6/14 letters to the editor

Puny Senior Center

is Dallas' shame

My family and I moved here from Salem last year and began to familiarize ourselves with our new town.

We were able to find many places such as the armory, post office, city hall, etc., but we only accidentally stumbled upon the "tiny" Dallas Senior Center.

We were stunned to see that in this town, where more than 50 percent of the population is 50 and older, there is no decent senior center. And, what there is, is inadequately funded and not supported by the current mayor and city council.

I find the comment, "Bill Gates doesn't live here," by Mayor Fairchild to be callous and unwarranted. He delivered that statement to senior center supporters just after they delivered a signed petition requesting a larger senior center.

Many seniors, be they married, single and/or on a limited income, need to have a center where they can spend time and interact with others and not have it cost them a small fortune.

Dallas is the Polk County seat.

The current city council, as well as Mayor Fairchild, need to get their priorities straight and actively promote a new and larger senior center facility.

It is my understanding that the space currently used is part of the library, and that the Dallas Library desperately needs the space back, in order to expand its facilities.

There are many vacant buildings in Dallas. Has the city considered moving the senior center, as well as other senior programs, such as Meals on Wheels, into one of these vacant buildings?

Has the city considered leasing space instead of purchasing a building?

It would be a nice change to hear, "We will find a way, instead of, "We can't."

I challenge the current city administration to find that way!

Joanne L. Moss



Falls City doesn't

need phone tower

Polk County is a lovely place to live. I moved my family to the country several years ago when my children were to begin kindergarten.

We enjoy the expansive farmlands, small towns and thousands of acres of uninhabited forest that surround our home.

The view of the Luckiamute Valley from my living room is particularly beautiful -- one of the main reasons we chose to live here.

A cell phone company recently decided it would like to construct a 180 foot tower in the middle of the view from my living room.

Although I can somewhat understand other people's desire to expand cell phone service, I believe it must be done in a neighborly manner.

Surely, there is another place this monstrosity can be erected that will not affect anyone; perhaps somewhere on the thousands of acres of uninhabited forest land.

I pray my neighbors will come together and refuse to allow the tower to be built on our hill.

Simply, move it where no one lives.

Jackie Zeh

Falls City


Many work to make

Kids Inc. great

Thank you to all the volunteers , parents and kids who have once again helped make the softball season so great. We love Kids Inc. sports because it allows the average players to experience the sport and to build skills that they carry forward in life. A record number of kids played this year, and as a dedicated parent I see all the hours that coordinators and coaches put in.

I know we all appreciate the beautiful fields and clean park and well-stocked snack shack, but we rarely stop to say "thanks" to the regulars we see working from dawn to dusk. As this season comes to a close I want to say thank you to all involved, but most notably Scott Ackerman, Reese Linn, Tim Nelson, Todd Nelson and Rick and Missy Locke -- they are always the first ones in and last ones out.

Thank you again for all you do to make Kids Inc. such a great organization!

Jessica Rodriguez



A t

hank you for

Jamocha Road

I would like to thank the Jamocha Road staff for all their hard work on planning the coffee shop for the senior party this year. It has been great getting to know you through this, and all of your employees are so great. (I enjoyed the excellent coffees, too!) I realize you put a lot of time and effort into this to make it something special for our seniors, so again, thank you!

I would also like to publicly apologize for the decisions made two months before the party to use a coffee shop from a different town. I am sure they will do a good job but I know how much time you put into this. Thank you for supporting your community and your willingness to donate so much of your product and time -- and thank you for your gracious attitude when decisions were made that you and I could not control.

Karey Hudspeth



Gideons no threat

to our freedoms

Here we go again!

I can see it now. The ACLU is setting our community up for a little "separation" party.

The writer of a recent letter to the editor has not lived in Dallas very long or she would know that the men she saw handing out something near a school are probably Gideons. They have been handing out New Testaments in Dallas for many years.

Gideons were founded in 1899, have 250,000 members in 181 countries and give out 63 million Bibles per year. That's a lot of little red books being handed out!

