Letters to the editor: May 8, 2020

Fighting in Salem
My family, being African American, is considered the biggest minority in our county. We account for a super small percentage of the population. 
Within the past several years, our family has been threatened by extreme legislation. We’ve had to fight a hard fight to maintain our medical freedom, our right to an education for our children and my husband’s job as a trucker, which would be affected by cap and trade legislation. 
When our family fought against this tyranny in Salem, it quickly came to light who was there fighting alongside us. It was not Barbara Boyer, nor was it Gov. Kate Brown. It was Rep. Ron Noble, Sen. Brian Boquist and Lindsay Berschauer, Boyer’s opponent for county commissioner.
I cannot afford to be taxed out of my home, my rights over my own children removed or my husband’s job taken away. So my question is, where was Barbara Boyer? Why wasn’t she at the Capitol fighting for our family’s rights? 
Our family will be voting for Lindsay Berschauer as our next county commissioner. She is someone we know and trust, someone who fought for our family so we weren’t out of a home, someone who stood up against bad legislation without any question about party affiliation. She was there when a family like ours could not afford another hit, like being denied access to services and education.
Be smart. Vote for the people who aren’t afraid to stand up against bad legislation and a supermajority.
Shanika Granville
Moving forward
The coming election will be crucial to the path Yamhill County takes moving forward.
Barbara Boyer is clearly the candidate that has the experience and skills to help our county prosper. She understands better than most the ties between rural and urban, and has the confidence of both sides in making decisions that benefit everyone.
I like that she keeps partisan politics out of her campaign. We have enough of that at all levels of politics; it serves no purpose at the county level.
We need leaders who focus on improving the quality of life, the economic well-being and the future prospects of the people of the county. Barbara Boyer is the candidate best qualified for this job.
As a fellow farmer, I’m confident Barbara knows how to work hard and get results. In founding the McMinnville Farmers Market, she showed she has a vision of how to promote our local economy.
Vote Boyer for Yamhill County commissioner.
Robert Bansen

