Letters to the Editor: April 14, 2023

Workable solution

I am excited about the opportunity to vote for the new special fire district in May.

I moved to McMinnville with my young family six years ago. It was easy to fall in love with the community.

I have been involved in several city committees and enjoy being an engaged community member. As a member of the city budget committee I have learned about our city’s complicated financial situation.

Our city has not been able to provide the programs and services our community needs because of budgetary limitations.

It is very concerning to me that our public safety departments are underfunded. I think we all can agree that we want full staffing for fire and EMS and reduced response times in the event of an emergency.

The city council and staff have been exploring solutions for years.

The model proposed in the upcoming ballot measures will create a stand alone fire district with its own budget and elected governing body. I believe this is a sustainable plan to provide the level of service that our community deserves.

I have been impressed with our city’s leaders for this creative solution to both the holes in fire service delivery in our area and the city’s financial issues. I have attended several public information meetings and I applaud the transparency and communication efforts.

It is imperative that we, the residents of McMinnville and surrounding rural district, vote yes on Measures 33-226 and 33-227 in May.

Meredith Maxfield



Backing commissioners

I had to laugh reading the editorial, “What will it take for voters to decide enough is enough?” I think the voters did decide, and you just don’t like it.

It’s hard being in the minority, isn’t it? Welcome to the world of the Oregon conservative, living in a blue state where conservatism runs deep through most of us, but a few high-population counties out-vote us every election.

We support the conservative commissioners. As farmers, we appreciate the county not infringing on any more valuable farm ground.

We fought tooth and nail to keep the old Whiteson Landfill from being turned into a public park a few years ago, and finally won.

Our roads are twisting, narrow, dangerous and heavily traveled by huge straw trucks. Very few but druggies and the homeless would hang out there.

We’ve had squatters. And we’ve found used needles and other drug paraphernalia on ground we own near the old landfill.

We get tired of being told what is best for us. No thank you. As you say, enough is enough.

The News-Register has long been liberal-leaning, not conservative. So when we see a conservative agenda being trashed, especially when you actually use a “conservative values” argument to make your point, we have to speak out in support of the commissioners.

What a joke.

David DeRaeve



A fit for the ages

If the make-up of the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners were the polar opposite, with members using their own brew of ideology, nepotism and manipulation to drive their partisan agenda, the right’s James Goings gaggle would be having a paralyzing conniption fit.

Lisa McCracken



Heart in education

As you work on your ballots for the important McMinnville School Board election, I encourage you to vote for Lu Ann Anderson in position 6.

As a school psychologist who used to work in the McMinnville district, I have known Lu Ann for more than 10 years. She is both trustworthy and reliable at all times.

She is very knowledgeable about education and knows how to support all students. She is an advocate for all children — future athletes, artists, musicians, scientists and engineers, just to name a few.

Lu Ann will work tirelessly to support all students within the district, no matter their interests, needs or skills.

Her heart is in education. She is committed to doing the right thing for every member of the community.

Over the past few years, I have come to realize how important local elections are. Sadly, they are often considered less than critical, though.

As you decide whether to vote this May, please remember that your local school board has an immediate impact on your children’s schools and the community in which you live. Lu Ann Anderson would be an important addition to the McMinnville School Board as the community moves forward in serving all students, families and teachers.

Kristin Clark



Yes on fire service

We need a safer McMinnville.

As a lifelong resident and 13-year member of the McMinnville Professional Firefighters, I know intimately well how badly our town needs to improve the funding model for our fire service.

We have been underfunded for decades. After being left on the back burner time and time again, we need to finally put our public safety first.

I have chosen to raise my family in McMinnville, and am thus deeply rooted here. I want the best for my family and community.

We are a growing town that needs to take very strategic steps to plan for our future. Fire district consolidation is one of those very important steps that needs to happen now.

Voting yes on Measures 36-226 and 36-227 truly is what is best for our community. This would allow the dedicated members of McMinnville Professional Firefighters to provide the services that this town desperately needs — and your family deserves.

Not having staffing for fire or medical emergencies several hundred times each year can no longer be accepted. Please join me and my family in voting yes on 36-226 and 36-227!

Kody Quinlan



Choose wisely

Extremism in the last few years has come to many school boards, nationally and locally. Board members have been threatened and violence has sometimes broken out.

Extremists have taken up the mantle in an attempt to take over school boards and impose their radical agendas.

They rely on misinformation and propaganda in their arguments, without offering any substance. They use phrases like “grooming” and “indoctrination” for things they oppose, in hopes of shutting off access to others.

But indoctrination isn’t limiting views, opinions and information. Iindoctrination is just the opposite; it is restricting and limiting access.

Our First and Fourteenth amendments are important to understanding our freedoms and choices. They protect us from authoritarians telling us what we must think and read.

