Letters to the Editor: February 16, 2024

20-minute neighborhoods

I was excited to read in the Jan. 22 News-Register that the McMinnville Planning Commission included the concept of 20-minute neighborhoods in its priority projects for the next two years.

This “requires all new developments to include necessities within a 20-minute walk from any residence.” I assume that this might include a grocery store where one might buy fresh produce and other daily food products, as well as a restaurant that would serve dinner.

As a resident of western Wallace Road, I’m within a 20-minute walk of Laughing Bean Bistro, where I can get breakfast or lunch, and Circle K, which is good for a gallon of milk or a six-pack of beverages, but certainly not a place to regularly shop for daily food supplies. Otherwise, my closest resources are downtown, or at the far north and south ends of town.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the proposed plaza in the Lennar development at Hill and Baker Creek roads included a grocery store? Then I could walk through the Linear Park to dinner or ride my bike to pick up groceries, combining exercise and convenience.

And the proposed Fox Ridge/Hill Road development could surely include something more than a quick-stop market or coffee shop.

When I grew up in McMinnville in the ’50s and ’60s, there were small markets scattered throughout town.

Goff’s Market, located at the corner of Linfield Avenue and South Baker Street, was our family’s local market. It included a butcher shop, produce section and basic staples to put a meal on the table.

There were many other markets that some readers will remember, including Stan’s, Bergreen’s, Parr’s, Acuff’s and Crawford’s Corner, among others.
Neighborhood clusters of businesses. What a concept.

Keep it up, planning commission!

John Dolan


Something missing

Yet another article on the Third Street Project. However, in all the information available about the several projects to make Third Street more “people friendly,” I have seen not one word about public restrooms.

How can any city call itself “people friendly” without having public facilities available? While “restrooms for customers only” is understandable from a business perspective, it hardly constitutes “people friendly.”

Maybe all the Visit McMinnville literature needs a caveat: “Come visit our downtown, but go before you come.”

Bob Ehrhart


Pure hypocrisy

In driving around McMinnville recently, I’ve been looking with new eyes at benevolence and tax exemption.

A handful of faith organizations have been stepping up for years to help those in our community who are in desperate need. We all know who they are.

Then there are the faith organizations with the means, room and tax exempt status to lend a hand, but not the compassion or will. Their parking lots are enormous, their roofs pristine, their campuses ever-expanding, suggesting other priorities. We all know who they are as well.

In Matthew 25:40-45, Christ is quoted as saying, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

If a faith organization is not doing good works as clearly stated in the Holy Book, its piety is pure hypocrisy.

Lisa McCracken


Let the tickets flow

Until time limits on downtown parking are fully enforced, how do we even know what our parking situation is?

I dream of a future in which every car gets a parking ticket every time it exceeds the time limits. I want you to want that, too.

Until parking tickets are a sure thing, downtown business owners and employees are going to continue to utilize prime spots all day long, making it less likely shoppers and diners can find a convenient spot. And enforcing existing parking limits is infinitely more affordable than adding new parking spots.

Let’s collectively find a path to this future, as the solution should not fall solely on the police department.

The next time you see a parking ticket issued downtown, consider feeling happy about it. That ticket means more parking spots for you next time.

Matthew Deppe


Guided by faith

Every morning, I see homeless people on the streets.

Before the shelters opened up, I used to go to McDonald’s and get food for them on Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings. I also give them tarps every week to help them stay dry.

My ex-friend tells me I am enabling them. I say no.

I don’t know why they are homeless, but according to God, they are still human beings. They are so appreciative of me giving them tarps that they always thank me.

Let’s hope none of you ever end up on the street.

Sandra Ponto




Please heed and talk around: “Vasquez: Restoring our faith in the American dream”


Bravo Sandra Ponto! In today's environment of shunning and ostracizing the homeless, you not only act on your principles by helping provide necessities, but you challenge us to realize these are all PEOPLE. Human beings. Dare I say, "there but by the grace of God go I". Thank you for what you do. God bless you!


To Ms McCracken: Before you point a finger and accuse others of hypocrisy using the Bible as a reference, keep in mind that there are numerous references in the Bible that state, "if man does not work, he shall not eat." We have a problem here in McMinnville but giving everyone a free handout or a place to put their cart full of stuff, is not the answer. Most faith based institutions have programs in place to help those in need but one has to realize that there is a significant number of homeless that have no interest in structured benefits. McMinnville needs to separate the "wheat from the chaff," which no one seems to think needs to be done before we spend loads resources to fix the problem.

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