LETTERS 8.4.04

Dentists

This letter is to thank the dentists and dental hygienists who donated their time, expertise and supplies to conduct a dental screening and treatment program for children of migrant workers through the local Head Start program.

For the second year, Christ's Church Methodist and Presbyterian United in Monmouth has sponsored this dental clinic and brought the Northwest Medical Team dental van to the Oregon Child Development Coalition (OCDC) located in Independence.

Volunteers from Christ's Church and the staff at OCDC assist dentists and hygienists in screening for children needing dental treatment.

Those in need of treatment were provided it by local dentists, Michelle Hasbrook and Ken Winokur. The dental hygienists who gave so generously of their time are Kristie Kartola, Bev Davis and Bekah Heinz. Dr. John Shurtz donated supplies.

We thank these professionals for their spirit of giving to our community.

Carol Busby and Sue Badgett

Christ's Church

Mission Team

Monmouth

Library

Wagner Community Library in Falls City would like to thank community members and businesses who helped make our Summer Reading Program a great success!

We couldn't have done it without you. Special thanks to McDonald's, Burger King, Artic Circle, Dairy Queen, American Family Video, Blockbuster Video, HomeTown Buffet and the Enchanted Forest.

Congratulations to those children who earned prizes for reading. Keep it up.

Juliandra Fleener

Falls City

Martial arts

In response to the "Honors" letter:

Congratulations on your many acheivements in Taekwando. You are obviously very proud of yourself. I feel it kind of odd that you felt the need to write in to the paper to brag about your acheivements.

There are many types of martial arts and many different competetions. Our association has tournaments at least every other month.

Fighters in our association travel all over the states to compete and we win, but we do it for ourselves. We do it for the person it helps us to become. We do not do it for fame.

Our fighters are also required to teach and pass on their knowledge to the younger students in our association. But it is not just the art that we teach but a personal code of conduct and a way of life. We teach respect.

A true martial artist learns many things including, but not limited to, humility and discipline.

Martial arts is something personal, not something to brag about. Our young students are not permitted to even discuss with people other than family members that they are taking martial arts. Martial arts is a way of life that takes a great deal of self discipline and sacrifice.

Taekwando is just one of many arts. I am sure that there are other martial artists in Polk County that are equal to or better than the writer of the letter.

I have not seen or heard of a Polk County competition that would allow the writer to claim best martial artist in Polk County. My question is if this lady is so great at what she does, then what is she going to "give back" to the community because with great gifts comes great responsibility.

I would encourage the writer to visit our school and see how and what a real martial artist is about.

Alissa Brecht

Kristy Mitchell

KenJuBoAi

National Association

Dallas

Gun control

Tom, I read your piece, "Defend your right to keep and bear WMDs."

I know you don't want to hear this as a writer, but I couldn't tell what your point was. Just the same, maybe I can shed some additional light on the subject.

First, you obviously don't like the NRA. I visited the NRA website to see if I could find out why. I saw an organization that sponsors Olympic quality sporting arms competition, children's safety education programs and strong advocacy for the right of decent, law-abiding citizens to own arms if they so choose.

I also got the feeling there was a fair amount of patriotism and national pride among the leadership. I don't have a problem with any of that. In fact, if my neighbor is an upright member of the community, pays taxes, follows the law and wants to own a gun, I don't have a problem with that either.

Why should a street thug be better armed than my law-abiding neighbor?

I think you are right that the Second Amendment would not protect us from an abusive government today. Hopefully, the Constitution itself would do that. But let's all remember, our democracy is still relatively young in the history of societies and really still could be considered a social "experiment."

If you will recall, America was founded on the premise that freedom and liberty are the natural state of man, given to us by God, not by government.

I'm not sure that I want to voluntarily surrender any of my freedoms or liberties to any government. In my 23 years of public service, I have seen first hand in other countries, what happens when you do that. Once a freedom is lost, it is never regained.

