Letters to the Editor: Sept. 29, 2017

Parking not good

Dear Owen Ronchelli,

A parking problem is a good thing? So take away all the parking spots, and it will be even better! Duh! The new “motel” took almost 35 parking spots away. We could park there and go eat Mexican food going through the back door.

As there is less parking, my will to go downtown lessens and my wish to eat out will find places outside of downtown — thus losing business. But that is OK. Ronchelli feels that is a good thing.

Mr. Ronchelli, you have convinced me to eat and shop elsewhere. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I will share them with my neighbors.

Robert Griffin


[Editor's note: The parking lot described in this letter was a private lot owned by the News-Register for employee parking only.]


Article irresponsible

Tom Henderson’s Sept. 22 article about the Rev. Brennen Guillory as the new pastor of the McMinnville Cooperative Ministry was irresponsible journalism.

Although the account of the Rev. Guillory’s history was positive, it was totally inappropriate to rehash the controversy concerning the homeless issue in an article welcoming a new pastor. The Coop has made some mistakes in the past regarding this issue, but we as a church are called to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless.

It was intimated that the Coop “goes through” many pastors. Our Lutheran pastor retired from the ministry after more than 12 years (eight of them at the Coop).

The Methodist minister was reassigned to another congregation.

The Rev. Kathy Neary, a Methodist, was assigned to our church for 22 months as an interim pastor, specifically to help us find a new pastor to serve the church.

It is a common misconception that the Community Compassion Fund was used solely to serve the homeless. More accurately, the fund was formed to keep people in their homes by assisting with rent, light and heat.

Gail Cooper



Workers deserve more

As one who sadly remembers the teachers’ strike almost 28 years ago when working conditions and lack of respect and trust were cited as the main reasons for the strike, it is heartbreaking to see our county employees experiencing a similar situation.

These workers are asking for a mere 6 percent raise over the next three years. That’s 2 percent each year. Why visit that those who directly affect the lives and welfare of people are rarely given what they are worth?

We pay each of our three commissioners nearly $77,000 per year. The county administrator, hired by our commissioners, is paid $143,000 per year. Now a deputy county administrator is paid almost $82,000 per year. County Administrator Laura Tschabold states that any agreement with the union employees needs to reflect an equitable balance of the wants and needs of the employees and those of the taxpaying public. Yes, this makes sense. However, where is the equity when administrators ask for double the raise increase over the workers?

Really? Tschabold also claims that the county is equally committed to continuing to provide the critical services our community expects and deserves. With a growing number of homeless people, including children, who are in serious need of mental health and drug addiction care, families would benefit substantially from successful counseling.

Where is the commitment for proper care from the county leaders? Our county employees deserve effective working conditions and should be honored and compensated for their critical service. It is shameful that they have to fight for something they have earned.

Liz Marlia-Stein



Take from the top

Why is it that there is always a disproportionate amount of money going to the top?

It is disgraceful that the workers’ wages don’t keep up with the cost of living. Shame, shame on you, Yamhill County commissioners and administrators. Maybe we need to replace you.

Pam Vernon



The biggest loser

Donald Trump appears to be on a campaign to make himself irrelevant.

Given his frequent tweetstorms and overall verbal bellicosity, that may seem a nonsensical thing to say. But even a cursory look at recent presidential (if you can call them that) statements reveal that world leaders, politicians and citizens increasingly see Trump as a side show, a barking dog.

Note what happened following his warning to North Korea to bring down “fire and fury” such as the world has never seen if Kim Jong Un continued to threaten the United States. Kim responded not only by threatening verbally, but his regime launched ballistic missiles over Japan and detonated a probable hydrogen bomb. And what did Trump do? Military exercises, bluster, more tweets. Trump zero, Kim one.

Legislatively, he seems to believe in government by name-calling, a tactic that has failed repeatedly to move the Obamacare repeal-and-replace bills he has endorsed. Those bills have fully contradicted his promise of expanded care, protection of pre-existing conditions and low cost for all. No matter. Congressional Republicans wrote whatever bill they wanted, and he meekly tagged along, even endorsing one bill he called “mean.”

His statements hold no substance. His habit of making decisions based on his current mood leaves congressional leaders unable to plan a course of action.

Trumpland is an opportunistic world, which Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer exploited brilliantly to avoid a government shutdown on their own terms. Next time around, who knows?

This most unserious of presidents is being taken most unseriously. He is still the president, with the power of the office. But he is seen as a force to be manipulated and exploited, not a leader to be feared or respected. His campaign for irrelevance is turning out to be a winner.

Scott Gibson



No disrespect intended

Let’s review the symbolism of kneeling. To kneel before a king or queen is to pledge fealty to a sovereign. To kneel in church is to humble oneself before the lord God almighty.

In neither case is kneeling a sign of disrespect. When a player is injured on the field of play, other players will kneel on the sidelines as a sign of hope for a speedy recovery. To drag the charge of “disrespect” into this discussion is to drag a red herring into it.