Voice of reason
I have lived in Oregon for the past 20 years. Truthfully, I didn’t pay too much attention to politics until last year, aside from presidential elections. 
Last year, there were several very concerning bills introduced to the Legislature that I actively rallied against at the Capitol.
That experience was extremely eye-opening. It proved to me that I needed to pay more attention to what was going on in the political world before my rights were signed away. 
When I read about Yamhill County commissioner candidate Lindsay Berschauer, it was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, a candidate who values and respects our constitutional rights.
Let’s look calmly at the issues our county faces.  With facts and voices of reason, I am confident we can do what is best for our county. 
I am proud to support Yamhill County commissioner candidate Lindsay Berschauer. I believe she is the voice of reason we so desperately need to represent our county. 
Melissa Cochran
One too many
Christmas Eve 2018 will forever remain a tragic and most devastating reminder that one DUII is one too many.
My daughter and I were driving to Amity from Newberg to drop off Christmas presents to my son. Upon getting to the Dayton exit off Highway 18, another driver crashed into the driver’s side of my car, causing it to flip several times.
We later learned the other driver was a mother with two babies in her car. And she had an alcohol level three times the legal limit.
When my daughter and I came to, we realized we had been in a very serious car accident. Luckily, the lady in the car behind ours was a former EMT. Our angel, she got my daughter out through the windshield and comforted her while waiting for firefighters to cut my crushed body free with the jaws of life.
I was in unbearable pain. My daughter kept hearing my screams.
Rushed to the hospital, I underwent nine rounds of surgery in three weeks, and I still have another surgery potentially in the offing. It’s been 18 months and I’m still off work.
I’ve piled up more than $300,000 in bills, and insurance is only covering about a quarter of that. It stands to leave me forever in debt.
People who get a DUII generally have been driving drunk for a long time without getting caught. Drunk driving is a choice, and choices can have disastrous repercussions, both to your life and those of others. 
Make the right choice and drive safely. Don’t get complacent with people who say, “I got a DUII once,” as that’s one too many.
Natasha Carnaghie
Fighting for us 
Our family spent many months of research finding the perfect place to call home for our business and our two children. We settled on Carlton and never looked back. 
As a small business owner living in rural Oregon, we feel the impact of taxation and regulatory legislation that infringes on our rights. So the 2019 legislative session came as a huge shock for our family. We felt our home, school and business could all be taken away, based on a handful of votes in Salem. 
Our family was thrown into the world of politics whether we liked it or not, and what we found was shocking. The party that used to stand up to inequality, preach “my body my choice” and support quality education for all was poised to pass legislation doing exactly the opposite.  
One thing that gave our family relief was seeing our Carlton neighbor, Lindsay Berschauer, fighting alongside us to protect business, farming and trucking. She helped us oppose heavy taxation and fees targeting senior citizens.  
We are proud Oregonians who will absolutely be voting for Yamhill County commissioner candidate Lindsay Berschauer. She fought for us and all families in our county. 
Atlanta Napier  
Renewed faith
I’ve known Barbara Boyer for years.
Yamhill County is exceptionally lucky to vote her in to a county commissioner position. She brings me renewed faith in what is good about local politics.
My family goes back five generations in Yamhill County. Like Barbara, my ancestors worked the land. Like Barbara, they became part of the fabric of nearby towns.
Barbara is honest, strong, creative and kind. As important as her intelligence and problem-solving capability is her incredible work ethic. She is amazing.
As a writer, the characters that matter most to me in literature are those with complexity, with deep threads of humanity, with humor, compassion, and tenacity. Barbara is an extraordinary community builder of the finest character.
Those McDonalds and Woolworths of my mother’s family that are buried around Dayton? They would have sought her out in a heartbeat, voted her into office immediately, trusted that her talent to plant a crop as well as converse with a governor would keep the county constituents thriving.
Nick and I will vote for Barbara Boyer. I hope you will, too.
Kelli Grinich
A consensus-builder
I’m writing this letter in support of county commissioner candidate Barbara Boyer, a dedicated and hard-working person who has put in many, many hours in service to the Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation District. She is a huge supporter of Yamhill County agriculture, as well as a vital link between the urban and rural components of this county, as evidenced by her great work setting up and maintaining the McMinnville Farmers Market. She is not a career politician, nor does she try to push her beliefs on the citizens of this county. She does not and would not use rabble-rousing, finger-pointing, blaming or self-righteous posturing to advance her goals, as has occurred on the county commission in the past and sometimes, unfortunately, still does in the present.
She is a steady and conscientious consensus-builder, recognizing the value of including all points of view and melding them into a form that works for all Yamhill County residents. That is what we need, not antagonistic, blaming, my-way-or-the-highway type behavior. I’ve known Barbara Boyer for many years. I urge you to vote for Barbara for county commissioner.
We need a change from attacking, blaming and self-righteous politicking. We need constructive, genuine, consensus-building representation in order to move forward and protect this county.
Patrick McElligott
Servant of the people
We believe actions speak louder than words.
Those who wish to serve the public should be self-sacrificing. They should have a great sense of stewardship as it relates to the community.
Lindsay Berschauer has exemplified these traits in her campaign to serve as Yamhill County commissioner.
Lindsay Berschauer opposes cap and trade and the Corporate Activity Tax. She has championed turning aside this horrendous move toward unwarranted taxes, as it would permanently hurt small business and the middle class.
Additionally, as a small business owner herself, she understands the obstacles small businesses face when representatives attempt to institute more controlling government through regulations, controls and taxes.
Lindsay Berschauer wishes to be a servant of the people — so much so she plans to refuse pay increases and decline Public Employee Retirement System coverage if elected. This is a candidate that we can stand behind as a community.
Her sense of duty is in keeping with the highest standard expected of a public official. It is for these many reasons that Lindsay Berschauer has our vote for Yamhill County commissioner.
Heidi Parker and Aaron Orta

