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Letters to the Editor for June 4

Balloon ride

I am a physics teacher in Longview, Wash., and my students and I completed a project this year in which we launched a weather balloon into near space (100,000 feet). The balloon was recovered from a tree just off Snowden Road north of White Salmon.

The balloon carried a GoPro camera, a satellite tracker to find it with, and a flight computer which recorded data such as altitude, temperature, pressure and radiation levels.

My students and I are very grateful to Western Edge Tree Service of Hood River, which helped us recover the payload from the tree, free of charge. Thank you, Mr. Paider, for your generosity in donating your time and effort to this project. Our pictures of the earth from 100,000 feet will be available to view on my website at

http://www.longview.k12.wa.us/ralong/tietjen

John Tietjen

Longview, Wash.

Integrity preserved

Regarding your article “Reverent Remodel” (Kaleidoscope, May 28): We were married 64 years ago in Asbury Church and remained members until the decommissioning in 2013.

We want to express our gratitude to Ms. Von Flotow for her care in maintaining the original integrity of this fine old building. Although much has changed we can still see the original, though phantom, sanctuary that was so meaningful to us.

Ruth and Marv Turner

Hood River

Why not Memorial Day?

For millions who use the Google search engine, Doodles are an entertaining and informative aspect of their daily searches. Doodles are often times showcased in cute or picturesque animation on those particular subjects or person’s anniversary or birthday.

It is astonishing to me that Google is reluctant to commemorate our Memorial Day. Year after year on Memorial Day their homepage is left untouched with the Google logo remaining in its normal state. Strange, since they’ll create a Doodle for things like Italian Republic Day, or the birthday of Tetris, but they won’t consider making one for Memorial Day!?

I’ll mention the fact that Google co-founder Sergey Brin is a Russian-born Jew who most likely owes his personal existence to our dead American soldiers, and most certainly his company does. Still — no Memorial Day Doodle.

When queried on this topic of why there is no Doodle for Memorial Day, this was the reply:

“Thank you for your note. We understand your interest in seeing a Memorial Day Google logo. If we were to commemorate this holiday, we’d want to express reverence; however, as Google’s special logos tend to be lighthearted in nature, this would be a particularly challenging design.

“We wouldn’t want to create a graphic that could be interpreted as disrespectful in any way.

“We have a long list of holidays that we’d like to celebrate in the future. We have to balance this rotating calendar with the need to maintain the consistency of the Google homepage. We really appreciate your feedback regarding the Google logo, and please be assured that we’re actively pursuing ways in which we can acknowledge Memorial Day and other such occasions in the future.

“Regards, the Google Team.”

Am I to believe your creative team can’t come up with the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross Doodle? It’s disrespectful not to have such a Doodle on Memorial Day, and I hope someday they choose to change their homepage to reflect this day which is set aside to pay homage to those who gave their lives so that Google can doodle.

Kevin Herman

White Salmon, Wash.

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