April 3, 2022 Letters to the Editor: Mask editorial disrespectful, RMV must enforce inspections, close Springfield courthouse, etc.

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It was disappointing to read an op-ed that had a valid point, but resulted in the kind of sarcastic commentary you expect from internet trolls. I’m referring to the Republican’s editorial, “Masked theater must end on planes too,” March 30.

Saying that “they should go ahead and mask up with the fanciest and most expensive mask available. Two of them, even if doubling up would make them feel better,” isn’t the kind of comment I’d expect from The Republican editor.

As a previous letter writer reminded you, there are a number of people for whom wearing a mask is a matter of life and death for them or a vulnerable family member.

Does the columnist think they deserve to be laughed at? Where is the line drawn? Is the columnist ridiculing, by writing about the misuse of handicapped parking spaces, individuals who have a handicap sign, but who do not look obviously handicapped?

A valid argument is made by a reasoned and respectful speech. Do not resort to mockery, sarcasm, insults, etc. is a matter of respect for others, but, more importantly, self-respect.

DOROTHY LAKOMA

Westfield

Electric vehicles are helping us change

As for the Sunday March 27 Republican letter, “Electric Vehicles Won’t Work Everywhere For Everyone,” the title, inspired by the writer’s closing comment, is entirely correct. However, no one has ever suggested that electric vehicles (EVs) are suitable for all transportation needs. Also, there is no “push” to get everyone into a VE and no terms of reference have been offered.

Opponents typically cite family vacations across the country as an example of the shortcomings of electric vehicles. It’s true, the lack of charging stations and long charging times can frustrate long-distance travelers, but most driving situations in America aren’t that demanding. A single overnight charge at home could propel many electric vehicles up to 300 miles. This would cover several days of typical commuting, including most accidental trips before another charge is needed.

Scientists and engineers are always working on new technologies for generating and storing energy. Sodium, polymer and other batteries and fuel cell technologies are constantly improving, which can reduce our need to import materials.

As more electric vehicles hit our roads, our energy infrastructure will need to keep up with demand. Many rooftops in my neighborhood, including mine, have solar panels. Wind, waves, hydroelectricity and geothermal energy are other environmentally friendly sources of energy. In the near future, we could continue to generate electricity with fossil fuels. At least centralized power generation can be better monitored and regulated than having millions of individual gas consumers on our roads.

Electric vehicles may not cure climate change, but they can put us on the road to recovery.

DENIS G. BESSETTE

West Springfield

China can win the battle for Ukraine

At this point, Russian President Vladimir Putin regrets not having a Russian Army General like WWII heroes like Georgy Zhukov, Konstantin Rokassovsky, Vasily Chuikov et al. The United States and its allies are sorely lacking an éminence grise like Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on the diplomatic front – so a war of what consequence.

Readers are encouraged to read Kissinger’s Washington Post editorial from March 5, 2014. This article contains a very compelling statement: should be a bridge between them.

Outside of the President of the United States sending Vladimir a Stolypin tie (hangman’s noose) and politicians of all stripes slamming sabers, you have this horrible situation where Vlad is cunning and the rest of the world is waiting for decisive leadership US NATO for a fleeting moment seems to be holding, but there are no guarantees here. They are always ready to accept our largesse and offer some kind of support.

The winner in the end is obviously China. Do you think they could be a bigger threat or is it still Russia, Russia, Russia?

MA WANIEWSKI

Pre-Long East

RMV inspection rules must be applied

The other day while driving, I came across a broken down car on the side of the road. Its front tire was bent under the fender, probably from a tie rod or ball joint. What was troubling was that the inspection sticker was yellow, meaning the car hadn’t been inspected since 2019.

The reason non-participation in inspections is over 15%, creeping towards 20%, is lack of enforcement. That’s millions of dollars uncollected (by the state motor vehicle registry). There are also millions of dollars that are not collected by the stations that do the inspections.

My solution is simple but difficult to implement for small communities: one day a week, a cruiser and two officers, parked on a busy street, could stop cars with an expired sticker. It is a touching violation.

These two agents will quickly work on their interpersonal skills. They will face confused, annoyed, angry and insulted people. They will also meet those who have no registration, no insurance and no license. They may even encounter a real villain where the least of their problems is an inspection sticker.

Conclusion: if you can’t apply it, get rid of it. It’s only everyone’s safety after all.

Mike Valliere

chicopee

Springfield’s legal remedy is simple: close it

Reading in The Republican that Congressman Richard Neal was trying to help people in his district was nothing new. (“Neal pushes court checkup”, The Republican, March 15) The reason was that a federal lawmaker felt compelled to help in what became an embarrassing debacle, the Roderick L. Ireland courthouse, state-run, speaks volumes about the actions, or lack thereof, by our state politicians.

There’s a building in Boston that’s full of state representatives, state senators, and a governor. I’m sure they’ve all heard of the deteriorating conditions at the Springfield Courthouse.

We in Western Massachusetts are used to being short-changed. But it’s not about a new bridge or road improvements. People’s lives are at stake.

If the courthouse was an apartment building, it would have been vacated and boarded up long ago.

The remedy is simple. Close the current courthouse and build a new one. Any other option is short-sighted. For those in the Statehouse who choose to do nothing, let what happens in the future be on your conscience.

JOHN MILBIER JR.

Springfield

Senators should be jailed for Jan. 6 riot

I was appalled by the rudeness of American senses Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Lindsay Graham at the auditions for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. They constantly interrupted her and wouldn’t let her answer a question.

They constantly harassed her about the supposedly lenient sentences she gave to those accused of child pornography. They never mentioned that it is in line with 80% of the sentences handed down by judges in general for this offence.

It appeared that they were taking the opportunity to speak to their base, the conservative Christians, to show how pro-law and order they were. If they are truly pro-law and order, they should send themselves straight to jail for their role in the January 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol. Many crimes were committed that day for which they are responsible. So far, the rioters are getting away with minor penalties. Their main excuse is that President Donald Trump told them to. They were cheated. It’s a poor excuse. They were lackeys following a madman.

Cruz, Hawley and Graham want tougher sentences from judges like Judge Jackson. They may be the recipients of these harsh penalties when the House Select Committee completes investigations. They are also expected to be responsible for part of the $30 million cost to repair the building. Taxpayers should not have to pay for their damages. With Trump they planned the insurrection and they should pay cash and jail.

Judge Brown Jackson so outclasses these Trumpers. It is beyond pallor.

MALITA BROWN

Wilbraham

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