Letters to the editor: May 15, 2020

Help ones most in need

The coronavirus is a good teacher about the excesses of our American society.

Many of us seem to ignore or take for granted advantages that most people living in the world will never even be aware of — a car, house, phone, TV and so forth.

There is great disparity even in our own country. Remember, when we talk about getting back to “normal” at some point, that means continuing poverty and uncertainty for a goodly portion of our population.

When governments decide how to allocate aid for the virus effects, they need to consider the population at the lowest end of the economic scale. In many cases, people who did not need the subsidy got it, but the most vulnerable among us did not.

Everyone must recover or no one does.

Janet De With



Expand mail balloting

I believe strongly in our country and in our responsibility to each other to ensure our great democracy. The idea of America, land of the free and our way of life, must be preserved for future generations.

To ensure the future of our nation during this terrible pandemic, we must help all our citizens to vote without endangering them and their loved ones. But dozens of people contracted coronavirus after standing in lines for hours waiting to vote in Wisconsin.

We’re lucky here in Oregon in that we already have vote by mail. Doesn’t every American deserve to be able to exercise their vote from the safety of their homes during this pandemic?

Please call your U.S. senators and representatives and tell them you want $4 billion included in the next stimulus bill to make sure states can expand vote-by-mail so every American can vote safely. Congress must authorize the additional funding to make sure our November elections are secure — that every voter can safely exercise his right as an American to vote.

America is the land of the free and home of the brave. Let’s protect our rights and help our fellow Americans vote safely.

Chris Smith

West Salem 


Pool for Senate

I would like to show my support for Lisa Pool, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in Senate District 12.

I have known Lisa for more than 10 years. We met through family members and became friends.

She has a sharp intellect and a unique ability for finding common ground with everyone. Her background in health care and business makes her the perfect advocate for us in Salem during these uncertain times.

She has a strong moral compass. She stands up for the right things even if it’s not popular or profitable for her.

Her expertise in working with insurance companies, navigating our complicated healthcare system and finding solutions to tough problems are the components would help her protect our rights and interests here in McMinnville and beyond.

Helen Anderson



Conflicting studies

I read the May 1 letter from Mary Novak with interest. It detailed how the Democrats love control and hate the Constitution.

Step one, they had to discredit Trump’s suggestion for use of hydroxychloroquine against the virus, so Dr. Fauci staged a test selecting patients that were nearly terminal. Naturally, it was only partially successful.

That blackened Trump’s recommendation and opened the door for the Democrats’ next love — money. Big Pharma and the FDA could not get wealthy off a generic drug only costing $20 per patient, so they orchestrated a switch to more expensive anti-virals.

Meanwhile, I heard a couple of doctors with courage saved 500 patients, with no deaths or hospitalization, using hydroxychloroquine. I understand other doctors were just as successful with smaller groups.

Treatment needed to start before the patient was terminal. I believe the death toll could have been less than 10% of actual.

I think some rotten Republicans with lots of stock in Big Pharma must have threatened Trump to get him to back off.  Unfortunately, Democrats don’t have a total monopoly on the rot in Washington.

Elmer Werth

Grand Ronde


No means of contact

Last week, I received a postcard from Lindsay Berschauer, candidate for county commissioner.

The only contact method listed on the postcard was a website, lindsayforyamhillcounty.com. But at the time of this letter, no such site exists.

This lack of attention to detail emphasizes the fact that Ms. Berschauer does not really seem interested in hearing from all constituents, only the ones she agrees with.

Berschauer blocked me from her campaign’s Facebook page after I asked her to explain why she spent thousands of dollars on campaign signs printed in Josephine County rather than Yamhill County. In comparison, rival candidate Barbara Boyer recently weathered a nasty personal attack by Berschauer’s supporters, but continues to hold open forums and answer questions personally.

Yamhill County deserves a commissioner who will listen, even when it’s hard. Please don’t reward Lindsay Berschauer for spending other people’s money on signs, mailers and robocalls.

Megan Corvus



Trail poses no threat

My wife and I have been growing hazelnuts on our 60-acre Yamhill County farm since 1992. We have also pastured horses, grown wheat, hay, Christmas trees and ornamental plants, and helped manage a 160-acre family tree farm.

As a frequent user of the Banks-Vernonia Trail, and member of the Friends of the Yamhelas board of directors, I would like to address some of the inaccuracies that have surfaced. Let’s start with litter and theft.

