Readers write: community college; resettling migrants; help for domestic violence survivors

Letters to the editor for the Sept. 28, 2015 weekly magazine.

Sara Miller Llana/staff
the abandoned village of O Penso, in northern Spain, includes four homes and several barns, as well as 100 acres of property. It is on the market for 210,000 euros.

Yes to free community college
Obama’s vision for ‘free’ community college: Lessons from Tennessee” (CSMonitor.com, Sept. 9) highlights the importance of affordable higher education. If states adopted versions of President Obama’s plan for tuition-free community college, the American workforce could be built to the highest levels in the world – especially in advanced manufacturing. This should have been done decades ago. With free community college, the United States would have the most advanced high-tech factories and health-care programs in the world and a highly educated workforce.
Glen W. Spielbauer
Dallas

Find creative ways to resettle migrants
Regarding two One Week articles in the Aug. 31 Monitor Weekly: Wouldn’t it be just wonderful if some of those seeking asylum in Europe (“Denmark hardens stand on migrants”) were able to move into these very villages that sit empty in Spain (“Want to buy a village in Spain?”)? Surely there would be plenty of employment options both in rebuilding the villages and then running them. This truly would be evidence of one country’s abundance meeting another’s need.
Claire McArthur
Hamilton, Scotland

Help for survivors of domestic violence
The July 23 online article “Georgia murder-suicide underscores challenge of domestic violence intervention” (CSMonitor.com) documented the challenges in protecting children from abusers in domestic violence situations. When spouses are abused, they are often financially dependent on the abuser. While it has been shown that the most effective way for the state to protect a child in a spousal violence situation is to protect both the child and the victim, Child Protective Services often lacks resources. There is another option. Civil protective orders offer legal protection by awarding custody to the victim and ordering the abuser to stay away from the victim. Legal aid organizations such as Georgia Legal Services help domestic violence survivors seek child and spousal support, health care, unemployment benefits, and subsidized housing to become independent.
Vicky O. Kimbrell
Georgia Legal Services
Lilburn, Ga.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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