Letters to the Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Nov. 17, 2001 issue

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Intolerance

Henderson’s has “True Americans”

The night before last i was viewing the 5 KIRO news channel 7. Upon turning on the TV I discovered the story ran about Henderson’s Restaurant. As a former resident of Oak Harbor I was shocked to hear of this atrocity! I mean, this is a town where diversity is strong and the turnover of residents is tremendous, I never in my 10 years of island life could have imagined anyone of Oak Harbor doing the things that have been mentioned.

It’s obvious to me that the person or persons responsible for such vile acts of discrimination are not what America is about. The employees of Henderson’s Restaurant who have “stood up” against the bullying tactics their employers have endured are true Americans! In this day of many questions and fears, you have all shown yourselves to be what America is about, opportunity and love. My hat goes off to you all at Henderson’s Restaurant. May God bless you!

Jason Young

Bellingham

Military

God bless our servicemembers

After 30 years growing up and finishing school in the Midwest, followed by30 years practicing our professions in the San Francisco area, my wife and Idiscovered Whidbey Island and joyfully retired here in Fall 1992. The first night in our new home was shattered by the house-shaking roar of an aircraft passing close overhead. I angrily rushed out the door thinking, “We can’t have this!” And then I stood there in amazement, in the high wind and driving rain, as the next A-6 passed over, not very high above me, and turned into the landing pattern. My next thought was “God bless you folks — practicing in such terrible weather.”

Now, sadly, the A-6’s and their gallant crews are no longer in our midst.Only an occasional Prowler, a P-3, a courier plane, or rescue helicopter passes within sight. My thought is still the same: “God bless you folks.

Where do we find such brave people?” Now some of our armed forces are moving in harm’s way far across the world. Still others are practicing their very hazardous professions in our country, preparing to project our country’s policies wherever the need arises.

Whenever your life seems unpleasant or difficult, stop for a moment and think of our service men and women, practicing their difficult and demanding professions across the world, at amazingly low pay. For us and our country.

Would you change places with them? Where do them come from? How fortunate we are to have such people. God bless and keep them safe.

John Adams

Oak Harbor

Veterans soon will have new van

On Sunday, Nov. 11 the local Chapter No. 47 of the Disabled American Veterans had a “Forget-Me-Not” fund-raising event. We were located at the Oak Harbor Wal-Mart and the Navy Exchange on the Seaplane Base.

On behalf of all our members we would like to give a huge thank you to all those who chose to make a donation.

The money that we get from fund raisers and other donations is used to assist us in the purchase of a new 15 passenger van. The van is used to transport veterans to the VA Hospital in Seattle. We make this 200-mile round-trip every Monday-Friday. Due to the excessive mileage, we are always working toward the purchase of a new van which needs to be replaced every two years. The veteran does not have to be a member of the DAV, just a veteran having an appointment at a clinic in the VA hospital.

This service is free of charge to the passengers. All the drivers of the van are volunteers‚ and receive no compensation for their time other than the self satisfaction of helping a fellow veteran.

If you have any questions about the van service please call the DAV office at 257-4801.

Dorothy Michel

Oak Harbor

Election

Campaign help is appreciated

To those of you who contributed to, displayed signs on your property, and donated time and energy to my campaign for Oak Harbor City Council Position 6, thank you very much.

Patricia Gardner

Oak Harbor

Butcher

“Farm beef” part of Island living

It’s not often that I feel so compelled to write to the editor, although when I opened up the paper a while ago and saw the beef front and center I needed to. Granted not in any negative way shape or form, I was glad to finally see it there.

Having worked for Willis Brothers Lockers, a custom meat shop that was in business in Oak Harbor for over 20 years ( I worked as a meat wrapper for 8 plus years), I know first hand that those guys out in the field are very talented, hard working tradesmen.

For someone to come to your farm, and be gone in 20-30 minutes with the animal that was just standing there, is quite a substantial feat. Unfortunately, they too need tools to help them with their job, hence the splitting saw, the ever-present sharpened knife or two, and the not-photographed rifle.

Not everyone is wanting to see or hear about them, that’s OK...move on to the next page of the paper. But they are here, doing a gruesome, smelly, dirty, and VERY HARD job that has been done in one way or another for a long, long time, and doing it very humanely to boot.

