- The Washington Times - Friday, May 28, 2004

Nobles: Ella Gunderson, for a modest proposal.

The bespectacled 11-year-old does not much resemble Britney Spears, and, more to the point, does not much want to dress like her. When the Redmond, Wash., resident went to her local Nordstrom store to find something fashionable and sensible, she was frustrated when all that she saw were too-tight tops and low-riding jeans.

So Ella wrote the company. “Dear Nordstrom, I am an eleven-year-old girl who has tried shopping at your store for clothes (in particular jeans), but all of them ride way under my hips, and the next size up is too big and falls down. I see all of these girls who walk around with pants that show their belly button and underwear. Your clerks sugjest [sic] that there is only one look. If that is true, then girls are supposed to walk around half naked. I think you should change that.”

The Nordstrom employees who read her letter may have noticed the same thing, since they did not dismiss it as the complaint of an unhinged conservative. Instead, they passed Ella’s note all the way up to company President Pete Nordstrom.

Mr. Nordstrom responded in magnificent fashion. Much to Ella’s surprise, he and another executive wrote back, promising to try to educate their purchasing managers and sales personnel on a range of fashion choices. Appearing with Ella on the “Today Show” on Tuesday, Mr. Nordstrom said, “I thought her feedback was great. She reminded us … that it’s important to maintain a balance and selection.” In fact, followers of fashion say that the more conservative range is likely to become the rage this fall.

Ella, who attends a Catholic school, says her peers have been extremely supportive, adding, “We can be cool and good looking, but you can still be modest at the same time.”

For daring to be decent, Ella is the Noble of the week

Knaves: The beheaders of three children in Baltimore.

Baltimore residents were horrified this week by a crime more expected of members of the Taliban than resident rogues (no matter how long their criminal records). Three children — a 9-year-old girl and two boys, 9 and 10 — were found beheaded in their apartment. The trio of little rascals were often seeing playing together. Neighbors recalled seeing them romping around a nearby willow tree and requesting the number for Chuck E. Cheese’s.

Yesterday, police arrested two relatives of the slain children — Adan Espinosa Canela and Policarpio Espinosa. There is no excuse for killing children, much less in such an unspeakable manner. If found guilty, they should be shown no mercy.

For the monstrous crimes, suspects Canela and Espinosa are the Knaves of the week.

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