Looking back at 2007 and forward to the new year
I want to thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion throughout this past year. There were a lot of controversial subjects that I was not sure would be allowed in the newspaper because of the heartfelt truth that was not popular with our government officials. The issues that I have felt so strongly about were of great importance to me and my family. I would like to say that everything I wrote about was settled, but they're not. We have to be thankful for the miracles that we have received this year.

I am thankful that we still don't have a sludge composting facility in Hinkley. That just goes to show that if people keep up the fight, you can make things better. Some say we will have that facility. But I still have hope that we'll have victory in that fight.
As far as the illegal immigration and their so-called rights, I believe we were heard on that issue. Otherwise they would be receiving amnesty. And they're not. That's another example of what can happen when you get involved.

I want to personally thank Scott Shackford and Aaron Aupperlee because of your dedication to our community. Most of my contacts have been through the two of you, that's why the personal thanks. To the rest of the newspaper I want to send a special thanks to all of you from the writers that I've not yet met to the press operators to the delivery people, and everyone in between. You have all been great this year.

Also, I want to encourage everyone to get involved in issues that you care about. Call and write your government offices. I would like to thank my mom - her name is Joyce Buskirk. She has been my strength and my encourager throughout my life. And has given me the best gift of all - new life!

I also want to wish everyone who reads this a blessed and prosperous New Year. May God bless Barstow.

La Donna Akin Barstow

A late arrival to the 'War on Christmas'
While shopping during the Christmas holidays I found that most employees in the stores I visited would say "Happy Holidays" as I was leaving.

I asked why they don't say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays." Their response was, that the employer told them not to say "Merry Christmas" because it might offend someone.

This is where political correctness and free speech collide. I am offended when they say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas!" Would that make a difference to the politically correct fanatics? Let's get back to the basics and let freedom of speech mean freedom to be who you are and what you believe in, without being censored.

Harvey M. Edwards Barstow