Letters to the editor: Aug. 14, 2020

No need to stress

Kudos to our local DMV. I was impressed with my visit to our local DMV office last week.

When I heard the office was going to reopen, I scheduled an appointment online. It was easy.

I was amazed by all the content online — and all the rules. But OK. We’re in the midst of a pandemic. Just go with it.

The place was set up according to Oregon Health Authority guidelines. But the best part was the service.

The employees were so helpful and courteous. They made eye contact and conversation.

My past experiences had been pretty stale, but this visit was perfect. So I’m happy to spread the word.

There’s no need to stress about visiting the DMV. It’s great!

Linda Schwichtenberg



Systemic racism

Questions for Dennis Carmody, Readers Forum 8/7/2020:

Could a nation constitutionally establishing the counting of some people as 3/5 person for voting purposes be racist? Could a nation giving disease-contaminated blankets to Native Americans in fulfillment of peace treaties be racist?

Could a nation relegating Japanese Americans to concentration camps be racist? Could a nation allowing Virginia’s Prince Edward County to close public schools for a whole year to avoid desegregation be racist?

Could a nation incarcerating people of color at rates many times that of whites for the same crime be racist? Could a nation now targeting communities of color with voter suppression tactics be racist?

Is the problem racists living in our nation or is it systemic racism so deeply infused most of us don’t even notice, as it doesn’t affect us?

So yes, Dennis, a nation can do all of those things you listed in your letter and still be racist. Until our society gets rid of the fear of racist people, and starts calling them out, then purges its systemic enabling, it will remain racist.

Dale Dehm



Disappointed in Willamina

What’s up, News-Register? The past five years, you have gone away from being an unbiased paper reporting news and community events.

You’re down to four pages and the local Democratic Central Committee’s new leaders gets a section-front writeup (“County Dems elect youngest chair and vice-chair in Oregon,” June 30), but nothing is run on local Republicans.

Letters from readers show they are tired of the bias, tired of headlines blasting Trump while disregarding the good he has done.

Let us not forget that he stood for Hong Kong signing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, made NATO pay its fair share and signed into law the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill reducing recidivism and refining sentencing. I guess N-R forgot about these.

It’s no wonder many will no longer subscribe to the paper. The pandemic was a perfect time to infuse readers with great journalism, but it hasn’t happened.

I remember when we could read about vegetarian meals, learn about clouds and weather or read about the varied history of Oregon.

I also remember when we saw pictures of school kids playing sports. Now, all that can be managed is their names, with more space given to advertisers than kids.

Along with many others, I am very disappointed in the News-Register. You must have forgotten that a newspaper’s job is to inspire, inform and bring a sense of hope and belonging to a community.

R.I.P. News-Register R.I.P.

Alyssa Green





Mr. Dehm, failures from past leaders, some many decades or centuries ago, do not necessarily indict or condemn an entire nation, today. Problems remain, but progress is being made. Your inability to acknowledge that is part of the problem. We live in more enlightened times, but ignorance is generational. The road to improvement is long and tortured, but throwing rocks at the positives serves no purpose.


Alyssa Green suggests that “………a newspaper’s job is to inspire, inform, and bring a sense of hope and belonging to a community." It goes without saying you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Evidently some people will not be pleased unless they perceive a rubber stamp for their personal beliefs and judgments?

I find this publication inspirational and informative. I always find a sense of hope and belonging here. I am grateful for, and respectful of the tenacity required to maintain a small-town paper especially under current mega-challenging conditions. Please keep caring about the community, N/R, and providing ethical journalism. Many of us recognize your immense value, and do not need you to be a rubber stamp as a condition of our support.


Sponge,I didn't see Mr. Dehm condemning today's entire Nation, only the parts which are still implicitly, if not explicitly racist.

And people who respond to 'BLM', with 'All Lives Matter', that is true, but only when 'Black Lives Matter' AS WELL!


Martin, reread the letter: he is explicitly indicting the nation, and ends the letter with “it will remain racist.” That is a broad brush that obscures ongoing improvements. The failures of the past are indefensible, but to ignore the progress countering those failures is equally unsupportable.


Alyssa Green:Your idealism is only tempered by your overwhelming enthusiasm. The 'role' of the local newspaper is no different than that of newspapers in larger markets or even regional and national publications: REPORT THE NEWS! You need to reexamine your expectations and rather than trying to hold others up to an unattainable standard dictated by 'youthful exuberance'.

If my neighborhood rag of a newspaper wants to convey their opinions that's fine, as I am a mature adult that can not only read, but can think for myself. I do not need any institution to tell me what is what and when they do, I listen anyway and then decide. I do not need 'fair & balanced' per se, just access to what is important and what is helping to shape our communities.

While it is true that the narrative you seek is more akin to something pretty much unattainable and the realist determines that in just such a scenario there is always some level of bias. Even FOX News with its 'fair & balanced' malarkey come up short on some of their servings, but they nevertheless keep playing the game and their adherents are avid followers. If you are unsatisfied with the local newspaper, you have options:
[1] Move
[2] Cancel your subscription
[3] Subscribe elsewhere
[4] Write more stupid letters to the editor to complain...
[5] Grow up and be realistic

I personally hope you'll hang around, keep us on our toes, and keep up the enthusiasm. We do not have to agree about everything in order to be a functioning community.

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