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Letters to the Editor for Dec. 20

Kick back 'kicker' to THS Band Boosters

The old saying goes, 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.' So, the Tigard High Band Boosters Board of Directors is joining in the chorus of all the worthy causes asking you to share your 'kicker' tax refund. We have personally made a commitment to share a portion of our family's state refund check and ask you to consider doing the same.

The Band Boosters support the Tigard High School band program, which consists of multiple performing groups: wind ensemble, symphonic, concert and jazz bands, competitive marching, color guard, winter guard, winter percussion and pep band. Our music program takes many levels of financial support for music - equipment purchase, staffing, field props, uniforms and transportation costs.

At this time, we are working to match an anonymous donation made to the band program. The donation will be made when matching funds of $1,000 are raised. Your consideration of a tax-deductible donation to support our program is greatly appreciated.

The skills learned through the performing arts - individual responsibility, teamwork and creativity - are foundational life skills for each student in the program. The Tigard High School band and color guard programs are an important part of every participant's overall education. The band and color guard students and parents are proud to represent the Tigard community.

The Band Boosters welcome and greatly appreciate any general fund donation that you are able to make. Please make your check payable to THS Band Boosters and send it to P.O. Box 230349, Tigard, OR, 97281. The non-profit tax ID number is 93-1059514.

We would also like to extend an open invitation to the Tigard community to join us for our winter concert this tonight (Thursday) at 7 p.m. in the Deb Fennell Auditorium at Tigard High. Admission is free, and donations are gladly accepted.

On behalf of all the members of the Tigard High School band and color guard, thank you for your generous support.

ALICE CHAN

President

THS Band Boosters

Answer for substance abusers is quarantine

Although I agree with Greg Francisco ('Stop getting tough on drugs, get smart,' The Times, Dec. 13) that cigarettes arguably kill more Americans than all other drugs combined, his comparison of nicotine use to alcohol, heroin, methamphetamine or other such substances shows the weakness of his entire argument. Tobacco is a legal substance for adults to purchase and ingest. Tobacco does not impair one's ability to drive or think clearly, nor do nicotine addicts rob, steal, burglarize or murder to support their nicotine habit.

Apparently what Mr. Francisco fails to grasp is that most of us don't care about what type of substance anyone ingests as long as it has no impact on us. The problem with substance abuse and addiction is that abusers and addicts behave in ways that put me and my property at risk. That's where I draw the line.

If someone wants to drink himself or herself into oblivion, fine, just stay in your own home and off the roads so you don't harm anyone or damage property.

If you choose self-destruction by sticking the needle in your arm or pipe in your mouth, I don't care. However, when you harm the innocent or steal property to support your suicidal behavior, you have become a danger to civilized society and need to be removed from it.

If that consequence seems too harsh to the bleeding hearts who are seemingly in the business of manufacturing pathetic excuses for this anti-social behavior, boo-hoo.

There are countless private and taxpayer-funded programs available to addicts who show a desire to clean themselves up. Many take advantage of those programs, most don't.

Mr. Francisco may be correct when he claims that all drug addiction is a 'medical problem.' What he fails to appreciate is that the behavior of those affected by the 'disease' sometimes impacts the lives of innocent people with fatal consequences.

Therefore, I support quarantine.

TODD BRADISH

Tualatin

Emphasis on sports is upside down

Our attitude about sports is upside down. There is too much emphasis on performance and not enough on what sports is supposed to be about - the best someone can generate (naturally) against someone else's best. When I say naturally, I mean without drugs that can damage someone's body. But the drugs are rampant.

It's partly our fault. We love to see home runs, slam-dunks, knockouts, touchdowns or whatever the case may be. We actually pay these people to watch them do what they can do. Part of the honest truth is that they wouldn't be able to do some of what they do now without drugs.

Would that be so bad?

I have been noticing that athletes are acting more and more like thugs on TV. They disrespect the media, disrespect the fans and sometimes each other. It's kind of sickening, and I have to ask myself the following question, 'Is this a symptom of the drug abuse in the last few years?'

We are losing heroes fast, and it's hard to watch. We have lost Marion Jones, who probably inspired more than one American girl to run. Who's the next superstar to fall and make another mother or father explain why it's not a good idea to emulate a child's hero when that hero tests positive for some substance?

SCOTT BUENDIA

Fitness professional and martial arts instructor

President of Urban Warrior Incorporated

Tigard