Letters to the Editor December 5

Christian candy canes

The tree is a pagan symbol.

However, the candy cane's distinctive "hook" shape is traditionally credited to a choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany, who, legend has it, in 1670 bent straight candy sticks into canes to represent a shepherd's crook, and gave them to children at church services. The shepherd's staff is often used in Christianity as a metaphor for The Good Shepherd Jesus Christ.

Our educators, long on PC and wimpiness, low on knowledge of history.

Hubert Smith

Jacksonville

Stop the insanity

I have a great idea. Why don't we just join together as a community, including folks of all religions, and decide the school building itself is the symbolic amalgamation of all our religious beliefs in the existence of goodwill in all of us. We then would be forced to ban schools. Period. Problem solved. The banning of a tree to be replaced by snowmen is certainly no less absurd than simply banning schools.

The purpose of the tree was to encourage our children to learn the importance of empathy. The gifts would be given to any family willing to accept the gifts on behalf of their children. Folks in our community want only to make other children happy this holiday season. At no point is any family or child denied the gifts because of their religious beliefs. Instead of continuing with this PC insanity, why not focus on the intention of our children to help those in our community who need help and thank them for their efforts to better themselves while helping others.

Stop the insanity. I am a mother of 10 — two Jewish children, seven Christian and one Buddhist — and in no way am I offended by a giving tree.

Teresa McCants

Ashland

The Christmas spirit

It's a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree. Because of a few families, the majority of the children will be deprived of the spirit of Christmas at their school. Maybe the protesting parents should live somewhere that does not have any sort of social values and moral fiber that the Christmas season reinforces. Such a shame ... Our country is truly on the downward spiral.

Mike Merusi

Gold Hill

Another close one

Once again, I felt like I would be a witness to a horrific pedestrian/vehicle accident. The other night I watched as two young people, dressed in black and difficult to see, were crossing at Garfield Street and Siskiyou Boulevard. And, once again, the pedestrians did not make the decision to use the safety beacons that were installed a little over a year ago. They reached the middle of the island safely and continued their crossing. A car nearly hit them as the driver struggled to slam on his brakes. The driver was halfway into the crosswalk when the pedestrians ran the rest of the way. They saw the car would not stop in time before hitting them. It was close. I keep wondering, "Why don't pedestrians use the flashing beacons that were installed for their safety and perhaps their lives?"

A week ago, I watched in horror as two bicyclists flew into the same crosswalk from the opposite side, not looking left or right or using the beacon lights. This was in the evening and was another near miss. After the tragic death of a Southern Oregon University student in February of 2008, much planning and consideration was given to designing a safer crossing for our community members. But time and time again some will just step into traffic. Please use the beacon lights!

I would also like to continue to advocate with the city to use a brighter illumination along the SOU corridor.

Patti Busse

Ashland

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