Letters to the Editor: May 25 2018

Kids doing right thing

The Wednesday night of May 16th, the community truly had reason to celebrate at 3rd Street Pizza. The movie theater was packed, with a line snaking out the door.

Was this small theater showing the latest Hollywood blockbuster? Was a headline star showing up? Was free popcorn being offered?

In fact, five seventh graders from the Duniway Middle School leadership class were showing a documentary to raise money for a charitable cause.

This seventh grade group of five has been working closely with Zero Waste McMinnville to raise awareness and increase recycling in McMinnville. It has helped at events, sorted recyclables, put out notices and much more.

This night, the group showed the documentary, “A Plastic Ocean.” After advertising in the community, at the school and on social media, they drew a packed house. About 70 percent of those in attendance were Duniway students.  Students Caden Huber, Uki Holoran-Steiner, Opal Primozich, Kellen Reed and Margaret Bowman wanted to do something to make their world a better place. So they teamed up with Zero Waste McMinnville and 3rd Street Pizza.

After organizing, planning and advertising to their classmates, Duniway students came in hordes, making this a special event.  

David Holmes



Coyotes out of control

I would like to take this opportunity to bring a situation to the attention of our county commissioners.

I live in the southeast corner of Yamhill County, where there seems to be a growing number of menacing coyotes. According to Neighborhood Amity, a lamb was killed on a neighboring road in late April.

In the early morning on Saturday, May 5, my neighbor called to advise me he saw two adult coyotes at my deer fence.  I quickly discovered they had killed a four-month-old ram.

While I have a well-made fence, the posts are relatively far apart. After several years, the woven wire had developed some slack.

I discovered a couple areas where the coyotes could push the bottom of the fence inward to get under. Being naïve about coyotes, I settled for driving short steel posts to anchor the base of the fence in these areas. Two mornings later, I discovered the coyotes had dug under the exterior fence in a different area and killed two one-year-old rams.

I set about trying to find if there was a resource available and discovered there was not.

My understanding is the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department maintains a county by county contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for “wildlife damage management,” including coyote predation. But the county commissioners here  decided to opt out.

Yamhill County ranks second in the valley agriculturally, yet is the only valley county not contracting for this service. Otherwise, USDA would send workers out to set snares and dispose of captured animals, helping control a burgeoning coyote population.

This is to request the commissioners take a new look at the need for such a contract.

Les Howsden



Dismayed by trail vote

I listened to three hours of testimony on the Yamhelas Westsider Trail at the county commissioners’ May 15 meeting.

The county attorney summarized weeks of research leading to determination of legal facts and findings relating to farmer concerns. It boiled down to two main issues: overspray of chemicals, or the appearance of such, and potential trespassing.

The farmers were in agreement they do not overspray, as that’s bad farming practice. But they said the smell from chemicals could concern trail users. Explanatory signage was suggested as a solution, as it has been used successfully elsewhere.  

Trespassing was addressed by a proposal to use dog- and people-proof fencing through farm properties, following best practice on miles of existing national trails through agricultural land.

The majority favored the trail, citing economic benefits, incentives for employees valuing healthy lifestyles, and safety for walkers, schoolchildren, equestrians and cyclists by enabling them to avoid Highway 47.  Also mentioned were upcoming support and potential grant opportunities through Travel Oregon, and an offer for maintenance of Gun Club Road to the Yamhill portion, in perpetuity, by Carlton winemaker Ken Wright and his wife. 

After taking three hours of testimony, and questioning of the county attorney, the commissioners made statements.

Stan Primozich said his yes vote represented a commitment to continue developing the first segment from Carlton to Yamhill. Mary Starrett cited landowner opposition, possible overstatement of the degree of support and planning commission deadlock in voting no. Rick Olson, who has been in favor previously and claims he still is, cited concerns with the planning methods in also voting no.

I suggest creation of a working committee of opponents, proponents and commissioners to sort through this. Then perhaps we can move forward on planning and construction of the Yamhelas Trail, an added benefit to Yamhill County.

Cheryl Nangeroni



People are the problem

The gun people are right in arguing it’s a people issue, not a gun issue. Here’s why:

Every gun owner claims he’s responsible, but unless he keeps his guns and ammo locked up, he’s not.

It seems most school shooters obtained their weapons from a home, either their own or a friend’s, where guns were not secured. This is either a case of gross negligence or paranoia.

Many gun owners insist on keeping weapons loaded and accessible. This accounts for many accidental child shootings and teen suicides. All gun and accessory manufacturers want their products billed as defensive in nature.

Most ads depict a person defending his home against a shadowy figure — possibly someone from a tyrannical government, with a gun that includes a laser pointer, flashlight attachment or extended magazine. You’ll never see an ad that depicts a family outdoors enjoying a fun day of target practice and picnicking.
There is a certain amount of patriotism attached to owning a gun these days. Gun enthusiasts may bill themselves as patriots or constitutionalists.

