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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Peace on Earth

Christ may be the Prince of Peace, but that didn't stop the Loma Linda Homeowners Association of Pasoga Springs, Colorado from trying to force a couple to remove their peace-symbol shaped Christmas wreath.

They were threatened with fines of $25 a day for displaying the wreath in front of their house.
In its original letter to the couple, Lisa Jensen and Bill Trimarco, the association said some neighbors had found the peace symbol politically “divisive.”

A board member later told a newspaper that he thought the familiar circle with angled lines was also, perhaps, a sign of the devil.

......Mr. Trimarco said he put up the wreath as a general symbol of peace on earth, not as a commentary on the Iraq war or another political statement.
The peace symbol first came to prominence in the late 1950s as the logo for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, a British antiwar group, according to the group’s Web site. It incorporates the semaphore flag images for the letters in the group’s name, a “D” atop an “N".

So, what has happened since?
The fines have been dropped, and the three-member board of the association has resigned, according to an e-mail message sent to residents on Monday.

Two board members have disconnected their telephones, apparently to escape the waves of callers asking what the board could have been thinking, residents said. The third board member, with a working phone, did not return a call for comment.

......In any case, there are now more peace symbols in Pagosa Springs, a town of 1,700 people 200 miles southwest of Denver, than probably ever in its history.

On Tuesday morning, 20 people marched through the center carrying peace signs and then stomped a giant peace sign in the snow perhaps 300 feet across on a soccer field, where it could be easily seen.

“There’s quite a few now in our subdivision in a show of support,” Mr. Trimarco said.

A former president of the Loma Linda community, where Mr. Trimarco lives, said Tuesday that he had stepped in to help form an interim homeowners association.

The former president, Farrell C. Trask, described himself in a telephone interview as a military veteran who would fight for anyone’s right to free speech, peace symbols included.
The response was overwhelming. According to Lisa Jensen, owner of the wreath, who also happens to be a past association president:
....she was overwhelmed with hundreds of calls of support and offers to help her pay the $1,000 fine that would be due if she kept the wreath up until after Christmas.

"We would like to thank everyone who has contacted us with moral support and offers of financial support. We are grateful to hundreds of complete strangers who felt so moved by this story they contacted us," she said.

"It seems whenever someone tries to say Peace on Earth' it is met with so much resistance," she said. "The incredible amount of support we have received over the last couple of days really is proof to us of how many people believe in peace and in our right to say it."
And the town of Pasoga Springs? They were quick to point out that the subdivision is outside of town boundaries, and they have no jurisdiction. But they responded concretely:
Town Manager Mark Garcia said Pagosa Springs was building its own peace wreath, too. Mr. Garcia said it would be finished by late Tuesday and installed on a bell tower in the center of town.
And it was.


At 1:25 AM, Anonymous Jim Fuge Durango Co. said...

With a nod and a wink to Dr. Suess, and his Grinch.

The Peace Wreath

Every Loma at Lindaville liked Peace a lot

But the Grinch and his Cronies certainly DID NOT!

This Grinch hated Peace!

The whole Peacetime season!

Now please don't ask why, no one quite knows the reason!

It could be perhaps he just liked to fight, or

Maybe his head was screwed on to the Right.

But we think the most likely reason of all

May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

No matter the reason.

His heart or his head,

He felt really bad, and troubled instead.

The more the Grinch dwelled on the Peace Sign thing

the more he ached to stop the whole thing!

"I must stop this Peace Wreath from being,...but how!

"I know what I'll do, I won't stand this abuse"

He thunked to himself "All I need's an excuse"

He looked for an excuse to take the Wreath down.

But, since excuses are scarce there were none to be found.

Did that stop this ol' Grinch...?

NO! The Grinch simply said

"If I can't find an excuse I'll make one instead!"

He did better than that, he made a Big List,

and Right here they are, and some we have missed.

The Wreath may offend, or it might not be nice,

it might be for Pagans, who drink wine with ice!

Maybe it's code, all secret and sneaky,

Maybe these Loma's are just being cheeky!

Then he fired his cronies (who weren’t so uptight),

They said it’s not bad, but the Lights kept him up nights!

He puzzled and twisted and puzzled some more,

He listed excuses, till his Puzzler was sore.

Then finally his Puzzler hit on the Thing!

Maybe really this Wreath’s not such a bad Zing!

Maybe Peace to the World isn’t so bad,

Maybe Peace to the World, shouldn’t make him so Mad!

Imagine; a world where folks spoke up for Peace!

Like Lisa, the Loma, with her Peace Wreath!

And what happened then...?

In Lindaville they say

That the Grinch's small heart

Grew three sizes that day!

And the minute his heart didn't feel quite so tight

He could answer his phone and not hide all the night!

He stopped all his Trickzies, and called off his goons

...and he hung back the Wreath, by the light of the moon!

Jim Fuge


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