Letters to the Editor: July 8, 2022

Shortsighted misdirection

I just watched, on YouTube, McMinnville Planning Director Heather Richards’ presentation to the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce on the Three Mile Lane Area Plan. And I am alarmed.

The plan would convert much of McMinnville’s premier site for family-wage industrial jobs into a high-traffic shopping center. Her full-throated advocacy for a brand new “town center” across the expressway from the rest of town is, at best, misleading.

She showed us an old urban growth boundary map and called it current, even though it didn’t include the 2020 expansion. A few minutes later, she said residents of the Habitat complex on Atlantic Street, and the recently approved Housing Authority complex, could walk to a supermarket in the new retail center — a 2 1/2- to 3-mile round trip.

Then she displayed some numbers from the city’s 2001 Economic Opportunities Analysis, with no mention at all of the very different numbers included in the more recent 2013 Economic Opportunities Analysis.

But all this is down in the weeds. We need to look at the big picture.

We have a thriving downtown and a healthy commercial corridor on Highway 99W. The planning director would put this at risk for retail jobs that pay, on average, half the wages of manufacturing jobs.

Twenty years from now, we may have another shopping center, but will have lost the opportunity for family-wage jobs. And when the bypass becomes clogged, city leaders will wonder how to pony up $100 million for traffic improvements, while will we sit in traffic and fume.

Hopefully, McMinnville’s decisionmakers will take these long-term risks into consideration as they weigh the potential benefits of a shiny new shopping complex against the real risks to thriving existing commercial areas.

Marilyn Walster



Risk beyond reason

Concerning the OSU grad student recovering from a fall on Mount Rainier:

You climb at your own risk. You’re not only risking your own life, but the lives of your rescuers.

If you’re going to do something this risky, take out some insurance so people don’t have to launch Go Fund Me accounts. Don’t make it the responsibility of the public to help you pay your medical bills.

If you’re not smart enough to account for these risks, then at least be smart enough to spend the money for a rescue radio so you can call for help.

Sandra Ponto



Johnson not viable

Yes, we concur with the frustration of denial for not being a Democrat or Republican. We are locked out of the primary elections and then must vote on the choices of those parties in the general election.

But we now have a Supreme Court chosen by the two-party system, and it again reflects the failure to have the majority of voters get a voice in the approval of appointments. The restriction of reproductive rights by the court only highlights the lack of broader representation.

Betsy Johnson is currently running for governor in Oregon as an independent.

But for some she is an ugly duckling, not a viable alternative. And it cannot be denied that she is a product of the two-party system.

So, yes voting matters. We put ourselves in the jeopardy we now have with outcomes of the Supreme Court.

Harry Truman once said, “To solve today’s problems, one merely need to look at their history.” We need a Bull Moose or Progressive Party to break up this political log jam and allow the flow of action that the majority of us want.

If the meantime, I’m going with Tina Kotek.

Mike Sullivan



Reasoned and thoughtful

Thank you for publishing Gary Conkling’s article, “Opening our eyes to history, good and bad,” of June 24.

It was a pleasure to read such a calm, reasoned and thoughtful piece in the face of so many semi-hysterical attempts to censor the history our children are taught.

Carolyn Mann



Thrice victimized

The recent Supreme Court ruling on abortion has created a terrible situation in a number of states.

Something like nine of the states  quickly passing laws outlawing abortion made no exception for rape or incest. If a woman living under those laws is raped and becomes pregnant, she is required by law to carry and give birth to the rapist’s child.

While this is an abominably cruel thing to do to the victim, it is the new reality. It seems like we need a law fast that says those who rape and impregnate their victims are financially responsible until the child reaches age 21.

If the rapist owns valuable assets like real estate, stocks, bonds or cash, these should all be seized by the court and placed in an account. Let the law specify what amount would cover this and make yearly cost of living adjustments as needed.

If the rapist owns nothing of value, then change the payroll laws so that when this guy gets out of prison and gets a job, his wages are heavily garnished.

It’s bad enough to be the victim of shocking violence, followed by a sentence of forced pregnancy and childbirth. A lifetime of financial burden shouldn’t also be dumped on the poor victim’s back.

Fred Fawcett



No. 1 in gun violence

It was concerning learning about the mall shooting in Denmark on July 3, as I didn’t want to see attention taken away from the 4th of July celebrations that would be happening in the U.S. the following day.

I had no need to be worried, as a person in Illinois took it upon himself the next day to murder seven and wound at least 30 others with an AR-15 style rifle. This happened at a hometown, main street parade celebrating all the liberties the U.S.A. has to offer, but none of the responsibilities that go along with them.

We’re No. 1.

Michele Tomseth



Don Dix

Mike Sullivan -- The Ds have been running this state (with a big, financial nudge from the PERS crowd) for 30 years -- any log jam has been self inflicted from Kizhauber to present -- Kotek is just another generic re-run.

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