Letters to the editor: Sept. 18, 2020

Grateful evacuees

As evacuees from the Echo Mountain Complex Fire in Otis, we would like to thank McMinnville Motel 6 Manager Brooke and her kind staff for accommodating us. They went out of their way to ready a room under renovation for us and our two dogs, Pepper and Daisy.

Tonight is the third night that the motel has had delicious dinners delivered to our rooms free of charge, courtesy of Harvest Fresh Catering.

We want the community to be aware of the kindness and generosity of these McMinnville businesses. We are very touched and grateful to Brooke, her staff, Motel 6 and Harvest Fresh.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Michele & Greg Warner



Time to act

Our government in Washington isn’t dealing adequately with a myriad of serious problems. The three biggest barriers are campaign financing, career politicians and unregulated social media.

Fixing them should appeal to partisans on both sides. As American citizens, we should demand they be addressed now so the hard work of governing can resume.

I recently had the opportunity to support a new candidate for Congress. It was the first time I had given money to a political candidate.

I was inspired because he promised to take no money from PACs or major donors. He even refused to take money from his own party!

He worked hard, had more than 30,000 small supporters like me chipping in an average of $27, and upset a well-financed politician.

He spoke for the needs of the people in D.C., not those of the big check-writers, whose voices and opinions dominate D.C. policies for both parties. We need to make this the rule, not the exception.

We currently have term limits for president. I’m not sure what they should be for the legislative and judicial branches, but limits are needed. Far too many make a career out of their office, becoming obsessed with winning the next election rather than getting real work done.

Meanwhile, social media companies have built immense enterprises almost overnight. The technology has produced wonderful benefits, but also serious adverse consequences, including rapid spread of misinformation, deliberate or accidental. We must get a handle on this issue to ensure our democratic institutions, including the right to an informed vote, aren’t destroyed.

Ask your candidates what they will do to fix these problems.  These are the first critical steps we must take now.

Frankly, there won’t be much left of the American Dream if these root problems aren’t addressed quickly.

Philip Forve



Politicizing the fires

Gov. Brown is blaming climate change for the fires ravaging our forests, but she couldn’t be more wrong. Large fires like the Santiam Fire were quite common prior to 1949.

The Santiam Canyon fire of 1865 burned more than 500,000 acres, and the Tillamook Burn fires continued most of the 1930s. Back then, they just got out of the way and let it burn.

After 1949, the national forests were managed by the U.S. Forest Service, and large fires became a thing of the past. Meanwhile, communities all over Oregon benefited from the timber revenue. Local schools and governments got funding,  and there were good jobs and vibrant little towns all over Oregon.

In 1993, the anti-business left used the spotted owl and Endangered Species Act to force the federal government to shut down the forests. Hundreds of mill closures ensued and rural Oregon vanished. In once-proud towns like Coos Bay, drug and alcohol abuse spiked with the loss of jobs and dignity.

Twenty-five years later, the forests are packed with underbrush and the trees are growing too close together, creating a giant tinderbox. So my question to you, Governor Brown, is where are you going to get cap and trade credits for the huge carbon emission your friends just caused?

John Eshleman



Flexibility badly needed

I am a retired teacher with 33 years of experience. My four children went to school in McMinnville, and I now have two grandchildren in the system, one in kindergarten and the other in sixth grade.

I looked at their comprehensive learning schedule and was shocked. How is this attainable for working families? How is this attainable for our hard-working teachers?

I get that we want the best for our children here in McMinnville, but this is too much. It is too much for the children, parents and teachers.

Three of my four children are teachers who work way more than an eight-hour day to provide the best for their students. Your tax dollars are well spent.

I am concerned that if we implement this comprehensive schedule, we will harm students, anger parents and lose good teachers.

In this time of crisis, we need to show compassion. Our teachers need to know they have a voice in the planning. They need to feel appreciated for the skills and talents they share with our children.

Please reconsider the time students need to be online. Make it more flexible for working parents.

Consider the needs of our teachers. They are McMinnville’s best asset. Show them they are valued.

