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Letters 1/12/05

Comments from our readers

Thanks

Dallas Polk County Child Protective Services of the Department of Human Services would like to recognize and give special thanks to Dallas Les Schwab and the people who donated to the Les Schwab Christmas giving barrel.

Also this year, KWIP "La Campeona" Spanish radio station in Dallas donated several toys.

Thank you very much for making our foster child Christmas party a great success.

Letty Smith

Department

of Human Services

Dallas

Tailgating

I love living here. I appreciate Tom Henderson's writing style and personal demeanor.

And I love that he publishes such great letters to the editor. Why do I love his writing and the letters so much? Because it's evidence that that some people actually value honesty more than they value being viewed as P.C. in a world where honesty is fast losing the battle.

That being said, here's my out-of-character contribution to the I-O for the month. Years ago, a young gal was tailgating me in Independence as I traveled the speed limit, which is the norm for me.

A child lunged off the sidewalk almost in front of my vehicle. As any sane person would, I hit my brakes. Then my tailgater hit me -- hard. A disc was damaged in my neck and it reminds me every day how human I am.

Of course, she didn't have insurance, so I paid the price for her breaking two laws.

That being said, you may understand my lack of hesitance as I join the ranks of people who will offend someone today by simply telling the truth.

I am so sick of being tailgated -- right here, down the main road. I'm not talking about the occasional person who loses focus. I'm talking about avid control freaks who actually think they can push other vehicles past the speed limit.

Have you folks lost all grip on reality? You don't need keys. You need a good therapist.

Because of my tailgater gifting me a permanent injury, I am understandably aware of the increasing problem. When they get close enough I can see their nose hairs through my rearview mirror, I tap the breaks. For the die-hards, it does nothing. So I pull over and wave them past.

For those of you who do the best you can to get out of their way, you know what you get. Same as me -- a consequence.

I cannot count the number of times my children and I watched these morons flip us off, honk and throw us dirty looks as they speed by.

I can only assume that these people are so much more important than we are. Their presence must be requested somewhere right now, or the Earth will actually fall off its axis and we will all die. You know the type.

I'm talking about really important people.

Tailgating is beginning to feel very much like a form of harassment. Get some medication. Get a driver's manual. Get a psychiatrist. And please, give us a break, huh? We're all going somewhere important, just like you.

Lonni Nicoll

Independence

Cougars

For the record, I have never hunted or killed a cougar so the reason behind my writing is not hunting rights.

However, if you do some basic fact finding, you will understand the impending problem with the cougar population.

When the State of Oregon voted to stop hunting with dogs, it caused a population increase with the animals. And, of course, the problem did not arise overnight. It took years to become noticeable.

I have spent 35-plus years in this area roaming all over the Coast Range and it was not until the last five to seven years that I have ever seen one of these animals (even though they have always been there, and under normal circumstances, they prefer not to associate with humans).

They are territorial and the population has grown such that the younger animals are forced to go wherever they can to find food, including populated areas where they can and do attack domestic animals and humans.

This is not a scare tactic. A few years back, a young boy was carried off in a cougar's mouth while his parents watched. Yes, this was in Oregon. But the problem isn't limited to here.

Less than a year ago, in the hills above Los Angeles, a man was attacked and killed while riding a mountain bike. His friend survived the attack and recovered from his wounds to give witness to the occurrence.

To go a step further, just three miles out of Dallas on Orchard Knob Road, there have been several occurrences of cougar attacks on cattle and dogs.

These cats have been seen in plain and clear view by property owners. So while you are sitting safely in your home or driving your car to the store and are not directly affected by this situation, please do not pass judgment on the people who have to deal with this growing problem.

Ernie Wall

Dallas

Outages

I am becoming increasing concerned regarding the infrastructure of our electrical supply to the City of Dallas.

It seems that recently we have suffered a number of "glitches" where power goes out for seconds or even minutes before it comes back on.

This is now happening on a more frequent basis than before. At least twice a week we seem to suffer some form of power outage. Only two months ago, it went out for hours in the evening.

This causes me concern. As I have lived in many different cities in many different states, I have never come across so many power outages in one single area.

Why does this area suffer more than other areas regarding this situation?

I hope that someone will address this issue with the community soon. If not addressed, we will again experience the winter of 2004.

Only too well I remember last winter when power outages were numerous and people were forced to spend the nights cold or in a hotel that they couldn't afford just to keep warm.

