Letters to the editor: June 26, 2020

Hiding the facts

Were we asleep at the wheel?

Now we cannot know what is going on with the cops? No, it already was that way!

Not so long ago in the evening I could see from my look-out tower something happening on Highway 18B going to Willamina. I called the non-emergency cop number, but they would not tell me.

I called a few neighbors. We all had our binoculars out.

There were lots of police cars, which translated as a large rectangular mass of red, decorated with flashing lights and vehicles. But we could not figure out what was going on.

In years past, whatever age we were, we would have gone to the scene.

I called the non-emergency line a few days later and wanted to know what had happened. The words were, “There was an accident.”

They told me to call another number and leave my name. They said someone would get back to me and explain.

Did they call? NO!

Someone else in our neighborhood said, “Well, the cops probably didn’t have anything else to do, so they went out on the highway to congregate at the scene.”

Allowing the cops to do things in secret just adds to the dislike of them.

Helen Bitar



Walking for justice

Lawyers were recently joined by professional and judicial colleagues in taking a stand for equal justice for all. We walked down Third, Evans and Fifth streets to the county courthouse — a short walk for a big cause.

We honored the memory of George Floyd by observing eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence. In the last three minutes and 20 seconds, we noted the time when Mr. Floyd is said to have died while being held down, knee to the throat.

For some, the sadness was significant enough they felt the need to kneel. In the quietness, you could  hear some whispering prayers and others softly crying. After the silence, a prayer written by Saint Francis of Assisi and set to music by Brian Wu was sung by local musicians and some walkers.

It was a time to acknowledge that for justice to be true, it must be equal for everyone. It was a time to acknowledge that we see and hear what is happening to our Black brothers and sisters, and for those of us who serve justice to stand with them.

Unless you recognize the disparate treatment in the justice system for people of color, you cannot change it. And it must be changed.

Everyone is entitled to due process. So in this moment in our shared history, we see it is time to step up and say Black lives matter.

As a clarification of the News-Register’s coverage, no one was asked to kneel, as that’s an intensely personal matter. For some, kneeling represented an act of spiritual reverence; for some, an acknowledgment of empathy; for some, an expression of remorse.

The Justice Walk was a statement of our oath to protect the right of justice for all — and to stand against injustice, lest we be found complicit.

Cynthia Kaufman Noble



A culinary delight

Despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic, Mike and Dawn Stiller are continuing to run Tina’s in Dundee with hard work and high standards.

My wife and I have enjoyed celebrating every anniversary and New Year’s Eve at Tina’s since we were married.

Our recent visit on June 5, to celebrate our 16th anniversary, was just as pleasant as we’ve come to expect. I want to proclaim the excellence of the taste and the quality of their offerings.

I was served a pork rillettes hors d’oeuvre that was the best I’ve ever had. It featured pork served with an Amarena cherry mostarda, marinated NiÇoise olives and brandied fruit.

Alongside came a grilled, crusty baguette for spreading the pâté. Stunning!

My culinary memory stretches back 80 years, and this was the finest-tasting combination of foods I have experienced to date.

I appreciate the Stillers’ steadfast effort to keep their fine dining restaurant open — for my wife and I, as well as everyone else who enjoys wonderful food.

Dan Corrigan



Let the peace begin

Yes, Black lives do matter. Brown lives matter. Native American lives matter.

I support the call for racial and social justice. The claim of liberty and justice for all, while a lofty concept, rings hollow when the light of day falls on our dark past and present. My parents raised me to be tolerant, but I had no exposure to other races, so it was largely theoretical. There were no Black children in my neighborhood, schools or church.

There were racist teachers, so the history I was taught ignored past tragedies. Not until I read about the president’s rally in Tulsa did I learn that on June 1, 1921, Tulsa was the site of the largest single incident of racial violence in American history.

Whites burned to the ground an all-Black community of more than 1,000 homes and businesses. As many as 300 people died and 10,000 became homeless.

Imagine this happening to McMinnville and then having this tragedy erased from history. There is too much hate and fear today. But we can disagree without being disagreeable.

The loudest voices and greatest threats are not what makes our civilization great. We are better than this.

It is time for listening, considering all voices and making the best decisions for everyone. There will always be bad actors in any group. But the collective police are not the enemy. It’s our systems that need radical change.

Police are not social and mental health workers. We have trained professionals for these situations. And I prefer the old-fashioned term “peace officer” over the slang “cop.”

I do trust our local force to act professionally and protect us when needed. I suspect a peaceful shift is a most satisfying day for them. I sincerely hope the protests of today will be the beginning of true social change.

Robert Porath


Not renewing

With great interest and total agreement, we enjoyed Jim and Joy Beard’s letter of June 12, regarding their concern and disagreement with the liberal position of today’s News-Register.

Like the Beard family, we are lifelong area residents. For the past 70 years, we have enjoyed the straight unbiased reporting of the News-Register.

Jim and his wife suggest they would enjoy seeing an occasional conservative-based opinion. We agree.

Our fix to the one-side-only liberal voice of today’s News-Register is to simply remove the paper from our household.

Reading the very objectionable and fiercely liberal editorial rant of two weeks ago provided, for me, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Our plan is to not renew our subscription to today’s liberal News-Register.

Arvey Nelson



Enough is enough

Does anyone realize the effort to construct the Yamhelas-Westsider Trail has involved questionable activity from the start, and that the county’s chief counsel, Todd Sadlo, has led this effort as the official trail applicant?

The county commissioners serving in 2012 took the word of Friends of the Yamhelas-Westsider Trail that farmers had no objection, so allowed the trail into the county’s Transportation Study Plan.

To operate a trail in an exclusive farm use zone requires a conditional use permit. To obtain that permit, the applicant must demonstrate the planned use poses no significant harm to adjoining farms.

Believing that could be accomplished without a full-blown farm impact study, Sadlo emboldened two of the three commissioners to back him with the necessary votes. On that basis, the county began pursuing grants for the purchase of several miles of abandoned rail line for a foot and bike path.

Farmers objected strenuously, arguing a formal study would demonstrate severely negative impacts.

The matter has gone before the Land Use Board of Appeals four times now, and the county has fallen short each time in its bid to win approval. That means the taxpayers have lost each time. 

If you think an officer of the court would respect LUBA’s findings, you would be wrong.  If you think a majority of commissioners would insist on obtaining necessary permits before spending tax money on a non-essential project, you would also be wrong.

Tom Hammer

West Salem



Avery, right on. Me too!


Avery, right on. Me too!


At the risk of sounding overly critical, gophergrabber, you may want to check the spelling of your new hero's name.


Arvey and gopher. Hey 'Cancel Culture' just like the extreme lefties. Can't take an opinion you do not agree with. I am renewing. And I am giving a subscription to a friend as a birthday gift.

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