Many of us do eat beef and pork, and I certainly prefer to purchase it from the local farmer located next to the auction as opposed to the store. That way I know for sure the animal was not injected with any growth products, or sprayed with any other preservative type agent. I know that they are peacefully munching on squash and local hay, from the time they start to eat solids.

Once it reaches the shop, I can then have it aged for as long as I want for added flavor. Then I call the shop and tell them how thick I would like my steaks and how many chops I would like in a package. If I want my ground beef in 1 or 2 pound packages, and how much seasoning in my pork sausage. Not to mention the bonus of the ham and bacon authentically smoked in a smokehouse . . . not injected with liquid smoke type products.

It’s great to go pick up my beef, wrapped tightly in little white packages; that will last for over a year in my upright freezer.

The process is quite interesting from start to finish, and again not everyone can appreciate it. But for someone who has lived on the island well over 20 years, was raised on “farm beef,” and can remember the herds of over 100 herefords, it is a crucial part of Island Living.

I must agree with Kyla Williams (Letters, Nov. 14) when she says to continue with the human interest stories — I didn’t read any negative letters about the big metal spider crawling up the side of a building alongside the highway. It too was also very interesting!

Thanks to Ken George and Rick Levin, I enjoy these type of articles to the bad news that sometimes seem to take over the press.

Kristin Hurlburt

Coupeville

Beef story also was ill-timed

Last week I wrote you a letter. Then I called and told you to forget printing it. You asked me if you could please print it, as you said it was a lively, well-written letter and you appreciated receiving it. I said print it then.

This is to reply to Kyla Williams’ letter (News-Times, Nov. 14) and her questions to me. First of all she must not have read or understood my letter too well, as I was not asking you for an apology for publishing the beef story last week. I was stating my, and many others’, opinion that it was in poor taste. The full page of carcasses and especially one particular picture and caption were nauseating to say the least.

Kyla asked if I object to the news of people being slaughtered and starved. No, quite the contrary, in fact that is also exactly why I felt your story and pictures were extremely insensitive at this time as the firefighters are still digging for bodies and body parts in New York City, due to the fact that thousands were murdered there. That is reality and it is horrendous enough. I felt that in light of such reality, the pictures were in especially bad taste. Can’t you fid something more uplifting for Island Living?

Ms. Williams says I am on a “high horse,” well, that is fine, because the view from her is good, and I can see the whole picture. I suppose the article was interesting, if you want to know and see how a poor cow is killed and butchered up. Some will agree with me and others with her. I simply stated one side and you thanked me for my opinion. End of story.

Peggy Darst Townsdin

Coupeville

Vegetarians

Dine on faux bird this Thanksgiving

Ironically, Thanksgiving’s fowl-focused feast falls during “Vegan awareness month.” With one million Americans flocking to vegetarianism every year, chances are, you’ll be setting a place at your Thanksgiving table for a poultry-pardoner. But tackling a twist on traditional Thanksgiving fare doesn’t have to be like plucking feathers.

Many supermarkets carry a flock of faux “turkeys,” like Tofurky and UnTurkey. Stuff your veggie guests with one of these soy-based roasts, topped with herb gravy and surrounded by stir-fried green beans, wild rice and sweet potatoes, stuffing, tofu pumpkin pie, and a cornucopia of other eggless and dairy-free dishes.

Here’s some food for thought: The most recent USDA guidelines included vegetarianism and veganism as healthy diets for everyone and recommend eating less meat and more fruits and vegetables, and the American Dietetic Association advocates a vegetarian diet. Meatless and dairy-free diets are recommended by many health care professionals, including one of the best: Dr. Spock, who, in his world-famous book “Baby and Child Care,” advocates plant-based diets for children and adults, denouncing meat and dairy products.

This November, give meat-eaters and vegans alike at your table something to be truly thankful for by honoring “Vegan awareness month.” Log on to www.peta.org to order PETA’s free Vegetarian Starter Kit, packed with helpful information and healthy recipes all your guests will want to gobble up.

Liz Welch

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Norfolk, Va.

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