Recently, I saw "The Laramie Project" in Longview's Pepper Theater, and what a terrific production of a compelling work of art! Turns out that it was "Senior Day" at the theater, so tickets were just $7. However, few seniors attended, I was told, because of subject matter.

The play is set in Laramie, Wyo., the town where 21 year-old Matthew Sheppard was beaten to death because he was gay. He was kidnapped by two other kids and driven to the prairie outside of town.

A month after the murder, a New York-based theater group traveled to the small, university town and began conducting interviews with the locals. They would make six trips and talk with over 200 people in the next year and a half. The product: this three-act play.

The project's goal was not to condone or encourage homosexuality, but to confront a human tendency to see ourselves as other than those who hate, those we hate, or those who live differently than what seems "normal" to us.

"The Laramie Project" is little about sexuality and lots about a hope that we can see how Laramie, Wyo., could be Anywhere, USA, and that we can do better.

The playwright wanted to understand how such a heinous hate crime could happen all kids. His goal is to educate people, to awaken us, to remind audiences that we are not so different from one another.

Deborah Brink


Thanks for editorial

Bravo for your editorial on the mis-naming of the new middle school. I thought my hometown had grown up, but apparently not.

I was especially pleased by your strong reaction, since The Daily News hasn't been locally owned for years. You have my respect; the School Board certainly doesn't.

David Felthous


Public isn't confused

I was sorry to see the Longview School Board did not choose to name the new middle school after Victoria Freeman. It was a golden opportunity to honor a fine lady from Longview's history.

I found Clay Bartness' remark — that because there is already a Victoria Freeman Park at the corner of Douglas Street and 10th Avenue people might be confused if the middle school at Mt. Solo Road has the same name — to be ludicrous.

There are at least four other listings in the telephone book with the name Monticello. There are over 50 with Columbia as part of their name. Does he think we slow-witted citizens of the area are roaming aimlessly on any given day, mystified by all those choices?

Then Ted Thomas helps us all out by choosing Mt. Solo by much the same thought process. It should be named for the area in which it sits, is basically what he said. Following the reasoning of these two members, it makes one pause to wonder how anyone is ever able to find R.A. Long or Mark Morris high schools.

To the school board, I would like to say, you have made your choice, live by the consequences of that, but please do not justify it by saying you are doing it for little old confused me.

Susan Fiskvik


People don't want new jail

It was my understanding that there were not one, but two elections were held in Cowlitz County in which the residents voted against a new jail.

How is it that the wishes of the voters are cast aside and we are getting a jail shoved down our throats, even though the majority of the voters have said "no" twice? What part of "no" don't the county commissioners understand?

If the wishes of the voters are just going to be ignored, why do we waste the money to have elections in the first place? Our county commissioners only respect the votes that are in their favor, whether it is a majority or not. The votes that should be cast aside are the votes that seated our present county commissioners.

A recent statement in The Daily News said that the jail population was the lowest it had been in years. So why is it so important to shove this new jail down our throats when there are a lot of things that could be done for the good of the taxpayer instead of for the good of the inmates and a small handful of Department of Corrections staff?

Melvin Larsen

Castle Rock

A job well done

Recently, I've noticed a few articles pointing out the rough life James Ritchie has had over the past few years. I know Ritchie and went to school with him, though he was a few grades behind me.

He was the same person then he is now, only he wasn't on the drugs. I don't think anyone should feel sorry for him; he broke into someone's home and then rammed a police car. And he wonders why he got shot.

Thank you very much, Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office, for a job well done.

Frank Merritt


Photo was useful

Thank you so much for the wonderful front page photo of Michael Lynch. As a wife of a former Reynolds employee, it came in very useful, saved me money, and gave me a sense of satisfaction when I lined my kitty litter box.

Sue Anderson


French cuisine

Toast Chirac. Fry De Villepin. What rhymes with Blix?

Don Fuesler


Support Community House

Community House on Broadway, the local homeless shelter, is in the midst of its annual Adopt-A-Bed program. For $30 a month you can help community House help some of our more unfortunate citizens get back on their feet.

With high unemployment, energy costs going through the roof, and prescription prices going up, many people are not making it and are losing their homes. These people are turning to Community House for shelter and help in these uncertain times.

Community House provides a safe haven with hot meals, medical treatment, free clothing, and case managers who help these people get back on their feet. Residents are helped in getting their lives back together, enabling them to restore their self-confidence and become productive citizens again.

Please join me in supporting this worthwhile program. One hundred percent of your money given to Community House stays in the community.

Maria Harris


Put a light in a window

The president is got his way and has attacked Iraq, even though unprovoked.

There is a symbolic way to show disdain of this action as millions all over the world are doing. Place a light in a window. Whether candle or perhaps Christmas lights, it doesn't matter.

This is a way to show you are saying "no" to this war, as well as to say you honor our troops whom we respect and support in spite of it.

Jo Cabral

Castle Rock

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