Letters

From our readers

ABM treaty

President Bush's abandonment of the ABM Treaty was a reckless act, taken without regard for the consequences.

This will actually increase the danger of nuclear war and place this country at greater risk.

The Sept. 11 incident should have shown us that it is not the big countries that endanger us, but the free-lance terrorist groups whose weapons can be delivered by small planes, ships and in suitcases.

And the cost of this useless project is phenomenal in dollars and cents.

Does the president have the right to cancel a treaty without congressional approval? Shouldn't our representatives be raising the devil for this bypass of authority?

Luckily, this withdrawal takes six months to become effective. Does it not behoove us to make our congressperson know that we object to this unwise move?

Using his wartime popularity and authority, Mr. Bush is pushing a Star Wars that is both unproven and immensely expensive. Republicans follow in lockstep behind the president and Democrats lower their voices.

Where are our true patriots in our elected officials? Will no one speak up for our nation?

George Gordon

Monmouth

Bill of Rights

In a letter titled "Crime and Punishment" in last week's newspaper, a West Salem writer defends military tribunals and suggests that newspapers (including the Itemizer Observer) should be charged with "giving aid and comfort to the enemy."

She complains of editorials that "harp on the rights of criminals and terrorists, all in the name of the precious Bill of rights."

I think the writer is confused.

The Bill of Rights is indeed "precious" -- although she seems to use that word in ridicule.

The Bill of Rights guarantees her the right to the opinion she has expressed and gives me the right to respond to it. What is wrong with that?

As I understand it, the American way of treating people accused of crime is that a person is "innocent until proven guilty."

The laws she scoffs at are designed for that very purpose. The Bill of Rights guarantees that if she, or I, be charged with a crime, we are entitled to defend ourselves and prove our innocence.

If we are guilty, "due process" will prove that. If we are not guilty, we are spared. Is that wrong?

The writer concludes: "You can bet Satan doesn't worry about whether or not the punishment is cruel or unusual." Agreed. Is she advocating that we adopt the ways of Satan to fight Satan? If so, Satan has won. We have become evil ourselves.

Dear editor, please continue to defend the rights of all of us.

Paul LaRue

West Salem

'GODSPELL'

In favor

I've read letters objecting to the "Godspell" play at Dallas High School. Joshua McNoulty said, David Walsh is right.

If we are going to permit "Godspell" at Dallas High, we should allow Wiccan chants and Hindu meditations. There is a difference.

"Godspell" is just what it is -- "a play".

I don't believe Billy Graham or Jerry Fallwell are going to be there to try and convert anyone.

I've lived in Dallas for 45 years. My children all went to Dallas High schools. My youngest daughter played the part of a prostitute in a school play. Does that in any way say that the school was promoting prostitution? I don't think so. And I do not think they are promoting religion with the play, "Godspell."

It is not the first time its been seen in a high school. I understand that it has been seen in a lot of schools all across the United States of America and has provided a lot of good entertainment for those who have a little common sense.

Alan E. Chandler

Dallas

Against

I am writing in regards to the "Godspell" and "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" issues that have been brought up.

Being a student at Dallas High School, I have heard much about the plays and the arguments surrounding then. I wasn't highly concerned with the play until at the assembly before winter break when a scene from "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" was performed.

The scene which the people chose to perform included reading from the New Testament and described how Jesus had been born the son of God through Mary. I viewed the choice to do such at an assembly where the student body is held captive as inappropriate.

I am not the only person to view the decision as not proper. A teacher who is Christian said that she felt uncomfortable at the assembly. The teacher said that she had felt this way due to the fact that spiritual Christmas carols were being played and sung during the assembly.

We all have different views. That is what makes America a great country. Due to the different forms of logic, we must have respect for each other.

I am not calling for Hindu, Jewish, Muslim or Wiccan practice to be celebrated as did the article, "Pluralism," but rather avoid the religious content all together.

There are plenty of ways that we can honor the seasons without bringing in the religious overtones.

Anthony Ray Kesler II

Dallas

THANKS

Oakdale Heights

We would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the many people who donated time, money, gifts and energy to Oakdale Heights families for the Holiday Gift Project.

These included Trinity Lutheran Church; The Mennonite Church; Dallas High School students working with Sherri Fobert; Oakdale Heights fourth grades; the Zwicker, Harris, Instenes, Boer, Ray, Fawns, Moynahan, Johnston, Renc and Hoag families; Cindy Shaffer and Troop 150 Brownies/Girl Scouts of Dallas; and Forest River, Inc. (for its generous donation to purchase turkeys).

