Letters to the Editor: Nov. 19, 2021

A Dayton perspective

I grew up one block from Dayton Landing Park and tossed rocks into the river from the platform above the broken concrete steps. I sometimes fished from the waterlogged dock and even wallpapered the inside of a nearby ivy-covered hollow tree to make a fort.

So the 2015 survey noting hazardous conditions there was late. The park has been in a state of disrepair since at least the 1990s. In 2012, the boat ramp, now further separated, was generating complaint calls. Nearby residents observed dangerous conditions with pits and deep puddles, and reported damage from gravel flung as some drivers dug ruts turning cookies. Our deputy routinely had to respond to criminal activity, abandoned vehicles and other concerns.

No fishing pier remained. No kayak launch. No picnic tables. No lighting. No real park to speak of. So I began a journey for improvement. The city had a vision. The Dayton Forward Plan was a product of the Ford Family process that brought many voices together to inventory needs and prospects.

While we couldn’t develop the entire plan, the council knew the park needed real changes. Unfortunately, we lacked the authority, as it was then and remains a county park.

My first ask was for a transfer of ownership. This is, after all, the only county park lying entirely within a municipal jurisdiction. Perhaps we could pursue grants and sponsors, work with the state Marine Board, and get a functional park, I reasoned.

After years of discussion, the city and county began working with the Marine Board to create a pared-down blueprint including a boat ramp, paved parking light, vault toilet and lighting system. I realized vault toilets weren’t allowed inside city limits, but was told that small detail could be addressed later.

In anticipation, the city invested in infrastructure to support a flush toilet. So when the county sought a variance to allow a vault toilet instead, in an area that floods annually, we were unenthusiastic.

In denying the variance, we shared that the infrastructure had already been installed at our expense, and we would pay the difference to get a flush toilet installed — an offer that remains on the table.

I realize the Marine Board’s mandate is limited to waterway access, but the county’s extends to maintenance of county parks in usable condition. The park is a crucial access point to the Yamhill River, so it holds huge potential.

I encourage residents to support the Marine Board moving forward with the boat ramp rebuild, augmented by park improvements by the county. If the latter isn’t possible, I would welcome a transfer of ownership. This letter is my own, representing only my personal perspective.

Beth Wytoski

Mayor of Dayton


A change is needed

Save Yamhill County delivered more than 8,900 signatures to the Yamhill County Clerk’s Office. This exceeded the required amount of signatures to force a recall election by more than 2000.

Due to a process technicality, 1,500 e-signatures were disqualified, so the campaign did not reach the threshold for a recall vote.

But this result clearly does not represent an endorsement of the leadership of County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer. If anything, it does the exact opposite.

People are looking for someone who will lead by listening to and by addressing the needs of all stakeholders in Yamhill County — not just a few financial backers. People are tired of divisive politics and politicians who fail to listen, learn and lead with integrity.

I have little doubt that Spring 2022 will deliver not just budding flowers and trees to our beautiful valley, but also an opportunity for Yamhill County voters to express their desire for change through the ballot box.

Phil Forve

Recall Leader, McMinnville


Polite, please

As the manager of a nonprofit retail operation, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, I have a request, or actually, more of a plea: Wear a mask when you come into the store.

For the moment, let’s set aside arguments of science or politics and instead talk about civility.

Over the course of the pandemic, we at the ReStore have been subjected to abusive language, belligerence and temper tantrums for reminding customers about the mask mandate. But we aren’t a soapbox to showcase your political dissatisfaction; we just sell used toilets and such.

Frankly, I don’t care that your Aunt Susie’s arm fell off because she was vaccinated.

We’re mostly old people trying to do good work. We aren’t asking you to donate a kidney, just wear a mask. And by the way, it’s the law.

I’m asking you not to yell at us or call us traitors. We didn’t make the rules, we’re just trying to follow them.

You want to make a statement? Be polite. Maybe that will catch on.

Steve Long



Double standard?

This pandemic confuses me.

After President Trump fast-tracked developing a vaccine, we had to get 70% of the populace vaccinated, thus achieving herd immunity, so we could remove our masks. Natural immunity, the immunity one gets when recovered from the virus, doesn’t seem to count.

