Letters to the editor: April 30, 2021

Support the nurses

Have you ever been in the hospital? How about your child, parent or grandparent?

Nurses are the ones who give them the medications they need, monitor them for changes that need intervention, hold their hands when they are lonely, and wipe their tears when they feel scared. Nurses come to work every day and work long, exhausting shifts because they care about you.

Each of you are members of our community, family and friend networks. We take care of you every day because we choose that.

Now, we are asking you to do something for us.

Our nurses have been advocating for each of you, trying to improve patient safety for the last 18 months. We need you to come out to support us in these efforts.

Many of you probably don’t know that our hospital, the Willamette Valley Medical Center, is owned by a large corporation based in Tennessee. It is making decisions that impact every patient that comes to our facility, and every nurse that works there.

The hospital has recently implemented budget cuts that include dissolving the position of a chaplain. Patients that are ill, bereaved, or dying now have to rely on the availability of volunteers that may, or may not be available to them.

Last fall, admid a pandemic, the hospital provided a 2% wage increase to all employees — except nurses. The turnover for bedside nurses at WVMC was nearly 40% in 2020, which is almost three times the national average.

We need hospital administrators to understand we have to make some changes in order to keep our patients safe and to retain qualified staff at our facility to provide care to our community. Patients should always be the priority over profits for shareholders.

Hailey Okeif



Where’s the bias?

The letter to the editor in last Friday’s paper was critical of the News-Register for alleged bias against local Trump supporters. There is no need to name the letter writer, as there are certainly other Trump supporters in the area who would agree with him.

Donald Trump got just 40 percent of the 2020 vote in Oregon, about the same as he got in 2016 against Hillary Clinton and just slightly less than Republican Mitt Romney got in 2012.

He got 50.2 percent in Yamhill County in 2020 — a bare majority. So you could say that while the state population skews liberal, the county electorate is actually pretty evenly divided. Furthermore, McMinnville itself, comprising precincts 14 through 19, went 55 percent for Joe Biden and 45 percent for Trump, disregarding minor party candidates.

Those totals should not and do not affect news coverage. However, the editors know their audience is pretty evenly divided, so there would be no advantage in favoring one side or the other anyway. The paper has to provide news and opinion for all, not just one side.

And really, what does Trump — or anyone in Washington — have to do with the Westsider trail, the selection of a new McMinnville School District superintendent, the Organic Creamery fire, Virginia Garcia’s vaccination clinic or the land use board’s ruling on the local landfill, to name a few recent news topics? We are fortunate to have a local newspaper covering such local news.

On the opinion side, the same day as the above-referenced letter appeared, the paper carried a column by noted conservative Rich Lowry. The week before, it ran a column supporting Georgia’s new voting restrictions.

With more time and space, I could cite many more “conservative” points of view carried by the paper. Moreover, the editorial in Friday’s paper about Linfield seemed not to have a Democratic or Republican point of view.

It appears the letter writer sees what he wants to see, a case of selective perception. His citing of Sharyl Attkisson (a known rightwinger) speaking at Hillsdale College (a campus widely recognized for its arch-conservatism) speaking about “mainstream national media” does not persuade me that the News-Register’s editorial pages are biased against Trump or his supporters.

Brad Thompson



Abusive and hostile

I was sad to see the News-Register story about the badgering of Yamhill County employees by Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer.

If Yamhill County was going to put blame on anyone for its deteriorating financial position and refusal to honor its commitments, who should it be? Let’s consider:

One employee is the go-to person in the county for help with all kinds of grants, her knowledge of public contracts, and her pleasant demeanor working with all county populations. She has also reached out to municipalities helping with grants. Our county is far wealthier today because of her efforts.

The other employee is a political ideologue, framed by her political animosity and prejudice, marked by abusive and hostile interactions with county staff and the community. She is creating tons of fiscal liability for the county. Her narrow and myopic focus has forced the commissioners to ignore other serious concerns on the county’s agenda.

