows out into the lobby.

Thank you, Mac, for providing such a great service.

Pat Cole



Taking off running

Imagine you have 25 years experience in your job. A new guy comes in with no experience and immediately begins running circles around you.

You had your boss convinced there were legitimate reasons for not getting things done, but the new guy gets it done anyway. Imagine your resentment, your fear and your bitterness over potential loss of power and employment.

Now you know why Washington, D.C. hates President Trump.

Rich Roberts




Don Dix

Rich Roberts -- status quo has been the major malfunction in DC. Nothing gets done in order to keep up the impression that the work is so challenging it must take years to finish (they must be re-elected to complete what was started).

The House just went through an impeachment hearing that was 'urgent to national interest' -- so urgent that it could not wait for due process. And now there is a delay in sending those articles of impeachment to the Senate where a trial would ensue. Where's the urgency now? Is it still urgent, or was that just a lame excuse?

It's all hype and the usual 'political double-speak' designed to make those involved appear important and critical to the cause, which from day one of the Trump administration has been to rid DC of this 'outsider'.

Actually, when Trump rattles the cage or ruffles some feathers, reactions say more about the subject than they would ever admit without provocation. The public is finding out just how many nasty people think DC cannot function without them -- and the truth is just the opposite.


trump doesn't ruffles some feathers, he frigging lies and intimidates from the most powerful position in the world. totally agree washington dc malfunctions. there is very little difference between the r's and the d's. term limits might help or they might give lobbyists even more power than the have now.

Don Dix

Lobbyist are much like parasites. They cling until the host has no more to give. If term limits were to be implemented, the commotion to 'break in' new patsies might awaken the public to just how much graft and shady deals take place in DC daily. Bursting the bubble sometimes has a cleansing effect -- and watching lobbyists and candidates scramble might be amusing as well!


don. watching by whom? the fourth estate? who believes anything? isn't it all fake? will the government watch itself? nope. not going to happen. look what happened with the current 'outsider' the place is being run by mostly industry insiders and former lobbyists. it is not a pretty future we're looking at.

Don Dix

msantone --

When Obama was elected, the Rs did very little but look for ways to discredit him, block his legislative actions, and publicly nit pick anything that would undermine his influence. Very little of anything else for 8 years.

Since 2016, the roles have reversed 180 degrees. Now the Ds are the ones that can't get over the shock that Trump beat Hillary.

Neither administration is/was deserving of such blatant attacks when there was more important things that desired attention, in my opinion.

It would appear that my non-affiliation to any political party or cause allows a distinctly different take than a party member from either side. And therein lies the rub -- being elected to DC is not about helping the citizens anymore -- it's about 'opposing their political enemies'.

Term limits might be the solution to the partisan politics that grinds DC to a halt. Simply, with term limits in place, one cannot expect to be re-elected for eternity just because they have been a good, partisan soldier.

In my opinion, Pelosi, Schiff, Shumer, McConnel, Graham, etc. are so visibly partisan they neglect important legislation to keep up the battle. All of them (and many others) should not have been allowed to run after a 'period of service' that term limits would have dictated. We (the US) would be in a much better place (without gridlock and highly partisan opposition) were term limits in place, say 25 years ago.

Bill B

Well said Don Dix. The only difference, between the two is that the media for the most part is also taking sides.

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