From our readers

Free speech

I am originally from Polk County, and I keep abreast of local news with your online edition.

I read in the Nov. 13 issue a letter from Mr. Steven Marquardt of Dallas.

Mr. Marquardt objects to the library computers of Dallas High School featuring a link to the Iraq Daily, an online newspaper published by Iraq's Ministry of Information.

Mr. Marquardt describes himself as "a strong proponent of freedom of speech" yet seems to have a problem with those who express opinions with which he presumably does not agree.

Mr. Marquardt also seems to assume that exposure to ideas -- propaganda though it may be -- is somehow harmful or potentially dangerous to children.

He seems to further assume that Dallas High School students are incapable of evaluating the content of a Web site and attributing or discounting its credibility, by taking into account its source.

I wonder if Mr. Marquardt believes everything he reads in the newspapers and watches on television and accepts it as the singular truth.

I for one applaud the fact that Dallas High has made easily available the views and positions of a regime to which our society is almost diametrically opposed.

At this time of increasing tension between our nations, learning the views of Iraq's government, even if it is propaganda, is essential, and is a basic expression of the freedom of speech which Mr. Marquardt purports to value.

I am sure that this is a freedom not similarly enjoyed by the people of Iraq, many of whom I am sure would be greatly interested in the kinds of opinions expressed by Americans in the Itemizer-Observer.

Keep up the good work Dallas High School.

Rocco Joseph Lieuallen

Edinburgh, Scotland

Gift project

The Holiday Gift Project committee would like to thank Figaro's Pizza Independence, Mendi's Pizza and the Monmouth-Independence community for their support of our recent fund-raising efforts.

Your response was heart-warming.

We are still in need of volunteers to sort and deliver gifts and food baskets and contributions are welcome. Gift trees will begin appearing in area businesses Friday, Nov. 29.

Please take a moment from your busy holiday schedule to take a tag and provide a gift for a needy child, the spirit of the season is, after all, in the giving.

For more information, contact the Main St. Center at 503-838-0531 or send contributions to Holiday Project, P.O. Box 103 Monmouth, OR 97361

Kathy Martin-Willis



In light of some recent letters to the editor, I think it would be good for us conservative, liberal and in-between Christians, to gather for worship together.

On behalf of the Dallas Ministerial Association, I invite you to our annual Community Thanksgiving Service at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 450 S.E. Washington, following the Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

The Rev. Bob Swope of Valley Life Center will be speaking.

A community choir, directed by Connie Biddinger of the United Methodist Church, will offer music. Other pastors from our community will be leading worship.

The community choir is open to anyone who would like to sing. Rehearsals will be from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the United Methodist Church located at 565 S.E. LaCreole Drive; and at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27 at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Thanksgiving is a time to set aside our differences and come together in gratitude for all the good gifts that God has given. It is also a time to realize that we walk on common ground in more ways than we often realize or want to admit. We are all God's children.

Let us gather together.

Gwen Drake


Fund raiser

A special thanks to all those who helped put on our "haunted jungle" for H2O.

Tyson Cox put in many hours of preparation to transform our upstairs into the heart of the tropics. It was a success.

We would love to thank the support of the community for this food drive endeavor!

Ray Sizemore from our local police department made a great "bush pilot," and special thanks to the Chamber of Commerce for putting up the information on the reader board.

It's so wonderful to see our community pull together for local charity support.

Jackie Lawson

World Gym


Dry law

I am sure that those of us who wanted to keep our wholesome town (do you know this is a college town?) dry really appreciate patronizing, condescending, insulting, superior nose-in-the-air letter of Oberst published Nov. 13.

And of course this was a personal issue. How dare you say it wasn't?

It just shows you know nothing about Monmouth and the caring long-time residents, no matter how much you try to isinuate yourself into our way of life.

It is amazing and appalling that so many of our unknowledgeable residents were sucked into this series of political flumgumery.

However, it does seem to start at the city government level and go all the way to the top. Thank you, Fred Brown, of Dallas for your letter.

There are lots of us who think that way, but alas, as in the case of alcohol sales in Monouth, the salesman con artist seems to prevail.

I think a good definition of progress I heard the other day is "Progress is the attempt today to make the way we eat, dress and live as good as it was." I don't think these common sense ideas are still alive here.

I wonder (ha, ha) who will get a license to sell cans and of beer and wine and who will be able to serve a glass of wine or beer with their food? Silly wonderment!

I wonder who is going to open a "tavern" here in town and where? As close to the college as is possible? Yeah, man.

Show me a person who insists on knowing the future and I'll show you a person who finds the past meaningless and the future empty.

Such a person should attend to their soul, which is undernourished.

The world I knew here in Monmouth can never truly disappear in the hearts and minds of those of us who love our Monmouth.

The signs along Main Street should be changed to read, "Monmouth Disdained, Future Woozy."

Finally, the only good thing I can think of in this disgusting future is that Mr. Van Crider is not here to see the ugliness and evil that has invaded his town.

Pay attention to your conscience. Keep it ready and able. You are going to need it.

Barbara Walker



Quoted: Finding voters easy. Finding ones willing to give their name is not."

