Letters to the Editor: June 10, 2022

Respect for life

Normally, I find little to agree with when Matt Meador writes a Viewpoints article. But I couldn’t find anything to disagree with for what he had to say June 3.

His suggestion of training standards is a good starting point.

Early concealed carry programs required a rather extensive background check, proof of gun handling proficiency training, and, most importantly, an eight-hour class led by an attorney about what happens if you ever have to pull the trigger — in self-defense or otherwise. Standards such as these should be a prerequisite for any kind of gun ownership.

Additionally, there are a couple of things that should be strongly considered when having these conversations. We need to bring real discipline back into our schools.

Today, children are being taught that wrong behaviors result in no disciplinary action.

Spiking crime rates across the country are evidence enough of this failure from our education system, and ultimately our judicial system. Young adults are more likely to pick up a gun and use it knowing there will be no real consequences for their actions.

The most important consideration that no one seems willing to address is that no matter what training is required or restrictions put in place, nothing is going to change if we don’t reintroduce the teaching of morality and sanctity of life in our school system. These topics should be the focus of education from K-12, and students should have at least one mandatory class every year to reinforce such standards.

Teach them the last six of the 10 Commandments, lest we offend our atheist friends, to help create a sound, moral foundation to fall back on as they grow up. Teaching them these moral standards throughout their formative years would hopefully make them think twice even as adults to pick up a gun in anger against others.

It has taken years to unravel the moral fabric of this country, and we are now seeing the fruits of past bad actions. It will take years to bring back the seemingly archaic idea of right and wrong and the respect for life of fellow human beings.

Steve Sommerfeld



Action needed

Only by luck were my twin fourth graders not among those killed at school on May 24, or in any of the school shootings before or since then. And I refuse to continue relying on luck.

Lift Every Voice Oregon is an interfaith coalition working to get Oregon Initiative Petition 17 onto the November ballot.

IP 17 would require a permit for firearm purchases and limit magazine capacity to 10 rounds. Both policies have reduced gun deaths in other states and are supported by a majority of both gun owners and non-gun owners.

Oregon has already experienced four mass shootings in 2022, and we’re not even halfway through the year.

IP 17 is not anti-gun: It is anti-violence, and an attempt to protect our children and neighbors from senseless, preventable deaths.

I’ve spoken with many other parents here in McMinnville who have also had enough of the gun violence epidemic in this country and are ready to mobilize. You don’t see their names here because the News-Register only allows one signatory per letter, but you will see us out and about.

We will be collecting signatures for IP 17, speaking with our neighbors about gun safety, and seeking to collaborate with educators, public health and other government officials, and those in and running for elected office to better protect our community.

We are not going away. Join us, or undertake your own efforts to make us all safer.

Just please, do something.

Christine Bader



No more denial

The school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, was carried out by a lone gunman using a military-style rifle.

When the military versions of those weapons were originally designed and produced, their sole function was for hunting humans, not other animal species. Now, their civilian counterparts are being used for the same thing.

Obviously, there are people who should not possess a weapon that is a copy of one designed to hunt humans. The shooters in school and public massacres are a case in point.

We can no longer live in denial about the limitations of our current gun laws and the destruction they are helping inflict on our society.

Stuart Gunness




Hmmm. Men will not legislate assault weapons, but they will legislate a woman’s body.

Sheila Hunter




At the Three Mile Lane hearing, the planning director said adoption of the plan and accompanying zone change from industrial to commercial didn’t necessarily mean big box retail would result.

While that may technically be true, it’s equally true changed zoning would establish big box retail as a real possibility. It would be naive to open that door, then be shocked to see Kimco, a leading national shopping center developer, walk through it — especially when Costco, Target and Home Depot are examples used in the developer’s application.

WinCo, Bi-Mart, Lowe’s and Walmart might take exception to Kimco’s application statement regarding hypothetically unavailable goods and services in McMinnville. It’s disingenuous of the planning director to urge councilors and citizens to ignore the development application while considering the area plan.

Retail leakage is cited as the reason for increasing commercial acreage. But how much of that leakage is due to residents working elsewhere? If I worked in Salem, I wouldn’t drive back to McMinnville for lunch, no matter how much commercial was available.

Saying leakage will be significantly reduced by changing zoning seems questionable, based on the information we’ve been provided. We’ve been given an overview of WHAT is happening, but no details as to WHY. And “build it and they will come” didn’t work for the mall that failed on the other side of Highway 18.

Citizens have had years to compare how projects are presented with how they are delivered. Bait and switch is something they’ve become all too familiar with.

We’re told high-density development is required for affordable housing, so planning pushes it through. Instead, we get acres of cookie cutter houses that are far from affordable, with accompanying traffic headaches, in an area where previous leaders recommended development be limited due to east-west connector restrictions.

Patty O’Leary



Opposed to buildout

I would like to add my voice to those opposing the extensive buildout along Highway 18.

As a resident of Olde Stone Village, this will have a direct effect on our community — and not in a good way. I fear the increase in traffic will further impede our access to the highway.

