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Letters for May 17, 2022

Stop Putin in Ukraine

Isn’t there some way that millions of people around the world can penetrate all email and gmail and social media sites in Russia and let Russians citizens know what catastrophic killings Putin is commiting in Ukraine?

I have read about genius hackers around the world that can penetrate all security blocks. I call upon them to join the fight in the name of humanity. I will recognize their talent if they will join the fight to save innocent lives of men, women and children. We must all call an end to the use of bombs, rockets, bullets and torture, regardless of religious beliefs.

The world must come together in the name of all that the history of human life on Earth has taught us.

The murder of innocent people violates the beliefs of every religion alive on this planet. And the beliefs of the greatest philosophers who taught us that the human mind is the most beautiful gift that God has given us.

James Johnson

Clark Fork

Let’s end lifetime supervision

It was with sadness that I read the May 7 article (“Man, 21, receives 12 years for molesting four girls”) concerning Mnason Rancourt who was sentenced to 12 years of incarceration and lifetime community custody which is also referred to as lifetime supervision.

Our current sentencing rules were created in the 80s using the assumption people are incapable of change. It’s time to reassess. Do we really believe Rancourt who is 21 will remain the same person decades from now?

Under our current laws, a person sentenced to lifetime supervision has no pathway off. This means we will be paying the Department of Corrections to monitor Rancourt when he is released in his early 30s until his death no matter his behavior.

Nearly 1,900 people in the community are being monitored due to a lifetime supervision sentence, and since there is no path off, that number grows by hundreds each year as additional people are released from prison. Is this expense a good use of our limited resources? A 2020 report by the PEW foundation concerning supervision concludes long periods of supervision do not increase public safety.

Let’s be smart with our limited resources. We know people can change. Once a person has successfully reintegrated into the community, we do not need to monitor them. Let’s eliminate lifetime supervision and create a path off for those currently sentenced to it. The savings will be enormous and can be reallocated for victim and reentry services, two activities known to improve public safety.

Joanne Smieja


Just skip over it

Here’s an idea, J.E. Hill (“Consider a change,” April 24): Just don’t read Sue Lani Madsen’s column. Nobody’s forcing you (I surmise). One might disagree with her opinion, and that’s one of the great things about our country. Everyone is allowed to express themselves, with a few exceptions— like falsely yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater, for example.

Actually, it’s a good idea to read differing points of view, and to keep an open mind while doing so. This practice won’t necessarily change one’s opinion, but it’s a step in the direction of empathy. What a concept — to have a civilized discussion with one another. Another idea: Listen to others, and be respectful. You may disagree, but there’s no need to dis.

Leslie Anne Smith


Ray Charles

I was dismayed to learn that Ray Charles is just now being inducted

into the Country Music Hall of Fame!

This beloved, uniquely American artist passed away nearly two decades ago.

“Brother Ray,” as he preferred to be called, had 92 hit country songs between 1959-1986.

Many of these singles topped the charts over half a century ago!

And he garnered five gold albums and one platinum in his career.

I personally view the fact that Ray Charles wasn’t awarded this recognition,

alive and on stage, a failure on the part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum!

Joseph Booth


Studded tires

It it shocking how many irresponsible disrespectful car owners continue to grind their way around our dry Spokane streets with their studded winter tires inflicting unnecessary street damage with every turn of the wheel. We are weeks beyond the mandatory date for removal of these road busters, yet clueless people carry on wasting valuable road maintenance resources with their behaviors. Do our police officers ever cite these law breakers?

James Schoepflin


Banned books

RE: “Nampa school board bans 23 books from school libraries” (May 12).

Now that they have the reading list, and knowing how creative teens are, I suspect those 23 books will be circulating among Nampa teens in a nano-second.

Michael Moore

Liberty Lake

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