Letters to the Editor: December 23, 2022

Looking out for us

Should we fault Yamhill County Commissioners Mary Starrett and Lindsay Berschauer for balking at accepting money from the Oregon Health Authority? Their hesitation just showed they were concerned for our health and wellbeing, as they rightfully believed this grant could allow promoting vaccines causing medical problems.

When the citizenry is bombarded by the media and others, and enticed by lotteries and so forth, it produces much confusion. That leads many to capitulate when instead, more research should be done.

The masking restrictions are more harmful than the COVID. So are the vaccinations, many believe, but some doctors have lost their licenses for speaking the truth.

I, for one, appreciate and thank the commissioners for being good stewards. They have shown much consideration for our care and wellbeing.

Mary Novak


End the madness

Apparently Commissioners Lindsay Berschauer and Mary Starrett have yet to find a Yamhill County department they like.

Their non-stop feud with the Health and Human Services Department is legendary. They have also decided they are smarter than anyone in the Planning Department. Their latest target for punishment is Economic Development.

Given the Berschauer and Starrett record of contrariness, vindictiveness, elitism and erratic behavior, it’s a wonder anyone would still want to work for, or do business with, Yamhill County.

When will this madness ever end?

Mark Bierly


Who are we kiddng?

Let’s get brutally honest about something:

Some have said, with regard to school shootings, that we should simply turn all teaching over to combat veterans. That would solve the problem, right?
Here’s the reality of that ridiculous argument:

For starters, we would need much higher minimum scores on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery enlistment test for all branches and Military Occupation Code job ratings. There would be no more allowing enlistment for those holding GEDs in lieu of actual high school diplomas.

You want good, solid, smart, capable teachers throughout the school year, right? You want teachers who can also immediately neutralize an active shooter? That’s the argument, right?

Then the baseline of education and combat training needs to be raised for all those who serve, in order to ensure all veterans are educator-capable as well as combat capable.

Troops to Teachers would be the standard moving forward. We need so many teachers that moving into education post-military would have to become mandatory. So much for freedom.

Question: Who’s going to fund all of this extra dual training, military and education? And how is that compatible with smaller government and lower taxes?
Another factor:

What demographic usually enlists in the armed forces? Those with the means to afford excellent private education? No, the military gets mostly lower-income and minority recruits from public school backgrounds.

I’m a Navy veteran, and I know how ridiculous this argument is. It’s a Qrazy Faux News talking point, not something based in reality.

Lisa McCracken


Delightful gesture

The little things of the season are the biggest.

We woke up Monday morning to discover we’d been “candy caned.” While we had many suspects, we were unable to determine who was responsible for this incredibly kind gesture.

So, to whoever lined our fence with giant candy canes, we want to say THANK YOU! What a joy for our boys — and us too!

Our son started his morning running “candy cane sprints” up and down the sidewalk. We still get a kick looking at them from our windows and counting them when we return from our daily walks around Mac.

We love it. It’s a good reminder that the little things we do for others bring the greatest joy.

Alec and Becky Shebiel


Do the math

Nicole Montesano’s Dec. 16 article “County May Cut Ties with SEDCOR” raises a question of simple mathematics for the county commissioners.

Commissioners Lindsay Berschauer and Mary Starrett want to cut ties with SEDCOR, the tri-county business promotion organization on whose board I once served, as they feel the county is not receiving enough benefit from a $120,000 per year contract.

What the commissioners apparently have not considered is that SEDCOR’s local rep, Abisha Stone, secured $3 million this year for a workforce housing project in our county. It was funded through the Legislature with the help of State Rep. Anna Scharf (R-Amity).

Commissioners: $3 million divided by $120,000 per year equals 25 years’ worth of contract payments. Given this, SEDCOR and Stone have paid for themselves many, many times over, and the future should just as bright.

The commissioners should reconsider and they, the business community, and all of us, should applaud both SEDCOR and Stone.

Rick Rogers

Mayor of Newberg

Swimming in plastic

Did you know that chemicals are released into the contents when you combine plastic with hot food or beverage? Hot plastic equals poison. “Microwave-safe” only means the plastic won’t melt, not that it’s safe for food contact.


Your coffee pods are used in machines passing hot water through them. Your to-go cups are lined with plastic and feature plastic lids passing hot beverages through them while you drink.

Use a stainless steel reusable pod, a real money-saver, and bring your own travel mug for to-go orders. Alternatively, request a ceramic mug for in-house consumption.

Look around. There’s plastic everywhere.

Single-use plastics, introduced in the 1950s, are the most urgent problem to address right now.

Micro-plastics are found in our bodies, and even in newborns and their mother’s breast milk. Many childhood diseases are caused as a result.

Much illness suffered by older folks is also caused from plastic exposure. And it’s only going to get worse if we don’t take steps now to stop the easy flow of plastic into our lives and communities.

It’s a matter of choice: Your health or your convenience?

Be a part of the solution by becoming one of the many “plastic groupies” working to make our community a healthier place to live. After all, we’re all in this together, right?

Connect with Zero Waste McMinnville’s Plastic Project at 503-207-5482, or theplasticprojectZWM@gmail.com. Rethink, reduce, refuse, reuse, then recycle!

Jeri White


Whoa, Green People

Friday’s cover piece in Viewpoints — “Doing what we can for the planet,” by Sally Martin — was well-timed.

That same day, NPR broadcast a news item about how many times a reusable bag needs to be used to lower the carbon footprint below that of a plastic bag.
It would have to be used every day for 19 years. In fact, more carbon is transmitted into the atmosphere from the reusable bags than from the flimsy plastic bags.

Elsewhere in the news, cost-effectiveness for renewable energy, such as green automobiles, won’t be reached until the 2050s. Until then, it is an economic disaster for consumers and taxpayers, and could cause a serious recession.

So, Green People, please hold on a while more. We’ll get there when it’s healthy and economical to do so.

Sheila Hunter



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