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Letters 7.7.04

Comments from our readers

Sale

We would like to express our gratitude to our community for its support for the Rickreall Grade School Garage Sale, supporting the three local elementary schools -- Lyle, Oakdale Heights and Whitworth.

The sale brought in more than $1,600, averaging more than $500 per each school.

The support and participation was overwhelming. The parents and family support in preparing and running the garage sale was more then we could ask for.

It was very humbling to recognize that as a community we are all eager, willing and ready to help the children and their schools.

Thank you to Keller's Greenhouse for your beautiful donation and also a special thank you to Mary Chance and her husband, Larry.

On Friday, Mary retired from the Dallas School District after serving more than 20 years and showing her true dedication to the children. She was once again "there" for the children.

We thank our community for the absolute success of this sale.

It truly does take a community.

Thank you.

Debbie Martin, Lyle PTC

Colleen Kibbey, Oakdale PTC

Marilu Hess, Whitworth PTC

Iraq

With all the negatives of Iraq, I thought some positives should be mentioned as well.

♦ More than 400,000 kids have up-to-date immunizations.

♦ School attendance is up 80 percent from levels before the war.

♦ More than 1,500 schools have been renovated and rid of the weapons stored there so education can occur.

♦ The port of Uhm Qasar was renovated so grain can be off-loaded from ships faster.

♦ The country had its first two billion barrel export of oil in August.

♦ More than 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for the first time ever in Iraq.

♦ The country now receives twice the electrical power it did before the war.

♦ One hundred percent of the hospitals are open and fully staffed, compared to 35 percent before the war.

♦ Elections are taking place in every major city and city councils are in place.

♦ Sewer and water lines are installed in every major city.

♦ More than 60,000 police are patrolling the streets.

♦ More than 100,000 Iraqi civil defense police are securing the country.

♦ More than 80,000 Iraqi soldiers are patrolling the streets side by side with U.S. soldiers.

♦ More than 400,000 people have telephones for the first time ever.

♦ Students are taught field sanitation and hand washing techniques to prevent the spread of germs.

♦ An interim constitution has been signed.

♦ Girls are allowed to attend school.

♦ Textbooks that don't mention Saddam are in the schools for the first time in 30 years.

Ernie Wall

Dallas

War

Why did we go to war, Mr. Bush?

Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, you told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. You told us that we needed to invade Iraq to unseat the dictator, Saddam Hussein, before he could use his weapons of mass destruction.

In spite of the arms inspectors finding no trace of weapons of mass destruction, you assured the American public that you had intelligence to confirm weapons of mass destruction. You told us you needed to launch first strikes against Iraq before they used these weapons.

After many bloody months in Iraq, no weapons of mass destruction have been found. Why did we go to war, Mr. Bush?

Pete Christensen

Dallas

Job center

I would really enjoy seeing a full article featuring the wonderful asset our community has in the Polk County Job and Career Center.

Located right next door to the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, you will know that you are not in any typical "employment office" as soon as you walk in the door.

It is furnished like a professional office and all visitors are greeted warmly and actually made to feel welcome to sit down and make use of the wonderful facilities made available to one and all. No tile floors, no long lines and grouchy employees in Dallas, this office offers wonderfully informative workshops, kind and caring counselors and up-to-date equipment and programs to help its clients find work or improve their current work skills.

Looking for employment in these times is often a long and difficult process. The ladies and gentlemen at the Polk County Job and Career Center make the process much easier with their positive attitudes, reinforcement and encouragement. Do you know of any other employment agency that you can walk into and be greeted with a smile and greeted by name? I don't. Thank you!

Wendy L. Graves

Sheridan

Kindness

Prior to the Fourth of July parade in Monmouth, I stopped at a convenience store for a soft drink. As I approached the dispensing machine, I noted that there were four or five people who lived with severe developmental difficulties.

My first thought was "Oh no, I'll be in this line for a while."

No sooner had I thought this unkind thought, when a young woman passed me by and took charge of the scene. Helping these people get a cup, ice, choose a flavor, get the lid, straw and pay took a fair amount of patience and good humor on the part of this young girl. She is, it turns out, their care giver.

As she passed me on the way to the register, I thanked her for the job she had taken on. Her reply was, "That's OK, I enjoy it."

I am pretty cynical about life today. We are spending billions destroying then trying to re-build a country we didn't need to destroy in the first place.

Yet I suspect the budget for the Department of Health and Human Services has been cut to pay for that destruction. Helping make the lives happy and comfortable for the truly needy does not pay well and perhaps we wouldn't want people attracted only by the money.

But the above young lady surely deserves more than just my (and your) thanks.

If for no other reason than because she helps me balance my perception of where our society stands.

Fred Brown

Dallas

Softball

Due to the change in coordination of the Kids Inc. softball program this year, the season got off to a late start.

This, however, did not dampen the spirits of those involved to provide the youth of our community a chance to participate in a sport they love.

As the coordinators of the Kids Inc. softball program of Dallas, we would like to extend our thanks to all of those who made this a fun, successful and exciting season.

First, a thank you needs to go out to all the parents that allowed their daughters to participate and showing them the commitment to get them to games and practices.

Thank you to all the coaches and league coordinators. These individuals volunteer countless hours to provide a fun, safe, learning experience.

Thank you to all who contributed on our work days, with special thanks to Bob Stouder, Jeff McKee and Greg Jones for use of tractors and equipment to bring our fields up to playing standards.

Thanks to Christy Starr for all the time and effort putting on the fund raiser and making it a huge success.

Thanks to Jennifer Yarbrough for coordinating the snack bar.

Thank you to Walt Markee, who has spent hours helping with the irrigation project, as well as, fixing the batting cages and numerous other projects. He has been an integral part of the rebuilding of our softball program in Dallas.

Thanks to Ron Sayer for his guidance as softball director.

A thank you to all the businesses who sponsor the softball program, your help is greatly appreciated.

A huge thank you to these businesses who have donated money, materials, supplies and support for our program: Boise Cascade, Weyerhaeuser, Dallas Kiwanis, Amity Vineyards, Kristen Hill Winery, Eola Winery, Van Duzer Vineyards, Washington Street Steakhouse and Pub, Warren Simpson and the Dallas Soccer Program.

Again, thank you to all involved for helping us make this a fun, successful softball season. We look forward to next season and building on this years successes.

If we have forgotten to mention someone or business, we apologize.

Scott Ackerman

Rees Linn

Dallas Kids Inc.

softball coordinators

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