Letters to the editor: Dec. 24, 2020

Reconsider and reverse

We must support our local businesses during this pandemic. And we need more than a resolution from the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners. 
Please join me in encouraging our commissioners to take on the hard task of navigating through this awful pandemic using reason and facts.
Many of our businesses are on the brink.  We need good, up-to-date information. 

The pandemic and government solutions have resulted in physical, mental and financial harm to our neighbors. Decisions based on faulty logic and misinformation can hurt us even more.

I’m a 30-year resident of Yamhill County, a practicing naturopathic doctor of 33 years and a former chair of the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine.
I found Dr. Ealy’s testimony at the December board of commissioners meeting to contain many factual errors and misleading statements. It seemed more of a political act than a medical presentation. 

I was very disappointed by the county commissioners’ vote on the resolution, titled, “In the Matter of Establishing an Accurate Hazard Level in Relation To COVID-19.” In my opinion, it should be reconsidered and reversed. 

Linda Meloche


Turning the tables

After watching many of President Trump’s rallies, attended by thousands of people, then seeing Joe Biden come out of his basement occasionally, with maybe 50 people on the sidewalk listening to him, is it any wonder Republicans are skeptical that Biden actually won this election.

I am not going to cry or throw a temper tantrum, as the Democrats did in 2016. I did want to say what Don Bowie said in his Yearning for 2024 letter last week, but he beat me to it and said it much more eloquently. So thank you Don.

Then there was Professor Rutledge’s letter, calling the president a criminal. Really? Where do you get your information, from “The View”?

It’s hard to believe such an educated man could come to that conclusion, unless he’s been brainwashed. I shudder to think what you teach your students.
The Democratic party has evolved from greats like Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy to the likes of Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. It has fallen a long way.
After four years of viciously attacking my president, Democrats now say they want to unify the country.

Are they kidding? It won’t happen.

I will give their candidates the same respect they gave my president. I will never accept Joe Biden or Kamala Harris or any other member of the radical Democratic Party.

Judy Hromyko

In these COVID times

“To whom much is given, much is required.” Luke 12:48

To those to whom much is given, and are connected, comforted and loved, remember those who are alone, vulnerable and forgotten.

To those to whom much is given, including food and health care, remember those who must choose between nutrition and medication.

To those to whom much is given, but must shelter-in at home, remember those who have no home.

To those to whom much is given, including child and elder care options, remember those who have no option but to leave the workforce.

To those to whom much is given, including affordable transportation, remember those who have no transportation.

To those to whom much is given, but must postpone vacations, remember those who get no vacations and have no safe place to go.

To those to whom much is given, including discretionary income, remember those who have no paycheck, pension or savings.

To those to whom much is given, but do not acknowledge American racism, remember those who feel the daily sting of bigotry, hate and violence.

To those to whom much is given, thus are privileged, remember Frederick Douglass (1846) as echoed by Doc Rivers (2020) — “America will not allow her children to love her.”

To those whom much is given, but view others as the enemy, remember the timeless Mayan credo In Lak’ Ech — “You are my other me.”

To those to whom much is given, and now feel relief and hope, remember the words, “We didn’t come this far to only come this far.”

God bless and stay safe.

George Cabrera


Second thoughts?

Senator Kim Thatcher:

I note you were among 12 Republican members of the Oregon Legislature who petitioned Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to join in efforts by the Texas attorney general to overturn the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

One assumes by this action that you and these fellow Republicans will gladly support challenges by other states to legislative matters in our own state.

If your answer to this is no, then you owe an explanation to all the people in Oregon about why you chose to urge our state to join in this frivolous lawsuit.

Acknowledged or not, its purpose was to meddle in the affairs of other states.

Until quite recently, that isn’t an action any Republican would consider legitimate. In fact, until recently, such behavior has been viewed as anathema to what responsible governance is about.

The terse rejection of this suit by the Supreme Court, whose nine members include three Trump appointees, ought to represent writing on the wall that this suit had no legal reason for existence.