When NFL players kneel during the playing of the National Anthem, they are not showing disrespect to our flag, nation or anthem. They are pledging fealty to the values of our country — justice for all and fair treatment under the law. To do it during the playing of the National Anthem is to focus attention on the underlying problem: police misconduct and a president whose inflammatory rhetoric gives license to the expression of racist attitudes and emboldens racist acts.

Robert E. Mason



Terminally stupid

I just heard U.S. Sen. BIll Cassidy of Louisiana say health plan premiums for 2018 will increase an average 30 percent in his state, and some people will be looking at $30,000 to $40,000 in annual premiums.

That is one reason why he and Sen. Lindsey Graham have introduced their new GOP plan to replace Obamacare. My research validated Cassidy’s statement, but here are the reasons why insurance companies are raising rates: First, the plan eliminates the individual mandates. That means insurers will lose people getting insurance. Why is removal of mandates bad? It is the same reason there are mandates for auto insurance coverage: to protect victims. Secondly, the federal government is threatening to take away the subsidies to help insurers provide lower insurance premiums to lower-income people. With that threat, insurers need to increase dramatically their premium rates since they will be covering health costs 100 percent themselves.

All this uncertainty is causing insurance companies to project future premiums to increase outrageously. This new proposed health plan does not indicate a concern for us Americans. It is being pushed for one reason only, so the politicians can say, “We kept our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Really? Is that why we have them in office? Let’s tell them to get to work and fix a law that has good bones but needs tweaking to eliminate its problems.

Jim Frelka



Eat without cruelty

We are a nation of special observances. There is even a World Day for Farm Animals, observed Oct. 2 (Mohandas Gandhi’s birthday).

Apparently it’s intended to memorialize the tens of billions of animals abused and killed for food.

Like most others, I always thought of farm animals as “food on the hoof.” Then it dawned on me that farm animals are much like our family dog, fully deserving of our compassion and respect. They get neither. Male baby chicks are routinely suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground up alive. Laying hens are crowded into small wire cages that tear out their feathers.

Breeding sows are kept pregnant in tiny metal crates. Dairy cows have their babies snatched away immediately upon birth, so we can drink their milk.

It was enough to drive someone to drink. Instead, it drove me to replace the animal products in my diet with a rich variety of plant-based meats and dairy items offered by my grocery store. I have since learned that a cruelty-free diet is also great for my health and for the health of our planet.

Milo Nakamura



Don Dix

@ Liz Marlia- Stein -- Maybe you should admit to the readers you are all about union all the time. It may 'enlighten' some as to why your support to any union is so unflappable.

So, reminiscing about the teacher's strike of 1990 and all you can recall (in your mind) is how poorly the teachers were treated by District 40.

I would submit there is way more to that story than you wish to discuss. For many, the sight of teachers obstructing the busses that were delivering replacements was quite insightful. All those glowing generic descriptions of teachers (caring, committed, respectful, etc.) were nowhere to be found. Beating on the sides of the busses, shouting vicious threats and displaying a general disdain for authority is how it came down (both photos and videos prove that claim)). A completely ugly and offensive display by those entrusted to 'teach' our youth.

If the comparison from that strike to the county issue today is the union strategy, possibly another path should be considered. Those of us who had students in school at that time remember quite well how that drama played out, and the bitter taste still lingers -- kinda' hard to unring that bell!

Horse with no name

Dix - What's the problem with being about union all the time? Unions raise the standard of living for the middle and lower class and provide higher skilled workers for those who invest their capital or taxes. Unions afford people the ability to have a voice in the production and success of our country. Unions are about equity between labor and capital. Subjection to authority without an ability to question and change circumstances inhibits progress. You appear to really like the ol' king and his subjects model of society. Get over it, the model for future success depends on cooperation not shut up and do as you're told. Yeah unions make some noise and may inconvenience your world, but that's the way it is in a freedom loving country. Nice points made Liz, keep up the good work and wear the label "all union all the time" proudly!

Don Dix

Horse -- Your support of a writer who attempts to glorify a public union strike that conveniently avoids the nasty and disturbing actions by the striking teachers is feeble.

Liz Stein wishes to remember the teachers strike in terms of fighting for 'working conditions and lack of respect and trust'. The working conditions were very similar to any other same-sized district in the state (large classes). Lack of respect was on stage (and film) as those teachers beat on busses and hindered the path of substitutes, one sub being injured when he was hit with a briefcase as he exited a bus (by the wrestling coach). And respect and trust are earned responses, not negotiated by a pay and benefit increase. Many teachers spent the remainder of the school year carrying a grudge and some took it out on the students. Don't believe that -- talk to the 40somethings that attended Mac in 90 -- it will be confirmed.

You speak as if the authorities are continually berating and browbeating the employees, lowering their pay and increasing the workload. That's total B.S.! Many employees) are not even involved or asked to be heard -- they are told what the union wishes. And for your information, by far the biggest turnover in the county is HHS, which has very little to do with pay or conditions. It's the very troubling nature of the job -- some discover they haven't the stomach, but you, Liz, and the union prefer to complain about something that isn't present.

Blind allegiance is not progressive or any kind of model for anything except dissent and disagreement -- and that's apparently where you stand -- enjoy the wallowing!

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