By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Peterson hearing is reset

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Still spreading rumors and libel on my father and Paul I see. I notice you failed to mention that no arrest warrant was issued and that the judge essentially ignored Gibson's arguments upon noticing that Paul hadn't even been served (hence the attempt to have him arrested for not responding to a notice he didn't receive). They are playing games and then turning around and accusing Paul of improprieties when he plays by the rules. In my opinion, any novice reporter would be able to look into the other sides of the stories here, which the News Register continues to actively ignore and throw journalistic integrity to the wind.

The Falls Event Center is out of money by the way (which Down continues to lie about), and as a result, unfortunately, so is the museum since they don't seem to be able to raise money from any other source. This is through no fault of either my father or Paul, but feel free to keep blaming them for Down's inability to run even a break-even business - they gave you the publicly available numbers produced by the CFO of the Falls, Mike Zumwalt, that were sent to Falls investors showing massive losses, which you have all but ignored. Down even went as far as to claim his SEC/FBI investigations were closed due to a mythical 6 month limit the News Register reported as gospel back in October (there is no such limit, and to even respond to a Wells Notice from the SEC is ill-advised at best). There is still a very active SEC/FBI investigation into The Falls and Steve Down. What happens to our community if the museum ends up in government receivership?

Do you, the paper, and Jeb have fun being used? Or are you just incompetent? All you have to do is interview any of the half-dozen employees let go by the Falls/Evergreen in recent months, disgruntled Falls investors anxiously waiting for the SEC/FBI to finally step in, or even access any of the public documents available. You know - actual journalism.


I fail to see the rumor you are referring to.....Any lawsuit in Yamhill County, or in Washington County can be found in the public record......did The FBI not serve a search warrent? Sounds like you should make your case in front of the judge not the newspaper.....

Jeb Bladine

It is clear, in the story, the no arrest warrant was issued: “Judge Ronald Stone authorized Helton’s attorney … to submit an order for issuance of a warrant … However, (he) instead requested a hearing be set.”

Please identify and document the “rumors” and the “libel” so that we can clarify any alleged misstatements. Also, please remember that reporting the claims in a lawsuit is not saying those claims are true. Finally, I would suggest more caution in identifying documents that were “sent to Falls investors,” since the lawsuit by TFEC includes allegations of just such activity.




Jeb, the "sent to Falls investors" comment refers to an unrestricted mass-mailing that was sent by Steve Down and Falls corporate themselves to their investors. The public mailing included numbers on the Falls' year-to-date performance, which showed losses nearly quadruple their income on the year. Of course, for reasons I can only surmise are either due to your incompetence as a newsman or the grudge you hold against my father, you ignored the clear and present danger the imminent collapse of the Falls represents to the McMinnville community when these public numbers were made available to you months ago. I resent your implication that my father and Paul engaged in anything improper.

You can read more about the specifics in the Sacramento Business Journal here:

Quote, "The Falls as an organization, which includes eight centers in five states, lost $8.6 million on revenue of $2.6 million through the first half of this year". Hence, why the Falls has been attempting to sell the planes out the back door of the museum.


Sonny, why don't you settle down and wait for the ruling? While dutifully defending your father and Peterson appears admirable, how can you ignore the murkiness surrounding both men's previous dealings? They, individually and together, generated an enormous amount of suspicious smoke--customarily attributed to fire.


Thank you lulu. finally some sense.

Jeb Bladine

Thanks for providing that 3-month-old article, Stock. We had acquired and read all Business Journal articles about TFEC published nationally up to and including that September piece.

I'm curious to hear more about the "clear and present danger" that the "imminent collapse of the Falls represents to the McMinnville community."

It is an event center with several employees. It owns three buildings that once were owned by an Evergreen foundation; and then were owned by people with claims against the foundation; and now are owned by TFEC. Through all that time, there has been a separate, independent, Evergreen Aviation Museum.

In the event that TFEC should default on its debts, another lender will own the buildings; and then, likely, another owner. Your hype about the primal threat to McMinnville if TFEC does not survive seems a bit over-stated.

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