The newspaper reported that it seems that the City of Dallas power lines were unreachable as they were strung throughout the hills and, thus, the reason for the delay in power.

Unfortunately, the article seemed to be more of an excuse than a solution to a continuing problem.

As winter is here and snow is in the forecast, I am more nervous than ever. Will I have to find money to go to a hotel for my basic needs? Will daughters and sons be forced to endure driving in the snow to again secure the safety of their parents or grandparents? I hope not.

However, currently my hopes are small. I am looking forward to having at least two concurrent months without a jolt to my power usage.

I am hopeful that because of the winter of 2004 that some remedies have been put in place, lines have been secured and have become easily accessible or more people have been trained to handle such a situation.

However, only time will tell. Until then, as power bumps are becoming the norm, maybe it is time to address the issue with a little more concern.

After all, electrical power outages, as many as we have whether short or long in duration must signify a much larger problem.

Electrical power is a basic need in our society today. We need to make sure that it is accessible and secure for everyone.

Denise Jones

Dallas

Social Security

Privatization of Social Security is a nice thought. The private sector hasn't done so well under current Republican administration.

Greed and self-interest go unpunished. Maybe that will change. In the meantime, we need a more mature way to plan for the lives or our elderly.

President Bush is endangering my retirement and the retirements of millions of Americans by taking the first step in his plan to dismantle Social Security.

Bush (and his friends) are happily manipulating a system to yield net benefits to the filthy rich at the expense of those of us making below $50,000 a year (I earn $12,000 from SSI and another $10,000 from my personal property appraisal business. I work about 35 hours a week.)

Recently, White House sources revealed their plan to cut promised benefits to retirees by nearly a third. And these cuts are guaranteed -- whether you opt in to the Bush plan or not.

For those entering the workforce today, that means more than a 25 percent cut in the retirement benefits they're counting on; for their children, it guarantees a 46 percent cut.

We can't stand by and let George W. Bush and the Republicans cut our promised guaranteed retirement benefits -- especially when so many of us are counting on Social Security to help us lead a happy, healthy life when we retire.

Randolph E. Osman

Falls City

Terrorism

Terrorism has been noted for ages. It is fear, dread, panic, destruction and is an adjunct to the war games of life. Terror is justifiable, according to God's thoughts and judgements.

He sanctioned the Red Sea experience when Israel departed from Egypt and the world flood, partially exterminating sin. Today mankind is still quarreling with God (Isaiah 45).

Cyrus of Persia was chosen by God to subdue the land and create calamity. God knows truth with a purpose for all people (Isaiah 59:6-8; Romans 9:19-28). With displeasure natural disasters such as tsunamis, floods, hurricanes, climatic diseases, famines, etc., forewarned the people that God's plan will not be disturbed even in the Muslim 20/40 window of the globe.

Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit leads to ruin (Proverbs 16:16-18). God creates unpredictable and prophetic natural phenomena far greater than terror and war exercised by individuals and nations. How can the behaviors be denied when God judges us?

Ralph F. Cater

Dallas

Credit cards

I was shopping in a large store recently and paid with my credit card.

To my surprise, I was not asked to sign nor was I asked for identification.

I asked why this was not required and I was told it was unnecessary. As long as the card was signed on the back, they accepted it.

There are many other businesses in the area that use the same procedure. In my opinion, this is an open invitation to anyone with a credit card.

It does not matter whose card it is. Their motto is come and shop with us. We won't embarrass anyone by asking them to prove who they are or prove their ownership of the card. All we request is that the credit card company will accept the card.

I see this as having no respect for their customers.

A stolen credit card is accepted as readily as is a legitimately owned card. In a time when theft of credit cards is a problem and when credit card companies cry about their losses, it would seem they should tighten up security on the use of their cards and help protect their customers.

Wayne Cooper

Dallas

Christmas Cheer

Because of your generosity, the 2004 Christmas Cheer was able to provide food boxes to 165 families in need in the Dallas, Falls City, Perrydale and Rickreall area this past Christmas Eve.

You were also able to donate 2,400 pounds of food to the Dallas Food Bank.

Please take time to read the rest of this letter to recognize the individuals, groups, organizations and businesses that helped make this year a success.

The teachers and students from our Dallas Schools went above and beyond the call with their generous donations of nonperishable food.

We received more than 6,000 items from Dallas High, more than 3,000 from Oakdale Elementary, 3,000 from Whitworth Elementary, more than 1,000 from Lyle Elementary and more than 1,000 from La Creole Middle School.