My first question is why does it matter on an individual level, unless it is to dernonize them for not buying into the Socialist idea that it is the right of each person to be suckled from the cradle to the grave.

The article "Students Reactions" (SR) should shine some light for any thinking person. As the brightest students whine about their chance of opportunity lost, going as far as to say "Who is going to take care of us." Hello! We're not talking kindergartners, these are high school students.

I find it sad too. Sad that the permeating thought is that; you had your chance to help education but you chose to abuse and neglect the children. This is the mantra that is piped into the brains of our youth and called education. It is revealed in the threats they make (paraphrased from SR). If you don't give us what we want, we might go get into drugs or some other nasty stuff and it will be your fault! Why aren't they being taught individual responsibility? Whoever gave them the notion that they were entitled to extracurricular activities and sports in the first place? Are there not Scouts, clubs and volunteer opportunities to make their resumes glow? Can't the over-achievers take college classes? Are there no parks, fields or places where groups of kids can gather for a little game of ball, if they so love to play?

The SR said the kids "are fighting to get their money." When did it become their money? "These kids are working independently away from the classroom to educate voters." I ask; do they know they could use these same wonderful skills (working independently away from the classroom) on some subject of real academic interest to them? "They are organizing themselves to campaign for education measures." How about some of that organizing energy going into creating a political action club (if one doesn't exist already)? I'm sure either of the local parties would embrace students interested in the political process. A student-led group to begin a letter campaign "to let elected official know their concerns..." How about all those letters of concern be addressed to our troops around the world? Now that would be a worthwhile campaign! But no. They have been taught it's all about me. What I want. What I think I deserve.

These same kids who can't creatively think of ways to increase their paper worth and to know who will take care of them, can somehow work independently, organize themselves and run a campaign. These well may be student-led but I ask a rhetorical question. Who instigated them?

Perhaps like me, there are others in this community who don't want to pay any more money for this type of education. So now what, you have my name...and my thoughts.

We could continue to stand on opposite sides whining woe is me, with the children in the middle, or we can roll up our sleeves and start working with what we have. It's time to tell the children to count their blessings, while the community of adults worry and work on how to nourish them.

Esther Lieberman



My heart hurts to read of the failure of the Dallas school levy and of the fears for the Central School District as well.

I am also saddened by the comments from students and parents. I share their disappointment and frustration.

My children attended public schools when communities were enthusiastic and supportive. Because of excellent public schools, and the availability of scholarships and student loans, they were able to graduate from Oregon colleges (PSU and OSU respectively).

I will always be grateful for those opportunities.

My husband, Don, and I wholeheartedly support public education. Even though our children are grown (with children of their own), we believe that educational opportunities are necessary for our communities to flourish and for students to have the chance to learn as much as they can.

I've never voted against a school levy and feel it is my responsibility as a citizen to help make this a better world.

Patty Taylor Dutcher



Yesterday my mother discovered that her dearly loved cats were missing.

Upon calling the Humane Society, I was informed that there is a person in Dallas trapping between 10 to 20 cats a week and taking them to the facility in Salem.

What is up with people who do things like this?

Do they really have nothing better to do with their life then lure people's pets into traps and take them to a place where they could be given the death sentence within three days?

Unfortunately, my mothers cats were not at the Humane Society, which leads to a control freak neighbor who probably took them and killed them.

If these people would take the spare time they have and volunteer to help people in the community instead of hurting them, they would be doing something to help make this world a better place to live.

Animals do not make this world bad. It is people that have no good intentions that do. If you are missing your pet, please check with the Humane Society of the Willamette Valley.

Elizabeth Underwood



To all those who accuse taxpayers who voted down the school levy as being selfish and greedy, get over it!

We all heard from Lou Ann Grosch and Leslie Engle about the cruel deprivation they'll suffer now.

There might be a couple of days less to prepare for advanced placement exams. Oh, devastation at the hands of working tax payers who selfishly voted to hang on to their money for a change.

Miss Engle is a school newspaper editor and intern at the I-O. Try doing some investigative reporting and learn who's really at fault for the so-called problems you're suffering now.

Maybe, just maybe, those who manage the current funds are at fault. Ya thinks? How many times are we going to be subjected to the worn-out record of how the school district is on the brink of collapse, so fork out some more money all you taxpayers.

Here's a thought to all those students that will be cut off from education, sports and music. You are really getting a wonderful education from the levy failure.

You are finding out as we all must that we don't get everything we want and sometimes we have to work for what we want.

Wow! That's hard to swallow isn't it. I wonder if those people who've managed to obtain a college education with just a GED might have known that fact of life.

Deborah Delaney



As a member of the Dallas community, for some reason I am finding it very frustrating to go to our local library and find a decent place to park my car.

Why is this?

Why can't a mother with two very small children find a place to park so she can take her kids to storytime? I have to circle the block.

It's not as if I were living in Salem, for Pete's sake.

Have you ever tried to walk very far with a car-seat carrier and toddler in tow?

What about all the senior citizens out there who can't get around as well? Surely I'm not the only one who's frustrated out there.

Why is it that the City of Dallas cannot supply us with an adequate supply of parking spaces to use the local establishments, like city hall.

