Letter of the week

COVID rights

There is a lot of talk about rights lately, and there seems to be a bit of confusion about who has what rights. The Bill of Rights spells out certain rights such as the right to assemble, the freedom of the press, and the right to worship without state interference. Those rights have been held for over 200 years without a great deal of controversy.

But what about other rights? Americans are by nature a bit rebellious. When someone tries to tell us what to do, we get our hackles up. When there are differences of opinion, often we claim our rights. Some of us seem to think that we have the right to drive as fast as we like. Some people think they have the right to force their neighbors to cut their grass. Some hate seat belts. Motorcyclists hate the idea of helmets. COVID restrictions are heartily endorsed by some and resented by others. How can we live in peace with such forces loosed in our society?

This discussion arises because we live in community. If we lived way up in the boonies with no neighbors around, we could have more personal freedom, but when we live in proximity to one another, some sort of agreement must be worked out. That is where the idea of democracy comes in. When we disagree on some area of communal living, we have choices. We can flaunt the mores of our community and bear the consequences. Drive 100 mph and you will answer to the police. Or we can cave in about cutting the grass, follow society’s norms while grumbling about losing our rights.

Or we can try to work to change the system. In a democracy, we can protest; we can assemble; we can complain to the press. We can go door to door and try to convince our neighbors of our position. We can suggest legislation that favors our point of view. Perhaps we will be successful, perhaps not. But at least we have a way of protesting.

When it comes to COVID, I hate staying at home. I hate missing out on hugs. I hate so much about the situation we are in today. But I love that I have the right to complain. I have the right to try to change people’s minds. I have the right to free speech. But I also have the duty to live in community. When I find myself swimming against the current, I need to evaluate how to handle the problem. Perhaps peace in the community is worth more than my conceived rights.

We all must evaluate what “rights” are worth agitating for change and what “rights” I can give up for the sake of community. Whether we like it or not, we really are in this together. What you do in community will affect me, and what I do will affect you.

Eunice Boeringa, Onamia

In support of Dave Keding for Isle City Council

I am writing this letter in support of Dave Keding for Isle City Council. I have known Dave for over 40 years. Dave is an incredibly dedicated husband, father and friend. He has served as a committed, talented, morally- and ethically-driven public servant on both the municipal and county level for over 34 years. Throughout his career, he was an often awarded and recognized law enforcement officer/deputy and supervisor.

Dave has now decided to commit this knowledge and experience to serve the citizens of Isle as your council member. Dave loves the City of Isle and enjoyed developing new acquaintances and friends through the years of both visiting and living in Isle. In doing so, he understands the challenges and opportunities presented to the community. Dave has worked as a member of the Planning and Zoning Committee. He now would like to be of greater service as a member of the city council. Dave has served others since being a young adult servicing the country as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne and throughout his career as a police officer and deputy. He understands the stress of high taxes and the difficulty of these times as people cope with the coronavirus and the frustrations of national politics. Dave knows the issues confronting the Isle community and will use his ultimate gift – Being an attentive and engaged listener – to make sure you, the voter, have a voice at city hall. Please vote for Dave Keding for city council, he will serve you well.

Dave Pecchia, Retired Police Chief Lino Lakes

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