Letters to the Editor: July 21, 2017

First, study the problem

Trying to solve a problem without possession of an understanding of its cause is an exercise in futility, most likely doomed to failure.

Many suggestions have been put forward by readers of this newspaper regarding solutions that we should try in an effort to make our problem go away. In addition to trying to help our indigent McMinnville homeless folks get back on their feet or to get the medical help that they require, it’s obvious that our growing homeless population is a complex and difficult problem to solve.

However, before an effective solution can be determined, we must first try to understand those factors that are contributing to McMinnville’s increased homeless immigration. It requires thoughtful and methodical research to learn what factors are drawing the homeless from other places and causing them to want to relocate here in our community.

We should be asking questions such as what motivated them to move here and where did they move from? With this information and more, we will then be better equipped to consider intelligent corrective actions that we might take to minimize those inducements which cause undesirable immigration.

We’ll need to reach out to this specific population to gather information. This may be a job best accomplished by the Yamhill County Health and Human Services or perhaps some other appropriate agency, to gain understanding about what motivates the homeless to move here and about why McMinnville has become a magnet for the disparate homeless of afar.

Until we begin this process and stanch the flow, I feel we may never make meaningful progress toward reducing the growth of our homeless population and thereby reclaiming the title of America’s favorite downtown.

Stuart Jacobson



Time to come together

In my 72 years on the planet, I have managed to avoid the public discourse that are letters to the editor, but my community is grappling with an important issue that affects us all and clearly elicits strong emotions.

I’m talking about the homeless in our community and our attempts to arrive at some measured compassion in responding to our fellows.

It long ago became evident to me that the culture of poverty was one that any one of us could be drawn into. The loss of a job, a broken family, a catastrophic medical crisis could and does draw people into the streets. Some of the accompanying mental health and chemical dependency issues are some people’s response to these tragedies. I truly believe that “There but for fortune, may go you or I.”

In following the letters and editorials, I observe my fellow citizens trying to sort this complicated issue, demonstrating compassion while maintaining the lifestyle and economic security they deserve.

At a time when our nation seems divided on so many issues and our common compassion is under serious attack, it would be my hope that we can come to some agreement on the serious underlying causes and avoid invectives against one another such as blaming the churches, whose Christian compassion compelled them to act, of being too compassionate. I found the letter regarding the feeding of bears particularly bothersome and not helpful.
Kudos to our city government for a willingness to engage. This is not going to be easy.

I’m proud to be a longtime member of this community, and I remain convinced that we can approach this issue rationally and compassionately.
John M. Sullivan



The GOP must be crazy

Things have come to a sorry state of affairs when even Fox News is disgusted with the lack of honesty from our president and his family and supporters
How can the president garner any support from our citizenry for his agendas when he is so blatantly dishonest and corrupt? I would like to find areas of agreement with his supporters so that we can heal some of the wounds he has inflicted upon us.

Even Charles Krauthammer and Shep Smith are bemused by his behavior, and they are reliably conservative. I can’t imagine what intellectually honest conservatives tell themselves to justify their continuing support of him.

Maybe they are suffering from Stockholm syndrome. How else can we explain their rationale? Pray for us all.

Edward Fuller



Protect the pets

Please keep your cats inside. They are as smart as a 2-year-old playing in the street.

They can get in fights and be hit by cars as well as end up infected by cats who have not been vaccinated. You wouldn’t allow 2-year-olds to play outside alone as they don’t know it will hurt them to run into the street with traffic.

Your cat doesn’t realize this either. If you can’t treat your cat as a family member and keep him or her safe, then don’t have a cat.

Please don’t declaw your cat either. They cut the toe off up to the first joint. This is the same as a human having their toes cut off up to the first joint. It is totally inhumane and extremely painful. No reputable vet would be so inhumane. It cripples the cat and causes them to walk improperly. If you can’t keep their nails trimmed and purchase a cat tree, then get a dog.

Please don’t walk your dog if the temperature is more then 75 degrees. Hot pavements can hurt their paws. What do people think your dogs paws are made of? Please do not chain your dog up outside. If you can’t afford to build a fenced-in yard, then don’t get a dog.

Sandra Ponto



White House, black stain

What has the leadership of this country come to? Where has our nation’s moral compass gone?

The following are just two of my deep concerns for this beloved country.

First, almost daily our citizens are subjected to questionable behavior or statements from our White House inner circle. When called to account, they treat us to further ridiculous explanations to divert or offset. Such remarks typically lean one way and then another, looking for an easy way out rather than taking responsibility from the start. Why is it so difficult for them to speak honestly in the first place? There is no need for all this nonsense.

Secondly, the White House lacks an ability to understand or appreciate scientific concerns about climate change. Scientists all over the world have diligently studied this issue for years and have concluded that it is not only a fact, but a serious threat. The United States is a major contributor to the growing crisis.

We should be taking a major role on the world stage, but we are shunning it and sitting idly by. The problem is so large, it deserves our concerted attention and should not be left solely to others to struggle with. Our leadership has learned nothing from these dedicated scientists. The White House’s denial of the problem is unconscionable and a tremendous blow to our national reputation and credibility in the world at large. 

In conclusion, the odor of the White House inner circle is rank and smacks of self-interest, not this country’s national and international interests. It is our responsibility to aid our world by helping to leave a healthy habitable planet to our future generations.

Carol Ackerson


Typical of Nearman

I was not at all surprised to learn from Ricardo Small’s July 14 letter that Rep. Mike Nearman supports voter suppression efforts.

Nearman seems to fully embrace needless procedures and hurdles to hinder individual rights. Nearman thinks he should control women’s bodies and now he also wants to decide who gets to vote.

If you’re not watching, some politicians will whittle away at your rights. Voter apathy has greatly contributed to our current political situation. Pay attention. Be engaged.

Alisa Owen



Don Dix

Carol Ackerson -- I find it interesting that your tirade on the White House dismisses any self-interest by most other elected officials (D or R). You ask for responsibility and accountability, yet your focus is so narrow (climate change) that all other discrepancies are ignored.

In fact, can you name a Rep. or Senator that hasn't enriched themselves through contacts and financial support for sponsoring favorable legislation? And usually a retiring (or defeated) congressperson finds lucrative employment in the private sector for just that reason.

For accuracy, check how the net worth of Reps. and Senators grow during their terms in office. The Clintons were supposedly broke when they left the White House, and several years later they were worth millions (Hillary became a Senator shortly afterward). Hint -- it wasn't speaking fees!

For the first time since Eisenhower, the U.S. has a president that is not a 'career politician'. Looking up that job title, it is apparent that many times the best and brightest do not populate the pool -- it seems the lack of talent almost chases them to politics as the alternative. Not the best resume' to represent anyone, in my opinion!


Edward Fuller - Everything and everyone that Donald Trump touches is ruined. The man is toxic, vindictive, petty, mentally unstable or ill. He leaves a trail of destruction in his wake. Republicans have control and are failing to remove him from office. We will need more than prayers...we need republicans to do what the Constitution requires and remove him from office before he destroys is country.

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