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Picture inaccurate

In your recent article on the downturn in the economy , comments in the Monmouth review gave quite a grim picture.

However, a closer look at Monmouth will give us a better perspective. I mean no disrespect to Mayor Evans, but the reality is that he hasn't been in Monmouth to give it a good look since June.

Spring of 2001 brought Off the Rack, Cash N Dash and Naturally. Fall brought Monmouth Fitness Club and Create a Memory.

Carpet Hero has recently relocated their office to downtown. We now have a new optometrist. Valley Printing has new owners.

A&M Automotive has gone but a new transmission shop is coming. The Monmouth Business Association is growing in members and participation, now 26 members strong.

The comment "Businesses have closed and have not been replaced." is not based on reality. If you take a walk down Main Street, from Monmouth Avenue to Highway 99W, you will find only three retail spaces empty out of 42 available.

Speaking as someone who has invested in one of these businesses, to see articles that decry the "Downtown is in crisis" only undermines the efforts of our advertising in your paper to create a live and vibrant downtown.

Past issues of the Itemizer Observer have projected this same view of Monmouth and with this report the myth is continued.

State-run businesses and non-profit (tax-exempt) businesses get lots of free press while privately owned business, paying for advertising, get grossly overlooked, as this article shows.

My hope is to see a renewed view of Monmouth businesses by the Itemizer Observer editors/reporters and the readers of this paper.

Steve Milligan


Celebrate pluralism

Let me get this straight.

"Godspell" offends some people so it should not be performed at Dallas High School. "Harry Potter" offends some people but it should be defended as a First Amendment issue.

Don't get me wrong. I think "Harry Potter" is great. I also think "Godspell" should be performed at the high school.

The remedy to people being offended is not to censor anything that might possibly upset their delicate sensibilities. The remedy is to tell these fragile little souls to get a grip, get a life and get over themselves.

We should have more religion in our public schools -- not just Christian, but Jewish, Hindu, Muslum, Buddhist, Wiccan and everything else.

I would love to see our teenagers led in both Christian prayer and Hindu meditation. Even a Wiccan chant. High school kids are ready to be exposed to the entire marketplace of ideas -- religious, philosophical, political and social.

Our entire country was founded on the notion of pluralism, on this idea that the truth can only emerge from the cacophony of competing voices. Why can't we truly celebrate diversity?

We get offended too easily. We fear freedom too much. We really have nothing to fear. The only dangerous idea is the one suppressed.

David Walsh


Thanks for coming

We would like to thank all the wonderful people who came to see the Christmas program at Valley Life Center last week.

It was a joy to perform for you and share the message of Christmas.

We hope to see all of you again next year and at our Easter program. Have a very Merry Christmas to you all and your loved ones.

The Gigstad Family


Crime and punishment

Personally, I think we ought to have military tribunals.

One of the first things they should do is bring up the the media, including this newspaper, on charges of giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

I get so sick of editorials that harp on the rights of criminals and terrorists, all in the name of the precious Bill of Rights.

The people who died Sept. 11 didn't have the right to face their accusers or be protected from cruel and unusual punishment.

I seriously doubt they were read their "Miranda Rights."

Liberals throw the Bill of Rights in our faces like it was the holy scripture. Well, it's not. There is no due process in the holy scripture. You just get what's coming to you.


And you can bet Satan doesn't worry about whether or not the punishment is cruel or unusual.

Ruth Lee



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