A lot of these groups brandish firearms in public, while handing out their literature. You can spot them in their T-shirts, hats, tactical pants and hiking boots, often sporting beards and open-carry firearms.

The gun people have their own organization, the NRA, to ensure the government blocks gun legislation and study of gun violence. They readily go to battle over modifications that amplify gun capabilities, as we have seen recently with bump stocks.

So, yeah, guns are not the problem. People are the problem — we, the people. We demand change, but fail to follow through. So more kids die.

Aaron Van Beurden



Parade proselytizing

I thought I’d seen everything in the UFO Parade, until last Saturday. If you look at the entry application for the parade, it’s quite clear one float applicant lied this year to get in.

Every application is subject to McMinnville Downtown Association approval. The association reserves the right to reject an entry for certain reasons, including elements inappropriate for children. 

Community orientation is a primary concern. For that reason, the application form clearly states, “no proselytizing.”

Everyone who knows anything about the Potter’s House must have realized right away that he ultra-aggressive downtown church was behind the outrageous proselytizing featured on one float.

How did this get past the Downtown Association? Potter’s House officials did not reveal their actual identity and intent until the parade was underway. Shame on them!

Jacqueline Groth



Feasting on veggie dogs

What ever happened to the good old days when the worst things we had to fear on Memorial Day were traffic jams and indigestion?

Folks setting to break out their outdoor grill this Memorial Day face a nasty choice.

If they undercook their hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets, their family and friends may face food poisoning by E. coli and Salmonella bacteria. The U.S. Meat and Poultry Hotline advises raising the temperature.

But our own National Cancer Institute warns that high-temperature grilling of processed meats produces cancer-causing compounds. Do we really need to choose between food poisoning and cancer?

Luckily, a bunch of enterprising food processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a great variety of healthful, delicious plant-based veggie burgers, veggie dogs and soy nuggets. These products don’t harbor nasty bugs or cancer-causing compounds.

They don’t even contain cholesterol, saturated fats, drugs or pesticides like their animal-based alternatives. And they are waiting for us in the frozen food section of our neighborhood supermarket, along with nut-based milk and ice cream, and other dairy-free desserts.

This Memorial Day, let’s stay safe on the roads. And let’s extend the safety net to our family barbecue grill.

Milo Nakamura



Drive by fear or love?

In February 2016, my sister, Katrin Shockey, was arrested for a disturbance at Roth’s IGA in McMinnville — shouting and throwing oranges. She was subsequently sentenced to 14 months in the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.

Katrin was homeless at the time and caught in the throes of a mental health crisis.

The News-Register wrote an article that gave a detailed account. It was titled, “Roth’s disturbance triggers arrest.”

In addition, President and Publisher Jeb Bladine commented editorially, ”It needs to be more uncomfortable for those people carrying out crazy confrontations.” He called for finding “ways to either treat or remove chronic offenders.”

The McMinnville courts decided Coffee Creek was the best place for my sister. After 14 months in a facility, where the average cost per inmate is $108.26 per day, she has arrived back in her home community.

Did it work? Did she get the treatment she needed? Or was it just business as usual?

The last 80 days says it all. Katrin has spent them in the Yamhill County Jail, where costs rival those of the state.

I don’t agree with the idea that we need to make it more uncomfortable for people who are mentally ill. But I do agree with Mr. Bladine’s assertion, “The system is failing her.” Actually, it’s failing all of us!

Coffee Creek and the local parole system returned Katrin to the streets of McMinnville still homeless and mentally ill.

Doing the same thing and expecting different results doesn’t usually work out. So is this just another case of business as usual? Or are we ready to help this time?

I don’t think money is the issue, as we are spending it now. What it comes down to is, are we acting out of fear or love?

In fear, we lock her up. In love, we help her.

Julia Leon




We released patients from mental hospitals in the late 50s and early 60s with the promise that new community based mental health facilities would be more effective. Politicians didn't fund community mental health and so today those with mental illness are left to wander the streets without treatment. We lock them in jail when they act out without doing one thing to help them. Taxpayers pay over and over to cycle people through a worthless system with a revolving door.


Julia Leon, Would you please give your sister a place to live! I'm confident Yamhill County Corrections could transfer her probation to Polk County. I believe Katrin's mental illness began or was compounded by her meth abuse over a period of many years. I doubt she will recover so needs a place to live with supervision, and as you say, love. So step up and help her.

Nicole Montesano

Leo, I don't know Katrin Shockey or Julia Leon, so I can't speak to their circumstances, but your comment hit home for me, because my own family has some very painful experience in this area. I can tell you that it's often just not that simple, however much we would like it to be. Family members are not mental health professionals. In our case, numerous family members and friends tried doing just exactly that, over years, in a variety of ways. We tried everything we could think of. It did not work out.

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable