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Letters to the Editor

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Reading, learning

Ann Mullen’s article ("Living Between the Lines," MT, Nov. 22-28) captured the essence of the adult learner. Darline’s story conveyed the emotion and hope that is felt by many of our learners. Illiteracy in this country is real. I believe your article will raise the awareness of many readers. It is my hope that everyone who reads this article will pass on the message. We must recognize the problem exists and be a lamp of hope for those in need. —Cheryl R. Birks, acting Executive Director/Program Director, Literacy Volunteers of America, Detroit

Another option

The literacy story was truly moving. I admire the courage of Darline Carter and the dedication of her Literacy Volunteers of America tutor. As a reading tutor in Detroit for many years (now a volunteer in Ferndale), I understand how gratifying it is when real progress is made.

Your statistics and the LVA waiting list indicate that many individuals in need of instruction may not be aware of the services available. At Ferndale Adult Education (248-586-8900), for example, classes are offered in basic reading and math with expert, caring teachers, plus phonics-based tutoring and counseling. Students at every level are welcomed with enthusiasm and respect.

Clearly, people with minimal reading skills who manage their lives in this print-oriented world have demonstrated that they are extremely capable and innovative, but are simply lacking a vital tool. It is exciting to help them fulfill their true potential.

Perhaps your readers are aware of such individuals and can direct them to the assistance they are seeking. Thank you, MT, for spotlighting the problem and supporting LVA and all local literacy programs. —Patricia L. Lent, patlent@juno.com, Royal Oak

Rights fight

As co-chair of ROAR (Royal Oak Association for Rights) I was thrilled to see Jack Lessenberry’s article ("What’s the big hurry," MT, Nov. 29-Dec. 5). Mayor Cowan and Commissioners Lanfear, Webster and Kuhn voted as they did so they don't have to take a stand. Kuhn said he supported the ordinance, but not standing up for what he supposedly believes is, as you say, spineless. I cannot believe Lanfear sat there and said she didn't know how to define "discrimination." Webster has already left the best interests of our city behind and is clearly more concerned with his political future. And Mayor Coward, er, I mean Mayor Cowan — there is no understanding his pitiful attempt to explain his unwillingness to take a position.

I am now even more motivated to see this ordinance become a reality. I am equally motivated to see that the people who sit on the Royal Oak Commission care about our entire community — not just their own special agenda. I will work hard to see that people are elected who will have the courage to make tough decisions. And I will work twice as hard to see that people who don't never get elected in this city again. —Leslie Ann Thompson, Royal Oak

Chance to achieve

It is a tenet of every catechism that God created man in his image and likeness; our society and culture take that as a given. But through circumstances, environment or other factors, some become more equal than others.

Discrimination is not new. All the laws on the books today will not deter discrimination — but they will allow people another step up the ladder and give them a fighting chance to achieve their ultimate potentials. It’s time we put discrimination based on sexual orientation behind us. Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

I don’t believe the human rights ordinance will solve the problems gay men and women face, but it will give people more legal redress to find their place in this republic.

In Royal Oak, we now have the opportunity to stand tall. Which one of you commissioners is going to bring this resolution back to the table for reconsideration and do the right thing? —Tom Violante Sr., Royal Oak

Erratum

A picture of pianist Kenn Cox which recently appeared in What’s Happening (MT, Nov. 29-Dec. 5) should have been credited to Barbara Barefield.

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