Letters to the Editor: July 10, 2020

Proud American

Remember the Bicentennial of 1976 featuring the fireworks display over the Statue of Liberty? What a celebration it was of our wonderful America.

So many celebrations and observances took place across our nation. People were so patriotic that many commemorative items were created and purchased.

Fast forward to July 4, 2020, and you get a very different picture. It featured widespread unrest and Anti-Independence Day protests.
It’s difficult to fathom. I cannot begin to understand the current landscape.

However, there’s one thing I’m sure of: This is still one proud American.

Michele Reeves



Where’s the leadership?

Hey, Mary Starrett and Rick Olson. Please show allegiance to your political leaders another way than by your poor judgment and hygiene.
We’re in a pandemic. Mask up or stay home.

If you can’t lead, resign. Yamhill County deserves your respect.

Mike Barton



Right to free speech

I have a Black Lives Matter sign on my property on Wallace Street. And twice now, someone has tampered with it.

The first time, it was turned so it wasn’t visible from the street. Most recently, the wire frame was taken and the sign was left lying against my fence.

I would like to have my right to free speech respected.

There are many signs and bumper stickers I don’t agree with, but I would never tamper with them, as I honor the right to express an opinion.
Please remember that free speech is a vital part of our democratic way of life.

Black lives matter. Black lives matter. Black lives matter.

Roshana Schockley



Electroshock dangers

Dr. Bennet Omalu, a recognized authority in identifying chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE in the NFL, is finding the same damaging after-effects from electroshock or ECT treatment inflicted on mental patients. Long-term outcomes also show potential for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, along with cardiac issues.

This procedure involves actual structural brain changes, but patients are only warned about limited short-term memory loss. Patients, including our veterans and children, are being misled and harmed in pursuit of profit.

ECT was once considered a last resort, but no longer. Figures from long ago indicated more than 100,000 patients were undergoing such treatments ever year, and the practice has greatly increased in the last decade. It is being performed even at leading facilities.

I have a survey in which hundreds of patients describe long-term damages they have to live with — or die from, as suicide becomes more prevalent. 

Deborah Schwartzkopff



Respect personal choice

Over the past 4 1/2 years, I have spent hundreds of hours advocating for Black, Hispanic, low-income and special-needs families targeted by the child welfare system for forcible removal of their children.

Along the way, I have not missed a chance to introduce good legislation or fight bad legislation — legislation discriminating against minority families and parental rights.

Oregon removes children from their parents significantly more often than many states, citing inadequate housing, substance abuse, domestic violence or neglect.

In March, I helped a low-income family which had a 2-year-old removed by Newberg police on orders from a local Department of Human Resources caseworker. That child was held down and given medical procedures without parental consent. A judge reversed the removal, but that child now suffers from trauma.

Trauma can take many forms. Most striking of late is the blatant shaming, bullying and disregard I am seeing when it comes to wearing a mask.
There are many abused and traumatized women and children suffering from mask phobia. They qualify for exemption, but are often being bullied, shamed or denied medical care for not using a mask.

Also exempted are children 12 and under, special-needs children, people who can’t get a mask on or have a hard time breathing, and people suffering from autism, COPD, sleep apnea or asthma. We are forgetting empathy, compassion, respect and understanding that “my body, my choice” applies to all things that carry a risk, including masks. 

Instead of sneering at someone for not wearing a mask, or bullying them on social media, please do what makes our community special. Make them feel they still belong and have friends.

Some people can’t wear a mask. Let’s continue to show love, compassion and empathy by respecting their choices.

Brittany Ruiz



Eradicating racism

I strongly recommend Ibram X. Kendi’s best-selling book, “How To Be An Antiracist.”

I am an old white guy who, up to now, has paid little attention to the persistent disrespect and injustice inflicted on fellow Americans consigned to minority racial status. But Dr. Kendi ignited a change in my thinking.

What connected especially strongly with me was his honesty, fairness,and personal vulnerability as he discusses the scourge of racist thought and behavior prevalent today. He addressees topics that are very difficult for most of us to face honestly.

His refusal to point the finger of blame and shame at any particular racial group — including whites — was key in keeping me engaged.

Kendi repeatedly challenges readers to reject our natural tendency to assign inferior value to a different cultural group based on behaviors of some individuals from that group. He urges readers to discard negative preconceptions of “that group” and interact with an “other” as an individual worthy — at the very least — of common decency. He concludes that bad policies, not bad individuals, are to blame for most of the injustice in contemporary U.S. society.

He expresses strong anger at injustices of various kinds. And he supports some causes that many readers may consider wrongheaded.

Despite this, I wanted to get past my own reactions and understand Kendi’s take-home lesson. I decided to put sections with which I disagreed “on the shelf” and continue reading to the end

I came away motivated to identify my own interior and probably subconscious racist tendencies. I have to agree with his contention that simply being color blind is not enough. One has to be intentionally antiracist.

Read the book and see if you agree.

Robert Wolcott



No more

As lifelong conservatives living in Amity and McMinnville, we read with great interest Arvey Nelson’s letter of June 26, concerning the News-Register’s liberal bent and his subsequent non-renewal. We, too, have become increasingly dismayed over this issue.

It’s bad enough that the national media embraces liberalism. To see our local paper follow suit is distressing.

Arvey Nelson has been a civic leader in Amity, supporting the community and its high school tirelessly for decades. He also served this nation through the Navy.

Your paper ignores a huge chunk of conservative readers. We also won’t be renewing our subscription either. We are done.

David & Cammie DeRaeve



Fair and balanced

I have read several letters lately criticizing the News-Register for favoring the left and not printing enough of the right’s point of view. Newspapers are usually left-leaning, but I have to disagree here.

I’m not conservative by any means. I am a Republican and a moderate.

I have written several letters from my point of view, which the News-Register has printed. From my perspective, the paper is being fair and balanced.

Judy Hromyko



When sanity returns

Commissioners veto masks? This is truly a form of lunacy.  Mary and Rick, if you are interested in the economic recovery of this county, you should realize that older people, like my wife and me, are going to avoid shopping and eating out until sanity returns to our community.

Congratulations on prolonging the county’s recession/depression.

Dennis & Nancy Isenburg



Maskless in McMinnville

Watched the board of commissioners meeting last week and found two commissioners were not wearing masks — Mary Starrett and Rick Olson.

I know Mary is against science, facts, diversity and often common decency, but this is ridiculous.

This was indoors, where masks are mandated. Is this how leaders lead? 

I’m not surprised Mary is leading from the back, as usual. But this is just a bit much.

Richard Nettles


Mask scofflaws

I watched the July 2 Yamhill County Board of Commissioners meeting. It was held indoors, and in a publicly owned building.

Neither Mary Starrett nor Rick Olson was wearing a mask. This is not leadership showing us how to open the economy back up safely.

Beth Rankin



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