Our medical and frontline personnel — police fire, military — have been working with infected people from the beginning. Now they are now being told to get vaccinated or get fired. It seems like the only thing that counts is the vaccine.

I’ve had the virus and two shots. Now they say I need a booster in order to protect me and my loved ones. We’ve achieved 70%, and they still require I wear a mask in stores.

Back at the start almost two years ago, we got a daily barrage of infection and death counts, and they told us it wasn’t political. Where’s the death count now? It must be much higher?

It’s kind of like the Vietnam War protesters. When we had a Republican president, they stood on the sidewalk telling us how many of our people had been killed each day, but said it wasn’t political. When a Democrat was elected, the war continued while the protesters disappeared.

Because of HIPPA, I can’t look at my wife’s medical records. But they tell me I have to show my medical records to strangers to eat in a restaurant or fly in a commercial airliner.

Henry Evers



Threat not over

Congressional Democrats who think the system held, thus the insurrection is over, should look around and think again. Our Authoritarian Party has come out of the closet to normalize violence, book-burning, racism, death threats and flat-out lies.

The fringe-zombies who had been relegated to the right-wing weeds decades ago by more patriotic conservatives are now running the show. In response, our elected representatives must get serious in order to save this republic.

Steve Bannon has been indicted for criminal contempt of Congress. Who cares?

He will use the indictment to fund-raise and carry on about the “deep state” while his lawyers slow-walk the case past the next election. And Mark Meadows may do the same.

The Jan. 6 Committee deserves a little credit for leaving the bean bags at home and at least bringing a knife to this gunfight. But if it can’t find the will to charge the conspirators who planned the insurrection with “inherent contempt,” its chance of painting a full picture of the conspiracy — at least in time to do something about it — is slim.

A charge of inherent contempt allows the arrest of anyone who refuses to comply with a congressional subpoena, and that’s the right gun for this fight. The Capitol jail may not be big enough to hold all the scofflaws, but tight quarters for a few weeks might bring enough of them around for the committee to get its investigative work done.

We need a Congress with the will to exercise its power of oversight. Without that, it’s time for its members to shut up and go home.

If they won’t enforce its subpoenas effectively, they should get ready for the humiliation that will follow. Meanwhile, we should all get ready for the next coup attempt.

Bill Johnson



Rights denied

I feel betrayed. I have completely lost faith in our county clerk’s office.

I have been a certified Yamhill County voter for more than 16 years.

I downloaded Save Yamhill County’s online recall petition, which was provided by the state of Oregon, in good faith. I signed it, stamped it and mailed it, following all instructions to the letter.

Now I find my signature has not been accepted because the county clerk did not provide written acceptance for the official state form.

The county clerk was most certainly aware that the petition to recall County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer was being circulated online as well as in person. One would expect he would have thoroughly explained to the petitioners all the necessary requirements for certifying valid signatures, including the need for the written acceptance form for the online version.

The fact the clerk knew the form had not been issued and made no effort to assist the petitioners in obtaining it leads me to one of two conclusions: 1) He was derelict in his duties as a public servant; or 2) He was actively or passively aiding Commissioner Berschauer in thwarting the petitioners’ efforts.

Either way, I have been unfairly denied my rights as one of the 1,500 voters who legitimately signed the online petition and mailed it in.

The responsibility for this error lies squarely on the shoulders of the county clerk. It should be rectified by either accepting the online signatures or extending the deadline to allow the 1,500 disenfranchised voters to sign an acceptable petition.

I want my voice heard!

Phyllice Bradner



Hypocrisy at work

Has anyone noticed?

For air travel into the U.S., the government accepts documentation of a positive COVID test within the previous 90 days. and subsequent recovery, as alternate proof of immunity for the unvaccinated. But documentation of full vaccination and a negative COVID test within the previous one to three days is required for Americans flying out.

The report can be found on the federal Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/cooronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html. It has been updated to reflect changes made Nov. 8.

The CDC advises incoming international air travelers:

“If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).”

Do you sense the hypocrisy yet?

Gail Craven



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