I volunteer with the Yamhill County Parks Advisory Board, the city of Yamhill, the Yamhill Downtown Association and the Yamhill Carlton Education Association.

Carrie Martin is always our go-to person at first thought of writing a grant for a special project. She is the person who brings financial momentum to your favorite nonprofit to do something good for your neighborhood.

In an abusive working environment like this, we could see a moment when county administrators like her decide it is unbearable to continue. The reputation and financial health of Yamhill county is on the line with Commissioner Berschauer’s malfeasance.

Steven Harloff



Kudos for fire work

I would like to offer a big thank you to our local fire and police departments and the other departments coming to their assistance on the three-alarm fire at the Organic Valley Creamery.

Thanks also goes to all of the citizens who did what they were told, so we could get those at risk evacuated to Wortman Park or under shelter in place instructions at home. We are living in a very caring community.

Kathleen Harris



The other side

I am writing on behalf of President Miles K. Davis from Linfield University.

Take a look at the facts versus the social media postings regarding the current state of affairs at Linfield.

A lot of misinformation out there is not supported by actual truth. It’s just rumors and opinions. Check out the university website for the real story.

My family has been associated with Linfield since 1968. Several members have attended over the years, I included.

President Davis took over at a time when leadership at Linfield kept doing the same old thing hoping for different results. Change needed to take place in order for Linfield to compete in today’s educational environment.

I suspect some aspects of his reorganization have not been greeted well by some on campus. But look at Western Oregon University and see how many classes and teachers have been eliminated due to dwindling enrollment. Linfield has not done that.

Maybe some staff have been coddled and enabled way too long, to the point they think they make Linfield what it is. While they are certainly very important, the world does not revolve around them.

Change causes fear and anxiety. Being the agent of change makes you a target for some who choose to resist it at all costs.

I support President Davis and Linfield University.

I hope some clear heads and authentic communication can provide the healing necessary so all parties can get back to their core mission of educating students and preparing them for success. The Linfield community deserves nothing less.

Craig Davis



Bad time for testing

Our children have experienced much stress and uncertainty over the past year.

Many have longed for connection with their teachers and classmates. Sadly, some have encountered turmoil and loss that will take time for them to heal. Shouldn’t our teachers and staff be given time to nurture our children and ensure that their emotional well-being is cared for?

I was told students returning to the classroom would be required to take some form of state-mandated standardized testing. Math teachers will have to prepare their students for these tests, and time will have to be allotted for administering them.

All this for what purpose? For schools to receive state or federal funding? For education departments to collect data that will obviously be flawed?

Consider the quality learning that will be missed from other important subjects. Consider the undo stress that standardized tests cause for some children. After a year of distance learning, does it make sense for teachers and students to be immediately confronted with standardized tests?

I am thankful that some school districts, such as Salem-Keizer, have decided to “opt out” of the standardized testing this year. The Portland Public Schools’ system is considering this as well. Our state legislators and education officials need to hear that this is not the time for any of our schools to be burdened with standardized testing.

It is important for parents to know that if their child experiences test anxiety, they have the right to ask their school district for an “opt out” form. These forms are not readily available, as state law mandates, but parents have the right to use this option if they feel it is important for the emotional well-being of their child.

Liz Marlia-Stein



No to 30 by 30

The federal government’s new 30 by 30 policy, embodied in a presidential executive order to extend environmental protection to 30 percent of our land and ocean surface by 2030, is beyond frightening.

This country was developed by the hope and possibility of personal land ownership. It is common knowledge that people will put more effort and care into what they personally own.

The government should first show by example that it can manage the land already under its care by controlling floods, forest fires and invasive weeds. Encouraging the development of more efficient power alternatives to oil and gas, and a pollution-free way to turn our trash into power, would be more beneficial to the environment than this 30 by 30 proposal.

Nancy Thornton



Learn from the octopus

This year’s Oscar for best documentary went to Netflix’s trailblazing My Octopus Teacher.

