Letters to the Editor: May 4, 2018

In the trenches with Starrett

I have been in the trenches for the past year, working tirelessly as a Yamhill County citizen to raise awareness of abuses within the foster care system administered by DHS. I have found a wonderful friend in County Commissioner Mary Starrett. She has helped me many times in arranging meetings, getting issues surrounding foster care and DHS addressed with the appropriate people and championing minorities who don’t have a voice. What has really stood out for me is her tireless work with the foster care youth. The mentorship and assistance she has provided in that area cannot be overstated. It’s something more people should be involved in. I don’t know what I’d do without Commissioner Starrett helping me. We need more change within our government agencies, holding their feet to the fire and bringing up true concerns from constituents in Yamhill County so they can be addressed. Thank you for your support of Commissioner Starrett. I hope everyone votes for her in the May primary.

Brittany Ruiz


Keep the campaigning clean

It must be the time of year when the negative campaigning starts. I hope those who are on a mission to be nasty will keep it in check.

The last time the nasties came out was when Ron Noble was running. He was subjected to all kinds of unfortunate and undeserved attacks.
That kind of negativity doesn’t belong in our community. Fortunately, it backfired.

Please keep the campaigning clean and lay off the attacks.

Nathan Sauble



Native lily misses its home

Ouch, that hurt!

Recently, someone forcibly removed me from my bed in the Native Plant Garden at the McMinnville Public Library. I was so happy living there that I developed four Fawn Lily blooms this year. Many people came by to exclaim how beautiful I looked in my niche beside a tall stone. Volunteers from the Native Plant Society, who maintain the Native Plant Garden, took good care of me. They looked forward to my appearance each year. They called me by my scientific name, Erythronium oreganum.

I was a favorite of Susan Williams, who organized the monthly work parties for more than 20 years. Her memorial stone in the garden includes an engraving of me! No doubt the thieves wanted me to beautify their own garden. But they may not know that, as a fragile native lily, I require certain conditions.
To thrive, even to survive, I must have right amounts of sunlight, water and nutrients, and a specific soil type. The right companion plants and appropriate habitat are additional requirements.

My base bulb must be planted at the correct depth. And years of undisturbed residence are needed, without spray in my vicinity, to induce flowers to appear. One of the worst things anyone could do was uproot me while I was in bloom. My blossoms were already drooping as they spirited me away.

Oh, I hope they soon find another perfect spot for me to live.

Because I come from a bulb, I most likely will recover from this trauma. But there will be no more flowers for some time.

If you chance to see me, would you make sure my needs are met? On behalf of the lost Fawn Lily, 

Marna Porath



It’s the right thing to do

There is nothing safe about our current public safety buildings. These structures are unsafe both for people who work there and people who go there. They are unsafe for our officers, support staff, victims, suspects, witnesses — all of us.

It seems so right, timely and possible to correct that. We can change that with a yes vote on Carlton’s Public Safety Bond Measure No. 36-192.

Having served for that last 18 months on the citizens’ committee, which I wish everyone could do, it has become abundantly clear that beginning to set money aside for construction at some future date is not feasible or prudent. The collection of money will not keep up with the cost of inflation, construction costs, interest rates and so forth.

There is very good news that I so hope our citizenry is hearing, understanding and supporting.

This bond is for $2.3 million. If it passes, we will build $5.9 million dollars worth of public safety buildings, including police quarters, a new city hall and public meeting chambers. How is this even possible?

Committee and council members have identified current revenue streams are sufficient to finance $3.6 million of construction without new or increased taxes. Rather than piecemealing out work over many projects and years, the plan is to consolidate them using our bonding capacity.

That allows us to take advantage of lower interest rates, efficiency of construction and limited confusion and downtime. We can do it, if we just will.
So often, when I say I live in Carlton, I get a positive response like, “I’d love to live in Carlton.”

Why? Because we take care of one another and work hard to build a better community.

It’s the right thing to do. Please vote yes.

David Blanchard


Vote for the future

Those of us who are fed up with the direction our county commissioners have been going get the chance to correct that this month.

