Letters to the Editor: July 29, 2022

What’s the rush?

If the Three Mile Lane Area Plan has taken years to create, and was just approved by the planning commission March 17, why, oh, why is public input being rushed so? The city has taken years in developing the plan, but is only allowing weeks for public consideration, input and response.

I haven’t heard a willingness to make any changes based on the input either. It appears to be all or nothing.

The people who like the plan, you hear them just fine. What about the rest?

It seems as if the public is being asked to comment. Get it out of your system, people, ‘cause they plan to do it anyway.

For goodness sakes, Kimco already has a shopping-size parcel in hand and the bulldozers idling.

We don’t want to keep a big company like that waiting for mere public input. How embarrassing.

Big box retail, expanses of asphalt and more stoplights on Three Mile Lane: None of that is visionary. It’s just the same old same old.

I can’t believe the planner said, “Traffic on Highway 18 might slow a bit, but you won’t notice it.”

Like the way traffic slowed on Highway 99W between the Sherwood YMCA and Home Depot? You don’t notice that heavier and slower traffic on 99W?

Let’s not forget the magic word “jobs.”

How about increasing retail capacity in developed parts of town, public transit to get to and from it, city infrastructure in support and enhancement of what you already have. That, too, would create jobs.

If the Innovation Center has been part of this development plan for years, why, oh, why hasn’t it moved forward already?

The retail proposal that is raising all the ire can wait. The Innovation Center is the only visionary thing about the plan.

Judy Gerrard



Cloverleaf needed

After listening to the July 18 presentation by the McMinnville planning staff on the proposed Three Mile Lane/Highway 18 plan, I believe it is in error on one point.

I was the county commissioner assigned to work with the city and Oregon Department of Transportation to develop the 1996 plan.

We made it very clear that we wanted no stoplights on Highway 18. ODOT would instead install a cloverleaf near the museum entrance, with frontage roads on both sides.

It sounds as if ODOT now wants stoplights in the next phase. The cloverleaf would come some time in the future, if ever, and then only if locals could find the money.

I request the city and county officials put all pressure possible on ODOT to make the cloverleaf and frontage roads a priority for state funds in the next phase. This would help ensure two things:

n Greatly help in securing funding for continuation of the Newberg/Dundee Bypass.

n Continue efforts to develop Three Mile Lane into a true expressway around McMinnville along the Highway 18 corridor.

Dennis Goecks



A lesson not learned

After the land use law SB 100 was enacted in 1973, all Oregon counties appointed citizens to develop comprehensive plans. I was one of those chosen in Yamhill County.

To prepare for this task, we attended seminars to educate us on this endeavor, which was designed to protect Oregon’s resources and livability for future generations.

Our instructor was an insightful young man who must have taken a crash course in planning. I will never forget what he told us when we started, as it was a prediction foretelling today’s Three Mile Lane controversy.

Prior to passage of SB 100, McMinnville had unilaterally annexed Three Mile Lane in order to provide services to a mobile home park on its far east end.

Our instructor told us that this annexation was a perfect example of bad planning and would cause problems later. He said Three Mile Lane was an integral part of Highway 18, the thoroughfare from Metropolitan Portland to the Central Oregon Coast.

People depend on this highway to meet their needs and obligations. It also meets a critical need to move products both to and from the metro area, he said.

Our instructor said the annexation would result in more business growth on both sides of Three Mile Lane, requiring intersections with traffic lights that would slow the traffic flow on this critical part of Oregon’s highway system.

As he predicted, we now have two stop lights, and eventually, a new highway will have to be built on farmland that can never be replaced. When will we ever learn?

Sam Sweeney



Weapons of war

I read the July 22 letter objecting to calling AR-style rifles “assault weapons.”

But it doesn’t matter what you call them. It matters what they can do.

People claim that because a civilian version doesn’t have select fire, which allows full automatic firing, it’s not a military-grade weapon.

During World War II and the Korean War, two of the weapons most commonly carried by soldiers were M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine.

The Garand featured eight-round capacity and was limited to semiautomatic firing, just like a civilian AR. The Carbine initially featured 10-round magazines, later increased to 15, and was also limited to semiautomatic firing.

The point of all this is that today’s civilian AR-style rifles are a superior combat weapon to what soldiers used to storm the Normandy beaches and Marines used at Iwo Jima. There’s no reason for civilians to have more firepower than what was needed to fight a world war.

There’s nothing about the AR itself that’s intrinsically evil. The problem is that civilian versions of weapons of war have become a fad among the psychos and homicidal maniacs, and as a result, we are reading about them almost daily.

Fred Fawcett



Term misused

In his July 15 letter, former Sheriff Lee Vasquez has joined the pack parroting the misinformation surrounding the term “assault weapon.” That’s a misnomer used to demonize a commonly used semiautomatic rifle.

