Letters to the Editor: Oct. 28, 2022

Promising for PTSD

Psilocybin treatment of psychological conditions is very promising. Of the 125 clinical trials worldwide for psilocybin, 17 have been completed in the U.S. and 45 are either underway or in the works (clinicaltrials.gov, as of Oct. 24).

Psilocybin is being actively investigated to treat PTSD. Between 11% to 30% of U.S. veterans of wars from Vietnam to today have or have had PTSD (health.usnews.com).

Oregon voters decided to allow psilocybin treatment, and hopefully, thoughtful people will set conducive and practical guidelines.

There may be a few problems with rolling out treatment, as no ordinances can guarantee complete safety for people and neighborhoods, any more than speed limits can prevent motorist deaths. But veterans deserve every option to treat PTSD.

Neal Anderson


Historic election

We are in the midst of a historic election, and I am urging everyone to vote. We have both a brand new Oregon congressional district (#6) and a redrawn Oregon House District (#24), neither with an incumbent.

I am voting for Andrea Salinas for Congress and Victoria Ernst for the Oregon House.

Ms. Salinas has been endorsed by both the News-Register and The Oregonian. Why? Because she is prepared.

Unlike her opponent, Salinas has plans and strategies for enacting policies she endorses, like providing workers with paid family and medical leave, establishing a meaningful national minimum wage, increasing childcare funding and adopting effective climate policies. Because she’s served in the Legislature, she’s familiar with how government works and has a track record anyone can review.

As a fifth-generation Oregonian, Victoria Ernst is passionate about bringing a rural perspective to the Legislature from our local House district.

She believes the “unique circumstances of rural communities” must be considered in every legislative decision. For example, she understands how important a resolution of immigration issues is to families and businesses here in Oregon.

Finally, I urge you to vote for Beth Wytoski for county commissioner. Beth is without doubt the best-prepared candidate we’ve seen in this century.

As a mayor, as a teacher, as a teacher of mayors, Beth knows how government works and how to leverage government to get the services her constituents want and need. I am proud to support her.

Susan Watkins


Right person

Victoria Ernst is by far the best choice to represent us in House District 24.

Ernst is a lawyer with a business degree. She has a history of listening to different perspectives and working collaboratively to find common ground.

Her opponent has aligned herself with far-right ideologues. Remember the Republican lawmakers who walked out of a legislative session specifically to deny the chamber a quorum, effectively blocking a vote on legislation they opposed and thus preventing the session from moving forward with other business?

Ernst’s experience as a problem-solver is exactly what we need now. She would serve in an evenhanded way, work with those on both sides of the aisle and create legislation we could all live with.

Victoria Ernst grew up here in a farming family, so she knows those challenges. She has a varied work history that already includes effective negotiations, domestic and international, and volunteer service that further informs her understanding of our community needs.

I want my representative to be someone who understands our district, understands legislation that will be effective versus that posing the threat of unintended consequences, and would fairly represent all of us.

Please vote for Victoria Ernst. She’s the right person for the job.

Susan Karp


Fresh eyes

I would encourage you to cast your vote for George Humlie for McMinnville City Council. His integrity, maturity, knowledge and experiences in our community would give us the fresh new eyes we need.

He is a candidate who has our best interests in mind. He knows this community well. He would listen to us and represent us honestly and fairly, with no ulterior motives or hidden agendas.

That’s exactly what we need in times like these. With George Humlie, you get what you see — a good, honorable man who would represent us well.

Loretta Johnson


Go with Kotek

Perhaps this is another election where one votes for the lesser of two evils. But it is more than the usual with the three-legged race featuring three women running for governor.

I spent 17 years doing the political work for the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers, and was thus at the Capitol during legislative sessions. In that time, I had the pleasure of watching now U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley rise to minority leader and then speaker of the House.

In both cases, he was outstanding. That said, he did not have the tenure of Tina Kotek.

Kotek had a lot of tough issues to deal with in her time. She had some missteps, but was on top of most things.