In 1962, the Supreme Court banned from public schools prayers and religious readings done for religious purposes. Teachers, students or anyone else still have the right to freely pray in schools to any God they want, and to read a Bible or any other religious material as they wish.

The Constitution has to say about "free" religion: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ... ." So many people overlook that "prohibiting the free exercise thereof" portion.

Maybe said writer would prefer "other" materials being handed out. You know, something that was not as harmful.

"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."

Well, would she be in an uproar? I tend to believe not.

It's Christianity thst gets her in an uproar. No one is "shoving a specific agenda down" anyones throats.

Remember, she had to ask for herself what the men were handing out. If anyone has an agenda, it is her. Otherwise, we would not have read her letter in the paper.

As I leave for Iraq next month, I think of what I serve for: freedom. No matter what religion or non-religion we are. I am going to serve God and county. That is my sworn oath.

Everett J. Patten



New Testament no

cause for outrage

This letter is in regard to the issue of proselytizing near schools (letters to the editor, June 7) in which the writer was incensed because men were passing out New Testament Bibles in front of a middle school.

Madam, would you have been as outraged or offended if the practitioners of your religion had been outside the school passing out documents and icons of your beliefs such as a book on Darwinism, pamphlets on the homosexual lifestyle, or maybe passing out condoms?

(Sorry, I forgot, all of these are available inside the school).

I know that the New Testament is a dangerous and subversive book for young teens to read. What with ideas like "Honor your father and mother," and "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." So, I understand your concern.

Oh, and by the way, since you were wondering if those with other religious beliefs would be allowed to pass out materials in front of schools, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a California public school may teach Islam to students "inside" the school!

Daniel Hammond



Open mind would

lead to knowledge

I would like to respond to the letter to the editor headed "Proselytizing near schools is not right."

First, the author asks about our children's rights to not have a specific agenda shoved down their throats. Men handing out Bibles on the street corner is not pushing an agenda. Our children have the right to say no.

We expect our children to say no to drugs, alcohol, sex and pornography, so I think they can handle saying no to a New Testament.

The author of the letter also asked if these men handing out Bibles was OK. I respond with "Yes." It is not like they were handing out pornography. A few decades ago Bibles were actually handed out in the schools, not on public property outside.

I would also like to respond to the statement that "the religious right currently controls our country." I found this quite amusing.

If this were true, we would have prayer in school, abortion would be outlawed, all porn shops would be closed and gay marriage banned. Obviously the religious right has very little control over this country.

I also have to disagree with the author's belief that there would be a public uproar if an Orthodox Jew, Muslim or Buddhist monk were handing out information about their religions. If my seventh-grade son chose to bring home literature about one of these religions, I would be excited. It would offer an opportunity for our family to discuss another religion and compare and contrast our own.

We would pick out the good in these religions, because I believe there is good in all religions. I am not afraid of other beliefs. Knowledge is power. Learning broadens our perspective of the world and encourages acceptance of all people.

Shauna Uri

Falls City


Support of Sabrina

brings many together

I wanted to take a minute to thank some wonderful people who came together to celebrate Sabrina Harustak and her family.

There were a couple fund raisers this weekend to benefit her medical fund -- a car wash sponsored by Kliever's Floor Covering and a barbecue at Bridgeport School.

Again, our community came through. It is overwhelming to hear people say I want to help. What can I do?

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for showing up to get your car washed and to eat. Thank you for baking goods, making potato salad, painting faces, selling charms, candy and otter pops, washing cars and running the games.

Thank you for giving money and being there for Sabrina's family.

Having Sabrina be a part of the barbecue on Saturday was a gift of itself and I know it was the same feeling at the car wash.

Thank you to the children who worked to help raise money and who give Sabrina the gift of friendship, and thank you to Sabrina's family for sharing her with us.

Bringing people together to support one another is such a gift and we are all so lucky that we shared in that this past weekend.

Kiva Lyell



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