Letters To The Editor: February 11, 2022

No performance venue

In your recent editorial on the 129-page project report from the MacPAC committee, on which I serve, you inadvertently overlooked what wasn't there.

For almost 10 years, the McMinnville Community Center has been the only indoor venue large enough to accommodate both our Second Winds Community Band of 50-plus musicians and regular audience of 450-plus listeners.

City staff believed this was not a core service, hence no provision for such a venue appears in the recommended building plans. They are limited to a new community center, aquatic center and library, along with a senior center renovation.

This is a decision I disagreed with.

Duane Bond



Just say no

Our planners are once again deciding congestion is the price we have to pay for living in McMinnville.

After developing the northwest corner of the city, despite generations of city officials advising against it because of road limitations, our planners now want to rezone for a regional shopping center out on Three Mile Lane — the area around our hospital and most other medical services.

The first thing that strikes me is the limited approach points — from one direction via Third Street or either direction via Highway 18. Except for a 2.26 mile section of 18 directly fronting the site, designated Three Mile Lane, the approaches are limited to two lanes, one in each direction. If the economic development committee were questioned, transportation restriction would be one of the top problems it faces when trying to attract new business.

A big box store is listed as probable anchor tenant, so let's make Costco our case study.

The average Costco draws 4,614 customers a day, resulting in 9,228 daily car trips, all on two-lane roads. Those are the same roads needed to access our hospital and the majority of our medical services.

And that's just the traffic estimate for one store, not a full regional shopping center. How many additional trucks will be needed to supply goods and cars to bring customers? I fail to understand how the plan can possibly fulfill its stated goal of "reducing greenhouse emissions.

”The cost of the Three Mile Plan to our local business community has to be considered. That includes not only customer shift from locally owned businesses, but also rental shift from local landlords to out-of-area landlords.

Portions of this plan have the potential to destroy much of our local economy, while providing only below-living-wage retail jobs. Is that the legacy you want for McMinnville?

Patty O'Leary



How much more?

As the parent of children in the McMinnville School District, I'm writing to you today in response to the recent Oregon Hhealth Authority mask mandate for schools through the end of the year.

Oregon is one of 16 states requiring children to continue to mask in schools. Children here have now been masking for almost two years now.

I have serious concerns about the health impacts of this. I believe kids are paying a huge unintended price.

I think the donning of cloth masks — because requiring the more effective N95 masks for all school kids was never the expectation — made sense in the beginning of this pandemic. However, I think they provide people with a false sense of security at this point, as the Omicron variant surges through our country in both mask and maskless states.

We should start using more common sense regarding this timely issue. It feels to me like Oregon is choosing paranoia to guide decisions on school masking as a way to feel it’s being safe.

At some point — and I believe it is now, based on mental health and family crises on the rise — we have to weigh the cost our children and families are paying against the benefit of mask mandates.

Yes, children are resilient. But let's not forget, our children's education has undeniably been negatively affected the last two years. How much more can we ask and expect of 6-, 7- and 8-year-olds?

Sinell Harney



Not so funny

I've been told I have a good sense of humor. I always read the comics pages of newspapers first to add to my joy of life. A few people have even said I am a real "fungi."

That being said, I was dismayed to look at yet another News-register Viewpoints issue that featured, as always, two new political cartoons that lampooned conservatives or Republicans.

According to most information I've seen, our country is almost perfectly split between liberals and conservatives. I suspect that Yamhill County has a slight edge of conservatives. Does it really make sense to make fun of the same group of your audience every week, year in and year out?

If the criticism was mostly true, I could accept that. But last week's cartoon, "Where we are right now," showed the liberal sheep telling the MAGA capped conservative sheep not to step off the cliff.

The reality is that our country is in upheaval due to liberal government policies. We have runaway inflation, uncontrolled borders, disastrous military actions, oil dependency, supply chain disruptions, draconian COVID lockdowns, cancel culture and crime waves, to name a few.

Each and every one of these problems has been created in this last year by bad liberal Democrat policy choices. And unfortunately, we may soon see Russia and or China invade neighboring countries due in part to our government's ineptitude.

The News-Register is beginning to look more like another installment of a Doonesbury comic, where every week, the subject is always "what's wrong with conservatives." It's not funny anymore.

Steve Wozniak



No help at City Hall 

My yard in the 500 Block of SW Cypress Street has flooded eight times in the past eight years, including twice this winter. We have lost ceramic and cedar flower pots, cubic yards of decorative bark and accessibility to our vehicles for hours at a time.

I am in my late 80s, and the work and expense of correcting this each year has gotten out of hand for me.

I recently invoiced the city for $258 to try to recoup some of my most recent loss I sent copies to three departments with the same result — no response.

Can anyone help?

Obviously it won't be coming from the city. Folks there couldn't care less.

Gary Frost



A proven friend

At a time of exploding crime, should politicians tie the hands of the law-enforcement officers who risk their lives to keep us safe? Oregon's "woke" Democratic senator, Ron Wyden, thinks so.

That's why we need to replace Wyden with Grant County Commissioner Sam Palmer, a proven friend of our heroes in blue who has donned the badge himself to protect his fellow citizens.

More about the Republican contender in a moment. First, to Wyden.

In the U.S. Senate, Wyden has co-sponsored the so-called "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act." Its provisions would:

-- Deny law-enforcement officers qualified immunity protection when they're accused of violating suspects' civil rights.

-- Restrict no-knock raids on suspected drug houses, which may be guarded by armed gang members.

-- Open the door to lawsuits against officers who "reduce intake of air" in detaining suspects.

-- Impose ever-greater bureaucratic reporting requirements on law-enforcement agencies, diverting resources from street-level policing.


A 35-year registered nurse, he's volunteered as a Grant County reserve deputy and served as a medic on the tactical team. As a Grant County commissioner, he's leading efforts to hire additional sheriff's deputies.

As your U.S. Senator, he would sponsor legislation to restrict federal funding to jurisdictions that refuse to prosecute violent antifa rioters or provide sanctuary to illegal aliens.

So who do you trust to protect your family's safety, Ron Wyden or Sam Palmer?

On May 17, vote for Sam Palmer for the Republican nomination to oppose liberal Democrat Ron Wyden.

Misty Staebler



Aid cutoff

If you decide not to enforce the Oregon Health Authority's masking in schools dictate, as Benton County's Alsea School District recently did, you guarantee the state will cut off the federal COVID relief funds that it administers. That should go over well with parents.

That's great for firing up opposition here to our county commissioner recall effort. Thanks in advance!

Jenny Wilson



Plan poses threat

There is an issue for the citizens of McMinnville that needs immediate attention and action. The city planning commission is considering changing the Highway 18 Bypass from an easy way around McMinnville for people driving East or West, enabling them to avoid traffic lights and congestion, into a congested commercial thoroughfare.

There are already two traffic lights on the bypass, along with medical, residential, commercial and office complexes, and the hospital,  museum, airport, theater and community college. I believe that's already plenty for what is supposed to be a shorter, less-congested route around our town.

Now the planning department is promoting a vast increase in traffic by changing the zoning to encourage large retail shopping centers, corporate office complexes and a major increase in housing. All of this will require more time spent at traffic lights, a roundabout maybe, and new crosswalks.

How will all of this affect the businesses already in town? Will people drive out to Highway 18 because there's lots of parking and things are cheaper there than downtown? I hope not.

Will ODOT reduce the speed limit to make the miles of shopping safer for walking, bicycling or driving? Probably not, they say.

I am opposed to more development on the bypass and have shared that opinion with the planning department at heather.richards@mcminnvilleoregon.gov. I hope you will, too. 

Ellie Gunn




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