Despite their usefulness in sport shooting, urban unrest and self-defense, particularly against multiple criminal assailants, these weapons have been under attack at the state and federal levels.

Although semiautomatic rifles have been used in several mass shootings, less than 2% of homicides stem from either mass shooting incidents or use of semiautomatic rifles. Handguns and ordinary hunting rifles are used in the vast majority of firearm homicides and suicides.

The mainstream media have contributed to the confusion in their drive to promote gun control, implying two types of firearms are one and the same — fully automatic, where each trigger pull fires a burst of bullets, and semiautomatic, where a separate trigger pull is required for each bullet.

They have been quite successful in the deception. But in fact, fully automatic weapons have been strictly regulated since 1934.

Former Sheriff Vasquez has added to the hysteria with his misuse of the term “assault weapon.” That’s not a good look for a former law enforcement officer.

Brian Wheatley



Enough with gunsplaining!

Wow. The July 22 Readers Forum treated us to a trifecta of tired old gun fetish tropes against common sense public safety legislation regarding firearms:

1) Guns don’t kill people, people kill people! Well, I’m no public safety expert, but I’ve not heard a litany of news reports on mass-casualty knifings.

2) Everything could be construed as an assault weapon, therefore nothing can be called an assault weapon. Please stop with the gunsplaining. Not knowing the specific technical description of a particular firearm doesn’t preclude being able to determine which ones have no legitimate civilian use.

3) Government is coming for all your guns. The delusion that adopting common sense firearm regulations will lead to the big bad government taking everybody’s guns is nonsense. Reasonable people simply want to prioritize public safety rather than a fetishized hobby.

Alisa Owen



Downtown in danger

Why will Third Street merchants see their rent or lease payments double or triple over the next five years or so? Because city councilors and planners are focused on bringing in new businesses driving that kind of increases.

What is coming will force out our local merchants and establish shops that locals won’t be able to afford.

The new hotel Tributary offers rooms in the $975 per night range, and its okta restaurant charges $260 a plate, plus tip. So not a lot of local people will be staying there or stopping in for dinner.

If the other new hotel is built, it will further the cost escalation of retail space on Third, thus driving more local merchants out. The clearcutting of Third Street’s trees will add to the new sterile feel  councilors and planner seem intent on pushing.

The millions of tax dollars Visit McMinnville has to spend are also supporting elimination of the local charm from our award-winning Third Street.

If Visit McMinnville wants to support tourism and the community, how about bringing steelhead back to Cozine Creek and salmon to the Yamhill River?

It could easily fund and manage hatchery projects to restart the fisheries our town has lost. Fishing brings tourists, so it is within Visit McMinnville’s scope.

Change will happen, but it does not need to destroy our little town. The downtown association and chamber should be focused on saving local businesses, not letting rent and lease costs soar ruinously.

Steve Caldwell



Let the prayers flow

The Supreme Court has reversed another decision and now prayer is allowed on school property.

This is good.

Not all religions are Christian though. Let’s see Native American, Muslim, Jewish, Wiccan, Eastern Orthodox, Hindu and Shinto prayers, along with those of all other religions, allowed in classrooms, on football fields and everywhere else on campuses.

It’s everyone’s Constitution, for the people by the people. Amen, brothers and sisters.

Sheila Hunter



Make it plant-based

Record heat waves in America and Europe endanger millions, as wildfires rage in a brutal manifestation of man-induced global warming.

Each of us can reduce our personal contribution by cutting back on consumption of animal foods, which account for a whopping portion of “greenhouse gases.”

Carbon dioxide is released by burning forests to create animal pastures. Methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cows, pigs and sheep, and from animal waste pits.

In an environmentally sustainable world, vegetables, fruit and grains must replace animal products in our diet, just as wind, solar and other renewable energy sources must replace fossil fuels.

The next trip to our favorite supermarket provides a great opportunity to explore the delicious, healthful, eco-friendly plant-based meat and ice cream products in the frozen food section.

Melvin Nysser





Alisa Owen, read HB 1808 that just passed in the house today. Especially, read the list of all the semi-automatic firearms that it would ban if it were ever to pass in the senate in its current form, or at all (doubtful).
You might want rethink your item number three.
Yes, "gunsplaining" needs to keep happening!!!


Alisa O. - one quick headline and one quick history lesson.

Happened today. https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/07/17-year-old-boy-killed-mass-stabbing-apple-river-somerset-wisconsin-four-others-wounded/

1994 - 500,000 to 650,000 were slaughtered in the time of about 100 days in the Rwandan genocide, the Tutsi minority ethnic tribe was killed, neighbor against neighbor, town against town. Vast majority of the murder committed by civilian population using machetes, hatches, hammers, etc.

The Tutsi were unable to properly defend themselves because the country had recently outlawed firearms. They were unable to defend themselves.

And I agree with Airman, you need all of the explaining you can get.

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable