Letters to the Editor - Jan. 18, 2013

Hire ex-military protectors
Before we are so quick to condemn the NRA’s suggestion to place armed guards at our nation’s schools, step back and look at what the men and women of our armed forces are doing in countries halfway around the world.
The greatest fighting force in the world is attempting to protect men, women and children who, at best, are 70 percent illiterate from terrorists bent on preventing them from enjoying the freedoms we have here in America. Additionally, most of these people don’t want us there.
Why wouldn’t we want the same protection for our children? The current state of the economy, along with high unemployment rates, offers very limited career opportunities for these brave individuals when they return from overseas and begin their civilian lives. Why not give them a chance to further serve their country by protecting our young American students to ensure a future generation of well-educated citizens who don’t have to live in fear of deranged fanatics?
Additionally, these well-trained fighting men and women could be assigned to our borders to prevent the flood of future Democratic-voting immigrants that place a strain on our economy. It is time for the leaders of our government to make the success of the United States of America and the American people their top priority.
As a former infantry soldier trained in the use of these so-called assault weapons during the Vietnam War, I would gladly give my time to protect a local school.
Kirk D. Levi
Looking forward to bypass
In response to the very clever “pig in a poke” letter (Readers’ Forum, Jan. 11 News-Register), I would like to submit a counterpoint.
As a Highway 99W commuter for more than 24 years, I feel compelled to relate that the sleepy, small-town feel of McMinnville belies the reality that a significant percentage of wage earners and local spenders endure this anathema of a commute daily. One can ignore the maddening daily frustration and the Friday zoo created by Spirit Mountain Casino and coastal tourists unless, of course, you deal with it every day or every week.
A point more relevant to an Amity resident, who likely is not a commuter, is that I have watched business after business open and fail in Dundee. The failures are completely attributable to the impossibility of turning left in, or out, of a business. As good as your restaurant — or whatever — is, the disposable income it depends on can be disposed of with much less stress elsewhere.
Unfortunately, with my proclivity and others I have talked to, this is the fulcrum of patronage. A bypass will remove the through traffic and enhance the ability of those who wish to experience the many wine rooms and restaurants minus the maddening congestion. We look forward to it.
Mike Dandy                                                                                                                                                                      McMinnville
Use computer alternatives
I find it unacceptable that cats are still being dissected at McMinnville High School. These cats are acquired after having been euthanized by a method illegal in Oregon and many other states.
Under Oregon law (ORS 609.405), a cat or dog can be euthanized only by lethal injection; yet the cats MHS buys from Carolina Biological Supply are euthanized in gas chambers.
Witnesses report that gassed animals fight one another, try to claw their way free, vomit and choke. Is it ethical for MHS to purchase cats killed in an inhumane manner not allowed in Oregon?
Studies have shown that modern humane alternatives to dissection are as effective or better at achieving teaching objectives.
The sophisticated models, interactive computer and virtual-reality programs are educationally sound, cost-effective and humane. Cats are not treated as disposable teaching tools or mere objects.
Also, using modern alternatives does not support the enormous specimen business that relies on the continuing over-population of cats for free, or cheap, sourcing, primarily from shelters.
The claim that dissecting cats gives students an invaluably “authentic” experience and future career advantage in veterinary, medical or research fields is simply obsolete. Ninety-five percent of medical schools in the United States and Canada no longer use animals in their curricula, and a student can become a veterinarian today without ever dissecting a dead animal or harming a live one.
The modern computerized alternatives are also a better match to the type of scientific research students will encounter in their careers today. Seattle School District no longer dissects animals because the cost doesn’t justify the educational benefit.
I invite everyone to learn more at a free class, “Humane Educational Alternatives to Animal Dissection in Our Schools,” being offered at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at our public library.
Antoinette Marcel