Two of the three slots are up this year. Now is our chance to vote out the long-timers who want to keep things as they are and instead give the next generation the opportunity to lead. Casey Kulla and Chelsey Williams represent the younger generation that should be leading us into the future.
Casey Kulla is running for Position 1.

I’ve known Casey for years as a farmer, father and husband. I also know him as an activist. With wife, Katie, and his neighbors, Casey has been fighting to save Grand Island, his home, for farming.

Grand Island features some of the best farm soils in Yamhill County. For years, Casey has fought to protect them from other interests that would bring traffic, noise and dust, and threaten the water flow the island depends on.

Casey is a scientist. He understands how both the land and government work.

Chelsey Williams is running for Position 3.

Chelsey teaches public speaking at OSU. In other words, she gives our youngsters the gift of confidence.
If you get the chance to hear her speak, please take it. She is eloquent.

It’s time for us retired folks to step aside.

Casey and Chelsey are in touch with the values and needs of Yamhill County’s working families and individuals. Please vote for our future by voting Kulla and Williams.

Susan Watkins



Four more years for Mary

We have many choices to represent our county as a commissioner this coming election. However, one candidate stands out to me as a commissioner to represent us — Mary Starrett.

I have known and worked with Mary as she has been our county commissioner for the past 3 1/2 years, first as a city councilor for McMinnville and now as the mayor. Here’s what I see:

Mary is not a follower; she is a leader who listens to the voices within this county. She is educated and experienced in so many areas, and driven by a passion for the people. She is a great communicator, yet has the desire and ability to listen closely to the issues and concerns within our county.

This job requires visibility, and Mary is everywhere. It requires time, and Mary is committed to investing the time and effort needed to be successful.

The area of Human and Family Resources is one of the most complex responsibilities of our county government, and Mary has brought the experience and knowledge to lead in this area. I have worked with her on youth outreach, homelessness and human and family services — all complex issues.

I find that Mary is always looking for a better way, a more effective and efficient way, to bring solutions to the families and individuals within our communities. She is a fiscal conservative who accepts accountability for the dollars we spend in a day and age when many governmental entities do not exercise that discipline.
I appreciate her approach to government leadership. She shows passion, common sense and a high level of commitment to those she serves.
Please vote with me for another four years of Mary Starrett as our county commissioner.

Scott Hill

Mayor of McMinnville


Gluten intolerance aid

May is the month set aside for raising awareness for celiac disease and gluten intolerance. There are groups celebrating every month, but I’m proud to say we have lots of supportive grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants and so forth — too many to list individually. Thankfully, I’m able to tell potential visitors that McMinnville is a great place to stay for someone who is gluten free. The Gluten Intolerance Group of McMinnville offers free educational sessions and resources. It also sponsors a support group that meets the first Saturday of every month, October through June, and organizes a statewide Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Potluck held here in town.

Once thought to be rare, celiac disease affects an estimated 1 in 133 residents of the U.S. And experts report that one-third of all American adults are trying to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diets.

Thankfully, we have come a long way in understanding gluten intolerance. GIG offers its sincerest thanks to a community that supports people who are gluten intolerant.

Susan Chambers



Don Dix

About the upcoming election, Susan Watkins wrote -- "Now is our chance to vote out the long-timers who want to keep things as they are and instead give the next generation the opportunity to lead."

First, both county commission incumbents are in their 1st term, so labeling them as 'long-timers' is deliberately misleading -- as in false.

Second, if 'long-timers who want to keep things as they are' are the targets Ms. Watkins wishes to eliminate this election cycle, there is a nearly complete state government full of do-nothing, status quo officials that have been there far too long. The first name that comes to mind is Kate Brown, whose actions have done nothing but perpetuate and bolster the union's grip on Oregon's government and treasury. How 'bout we start there?


“Once thought to be rare, celiac disease affects an estimated 1 in 133 residents of the U.S. And experts report that one-third of all American adults are trying to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diets.”

I don’t necessarily enjoy making fun of obviously earnest people, but your point seems to shoot itself in the foot.

Taking your numbers at face value, 33% of US adults are messing around with their diet because of a problem that actually affects a whopping 0.75% or so?

“Raising awareness” is certainly NOT the first problem in need of addressing here.

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