This highway is our only route in or out. Already, it is not unusual to spend time waiting for clearance to enter or exit the highway.

I’m horrified to think what this might be like if the planners get their wish and folks from all over the area descend on us to shop and eat!

Claudia Herber



Big box fiasco

When I moved to Oregon 18 years ago, I chose McMinnville as my new home because it was charming, centrally located, just the right size, graced with beautiful surroundings and served with every necessary convenience.

I banded with local artists to open a business on beautiful Third Street. Now in our 18th year, our gallery is thriving.

But I fear that the Three Mile Lane Area Plan is about to bring devastating changes to our small local business. As a downtown resident, I am also concerned this massive project will change the character of our town.

If our Highway 18 Bypass becomes clogged with big box shoppers, our local business district will suffer. Three Mile Lane Area was originally zoned for light industrial development and should remain so.

If additional housing, offices and parks were developed in the area, instead of big box stores, that would be an asset for McMinnville. Let’s not allow 680,000 square feet of retail space to gobble us up!

Phyllice Bradner



Smaller and homier

I think our councilors must be too young to recall the development, or or lack of it, previously along the Highway 18 Bypass.

There was, once, an outlet mall. But it closed for lack of business.

The bypass was developed to avoid the commercial traffic, and signals needed to control it, on Highway 99W. It was designed to move traffic more or less non-stop north and south, and has worked well in that regard.

I recently returned from a trip to Oklahoma and Kansas.

I took particular note in three locations, two in Oklahoma and one in Kansas, of large mall and theater properties that had been vacated. They featured huge expanses of broken concrete and grown over parking lots.

They failed in part due to lack of shoppers and in part to lack of effective law enforcement. Shop owners big and small just gave up.

Your spokesperson said there wouldn’t be a significant increase in traffic on our bypass as a result of a major new retail center.

Hogwash! Without traffic, meaning shoppers, you’re ensuring failure.

While at least one city decisionmaker wants to see McMinnville become a mid-sized city — her words, not mine — I think most folks living hereabouts would prefer it to remain a smaller, homier town, with our own friends and neighbors providing the goods and services we want and need.

Eleanor Fuhrer



No to limits

While I would certainly like to see certain commissioners term-limited out, I’m going to put my partisan views aside and say there should be no term limits. If voters don’t like someone, they always have the option of voting for the opponent.

My only hope is that the current commissioners would do likewise — put their partisan views aside and do what is best for the county, not what is best for themselves.

Charlie Harris



Design clash

Third Street has been recognized in national magazines for its quaint, small-town charm. That charm is based largely on its architectural style.

The proposed design for a new hotel is everything Third Street is not. It is taller and more modern in design and color. It would stand out like a light bulb in a dark room.

The Atticus has the virtue of being out of direct view. But this large new addition would be the first thing to catch the eye when approaching the downtown from the east. The illusion of a comfortable, small-town atmosphere would be lost.

There has been controversy over the arrival of big box stores in McMinnville. In my view, this would be the equivalent of putting a big box on Third Street.

If this proposed building becomes a reality, the trend will be set. There could be no objection to similar changes.

McMinnville is growing and the demand for tourist accommodations is undeniable. For an architect, the opportunity to create a significant, consistent addition to the McMinnville image would seem too good to pass up.

There must be minds out there with designs which would accommodate this growth and still maintain the image we are so proud of.

Darrell King



A way out

Life in the USA 2022 is very sad and bleak.

I’ve been in turmoil for three months over the awful, senseless war in Ukraine. How can one man with such hate in his heart cause such pain and destruction?

I just don’t understand how all these beautiful, humble and kind adults and children cope there. They have lost everything, not to mention the loss of life for so many. 

It’s so sad and painful to watch day after day. All I can do is pray, pray and pray some more.

Now, fast forward to the present.

First came the awful grocery store shooting where innocent people were gunned down while just minding their own business. These kind, loving, churchgoing people, most of them Black, were just suddenly gone!

Then innocent, sweet little children at school were annihilated, along with two beautiful souls who were their teachers. This has got to stop!

We are living in a sick place. How can this be the United States of America?

There has to be an answer. Every day, people are dying from gun violence. What is wrong?

The Republicans believe it’s more important to protect people’s Second Amendment rights than to protect our beautiful children. So 19 children are gone in an instant.

Those poor families. My heart is breaking. I can’t imagine the pain.

God bless them. Give them the strength and courage to go forward. 

Life used to be so fun and carefree. Now it is totally different.

Thankfully, I’ve raised my four children. But now I’m in distress because I have 10 grandchildren whom I love dearly.

We need to find a way out of this madness.

Debbie Smith



Lost its soul

America lost its soul in 1973. As a result, God removed his protective hand over America.

The country is now on fire coast to coast with support for abortion, sexual exploitation of kids, transgenderism, crime and, worst of all,  complete corruption of our government and judicial branch. If you have any doubt, go to YouTube and listen to committee hearings for Biden’s judicial and Department of Justice candidates.

