Letters to the Editor: Nov. 17, 2023

Pay as you go

The “wild ride” is over for now, as the Yamhill County Employees Union has a new contract.

But during the strike, many hurtful comments were made. So healing will need to occur.

Unfortunately, the real villain in this drama was never really identified. Front and center, it’s a national government that prints and spends money it doesn’t have, causing inflation at outrageous levels.

I would have really appreciated a joint board and union communication to our federal representatives, complaining with great emphasis their objection to what deficit spending has caused at the local level with covering the basics of life.

For those of us who are retired and/or on fixed incomes, the wild ride will never be over. The five buck lunch now runs seven bucks, or eight in Sheridan. The purchasing power of the dollar has been reduced by 20% since 2020 on most of what we purchase.

Fight the real villain. Require a balanced national budget where our political representatives are required to identify where the money comes from before they spend it.

Enough of just borrowing and printing.

Dennis Goecks



Schools’ wide role

Ivan Brewer’s letter of Nov. 10 invites many responses. Here is one. He writes: “Teachers and the educational system … are support personnel for parents ... a parent’s main duty and responsibility is to instill their own views and values into their children.” In short, teachers are to reinforce a parent’s values. This places teachers in an untenable conundrum.

Whose values? The parent who espouses white supremacy or the parent who espouses critical race theory? The young earth creationist or the Darwinian naturalist? The atheist who opposes the phrase “under God” in the pledge of allegiance or the theist who heartily supports it or the Jehovah’s Witness who forbids his child to pledge allegiance to anyone or anything other than Jehovah?

Some parents may object: The choices are not binary; there is a middle ground between the extremes. Indeed, there is, but I suspect that parents at an extreme do not want their children exposed to anything other than their extreme views.

One of the glories of our public schools is that they expose children to a variety of cultures, values and opinions, equipping them to function in a multicultural society.

Robert Mason



Misguided message

Last Saturday morning, on the library corner at Adams and Second streets, I saw a woman with two young children holding signs saying “Free Palestine.”

I don’t have an issue with voicing one’s opinion, but foisting misinformed beliefs on children is just so wrong. If you are going to utilize your children on such a mission, you should at least give them accurate information about what they are supposedly supporting.

The adult obviously has little knowledge about the history of Israel and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

The land of Israel has historically and Biblically been recognized off and on for the last several thousand years. But there was no Palestinian “country” prior to the establishment of Israeli nationhood in 1948.

Israel has attempted to co-exist with the Palestinians in Gaza, even on a separate state basis, for at least the last 30 years. But it has more often than not been greeted in return by rockets and suicide bombers instead of peace. The rhetoric from Hamas, which controls Gaza, has been “Death to the Jews.”

Did the adult on the corner offer to show the children the horrific images of what Hamas invaders did on Oct. 7 to innocent Israeli civilians? Did she tell them about the torture, rape and killing? Probably not.

Would she want her own children to grow up under a governing body whose charter includes a mandate to exterminate the Jews? I think not.

A better option would be to pray for Israel.

Steve Sommerfeld



Taking note

I have lived in McMinnville for 38 years. We have experienced challenges during that time, but never as serious as we have now. It is disheartening and disturbing to learn our county leadership continues to put its own special interests in front of the vital needs of our children, families, veterans, seniors and dedicated workers.

Our county commissioners, the three who are supposed to truly listen and sincerely serve each and every one of us in Yamhill County, have refused federal funding that would help our citizens. They have threatened to take money intended to enhance our childcare system and instead direct it to their own interests. Children and families have suffered significantly from the decisions our county commissioners have made.

I am pleased that they finally negotiated a better contract with our workers, but why did it have to come at the cost of a strike? Our workers surely deserve to be valued for their tireless work and inspired to protect the safety and well-being of Yamhill County citizens.

The retention of qualified employees has suffered tremendously over the past several years. The only way to stop the bleeding is for our leaders to step up and become civil, genuine, empathic managers.

We taxpayers compensate our county leaders with wages and benefits that range from nearly $100,000 to $150,000. Shouldn’t they have all of us in their best interests, not just those they choose and definitely not those who are not even part of our county?