Patsy Dye



Record of service

I am writing today to voice my support for the re-election of Scott Hill as mayor of McMinnville.

I had the pleasure of working with Scott over the past six-plus years, during my role as CEO of the Willamette Valley Medical Center, preceding my retirement. During that time, we worked on a variety of projects, and I found him to be very open, a good listener and always prepared for the discussion.

With his business background and years of community service, Scott was an important voice at any discussion and was a positive influence on the conversations. He did not shy away from the difficult issues and worked to try to find common ground.

We attended many community meetings together during this time, including those associated with the city’s strategic planning update project and its budget and audit committee, of which I am still a citizen member. We were both active in the monthly Leadership Council, which brought business, education and civic leaders together countywide to share organizational updates and keep communications open. In this time of uncertainty, with the COVID challenges, recent fires and ongoing financial and political change, re-electing Scott Hill as our mayor is the right thing to do. He has institutional knowledge, he’s well respected, he works well across groups and he has the best interests of our community at heart. It’s important to get out and participate in the election. Your vote is important. I hope you will give serious consideration to keeping Scott on the job.

Peter Hofstetter



Most qualified

There is no doubt that Kellie Menke is the most qualified candidate for the Ward 2 City Council position.

Kellie has participated in the governance of McMinnville for more than 21 years. She has served on the city council for 16 of those years, and has been a key contributor to making McMinnville the wonderful small city that we all love.

The beauty and charm of our Third Street downtown, and the rest of our city, did not happen by itself. It has taken hard work and diligence of people like Kellie.

She has worked tirelessly to maintain our small town charm and atmosphere, while at the same time accommodating the exceptional growth we’ve seen in the past few years. McMinnville is such a wonderful city because of the enormous care and efforts she and others like her have given us.

That is not to say that our city is not without its problems. However, if you want to solve those problems, elect the people who have lived with them, understand them and know best how to solve them.

Re-elect Kellie Menke, someone whose priority agenda is, always has been, and always will be a better and more livable McMinnville.

Steven Rupp



Dual threat crisis

This country is presently dealing with two pandemics.

One pandemic is medical. The pathogen is the coronavirus.

The other is societal. The pathogen is fear and hate.

Both pandemics are very infectious, possibly fatal, and have claimed thousands of American lives. Both are invisible, because pathogen carriers can be asymptomatic.

The best way to maintain one’s physical and mental health is by social distancing. One way to flush out a fear and hate carrier requiring distancing is to engage in civil conversation about politics.

When citizens panic during a pandemic, the results can be devastating. Panic is a reaction, not a response.

Stay safe. Be alert. Vote early.

Robert McNamee



We need a change

Donald Trump claims he is a cheerleader for our country, but in reality, he is a cheerleader for nationalism.

Nationalism is not patriotism. Patriotism is for the common good of all citizens and democracy, whereas nationalism is about separating, dividing and pitting one group against another.

Historically, nationalism has never led to good outcomes. It has led to oppression, dictators and rulers for life, the antithesis of democracy.

Donald Trump also denies climate change.

We must finally come to grips with the fact that the human species, the dominant species of the planet, is having a negative impact on the ecological health of the biosphere. We can no longer pretend we are not an integral part of the natural, biological equation of the function of this planet.

We need to rejoin the world in environmental goals, in cooperation, and in diplomacy. We need to re-engage with nations who we have stood with in the past and step back from the adulating acknowledgment of heads of state of countries such as Russia and Saudi Arabia.

We need a respectful, intelligent, emotionally healthy individual as the leader of this nation. Vote for Joe Biden.

Stuart Gunness



Respect one another

I hope and pray this country can come together soon. But I don’t think it will happen — not when politicians continue to hurl insults and accusations at each other, when people continue to disrespect and disparage those who do not share their viewpoint, and when people continue to label others and judge them by those labels. We are each more than the our skin color, sexual orientation or political affiliation. I believe we are all beloved children of God and should be respected.

Gail Anderson



Only one choice

In a world gone crazy, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the wildfires and insane politics on a local and national scale, we do have choices regarding our growing rural city.