This is the season of peace on Earth, good will to all. Thank you for practicing these principles in an active way. What a wonderful demonstration of compassion for our children.

The Oakdale Heights Staff

Dallas

Dallas Food Bank

Hurrah to our community again!

I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this community really is for helping the Dallas Food Bank, so we can help those people in need.

At this time, there are so many people laid-off from their jobs, and even though they are trying very hard to find jobs, there are only a few available. Therefore, the need for food is tremendous.

Our churches, our stores, the Scouts, the schools and many individuals in our community, have also helped us to be able to do what a caring community does for those less fortunate.

We all thank you very much for this wonderful help. We would be unable to do so without it.

Doreen Quick and staff

Dallas Food Bank

Dallas

Christmas sharing

Now that the mad pressure of the holidays is over, we can take the time to reflect on the appreciation owed to the many helpers of our 19th Christmas Sharing project.

This year, our usual 350 needy families grew by another unexpected 75. This added another 150 children to our usual 750, under the age of 13. Even though the response from the sharing trees was more this year, we still had to go begging for more help.

The Monmouth-Independence Senior Advisory Board has been the sponsoring group for this community effort, but it takes a great deal of help year-round to be successful.

The folks of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints again took the responsibility of the sharing trees at businesses and other places.

Linda Shinkle takes charge of that part of our project which includes the morning at the Central High School where parents who indicated their choices on their applications to come pick out the gifts themselves for their children.

With more than 900 children under age 13, we are able to give only one gift per child, unlike other areas that give $20 gifts and clothing to each child through the age of 16. To make our resources stretch, the gifts are often only about $2.50. So, you can see, we really appreciate the gift donors who share our challenges.

The Amvets take 40 families and several churches take 12 to 40 families to provide food for. The Elks take more than 100 families and have the schools to help provide their food.

We, the senior board, provide the funds from donations for the food that Central Baptist Church puts together for the last 120 families.

Unfortunately, there are very few food donations to care for this last endeavor. This year, Central Lions provided several boxes of food again and so did the Monmouth merchants. But, you can see that we hope you will remember us next year when it comes time to share.

Many individuals, clubs and churches all helped in many ways, but you can see that it takes a tremendous amount of help from all of you to help care for the needy in such a way that we can prevent duplications that use to be such a challenge while many worthy folks went without.

Thank you all for caring enough to help. For more information call 503-838-1956 at any time.

Lorraine Reed

Christmas Sharing Coordinator

Monmouth-Independence

Senior Advisory Board

Amvets

Amvets Post No. 1776 of Independence would like to thank all the merchants and businesses in Independence, Monmouth and Dallas for their generous donations to our Holiday Fund programs.

We were able to provide gifts to Veterans in nursing homes in Independence and Dallas, gifts and supplies for veterans in the Roseburg V.A. Medical Center, and also put out 49 food boxes to families in Independence and Monmouth.

Our sincere appreciation to members and non-members of Amvets who helped us with the many activities during the holiday season.

Jim Williams

Amvets Post No. 1776

Independence

Booster club

Thanks to the fine efforts of members of the Dallas Boosters Club, Dallas High School played host to an outstanding basketball tournament during the holiday break.

Although Athletic Director Grant Boustead was on vacation at the time, his influence was definitely felt at the tournament. He orchestrated a fitting showcase for some of our local teams with superb organization and impeccable advance planning.

Boustead's creativity was also on display as he had to deal with a problem created when Central's boys team withdrew from the tournament field.

After scrambling desperately to find a replacement without success, Boustead devised an attractive three-team format for the boys' varsity bracket -- one that afforded each of the teams remaining in the tournament the opportunity to play two games.

Kudos for actually staging the tournament. However, kudos must go to a very dedicated and competent crew of Dallas High School Booster Club volunteers who manned the admission tables, ran the concession stand and hosted the hospitality room, as well as handling security, running the scoreboards and cleaning up.

Although there were too many volunteers to name them all individually, a few standout contributors deserve special mention.

Newly installed Boosters Club president, Phil Allen, proved his mettle by being wherever he was needed, whenever he was needed. His organizational and supervisory skills were very much in evidence throughout the tournament.

Others who deserve special recognition and heartfelt thanks for their very outstanding and dedicated work are Ann and Mikko Peterson, DeAnn Hiebenthal, Dr. Stephen Stewart, Kevin Moen and John Beck. Without the superb efforts of these people and all of the rest of the booster club volunteers, the tournament would not have been staged as successfully as it was. These people made it look easy.

Although rarely accorded the credit they deserve, the game officials, provided by the Salem Basketball Officials Association, did a great job of administering the games and keeping the action flowing.

They deserve a very special thanks for their efforts.