Whenever you draw a line in the sand, you will get push back. She prevailed through some dark times and kept the House moving through its agenda. She ran a tight ship.

Kotek has proven to be a strong leader and is ready for the next step. As Harry Truman said, “One merely needs to look at their history to solve today’s problems.” Kotek has lived that history.

To Betsy Johnson’s credit, she chaired the difficult Ways and Means Committee for many years. But that is not the same pond.

Drazen lacks this experience. She deserves credit for two decades serving as a staff person to politicians, but it doesn’t compare to Kotek or Johnson.

Phil Dryer, former state senator and head of Common Cause, said, “When I was a young democrat, I wanted 100% or nothing! I got sick of getting nothing.”

So, in this race, vote for Tina Kotek. She has served on the big pond as Speaker of the Oregon House. She would make a great governor.

Mike Sullivan


Magical thinking

As the walls close in, the leaders of the coup cult are doubling down on the magical thinking that got them to this point.

So far, they have done a skillful job of myth-making, turning a flawed human being into a god. But the Big Lie is crumbling, thanks in part to the January 6 Committee and the Justice Department.

The cult would have you believe its god won the 2020 election because he claims he was defrauded in several states.

Federal courts disagreed in more than 60 cases, as did his own attorney general, his own cybersecurity director and all 50 secretaries of state, but that doesn’t matter to the magical thinkers. In their world, anything their god says is true, and anything he does is beyond reproach.

He can conspire to overturn an election. He can incite an armed riot at the Capitol. He can bully secretaries of state to alter vote counts. He can walk off with national security documents as he pleases. No problem.

If you or I packed off a thousand pages of sensitive documents, lied about having them and refused to return them, we would be behind bars in short order — and rightfully so.

But the magical thinkers are ready to give their god a pass. They don’t care.

This kind of thinking is toxic to our fragile democracy. To operate rationally and effectively, we need to focus on what is actually true and make decisions based on real facts.

Magical thinking hides the truth. That’s the aim.

The world is watching to see whether or not we can keep our democracy. But without truth and accountability, the odds are slim.

In the coming election, please reject the magic thinkers and their coup. Vote for democracy.

Your children will thank you.

Bill Johnson


How many times?

The drumbeat of folks dead by gunshot goes on and on and on: two police officers shot dead in Connecticut, five people in Raleigh, two people at a high school in St. Louis, two nurses at a hospital in Dallas and five people at a drag race in Chicago.

Bob Dylan sings:

“Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs fly

Before they’re forever banned?”

The question before us today is how many people must be gunned down before guns are forever banned from our neighborhoods?

Recently, a man shot up the neighborhood just a few blocks from where I live. Fortunately, no one was killed or injured.

Bob Dylan continues:

“And how many ears must one man have

Before he can hear people cry?

Yes, and how many deaths will it take ‘til he knows

That too many people have died?”

A first step is to vote for Measure 114. It will not prevent all deaths by gunshot, but it will reduce the risk.

Hunters who whine that a 10-round magazine is too limiting should know that hunters who need 10 bullets to bring down their prey are an embarrassment to hunters everywhere.

Robert Mason


Stale scare tactics

I received an unsolicited text today from the Republican Party with a video from their candidate in House District 24.

This text is literally a recycle from the 2020 election showing violent images from Portland and language designed to scare citizens into thinking McMinnville is in danger of becoming flooded with homeless camps, violence and crime. If you believe the scare tactics, you might as well stop reading right now.

Contrast this to the fair, thoughtful and well-written solution-based information I received from Victoria Ernst, the candidate I support. The assumption that this has always been and always will be a Republican seat in the House of Representatives is inaccurate.

From the very first meeting I had with Victoria, I have been impressed with her intelligence, her measured calm and her willingness to work hard to earn our votes. I have never seen a candidate work so tirelessly to meet her constituents, listen to their concerns and look for solutions.

