To the editor: On Sept. 16, I was chosen along with other World War II Veterans to go to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. with the Honor Flight Program. It was a wonderful experience.
Then in October, I read in The Press where the Lake School students had contributed over $4,500 to the Honor Flight Program and participated in the October Honor Flight ceremony. I expressed my appreciation to Tammy Tapley, Director of Students Activities at Lake School. Tammy, in turn, asked me to attend a Veterans Day presentation, along with Walbridge VFW Post 9963. I took the occasion to thank the students of Lake School in three separate activities for their participation and contribution to this great cause for the World War II veterans.
I would like to take this opportunity again to thank Tammy Tapley, Superintendent Jim Witt, Jessie Kubuski, the Walbridge VFW Post 9963, and the Women’s and Men’s Auxiliary for a very special and memorable Veterans Day in 2009 at Lake Schools.
Lake High School Class of 1942
To the editor: I read Al Kapustar’s letter to the editor in your Dec. 7 edition of The Press. His opinions, name calling, and perspectives were extreme; however I am thankful he has the freedom to express his opinions. To this freedom, I would like to express another opinion and correct a statement made in Mr. Kapustar’s letter.
His statement, “...our Constitution calls for a separation of church and state...” is false and inaccurate in meaning and intent. The phrase is not in the Constitution. That phrase actually comes from a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptist Association, which was concerned about an official, or established denominational preference of the new nation. Jefferson was trying to reassure the worried Baptists that no such official religion would be ordained for our country.
The first amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The First Amendment does not establish a separation of church and state, but states Congress cannot set up an official church or state religion. Furthermore, Congress will not prohibit any person from freely exercising the religious beliefs of their own conscience. This restriction on the government’s power over private citizen’s beliefs does not mean all aspects of faith should be kept from the function of governments. Remember, the authors of the Constitution were still feeling the sting of a government controlled religion on the other side of the ocean.
The idea was not to keep the church out of the state, but to keep the state out of the church. By evidence of the early leaders of our country, we can recognize their faith influencing their decisions and the direction of this country without any outcry or Constitutional problems.
If Mr. Kapustar is concerned over people’s faith getting in the way of how they perform their job if elected to a government position, then Mr. Kapustar should recognize his control over this elected position by casting his vote. He also has the option to pray for his government and those elected. His right to pray for them, or not to pray for them, is protected by the Constitution.
To the editor: I recently witnessed two incidents that could have had fatal outcomes. While driving past Fassett Middle School when school was letting out, two different drivers on different days stopped their cars on Starr Avenue and motioned for children to cross the road outside of the crosswalks. The children were not in the crosswalks and the drivers were totally unaware that they were motioning the children to cross into oncoming traffic.
Although the intentions may have been well intended, please do not motion children to cross in front of you and into the paths of other vehicles. Let the children properly cross the street at the crosswalks where appropriate signals are located.
A similar situation on Western Avenue in Toledo caused the death of two young girls a few years earlier. The driver stopped in the middle of road and motioned for the young girls to cross outside of the crosswalks. The girls were struck and killed by another vehicle.
Children assume that by your stopping and motioning them that the path is clear. A future tragedy can be avoided by using common sense.
Keith W. Carr
To the editor: I am writing to clear up a common misconception propagated last week by Al Kapustar in his letter to the editor.
The phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution. In all actuality, this phrase was first used in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists in 1802. He was assuring them the state would stay out of the church's business.
As you may recall, this is a main reason why the Puritans left England and ultimately ended up in “The New World.” The churches in a young America were concerned that the government would try to regulate them and force them into a “State church” such as the Church of England.
This phrase was never intended to keep religious beliefs out of the government. In fact, America as a whole is built on the freedom for people to believe what they choose and to make their decisions based on those beliefs. You cannot separate people’s belief system and their reasoning in the decision-making process, to do so is asking them to deny who they are at their core. This is why a person's religion is important in the election process. A candidate that shares my religious beliefs is more likely to cast their vote in the way that I would like them to. This is not just a Republican or Democrat tendency but also a human one.
So, please realize the next time “separation of church and state” is used, that the origination and true meaning is to keep the government out of the affairs of the people.
Hard to imagine
To the editor: With pictures of glaciers melting and falling into the oceans, and pictures of snow-covered mountaintops from years ago that have disappeared, I can hardly imagine anyone in their right mind thinking that global warming is a hoax.
And ask somebody who doesn’t have healthcare about the need for reform.
Protection vs. control
To the editor: I would like to comment on a recent break-in in the village of Walbridge. This time it was a high-ranking elected official whose home was involved.
Back in February, I brought to the attention of the mayor and council about contracting our police department to Lake Township and save this community well over $100,000 a year and get a department that can give us many more services than what the village could afford.