The documentary chronicles a complex relationship between a man and the world’s most bizarre animal — an octopus. It further testifies to our highly conflicted relationship with non-human animals and the natural world.

Most of us treasure our “pets” — dogs, cats and horses. In fact, our allegiance to them transcends that to our own species. If our dog and a Congolese child were competing for scarce funds for life-saving surgery, we know who would live.

Yet we torment, kill and consume other animals similar in appearance, intelligence and ability to suffer. Then we condemn Asians who do the same to animals we consider pets.

We pride ourselves on being intelligent, rational beings. We have gone to the Moon, unraveled and modified genetic codes, and found cures for deadly diseases. Yet we still have not figured out our relationship with non-human animals and the natural world.

Some of us have, though. Vegans profess compassion and respect for all sentient beings.

Veganism requires no special courses or certifications. Every one of us can become a vegan on our next trip to our supermarket.

Melvin Nysser



Evengelical perspective

Guest writer Steve Rutledge surely can put words together. Unfortunately, his recent dissertation carried hardly an ounce of truth.

He may know a lot about the Greeks and Romans, but seems to think that Republicans can be defined by the characteristics of their fringe elements.

The 70 million people who voted for Trump encompass all races and classes of people, with only a tiny number who espouse violence. Speaking as an evangelical Christian, I can say that I vote Republican because I love America and I still believe that it is the free-est and best country in the world.

My grandparents came to America to avoid persecution in Europe and seek the economic promise of a life. My father fought in the Second World War and I served in the military during the Vietnam War.

I reject the current progressive notion that Americans are racist, homophobic, hateful and so forth.

The current Democrat administration is sending us down dead end paths that will end in disaster. You just cannot de-fund the police, stifle free speech, open our borders without controls, expand welfare programs, lock up our natural resources and blame everybody else for your mistakes without dire consequences.

At the end of his column, Rutledge quoted the Apostle Paul to apparently add gravity to his weak arguments. I suggest that Paul would rather have us hear the heart of his messages, which is, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

We evangelical Christians love the truth, our families, our brothers and sisters of all races and our God.

Great Christian organizations like Samaritan’s Purse show that love in action throughout the hurting world. That is who we are.

Steve Wozniak



Serving whose interests?

The recent inquiry by Chehalem Parks & Recreation District, seeking to potentially take over ownership of the former rail corridor eyed as as prospective route of the Yamhelas Westsider Trail, sets up an interesting test for County Commissioners Lindsay Berschauer and Mary Starrett:

Are they more concerned about the potential costs to the county, or are they more concerned with the outcome for the small group of opponents who have spent the last several years trying to stop progress on the trail?

Over the years, Commissioner Starrett has consistently argued against the trail as a cost to county taxpayers that she cannot support, despite nearly all of the acquisition and development funds coming into the county in the form of federal and state grants. Her decision with regard to CPRD’s offer is sure to be revealing.

Megan Corvus



Ideally qualified

You ask, why would I vote for Yanira Vera for the McMinnville School Board?

Presently, she is serving as director of portfolio management with the Yamhill County Housing Authority, where she began her career in 1999. Her daily responsibilities are the exact qualifications someone would need to be a great school board member.

Yanira is able to set priorities through strategic planning and risk management while holding accountability for the finances and setting the vision and goals. And she’s been applying these same abilities with the school district since being appointed to the board in October.

Yanira deserves being retained because she wants what’s best for all of the students in McMinnville.

Sandy Thornton



Proven track record

I highly endorse incumbent Barbara Carter for Position 2 on the McMinnville School Board. I encourage you to vote for her re-election in May.

Barbara has dedicated many years to the students in the district, working as a special education paraprofessional for 19 years and then serving two terms on the McMinnville School Board after her retirement.

During these years, she has always put student success first. She is passionate about ensuring all students have the best possible experience while attending our schools.

As an educator in the district before my retirement, I attended board meetings every month and observed Barbara as a board member, board chair and vice chair. She approached her position on the school board seriously, listening carefully to all ideas and opinions before making decisions. She delighted in student presentations to the board each month and always made positive comments to the students.

