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"No holiday decoration controversy at other Washington airport"


 
Sunday, December 10, 2006

No holiday decoration controversy at airport
The Yakima (WA) Herald-Republic


The manager of Yakima's airport said there has been no controversy over
Christmas decorations, including a tree, that are spread throughout the
airport's terminal. 

In contrast to Sea-Tac Airport, which took down nine plastic trees Friday
night, the Yakima Air Terminal has heard no complaints about its
decorations, Buck Taylor said. 

"Absolutely none," he said. "And I hope I don't get any because of your
report." 

Sea-Tac's managers, faced with a lawsuit from a local rabbi, ordered the
trees taken down rather than scramble to put up symbols from non-Christian
traditions. 

If Taylor was faced with similar circumstances, he would listen to concerns
and answer them "case by case," he said. 

The Yakima terminal's lone airline, Horizon, and the Budget and Hertz car
rental counters are decorated with stockings, lights and holiday garlands.
The tree sits behind the Horizon counter. 

Taylor said those companies do their own decoration, without consulting him.
He would step in, though, if he thought they were doing something
inappropriate. 

That is not the case with the Christmas decorations, he said. 

"I certainly support Christmas," Taylor said. 

Bruce Herman of Ellensburg, president of Yakima's Temple Shalom synagogue,
said he could not comment on the Sea-Tac situation without knowing the
details. But he said nobody he knows of from Temple Shalom has raised issues
about the Yakima terminal. 

It's important for society to be inclusive and tolerant of all religions and
cultures, he said. 

"My own personal feeling about Christmas decorations and that sort of thing
is that I certainly realize the community I live in is a predominantly
Christian community," he said. "That's just a reality."

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