David and Gina Campbell donated and delivered 1,000 pounds of fresh California Oranges.

The Dallas Dollar Tree Store supported us by locating one of our food donation barrels in their store and collected more than 700 items, thanks Silvia and staff.

Dallas Select Market provided cooperation for purchase of meat, produce, bread, etc., and being there very early on Christmas Eve.

Klievers Floor Covering let us use the cube van to pick up the food from the schools and Star Transfer gave us 300 new boxes to put the food in.

Safeway provided a spot for a food donation barrel and doughnuts for the volunteers on Christmas Eve pack out. JJ's Sweet Shop also provided some very tasty doughnuts.

We received generous cash donations from Dallas Volunteer Firefighters Association, WalMart, Dallas High Students and a number of individuals.

These cash contributions give us the ability to purchase perishable items stated above.

Dallas Armory and Dick McKown the facilities manager provided us with a clean warm building to make this all happen.

Jim Dankenbring of Dallas Disposal did all the routing of addresses so the food boxes could be delivered in an orderly fashion.

This last group that we want to thank are the volunteers that arrive at the Dallas Armory at 5:30 to 6 a.m. Christmas Eve.

More than 100 individuals, couples, families, friends and groups gathered to sort, box, carry and deliver all the items donated to the more than 165 families that needed them.

We are ever amazed at the amount of energy you give to make the armory buzz for five to six hours.

It is the truest definition of voluntarism.

We hope your heart feels as full as ours does that we can come together and accomplish the giving of this gift to our neighbors.

So thanks to all who took part in the 2004 Christmas Cheer, Community Holiday Project. Because of you, it was a great success.

Warren and Sue Lamb

Christmas Cheer

coordinators

Dallas

Eviction

This is in reply to "Eviction" article by Nanette Blan about her 82-year-old lady friend being evicted from her mobile home without being allowed to retrieve her clothing and medicine.

There is always two sides to every story, and sadly, there is to this one.

This was a case of forgetting to pay the rent more than once and the manager following the umbrella rules for all tenant/landlord situations such as this.

It does seem as though more tolerance should have been shown, though we are told in the article she had been notified.

You may think I am defending management, but as a former manager of a mobile home park, I just see things somewhat from that point of view.

That does not mean this was right or even carried out in the right manner. It just means that the rules of the park owner were being carried out by his employees, and in this case, the one on the receiving end was an elderly lady.

If the light bill is not paid, it will be shut off. Period.

No investigating who or what or if it should be done.

However, this has shown an obvious need on behalf of the elderly.

Courts that are concerned and that will address the needs of the elderly, not just push them aside to supposedly more important matters.

The real culprit in this whole scenario is the court that refused to show leniency where the need was so great.

From the Social Security raises that only cover the raises of the Medicare premiums (though rents and everything else continues to raise), to the high medical costs and the long-term lifestyle care versus euthanasia (where seniors are not being told the real reason for this is the bottom line), there is a desperate need for a court system that will address the needs of seniors.

I do pray it has turned out for the better for the little lady.

I am sure many of us reading that letter were deeply moved.

There really are those making life and death decisions every day, such as "Do I eat or buy medicine today?" They are our neighbors, our parents and grandparents.

One day it could be me.

A public forum is coming in February to discuss this very thing and will be advertised in the Itemizer-Observer the end of January.

Keep reading the Itemizer Observer. It's coming.

You can have a say in what can be done.

Let's put our heads together and find out how.

Enough is enough.

Sharron Kremer

Dallas

Transportation

The City of Dallas is adopting a public Transportation Systems Plan.

A public meeting will be held by the Citizen's Advisory Committee on the comprehensive plan for the City of Dallas at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, at the Dallas Civic Center, 945 S.E. Jefferson St.

The purpose of this meeting is to obtain citizen views and respond to proposals and questions.

Meeting objectives include providing an overview of the TSP project, discussing findings of current and future deficiencies tasks, provide feedback on potential transportation improvements and reviewing draft evaluation criteria for use in evaluating potential improvements.

Written comments are also welcome to be submitted to the City Manager's Office, 187 S.E. Court St., Dallas, OR 97338.

The committee will consider both oral and written comments.

The location of the meeting is accessible to the disabled.

Advance notice is requested if special accommodations are needed to attend or participate in the meeting by calling the city managers office at 503-831-3502 so that appropriate assistance can be provided.

More information about the Transportation Systems Plan is available for public review in the City Manager's Office, during regular office hours.

Roger Jordan

Dallas city manager

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