[Hpn] Oceanside, CA - Roses & raspberry awards - North County Times - Editorial - November 10, 2003

editor editor" <hcc@icanamerica.org
Mon, 10 Nov 2003 22:53:55 -0500


Roses & raspberries

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By: North County Times - Editorial - November 10, 2003

Twenty roses ---- the "Bread on the Waters" award ---- to Kay and
Harold Kutler of Oceanside, who, with the late Brother Benno
Garrity, a Benedictine monk, founded Brother Benno's Foundation
20 years ago. North County's Good Samaritan Central started as a
soup kitchen and now runs a thrift shop, shelters for the
homeless, distributes clothes and blankets to the homeless,
offers education programs for children and as its workers
celebrated their 20th anniversary last week, they also served up
Brother Benno's 2 millionth meal. The idea for the foundation
began the day when Brother Benno knocked on the Kutlers' door and
offered them a loaf of bread. It's a wonderful example of what
can happen when just a few people have a good idea and decide to
work for it. Good Samaritans who want to help Brother Benno's can
call (760) 439-1244.

A rose ---- the "Hearts in the Right Place" award ---- to the
Oceanside City Council, which wisely dismissed objections from
the Ivey Ranch Park Association and agreed to allow Casa de
Amparo, a nonprofit agency that helps abused children, move into
city-owned space next to the Ivey Ranch Park Association. We find
it hard to believe that the association, which also is a
nonprofit group that helps children, actually would object to the
presence of another nonprofit for children who need help. We
shall pass over in silence all the arguments made on one side or
the other and simply congratulate the City Council for doing the
right thing. Casa de Amparo does good work and they deserve
support.

A rose ---- the "Hearts and Wallets" award ---- to you, the
readers of the North County Times, who as of Friday morning had
contributed $175,526 for victims of the wildfires via the North
County Times and KSWB Fire Relief Campaign. With the 1-to-2 match
from the McCormick Tribune Foundation, your contributions have
raised $263,289 for our neighbors in North County. This
fund-raising campaign will conclude on Friday. We thank all the
generous contributors and the hundreds or thousands of people who
have opened your homes, collected clothes and food, volunteered
at evacuation centers and done all the other good works that have
eased the pain for the thousands of our neighbors who lost their
homes.

A bouquet of roses ---- the "Red, White and Blue" award ---- to
our nation's veterans, who will be honored again on Veterans Day
tomorrow. Nearly 90 years ago our country sent 4.7 million
soldiers, sailors and Marines to Europe to fight the war to end
all wars. Twenty years later, we sent 16.3 million more to World
War II; 5.8 million served in Korea, 8.8 million in Vietnam,
468,000 in the first Persian Gulf War and more than one-quarter
of a million have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. War is
terrible. We honor all those who served in our armed forces, in
peacetime and in war, and we honor especially those who did not
make it back.

A raspberry ---- the "Election, What Election?" award ---- to the
60,000 or so registered voters in Southwest County who couldn't
be bothered to vote Tuesday. Turnout in the elections for three
area city councils, a school board and a handful of other offices
was nothing short of abysmal ---- barely more than 20 percent of
registered voters. At least it was better here than in the rest
of the county, which marked a 16.3 percent turnout, but that's
small consolation. Granted, there were more than a few
distractions this year, with fires burning all around, and voter
fatigue may have been a factor, as well, with this election
coming so close on the heels of the recall election. But voter
turnout in the area has been on a steady decline for a decade.
Local elections may not have the sex appeal of a presidential
race or a recall, but city councils and school boards may have as
much impact on the lives of residents as decisions made in
Sacramento or Washington, D.C. By abdicating their responsibility
to vote, people leave those important decisions in the hands of
just a few thousand people. That's not representative
democracy.

A rose ---- the "Do You Believe" award ---- to Wendy Hinojosa of
Temecula, who, after reading about a man whose pre-Disney-era
Peter Pan book was lost in the Mountain fire two weeks ago,
donated her own 1911 edition of "Peter and Wendy" to him. Wilson
lost pretty much everything in the fire that torched about 10,000
acres east of Temecula and destroyed 16 homes, including his
mobile home and book collection. But it was the loss of "Peter
Pan in Kensington Gardens," a prequel to the better known Peter
Pan tale, that hit him hardest. Hinojosa and Wilson had been
strangers until the fire and a love of J.M. Barrie's stories
brought them together. Now, thanks to Hinojosa, Wilson has a new
beginning to his collection and a new outlook on human nature.

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