I know some farmers have had to contend with this threat, but it is easy to minimize. It’s up to individual farmers to work with the county in the design phase to determine what type of landscaping or fencing would best protect their property. The county has expressly agreed to do this.

Some farmers fear they won’t be able to use insecticides, pesticides and herbicides adjacent to the trail, but this is far from the truth. All such spraying can be accomplished with little inconvenience, so nobody is going to lose crop production because he can’t spray.

We have neighboring properties on three sides of our filbert orchard. On one side, a neighbor’s house abuts our property line.

When I power blast spray insecticides and fungicides, I do the edges first. And I point my sprays inward toward the orchard, to avoid drift.

Any farmer knows he must spray when the wind is low, and has the option of spraying in the late evening or early morning hours to avoid people. In fact, some chemical sprays for some Willamette Valley crops must be sprayed at night for maximum effectiveness.

There is no special requirement for night spraying. Any farmer can do it.

There are new rules every year that  challenge our ability to farm, but we are a resilient group. We continue to thrive because we are able to adapt.

So it is with the proposed Yamhelas Trail. It just represents another opportunity for us to show that we can co-exist with the future.

Stephen Wick



Unified for Lindsay

If you still haven’t turned in your ballot, I urge you to do something good for Yamhill County and vote for Lindsay Berschauer for county commissioner.

Agriculture is still the lifeblood of this county, and it looks as if the majority of farmers have endorsed Lindsay. I suspect they support her because they remember she joined Timber Unity in fighting for their livelihood when businesses were under legislative cap-and-trade siege.

I’ve heard it said that voter memories are only two weeks long. Let’s elect Lindsay because of what she’s done on our behalf for more than just the last two weeks.

Primary elections are very important. Please cast your ballot.

Craig Pubols



Passionate about county

I am supporting Barbara Boyer in her candidacy for county commissioner.

I have known Barbara for more than 10 years. In that time, I have seen her show leadership and thoughtful decisionmaking.

Barbara is dedicated and level-headed. She works well with a wide variety of people. She takes the time to do her homework and fully understands the issues she is confronting.

One of the things I have always admired about Barbara is the enormous energy she brings to the table. She is truly passionate about Yamhill County.

She has a long history of volunteering for many different organizations and understands how county government works. She has lived in the county for 30 years, and has developed strong relationships with many constituents during that time.

For these reasons, I hope you will join me in giving Barbara your vote on Election Day.

Carson Benner



Where’s the need?

I have a question for cap-and-trade promoters. When the pandemic hit the U.S. and the stay-at-home order was applied, limiting highway traffic to trucks transporting necessities, why did the pollution clear from our air?

Judy Robinson



Growing your own

I was inspired by a couple of items in the May 8 News-Register.

Ramsey McPhillips’ article, “Virus sends a message,” will get us thinking about how to create a cleaner environment. I was especially pleased by his encouragement to garden, as I’ve been gardening everywhere I’ve lived for the last 40 years.

I hope people who’ve never grown food will give it a try.

Notice what your neighbors are growing and ask them, from a safe distance, about their techniques. Gardeners love to share their knowledge, and you might make a new friend in the process.

Also, there was a letter to the editor from Milo Nakamura encouraging us to switch to plant-based meat.

Lately, when I read about the filthy conditions in our slaughterhouses, and the suffering, both animal and human, I can’t help but see a connection with the “wet markets” in other parts of the world. We can heal ourselves and our planet by choosing carefully the things we buy and eat.

Try a plant-based burger today. And get your garden growing!

Lucinda Huffine



Shirking responsibility

So our leader has assumed the mantle of wartime president, claiming total control under Article II of the Constitution and expecting gratitude and praise for any body count lower than it would be if he had done nothing. In fact, he did nothing but wish the pandemic away for many weeks.

His daily intelligence briefings sounded the alarm, if only he had read them. But who needs intelligence when you have Fox News to fill in the blanks for you?

When, “like a miracle,” the pandemic followed the same infection curves it had in our country, our wartime president put the states on the front lines, declaring they held primary responsibility for providing the personnel and equipment required to fight the infection. He emphasized that even though he had complete control, he had no responsibility for any bad outcomes.

States are not equipped to handle global pandemics, so that begs the question: Would a wartime president leave a shooting war up to state governors and National Guard units?

Bill Johnson



Boyer for greater good

Yamhill County is a great place to live and visit. But we have come to a time when we will decide if we want to preserve this grand place, or go the way of Washington County and the Metro area.

We need capable, experienced and wise leadership to preserve what’s great about Yamhill County, to create a vibrant economy and address our challenges.