Barbara visits schools on a regular basis to see all the great things that are happening as well as to determine possible needs that exist. She has also been an active community volunteer, with most of her activities focusing on children.

It will be very important to have experienced board members like Barbara Carter to guide the district through the coming transitions of bringing in a new superintendent and getting students back to full-time direct instruction. During her time on board, she has worked with the other members to seek more options and opportunities for each and every student.

For these reasons, I urge you to vote to reelect Barbara Carter for McMinnville School Board, Position 2.

Pattie Waltz



Too one-sided

Hurray! On April 16, you finally published a conservative guest commentary in your Viewpoints section!

Granted, it only got approximately 20 square inches on the front page of that section, with the remainder buried on Page 4, compared to the much more expansive treatment of the liberal viewpoint, with two color photos. But hey, you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

Of course, I realize this portion of the paper is used for sharing opinions. But it seems that predominantly only one side of the story is represented.

I have been subscribing to your paper for many years now so I can keep abreast with the goings on of our community. But I can no longer stomach your biased reporting and will not be renewing my subscription to your ever-shrinking newspaper.

Melissa Winklelman



Hail to Oregon

After seeing images of long lines of voters in Georgia during the presidential election and Senate runoff, I was grateful that voting in Oregon is so easy.

I was surprised to read last week’s op-ed from Bill Hall, arguing that Georgia’s recent Election Integrity Act of 2021, widely described as an attempt to restrict voting in urban areas of the state, is really no big deal. When I finished reading the 95-page bill, I was even more grateful that Oregon has no similar law.

For example, Mr. Hall downplays the reduction in ballot drop boxes for advance voting in Atlanta from 94 to 23.

The law stipulates that there shall be “1 drop box for every 100,000 active registered voters in the county” for advance voting (lines 1172-1178). If Oregon had a similar law, that would decrease the number of dropboxes in Yamhill County from its current 15 to just one, as we currently have 73,436 registered voters.

Additionally, anticipating that the changes to the election system in Georgia would result in long waits at the polls, the bill prohibits citizens from assisting each other by sharing food or drink. The law states: “[N]or shall anyone give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink to an elector” (lines 1873-1875). So, if a voter fails to bring food and water for a likely hours-long wait to vote, a fellow citizen, such as another voter in line, is prohibited from giving that person water or a snack.

These are just two of the many changes enacted to discourage voting in Georgia.

We are lucky to have an accessible, fair, and safe voting system in our great state. All of our fellow citizens across the country deserve the same.

While other states have followed Georgia’s lead, I’m glad that Oregon is not one of them.

Adrianne Santina



Rare opportunity

Newberg voters have the opportunity to elect an outstanding individual to the Newberg School Board in Zone 5.

Tai Harden would bring a needed perspective to the board, along with an impressive set of skills and experiences. I recently had the opportunity to listen to her speak and immediately thought she would be a strong advocate for all of our Newberg students.

Tai Harden is intelligent and articulate, and has excellent qualifications that would make her as asset to the board. Newberg voters don’t often have the opportunity to elect a school board candidate of this caliber.

Bob Woodruff, a long-time board member, recently dropped out of the race in Zone 5. Unfortunately, however, his name remains on the ballot and his statement of candidacy appears in the Voters’ Pamphlet, as they had already been printed.

On May 18, make a mental note that Bob is not running and cast your vote for the highly qualified Tai Harden.

Joerg Jens Peter



No justification

Jackie Lang of Waste Management recently stated, “With the space remaining within the currently permitted area, Riverbend could continue to operate for another 20 years and perhaps longer.”

Then what the blinkitty-blank is the company seeking to expand for? Maybe because it has its eye on importing a lot more trash from faraway places if can mega-expand the local dump?

Who would this dump really be expanding for? The transfer station at Recology is capable of taking all the local trash, without jacking up rates. And the 1.2 million households served by Metro are forbidden to use Riverbend, because it was deemed so bad.

