Letters to the Editor: Nov. 5, 2021

Lost opportunity

During a 2015 survey, the state Marine Board determined the concrete boat ramp at Dayton Landing, owned and operated by Yamhill County since about 1956, had separated. This made it hazardous for motorized boat launches in low water conditions.

The county worked with the Marine Board to develop a facility upgrade plan, finalized in 2018. It called for relocating the ramp, improving the parking and adding a vault toilet.

Unfortunately, the plan had to be dropped due to a city ordinance barring vault toilets at that location. The plan was revised to limit work to repair of the ramp in its current location, but the city balked because it wants a fully developed public park with lighting, a flush toilet and fishing and picnic infrastructure.

The Marine Board has a mandate to provide public waterway access.  It does not have a mandate to provide fully developed public parks. So the ramp remains in limbo.

Unless that changes soon, the county could lose state support for any repair or improvement work at the site. This could also affect our future relationship with the board, which is crucial to waterway access in our county.

Recently, the County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board wrote a letter to the county commissioners seeking their help. It remains to be seen if the commissioners will support us or allow another county park improvement opportunity to be lost.

We note the state Marine Board has already invested about 1,000 hours and $45,000 on this project on behalf of Yamhill County. Members of the Yamhill County boating community, maybe it would help if you contacted the commissioners about this project.

Jim Culbert

Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Chair



Show of resolve

I want to thank County Commissioners Lindsay Berschauer and Mary Starrett for their resolve to fight the lawsuit challenging Yamhill County’s gun sanctuary status.

Even though some of us may have made a few bad mistakes in the past — maybe had mental problems or been involved in domestic disputes, maybe even threatened violence — we shouldn’t have to go through an elaborate background check.

When someone wants a gun, they want it now! They don’t want to wait a week or two! And don’t worry about how much it might cost. Even though our tax dollars are needed to support our roads, parks and libraries, various capital improvements, law enforcement services and so many other things, what better way to spend them to protect our right to buy a gun whenever we want it, no strings attached? I hope you have the same resolve when it comes to declaring Yamhill County a sanctuary against enforcing any restrictive voting rights laws or restrictions on women’s healthcare.

Steven Battaglia


Natural is best

It’s nutty to think milk can be synthesized and called a superior product.

All mammals get their start by drinking milk. It features a balance of nutrients, trace elements and enzymes in a form that our bodies can absorb.
I doubt science has yet identified all the beneficial components. When life spans are longer than ever, why mess with what works?

Nancy Thornton


Trails farm-friendly

I received a slick glossy brochure titled, “The Truth About the Yamhelas-Westsider Trail,” prepared by the Oregon Family Farm Association.

I finally took the time to quickly read through it. It was a painful experience, but I was able to reach some general conclusions.

First, Yamhill County’s handling of the land use process appeared to be a “clown show” of approvals, remands, and so forth, a process our current land use regulations makes possible if you have money.

It’s made acutely worse by our current Republicanism — that of “the big lie,” gun rights, the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, our past president and the unrestrainability of Facebook. As a result, we have a recall in progress for our newest commissioner.

Second, prior to killing the project, our commissioners did not determine whether or not the public wanted the trail. The Chehalem Park and Recreation did the homework for them, and demonstrated that residents, after being informed about the trail, overwhelmingly supported it.

Third, while reading through the document, I was unable to determine exactly why the trail is “bad for farming.” I bicycle the trail from Champoeg Park to Butteville, which goes through farm and forest land, and I cannot see any bad impacts.

I have also ridden portions of the 92-mile White Pine Trail in Michigan, which goes through farms, fields, backyards and so forth. It is popular, safe and used by bicyclists, joggers, walkers and families pushing baby carriages.

Why are rails-to-trails projects popular everywhere in farmlands except Yamhill County?

Fourth, one of the reasons for Yamhill County’s acquisition of the railroad right-of-way was to protect it for future rail use. Are we on track to sell or give it away, only to have to buy it back at with a much more complicated and expensive process in the future?

Please let our commissioners know that their actions are unacceptable, that they need to complete the trail.

Leonard Rydell


Guidance called for

I found the Viewpoints piece by Paige Matthews disturbing.

It’s heartbreaking to hear about adolescents going through their struggles — even considering suicide, let alone following through with it. The author put a significant emphasis on bullying, but I’m quite certain it goes much deeper.

The focus then turns to the Newberg School District, city of Newberg, and parents who aren’t supportive of gender-challenged kids. Blame is pointed everywhere except at the LGBTQ community itself.

Perhaps introducing sex and gender “awareness” in elementary and middle school is much to blame — telling adolescents that despite their birth gender, they aren’t necessarily either male or female. What makes you think this confusion doesn’t have a lot to do with them becoming anxious, depressed and suicidal?
Any attempt to counsel these kids on accepting their birth gender is met with vociferous resistance. Why is that?

Somehow it’s OK with the LGBTQ community to advocate adolescent gender reidentification without parental consent, and use the miracle of science to alter biological males or females at increasingly younger ages.

The author then mixes politics into this by citing opposition to the BLM flag in the classroom, emphasizing the misconception that somehow you’re a racist if you’re anti-BLM. The way I see it, the BLM has nothing to do with race and everything to do with Marxism.

The author appears to suffer from heterophobia, failing to see that the LGBTQ/trans movement in the public schools is a result of that community’s own failure to deal adequately with its own challenges.

It’s morally wrong to encourage pre-adolescents and adolescents to seek their own gender identity without guidance from parents, professionals and religious organizations. Without that guidance, it’s increasingly difficult to deal with those suffering from gender dysphoria and the ever-deepening psychological problems that accompany the dysphoria.

Steve Sommerfeld




Sure, Steve, I can just picture a warm and cozy interlude while sitting around the dinner table: "Mom and Dad, I think I'm supposed to be a boy"; or to the Catholic Church: "But I don't want to be a nun and do all the crappy work--I want to be a priest!"
What world do you inhabit?


With regards to my letter re. Dayton Landing, it is the editors of the N-R who chose the inaccurate header, "Lost Opportunity." In fact, as I point out, the situation there is not yet a lost opportunity so long as Yamhill County takes a proactive stance with the City of Dayton to move the project forward. Should the County fail to do that in a timely manner, only then could it become a lost opportunity.

There is also a critically missing word in the fifth paragraph, where it should say "...the county could lose state support..."

I have often wished the N-R would do a better job of proofreading its work before publication. These are two additional instances of that lack.

Tom Hammer

I saw a slick glossy print out of a Leonard Rydell power point that demonstrated his ignorance of Oregon Land Use law. You'd think a water rights engineer who ostensibly helps farmers maintain their land value by protecting their water rights would understand the same principal applies to their farm practices rights and need to assure food safety. Leonard, keep cycling at Champoeg and any of the 179 other State Parks in Oregon with safe and scenic bike paths already paid for and maintained. I hear you have a twin brother that is your polar opposite on this issue. Good luck at Thanksgiving dinner.


Oh boy, Steve. You are so lost and confused. Very sad.


Oh boy, Steve. You are so lost and confused. Very sad.


On Nov. 18, representatives of Yamhill County Parks met with City of Dayton officials, and we collectively agreed that we should move forward with the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) proposal to repair the Dayton Landing boatramp. Other opportunities to enhance the area, while meeting OSMB conditions, will also be explored.

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