Victoria Ernst is a breath of fresh air, drawing on her family’s deep agricultural roots while learning about the issues facing our district. She would represent us well in Salem because she is not beholden to a party, a network of good old townies or a certain way of doing things.

If you are an independent or a non-affiliated voter, here is your chance for really good representation in our home district. The News-Register hit the nail on the head with its endorsement and recommendation of Victoria Ernst.

If you have not filled out and returned your ballot, so have not already voted for Victoria Ernst, don’t let the Election Day deadline sneak up on you. It is a privilege and an honor to endorse — and vote for — Victoria Ernst.

Beth Caster


A line too far

Please tell me why girls need to butt their way onto boys’ sports teams. Do girls feel that inadequate?

Let boys have their own teams. If girls want to play the same type of sport the boys are playing, then start an all-girl team and let the boys enjoy their all-boy sports.

This equality line of thinking is going too far when it comes to male sports.

Sandra Ponto


Commitment and experience

Beth Wytoski has earned my vote for Yamhill County commissioner.

Her 14 years on the city council and nine years as mayor in Dayton, and her six years with YCAP, have proven over and over that she is a common-sense leader with the commitment and experience to lead Yamhill County. She has proven that she has the ability to work with other leaders and agencies to move the county forward.

I know I can count on Beth Wytoski to do the work of the citizens of Yamhill County.

John Dorner


Seize the opportunity

We voters in Yamhill County have the opportunity to elect a county commissioner who is eminently qualified to hold the office.

Not only is Beth Wytoski highly educated herself, but she is an educator, and would be a valuable asset to the Board of Commissioners. And as a political moderate, she would bring a needed balance.

Ms. Wytoski has led a life of community service ever since she was a local teenager, and is respected in numerous areas. She is the only candidate who has been elected to public office, and she has received several leadership awards.

Check out her website, BethWytoski.com, to see all that she has accomplished as mayor of Dayton. It’s very impressive.

She is committed to supporting our agricultural economy by protecting our farmland, having grown up in a local farming family. She might not have signs covering the county, but she has an outstanding list of qualifications and a stellar list of supporters.

Please join me in voting for Beth Wytoski for Yamhill County commissioner and Victoria Ernst for state representative from District 24 (Victoria4OregonHouse.com). We are indeed fortunate to have such excellent candidates willing to serve our community.

Nancy Mahi


Stay the course

Small towns sometimes struggle to find strong candidates to run for local office. But in McMinnville, our cup runneth over this year.

The race for city council in Ward 2 is a match-up between two longstanding community members, both great leaders with deep roots and tremendous passion for McMinnville.

While each of the candidates has a lot to offer in the role of city councilor, I believe the complex issues our community faces are best addressed by the candidate who has been at the table the last four years. In the midst of challenging times, we need continuity from our leaders.

Zack Geary has served on council since January 2019, following a stint on our planning commission, and has put in the time to deeply understand the challenges we face as a community.

Our council is currently mid-stream in multiple initiatives that will have weighty outcomes, as we look to create a new fire district, contemplate significant development along Three Mile Lane, move toward an intensive Third Street Improvement Project, work to develop a new master plan for our parks, and continue to look for long term solutions to budget shortfalls.

Understanding the inherent complexity of each of these issues takes an immense of amount of time reading staff reports, listening to feedback from consulting teams, receiving community input and weighing challenging aspects that touch on everything from legality to livability.

Zack has been dedicated in his role as a council member to doing all of these things and more. He has earned not just the trust of our community, but also the opportunity to see these challenges through.

Erin Stephenson


Response tells story

Acting County Clerk Keri Hinton, currently engaged in a contested election for the post, flunked her interview in practice and is allowing her ego to dictate the outcome.

The position of county clerk requires integrity, and she is exhibiting none in her official responses to the mistake with the Newberg City Council races.

Lisa McCracken


Sowing doubt and fear

Hey there, Yamhill County citizens. How do you like two of our county commissioners threatening your health?

