Thoughts of the season

In the whispered hours at the bottom of the night; when the air is soft and slow and filled with many dreams ... If my mind is quiet and my eyes are keen; if chance is on my side and the time is right ...

I hear the melodies of Christmas, of songs for peace and songs for joy, and silly songs for Santa Claus. I see a spattering of stars and fat men made of snow, and boys and girls with stocking caps and purple noses, and fuzzy mittens ...

There is sparkle in the air! Angels are among us, and hide themselves in children. Mother is the manger of Bethlehem; she cradles us, she gathers our tears between her breasts. Father is wise, and quiet and strong. And I am young again, and for a moment too shy to call my own, I have raised my eyes to Heaven for a Christmas memory.

God bless the Christmas-filled home. In the cabin by the sea, where the old woman sits before the fire; in the rigid house filled with many rooms, where the proud man sips his brandy; in the little cottage, where babes are laid to rest in cribs of feathered down; on the sea and on the land, wherever men and women of good will find their way through life in the arms of each other, or in the comfort of a love once dear ... Where strong men lift things and brave women make things, and people everywhere work hard to live good lives ...

Let the people dance and sing for Christmas! Let them pray for kindness. Show them how noble it is to be humble; give our children courage, our elders mercy, and our leaders wisdom.

Wayne Downing

Ocean Park

Trail doesn't wash for Seaview resident

As one of the 20 Seaview property owners affected by the condemnation proceedings by the City of Long Beach, I have the following comments regarding the article in the Dec. 4, 2002 issue of the Chinook Observer:

1. Mr. Shawa states that "the city of Long Beach has made every effort to work with the 20 Seaview property owners..."

They did three things. First, was a letter asking us to grant the city an easement. Second, they had the DOT send us a letter offering $225 for the property. Three, they sued us to condemn the property. Other than these three letters, the city has not been in contact with me.

2. Mr. Shawa states that "the trail as planned will not be near their homes." The concern I have is not the proximity of the trail to my home, it is the fact that it will take away a prime piece of property. The day will come when this land will be developed and I wish to maintain the ownership rights to all of it. And if it doesn't, I prefer the untainted way it is today.

3. Where are the business owners regarding this matter? Do you want all of these people on this trail or do you want them walking down the main street - where the expedition party undoubtedly walked since the land the city wants was ocean at the time - buying in your stores, eating in your restaurants, etc.? Seems like a no brainer to me!

4. Mr. Shawa states that this is a safe alternative to using SR 103 between Ilwaco and Long Beach. I can just see shoppers in either town toting their purchases along the trail between the two towns. Shop at Sid's in Seaview and avoid the highway by walking the trail to Ilwaco. Right!

Joe Neuroth

Seattle/Seaview

It pays to remember that teenage depression has many complex causes

I am so sorry to learn that suicide has become a threat to teenagers in Long Beach. But everyone was quick to inform me of the depressed economy on the Peninsula when I moved here.

I would like to add to the stream of platitudes issued by adults having long forgotten their adolescence, that unusual and cataclysmic weather phenomenon in other parts of our country widely covered on television that leave people aghast, weeping publicly over crushed domains and complete material losses might have an impact on teenagers who are highly synchronized and impressionable nationwide.

Also, there are the stock market scandals in which hard won retirement plans have had to be scrapped entirely in cities as close as Portland, not to mention the events of Sept. 11, 2001. This has got to be no recommendation to young people with their eyes on the future.

It is too easy to say "be happy" to kids whose parents are so locked into an economic struggle as to be oblivious of teenage maturation problems. There is a whole strata of families in which teenagers are left to their own devices completely, to the understanding of others as uninformed and vulnerable as themselves or to high school counselors who are overburdened in a setting understaffed, underfunded and consumed with technology. We know more about sexual dysfunction than function.

Many parents communicate the idea that a teenager should get hit over the head by an employer and dragged-off to sit in a corner with a computer for the rest of their lives thus ending puberty.

It seems we are all experts at early childhood education and daycare, immunizations, sore throats, and emotional needs. But teenagers who become the sole proprietors of their own sexuality find that money is the only way to handle it intelligently, the same as college, as transportation and nutrition. Many stand in the windy rain on the corner watching huge machines drive-by while waiting for the bus, the communal experience, which in terms of developing sexuality is unacceptable. Many walk by the meat, cheese and cereal counters in the grocery store on their way to milk and bread, then move on to the food bank. What is the food bank in terms of developing sexuality to a teenager who is left isolated with a latch-key by perhaps one parent holding two or three part-time jobs? movie stars?

Notoriously, the wealth of the nation and the value that is our teenage population is as shoppers at the local mall. The teenage dollar exposes kids to the hysteria of marketplace competition that speeds-up their adrenaline and slows down their take on the mammalian warm-blooded condition in which too many ideas now run rampant over silicon circuits of raw nerves which promise to be worthless next year.