Good education depends on challenging our past and present in order to build a better future. This has always led us to progress.

George Bernard Shaw once said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

We must strive to seek out facts and truth. We must always challenge ideas that offer neither.

This is why in the May 16 election, I’m supporting Larry Vollmer for position 4, Gerardo Partida for position 5, Lu Ann Anderson for position 6 and Doris Towery for position 7 on the McMinnville School Board.

Troy Prouty



Gun action needed

Today I listened to the mayor of Louisville make an impassioned appeal to authorize his city to make its own ordinances regarding firearm ownership. His plea was emotional, sincere and — it seemed to me — tragically hopeless.

I doubt not at all that Louisville could put together a thoughtful and practical plan, incorporating all that is understood about firearm ownership and gun violence. I doubt not at all that the mayor’s entreaty is not only borne of recent gun tragedies there, but also of his understanding of the gun crisis afflicting this country.

Establishing local laws is a waste of time, though, because they would not apply to anyone seeking to obtain guns outside of that jurisdiction. They are a waste of time because a committed and enthusiastic aspiring assault rifle owner could obtain his weapon elsewhere, then trot it right back into Louisville — or Portland, or McMinnville, or the hometown of anyone you have ever known or loved.

The “me-ism” that informs our nation’s thinking about our right to gun ownership is obscene.

It is as obscene as being willfully blind — in the name of this freedom — to the death and destruction created by assault weapons. More obscene is pretending that thoughtful gun safety regulations are all aimed as gutting the Second Amendment.

Speaking of obscene, how about elected officials who pander to the gun lobby just to get elected? Conflating responsible gun laws with demolishing the Second Amendment is as self-serving as it is absurd.

This is not a local or state issue. Unless there are national laws and policies covering gun ownership in all states, all counties and all municipalities — as well as consistent consequences for breaking those laws — none of us and none of our children will ever be safe. Ever.

Erma Vasquez



A safer McMinnville

People in McMinnville and surrounding communities have an opportunity to make our community safer by voting yes on Measures 36-226 and 36-227 in the May 16 election. These measures would create a new fire district to provide fire and ambulance services currently provided by the McMinnville Fire Department and the Rural Fire District — a move strongly supported by our firefighters and community leaders, who understand the importance of public safety.

My family moved to McMinnville 13 years ago because it is a great place to raise a family. One key consideration was public safety, which includes having top-notch firefighting and ambulance services.

Since 2017, I have served as legal counsel for the McMinnville Professional Firefighters. My job is to try and protect those who protect us.

Unfortunately, over those years, I’ve seen how underfunded the McMinnville Fire Department is. Lack of resources, coupled with ever-increasing call volume, has led to insufficient numbers of firefighters, dangerous employee turnover rates, fewer fire stations than needed, and insufficient or outdated equipment for firefighters.

Without enough stations, fire apparatuses and ambulances respond from further away, delaying response times. Without enough firefighters on duty, response times further degrade.

If your house or business is on fire, or you have a medical emergency, seconds matter. Fires spread quickly, and those seconds can mean the difference between losing your entire home or business or just experiencing minor damage. If you have a heart attack or a serious auto accident, those seconds can mean the difference between surviving and dying.

These measures will fix chronic underfunding by generating revenue that can only be spent on fire and EMS services. The district will be run by an independently elected board with no other purpose than providing top notch fire and EMS services.

This change will create a safer McMinnville.

Jason Weyand



Hate crime

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has committed a hate crime against President Donald J. Trump.

Shades of Jussie Smollett. He should be disbarred.

Judy Hromyko




David DeRaeve's letter, "Backing commissioners," requires a response to correct false information. His comment, "We fought tooth and nail to keep the old Whiteson Landfill from being turned into a public park a few years ago, and finally won." is wholly incorrect. The facts are:
1. At the end of the planning process, Yamhill County Commissioners approved a conditional use permit (CUP) for park development of phases 1 and 2 of the Whiteson property. That permit is still valid and being maintained in effect by the Yamhill County Parks Division.
2. As a result of CUP approval, a park development plan was completed. However, no steps have been taken in implementing this development plan for a variety of reasons, including issues about public access to the property and no development funding available. We hope to re-engage when the County starts is master parks planning process later this year.
3. The Whiteson landfill, although part of the county's Whiteson property, was never considered part of the CUP for park development. In fact, it was specifically excluded.
Jim Culbert
This comment is provided as my personal perspective as a member of the County Parks Board from the time the CUP was approved.


I guess we'll all get so numb to the gunfire that we won't even bother shutting down any schools or grocery stores while they investigate shootings. Imagine pushing your shopping cart full of groceries around and then hearing your 3 year old say: "Mommy, what's that red stuff on the floor?"

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