Letters to the editor for the week of June 26 to June 30
I'll remember these city councilors
To the editor:
I just read the editorial about the Eltrym Theater printed in Friday, June 23, paper. I couldn't agree more, with one exception. It seems the city council is on some sort of andquot;do it our way or elseandquot; operating mode.
I know the public's memory is short, but at the price of today's gas, if we have to drive to La Grande for a first-run movie, then all those on the city council are up for re-election at some time in the future. I, for one, will remember.
Iva M. Mace
Iraq War a tragedy
To the editor:
What a tragedy the Iraq War is and has been from the beginning. A pre-emptive strike based on false information and an occupation of a foreign country for the enrichment of those in power in a nation that proclaims to be honorable and freedom loving.
Shame on me for not protesting louder and more often, although I did write letters to the editor when the American military dead was a mere 500 and I did protest the war by joining Cindy Sheehan in her first protest of the Bush Administration War at Crawford, Texas.
We now have lost over 2,500 of our American military to death plus an unknown number of andquot;private contractors,andquot; as well as number of our andquot;coalition of the willingandquot; war partners. We have also had over 18,000 of American youth wounded, many with very serious life-altering injuries. In addition, an untold number of (apparently) unwounded military will eventually return home with mental problems that will control the rest of their lives and affect everyone with whom they come in contact, especially the spouses, children, parents and relatives. It will be impossible for the military returnees to forget seeing the atrocities they have witnessed, such as the killing of innocent Iraqi citizens and especially the killing and maiming of the innocent Iraqi women and children.
How many innocent Iraqis have been killed or wounded? The Bush Administration is keeping that very secret, although it has been reported that over 20 million dollars per year is now being paid out for andquot;reparationsandquot; to Iraqis, up from an initial reported 5 million dollars per year. I wonder how much America pays for each innocent Iraqi killed.
Shame on the Bush Administration. Shame on the Republican majority in both the House and the Senate. Shame on the Bush Administration's base of right-wing conservative Christians. Shame, shame, shame on the premeditated murders and cover-ups by our military and the horrible abuses of Abu Grahib and Guantanamo Bay prison camps. Shame on those of us who know these things and do not protest.
Shame on all of us.
My critics are
To the editor:
Thank you, gentlemen, for your views and rebuttals on what the Bible says. First, I believe you all have missed the point. Your arguments are with God's Word, not mine! I'm not interpreting to my thinking, but telling you what it says. You either believe or turn it down.
You see, there's a personal problem. The one thing I do pick up on is that you all don't seem to have an understanding knowledge of the Bible, or you are plain hard-headed as I was at one time.
If you don't think it's hard to convince an outlaw biker that God is real, and his word the Bible is absolutely accurate, you are mistaken.
I wish I could personally tell you what God has done in my life and others since I've accepted Jesus into my life! The Bible is God's word of love to mankind, but it does have some warning to stop us from being led astray.
Mr. (Gary) Dielman: How much proof are you willing to believe? The Bible is full of it: astronomically, geologically, psychologically, historically, prophetically, on and on. It's a supernatural accurate book! Sorry, but even scholars can be wrong, and many are. Some interpret what they think or are taught. The Bible has to be taught and understood spiritually! You have to misinterpret God's word on purpose, and some do! That's what starts cults.
Mr. (Woody) Hauter: Have you ever read the Bible? The facts are there whether or not you believe them! God or his ways don't become nonexistent just because of what we think or believe. Also you are misquoting me: I have not prophesied anything. If someone were about to kiss a train, would you pull them off the track or just stand by? That's what this ministry is all about.
Mr. (Charles) Dougherty: I've read the book also, and yes, it's a total fiction, but unlearned people can be fooled. The Bible says, andquot;a little laven (lies) laven the whole loaf (all lies.andquot;)
I wish I had room to say more. I would love to teach facts, not fiction.
Sprinklers are needed in theater
To the editor:
I am troubled by the position the editorial board has taken on the Eltrym Theater. As a long time patron, I agree the closing of the theater will leave a hole in our community. However, our community cannot let issues of life safety continue to be ignored.