The real deal
As a 68-year resident of Yamhill County, I am writing to endorse Lindsay Berschauer for county commissioner. Lindsay has what it takes to get our county back on the right track.
She is a strong Second Amendment supporter and property rights advocate. She has fought for the timber industry, farm industry, and all industries in the county and the state.
I have heard some pretty nasty things said about her, but as a member of her team, I can honestly say these are not true. She is a caring person who loves this county and state.
What pleases me the most is she will recognize the entire county, not just the east side of the county. She will be available to us here in the western part of the county, too.
My vote is for Lindsay Berschauer for county Commissioner. She’s the real deal.
Maurice Yoder
Help county thrive
In short order, you will be filling out your county commissioner ballots, electing either a farmer or a political consultant.
That is a stark and binary choice in a tumultuous time filled with uncertainty and fear. And it is exacerbated by the partisan red herrings suggesting the commissioners control your Second Amendment rights and the ability to raise your taxes.
That kind of rhetoric is divisive, myopic and dangerous to the survival of our beloved farms, small businesses and visitor economy. We need open minds and collaborative efforts to rebuild from this virus setback.
Do your part to help Yamhill County thrive. Vote with me for Barbara Boyer.
Philip Higgins
Buying votes
County commissioner candidate Lindsay Berschauer wants to freeze property taxes for anyone over 65 for as long as they continue to own their home. This is, of course, very appealing to anyone 60-plus, especially wealthy retirees from other states.
Property taxes are the backbone of the county budget, producing $21.1 million this fiscal year. How much would this revenue decrease under Berschauer’s plan? 
She’s also promising no increases in the county budget, even though many county costs are fixed or can increase due to circumstances beyond the control of the county commissioners. How will the county meet its obligations with falling revenues?
The only way she can deliver on her promises is to cut jobs and services — road and bridge repair, public safety, transportation, emergency services, staffing, mental health, equipment and building maintenance, election security, etc.
Who does this affect?  How many jobs will be lost?
People 65 and over represent 15% of the county population. The poverty rate for this portion of the population is 8%. The most expensive houses are often owned by older people who have accrued wealth, thus don’t need a tax break.
Poverty rates for the other 85% of the population are much higher. In fact, 17% of children under 18 are living in poverty. Figure out for yourself who is going to be hurt if county revenue to cut to benefit relatively well-to-do seniors.  
Politicians used to give you a turkey to get your vote. Berschauer is promising the biggest turkey of all in order to buy the votes of 60-plus voters.
Seniors tend to vote in high numbers and she knows it, hence the appeal to their self-interest instead of offering solid policy proposals that serve all county residents.
Some states  offer homestead exemptions to keep taxes lower for seniors, but you typically have to live in your house for 20 to 25 years to qualify. You can’t blow into the state, buy an expensive house and then expect to never see a tax rate increase.
Yep. Gobble, gobble. This is a turkey. 
Margaret Cross
Caring and approachable
I had the pleasure of working with county commissioner candidate Barbara Boyer as we prepared for a mission trip to build homes in Guatemala. Her commitment to helping the struggling families there was beyond admirable
Barbara was compassionate, patient, enthusiastic and hardworking. She made the experience more enjoyable for us all.
These characteristics are important for any leader to possess.
In office, Barbara would be approachable. She would genuinely care about each of our concerns.
I know she would value us all and work hard to ensure every voice was heard and the best possible solution was reached. Yamhill County would  greatly benefit from Barbara Boyer’s sincere qualities and expertise.
Ben Stein
Let’s vote
We appreciate the Voters’ Pamphlet we received for the May election and the ability it gives us to compare candidates. Thank you, County Clerk Brian Van Bergen. The Yamhill County commissioner race gives us the choice of remaining fiscally conservative or becoming more progressive like the Portland area. We will vote for Lindsay Berschauer due to her position on taxation, property rights and public safety. The Yamhill County treasurer is a technical, non-political part-time position and should be part of the county accounting function. Since it is now elective, Paulette Alexandria seems the most solid candidate. We appreciate her extensive background and her attitude toward investing to best preserve principal. The secretary of state race will be best served by electing Kim Thatcher.
In the past, we really appreciated Dennis Richardson. Kim would carry on with and improve his approach to openness, effectiveness and efficiency in that office. We certainly need the system of checks and balances in place. The ballots are here. Let’s vote
Dennis & Ruth Goecks
Make the switch
Massive slaughterhouse closures are driving U.S. consumers to plant-based meat products, as sick workers pay the price.
Tyson Foods, JBS USA, and Smithfield Foods, the largest meat processors, have closed 17 plants. In the process, they have devastated rural communities and threatened the nation’s meat supply.
Production is already down 25 percent. In reaction, U.S. sales of plant-based meats have surged 265 percent, according to the Nielsen consumer data group. And shares of Beyond Meat, a prominent plant-based meat brand, have risen 60 percent.
A Washington Post investigation shows coronavirus outbreaks have sickened at least 3,300 workers and killed 17 at 48 U.S. meatpacking plants. The companies failed to provide adequate protective gear to the workers and forced some with COVID symptoms to keep working.
USA Today reports that more than 150 of U.S.’s largest plants operate in counties with high rates of coronavirus infection. In addition to the generally accepted consumer health argument for avoiding animal food products, the pandemic has now added the worker health element.
Production of plant-based meats requires much less labor and allows for ample physical distancing. We can all support the switch to healthy food on our next visit to our supermarket.
Milo Nakamura
Vision for America
Bernie Sanders will never be our president. But if he can win enough delegates from the remaining states that still need to vote, his popular vision for America may still have a chance.
Many Democrats are saying it is essential for us to all unify behind Joe Biden. But until every voice is heard, every vote counted and every person valued, we will never have unity.
To cut Bernie from the ballots like New York has done only causes further discord and disrespect.
The Democratic Party used to be the party of the people. But with student debt out of control, a planet in crisis and  many Americans living without health care or a livable wage, too many people have been left behind.
There is still time to ensure that Bernie Sander’s ideals become a reality. Please join me in voting for Bernie in the Oregon primary. It’s the only way for the National Democratic leadership to realize the need for our country to adopt Bernie’s wholesome vision for America.
Evelyn LaMotte
Unity and hope
As an essential worker, I have been grateful for the opportunity to dialog with a dramatic cross-section of individuals from our community, and the current virus has often been the crux of our conversations. What is most striking is the continuous current of uneasiness toward the future.
Are we making choices now which will result in the continuation of freedoms, privacy and prosperity for posterity? Remember, the hand of power which at one time has grasped control is loath to let it go.
I find more and more of us are in respectful agreement with these sentiments, which seems incongruent with the broader narrative I am receiving on my smart-phone feed of daily headlines, including SNL parodies of people who think like me.
In my 27 years, I have traveled to every state save Alaska, and earned degrees in history, mathematics and theology. I am currently working as a mechanic, history teacher and nonprofit coordinator. I am not a conspiracy theorist.
I’m not calling for people to mount raging protests, rebel against the government, disregard the severity of the virus or break social-distancing guidelines. I am calling for them to consider the longlasting effects of decisions being made by our government; think critically about what news we are receiving; actively participate in civic duties; consider differing perspectives in a respectful and constructive manner; cherish their gift of freedom by voting in local elections; hold their governing officials in respectful accountability; work to ensure these necessary measures are indeed temporary; and pray for wisdom for ourselves and our leaders, healing for those who are sick, hope for the lonely, and provisions for families and individuals who are sacrificing their incomes for our health.
We may be in a crisis, but crises are fertile ground for the seeds of unity and hope.
Haley Winkelman

