Editor should keep columnists' feud from spilling over onto the letter pagesWhenever I come across that overworked phrase "Bush Bashing," it makes me wonder if the individual recalls the relentless "Clinton Crucifying" that took place not so many years ago. In this regard, I must say I always enjoy Don Cole's editorial cartoons, whether or not I agree with them.

The above, and the following, is in response to the letter "Thank Goodness for Malast's Good Sense" (Jan. 7), which was in response to Ron Malast's letter, "Politics Crept Back into Craig's Column" (Dec. 21, 2003).

What I'd like to see in 2004 is a new editorial policy at the Observer.

Columnists would be required to confine their opinions to their columns and not allowed to regularly lambast/libel one another in Letters to the Editor. It's a disservice to readers: It says we can't read the columns and form our own opinions. If the editor feels a columnist is out of line or off the subject, it should be at the editor's discretion to point that out to the writer or to edit the column prior to publication.

In the past 50 years I have religiously read more than a dozen different newspapers in eight communities in three states. With the Internet I have access to many more. I don't recall any of those newspapers allowing column inches in the Letters to the Editor section to be used by columnists to vent themselves against other columnists and/or their opinions.

The letter writer from Brush Prairie (Jan. 7) calls the Observer a "fine paper" and says, to paraphrase him, that he "greatly enjoys reading it." Apparently that's as long as he agrees with it and it doesn't raise his blood pressure. I live here, and I look forward to the paper for news and information of the community. I also like to read the columns, again for information and differing viewpoints and then to reflect on those viewpoints. I dislike reading vitriolic letters regarding other members of other community.

The Observer would move closer to being a balanced (fine?) newspaper if it would honor its readers and allow us to choose to read a column, to not read a column, or to stop reading a column if we find it offensive. We can also choose to write letters to the editor. But please, in the future, can you spare us these diatribes from disgruntled columnists in the Letters to the Editor? It degrades the Observer and our entire community.

Terri Dike

Long BeachLetters of ThanksThank you, Jeanne Lord, for the many years of friendship, fond memories, and the best cup of coffee on the coast. Jeanne, who established Festival's Coffee Net at the Port of Ilwaco, more commonly known as "Jeanne's", will be missed by many. Jeanne's place has truly become the hub of the community in Ilwaco, more than just a coffee shop, but a place that feels like home away from home. For the most part, the people who come to Jeanne's are regulars, where everybody knows everybody, and are all a part of an extended family. Festival's is not just a place you go for a quick cuppa, but a place to sit and enjoy the cozy atmosphere, a daily stop that must be made. I believe that Jeanne is truly one of the pioneers who have made the port what it is today, by bringing people there day after day, and establishing a real following that has grown tremendously over the years. Even though Festival's Coffee Net now has a new owner, and a slightly new name, I believe that Jeanne's spirit will be a permanent fixture there. I have no doubt that Tammy, the new owner, will do a fine job of carrying the torch passed on from Jeanne and continue to make the Coffee Net home away from home. Jeanne, I wish you the very best of luck in your new place across the river. You will be sorely missed but never forgotten.

David Allsup

Ocean Park

When the Ilwaco Merchants sponsored the first Los Posadas in 1999, they envisioned a celebration that would bring two cultures together. The tradition continued and our 2003 festivity was truly a fun and exciting event. But, it could not have been done without the help of so many in our community.

Many kudos need to be expressed to so many who helped make our event so

successful. They include Long Beach Chiropractic, Sid's Market, Evergreen Septic Service, Jack's Country Store, Oysterville Sea Farms, Ocean Park Chamber of Commerce, Shorebank Pacific, Peninsula Church Center Day Care, Guy Glen Jr., The Healing Circle (Consejo Hispano Account), Fine Dine, Inc (Shoalwater), McDonalds, Okie's Sentry, Sandy Bradley, The Shelburne, Pinata de Quito, Long Beach Pharmacy, Great Northwest Credit Union, Box K, Seaview Fire Department, the Bank of the Pacific, Don's Portside and Loose Caboose; from Astoria, Tienda El Puerto and Dr Ellis; and lastly, St. Peters Episcopal and St. Mary's Churches.

You helped in so many ways to make a truly enjoyable evening for all in attendance. It only encourages us to plan for an even bigger and better Annual Los Posadas to be held Dec. 17, 2004! Thanks again!

