Criminal background checks are not the answer

As a concerned citizen of this great state and a man who does not hunt but loves to shoot, I fail to see what good a criminal background check would do to or for us.

If I am a bad person, am I going to answer honestly? Or am I going to steal the gun, or, as has happened so many times in the past, take it from parents who are not watching.

No, checks are not the answer. They just take up time and make the stupid do-gooders think they have done some good. They have also made me register my handgun so they can come and get it anytime they please. Whoever “they” are.

Keith C. Noel

Forest Grove

Firefighters’ efforts heroic and dearly appreciated

My family wishes to thank all the heroic firefighters who came to the rescue of our house in Forest Grove, on 17th Avenue, as it burned Wednesday, Feb. 5. We especially want to commend the Forest Grove, Cornelius, Gaston, Hillsboro and Banks fire departments for their incredible response under such unbelievably difficult conditions.

We are devastated by our loss, but know we would surely have suffered more without the valiant actions of these amazingly brave, dedicated and skillful public servants. You are all truly angels, the very best of humanity, and each and every one of you deserves the full admiration of this community. We will always be in your debt, and you will always have our vote of support. You are an inspiration to us all.

Gwen Steinbach and family

Forest Grove

Resources available right here in Forest Grove

I would like to respond to the Love, Inc. article (“Love Inc. nearly a dream come true,” News-Times, Jan. 22 issue). There are resources here in Forest Grove that could have been utilized for this person in need.

It is unfortunate that the community services leader for this church doesn’t have knowledge about the resources in his own area. The Forest Grove Seventh-day Adventist Church has a large clothing bank. It is open to the community, serving approximately 40 families a week. Pastor Rudy Tinoco knows and has worked with the director of the program, as well as several families from the Sonrise Church that shop and trade clothing there.

It is sad to see that one group is trying to give the perception there are no resources for our community so they can make themselves out to be the “saviors” of our community.

Christine Leonard

Forest Grove

Driver’s life was changed forever

Much has been said about forgiveness in the trial of Cinthya Garcia for the hit-and-run in the deaths of the two little girls. I would like to say “I’m sorry” to Cinthya, that her life has been changed forever, just because she drove down the street through a pile of leaves.

Ellen Hastay

Forest Grove

Editor’s note: Last week, we discovered a “gremlin” in our letters to the editor website. Although readers had sent in a number of interesting letters, for some reason those letters did not make it into our email box — and we did not know these letters were there. So we are printing these thoughtful letters as “Letters to the Editor — Technical Glitch Edition” — with our apologies for the tardiness, as some of these missives had, unbeknownst to us, languished for a few weeks.

Duyck went ‘extra mile’ to help the community

Rarely do you feel like an elected official is in your corner and will go the extra mile to help. It is even more extraordinary for a group of elected officials, many of whom do not even represent you, to stick their necks out on your behalf. Washington County Chairman Andy Duyck and several state legislators did just that in helping my neighbors and I solve a longstanding problem we had as residents of Multnomah County. Because of the steep topography and location of our property in suburban northwest Portland, we were cut off from essential public services such as sewer access and timely police response. Chairman Duyck recognized our predicament and tirelessly led the process to work with Multnomah County, the state Legislature and the Metro Council to find a resolution. On Jan. 1, after 11 long years of searching for a solution, our property was moved into Washington County. Fifty-five of my neighbors and I will now have access to clean water, sewer services and consistent police protection as Washington County residents.

I would like to thank all of the public officials involved, especially Andy Duyck, for his leadership in making this boundary change a priority. It is truly remarkable that four separate governments were able to reach consensus and improve the quality of life for all of us involved.

Mike Nelson


Bikinis out, AK-47s in?

Last summer, our community had a healthy debate over the arrival of bikini baristas in our town.

Not long after this debate simmered down, a sign went up across from an Old Town church/school playground. The sign advertises a home business that “specializes in AK-47s.” A main reason for concern about the bikini baristas was how this could impact our children. The sale of AK-47s across the street from a playground in a residential neighborhood is of no concern?

Is our community’s message to our children to keep their clothes on and pack semi-automatic weapons? Hmm.

Monique Grindell

Forest Grove

Staff thanks those involved with ‘Be a Santa’ program

On behalf of the staff at Home Instead Senior Care, I would like to thank everyone who helped with this year’s very successful “Be a Santa to a Senior” program.

With support from generous shoppers, Forest Grove Meals on Wheels and the Forest Grove Bi-Mart, we were able to collect more than 88 gifts for local seniors who otherwise might have been overlooked this holiday season.

We also would like to thank the many volunteers who shared their time to collect, wrap and deliver the gifts to 88 area seniors, many of whom struggle to make ends meet.

Thanks to ALL those who helped us brighten the holidays for our local seniors and truly make a difference in our community.

Mike Brunt

Home Instead Senior Care


Reading News-Times website brings warm memories

I just ran across the website for the News-Times. My husband’s family lived in Forest Grove and the Gales Creek area, and for many years I looked forward to reading the News-Times while visiting them.

Reading it again takes me back to some wonderful years, yes, and even makes me a little more than sad. I want to wish my husband’s brother a very happy birthday, Dec. 31, and all the very best in the coming new year.

Pat Wanless

Anderson, Calif.

‘Life after death’ article was poignant

Jill Rehkopf-Smith’s front page article, “Life after Death” (News-Times, Dec. 25 issue), was one of the most honest, brave and comprehensive pieces I have read in a local newspaper in some time.

I was expecting a “Joy to the World” issue (which, by the way, I do appreciate as well) but instead found a true picture of my neighbors’ pain: their loss, grief and unanswered questions echoing through the years and resonating in myself with a power I did not expect. Although I have not suffered this form of tragedy, I know what it is to ask the deeper questions and never receive an answer; to accept that sometimes the answer is that there no answer.

When I became a Christian in my 20s, I, too, expected to be “happy all the day.” I did not find this to be the case — but what I did discover is that it’s better for me to go with Jesus through the sadness and loss that life hands us than to go through it without Him, and better to experience life with a community willing to share not only its triumphs but also its sorrows.

I am grateful for both this Christmas season.

Terri Erskine

Forest Grove

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