Letters in the Editor's Mailbag

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), January 4, 2011 | Go to article overview

Letters in the Editor's Mailbag


Byline: The Register-Guard

The Christmas star worked

Four days before Christmas, I asked a Eugene electronics store manager how I might rig a small light in the center of an ornament - a used, five-point star I'd bought at the Goodwill store and wired to a three-foot wood dowel.

I explained that, with 40 small children listening to the Nativity story on Christmas Eve, a dancing Angel Gabriel would wave the star over the heads of actors portraying Mary, Joseph and shepherds, as well as the little Jesus doll posed in the feedbox of straw.

"No problem," he said, gathering a dime-sized lithium battery, a "micromini switch," and a 5-millimeter round white LED for a total of $10.96. "Just solder these together on the back of the star."

From my nave questions he sensed that I'd make a mess of it. So, noting that I was his only customer, he took his own soldering gun from under the counter. "This is probably the most fun I'll have all day," he said quietly, while twisting together and soldering copper wires into a circuit.

We grinned broadly when the small but intense white light reflected off the anodized plastic bulb in the star's center. I thanked him for his expertise, unexpected personal attention and kindness. He simply smiled as he nodded.

During the Christmas Eve church service, Gabriel waved the star over the manger like a blessing as the kids heard the story about love, kindness and good will among all people.

Pete Peterson

Eugene

Lack of education hurts art

The Karin Clarke and White Lotus galleries are to be applauded for staying open downtown. However, how long do you think they can continue without making any profit?

There used to be many art galleries downtown, and each week I looked forward to Fred Crafts' analysis of the different shows and the First Friday Art Walks.

Although I am not as well educated in the arts and music as some, I did have an appreciation of what was being offered for show and sale. Over the years, I became friends of the gallery owners and spoke to them as one after the other began to close.

It was startling to find out what was the common denominator. Many people thought it was the economy. After close analysis, the economy may have had some effect - however, not the lasting effect we are experiencing in all the arts, including music, today.

The analysis provided by Bob Keefer (Register-Guard, Dec. 30) on art galleries closing in Eugene missed one important point, which is the lack of education of our general public. As a young girl, I still remember our second-grade teacher, Mrs. Kaiser at Frances Willard Elementary, had music appreciation classes once a week. I remember her definition and explanation of the "Moldau" by Bedrich Smetana. I don't think there is much appreciation of anything now.

In fact, most second-graders can't name the composer of the "ABC" song or "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," but they do know their football and baseball heroes!

Margaret Thumel

Eugene

Catholic organization takes a stand

In their Dec. 29 editorial, "United Way's umbrella," The Register-Guard's editors make this statement: "It's vital to bear in mind that United Way does not provide financial support to Planned Parenthood's new abortion medication service. United Way helps pay for the organization's medical and education programs, and not for abortion services of any kind."

This logic baffles me. So if the donated funds go to the education part of Planned Parenthood, does that education not also promote abortion as an acceptable option, in a place where one can also conveniently (and cheaply) receive abortifacient (RU 486) pills? …

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