The city council in McMinnville, the host community Lang claims they care so much about, voted unanimously to stop using the leaking local dump. Meanwhile, Yamhill County and McMinnville are in the process of expanding the Urban Growth boundary right up to the toe of my farm, the land the dump cannot seem to get legally past due to lack of compatibility.

Even Newberg has no need for Riverbend. Its trash now goes to Benton County’s Coffin Butte at no increase in cost for its disposal needs.

And get this: Newberg’s franchised trash hauler is ... drum roll, please ... Waste Management. If there is 20 years of fill space still left, why is Waste Management avoiding use of its own dump?

This protracted land-use fight is morphing into harassment by a huge out-of-state corporation that has all the money in the world.

I still feel the worst act by Waste Management was to kick all the people out of the Mulkey RV Park.

Many of those folks had lived there for generations. It was one of the few low-income housing options Yamhill County had. Now it just sits empty — maybe for another 20 years.

Lang claims the company is a “strong community partner.” At this point, one has to ask, with whom?

Ramsey McPhillips



Cast votes with care

In a short period of three months, Commissioners Lindsay Berschauer and Mary Starrett have turned the county upside down. They have incurred heavy and unplanned costs on the taxpayer-funded budget and demoralized county employees and civic-minded citizens alike.

Their antics may give them some kind of special status as outlaw defenders of freedom, but it erodes trust in government. And for good reason.

Look closely. All they are really doing is enriching themselves and their big money donors.

On May 18, special district elections are being held around the county. The balloting mostly affects school and fire boards.

History indicates that interim elections bring out few voters. It’s where unqualified people can jump in and launch disruptive political careers.

If you don’t want the likes of Commissioners Berschauer and Starrett wrecking havoc on your school board or fire district, then I urge you, with all my heart, to get active, study the candidates and cast your vote with care. Don’t be fooled by fancy signs and empty slogans.

Larry Treadwell



Calls for audit

The state Land Use Board of Appeals awarded attorney’s fees to the farmers who have sued for relief from Yamhill County’s illegal pursuit of a bike path through farmland zoned for agricultural use only.

Attorney’s fees are awarded only if one side fails on all counts. If one of 10 standards is met, no awards are made.

The county failed that spectacularly, after ignoring several remands from LUBA, thus triggering this historically large award.

ORS 294.100 is now in play. That would indict public officials guilty of “willful or wanton neglect of duty.”

This financial harm to the county could not have occurred without the complicity of Counsel Todd Sadlo and Administrator Ken Huffer. Commissioner Casey Kulla escapes this law, but must answer to the voters.

An external audit by an experienced outside party is needed.

Tom Hammer



Shining a light

Great reporting from Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner and Peter Chee regarding racism in our community. This took courage and vulnerability to describe these situations.

If you remember further back, there were safety concerns for female Linfield students long before the current Linfield president took office. But they were effectively swept under the rug.

No more! Vilifying the victim or whistleblower cannot stand.

Peter Chee was especially poignant. He helped non-Asians to understand what it might be like to have fear of this magnitude as a part of one’s daily existence.

Male entitlement and pornography were looped into the stereotypes of Asian women in the accompanying article by Karen Leong and Karen Kuo. Very sobering reads, each one.

Kudos to the N-R and the individual authors for standing strong and shining a light on the sordid underbelly of these issues.

I hope the editorial staff will continue to publish these and other authors in the future. My thanks and gratitude,

Annette Madrid



Worthy trio in Newberg

I have become very interested the last few years in how our Newberg School Board functions, and in who is giving of their time and energy to help our schools become healthy places of learning for all students.

After attending board meetings, submitting comments and becoming involved in school-related groups, I believe our district is moving in a positive direction toward providing an equitable education for all. I’m glad to see three candidates on the ballot who care deeply about students of every race, gender, and orientation having equal access to a quality education, free of harassment and discrimination.