Close Riverbend in 2014
It was encouraging to read the article, “Mac council hears from residents” (News-Register, Jan. 11). We applaud our city council for declining to support Waste Management’s efforts to accelerate their expansion of the regional landfill here. All residents of McMinnville and our neighboring communities should be alarmed and talking with our elected officials as well.
Can Waste Management not find an acreage to purchase for a regional landfill that is miles away from homes and rivers in a sparse eastern county that could use an economic boost?
We are weary of the “dog and pony (falcon)” shows. Waste Management needs to keep the promise they made to us. Close Riverbend in 2014.
For many years, residents have been dealing with stench and semi-trucks carrying trash from far-away cities rumbling through our communities. It will only get much worse with dangerous berms and expansions. As a gesture of goodwill, they should install a state-of-the-art transfer station and recycling depot at the site here.
Do we want to be known as an area to come and enjoy our neat shops, outstanding museums, healthy, prosperous farms and vineyards? Or as stinky McMinnville with the second largest regional landfill in the Northwest? We can’t have both.
Tammy Devine
NRA response not logical
David Terry’s letter (Readers’ Forum, Jan. 11, “Sign gun control petition”) contains direct quotes from two websites, one made by a commenter at www.vosizneias.com and the other at defendschools.com, a Libertarian Party website. Both list six incidents of gun violence that were stopped by private citizens. The vosizneias site includes a seventh, the Clackamas mall shooting.
Unfortunately, what they say happened at Clackamas Town Center doesn’t match with news reports from TV or print. That calls into question the validity of claims on the other six incidents.
Regardless, six or seven gun violence killings over 15 years doesn’t represent “numerous examples from the recent past.” Try Columbine, Newtown and Virginia Tech.
The NRA has done a great disservice to hunters, collectors and target shooters. I know people who have guns, and all of them are quite responsible. Yet because of all the news on indiscriminate killings, they are all lumped together with the far right.
Seems to me that the NRA doesn’t represent hunters in total, only gun manufacturers. Had the NRA responded constructively and with some thought, we wouldn’t have the New York law.
The NRA constantly warns that someone is coming after your guns. Who, Nancy Pelosi?
Obama supposedly was going to use the “fast and furious” FBI sting in Arizona as a reason to get rid of the Second Amendment. Really?
Some say that Article 21 indicates that the United Nations is going to take over the United States. Really?
If you want to read something about losing your freedoms, read the Patriot Act. I don’t own a gun because I know I can’t hit what I’m aiming at.
I don’t have any answers to gun violence, but the people who run the NRA should. Arming everyone doesn’t seem like a reasonable or logical response.
Tony Hartford



I think Kirk is right on. It is truely amazing how some people can demand that the schools be made safe and what a horrible thing it would be to have a gun in school. Folks, your children are getting gunned down and there is no way to stop them today. We need to make entering and leaving the school a bit harder than walking in and out. Place armed security at each entrence, make sure each classroom has a second exit, educate teachers not to bunch the children in a group and other common sense actions. It is too bad we need to do this but there is a very sinister person out there that wants to hurt and kill people. Like it or not we need to be prepared to stop that person.


"Like it or not we need to be prepared to stop that person."

I agree with 2003


I agree with Mike Dandy.We moved here from Beaverton in 91’ to escape the congestion and have commuted to PDX ever since. We were promised a bypass back then, enough is enough build it already. Remember Calamity Jane’s? We will see real growth in Dundee if we can reduce the amount of traffic.


Lack of traffic will hurt Dundee more than it will help Dundee. Traffic is good if it were managed properly. There should have been four lanes through Dundee just like every other city. The cost would have been 1/10th the cost of the two-lane bypass. The Bypass will be the most expensive project in ODOT history and we get a two-lane 3.5 mile road filled with trucks.

Curtis G

Mr. Tony Hartford, the following is a link to the Oregonian article about the armed man at Clackamas Town Center:


This is an example of why having properly prepared, armed, citizens can save lives. He did not have to fire his weapon to deter the shooter from continuing his rampage, in fact he chose not to fire so as not to endanger anyone else.