And to any organization that endorsed Thatcher for Oregon secretary of state, do you have second thoughts about your endorsement? If not, you very much should.

Scott Phoenix


What’s the rush?

The UGB remand passed the city council 4-2. While it was based on the way land was selected, several non-urgent comprehensive plan and ordinance changes were included.

Among people familiar with land use, there was general agreement that 5098 appeared padded. All of these details could have been worked out, but councilors were too rushed.

The remand packet, apparently distributed in mid-November, featured more than 720 pages of technical documentation. That should take at least 50 hours to read, and, yes, I have research to support that figure.

The hearing began Dec. 1 and continued through Dec. 3. The planning staff had been working on it for more than a year, but councilors only had two or three weeks to assimilate details, not including citizen testimony.

At least three councilors own their own businesses and most have families with school-age children. So it’s easy to understand the frustration when our mayor limited them to three questions and the planning director branded some of those irrelevant.

A regular council meeting was scheduled Dec. 8, four days after the hearing closed. In addition to the usual business,  topics included a fire district consolidation study and hazard mitigation plan. The packet ran more than 760 pages, only 22 of which referred to the UGB remand.

So in less than a month, our unpaid councilors had to read more than 1,500 pages requiring more than 100 hours.

I’m curious as to why the timeline was pushed so hard when the city’s legal consultant said it had plenty of time. While I only scanned the consolidation study and mitigation plan material, no deadlines jumped out for me on those either.

It reminded me of a similar volume of work during many of the significant Baker Creek development issues. How can we prevent, or at least discourage, smothering our city councilors to the point of ineffectiveness?

Patty O’Leary

War on truth

Covid kills. Disinformation kills, too, if you dare to believe it.

We can help preserve our beautiful county and way of life by being smarter than this virus. The coming weeks are critical.

Sadly, we now need to protect ourselves from the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners, too.

It voted 2-1 to disregard state COVID guidance because the day-to-day statistics are imperfect. That’s about as smart as disregarding the weather because the forecast isn’t always right.

The board’s Dec. 17 meeting and vote were a farce that has been preserved on YouTube and will be long remembered. The board’s empty resolution risks bringing more suffering, instead of helping our neighbors and businesses.

Now, because of this vote, taxpayers risk facing lawsuits not covered by the county’s malpractice insurance policy.

Tell your county commissioners you expect more. Tell them to reverse the vote.

Mike Barton

Dirty laundry

In the past couple of weeks, two whistleblowers have made allegations against administration officials. And I’ll be surprised if this trickle doesn’t become a full-fledged flood in the months following the new administration taking power.

People who weren’t willing to risk their careers, or wanted to avoid being tweeted onto a Wanted Dead or Alive list, will start coming forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t corruption scandals in every cabinet-level department.

I’d also bet that a slew of people with inside information will jump at the chance to sell tell-all books. It looks as if 2021 will be the Year of Dirty Laundry.
Happy New Year.

Fred Fawcett

Trail of deceit

I would like to set the record straight regarding the initial master planning process on the proposed Yamhelas Westsider Trail.

In the article published in the News-Register on Tuesday, Dec. 8, Carrie Martin, the county’s special projects manager, claims she has attempted to work with opponents. The way I see it, this is just the latest effort by the county to sway public perception, portraying a fantasy of attempting to work with opponents while painting the opponents as uncooperative.

In the article, Carrie Martin claims she reached out to farmers who are vocal opponents to participate in an advisory group, but did not receive any responses.
Oh, really? Not one of the farmers I know from the opposition had received any such request as of the time I wrote this letter.

An e-mail was sent to Martin on Wednesday, Dec. 9, asking who specifically she had. But it drew no response.

This is the latest chapter in a long book of deceit from our county government when it comes to this trail project, leaving local farmers and adjacent landowners baffled and frustrated. It amounts to a betrayal by the very people they pay to represent them.

This project has been stopped by appeal five times, due to land use violations by the county. Without regard, they insist on plowing forward.

They foist misleading information on those who are not able to follow the process under a microscope. It really is disheartening.