I have been taking my 4-year-old son to storytime since he was six months old. What a shame it is now that I can no longer take him because of this problem that no one seems to be addressing.

The best I can do is hope that someone out there is listening.

Perhaps someone would care to address it. After all, what kind of community would we be if we weren't able to welcome people to come step inside our local facilities, like the library?

And how can we do this if you can't find a place to park?

What about it, Mr. Mayor, and the good citizens of Dallas?

Chris Thiel



Recently, I wrote a letter to the editor in which I tried to poke some fun at what I consider to be an extreme viewpoint, namely that a person can not be both liberal and a Christian.

I did not call anyone names, nor, did I suggest any extreme consequences. I tried to suggest that we all need to "lighten up".

I was, therefore, utterly amazed that my remarks were interpreted to mean that I was "accusing conservatives of having murder in their hearts."

Oh my gosh! Where did that come from?

I've reread my letter several times and I still can't see how anything I said could have led one to the above conclusion.

I very much appreciate my critics. I try to learn from them. As a case in point, I try to realize that I should have said, "If we (I include myself in that we) good people get rid of the differences between ourselves and the bad people, who are we going to be holier than?"

Had I written that, I probably would not have left doubt as to what I intended. However, given the visceral reaction that my lighthearted remarks elicited, I suspect that my antic would then have projected some other extreme connotation onto another of my thoughts.

Paul Mannen



I'd like to publicly thank some local dentists for their commitment and support of our school children in the Dallas School District.

In the past years, funding has been available through Dallas Service Integration Teams with matching funds from Dallas School District to pay for an average of three dental vans a year.

Due to budget issues this school year, the full amount of money to pay for these vans is not available. However, the need is still there.

With these generous donations from Weston Morrill DMD, Tom Davis DMD and Ross Kaplan DMD, North West Medical Teams will be able to continue services in the Dallas area again this year.

These vans provide dental care for children who need dental work done and lack the resources to pay for dental care.

Children are our future and it is always good to see members of our community pulling together to support and help them.

Mary Casalegno, RN

Dallas School

District Nurse


I would like to take a moment and thank the following people for their help in making the Veteran's Day event at Evergreen Independence Care Center such a wonderful success.

With your help and your gift of time and caring, we were able to honor our veterans and have a ceremony to replace our old tattered flag with a brand new one.

Thank you to Brian Griffiths, band teacher at Sprague High School, who brought over six of his students, all dressed in uniform and performed many patriotic songs. Thank you for your wonderful performance.

Thank you to Pack No. 35 of the Cub Scouts for coming over and helping to properly dispose of our old flag (burning ceremony) and for helping to bury the ashes. Thank you for your presentation of the colors of the flag and what they stand for. You touched many lives in our community by your presence.

Thanks to all of you who took time on Veteran's Day to make a difference in the life of a veteran.

Cheran Christensen

Activities Director

Dorri Wassom


Food bank

How in the world can we express ourselves any better than by saying, "What a wonderful community we live in!"

The Dallas Food Bank certainly feels this sentiment very deeply.

We have so many people out of work now that if it weren't for out community we would be unable to feed those who truly need the help.

When you are serving right at 1,000 people a month so they can feed their families, we are so grateful to be able to not let the children go without food, due to your efforts.

We know that there are other services in our community that also help the needy and that is another gracious thing and we strongly appreciate their efforts.

Our churches are a contributing factor in the help we receive and our hearts go out to them for their contributing help.

Our Safeway store is also such a great help with our breads and pastries. So many people benefit from that help also.

The Postal Drive, the many school drives help to feed the people in bad situations, as do the Scouts, the area schools, not to forget the golf tournament and the people that give from their hearts.

How can we possibly thank all of these wonderful people, and with Thanksgiving coming, the need is serious.

Well, all we can safely say is, "Thank you all so very much!"

Doreen Quick

and volunteers

Dallas Food Bank


To the man who picked up our dog Mocha between noon and 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8:

First of all, I would like to say thank you for calling and letting us know she was OK.

We have tried many ways to keep her home. She is very afraid of guns and runs to hide if she hears one go off. Which is my guess of what happened the day you picked her up.

I had gone to town to get a choke-chain, hoping she wouldn't be able to escape from that like she has collars and a harness.

We are renters and our animals are not allowed in the house.

As far as you saying you would not be returning her because we should not allow her to run loose on the highway, well, we don't allow it.

Things happen sometimes, but this does not mean we're not good pet owners.

We love Mocha very much and miss her. We have three children. One of which has had Mocha since she was 5 years old and is now 15. Our younger children, ages 8 and 10, don't understand how someone could pick up our dog and not give her back to us, since her collar had her name and our home and cell phone numbers on it.

As a pet owner, I know it is my responsibility to keep my animals at home. We have recently moved to a home on Highway 22 and there's been a lot of gun shots due to the hunting season.

Mocha is a family member to us and we really love and miss her.

The best Christmas gift our family could get this year would be to have Mocha home.

If anyone has any information on where she is or who has her, please call us. No questions asked. [See Lost and Found ads.]

Wilson-Wall family



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