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Plant your Christmas tree

Regarding the article ``A final bow,'' Dec. 6: While using old Christmas trees for mulch and dune construction are probably two of the most enlightened uses for them, planting live trees seems preferable. As it seems incredibly wasteful to kill a beautiful young tree for use as a decoration for a short time, many people in this neck of the woods choose to purchase live trees and then find a place to plant them after the holidays. This is particularly easy this year, as our local parks department is accepting the trees for planting in our parks.

We are building a tradition that honors the trees and helps restore the environment. After these trees have had so much love invested in them, it feels good to have them grow tall and strong. Mark Peterson, Bellingham, Wash.

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A knitter's knit Regarding the book review ``A tangled history of knitting,'' Dec. 2: How could you possibly assign an avowed, proven non-knitter to review a book on knitting? We confirmed knitters might well cry foul and claim her disqualified - a flagrant conflict-of-interest case.

This reviewer feels free to criticize Anne L. Macdonald's lack of writing skills, but sees herself as more than adequate to evaluate a book on a subject about which she herself is totally ignorant. She states that she remains a happy non-knitter for several reasons - all of them based upon her distaste for Ms. Macdonald's style of writing.

As a lifelong participant in the joys of stitchery of all kinds, I can vouch for its therapeutic value. Does this reviewer really see the utterly impersonal sewing and knitting machines that spew out thousands of cloned garments preferable to lovingly stitched, individually fitted, creatively designed, one-of-a-kind garments? H.M. Leighty, Bremerton, Wash.

The drug debate The editorial ``Don't decriminalize drugs,'' Dec. 8, was confused, at best. Marijuana is not addictive and no medical experts are seriously suggesting that it is. This fall the Drug Enforcement Agency's chief administrative law judge's published report stated that ``marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.''

The Nixon-appointed commission on marijuana use in the US recommended legalization for personal use in 1972 (as did the LeDain Commission in Canada). Legalization would send no more of a mixed message than current legalization of alcohol and nicotine - both of which are probably more dangerous than marijuana. K. Adler, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

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