Letters to the editor: April 2, 2021

County comes through

I have been very critical of the COVID vaccine rollout in Yamhill County, but now I want to retract.

While I think the county got off to a slow start, it has caught up. The difference is the sign-up weblink, which this newspaper has published.

I signed up, got a call back right away and got my first shot today. It was given at our McMinnville High School.

I don’t have young children, so it was difficult for me to find my way there. It was not well-marked with signs, so I was late. It wasn’t a problem though, because most other folks were also late.

Once inside, everything changed. And that’s where my praise comes in.

Every single worker, and there were many, could not have been kinder, nicer or more accommodating to those of us trying to see our way through the process. I’m sure they are volunteers, so kudos to each and every one of them. Also, there is something comforting about being in a room full of people knowing we are all in the same boat.

As an inconsequential aside for the ladies: I may be 80, but I can still appreciate a man’s good looks. And I have to say this about the uniformed technicians working there: I’ve never seen so many good looking men in one location.

All in all, a positive experience.

Judy Hromyko



Groundswell of opposition

The first obligation of government is to protect its constituents from harm.

The United States is awash in guns — upwards of 300 million, or nearly one gun for every man, woman and child. Is it any wonder, then, that we have an epidemic of gun violence?

In the 20 years since the Columbine High School shooting of April 20, 1999, there have been at least 165 mass shootings in the United States, leaving 959 dead and 1,053 injured. In the span of a single week, March 16-23, 2021 — we had a pair of mass shootings leaving 18 dead.

Mass shootings have become a public health crisis.

In this context, gun sanctuary advocacy of Yamhill County Commissioners Berschauer and Starrett is mind- boggling, if not downright unethical.

This ordinance suborns lawlessness. It represents a clear abrogation of their responsibility to protect us.

The ordinance requires folks sworn to uphold the law to ignore new laws enacted by Congress or the Legislature in an effort to stem the tide of mass shootings. If they try to enforce these laws, they will be subject to fines of up to $1,000.

All this is based on a false premise, namely that new gun control laws will be unconstitutional.

But we don’t know that until they have been adjudicated in the federal courts. That’s the way it’s worked in the United States ever since Chief Justice Marshall wrote the majority opinion in Marbury v. Madison in 1803.

What we need is a bottom-up groundswell of citizen voices opposing this ordinance.

Robert Mason



Poor performance

Why is the poor performance of the McMinnville aquatic and community centers tolerated? The pool plays music and calls it a class, contrary to what it advertises and you pay for.

Of course, there’s COVID.

But the nearest pool and fitness center in Newberg has been offering 11 water aerobics classes per week with five teachers, plus full gym access and many fitness classes, for several weeks now. It also gives veterans a discount.

Rob Porter told me McMinnville doesn’t give discounts because it favors “an even playing field.” Well, that’s exactly what those who served in Afghanistan and elsewhere would love. 

Ann Helm



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