Traverse City Record-Eagle

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May 23, 2013

Letters to the Editor: 05/23/2013

Proud of veterans

Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander Richard Thibeau says that the Veterans for Peace is a “criminal organization” because their past president “is a female proud of her arrest record.”

He failed to mention that Leah Bolger, past president of Veterans for Peace, retired from the Navy with the rank of Commander after 20 years of service. She was arrested for “unlawful conduct” while engaged in peaceful protest.

Apparently, unlike Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Jesus Christ and millions of others throughout history, Mr. Thibeau holds no convictions he deems worthy of arrest, including the First Amendment or the Bill Of Rights.

Mr. Thibeau’s ignorant comments are not shared by all members of the VFW. As a member of both organizations, I am proud of the principles upheld by Veterans for Peace.

James A. Kulczyk

Traverse City

Allow flexibility

I am writing in reaction to the front page headline story in the May 21 edition, “Family of woman killed by drunken driver ... “ My first reaction is that three to 15 years is not long enough. My more rational, considered reaction is, “What does prison accomplish for this family?” Nothing. True, putting Thomas Altobelli in prison keeps him from driving drunk while he is incarcerated. But it does nothing for this family.

Our judges are restricted by sentencing guidelines, but I propose that we loosen (or eliminate?) those chains, to allow more flexibility. Altobelli decided to drive drunk, and the consequences of that choice will be felt more by this family, than by him, under the present scheme.

Instead, we should give a judge the discretion to fashion a sentence that provides some recompense to the family, and reduces the expense to the taxpayers. Perhaps two years in prison followed by supervised release, mandatory employment with part of his wages going directly into a fund established for the support and education of the children of his victim? The supervision, to keep him working, and not drinking, should continue for a very long time.

Gary Allen Gardner

Traverse City

The writer is an attorney.

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