In the Oct. 21st edition, writer Nicole Montesano notes Mary Starrett and Lindsay Bershauer have refused state public health money under the current contract.
They nit-picked language “promoting” vaccinations for the most vulnerable in our county — our children. They even threatened the continued existence of our Yamhill County public health agency.

This is unacceptable. Why is it that those who are irrationally concerned about government over-reach seek to impose their vindictive will by manipulating public information — a form of censorship — against the common good?

To use just the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System chart for interpretation is cherry picking. It takes scientific facts out of context, making them inaccurate and misleading.

The overwhelming majority of scientific and medical professionals continue to support the need for vaccinations. We can’t all live without them.

As long-suffering Administrator Ken Huffer and Commissioner Casey Kulla pointed out, the language regarding vaccinations is not new. They explained the provision ensures our county nurse can do her important work by equitably presenting all options, including the option for exemption from vaccinations, when those in need come to her.

Starrett and Bershauer are actively opposing vaccinations by creating doubt and fear, essentially promoting vaccine hesitancy. These two commissioners are undermining important services that our tax dollars provide to make our world here in Yamhill County healthier.

Kudos to Huffer, Kulla and HHS Director Lindsey Manfrin for their continued advocacy on behalf of Yamhill County citizens.

Shauna Henry, R.N.


Making a difference

This fall, I celebrated my 25th year as an educator at McMinnville High School.

One awareness I have gained is this: True leaders, change-makers and good people are grown in our community. And Zack Geary, seeking re-election in the city council’s Ward 2, is all three.

We would be wise to elect him to another term. His leadership and service are proven by his work on the projects that actively contribute to the heart of McMinnville – our shared spaces and experiences.

If you have attended the Downtown Association Brown Bag Concerts on the Plaza or Walnut City Music Festival, or been recruited by Zack to volunteer at them, you have experienced the outcome of Zack’s heartfelt leadership and penchant for fun. He serves all of us in his role on the city council by prioritizing the infrastructure that provides space for our community to gather and thrive.

It’s likely you and yours have whiled away at least a few hours at our parks, pool, community center and library. From swim lessons to spring soccer, cross country meets, winter formals and summer reading challenges, Zack has helped create the settings for countless family memories.

Zack actively advocates for greater attention to the way these gems support our community as it grows, and he engages us in the process. As a business owner, spouse, and parent, he values how the places we share and the experiences we have there contribute to the pride we feel about living in McMinnville.

Whether as his advisor in high school or his neighbor now, I have observed the way Zack’s contributions to the causes that uplift others remain consistent and meaningful. Supporting the good he generates is something I am always proud to do.

Join me in re-electing Zack Geary in Ward 2. We will all benefit.

Angela Darrow


County grandstanders

Commissioners Starrett and Berschauer:

The News-Register of Oct. 21 indicates you are “angry that the state health authority can require the county to promote vaccines as part of its funding contract, and want the county to challenge the contract language.” Well, I’m angry that you continue to put our county health in jeopardy by grandstanding on this issue.
The Oregon Health Authority and County Health Department are responsible for providing scientific data-based information on vaccines. They are responsible for ensuring we have access to factual information, based on sound science and data, to inform us how to keep healthy.

They have highly qualified staff who hold medical, nursing and public health degrees, none of which you have. I previously asked you to stop practicing medicine without a license and I renew that request today.

I’m also frustrated with your refusal to sign a contract that would bring $60,000 to our county just because you disagree on vaccines. Yet you seem willing to spend money on irresponsible actions that have cost taxpayers more than $3.5 million, including a special deal to Waste Management costing us more than $2 million and votes forcing us to pay back to the state more than $1 million in Yamheles Trail grants.

I consider this gross mismanagement of county resources. Yet, here we have the opportunity to bring $60,000 into our county and you refuse.
False and misleading information on vaccines and COVID treatments have hurt our community, and both of you are responsible for sharing this type of misinformation. How many people have been negatively impacted by this?

Please stop grandstanding. Stop forcing your faulty vaccine narrative and pushing back on Public Health. Start actually caring about the people of Yamhill County.

