Letters to the Editor: July 14, 2023

South Davis speedway

Responding the article, “City wants input from public on tax spending.”

Topping the list? More police presence and action, especially regarding speeding in our neighborhoods, because it involves the livability of our community.

We have asked several times for some kind of answer to the speeding problem on South Davis. Reading Facebook comments, it isn’t just our street or neighborhood, though.

Last week, a car doing a conservatively estimated 60 mph swerved as it struggled to regain control next to a field full of young men attending a football camp. It maintained that speed all the way down to the Davis dip, but managed this time to avoid tragedy.

The warning is this: If it continues unchecked, someone will be hurt or killed by a speeding and/or out-of-control car — a child or family on the way to or from the elementary school, a citizen out jogging or walking the dog or youths at a football camp, as in the example mentioned above. When a car careens out of control, it may end up in one of our homes.

Easily 80% of the traffic on this street exceeds the speed limit, and not by just a few miles. Racing is not uncommon.

As businesses are added in south McMinnville, this situation continues to worsen. What is the plan to deal with it?

We are told no to speed bumps although I know of several cities that have them. We are told no to a stop sign to disrupt the speed.

We are told no to posting of our own signs, or to saying or doing anything. So, who will? What is the answer, except for having officers present to enforce the law?

We need protection from this. It sounds like we have the money, so let’s use it for making our communities better and safer.

Please — before someone is seriously hurt or killed.

Dave and Loretta Johnson



Not giving a rip

Enough is enough!

Aerial fireworks have been illegal for a long time. Why does it seem that this law only applies to concerned citizens.

The noise is intolerable for people and especially animals. My animals have suffered through this long enough.

Fireworks are only supposed to be lit during certain hours. But we had days of it at all hours.

The smoke and residue are harmful to people and animals. I have seen what these fireworks can do to a home. It is horrible.

I called the non-emergency number, but three or more hours later, they were still blowing fireworks off.

I seem to be surrounded by people who don’t give a rip about others. But I seem to be able to pinpoint where they are coming from more than the police do.

Perhaps I should have gone out and directed the police to the offenders. Maybe these people are friends of the authorities, so have the immunity to disturb others.

I think McMinnville needs a total ban on fireworks. Maybe while we’re at it, a statewide ban in Oregon.

We are fortunate the beaches belong to the people, but the fireworks offenders trash the beaches too. They can’t even clean up their own mess.

There were pleas for others to go and help clean up the beaches of the firework residue.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. People who can’t conform to laws don’t give a rip for the mess they create.

Alice Vinton



Rein in the revelry

I love fireworks. Who doesn’t? It’s an American tradition on the 4th of July.

But there comes a time when tradition need modifying, and it’s come with climate change.

Across Oregon and the rest of the West, we have higher temperatures, lower humidity, extended drought and stronger, more frequent wind — a recipe for fire.

Fire can happen anywhere, mostly in forests, but also in the interfacing lands. It can even sweep into main streets, as happened in Southern Oregon a while back.

We already have fires burning north and south of us. A good portion of Canada is on fire, and the smoke is drifting worldwide.

We need a new way of celebrating this holiday, other than the indiscriminate use of fireworks, something that doesn’t pose a threat to property or life. Many larger cities are starting to use drones and lasers to replace their fireworks display, parades are a good idea, kids love them, get to know your neighbors with a block party.

Another way is to focus on the meaning of the 4th of July, which is to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Initially, guns and cannons were shot off to celebrate, but eventually that was ruled out because of safety.

Folks were smart in the past by changing a dangerous way to celebrate. Let’s be that smart today.

In 2019, an estimated 10,000 people landed in emergency rooms from fireworks-related accidents. And I read that Americans spend an estimated $1.5 billion on those fireworks every year.

As more homes burn because of wildfire, insurance companies are starting to cancel policies or raise rates on homeowner insurance. Let’s not let that happen in Oregon.

So, yes, I love fireworks. But I love my home, smoke-free breathable air and the beauty of this area more!

Patricia Rickert



Where’s the tolerance?

I met a person today who was in great pain.

This was not physical pain, but the emotional and spiritual pain, so often the product of casual cruelty. This person had been the victim of unkind words and spiteful sentiment that only meanness of spirit and smallness of heart can produce.

This person made the very personal decision to transition from the gender of her birth. I have no life experiences that can help me entirely understand the immensity of such a choice — no experiences that parallel such an utterly life-changing undertaking.

In a very small way, perhaps, I can approach understanding by thinking of clothes I have bought that I later realize do not fit exactly right or feel wrong because of their design or color. I have them, but in the end, I don’t want to wear them.

Extending this thinking to being born into a body that does not “fit” may be much the same, although immensely and profoundly more significant.

I am in awe of the courage the decision to transition must take. And while I do not entirely understand it, I equally do not understand those who would treat such people with derision, even hatred — those who would justify their cruelty through willful ignorance and foul intolerance.

Erma Vasquez





Three letters about the lack of police officers. An article about fentanyl exposure at the senior services office, growing homeless problem, crime rising and on and on. What's the city our illustrious mayor going to do about it? Never mind, we're excited about spending 4 million dollars to expand the downtown wine experience. Probably a good idea to pull the tourists north, by the time its fully developed 3rd street aught to be a sewer.


Fireworks within the city limits need to be outlawed. The complete lack of courtesy and decorum in keeping to the specific date of July 4th AND to keep them within a time frame stopping at or before 11pm is not a lot to ask for. It’s not patriotic to terrorize your neighbors and their animals.

Joel R

Erma, I'm sorry to hear about your friend. The solution? Teach your friend to be strong and resilient in the face of insults. While everyone SHOULD be nice, a lot of people aren't.
The solution is to remember that it's much easier to wear a pair of sturdy work boots than it is to pick up every piece of broken glass in the world.



who needs reform when you can replace? Cali-forni-cation.

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