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Today's Opinions

  • Outgoing elected officials deserve community's thanks

    With the new year just a few hours away, it's an appropriate time to tip our hats to the men and women working their final day in elected office. They deserve our thanks for jobs well done and while they'll be leaving the public limelight, their years of dedication will benefit us all for years to come.

  • What if Santa knocked at your door?

    It's a good thing Santa generally makes his visits at night. A lot of us would be in trouble if the old man came knocking while we were awake and brought hard questions instead of a bag filled with gifts.

    I'd be rather poorly prepared to find Santa at my door, with those all-knowing nods of the chin and probing eyes. I'd probably pretend not to be home and ignore the knocks and jingle bells.

  • Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

    Editor's Note: In the months before the Christmas of 1897, an 8-year-old girl named Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the New York Sun, asking if there really was a Santa Claus. Edward P. Mitchell gave the assignment to Francis P. Church, whose reply to Virginia appeared in the Sept. 21, 1897, edition of the Sun. Virginia's letter and Church's reply, as it appeared in the Sun, are reprinted below. Virginia O'Hanlon Douglas died May 13, 1971.

    Is there a Santa Claus?

  • It was the week before Christmas

    Each year, weeks before Thanksgiving, the large department stores in cities and suburbs put up their Christmas decorations. Then, slowly, but surely, Christmas decorations begin to appear in neighborhoods.

    This year, when the decorations began lighting up our street at night, I asked a few friends about some of their family Christmas traditions and customs. In response to a question about hanging up Christmas stockings, I was told this was sometimes done only on Christmas Eve.

  • Needed greatly: independent thinkers

    I've grown so accustomed to biting my tongue around politicians, I'm fortunate to have kept the ability to speak. I spend as much time in public meetings as any elected official and it's certainly difficult at times to not speak my mind. Keeping my views out of stories hasn't been a problem but not being able to add my 2 cents can be challenging.

  • We all contribute to planet's trashing

    We don't normally use this space to recommend movies, but we've found a film every consumer should see. It's a 20-minute production starring Annie Leonard and some cartoon images.

    Leonard, coordinator of the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption, shows us in "The Story of Stuff" how the production-consumption-disposal system that is so much a part of each of our lives works, and how it hurts us.

    How it works:

  • Bond between two Marines endures even after death

    Editor's Note: This column by Virginia Barton was published in the Seaford Star in Delaware and is reprinted here with permission.

    Barton relates a reunion between her and husband, Chuck, with the children of the late Justin and Helen Etienne of Mount Pleasant. Chuck and Justin served in the Marine Corps during World War II.

    Bonding. Just what is it all about? Last week, Chuck and I celebrated 61 years of marriage. Without a doubt, a good marriage involves a great deal of bonding. It involves trust, faith, caring and sharing, love and hope, and much more.

  • Animals in peril deserve help

    I'm not one to be labeled an activist for animals. I'm less apt to marvel at the beauty of a wild deer than wonder if it's been grazing in my soybean field. And a baby white-faced calf frolicking in a green pasture brings to mind future steaks or a paycheck for my farmer brothers rather than the wonder of new life.

    No, I'll never forgo steak or leather but I don't want to see any animal suffer, whether being cared for as a pet or raised for market and the dinner table.