Lu Ann Anderson


Represents the best

I have been a voter for a very long time, and I have no tolerance for empty rhetoric, personal agendas or heartless campaigns.

Victoria Ernst is a breath of fresh air for me. She is an exceptional candidate for the Oregon House in District 24.

At my local town hall meetings in Carlton, there was Victoria, listening, asking questions and taking notes. Later, when I invited her to a house party, she answered questions, discussed the issues and listened to people’s concerns.

That’s good old fashioned politics – going to each community to listen and learn. She has been tireless in her crusade to hear all voices in our district.
Her familial roots run deep in Yamhill County. I hear her commitment, how much she cares about the people here and her deep sense of pride in the place she has always called home.

Victoria Ernst represents the very best of Yamhill County. She deserves your vote.

Catherine Dorner


A selfless leader

I’m writing to support Dayton Mayor Beth Wytoski for Yamhill County commissioner.

I have had the honor of knowing Mayor Wytoski, professionally and personally, for many years. For those of you who perhaps do not know, she embodies the very definition of a servant leader.

Mayor Wytoski is a selfless leader whose passion for Oregon and Yamhill County is manifested in the great quality of life, solid economic growth and forward-looking vision for what’s best for all residents. From her role as mayor of Dayton to her service as president of the Oregon Mayors Association, her career in public service spans nearly two decades at the local, state and national levels.

I served with her on the board of the Oregon Mayors Association and League of Oregon Cities, where I watched her make a difference on a daily basis. She is laser-focused on improving the community in which she lives, a commitment which she has demonstrated through years of service on her council prior to assuming the mayoral helm.

Her leadership was so highly regarded by her peers and the LOC leadership that she was selected to represent the interest of all 241 cities in Oregon on a mission to the White House. As our voice in Washington, D.C., she elevated the state’s stature, helping to secure needed funding for cities during one of the most trying times in our history.

Beth Wytoski is a visionary and an impactful leader, always putting service above self. She is an ethical, moral, and upstanding citizen who builds bridges.
Her collaborative spirit and ability to see all sides of any issue or opportunity are important parts of her character. The county would be well-served, and exceptionally fortunate, to have Beth Wytoski as a Yamhill County commissioner.

Mike Cully

West Linn

Man of character

George Humlie is the best candidate for the McMinnville City Council from Ward #2. Recently, he publicly proclaimed his commitment to transparency, something all voters are looking for in government leadership right now.

Knowing George for the last 15 years, as a fellow musician and neighbor, I’ve come to appreciate his integrity and honesty. He says what he means and does what he says — rare qualities indeed.

We’re lucky to have a man of his character running for city council.

Mike Strickland


Mediator at heart

Beth Wytoski learned mediation skills as a young girl and served her classmates and school in the role of peer mediator.

I was a mediation trainer. I believed in her back then and most certainly still do.

I’ve listened and watched as Beth inspired young graduates and the community, celebrating them with her own example of commitment to working for the common good, valuing community deeply and sharing honestly.

I’ve seen her leading a celebration in the park to remind us all of what we cherish and have in common, and do it with joy and good humor. I’ve watched her confidence, good communication and networking at an Oregon Mayors Workshop.

Most of all, I know the truth of her motto for this election and her bid for county commissioner. She is from Yamhill County, for Yamhill County — and I know she will bring to this role a strong positive commitment and ability to work for the good of us all.

Kathy Beckwith


Contrast and compare

A suggestion:

The News-Register might make a significant contribution to the discussion about removing the trees along Third Street by republishing the photos offered several years ago.

The first, showing no trees, had been taken in the mid-1970s, the second just a few years ago. The contrast was striking, underscored by the caption that read in part “... now with mature trees and sidewalk bulb-outs, making the modern Northeast Third Street in McMinnville more inviting.”

Bob Ehrhart




JWC, do you know when Judge Wiles has to run for re-election? I want to make sure to donate to his campaign. Any one you hate so much must be a pretty good person. Thanks in advance.

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