The shooting examples you give are all "gun free" zones, Columbine had one armed security guard, but once they were past him there was nothing in their way. Keeping firearms out of the hands of responsible citizens is not going to prevent these shootings. The Constitution states that the governments duty is is to protect our rights, not justifying taking them away. They are granted by our Creator; recognized, and supposedly defended, by our government. It is difficult to have a reasonable discussion on the topic of gun violence, when law abiding citizens are treated like criminals.

David Bates

It is even more difficult to have a reasonable discussion about gun violence and public policy with someone who believes that "our Creator" has anything to do with it.

Don Dix

Tony Hartford --"I don’t own a gun because I know I can’t hit what I’m aiming at."

That is easily remedied with classes and practice. And if your weapon of choice happens to be a shotgun, accuracy means little but direction of fire. In my opinion, were one to encounter a violent situation, five rounds (without plug) would be more than adequate to influence the appetite of most wrong-doers.


I am so weary of seeing God's name dropped in order to bolster a position. Please, keep your religion and provincial ideas private.

Curtis G

David and Lulu, have you read the Declaration of Independence? You should know what it says before you accuse me of using religion.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

These are the words of our founders. This is an issue of RIGHTS. Our founders stated that our rights are granted by a Creator, to be protected by the government. When you give government authority above the Creator, you become a subject.

They do not expressly state what that Creator is, and neither did I. I did not make this about religion, I did not "name drop", or bring any of my personal beliefs into this. Though I would be willing to have that discussion under different circumstances.


Why should a bunch of old, white, rich men have any relevance today? Whoops, look at the Senate.

Dances with Redwoods

"Whoops, look at the Senate." --Lulu

Just curious,

Has anyone taken the time toread through the entire 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act' ... to discover whether or not it covers the cost of a 'Race' reassignment procedure for a United States Senator, and if so, what is the co-pay?

David Bates

It seems to me that the right that ought to trump all others, regardless of whether it came from a "Creator" or not, and regardless of whether it appears in the founding documents of the United States, is the right of a child to go to school without fearing that he or she may die in a hail of bullets.

Dances with Redwoods

"....the right of a child to go to school without fearing that he or she may die in a hail of bullets."

David, nobody would argue otherwise, but disarming people that are not predisposed to committing such heinous acts is not going to prevent those that would. A person bent on killing school children or any other groups would just devise or invent some different manner to accomplish his or her act of mass murder.

That I know of, Timothy McVeigh never fired so much a single shot from his own small arsenal of semi-auto weapons. How many kids did he kill in a hail of flying shrapnel?

Dances with Redwoods

All in all, I believe their are more children beaten to death in their own homes every year, than there are murdered by guns at school, and I would further surmise, that, their are far more children sexually molested by teachers, than there are children shot to death in a classroom environment. What comes next, fortifying schools, and bussing them to and from in armored personel vehicles?

Perhaps even mandatory quarterly polygraph examinations of all school personel, might prove helpful in weeding out the pedophiles...(you know)...for the kids.

I believe that every child in America deserves to live in a society free of tobacco products. If our President, the Senate and our house of Representatives truly wanted to save lives on an epic scale, they would come together and ban not only the sale of tobacco, but the cultivation of it as well, on American soil.


You can revere the founding fathers till the cows come home, but they have no relevance when, in their infinite wisdom, they deemed people like me unworthy to voice an opinion or cast a vote.
Let's haul ourselves into the present tense. Has anyone noticed how most of these mass shooters look crazy as bedbugs, maniacal, bizarre? Loughner, Lanza, Holmes, the Norwegian guy?

David Bates

This is an extraordinarily complex topic, and I acknowledge there is no single public policy response to this. To be sure, much of the problem is beyond the reach of any law -- the fact that violence is inextricably bound up with virtually every aspect of American life, for example.