I was criticized by the mayor and his then-president of council, Ron Liwo, who resigned suddenly this past summer. He said, “I’m not sure if it’s the role of a resident to go out into the community and get proposals.” The proposal listed numerous advantages that far surpass anything that we now have. I have a copy of this proposal if any resident would care to read it.
Please call me and I will be more than happy to give you a copy and then you can see the benefits of contracting our police department out. The mayor also said, “that he and his council were dead-set against contracting for police services with Lake Township.” He also said that “it’s important that this village maintain a full-time staff and have 24/7 coverage for our residents and businesses.”
I guess he never read the proposal cause it clearly stated in the very first paragraph that this village would get 24/7 coverage plus all the resources of a much more experienced police department with officers that stay on the job year after year.
Yet during that same council meeting when I brought this proposal to them in a public meeting, I was thanked by council member Ed Kolanko for “doing the leg work” and it would be irresponsible not to look into it.
Chief Mark Hummer of Lake Township worked on that proposal and told me he thought the village and the township could work out a contract that would save this village more money.
I’m a taxpayer and ex-member of council of this village and I have lived here for the past 50 years. My love for this village will never end. This mayor and council work for us and how they spend our money is certainly our business. I understand our police department went to Lake Township and asked the detective to process the break-in crime scene – again services that we could have the luxury of having. The village was told by Lake Township to seek the help from the Bureau of Criminal Identification. I wonder how this mayor feels now about having all the services that this most advanced Lake Township Police Department could have provided to the village. The mayor was quoted as saying this would limit his control. The residents are not interested in dictatorship, but want only the best protection possible.
Part of the problem
To the editor: I don’t know what Kool-Aid the letter writer from Oregon was drinking when he wrote his letter on “A myopic view” last week. Unless he hasn’t watched NBC since Andy Griffith days, how he could call GE and NBC and MSNBC Republican-controlled companies is a mystery to me. Maybe he should watch Hardball, Keith Olberman, The Ed Show and the NBC Nightly News. They are as far left as FOX is far right.
I would be interested to know what his reaction would have been had Newsweek done an article on President Obama and put an obviously distorted and journalistically disingenuous picture on the cover, he would have been screaming about the Republican controlled magazine.
He complains of the Republican myopic view of the world – it is their way or not at all – but by reading his letter, it is plain he has the same myopia but from the other side. If he is pleased with Newsweek publishing a totally inappropriate picture of Sarah Palin and to him this is acceptable political discourse, then he is the problem with this country.
Differ if you must, but do it in the realm of debating of ideals and philosophical differences using civil discourse instead of taking glee with someone torn down by vicious thoughtless attacks.
Action needed now
To the editor: While many Republicans are predicting an increase in energy costs if we pass the cap and trade legislation, they are missing the big picture. In fact, the legislation will save exponentially more money than it will cost, as was seen with the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.
Predicted to cost $5.7 billion, the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, which used a cap and trade market system, turned out to cost just $1.6 billion to cut more than 4 million tons of sulfur dioxide. But savings in health care costs were found to be as much as $70 billion dollars, according to a 2003 EPA study. That is a savings of 43 dollars for every dollar spent.
With many scientists warning that climate change threatens the lives of billions of people this century, and could accelerate out of control unless we cap and reduce emissions very fast, the savings will likely be vastly greater with investments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Many larger cities in the United States have unsafe air pollution that is increasing with the temperatures that are a precursor to smog. By switching from dirty coal to clean solar and wind energy, air pollution will be reduced significantly.
Burning coal kills an estimated 24,000 people each year in the United States from particulate air pollution according to the American Lung Association. This is equivalent to eight Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack deaths every year.
People do not see the deaths in one dramatic event, and are not mobilized to action as happened with the Sept. 11 attacks. But they are real, as is the threat of climate change to our national security that prompted the U.S. Pentagon to call global warming a greater risk to national security than terrorism in a 2004 report.
And that is just burning coal. The cap and trade legislation will also reduce the burning of oil, and cut down on the 700 billion dollars that we spend every year to buy petroleum from other countries. Electric cars and trains charged with solar and wind generated energy will be pollution-free.
Having seen the impacts of climate change in the Arctic, and studied the horrific predictions if we continue on our current path, I implore citizens to get behind the cap and trade legislation. The science proving climate change is the most documented of any issue in history. We must take action, before it is too late.
Editors note: Kister is the Author of “Arctic Quest: Odyssey Through a Threatened Wilderness”; “Arctic Melting: How Climate Change is Destroying One of the World’s Largest Wilderness Areas” and “Against All Odds: The Struggle to Save The Ridges.” He is also the producer of the 2006 film, “Caribou People.”