Letters to the Editor: Oct. 27, 2023

Overcharged in Mac

I owned a home in McMinnville for more than 40 years and always paid my tax bill when it came due.

Years ago, I wondered how my home was listed, so went to the tax office to see the records. I found my 2 bedroom, 1 bath house listed as 3 bed, 2 bath.

I pointed out the error, filled out corrective papers provided to me and got an assurance the building inspector would check it out. I assumed the tax office people would process the order and fix the error.

When I went to sell the house, the Realtor checked the records, only to find the error had never been corrected. She pointed it out, but no one seemed concerned.

I was overcharged on taxes for more than 40 years, but never received an apology, let alone refund of the overcharges.

If you own an older home, take the time to check it out at the tax office.

If you find an error, raise a fuss. Then, a few months later, check back to see if it’s been corrected.

Persist until you see proof of correction in the records. Don’t just trust them like I did.

We pay enough taxes without being overcharged.

Alice Howell



Wrong direction

Last Friday’s editorial, “Affordable housing taking center stage in McMinnville,” highlights the double-edged sword of tourist economies. The problem is, resort towns price workers out of housing.

A news article that same week reported on the city council’s vote to adopt new housing and economic plans that forecast land needs through 2041.

In 2021, the city added 605 acres of buildable land to its urban growth boundary, none of which has yet been developed. Additional land in the west hills has been in the city limits for 40 years and the city still hasn’t extended water or other services.

Last Friday’s editorial also notes the city’s push to add another 422 acres to the UGB, based on the new analyses, and states that “higher density is essential.” Unfortunately, though, the city is moving in the wrong direction.

Compared to the 2021 UGB expansion, the city is planning for fewer homes and fewer jobs per acre this time. So much for higher density.

McMinnville’s minimum lot sizes are significantly larger than those of similar cities, further driving up housing costs. Minimum lot sizes in McMinnville’s R-1 and R-2 zones are 9,000 and 7,000 square feet respectively. In Newberg, it’s 5,000 and 3,000.

Finally, the city is assuming there will be more parks than housing on the buildable residential land added to the UGB in 2021.

We all love parks, but this isn’t going to happen. Landowners aren’t giving away that much land and the city can’t afford to buy it.

Nonetheless, the city seems poised to perpetuate this unrealistic assumption with its new Parks Master Plan.

As the editorial states, “Continuing to plod along the same old path isn’t going to get the job done.” But it seems the planning department hasn’t gotten the message.

Sid Friedman



Another way

A front-page article in Oct. 20 News-Register reported the police department now has officers working overtime on abatement of the homeless camped on the city streets.

But where do the eviction officers expect them to go? Would it be possible to work overtime hours to instead find and create sanctuary property providing a safe and legal destination?

The current answer to homeless plight is to further punish and intimidate them by sweeping up their RVs, trailers, bikes and belongings. Homelessness is effectively criminalized in McMinnville, where confiscation of belongings and small bits of dignity is the law.

It’s heartbreaking to see people pushing carts filled with their belongings along the streets, or riding bikes piled high with pop cans, knowing there is no safe place for them. I believe it is wrong to herd the homeless from one block to the next until they land in jail or perish on the street.

Why is it that there is space to impound the RVs and belongings of the homeless, but no space for safe shelter? It’s not surprising that there might be attempts to breach the impound yard where their personal property is being held.

Please have compassion in your local ordinances. Instead of pushing the homeless away over and over again, with nowhere else to go, designate a space where they may find shelter, dignity, mental health treatment and hygiene resources. Homeless shelters and hygiene stations would be a much better use of the fenced property that now impounds their RVs and belongings.

Funding supportive community services would be more effective than funding overtime abatements.

Perhaps our enforcement units would take pride in contributing to the health and welfare of community members and our city overall. We could work together for homeless relief instead of further punishing members of our community who have no homes.

Patricia Fasana-Lynn



Flying high

I wish to draw the attention of our county commissioners to the off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot who tried to crash a plane full of 83 passengers.

According to news articles, he had been feeling depressed, so took psilocybin before the flight. Thankfully, he was stopped before anyone was hurt.

I would request our county commissioners stop the legalization and facilitation of psilocybin before anyone in Yamhill County gets hurt.

This is a dangerous drug. It divorces people from reality.

That is not a side effect. That is its effect.

Leland Thoburn



Getting worse

Back on Aug. 18, I wrote a letter to the editors of the News-Register. In that letter, I listed about a dozen examples of the moral decline and corruption of Joe Biden and Democratic policies.

I went on to predict things would get worse, and several readers pooh-poohed that premise.

Well, boys and girls, guess what. Things are getting worse.

The Ukraine-Russia war continues. We now have an active war in the Middle East as well, and Iran is itching to join that war. Meanwhile, China is chomping at the bit to invade Taiwan, Bidenomics is a disaster, America continues its moral decline, and the 2024 presidential election is a train wreck.

Yeah, I would have to say, things will get worse — a lot worse.

Robert Long



Where the blame lies

It’s all Biden’s fault that war has broken out in Israel.

It’s all Biden’s fault that Hamas has thousands of missiles.

