Readers' voice

Letter to the editor:
    Several evenings ago, my friend received a phone call from a lady asking her if she planned to vote for Beth Griffin for state representative. She then told her how important education is to Beth, and one of her priorities on her agenda.
    When my friend shared this with me, I found it interesting that Beth Griffin had voted for Senate Bill 574. Senate Bill 574 requires revenue extracted by future “regional enhancement” property taxes that are levied by intermediate school districts and distributed to conventional public school districts to be also shared with public school charters within the ISD. It also lets the ISD itself get some of the money.
    This Bill 574 was passed on January 24, 2018 and signed into law by Governor Snyder February  12, 2018.
    This means charter schools (80 percent of these schools in Michigan are for profit) will benefit from taxpayers’ dollars. Does it make sense to divert any of our tax dollars to those that do and plan to make a profit educating our children?
    Kaye Johnson
    Paw Paw


To the editor -
    Jeanne and I would like to thank the Lawton Lions Club for honoring our family last week. A.B. Jones was one of the first people to bring grapes to southwest Michigan in 1868, or 150 years ago. He was my great-grandfather and the tradition has continued on through the Stainton, Jones, and Cronenwett families yet today.
    I am proud of my heritage, past and present.
    I would also like to thank Rodney Reid for helping me find a lot of history in the museum. You will be hearing more about this in the future.
    The Cronenwett Family


To the editor:
    I wanted to write you in reference to the controversy over Paw Paw High School’s nickname, “Redskins.”  In particular, since I was active in the similar controversy in Marshall a few years ago, I believe I might have something relevant to say.
    At the time the Marshall controversy arose, I was a member of the Marshall Ministerial Association (I am the retired pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church in Marshall). The Ministerial Asso-ciation was very active in the controversy, at the instigation, oddly, of its most conservative member.  The basic thinking of the group came to be: “If a Christian, or any person of good will, finds out that what they have been doing innocently has hurt another group of human beings, they will want, choose, to stop doing that.”   There was no inference that the people of Marshall had been racist because they adopted the nickname; it was just that, having discovered that people were being hurt by it, they would want to stop.
    (I should mention that the term “redskin” was originally applied, not to the skin color of Native Americans, but to their scalps,which could be collected and redeemed for money in some areas; it was considered highly insulting, not to mention demeaning to their culture.)
    The upshot of it all was that the nickname was changed, with substantial input from the current student body, to “redhawks,” offensive to none, and there have been no further controversies over the change.  
    People, and high school athletic names, can change.
    Leonard J. Brinkmoeller
    Paw Paw


Dear Readers,
    Two years ago, then-President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court. Senate Republicans refused to even vote on whether or not to confirm Garland, despite the fact that he seemed to be as honest and as straight forward as they come.
    Now, Donald Trump, who is probably psychologically unfit to serve as President in the first place, has nominated Brett Kavanaugh, a man who has been accused of sexual assault. These same Republican senators are now trying to rush to get this man confirmed, without even wanting to take the time to gather all of the facts.
    What did Merrick Garland ever do that would make these people not even want to give him the courtesy of an up or down vote? Yet, these same senators are now trying to bulldoze through the confirmation of someone who could be guilty of a serious crime? Trump says he “feels badly” for Kavanaugh and that Kavanaugh deserves better. The man I feel badly for is Merrick Garland. He deserved much better.
    Has the Republican Party, once a proud party, championed by such great Americans as Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Gerald Ford, become so dysfunctional that they now consider being nominated by someone of the opposing party to be a worse crime than sexual assault? Have the leaders of that party reached the point where they feel that blindly following their rigid ideology is more important than doing what is just and what is right? Have the leaders of that party reached the point where they now feel that catering to the whims of a narcissistic, divisive president is more important than doing what is best for our country? These are important questions that we need to ask ourselves between now and November 6th.
    Harley Pierce, Jr.
    Paw Paw


The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes
32280 E. Red Arrow Hwy. • P.O. Box 129
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-5080

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