Barbara Boyer is the only candidate who possesses those attributes.

Even though I don’t share Barbara’s opinions on some issues, including the Yamhelas Trail as it is planned now, I believe that I and others not always sharing the same opinion as Barbara’s would be listened to and treated with respect. Given the work she already does for the county, and her lack of political dogma baggage, she would be focused on the welfare of our diverse county.

Lindsay Berschauer purports to oppose the trail, but as a member of the budget committee, she voted to approve a $116,000 contract for brush clearing along its route.

That brings me to another subject: How did she get on the budget committee anyway? After all, she is a transplant from Arizona, by way of Portland Metro.

What’s more, her expertise is political partisan campaign management. But the board of commissioners is not the place for party politics.

Systems, places and people are never perfect. Overall, however, Yamhill County is blessed with a wonderful array of towns to provide good living choices, open space and productive farm and forest lands.

As we continue to go forth — preserving our quality of life, addressing our shortcomings and planning for our future — we need Barbara Boyer as our county commissioner. Her election would be for the greater good of Yamhill County.

Connie Hutchison



Down and dirty

Today I received a shiny, professional-looking flier in the mail regarding Barbara Boyer’s arrest record.

That’s certainly something to take into account when making a voting decision. But as I read it, not only was it blatantly defamatory, it was downright ugly.

Then I saw the return address, including the name “Capitol Watch PAC.” What’s the motivation for a PAC to get involved with who is appropriately qualified to serve as a county commissioner? And why would an opponent need to play such a dirty card to win an election?

Ah, well, if you can’t campaign on a long-established commitment to Yamhill County, like Barbara Boyer, you need to tap a PAC for support. And perhaps you just view Yamhill County as a stepping stone to something bigger anyway.

Will that PAC want you to build your résumé in Yamhill County and move on? That seems like a worse crime to me.

My mind was made up. I made the best choice and voted for Barbara Boyer, a candidate with a record of serving this county, a candidate who has a vision for the future of all of its citizens. I threw away the glossy flier and then washed my hands.

Chris Hoover



 Vindictive and cruel

I’ve never liked negative political ads, and never have I seen a more disgusting example than the postcard I got in the mail today.

It’s an attack ad against Barbara Boyer. I guess Lindsay Berschauer has very little to offer her supporters, so she had to resort to help from some outside group to trash her opponent.

In our family, we say you are not defined by your past. It’s what you do with your present that counts.

It seems to me that the recent newspaper article explaining Boyer’s past, and how she dealt with that period in her life, more than showed how she has learned from past behavior and turned her life around.

I hope Berschauer can learn from this and change her behavior also. I don’t want someone this vindictive and cruel working for my county.

This postcard confirmed my vote for Boyer.

Marilyn Fishwick



Smear campaign 

I received a mailer regarding Barbara Boyer’s DUII history and was shocked to find it had no mention of anything else. It made no mention of Barbara’s opponent being the best person for the commissioner job, just claimed Barbara was not fit for office because she had last offended in 2013.

I’m going on the assumption that her opponent has lived an exemplary life with never an occasion to fall and be forgiven.

I personally look at people who have erred and see if they have redeemed themselves to become a better person. If I was even slightly thinking of voting for Barbara’s opponent, this would squelch that for sure.

Seeing this mailer suggesting that “Yamhill Co. needs a leader ... not a law breaker” doesn’t even come close to what I believe a good leader is. Sending out a smear campaign instead of a substance campaign mailer on issues tells me this person has no integrity, thus isn’t ready for the job.

In our house we will definitely be voting for Barbara Boyer.

Els Sandberg




Don Dix

Judy Robinson -- Cap and trade isn't about the environment or the climate -- it's just another scheme to raise taxes (read money!), which Oregon's leadership has been all about for 30 years. It's easily observed by how many times the has government attempted to implement a sales tax, whether outright or disguised as something else. And just imagine what your property taxes would be if not for Measure 5.

You won't get a valid answer (to your question), but more likely the usual political dance around, which is never an honest or complete response.


Janet, Who will decide? You?

Darrell Driver

In response to comments by Chris Smith, Expand mail balloting: Great suggestion! Providing Federal funding assistance to States to expand voter access, including Vote-by-Mail, should be encouraged.

However, I would not want to see the Federal government attempting to coerce States for receiving aid based on the methods of voting. If the citizens of a State are willing to stand in line with limited locations and hours of access, it would seem that is their State's choice. They have elected representation to make changes.

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