The Los Posadas CommitteeFight Bush's attacks on traditionalAmerican values by joining Dean campaign

Forty years ago, John F. Kennedy said, "The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war."

Kennedy was wrong, as we all know now. Under the Bush Doctrine, the U.S., as the world knows, will attack any country in the world that the President dislikes. Former Treasury Secretary O'Neill has shown us the smoking gun: now we know that President Bush started the war against Saddam Hussein two years before 9/11.

The United States needs a regime change. Every American value is endangered by the current president's reckless disregard for the truth and democratic values. Only Howard Dean has the momentum to wrest the country away from President Bush's rich pals and take it back for the people.

Consider: Preemptive war, The Patriot Act, the Abortion Ban, Borrow and spend economics, Environment under assault, Energy policy being set by undisclosed oil billionaires in closed rooms, the President lying about the reasons for attacking Iraq, the cost, and how we would pay for it

Special access for the rich, Medicare not allowed to negotiate drug prices like states do, the rich getting their tax breaks out of the Social Security trust fund, A three-year recession and jobless recovery, the President refusing to provide access to his papers to the 9/11 commissions, a special place in government for religion; not trusting the public with the truth.

This is not the American way. We are on the cusp of a great moment in history. We will either take our government back or it will soon cease to be the government of our forfathers. The way we are going, the American middle class will soon be a thing of the past. A living wage, overtime and the forty-hour week will be only a memory and so will the promise of the American experiment under which every citizen has equal access to justice and the pursuit of happiness.

This struggle to protect the American way will be resisted by every means of big lie propaganda. Do not trust the media to tell you the truth about Howard Dean. See what the man has said on his web-page: http://www.deanforamerica.com.

Supporters of Howard Dean and those who are curious about his platform are encouraged to attend a meeting at the Super 8 Motel in Long Beach during the Iowa Caucuses on Jan. 19, from 6 - 8 p.m. Campaign materials will be available at the meeting. Information about the Feb. 7 Washington State Caucuses will be available. So will coffee and tea.

Frank and Nancy Logan 665-0552

Don and Marlena Montaine

642-8169 PeninsulaStorms, old age spell end to current row of Monterey cypressesIt is with real sadness that we north-enders have watched this week the felling of the big old trees on the southwest corner of Sandridge Road and Bay Avenue east of Ocean Park.

Those old Monterey cypresses were planted in the 1920s by Dobby Wiegardt Sr. It has been his grandaughter's and great-grandaughters' misfortune to have to watch as those increasingly frail and failing old trees have rocked ever more back and forth in recent windstorms, fracturing the pavement and loosening their grip in the earth.

The family and the county road department began to fear that someone might be injured if a limb or a tree fell on a car at this very busy corner. (Their concern proved to be correct - these are apparently shallowly rooted trees; the roots running under the pavement were only two or three feet below the surface.)

The family, which is most appreciative of the road department's helpfulness and sensitivity on this difficult task, intends to replant ... further from the road.

Nancy Lloyd

OystervilleOystervillian worried about bordersMercedes Gonzales deserves a commendation for her straight-talk concerns about the illegal alien issue in the Dec. 17, 2003, Chinook Observer! She is right to say this is a travesty of justice both for American citizens and those coming from other countries legally to share in the opportunities offered and our way of life.

John Scharback in his letter was right that most of the illegals coming here are decent and hardworking individuals exploited by employers. They are also not stupid, thanks in part to the Mexican government. The poor and uneducated from this third-world country flood into our country to suckle at the teat of our compassionate government for all its worth: mandated medical care, education, food stamps and other social services. I believe some of the border states will gladly point out their infrastructures are stretched to the breaking point. And, a San Diego newspaper study done in 2003: the net loss to the taxpayers in this country to support illegals is $20 billion dollars a year. What a bonanza! Writer P.J. O'Rourke I believe once termed government handouts a 'Pinata' and true to Spanish translation: Party goodies.

