6/7 Letters to the editor

In praise of

AFS program

I was pleased to see the nice article by Erin Zysett about Thai teacher Gessara Meelarp (Nui) in last week's Itemizer-Observer.

Nui has truly been a wonderful addition to Whitworth School and our community, as have the teachers who have been here in previous years.

Readers may remember Sergio Aquino, Huang Bo and Marcela Lizan among the more recent exchange teachers.

I was disappointed to see no mention of AFS Intercultural Programs, the organization which arranges the stay for all these visiting teachers. AFS brings teachers to our community because we believe in the value of learning about cultures different from ours.

Students and host families have the unique opportunity for a window into life in China, Thailand and other countries. Next year, AFS plans to bring teachers from China and Thailand to Dallas schools (based at Whitworth and Lyle elementary schools).

We are currently searching for host families for all or part of the school year. Families need not have children in school.

Anyone interested in sharing their home with a visiting teacher can contact the principal at Lyle or Whitworth, or contact me at 503-623-6340.

Without community support, these visits would not be possible.

Dale Derouin



May be time to

send UN packing

Notice, notice: I received mail yesterday from the NRA (National Rifle Association) that the United Nations plans to move a vote on July 4 to outlaw and ban all weapons from the United States. Write and call anyone who might be affected by this underhanded scheme.

It may be time for the United Nations to be across the ocean and not in our land of freedom. Remember, some of the smaller countries' representatives have primitive life-styles back home without the fancy foods and hotels that they enjoy here in the land of the free.

If they try to mess with our Constitution, let's get out of the United Nations and send them all home.

While we wait, oil up and load up, and remember the Minutemen who started this nation years ago. Today's Minutemen are the NRA and all hunters and lovers of freedom.

Freedom isn't free, we have to work at it.

Don Olander



Warm thanks for

flag event coverage

On behalf of the Carl B. Fenton Post No. 20 Dallas American Legion and all Polk County Veterans, we wish to thank the Itemizer-Observer for their excellent coverage of the Memorial Day Avenue of the Flags service at the Dallas Cemetery.

On page 10A the words read, "for their service in the name of freedom, we will not forget." There was a comment made back in 1991 when this program was started by a lady who contributed her husband's flag to the program -- "I'm glad someone thought of an idea to display these flags."

Every year a lot of dedication takes place by local Veterans to honor our fallen comrades. We consider this our duty to recognize those great people we served with.

We also thank Colonel Viarte for his excellent message as our guest speaker. As Commander of the 82nd Brigade Army National Guard, he spoke of the local men and women now serving and of the 15 who gave their lives for that freedom.

We may be a nation divided on some things, but on this day in 2006, we came together to say thanks to our Veterans for their service.

Nick Nichols

Public relation officer

and past commander

Dallas American Legion


TV advertising:

Who needs it?

Ninety-five percent of TV advertising is totally unnecessary. In a sensible world there would be none. If you want to buy a car, go to several car stores. Sit in cars. Drive them. Then go home and think about it. Make up your mind and then buy a car.

Want beer for "couch potato" football? Go to the market and buy several different brands. Sample each of them at the next couple of games. Decide which you like best. Then buy that brand from then on.

The same basic plan works for almost all consumer products. If you want or need something, go to a place that sells it and buy it.

Most TV advertising serves only one purpose -- to get us to buy a "particular" brand of product. And we can believe everything they say, right?

Worst of all are the pharmaceutical companies which have practically taken over TV advertising. Oh, there are wonderful and beneficial drugs that have been developed over the years.

But when spokesmen suggest that every little thing in my life that is not absolutely perfect is an indication that I might have a disease that I've never even heard about, and that I should tell my doctor that I want him or her to prescribe a certain medication because I saw it on TV and it sounded pretty good to me, well, it's long past time to start using the mute button on my remote.

And, ask yourself, "who pays for the billions of dollars the pharmaceutical companies spend on all that advertising?"

Charlie Ellsworth



Proselytizing outside

schools is not right

Today, I noticed several men standing outside LaCreole Middle School passing out items to the students as they were leaving for the day.

I stopped to ask one man what they were handing out. He showed me a miniature, vinyl-bound copy of the New Testament.

I asked if this was legal and his slightly defensive response was, "We are allowed by our First Amendment rights to do this on public sidewalks."

What about our kids' rights to not have a specific agenda shoved down their throats?

A group of three men were in a gravel lot adjacent to the school where parents pick up their kids, so I suppose I could quibble with them on the sidewalk issue.

Be that as it may, is this really okay? These are 11 to 14-year-olds.

Does this happen at the elementary schools as well?

My children are grown, so I don't have the right to object as a parent, but I do have the right to complain as a citizen of Dallas.

I understand that the religious right currently controls our country, but I seem to remember something in the distant past about the separation of church and state.

It certainly makes one wonder, if those men were Orthodox Jews, Muslims or Buddhist monks, would there be a public uproar? Of course there would be.

And, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if the "sharers of faith" were treated as suspected pedophiles or terrorists.

Think about it, isn't it just a little creepy?

Brenda Clark



Thanks WVH for

caring service

I would like to thank West Valley Hospital Emergency Room personnel: Dr. David Moon; Nancy Satterlund RN; Robert Dow RN; Barb Baloga RN; Nora Parnell, Joanna Angus and John Borris (imaging); and Natalie Torres (admitting) for the excellent and compassionate care they gave my father on June 3.

They accomodated his needs and were kind to let his shadow (my three-year-old grandson) stay with him for most of his visit. Thank you again, sincerely, for your care

Gretchen Gantz



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