However, this country is drowning in firearms, and anyone who believes that doesn't have something to do with a type of horrific crime that has become a regular occurrence is not being serious. But I know this: There are free, democratic societies in this world where 1) There is no Second Amendment, 2) Law-abiding citizens can and do own firearms for legitimate purposes, and 3) Mass shootings either do not happen or are rare and the rate of firearm-related homicide is a fraction of what it is in the United States.

It's time we learn from them.

Dances with Redwoods


At the time the founding fathers created the Constitution, very little was accomplished anywhere on this planet by way of any vote taken of the local populace, indigenous, or otherwise. It had always been the ultra-rich that 'owned' the ability to decide the fate of the peoples beneath their caste. Who controls the weapons, controls the people

Do you believe that the indigenous peoples that had subjugated and made slaves of other indigenous peoples living on this continent had voting rights?

Dances with Redwoods


The gangs that murder and terrorize the peoples of Chicago, employ the weaponry of the day. Sure, our federal government through some perceived vanity, create and enforce laws that abolish the legal sale of high-capacity weapons to the general public. But doing so, wouldn't stop the flow of those weapons across our borders and into the busy hands of criminals anymore than has its current federal ban on Heroin, Cocaine and Methamphetamines.

The Cartels that rule South of our borders, will simply step-up to the occasion and add another product, to their current export line.

David Bates

I don't like to use a cliche, but the phrase "missing the forest for the trees" seems appropriate. We're not talking here about solving a Millennium Prize algebra problem for which there is only a single elusive solution. If one looks globally at firearms policy and practice, it becomes clear that it is possible for citizens to have guns but not have an escalating series of mass homicides in public places.


As I was thumbing through the Cliff Notes for the Declaration of Independence, I had to laugh after reading "all men are created equal." I guess they meant that phrase literally. Four legs good, two legs bad.
Heraclitus observed how "no man steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." Was he ever wrong!

Dances with Redwoods

A man kneels down at a river tor a second sip of water and spots what appears to have been a 'Baby Ruth' float by. Now, being the forward thinker that that man is, and taking into account that the man has absolutely no idea what a "Baby Ruth' actually is, there is a definable change that occurred in both the river, and the man.

No doubt in my mind, that when one group discovers that another group residing further up river has been floating "Baby Ruth's down river, changes will occur on a much larger scale. Both in the Man and in the River. Heraclitus was correct in his observation, and to think he'd realized so much so many centuries before the Baby Ruth had actually come into existence anywhere on this planet, Lulu.


If I were a Greek and noticed what resembled a Baby Ruth float by, my first thought would be how the people upriver need to upgrade their sewer system.

Dances with Redwoods

I do agree with you Lulu, as far as men (or women) are concerned, never at any point in the history of mankind, has there been a time when all men have been equal, And there never will be. The concept does look good on paper, though totally impractical in terms of reality.

David Bates

There may not have been a time when all men (or women) on the entire planet were "equal" in the sense that you mean, but certainly there have been examples of indigenous populations that were egalitarian in nature -- tribes that lived for hundreds or even thousands of years in harmony with the planet and without any regard for social status, "class" or the accumulation of personal or private wealth.

Dances with Redwoods

Yeah...well...maybe, kinda sort'a, but I would be more enclined to believe that living in harmony with the planet is one thing, and living in harmony amongst a group of people is quite a different aspect. People back in those times thrived through/by some proven ability to contribute to their group or tribe in some meaningful way, and not by just merely existing. To continue to exist a person had to contribute.

Could very well have been, that the sole, if not the very reason, that some crippled up old coot got to keep being fed and sheltered by his group or tribe, was his ability to cause some bit of laughter to occur around the campfire, and the two toughest and strongest guys in the group thought that ability to be good enough to alive.

Now we live in a welfare state, have television, and crap into our water supply.

Dances with Redwoods

Should have read---> .... that ability was good enough to be kept alive.

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