Deserve a parade
As a grandmother of a graduating senior, I feel such sadness for these kids.
I understand we’re all going through very trying times, so we must be safe and do our part. But these are kids who have gone through 12 years of school in a small town where basically everyone knows who you are.
The plans for the graduation have been made, but I wish something could have been worked out to make it a little more fun and exciting for them. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that they are missing out on.
My heart breaks for my granddaughter and every other graduate. This is so sad.
I propose they get to have a parade down Third Street so they can be honored in a meaningful way. It would be like their homecoming parades of the last four years.
I’m sure this can be done in a safe but fun way.
Please. They deserve this.
Debbie Smith
Time for Boquist to go
State senators have a very important job of representing Oregonians who live in their district.
Brian Boquist has been the senator from District 12 for more than 10 years, and I have spoken with him a number of times at the Capitol.
He has a positive response as he listens, making it appear that he agrees with your concerns. But when he votes, he completely disregards the conversation you had with him.
In the past two years, Sen. Boquist has also chosen to neglect his important duties by walking out of the Capitol to prevent a necessary quorum for a vote. He even threatened the state police if they came to escort him back. 
Ross Swartzendruber is running to unseat Sen. Boquist.
I have known Ross for a number of years. He is smart and honest. And he is a very committed and diligent worker.
As a small businessman, Ross has some very innovative and resourceful ideas to enhance Oregon’s economy. As a farmer, he knows full well the importance of agriculture in District 12 and the challenges farmers and ranchers deal with season after season. 
Ross already has vast experience in Salem. He has worked with legislators and participated on various committees.
He has lobbied for teachers and students, seeking solutions for schools in crisis. He supports quality health care for every Oregonian, a livable minimum wage and action to solve our immediate climate emergency.
I have great confidence that Ross would be an effective leader for our district and state. I am certain his willingness to compromise and seek solutions to any challenge would be beneficial in our Legislature.
Join me to guarantee that Ross Swartzendruber becomes District 12’s next senator. 
Bill Bordeaux
Not up to job
This is the second time in my life where we’ve faced a real and immediate threat to people’s lives in America and the rest of the world.
The first came during the Cuban missile crisis, where the world spent a week wondering if either we or the Russians would launch nuclear Armageddon.
That crisis was marked by steady, competent leadership on the part of President Kennedy. Watching the current administration’s response to the virus pandemic makes me thankful it wasn’t in office back in 1962.
Fred Fawcett