They are neither sincere nor compassionate leaders. I hope the voters of Yamhill County are taking note.

Liz Marlia-Stein



Cease ‘cat and mouse’

State Sen. Brian Boquist and others have filed a lawsuit for injunction of Measure 113.

Ironically, Measure 113 passed by a large margin; only two counties received more no votes than yes.

The plaintiffs in this case, in their introduction, said that in 2019, 2020 and 2021, Oregon Republican lawmakers used walkouts to “kill” a series of bills. The plaintiffs use the words freedom of speech and political choice, and they speak of walking out as a part of negotiation.

I call it abuse. It can probably be both, or neither. It really depends on the real intent.

I did, however, want to break down the historical significance of “Republican lawmakers used walkouts to kill a series of bills.”

In June 25, 1798, the framers of the Constitution feared that members of Congress could strangle the government by simply failing to attend legislative sessions. Without a quorum, the Senate or House would be powerless to act. Accordingly, the Constitution’s writers provided that each body could compel the “Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.” A sergeant at arms was created for this very reason.

The argument from the plaintiffs gets worse in my opinion. “Rights are not absolute” because they can impede others’ rights (for example, the almost 70% who voted yes), but here is where their argument really fails. Nobody is keeping them from walking out — literally nobody. What they argue is their right, but we are simply saying there is a “consequence” for it.

I voted yes on Measure 113, because our representatives need to start communicating with one another, instead of playing cat and mouse, and the rest of us should not suffer when they refuse to do so. It certainly wouldn’t hurt them to take a workshop by Daniel Shapiro, author of “Negotiating the Nonnegotiable.”

Troy Prouty



There they go again

Here we go again, another threat of a shutdown. Why are the Republican putting us through this?

The Republicans are even physically and verbally assaulting each other. Where are the adults in the room?

They are saying seniors and active duty military will not get their checks.

That’s nonsense. Those obligations will be met regardless.

Most Americans and myself are on a budget. Why can’t our government get their act together.

It looks like the Democrats are going to have to bail us out of this mess again.

Also, why do members of Congress get so much time off? They are now getting ready to go home, not to return until after Thanksgiving.

There’s plenty of work to be done.

Paul Angerano





A balanced budget would be great, but neither side of the aisle has shown any interest when they are in power.
How about to start, we have big business pay their own way! At the very least, companies that pay low wages that qualify employees for SNAP benefits and government health care should be billed back by the government for those costs. Tax payer subsidies (and straight up tax cuts) for these companies that make millions/ billions in profits is ridiculous!


It's interesting when we speak of wages and living wage, like Yamhill County employees, then someone talks of running deficit on the budget and creating money..etc..

They are all related, for example if money and wealth was more equal, would you even need stimulus like we saw in the pandemic?

These are things do to inequality of wealth, income being equal or above on GDP to a select few.

Subsides and tax breaks to the one's also creating monopolies and price manipulation in markets.

Obama added something like 7.8 Trillion in 8 years, trump 6.8 Trillion in 4 years and Biden to date something like 1.7 Trillion. Biden is the only administration that collected over 4 trillion in taxes.

It's not even the spending, it's what you do with it, if it is to advance more wealth to the middle and more people to the middle, it's good, if it doesn't do those things, it's a waste of spending and a waste of policy.



I think many of us can agree what Hamas did to Israeli citizens was brutal and an act of terror. I think the concern with Israel is the “excuse” of genocide of people caught in conflict between extremism from both sides.

I have spoke before on the history of “promised” land for two groups of people, with two different faiths. Oppression and second class citizenship, funding by Israel to Hamas to push out the PLO.

Nothing in this conflict is black and white, like we often promote it to be. I think it's easy to get into “but they did this” and yet you have a lot of people “innocent” people being killed. For some reason in society we can minimize death based on cause. I once was told, any excuse will work if you use it.

Do I have a solution?

No, I don't because I'm afraid we are dealing with two groups of people that have voices, not wanting one with groups of people being killed and oppressed without any voice at all.

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