It’s all Biden’s fault that Americans are being held hostage.

And it’s all the Democrats’ fault that House of Representatives doesn’t have a speaker — or so they say on the other side of the aisle.

The House of Representatives is worse than a side show at a crappy carnival. But the Republicans are blaming everything on someone other than themselves, including troubles in the Middle East.

None of the above is President Biden’s fault!

The Republicans can’t even pick a speaker. Are we to trust them to govern?

And still they keep repeating, “For the American people.” Every third sentence out of their mouths includes, “For the American people.


Paul Angerano



Eschew the WHO

Is the federal government the final judge of its own powers?

No. That would be a logical paradox if ever there was one, for then there would be no such legal concept as federal overreach.

Therefore, we stand on the following two principles:

1. The federal government is not the final judge of its own powers.

2. Thus, individual states can nullify federal laws.

Abstract those principles to the individual states vs. their counties. My point?

United States sovereignty is going to be handed over to the World Health Organization. This will be via amendments to international health regulations, as laid out in WHO’s Pandemic Preparedness Treaty.

The U.S. is going to sign on at the federal level. It’s going to happen.

Will individual states move to nullify this? Or will it come down to county sheriffs, backed by citizens?

Daniel Katz





Part 1.

Hi Dan, many great questions and concerns about foreign powers over United States influence of laws and State rights.

Let me answer the best I can. The Constitution makes it clear certain roles/ We often think of three key branches (Federally). Congress, Executive, and Judicial. But we have a fourth in my opinion not Federally. State rights that fall outside of those Federal interest, and of course State branches set within the same form, legislative, Executive, Judicial.

The Tenth Amendment makes this very clear.

“Any powers that are not specifically given to the federal government, nor withheld from the states, are reserved to those respective states, or to the people at large.”

You can find out more here:


The world health organization was founded in 1948 and is part of the United Nations.

It's based on four key areas (Globally).

providing technical assistance to countries;
setting international health standards and providing guidance on health issues;
coordinating and supporting international responses to health emergencies such as disease outbreaks; and
promoting and advocating for better global health
It has two levels of hierarchy. World health assembly (194 member States) and executive board (34 members), including six Americans.

The World Health Organization does not make our laws, only recommendations. The only requirement is requiring that all members have health system capacities to detect, assess and respond to dangerous public health emergencies, and that they notify the WHO of emergencies that may be of international concern .

There has been a lot of misinformation about this, Charlie Kirk, Steve Bannon, Tucker Carlson, and Daniel Horowitz. WHO does not have any enforcement mechanism.


Part II

“several conservative media personalities are falsely claiming that 13 amendments to the IHR submitted by the U.S. for discussion in Geneva will threaten U.S. sovereignty. The amendments were submitted in an effort to improve a future global response in light of the weaknesses shown during the coronavirus pandemic.

WHO has no authority to dictate US health policy whatsoever,” he said. “The Regulations have no control whatsoever over national health care policy or programs. That is entirely a matter for the sovereign nation to decide. The WHO can make recommendations after the declaration of a global emergency, but they are just recommendations and are non-binding. States are legally bound to report dangerous outbreaks, but there is no enforcement mechanism and countries often do not comply. China, for example, failed to promptly report COVID outbreaks, which conservatives in the US roundly condemned.”
The amendments proposed by the U.S. do not change the WHO’s authority over other nations. They are aimed at making the global response to outbreaks faster and more efficient
The IHR are an established set of rules that govern global public health emergencies. The pandemic treaty is a new global initiative to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response that won’t be ready until 2024.

The proposed amendments would strengthen WHO’s ability to use publicly available information from around the world to determine whether a Public Health Emergency of International Concern may be occurring, and based upon that information, inform all nations of the threat in a timely manner, and provide recommendations, not mandates, on how to safely and effectively respond,” the spokesperson said in an email.


Troy Prouty*


Mr. Long

There are plenty of books to work on empathy, morals, and responsibility at all levels/

We can start with What would Danny do for young kids.


We can move on to "Power to the people" by Richard Panchyk, for teens.

The lost art of compassion by Lorne Ladner (Adult)

Personal responsibility starts at home and involvement in community.

Best Self by Mike Beyer. (Adult)

Take care,


Don Dix

Sid Friedman wants McMinnville's lot sizes smaller and uses Newberg as an example (R2 @ 3000 sq ft.).

The numbers: 50' wide by 60' deep -- R2 side setback min. 7.5' on each -- front and rear setback min. 20'. Ground floor building footprint could be no more than 35 X 20 (700 sq. ft.). From that 700' subtract a 20
x 20 garage (400'), leaving 300' of ground floor space (including stairs). The 2nd floor can only be 700' as well, to total a 1000 sq. ft. home (small).

With limited size and shape, there are not many options to street appeal. The result is a neighborhood of redundant floorplans that effectively eliminate any differences in the structures.

Unless things have changed, Mr. Friedman resides on acreage, not a city lot. Yet he professes others live in cramped quarters in a city in which he does not reside (sound familiar?).

A foolish proposal that isn't a solution -- and only contributes to congestion. Besides, Mac has never been eager to copy anything Newberg, or vice versa, I assume.

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