This is the real danger of the hidden and lasting effect of the government’s corruption. Without a return to morality, this country is doomed.

Bob Long



Fear of offending

It’s very upsetting that our society accepts the gay and transgender lifestyle.

God is the one that made the rules, not me or society. And God forbids this lifestyle, along with other sinful lifestyles listed in 1 Corinthians 6:18, verse 9.

People say, “God made me that way.” No, he didn’t. People choose to be that way. Since God calls this lifestyle a sin, he wouldn’t “make” you that way.

You love the sinner, not the sin.

Organized churches accept all sinners. Their job from there is to turn lives away from sin, but those I’ve been to don’t want to offend, so say nothing.

God was correct when He said, “My people will destroy themselves.”

Sandra Ponto




Sheila, don’t you read comments on this forum? Quit tying abortion to everything, liberals are tired of it!


A couple of ideas out about the proposed new building: How does the size of the proposed building compare to McMenamins? If the wall areas in the black and white rendering were brick, would it fit into Third Street? Did the Mediterranean KAOS building face the same design concerns?

I'm not sure we need another hotel on Third, but at least underground parking for 47 cars is included in the design. Neither KAOS, originally proposed as a hotel, or the Taylor Hardware building remodel were required to include parking to the best of my knowledge. I think the Atticus has about 14 valet parking spots.


For those of you who appreciate the value of irony, Sheila Hunter wrote a perfect letter.



McMenamins features about 45 rooms and the Atticus about 36. The new hotel would feature 86 as currently configured.



No matter the size of the development, there is always someone opposed. If someone or a group, or corporation wants to put it’s money on the line for an investment, and that’s what it is, an investment, whether it’s a new hotel downtown, a mall on three mile lane or a hot dog cart, there is a process to deal with it. Of course conditions need to be met, but I don’t think…, I don’t want…, or I don’t like…, are not reasons to reject a new development. They said the same thing when k-mart originally was located in the current Safeway building, or when Walmart built, and winco, and the Albertsons strip mall, and Lowe’s, and on and on. Half of this town drives to Tigard or Salem to go to Costco, why wouldn’t we want those jobs, taxes, and business in our growing city?


Couldn't we stop dragging God into everything, as if doing so automatically settles all controversies. Why don't you mean-spirited self-righteous people just pray without ceasing and stop foisting your beliefs on others.
Personally I don't believe God has done such a bang-up job during his brief tenure. He has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.
He definitely has some explaining to do.


Sandra Ponto—Using biblical passages to support prejudice and hate is nothing new. In the 1960s we saw institutions object to laws requiring integration in restaurants because of sincerely held beliefs that God wanted the races to be separate. We saw religiously affiliated universities deny admittance to students who were interracially dating. Graduate students studying to be social workers refuse to counsel gay people. We saw Pharmacies turning away women seeking to obtain birth control. While these situations may be different, one thing remains the same: religion is being used as an excuse to discriminate and harm others.
I find cherry picking passages from the Bible to support prejudice is sublimely unchristian; an irony I fear is lost on you. You say people say nothing because they don’t want to offend. Maybe they don’t say anything because they know it is not God’s way. They leave the judging up to God.


R's source of power is the gun. It's their idol, their talisman, their holy scepter, their icon, their "precious"...so asking them to put any limits on it reduces their power. That's why they are against any gun safety laws. R's be like "don't tell me what to do or I'll shoot you in the face"....or "do what I say or I'll shoot you in the face" kind of mentality while in possession of this idol. It drives their thinking on every policy and law that's debated.


Good evening Jean! Wow, how do we start to unpack that one?

So, I am an evil “R” with my gun as my talisman, my idol, all my power, comes from my gun. Interesting terminology and phrasing there, are You into the so called “white magic “ or full on satanic worship? You know the answer, please share with the class.

And then you say that I am going to take this evil talisman that gives me all my power and then shoot you in the face for telling me what to do, so you say.

If I could be so bold, I would recommend contacting the Catholic Church, I think they can help here. before even considering a demonic attachment or oppression they require a physic evaluation by someone familiar with the process that the church requires. This in itself will be a big help to you I am sure. There are two simple prayers that can help you tonight, as soon as you see this, they are: “Satan Be Gone!” and “Jesus Is Lord!” Believe them, say them with conviction, and say them often.


“Thoughts & Prayers”....the answer to mass shooting for the last 20 years....how’s that working?.....


Thanks so much for proving my point with your obvious projection. YOU possess and worship the idol of death and war...not me. I have no guns.


sandra ponto,you are a sick,sick,hateful person! i can only believe you are an extremely unhappy, unsatisfied person,i'm sure you are disgusted by anyone with visible disabilities as well as those that were born with a diversity difference,you seem to be bathed in religious knowledge but you seem to forget that GOD created tolerance,and you will be judged on yours,I SEE A FAILING GRADE FOR YOU!yu choose! HELL OR HEAVEN!

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