Suicide as an alternative to teenage death by AIDS and drugs, popularity that is the normal path to a dreamy cell phone, for fragile creatures expecting cancer as a reward for conformity, for those trapped in unfurnished privacy, suicide is yet again mental, intellectual energy running rampant over new nerves, of thoughts in undeveloped organisms facing the statistics of homelessness, gargantuan oil slicks and the minute examination of species on the verge of extinction!

Negative, you bet!

Barbara Martin

Long Beach

High prices hurt on the Peninsula

Hooray for the lady who wrote about gas prices on the Peninsula.

I would like to inform people about propane gas prices also. I was called un-American because I changed from a company located here to another one that is located here in this state. The price difference was 37 cents a gallon less.

People who have pets and purchase food for them on the Peninsula should also check prices. There is a difference of 20 cents a can less and no tax in Oregon.

So many of us are living on fixed incomes and have to watch how we spend our money. I don't think I should be considered un-American for that.

Henry Bump

Ocean Park

Story sparks concern about family

Bravo for the power of the press! In using public disclosure laws to obtain toxicology results and publishing autopsy details, this publication has shown amazing insensitivity in covering the tragic death of David Carter. In that there is minimal or no evidence at this time of criminal intent or foul play, I see no reason that this information needed to be made public.

Given the multiple unfortunate circumstances of the past few months in this community, this coverage is no doubt very painful for the family, friends and others as well. The public may have a "right to know," but surely concern for the family should have been of paramount importance.

Ron Hylton

Penttila's Chapel by The Sea

Long Beach

Listen with your heart for cries for help

With the recent very tragic deaths of three local young people, suicide has unfortunately been on all our minds. The loss of life when someone is just beginning their adult life is a tragedy beyond words, but suicide is not limited only to young people.

More people die each year from suicide than homicide. Suicide rates increase with age and are highest among men age 65 years and older.

Recently my own father took his life after battling depression for over four years. I, unfortunately, didn't recognize the seriousness of his depression or the warning signs of suicide.

Anyone who suspects someone they are close to is suffering from depression, please learn as much about the illness as you can. There are many good books at the library on depression and suicide. The Internet also has many resources to help you learn what the symptoms of depression are and what the warning signs of suicide are. Clinical depression is a treatable illness. We all need to do our part in helping to prevent it from becoming a terminal illness.

If you have already been touched by suicide and would like some help in dealing with the aftermath, you can call your local hospital for a support group near you.

Our local group, which is lead by Claudia Edwards, meets every third Thursday evening in Astoria. The phone number is 642-2692.

Sherrie Sandell

Peninsula Resident

So much to do here, so little time

Ilwaco had a great party last Saturday night for everyone. Guess you didn't read your invitation. All the stores and merchants were dressed up, waiting for you. Santa was there, the trolley car, lots to eat, entertainment, a new street and display of future plans. You also missed a beautiful sunset, with more boats reflecting on the water than in a very long time. When you think there is nothing to do, read the Chinook Observer for places to go and things to do. Next Saturday it happens at the Senior Center.

Another thank you is in order to Dooger's Restaurant for their recognition of the senior population in our area. Their Wednesday night special price is such a treat, not only for the price, but you see so many friends and kind employees. They sure made us feel special on our 20th anniversary.

It doesn't have to be on a grand scale to have things to be thankful for. Happy holidays!

Thelma Sembach

Long Beach

Letters of Thanks

Thank you Tara Jarrett

Tara Jarrett is a remarkable young lady. She had a dream of responsibility to her fellowman and set out to fulfill it last weekend.

Tara recognized there were people in our area with incomes so low that they were often hungry. This bothered Tara. She decided to raise money to buy food for them. Her plan was to organize a "Feed the Hungry" bazaar with proceeds to be used to help. She then teamed with Peninsula FISH Emergency Service to distribute the food boxes when that organization received calls of need.

The bazaar was a success - the community and businesses responded to Tara's invitation to help "Feed the Hungry" and Peninsula FISH is pleased to pack the boxes. A happy ending for a remarkable young lady's dream of serving.

A big thank you Tara for calling all of this to our attention and for making it happen.

Peninsula FISH Emergency Service

Board of Directors

Thanks to V.F.W.

The recent donation from the V.F.W. Post No. 3721 is certainly and gratefully appreciated. While we continue to honor our veterans, it is with profoundness these same people are continuing to help make our communities a better place.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks are proud to be a part of helping as well, presently with our annual Christmas basket program. We also thank all the members of our community who have donated to this program - you see, we are the gatherers and without the generosity of this community we would have great difficulty at best accomplishing this task.

Also thanks to other local organizations, including the Eagles, Moose, Oddfellows, ReachOut Food Bank, St. Vincent de Paul, PACE, His Supper Table, and many others who have their own similar programs, strive to answer a need and again, make this community a better place.

Robert W. Bonney, P.E.R.

Exhaulted Ruler, B.P.O.E. 1937

Long Beach

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