In addition to the need for a complete sprinkler system to slow the progression of a fire, the Americans with Disabilities Act infractions are numerous. As one of the disabled advocates who has been waving the red flag for years, the ADA issues are much more serious than the need to andquot;adequately accommodateandquot; the disabled as you so innocuously described in your editorial.
In fact, I am challenging the editorial board to attend a movie on my dime. I will provide wheelchairs. Please park in the handicap space. Cross the street and try to use the broken curb cut on your own steam. After paying admission, swing the heavy glass doors open while sitting on the incline of the entrance. Then choose to either sit sideways in the front row of the smaller theaters or on the ground floor directly below the screen in the large theater. Please, try to use the bathroom. You won't even get in the door. Lastly, observe the flight of stairs between you and the emergency exit and remember the 10 inch drop-off if you manage get to the back exit of the theater.
It is that realization that will make you appreciate the need for a sprinkler system throughout the theater. You may be sitting in your designated handicap spot until the fire crew can rescue you.
These are not new issues to Mr. Coltman. I have tried to get them resolved for years with no response. As for his recognition as Business of the Year, there are numerous businesses in our community who go to great lengths to best serve ALL citizens and have never received the same honor.
My challenge to the editorial board is not a joke. Try sitting in my wheelchair and then consider the merit of the sprinkler system.
To the editor:
I am writing this letter for our friend Mike Castro of North Powder. Mike works at Marvin Wood Products and was headed north on Hwy. 30 after work on Monday. It was about 3:15 p.m. and there was one vehicle in front of him and nothing any different than any other day. He did notice some dust ahead but figured it was some farming or something. However as he continued he could see a rig on the side of the road resting on its top.
There was a woman on the side of the highway with her arm around a young man. When Mike stopped, the woman asked if he had a cell phone, and if so, to call 911. Mike told the dispatch operator the location and described the situation as it appeared. When asked if anyone was still inside the wrecked vehicle, the woman nodded yes but discretely gestured that the other occupant was deceased. Mike walked away and told the operator.
The operator kept Mike on the phone and asked him to try and keep the traffic moving until the emergency vehicle arrived. Within just a few minutes a Baker City Police officer, Baker County Sheriff officer and the ambulance and EMT crew were at the wreck.
The most impressive thing at this scene was the anonymous woman who was holding and comforting the young man by the road. When he started whimpering and babbling she held him closer and assured him everything would be all right. She talked to him the whole time and asked her passenger to get the young man a bottle of water from her car. Mike guessed she was behind the vehicle that flipped and had seen the accident. She was such a good Sam and kept him calm. Mike was in awe of the kindness and concern expressed to the young man by this anonymous woman, a total stranger, and he is proud to be from an area where people care enough to help others.
Iraq in the Bible
To the editor:
For those who are history and archaeology buffs, and those who have served in our military, here are some fascinating facts about the ancient land we now call Iraq.
An exciting book containing many true accounts of what is happening in the Middle East was given to me titled andquot;The Jesus Visions: Signs and Wonders in the Muslim World.andquot; Author Christine Darg is a television host who has written four books and produced scores of TV documentaries. She and her husband Peter founded Christian Broadcasting Network's TV news bureau in Jerusalem.
Darg says there are many reasons why Iraq is important to God and why His Spirit is moving through visions and dreams at this time. She quotes from a recent worldwide e-mail:
andquot;Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible. But do you which nation is second? It is Iraq! However, that is not the name used in the Bible. The Biblical names are Assyria, Babylon and Mesopotamia. 'Mesopotamia' means 'between the two rivers,' the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. 'Iraq' means country with deep roots and is very significant in the Bible.andquot; The book contains many wondrous stories of how Jesus Christ is appearing in dreams and visions to Muslims in many nations. One account, related individually by some Muslim students occurred on Feb. 19, 1994, as Jesus visited them in their classroom in Arabia. Each child told how Jesus came into the schoolroom through the window in a bright light and touched each one as He spoke to them. Each described Him as brilliant light, beautiful, handsome, smiling and that He was carrying a book which had the initials H.B. on it in gold lettering (Holy Bible).
