Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

June 26, 2014

Letters to the Editor: 06/26/2014

Broad experience

Northern Michigan voters got lucky this year. In Jerry Cannon we have a candidate for our congressional seat with the skills and will to work to end the leadership vacuum in Washington. Jerry’s broad public service experience equips him to build consensus and solve problems. He understands that leadership for our district is about our interests, not those of outside big money donors who have other agendas.

If we elect Jerry, we will have real opportunities to move forward on crucial issues such as our economy, education system and environment. A vote for Jerry is a vote for us.

Mary Jennings

Traverse City

Has the temperament

Do an Internet search on “Grand Traverse County deficit” and you will have lots of results from current news to several years back. Many have tried to correct the problem, yet it lingers.

The voters can provide the only true solution by electing fiscally responsible representatives. That is why I will vote for Bob Johnson for District 7 County Commissioner. Bob is a volunteer with Kingsley schools and holds a doctorate in business administration. Bob has the temperament necessary to build consensus and make the difficult decisions necessary to maintain the proper balance between services and available funding.

Ken Hinton

Kingsley

Postcards not enough

Benzie County citizens are pleased that after reviewing his “Postcard Only” policy, Sheriff Schendel made a compassionate, legal decision permitting letter correspondence between inmates and correspondents.

Lord Byron (1788-1824) stated, “Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.”

Unfortunately, many county jails in Michigan and across the United States enforce “Postcards Only,” despite research substantiating that inmates, who write and receive letters from family and friends, have a lower incidence of recidivism.

Legal precedence reveals this policy is a violation of inmates’ and correspondents’ right to freedom of speech. Former U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote, “When the prison gates slam behind a prisoner, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions … It is the role of the First Amendment and this Court to protect those precious personal rights by which we satisfy such basic yearnings of the human spirit.” (Marinez, 416 U.S. at 428 (Marshall., J, concurring.)

Our forefathers created the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution to protect all citizens from the power of our government.

Kay Bos

Honor

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