Wasting our time

Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger’s passionate support of House Bill 90 deserves comment. This bill would require legislative approval to remove a historical statue from public property. Ehlinger is quoted as saying, “Everything some of these people are trying to do is absolutely despicable, trying to change the names of military bases, trying to change the face of the South. ... ”

I don’t support mobs tearing down statues or ransacking the Capitol, but I wonder why we should have military bases named after Confederate generals. Did these men not try to destroy our nation? Did their efforts not result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of American citizens? Did they not do this to maintain the institution of slavery?

The “face of the South” was changed when these statues were erected and bases named, years after Reconstruction. They were done when Black citizens had no political voice in the South due to violent suppression and terror. These monuments enshrine white supremacy and ignore traitorous acts.

Today Black people do have a political voice and demand that monuments to their oppressors be removed, and that symbols of their oppression such as the Confederate flag be taken from public property.

What I find despicable is when our elected legislators waste time on such bills based on historical ignorance and knee jerk reactions rather than improving our state’s health care, education and infrastructure.

Robert Johnson


Teaching life’s lessons

I would like to express my thanks to the Lewiston High School girls’ basketball staff for their efforts in a successful season.

Although many might not have viewed the season as a success based on wins and losses, however, there is a lot more to success than just winning. Success is also achieved by learning the skills and habits necessary to achieve your goals. Athletics provide a great opportunity to learn valuable lessons in the areas of goal-setting, sacrifice, hard work, teamwork, success and failure. Through the efforts of the coaching staff, I believe these life lessons are being delivered and learned.

Too often we allow our young people to pass on through their developing years without challenges and hardship. Our children need to learn the challenges that go with hard work, losing and working to get better. Sometimes you need to fail in order to eventually succeed. Our kids need to have coaches who will hold them accountable and, at times, be hard on them. Life will throw them the same challenges, so learning how to work through this with leadership that is working to see them be successful is invaluable.

This extends to other extracurricular activities too, like 4-H, FFA, DECA, band and choir, to name a few. Thank you to all of our teachers, coaches, supervisors and others who are helping to develop our young people for the future. Unfortunately, your energy, time and sacrifice often go unnoticed and unrecognized.

Michael G. Collins

Mayor of Lewiston


Lacking in character

Recently, I received an anonymous letter from a neighbor. This missive arrived the very day a local law enforcement agent visited me to share an anonymous complaint.

The correspondence presented to me by the local official was a photocopy of the very letter delivered to my mailbox, sans a personal note authored by the anonymous complainer who wrote to attack how I arrange municipal garbage receptacles and a few planting pots in front of my house.

While the formal point of the complaint specified, by highlighting text printed from city documentation, that the placement of these containers violated city policy, the anonymous writer also hand wrote an accusation of lack of pride on my part for keeping my yard in ways he does not like.

To the author of this judgment, I say your opinion is of no account.

You and anyone who shares your view do not exemplify any standard of meaning, civic or otherwise. People who lack the courage of their convictions must resort to anonymous taunts because they lack character.

Greg Matthews