A Mrs. George, headmistress, confirms these visitations by Jesus as He touched each child and talked with them.
Because I lived for several years in the Muslim nation of Pakistan, I have a natural interest and concern about the religion of Islam (meaning andquot;total submission to Allahandquot;) and its dark side, which manifests as hatred, violence, acts of terrorism and death.
My prayer is that the Lord Jesus Christ will continue to andquot;show Himself aliveandquot; (Acts 1:3), revealing His light and love to all nations!
Joyce B. Mitchell
A mere man?
To the editor:
Was Jesus a mere man that he should marry a mere woman?
Maybe andquot;The DaVinci Codeandquot; Jesus, but not the Jesus of the Bible, who is the one I serve. The one I serve claimed to be the andquot;I amandquot; of the Old Testament God (John 8:58 and many others). The son of God? Yes, meaning God. The son of man? Yes, meaning human in the flesh. Jesus is God in human flesh!
According to the Book of Revelation (last book of the Bible), he's the bridegroom, not coming back solely for Mary Magdalene, but rather for his bride, the Church those who have faithfully followed him as their Lord God and savior.
My Jesus is the living God who came in the flesh, died to pay the penalty for his followers' sins and rose from the dead to prove:
1. His divinity, and
2. That the debt owed for sin was paid in full.
Whom do you serve?
Works of fiction
To the editor:
Richard Fox, I would like to tell you that I fully understand the Bible. I have read it many times, and I don't believe a word of it.
I would also like to point out your statement on the outlaw biker, that perhaps you should do your research. Look up the Christian Motorcyclists Association. May I also go one step further and say, andquot;How dare you judge bikers?andquot; I have grown up around bikers. I must say there are some bad bikers, but that does not in the slightest mean they are all bad. You are just stereotyping.
Might I also point out a quote from your Bible, andquot;Judge not, lest ye be judged.andquot; You also say God and Jesus teach love. I choose not to follow a religion that nails its leader to a cross and then worships a dying man's image.
Also, as you replied to Charles Dougherty, I agree andquot;The DaVinci Codeandquot; is fiction, but so are many parts of the Bible. Such as a man being swallowed by a whale, and how about this one: two of every animal on one boat! Now you tell me how that happened.
Also, if you would take note, compared to many others, Christianity is a fairly new religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, who followed the beliefs of the God created by Moses.
As I close this letter to you, please give my words thorough thought.
Make theater safe
To the editor:
I am one more person who does not want to see the theater close.But I would ask Rudyard Coltman what his liability would be if someone were to die in a fire in his theater.I realize the theater probably does not generate enough overhead to afford the necessary changes.I assume the theater is a tax write-off for Mr. Coltman. I understand he is an attorney and wealthy, independent of his law firm. So money is not the real issue here. Winning by out-lawyering the opposition seems to be the goal. The building inspector and the city council are right to take a position that supports public safety.
I have attended movies with my daughter and her young children.I have often sat in those smaller theaters and wondered how I would take each of them to safety if the need arose.Her manual wheelchair takes up most of the width in the hallways, and no one would get around us and out the exit until we cleared it (I guarantee.Her) chair can be moved down steps, but a power chair would be stuck near the exit, and so would anyone behind it.I would make my family's safety as big a priority as that of other theater patrons, but the exit could be the death of all of us.This is not just an issue of evacuating the disabled patrons.It is not just about accessibility for a few.It is about safety for anyone using the theater.The Americans with Disabilities Act is legislation designed to give equal access and protection to all Americans.It may be inconvenient, even costly to implement their codes.But human life, even one life, is worth the effort and cost.
Mr. Coltman's eight-year routine of avoidance is beyond ridiculous.He should dip into his savings, spend the money, meet the requirements and let all of us move on.