Readers write: Battle against graffiti, library value, finding truth

Letters to the editor for the May 15, 2017 weekly magazine.

Tim Hynds/Sioux City Journal/AP
Rosanne Hoss puts books onto a shelf at the Le Mars Public Library's temporary location in the Eagle's Club building, in Le Mars, Iowa. on April 20, 2017.

Battle against graffiti

Thanks for the March 20 People Making a Difference article “Why graffiti doesn’t last long in this town,” which depicted my fellow graffiti removal artist Alan Erickson. Many of us are not as committed as he is. Still, this will reinforce the good feelings of those who only occasionally repaint a local utility box. 

For those wishing to join us, here are a few tips. Wear old clothes. Don’t paint over unpainted bricks; call the property owners about these. Cheap paint can be bought from the “oops” shelf at Home Depot, Lowe’s, or other hardware stores. 

Painting over graffiti is best done early on a Sunday or holiday, preferably in summer with a friend in an old pickup. You don’t have to worry about the traffic as much as you repeatedly stop and paint, and you won’t mess up your clean car. Most important, when you are done, reward yourself with a nice breakfast or cup of coffee.

John Stettler

Dallas

Library value

Regarding the April 14 online article “Why libraries could soon need a national endowment” (CSMonitor.com): My husband and I were just discussing this and the incredible value public libraries offer. If our society really does embrace diversity and an egalitarian attitude, allowing libraries to make more active contributions could be wondrous. Thanks for discussing this issue. Excellent article!

Micheline Ronningen

Happy Valley, Ore.

Finding truth

Regarding the March 26 Monitor’s View, “Trump and the question of truth” (CSMonitor.com): This was well written. It helped me to consider the sources and encouraged me to read outside my “bubble.” I have been guilty of not doing that. I appreciate the tone of this editorial and its emphasis on the ability of “the people” to discern truth. The tone is respectful and encouraging.

Mitzi Brister

Stephenville, Texas

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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.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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