You know what I think, Tom? I don't think I will worry about my friends and relatives who you say pose the greatest threat to me. You seem to be worried about yours. Mine are all decent members of their communities, churches and other civic organizations. They believe in the rule of law and pose no threat to me or anyone else.

As far as I am concerned, they can own as many guns as they want. What does worry me today, is the thinking that believes a woman, raped and murdered in an alley, is somehow morally superior to the woman who has to explain to the police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound.

Tom, whether or not I choose to own a gun someday, I still like the Second Amendment. It's still important. Maybe in new and different ways.

Today, it's a statement that my government (and this is not true in all states) trusts me. It's a statement that my government does not seek to control me.

No dictator or controlling government in history has allowed their subjects to own arms. For me, the Second Amendment, more than anything else tells the rest of the world that we are a free people. That if we are responsible and follow the law, we can choose to own a gun.

The Second Amendment is all about freedom of choice. Freedom. I like the sound of that.

Steve Osborn

Monmouth

War

Ron Troupe in his July 14 letter apparently wants to embark on a great crusade to make the world over in his own image (actually, I hope his letter is a parody).

Every journey starts with some first steps. May I suggest a few? Mr. Troupe and his family should sell everything they own and give the money to the federal government so as to help support the cost of his crusade.

Then, he and his family should join the Army or Marines so that they are on the front lines of this effort to change the world.

Third, we should ask every single serviceperson whether or not he or she wishes to participate in Mr. Troupe's adventure.

Military members have usually signed up to help defend America. If the plan includes some form of worldwide "Pax Americana," then they should be given the opportunity to opt out.

It should be evident by now that it takes blood and treasure to invade other countries. The trouble is that so many people are perfectly willing to spend other people's blood and treasure in their own little crusades.

Something like our current president, I suppose.

Fred Brown

Dallas

Summerfest

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Dallas Chamber of Commerce as well as all the other civic organizations involved in putting on this year's Summerfest.

After having been co-chairperson for Summerfest a couple years back and knowing the number of hours and cooperation that an event like this takes, I had the luxury of attending just as a member of the community and no responsibilities this year.

I have to say that you guys really out did yourselves this year. I and approximately 19,999 of my closest friends had a wonderful time thanks to your hard work and commitment to getting the job done.

I know how much time it takes away from your own business in the name of volunteerism to put on an event such as Summerfest.

I encourage everyone to patronize these businesses who made Summerfest happen. A big thank you to the City of Dallas and Polk County for their very supportive help.

Dallas was just a-buzz all the way from Mayor Jim declaring Summerfest officially opened to seeing the Royal Flush truck and Dallas Disposal early each morning zipping up and down Levens Street headed for the park to take care of business.

That kind of energy and that kind of dedication is what makes Dallas such a great place to live.

Sitting back this weekend and watching all the zigs here and the zags there and having the time to evaluate by reminiscing when Dennis Clark and I chaired the event.

This year was the best ever. Now I know why when someone comes up and asks "would you like to volunteer?" it is easy to follow your lead.

Thank you for such a successfull event. I encourage everyone to call the Chamber of Commerce and ask how you can volunteer.

Summerfest 2005 here we come. Thank you all very much.

Lisa Koloen

Dallas

Guns

So private firearms would do little to stop a tyrannical government?

Maybe so. But what would our "mild-mannered reporter" Tom Henderson have us do? Get rid of our firearms? If guns alone couldn't stop a rogue government, a fat lot of good sticks and stones are going to do!

At least you can shoot a firearm!

You know, even as a proud firearm owner, I could "tolerate" (to use the P.C. expression) an argument against my Second Amendment rights -- if that argument didn't come from a guy who writes about space aliens.

The way Henderson writes and what he chooses to write about, I often find it difficult to take his column seriously. Maybe he ought to be a humor writer instead of passing his column off as "serious journalism."

Ed Herbert

Dallas

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