I wholeheartedly support Tai Harden, Ines Peña and Ron Mock for directors in the Newberg School District.

Ines and Ron have fought tirelessly for the students in our district as current directors. Re-electing them will provide consistency in the board and allow the board to continue focusing on an equitable education for all.

Tai is a most qualified and passionate candidate. I’m thrilled she is willing to give of her expertise to our community in this way.

Please join me in voting for Tai, Ines, and Ron for Newberg School Board.

Heidi Pender



Flattening the nuances

Ben Deumling (“Part of the Problem”) makes a compelling argument about his own unintended contribution to the degradation of farmland. However, I was surprised that he chose to tie his personal story to the recent land use controversy involving Wesley Stoller and Bram Yoffie.

The two had proposed reviving Stoller’s family farm mill and installing an oven so that grain could be grown and processed, and also sampled as bread, on-site.

Based on his own experience, Deumling concludes, “Manufacturing and retail businesses belong in town,” not on farmland — the further implication being that Stoller and Yoffie were rightfully blocked from pursuing their plans because they were in violation of Oregon land use policy.

But as the News-Register reported at the time, Stoller and Yoffie spent nearly a year negotiating with 1000 Friends of Oregon, a group known for ardently defending farmland from urban encroachment. The mill and bakery plan was modified to exacting specifications in order to settle the land use advocates’ appeal.

1000 Friends gave its blessing, as did the county. Only then was the plan set to proceed.

At that point, Gaston farmer Anthony Boutard appealed the county decision to the state, effectively burying the younger farmers in legal costs and quashing the project. 

Not all land use cases are as straightforward as Deumling’s. Flattening the nuances to make an argument about the merits of land use policy does not do justice to Stoller and Yoffie’s experience.

Emma Miller Grock



Expand commission

I watched with astonishment as two of our three county commissioners proposed and then voted to adopt an ordinance establishing Yamhill County as a gun sanctuary.

This outrageous ordinance would allow our sheriff or district attorney to refuse to enforce state or federal gun laws they don’t like. Not only could this cost our county untold amounts of taxpayer money in future court battles, but it turns us into scofflaw pariahs.

This action is a perfect example of why we need to expand the number of representatives on our county commission and elect them by district. Five or more commissioners would open decisionmaking to more well-rounded debate and hopefully quash extremist proposals such as this gun sanctuary.

Unfortunately, the only way to achieve a more representative commission is to first vote for Yamhill County to adopt a Home Rule Charter.

Before the pandemic Yamhill County Taxpayers for Home Rule started a petition to get this change on the ballot. The effort was halted by the lockdown but when it is practical to do so, we will resume the effort.

Expansion of our county commission is long overdue.

Phyllice Bradner



Closer to home

It must’ve been a slow news day for the News-Register to print Bob Franken’s recent opinion piece on Ted Cruz. The ink would’ve been better spent on appealing to our own congresswoman and senators to write an article explaining why they supported the “Equality Act” when there is little in the act that lives up to its name. 

Maybe they could explain why it’s OK to gut women’s sports by allowing biological men to compete in their arena or explain how it’s OK to punish citizens for their views on biological sex. Would they allow their children or grandchildren to have hormone or surgical interventions administered to them without parental consent?

If they couldn’t fill a column with their reasoning for that support, perhaps they could explain why it’s OK to blatantly discriminate against white farmers, as the latest stimulus bill does. Or maybe they could explain why they are curiously silent about the disaster area in their own state, namely the city of Portland.

There are plenty of topics they could share their views on instead of them periodically coming out and saying, “I’m fighting for this or that.” Those words are inflammatory and they need to change their rhetoric. 

Your opinion page would be better served by keeping closer to home than fretting about a senator from Texas. 

Steve Sommerfeld



Amazing work

Please join me in voting to re-elect Ines Peña to the Newberg School Board in Zone 4.

Since joining in 2019, Ines has served with dedication, compassion and integrity. She has been a compelling voice for students and parents who have been negatively impacted by the disparities and gaps in our system that disproportionately affect student of color and those with disabilities.