I encourage everyone to get involved for themselves in order to get the true story from both sides. It’s very apparent that Yamhill County government is not interested in our side.

Cory VanDyke

Trust in science

It is with great dismay that we read about a recent resolution by the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners stating, “We mistrust all data from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Oregon Health Authority.”

This is total nonsense. It’s an indication this board cannot responsibly represent me on issues of public health.

We do trust science. We do trust the CDC and OHA to make recommendations on disease control, using the best science available.

We do not trust the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners to make public health decisions based on convenience and economic or political gain. We must get this virus under control as soon as possible to save lives and regain financial and emotional equilibrium.

Our thanks goes out to Commissioner Kulla for opposing this resolution and trusting in science.

Cameron & Carolyn Urnes

Unwise and unethical

The madness that President Trump is visiting on us is doing great damage to our country. He is engaging in a treasonable attempt to undermine our democratic institutions.

He and his allies have lost some 60 times before 86 judges, including 38 Republican appointees. State and federal courts have dismissed his lawsuits on procedural grounds or for the lack of evidence.

Evidence is a key criterion for judging if a person is wise, rational or ethical. Consider these quotations from the philosophical literature:

* A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. (David Hume)

* A rational man is one who makes a proper use of reason: and this implies, among other things, that he correctly estimates the strength of evidence. (A.J. Ayer)

* Insofar as we are rational, we will drop a belief when we have tried in vain to find evidence for it. (Quine and Ullian)

* It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. (W. K. Clifford) And by “wrong” Clifford means “unethical.”

By continuing to press his claim in the absence of evidence that the election was stolen from him, President Trump reveals that his is not wise, rational or ethical. Thank goodness he is only a one-term president.

Robert Mason

Compassionate Christmas

The long-anticipated Christmas holiday is upon us. It conjures visions of happy families gathered by a warm fireplace, opening presents, sharing their love and feasting on ham and turkey.

It’s the happiest time of the year for people, but not for animals. The 222 million turkeys killed in the U.S. this year were raised in crowded sheds filled with toxic fumes. At the tender age of 16 weeks, workers cut their throats and dumped them into boiling water to remove their feathers. Mother pigs are crammed for life in tight metal crates. Their babies are torn away, mutilated without anesthesia, stuck into crowded pens for six months, then slaughtered for Christmas ham.
Consumers pay a heavy price too. Animal flesh is laced with saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones, pathogens, and antibiotics that elevate risk of chronic killer diseases. Let’s refuse to subsidize such wanton cruelty. Let’s choose from the large variety of plant-based meats, cheeses, ice creams, and milks that abound in every supermarket, along with nutritious fresh fruits and greens. Let’s have a truly compassionate Christmas holiday, just as the Prince of Peace would counsel.

Melvin Nysser


Which Santa?

I checked twice to see which president was being depicted in the Dec. 18 editorial carton featuring Santa handing out pardons. President Obama’s pardon and clemency count was 1,927 for his two terms in office.

Possibly the cartoon was ironic, as President Trump is only at 60 or so. He does not seem to be as generous as Obama.

Julie Schumann

Time to move on

I am very much looking forward to the presidency of Joe Biden. I am in hopes he will at least address and recognize the important issues of our time and deal with them appropriately, including the Coronavirus, wide effects of the cyber attacks and very important environmental issues.

At this point, I believe our country needs to move on and prioritize.

We need to move past Donald Trump’s claims he won the election. It seems a major distraction from what really matters.

As a country, we need to help the people who are hurting from the effects of the virus. We need to make sure they have what they need to survive — to get through this time and move on.

Janet DeWith

Kudos to Kulla

My respect and gratitude to County Commissioner Casey Kulla for his opposing vote on Yamhill County’s COVID-19 resolution.

All we need to do is look around us to recognize what happens when we dare to refute proven medical findings and fact-based scientific data in favor of unproven alternative opinions.

Please do not dismiss lifesaving recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Oregon Health Authority.

Donna Aalto


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