Letters to the editor: June 19, 2020


Masks make good neighbors

Like many people, I used to assume that wearing a mask would protect me from the COVID-19 virus.

Unfortunately, masks do not protect the wearer from germs other people are spreading. Instead, masks protect others by limiting the spread of germs by the wearer.

Masks keep the majority of those germs in the mask or very close to the wearer, rather than allowing them to be broadcast at face level. And because people can be spreading the virus without knowing they have it, asking them to wear a mask to prevent them from infecting others seems to be in the same vein as restricting smoking inside buildings.

As my dad used to say, “Your right to swing your fist stops just before my nose.” The people who choose to not wear masks in public are increasing the probability they will, unknowingly, infect others. So I wear a mask when I am in public.

I intentionally steer clear of people who are not wearing masks. I sometimes even encourage them to wear masks. Finally, I applaud and support those organizations now requiring all people wear masks.

Gary Langenwalter



Need for police reform

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a woman is raped or abused somewhere in America every two minutes. It is estimated that three million women are physically abused here every year.

Globally, there are more than three million women and children enslaved. A huge percentage are bought and sold. The U.S. State Department estimates between 600,000 and 800,000 are trafficked across international boundaries.

But we riot when one black man dies?

Moreover, the slogan “black lives matter” is racist. Think about it. People roll into town to promote violence. We’ve learned nothing since the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. The instigators and national media are manipulating us.

Furthermore, I haven’t heard what they want. What are their demands?

The slogan doesn’t say anything. It’s just a racist statement.

And if all we see in the Minneapolis incident is race, then we’re racist. The legal issues are unreasonable use of force and murder.

Police reform is needed across the country, even in Mac.

Sheila Hunter



Corrosive comments

I believe it is time to remove the comments section from online stories. These comment sections are just negative space for seemingly negative people. 

Often, the comments make it clear the poster did not even read the article. The poster is leaving opinions based on the headline alone, which distracts from the actual news contained in the article.

As a regular reader of both the News-Register and Oregon Live, I wholeheartedly believe the Oregonian’s decision to end comments has been positive. I do not believe online comment sections should become forums for people to have unmoderated freedom to say whatever they want. 

There is no reliable fact-checking, so they become echo chambers for opinions. They foster partisan bickering, name-calling and shouting at the sky.

The negatives of online comments greatly outweigh the positives. If people have opinions, they can write letters to the editor.

Dialogue is more important than ever, but online comments are not an appropriate forum.

Scott L. Green



Bring sports back

I am a sophomore at Dayton High School, where sports are a big part of everyone’s lives.

Sports bring people together and change lives. You can learn many life lessons when playing a sport, such as responsibility and trust.

I know sports are a very big thing in my life.

Not being able to play with my friends sucks. I really hope our government leaders choose to bring sports back so kids can get out of their houses and be more active.

Lucas Ashley



Time to mask up

Wearing a mask is your patriotic duty.

During World War II, major Allied cities had blackout ordinances.

In London, blackout regulations were imposed on Aug. 11, 1939, two months before the declaration of war. They stipulated that “all windows and doors should be covered at night with suitable material, such as heavy curtains, cardboard or paint, to prevent the escape of any glimmer of light that might aid enemy aircraft.”

Even in the U.S., New York City regularly conducted blackout drills in order to be prepared for eventual Axis bombing campaigns. Why do you think governments imposed these regulations?

Was it to keep you from getting yourself killed by a bomb? No, it was to prevent your city from being located and bombed, killing your neighbors and hampering the war effort.

Violators were fined and shamed. Why? Because they were endangering everyone, and impeding the war effort in the process. At a time of war — or pandemic — sacrifices have to be made. These sacrifices may not be for you. They may be for others, they may be for the nation’s economic recovery, they may be for someone’s grandparents. Wearing a mask is the least you can do for those around you and your nation.

We can’t get back to any semblance of “normal” until transmission is cut. The only way to achieve that today is by everyone masking up in public.

Please, do your part for our greater good. It’s not that much to ask.

John Linder



Worst that could happen?

Some tell me that COVID is no longer a threat, that I no longer need to take precautions. If this is incorrect, the worst that can happen is that I will sicken and die.

And some tell me that COVID remains a threat, that I need to continue to take precautions. If this is incorrect, the worst that can happen is that I will be inconvenienced by a mask and social distancing, but alive.

So, what do I do now?