Mr. Scharback also mentions we should apologize to the illegals because "... we are scornful of those who come here to do the work that we won't do for wages that we will not except ..." The reality is employers generally pay below minimum wages to the illegals. Is it any wonder nobody wants these jobs? Or, tell that to a Hispanic agricultural worker here legally supporting a family who called into a radio talk show a month ago complaining he was being denied jobs because the illegals would do it for less. The problem has been around for awhile. To the point, Samual Gompers, founder and president of the AFL, also an immigrant, in a letter to Congress in March 1924 wrote:

"Every effort to enact immigration legislation must expect to meet a number of hostile forces and, in particular, two hostile forces of considerable strength. One of these is greed, composed of corporation employers who desire to employ physical strength (broad backs) at the lowest possible wage and who prefer [my emphasis] a rapidly revolving labor supply at low wages to a regular supply of American wage earners at fair [my emphasis] wages."

And note (another subject for a future letter): "The other is ethnic identity politics composed of racial groups in the United States who oppose all restrictive legislation because they want the doors left open for an influx of their countrymen regardless of the menace to the people of their adopted country [my emhasis].

Sorry Mr. Scharback, we don't owe anybody an apology.

The current crises we are facing today started in part in 1986 with Reagan's amnesty. Remember? Our government then promised they were going to crack down on employers who hired illegals. Eight million plus illegals later-they sure put the fear into employers didn't they? Yup, another government success story.

I gave plus marks to Bush because of the war on terror up to yesterday. Then the Pander-in-Chief put a Mr. Rogers happy face on his 'immigration proposal.' He is insulting our intelligence! Color it anyway you want to. It is still Amnesty.

Nationally, politicians from both parties (will the Washington delegation stand up?) are also selling out U.S. citizens, our culture and heritage to pander the votes of the illegals despite overwhelming public support for stronger action. Never mind they enact federal immigration laws then look away. Democrats are keen for these votes. The party has been losing their voter base for years. (Shame on Democrat Majority Whip Nancy Pelosi for her unmitigated hypocrisy accusing Bush of doing this in an election year for votes.)

Then there is U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., a Hispanic. He is not welcome at the White House anytime soon. During the dead of night on March 12, 2003, the administration tried to slide by a vote to allow illegal aliens or others whose visas expired to apply for legal status without returning to their countries. Rep. Tancredo, an opponent of the bill, insisted the vote be recorded when the preference of others was to hold a voice vote to hide that from their constituents. Thankfully, Congress does have members that know what the term 'Profiles in Courage' mean.

Barry Farber once said, "No nation in history has ever been as willing to accommodate those who would dismember it as has the United States of America. Trying to get a straight pro-U. S. comment out of a U.S. elected official is like trying to nail a custard pie to the side of a barn. - 'Mexico Eats U.S. a Bit at a Time,' Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Writer P.J. O'Rourke named his book about right when discussing our government: "Parliament of Whores." A government that is clumsy, inefficient, hypocritical, greedy, and arrogant. And, Mark Twain felt most politicians needed a swift kick in the butt. But then again he had too much respect for his shoes. Or is it merely a case of most in Congress have been subjected to spine-removal surgery?

Bush ended his speech by saying 'God Bless America." If this insanity doesn't stop, I suggest speeches end with "God Help America!"

John Blake

OystervilleFood bank errorsThanks for the article on the local food banks and the donations made to them by the Bank of the Pacific, page A3 of your Dec. 31 issue.

There are a couple of errors which need to be addressed. In the sixth paragraph the statement is made "... to Reachout Food Bank ... serving the entire Peninsula." The Reachout Food Bank receives the same basic food as we do in Ilwaco. Most of it is distributed by Northwest Harvest out of Seattle (including federal commodities). Northwest Harvest has determined the Ocean Park Food Bank serves the zip codes 98640 (Ocean Park), 98637 (Nahcotta) and 98641 (Oysterville). The St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank in Ilwaco is authorized to serve the zip codes of 98631 (Long Beach), 98644 (Seaview) and 98624 (Ilwaco). Thus Ocean Park Food Bank serves the northern part of the peninsula and we serve the southern part. There are some crossovers, of course; some in each area visiting the other area for food; but it is a disservice to suggest that anything other than the above zip codes are obtained for distribution. I should mention that the contract we sign each year with Northwest Harvest prohibits us from denying food to anyone who shows up.

The second apparent error is in the same paragraph where it is noted that over 24,000 pounds of food was distributed last year. That has to be a gross understatement. Last year we in Ilwaco distributed 112,224 pounds of food.

Kay Coleman and Frosty Siemroth

Directors

St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank

Ilwaco

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