Archive for Thursday, July 2, 2009

Letters to the Editor

July 2, 2009

To the editor:

I wanted to share with the community a story involving some very nice people I recently met in Baldwin City. On the evening of Thursday June 11, I was traveling in Kansas when my motorcycle broke down in Baldwin City. Two on-duty Baldwin City Police officers (unfortunately I did not get their names) were helpful in assisting me in moving my bike to a safe area for next day pickup.

Chris Eichhorn stopped and offered his assistance. Chris and Joanne also offered their home for an overnight stay. Although I did not take them up on their offer, Chris provided transportation to where I did stay and then back to my bike the next day. In conversing with Chris, we both found out that we had a lot in common. One would have thought we had known each other all our lives.

Thank you from both myself and my wife for the assistance I received from the above-mentioned individuals. Your help made a bad situation not so bad.

Harold and Christi Patterson

Nevada, Iowa

To the editor:

Currently, the fair trial-free press debate has become a modern issue among court systems, justices, media and the public. Despite the argument to preserve the Sixth Amendment in federal courts, the law banning television cameras in the courtroom should be changed to compromise both the Sixth and First Amendments in order to have timely trials, to educate society and to allow the media to do their job as the watchdogs of the government.

The Supreme Court of the United States argues that allowing television cameras into the courtrooms would lead to a circus-type atmosphere; the cameras would affect a witness’s testimony and jeopardize a justice’s privacy.

Advancements in technology have made cameras unobtrusive. Therefore, they would not create the circus, only film it. The presence of a camera can make witnesses more nervous, but several experiments have been done in the state and federal appellate courts to prove that they do not make a witness’s testimony any less accurate. Also, arguing against justice notoriety is absurd when just about every justice has provided on-the-record interviews with newspapers, magazines and television stations throughout the past decade.

While the United States courts have a primary obligation to protect the fair and equal administration of justice, the public’s understanding of the justice system depends almost entirely on information provided by the media. One of the most important duties of a judge is to balance the competing Amendments and interest among parties, and come to a solution on a federal law.

Jessica Mulvaney

Lawrence

To the editor:

In lieu of the recent State budget cuts involving education, it is important that parents and schools carefully consider what is important to the overall education of the students before rash cut decisions are made. Of course it only makes sense that the focus of education be core academic courses. However, it seems as though one of the first programs to get cut involves fine arts and music and these programs, too, have academic value. In fact, most schools will axe these programs long before any activity or class that revolves around athletics. While athletic programs are also important, they do not have the capacity to enrich the education of the students like fine arts and music.

Although ideally, music should be taught for its own sake, in order to strengthen its place in education, it is important to highlight many of the positive and enriching aspects of it.

Music has been an important part of the culture of civilization since the beginning of mankind. Additionally, music has the capacity to be incorporated into every course offered in education. No other subject has this ability. Furthermore, music also emphasizes the cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning domains. It is a powerful and life-long force in the emotional, social, and expressive part of a child’s life that enhances self-esteem, poise, creativity and aesthetic sensitivity. These are valuable in education and in life. Removing music from a school curriculum would handicap the future generation by depriving it of these important values.

It is imperative that these issues be thoroughly explored before schools make decisions that may ultimately cut music and arts from schools. Even though they do not render as much revenue as athletics, the educational value cannot be measured in revenue.

Trevor Gleason

Baldwin City

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