Tony Roder



See what officers face

The June 12 News-Register contained a story on calls for McMinnville to defund its police department. So how many of these people have gone on a full-shift ride-along — day, swing or graveyard — with a police officer? 

No matter what the size of the department, recruits complete a mandatory 16-week police academy.

It features morning, noon and night training. As a retired law enforcement officer, I know, because I was once there to assist in that training.

Maybe the critics should take a ride-along to see what the officers face every day.

Art Pohl



Golden opportunity

Being preoccupied by other matters, I haven’t followed the progress of the Yamhelas-Westsider Trail. But I did receive notice that the Yamhill County commissioners had approved the first 2.82 mile segment of the 12.48 mile route. Since the vote was two for and one against, I asked who cast the dissenting vote. All commissioners responded, for which they have my compliments, and it was Mary Starrett who indicated she voted no.

No? This proposed trail is more than a golden opportunity or chance of a lifetime. It is a golden multi-generational opportunity.

I asked Mary why she was against it. Her response was: “I have opposed the project for the last six years, since I’ve been in office. The project would negatively impact farmers along the proposed route. In addition, this has and will continue to have an impact on county staff and resources.” Farming is big in Yamhill County.  Drive any state highway or county road, and you will see them lined by farms and forests.

So why would a trail through farmland be any different than the road you drive every day? Are the farmers doing something along that section of the trail that they don’t do in the rest of the county?

Furthermore, there are multiple funding sources other than Yamhill County. The problem is, none can be used without county approval. I biked a portion of Michigan’s 92-mile Fred Meijer White Pine Trail, named after the Midwest grocery chain counterpart of our Fred Meyer.

Michigan gets it.  What a gem. It’s a paved path passing alongside rivers and through backyards, towns and farms. It is used by bikers, runners, joggers, walkers and parents pushing baby carriages.

We can do that here. A new commissioner takes office in November. And she, like Commissioner Starrett, needs to know that we consider the Yamhelas Trail an important part of our community.

Leonard Rydell



What’s the qualifier?

There are folks on the News-Register’s online forum, commenting on Heidi Parker’s plans to run for mayor, taking issue with her being a transplant. So why aren’t longtime residents jumping at the chance to serve in local seats?

I’ve been here seven years. I was not raised here, but my military service had me everywhere and I decided to settle here.

I’m considering a run for office myself. Do I not qualify?

I’ve served this community as an assistant veterans service officer for four years. I briefly volunteered with Habitat for Humanity until my father got sick.

What’s the qualifier? Do community-active transplants get equal consideration?

I personally feel that Ms. Parker has gone off the third rail in recent months. No politician should be blocking and deleting opposing opinions that are expressed respectfully.

I took myself off the Action In Mac platform as it went from being a welcoming community resource to a one-sided political bubble. I expressed my opinion as a sidebar and was promptly dismissed.

But what’s the qualifier for seeking public office, McMinnville!? I’m a curious transplant who would like to know.

Lisa McCracken



Let us play

I am going into my sophomore year at Yamhill-Carlton High School, and we need to have sports. For many kids at our school, the biggest reason they enjoy school is because of sports.

Last year, I played basketball and soccer. And I enjoyed both of those sports.

You can learn a lot of things from sports, such as how to get or stay in shape, how to meet and interact with people and how to trust your team. I love spending time with my friends and getting to make new ones through sports.

I hope we can have sports this year, because it’s the biggest reason I like school. Please let us play. If colleges and pros can play, we can play.

Malachi Seely Roberts




Don Dix

From the letter by Scott L. Green -- 'The poster is leaving opinions based on the headline alone, which distracts from the actual news contained in the article.'

Where is the 'actual news' in this letter (fact-check)? The stated desire is to limit responses to NR print, but is based solely on the 'opinion' of the writer.

So, in Mr. Green's world, one man's opinion, his, automatically takes precedence over another's -- not in my Constitution!


Unable to be the arbiter of online comments, Mr. Green’s default solution is to muzzle ALL commenters. For somebody claiming, “Dialog is more important than ever,” this move seems counterproductive. There is plenty of ignorant drivel coming through, but thinking people recognize it for what it is. The answer, however, is not to censor the content, but rather to counter with better arguments. Sorry, Mr. Green, but your letter calls to mind Macbeth’s lament of life, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”


I like the comments section. Relatively few of the same folks comment regularly. It is like a microcosm of all the other social venues. Political positions are well known and expressed often. There is one who is so vicious it is hard not to feel very sad and sorry for them. However, every once in awhile, the regulars have an actual conversation. That is worth it.

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