Great place to be a kid; Dangerously malleable — Letters to the Editor, Jan. 5, 2019

A great place to be a kid

As another holiday season draws to a close I am given reason to reflect upon the tremendous generosity in the Florence community.

Beginning in November, a number of individuals, families and community groups stepped up to ensure a joyous holiday season for Siuslaw Elementary School families.

School staff worked with donors to align this support with families needing some help. The support took the form of holiday meals, giftwrapped presents, clothing and direct financial support.

The fact this support was donated anonymously speaks to the spirit in which it was given. It also speaks to the degree of trust SES staff have earned within the community. 

And such support is not specific to the holiday Season. We have benefited from individual and group donations to our clothes closet, donated time and effort to maintain recess equipment, the support of an active PTA, donated healthy snacks, free dental screening and follow-up care for students, free vision screening and weekly food bags to help families over weekends.

We have a strong (and growing) network of volunteers who help with everything from mentorship, to student instruction, to planning cultural events for our students. 

Thanks to the support of the Florence community, Siuslaw Elementary is a great place to be an educator or parent — but, most importantly, it’s a great place to be a kid. 

—Mike Harklerode


Siuslaw Elementary School

We are becoming dangerously malleable

Here is something I think noticeable. Since attaining the age where the actions of presidents became of interest to me, I have seen 12 come and 11 go. In no case among those men have I seen a single one who did not screw up something once in a while.

Being president is a very complex, very difficult job, frequently presenting problems never before addressed. 

Faults are inevitable.

Yet, in today’s politics, it seems the most ardent supporters of a president simply cannot accept that their guy is fallible.

No criticism of any kind is valid.  (In today’s parlance, “fake news.”)

And I’m not talking just about the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania;  those who were true to his predecessor were just as certain!

When, because of our passion for an idea, we surrender the capacity to think objectively and critically, to listen attentively to criticism and to evaluate that criticism honestly, we become dangerously malleable.

—Jimmie Zinn



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