Grille’s gift to community
We would like to tip a hat to Mo Durocher and the 1882 Grille team for hosting a great event for 7,500 people in McMinnville — a free dinner.
That’s correct, a free, very nice dinner to go, including focaccia bread, Caesar salad, chicken alfredo, roasted broccoli and carrots, and chocolate chip cookies. Instructions for final preparations at home were included and everything was very good.
We appreciated all the hard work that went into the planning and organizing of this event, including the work by all the cooks and dishwashers. It was a real team effort. 
It’s pretty hard to beat free. All a family had to do was register online and tell 1882 how many dinners were needed.
The pickup for so many people was well-organized, thanks to the assistance of the McMinnville police and fire departments.
The line of cars was probably three-quarters of a mile long. But a police officer directing traffic suggested we park on Third Street and walk to the Grille, and that worked nicely. We got our dinner for two and were off in 10 minutes. 
The 1882 Grille had safety procedures in place for everyone’s protection. Social distancing tape had been applied to the sidewalk, and all employees donned face masks and gloves for serving.
Thanks, Team 1882 Grille, for a bright star in a pretty dim, dark, virus-laden sky. 
John and Joan Schindelar
Time to lift lockdown
Ridiculous and illogical are two words that come to mind when I consider Oregon’s current lockdown status.
How can it possibly make sense, in a state of 4.2 million people with 109 COVID-19 deaths, to continue such strict stay-at-home orders?
How does it make sense, knowing that the virus dies quickly in sunlight, to keep parks, trails, beaches and campgrounds closed, especially when it’s easiest to naturally distance from others outdoors?
How does it make sense to keep shops and businesses from operating, when we have all learned methods of safe distancing and disinfecting?
It’s time to start using common sense. It’s time to reopen Oregon.
Brenda Butterfield
Keeping the words flowing
Elaine Rohse doesn’t beat her own drum. But anyone who ages as well as she does — and still writes a weekly column for the News-Register after reaching 100 years old — certainly deserves a big round of applause.
She deserves acknowledgment of what people are capable of accomplishing during their lifetime. So many years of living and she’s still creating.
The News-Register gave her well-deserved space in the paper on her 100th birthday as one of its valued reporters.
Good job, everyone. And way to go, Elaine.
Virginia Jungwirth



Milo you keep pushing your fake meat agenda. I got news for you bud that garbage is grown in the same Petri dishes this virus was grown in. It is full of chemicals of all kinds to get it to taste like meat. Nothing beats what Mother Nature grows in her God given world. A pasture full of naturally grown beef cows is one of the most beautiful sites on earth. I grow a garden and know what I eat is healthy along with home grown beef. So Milo you keep drinking the Coolaid and eat that garbage that comes no where close to a wonderful steak or hamburger. Just an opinion from a guy that’s raised cattle and ate them for 69 years.


Oregon, and it's one party tyrannical government, needs leadership beyond Jerry Brown's little sister in Salem.


Brenda....It makes sense because at the moment there is no vaccine, no effective treatment and very little testing going on....until the situation changes, opening business puts people’s lives at risk. Social distance is the only measure that has helped reduce the spread and damage of this virus...swinging the doors of business open at this point takes away the only effective measure we have to reduce the mortality rate.....


Amen, Jim! Make mine rare.

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