As we draw nearer and nearer to Nov. 3, the choice for mayor in McMinnville is extremely important. Now is not the time to elect a mayor who has no civic experience, particularly experience serving on committees within the city that prepare one for the office.

I have personally worked with Mayor Scott Hill the last four years, through our city council, Affordable Housing Task Force and associated subcommittees. I have also worked with him through County Commissioner Casey Kulla’s Housing Solutions group, which Scott participates in regularly, playing a key role. Scott is on top of our houseless citizens’ issues and subsequent solutions.

He has incredible passion for McMinnville. He has served us well in dealing with current city related issues and needs. He is extremely well informed, and is conscientious about bringing ideas and solutions to the table.

As we begin to rebuild our economy and business base, we need experienced leaders. Scott has that background, compassion and drive to fill that role upon re-election to a second term.

To me, there is only one real choice for mayor in the upcoming general election. We need to re-elect Scott Hill as mayor of McMinnville.

Howie Harkema



Proud of service

The words from our commander in chief, recently reported in multiple media outlets, were most disturbing. They denigrated our military veterans,

And it keeps recurring. The sources are many, the occasions frequent, the words insulting.

He will inevitably deny what was reported and attack the media. But if only 25% of what is reported has a thread of truth, there is plenty of evidence that this insensitivity makes President Trump incapable of governing the country.

This is personal to me.

I lost my father in the Korean War in 1953, 11 days before my first birthday. Sixteen years later, my brother was killed just months into his first tour of duty in Vietnam. Both served honorably and for this country in the U.S. Marines.

We are an honorable family. We are proud of the men in our family who served and lost their lives in the process. They were not losers!

For anyone considering voting for President Trump in November, I encourage you to reconsider.

If you can’t see your way to vote for a Democratic candidate, I get it. But you do have other choices. Please consider writing in another Republican politician who serves honorably — or skip voting for president altogether.

Cameron Urnes



Bad air precautions

As I drive around town in this hazardous air quality, I see people walking their pets. Some of these people don’t even have masks on.

This smoke is very harmful to human and pet lungs. Please keep your pets inside during all this smoke.

If your dog needs exercise, then throw a ball or sock down the hall for him to fetch. I do this with my dog all the time.

If you don’t care about your own lungs, please care about those of your dog. And that goes for cats, too.

Sandra Ponto



You can trust him

Although Sandy and I moved to Washington in January, our hearts still belong in McMinnville, our home for 30 years. That’s why I’m writing this letter to endorse Scott Hill for mayor. 

I have had the good fortune of knowing Scott since 1971. There’s a long list of reasons why he should be re-elected, allowing him to lead McMinnville out of the chaos created by COVID-19, but I’ll limit them to these:

Scott is experienced. For 26 years he has served McMinnville in many volunteer and elected positions. Scott is successful. Besides leading important initiatives for our community, he excelled in his career with Key Bank, chaired numerous nonprofit boards, and provided outstanding leadership to his church.   Scott is devoted. He is a loving husband and father and tireless advocate for the McMinnville community. 

Perhaps, most importantly, Scott is a very, very good man. You can trust him completely. 

Dan Hinmon

Port Orchard, Washington


Don Dix

John Eshleman -- Exactly! Actually Tillamook burned 4 times from 1933 to 1951, consuming a total over 700K acres.

However, it's important to note, there were hardly any major wildfires in western Oregon between 1952 and 1987; a 35-year period in which these forests were the most actively and intensively managed in their history (a fact that seems to be conveniently ignored to promote a contrasting agenda).

A look at Gov. Brown's record of leading and decision-making shows little. She blamed Trump and the feds for Portland's 100+ days of riots and eliminated herself and Portland's mayor from any responsibility. Now, with a highly partisan mindset, she blames wildfires on cc (as if it has never 'changed' previously).

Brown's painfully obvious characteristic is denial of any responsibility or blaming something (someone) else. She's a total 'left-wing puppet', who has allowed her title to go to her head.

Wake up Oregon! Your gov. is a do-nothing fool that only responds to her base! And it will be that way until Oregonians take back their state.

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