Letters to the Editor: Sept. 15, 2023

Time for action

“Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting.” This whimsical saying of Mark Twain’s is sometimes heard in farm circles during discussions about water.

Last week’s News-Register Viewpoints editorial about water describes very well the potential water problems faced by our county and all of Oregon. For too long, we have kicked the proverbial can down the road, failing to take action.

Our dilemma can be understood by using a bank checking account as an example.

We have ignored the bank statements, so have no idea how much money we have left. Yet we are still writing checks, as if we had plenty of money!

Eventually, we will deplete the account and receive a notice from the bank of insufficient funds. Now we have a big problem!

What needs to be done?

We need to determine how much water is underneath us in the underground aquifers that provide water for irrigation and domestic needs. This can be done by installing monitors in wells to measure local aquifer water levels.

This data can be used to determine whether the aquifers’ water availability is sustainable for current and future needs. County decision makers can use it to make the appropriate decisions on water quantity issues.

Another action that needs to occur is registration of all domestic and other wells in a database listing the date they were drilled. This information can be used to establish a priority date system like Oregon Department of Water Resources uses for irrigation water rights.

Dated registration would establish rights. It would allow the legal system to protect the owners from losing their water to new adjacent wells and reduce the potential conflicts of Mark Twain’s “water is for fighting” warning.

Sam Sweeney



Easy street

I am so tired of hearing teachers complain about their jobs.

They actually work only nine months out of the year. They get time off during the summer and breaks during the months in between.

They make more working nine months then some who work 12 months, and also enjoy short days. Instead of leaving when school gets out, they could stay until 5 and prepare for the next day.

Maybe they should find a job where they work full days for a full year, with two weeks off to appreciate what they have.

Sandra Ponto




Sandra, well said. Two things I would add, abolish the department of education and break the teachers unions. It’s clear the bloated bureaucracy and benefits driven all or nothing union contracts have driven the education system in this country to the bottom of the barrel.


Dear teachers everywhere

Please do not be (further) discouraged by opinions posted here. They surely represent a tiny disgruntled minority. Most of us are aware that you have a monumental responsibility educating our young citizens (on your shoestring salary.) Most of us realize that you often dip into your own pockets to supply materials for your students who can’t afford them. Most of us know you must sometimes deal with irate irrational parents who take it out on you when their child is disruptive and ill-disciplined. Most of us recognize that your day rarely ends when the bell rings. Most of us understand that you are caring and devoted. Most of us respect you and are deeply grateful for the essential service you provide to our society. THANK YOU!

p.s. A glaring irony: we pay athletes millions of dollars to entertain us for an afternoon and yet we pay our teachers peanuts to care for our most precious resource - America’s children – for the entire school year. What’s wrong with this picture?


Ms Ponto ( and Bigfoot) clearly have no clue about the time & effort teachers spend to prepare and teach in a classroom. Teachers I know, spend at least 10 hours at school during school days and more time on weekends to prepare for the next week. Additionally, Most spend time at school functions and oversee extra curricular activities for the students . Many continue their education on their own time during their summer break of about a month and a half ( not 3months).
Do you really think they drop everything and leave when the bell rings? Maybe an occasional visit to school might be educational for the author as well.


Treefarmer- you beat me to it! :)


Sandra Ponto. I want you to know that I started working teaching your children in McMinnville with a PhD for $44,000.00 a year. I worked myself to the bone day and night. I arrived at 6:30am and stayed for 12 hours and then went home to work some more. My family suffered. I was exhausted and I finally left because it was too much. My whole heart was in it. Every teacher in McMinnville has their whole heart in it. HOW DARE YOU!!!


I am gratified to check back in here and read the support y’all have contributed. We can hope that we have at least countered the negativity with facts and a dose of reality? Thanks “tagup” for adding to the list of reasons to be grateful! And to “MSM” it is laudable that you took it as long as you could. Bless you!

I recall that the nightmare of COVID, and the challenges of home-schooling it created, made most parents keenly aware of what it takes to educate your children - and how richly the children benefit from what our teachers provide in the classroom. Teachers are unsung heroes.



I challenge you to volunteer one day at one of our local schools. You will see the hard work that teachers put in. You will see the out of control behavior that teachers are dealing with everyday. Drive by on the weekends or after 5 and see the cars in the parking lot at the schools. Those are teachers putting in extra time to make sure their lesson plans and materials are prepped. They deserve every penny and more for the job of educating our youth.


Ms Ponto you have no clue and your comments are so far off base I am embarrassed for you. My daughter in law is a teacher and she spends over 10 hours a day working at her school. She is a wonderful, caring teacher who is always available for her students. She spends her own money to provide supplies and even food for her students. You & BigfootLives have put your stupidity on full display & it’s not a good look.


We love love love love our teachers! We love scientists! We love doctors! We love paramedics! We love firemen! We love election workers! We love the marines! We love the air force! We love the army! We love the navy! We love ALL civil servants that help make the USA the great nation that it is today. No wonder people from around the world want to come and live here!

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