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Letters, October 15, 2018


Saturday, October 13, 2018
Libraries are important

In Philadelphia, in the 1700s, Benjamin Franklin started library. Only the very well-to-do could afford books. Then, ships could travel from Europe to North America in three months. If one ordered a book from North America, a ship would sail to England and return in six months with your book.

Mr. Franklin asked his rich friends if he could borrow their books and loan them to others for a fee. He promised to pay for any damage or loss. One can readily see how people would treat these valuable items. Many could not read. A scholar would get the newspaper, and read it aloud to all those who gathered around. Those who could read were determined to get as much education as possible (through reading).

Franklin and others believed libraries are important. During the War of 1812, with Great Britain, the enemy burned the capitol, Washington, D.C., including the Library of Congress.

Thomas Jefferson, who had a library of over 9,000 books, sold some to the government to replenish the lost library.

Some come to the library to rest and warm up in the winter. Grade school, high school and college young people use the computers to work on their studies.

Librarians select suggested books of timely interest to the public. The libraries now contain DVDs, videos and CDs, and cassette music, magazines, newspapers, etc.

The children’s section has audio books with pictures to encourage the youth to read.

Libraries do not charge fees for borrowing books, and other materials. Cities and towns and many states help fund the libraries. Also, an occasional rich person might contribute. Federal government helps.

Libraries are important.

Lew LaChance

Greenfield

Be alert to racism in our midst

It’s not that uncommon for a political lawn sign to be stolen or vandalized. But a set of incidents in Montague constitute a racist act that cannot be ignored.

During the recent primary, I noticed that my sign for Francia Wisnewski for state representative was missing from in front of my house in Montague Center. It had been there the night before.

On Tuesday morning, when I reported this to the police, the dispatcher told me that there had been other reports of missing signs, and that someone reported a whole batch of signs down a ravine off Turners Falls Road near the railroad tracks. They were all either Ms. Wisnewski’s signs or “Black Lives Matter” signs.

Ms. Wisnewski was the only person of color running in either the state representative or state senator race, and the inclusion of BLM signs in this spate of vandalism leaves little doubt about the racism behind these acts.

The recent controversy about the Turners Falls High School Indian logo was not only about race, and a lot of good education about race and ethnicity took place. Still, there can now be no denying that there is a racist element in our community that must be exposed and rooted out.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I want to urge everyone to be aware, confront racism when it appears, and talk to your friends and neighbors about this.

Ferd Wulkan

Montague

No to Kavanaugh

It was a mistake to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court whether or not Dr. Ford’s allegations are ultimately proven true. In the hearing, Judge Kavanaugh proved himself to be unabashedly partisan and combative, demonstrating comportment that does not befit such an important appointment.

His childish badgering of senators and his wild assertions of a Democratic conspiracy involving the Clintons already undermine his integrity and call into serious question his capacity to render fair and impartial decisions. Belligerent? Yes. And this time he wasn’t even drunk.

Laurie Rhoades

Montague

Dog shelter thanks community

This fall, the Franklin County community came out in force (and in galoshes) to support the local dog shelter. The Franklin County Regional Dog Shelter’s annual “Mutts in Need” event was held despite rainy weather, but our loyal supporters came anyway.

Thanks to them, the shelter raised more money this year than ever before, making possible another year of food, medical care, training and enrichment for the roughly 240 dogs who will arrive at the shelter in the coming year.

The “Mutts” event featured a barbecue dinner, live music, raffles, a live auction, and the highlight: a parade of dogs, former residents of the shelter who are now the pride and joy of their owners. I can tell you with certainty that the shelter volunteers had tears in their eyes as they watched these dogs, remembering that many had arrived at the shelter underweight, sick, frightened, and in some cases severely neglected and abused. To see them healthy and loved made everyone forget the rain.

We are so grateful to all who attended the event, and to those who supported it through sponsorships and donations of raffle and auction items, food, time, and talent. You’ve made such a difference in the lives of Marci and Sasha and Tigger and Moby and Fiona and Seamus and Buckeye and… Thank you.

Board of Directors

Friends of the Franklin County Regional Dog Shelter

Unintended consequences

It’s called the Law of Unintended Consequences. The liberal media and liberal establishment are mostly responsible for electing Donald Trump as president.

It was the liberal media, after all, that gave him unfettered coverage during his rise in the primaries. It was also the liberal media that projected a Clinton landslide, which suppressed liberal voters and motivated Trump supporters to get to the polls. I know dozens of people who were going to vote for Trump no matter what the pollsters said, whereas, Clinton supporters were lulled into complacency and stayed at home.

So, thanks, liberal media (sarcasm). Of course there were other factors such as Clinton’s own misjudgments and arrogance. For example, the Clinton campaign tied the hands of the Democratic National Committee from efforts to get the vote out.

Now the liberal media is at it again in the case of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The campaign to convince the nation that the Democrats have a chance to take the majority in the Senate (which is highly unlikely) may have influenced those Republicans senators on the fence to pivot towards Judge Kavanaugh in a he-said she-said scenario. Now, the Democratic insistence on a FBI investigation they may have sealed his seat on the court. Barring any new evidence, this gave political coverage to those undecided Republican senators who may have voted against Kavanaugh.

As an independent, I observe both political parties erode the fabric of our nation for their own self interests. Political partisanship is the bane of our existence. I didn’t like it when the Republicans resisted Obama and I don’t like it now. Stop the vitriol and rise above it all.

Frank Twarog

Greenfield

The world is laughing

How many times have we joked about the whole world laughing at us? Well, now they are, LITERALLY!

Linda Cobb

Greenfield