Ines is authentic and approachable, she is always willing to listen, and she has respectfully communicated her personal educational experiences in the Newberg School District. As a Latina woman, she has brought an important perspective to the board.

The addition of Ines to the board fostered critical conversation about identifying solutions, policies, curricula and services to support all Newberg/Dundee students in their efforts to be successful.

Parents want their children to thrive as individuals and as learners. Ines serves with the mindset — that all students can succeed when they are safe, respected, and valued.

Let’s re-elect Ines Peña to the Newberg School Board to ensure the continuation of the amazing work happening on behalf of all our students and their families.

Susan Delventhal



Can’t afford inaction

Infrastructure needs to be addressed by our government most urgently at this time. We have paid and continue to pay the price for past governmental inaction.

The COVID pandemic has diverted our attention from most all other issues. We need to learn from this while still accepting the challenges of the future.

Some issues that I believe we need to focus on are climate change, the electrical grid, the economy, environmental health, space exploration. If we do that, we may once again be able to look forward to a healthier and brighter future.

Janet De With



Leads by example

I enjoyed working with Yanira Vera for 15 years in my previous role as accountant for the Housing Authority of Yamhill County.

I can attest to Yanira’s honesty and integrity. She sets high standards for herself and her staff, always leading by example.

Electing Yanira Vera to a full four-year term in her appointed position on the McMinnville School Board will enable future generations to keep moving in the right direction.

Bruce Sahagian



Doesn’t know county

I am fed up with Lindsay Berschauer. This commissioner has proved she doesn’t know Yamhill County, she doesn’t know its history and she doesn’t care.

Assuming she was quoted correctly in the News-Register, she accused ODOT of being “complicit” in “cheerleading the county” in promoting the Yamhelas Trail. Complicit with whom?

Commissioner Berschauer, we understand that you are new to Yamhill County, but we expect our leaders to at least try to understand the issues they are voting on. If you had paid any attention, you would know that the trail was approved by the very board you sit on, supported for years by commissioners who themselves were elected by the voters of Yamhill County.

County residents proposed the trail, raised funds to pay a county matching share and went online to vote for the trail in a competition for the ODOT dollars you now must repay. The people you accuse ODOT of being “complicit” with turn out to be the ones you were elected to serve.

I suggest you study your adopted county’s history before you tackle the next big issue.

Susan Watkins



A principled voice

We need diverse, principled school board members now more than ever. Our local school districts must answer the call to root out historic and current racism deeply embedded in systems.

This racism has resulted in grave inequities and disproportionately negative outcomes for students who are African American, of color or low-income, or present different abilities and needs.

To combat it, our school boards must be better informed. They must invest in equitable outcomes for all, respond boldly to calls for justice, be more representative of the changed demographics of our communities and go beyond the comfortable and familiar.

Newberg School Board candidate Tai Harden is that kind of candidate. She is a lawyer who applies focused thinking, mediation,  diversity and equity skills to problem-solving.

As a DEI trainer, she has worked with corporations, educators and nonprofits. As a college administrator, she understands the complexities and nuanced needs of education at all levels. Hers is a principled voice.

I commend Tai Harden for her willingness to become a strong necessary voice on the Newberg School Board. She has proven she can capably represent the necessary change that must occur for all students and families in her district.

Sharon Gary-Smith

President, NAACP Portland



Ms Melissa. The N-R reporting of local events and such is NOT Biased. It is a sad commentary on our America when a citizen cannot tolerate, does not even want to hear what opposing opinions are. Citizens who only want to hear opinions they agree with. Sad. You plan to not renew your N-R subscription. I will gift a subscription in your name. I want our local citizens to appreciate a locally owned and run business dedicated to bringing us local news. Differing opinions is the American way, except in your case.

Tom Hammer

We all have selective perception. We learn what our framework prepares us to receive. Opinions become facts for many. How often do you check yourself in accepting inputs?

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