Paul Mannen

Dallas

St. Philip

We sincerely thank our parish family for their generous donations of time, food, money and gifts that helped make our 10th annual Christmas Day dinner a success.

We also thank those in the community who came to help set up, serve and clean up. An extra special thanks to Bert's Family Restaurant, BiMart, Bollman's Funeral Home, Dallas IGA, Dancing Oaks Nursery, H2O, Hank Kliever's Floor Covering, Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant, Knights of Columbus, Roth's IGA, Safeway Food & Drug, St. Anne's Altar Society, Tony's Place, Wal-Mart, Willamette Industries and Local Union 2714 for their generous donations that helped make it possible to serve so many.

We thank the Polk County Itemizer Observer and KWIP Radio Station for helping us with publicity.

We served more than 700 meals and gave gifts to more than 300 children. This "traditional" community meal is a blessing to all involved as we feel the love, joy and gratitude of those who may have spent the day alone or without a meal.

Thank you and God bless you.

Social Concerns Committee

St. Philip Catholic Church

Dallas

Central's name

I am writing in response to the article regarding a name change for Central High School.

I graduated from Central in 1968, my five brothers and sisters also graduated from Central, along with three of my children. My parents were the first custodians there. Mom worked there for 25 years.

Central holds many athletic championships, band and choir honors, FFA, DECCA and many other activities that are associated with Central High School. The name "Central" was carefully chosen 52 years ago. It was good enough then and it is still good enough now.

The needed changes, expenses and impact of making the appropriate changes in renaming the school would be enormous.

Changing signs, buying new athletic uniforms with the new name, new stationary, time spent filling out tons of paperwork, the State of Oregon's time spent making the changes, not to mention the business owners who refer to their location by using Central High School as a landmark, to mention a few. The list goes on and on.

With the major cuts in our education funding, whose job will be cut to use their salary for the expenses associated with the name change?

If you agree with me, please e-mail me at NGreerInsurance@aol.com or stop by my office at 158 Monmouth St., in Independence, to sign my petition. I will take the emails and the signatures to the school district.

Nancy Brents Greer

Independence

Barking Penguin

I would like to recognize the Barking Penguin Cafe' as an exceptional restaurant in Dallas.

The Barking Penguin Cafe is an excellent restaurant, not only for food variety, but also for atmosphere. It's a small close-knit dining experience which offers a large variety of food and drink items for a very low cost.

The Barking Penguin Cafe was involved with the concerts in the park this past summer. They had a cart set up with many food and drink options for the music listeners.

This was a big hit and we hope they will do it again for the Summer 2002 Concert series.

They also serve the community by offering their restaurant as a place for receptions, meetings, Christmas and birthday parties and luncheons.

The owners, Mark and Suzette Stulce, are special people. Owning a restaurant has always been Mark's dream.

I would like to see his dream continue to grow because not only does he deserve it, but also, so does the town of Dallas.

Shelly Simons

Dallas

Gleaners

I am writing in support of the Marion-Polk Gleaners for the Outstanding Organization Community Award for the year 2001.

The Marion-Polk Gleaners is a very caring, giving organization, whose sole purpose is helping those in need in our community with food and personal items. The food and personal items are donated by businesses and private parties.

So many of our citizens are facing really hard times now with all the layoffs and the lack of jobs.

The food boxes these folks get each and every week really are needed and appreciated.

This is a nonprofit, well-supervised organization run by Kathy Chiles and its members who spend endless hours making Gleaners bigger and better for the community.

The membership in Polk County alone has grown from approximately 75 members to approximately 550 members in the year 2001. This membership consists of low income, handicapped and elderly folks.

There are no paychecks for anyone in this organization. It's strictly volunteer work. For those handicapped and elderly folks that cannot come to Gleaners to get their food (shut-ins), there are volunteers who box up their food each week and deliver it to them.

The Gleaner volunteers take a lot of pride in knowing that they have earned their food by stocking shelves, housekeeping, unloading delivery trucks and helping out with fund raisers that help cover monthly expenses. These members are a strong team and work together in harmony to reach the same goal.

On Dec. 15, 2001, Gleaners organized and held one of the finest Christmas parties I've ever seen. It was held at the Polk County Fairgrounds.

They had live music, food, door prizes, toys for the kids, candies and fruit, and of course Santa Claus attended too. They had a fund-raising raffle that included various items of interest for everyone.

For the holidays, Gleaners gave out Christmas trees to people who could otherwise not afford to buy one. These trees had also been donated to Gleaners by a private party.

Gleaners are people helping people.

What a wonderful organization this is!

Norma J. Thompson

Dallas

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