Readers write: Unique approach to urban renewal, chatting about books, salute to Steve, tribute to Billy Graham, gun violence reaction, change for ‘colonias’

Letters to the editor for the May 14, 2018 weekly magazine.

Sven Hoppe/AP
A special train of the Deutsche Bahn (DB) railway company departs towards Berlin at the central station in Munich, Germany on Dec. 8 2017.

Unique approach to urban renewal

The March 12 OneWeek story “Urban renewal, conservative style” was a great article. As a former city planner involved in many urban renewal and redevelopment projects, I was intrigued by the unique approach and how it has been successful. I hope you will give this research more publicity. 

I am also excited to see the investment in education facilities. People are willing to raise taxes when they know they will see the results, be able to use the facilities, and have a voice in choosing them.

Joy Anne Mee

Phoenix

Chatting about books

I loved the Feb. 19 Books article “Europe, what are you reading?” Discussing books with strangers is a terrific way to get “into the mind” of a person from a different culture. 

The conversation begins with a limited but intellectually stimulating premise. From that starting point, the conversation usually wanders far and wide, with delightful detours and dead ends. You’ll have the pleasure of intellectual exchange and new insights about your travel companion and most likely yourself!

Rusty Wyrick

Ghivizzano, Italy

Salute to Steve

Regarding the Feb. 26 Home Forum essay, “Why I’m so grateful to Steve”: The headline on the website was intriguing. As a single, senior lady who just fixed a clogged sink drain by myself (a first-time effort), I salute any glowing reports of those who can fix things around the house, be it a small task or daunting. Thanks be for the Steves of this world!

Margaret Guthrie

Philadelphia

Tribute to Billy Graham

The Feb. 21 CSMonitor.com article “Billy Graham: a counselor of presidents who eschewed politics” was such an informative and respectful tribute to someone who shared the love of Christ with the world with great courage.

Gail Kuriger

Skaneateles, N.Y.

Gun violence reaction

The March 5 editorial “An antidote to despair over yet another mass shooting” caused a shift in thought for me: not to dwell on gun violence as a symptom of a sick society and to be grateful for the progress that has been made by humanity. For this I am grateful to the Monitor. Thank you.

Cynthia Howland

Brunswick, Maine

Change for ‘colonias’

We just returned from a road trip from Las Vegas to Donna, Texas, which is a bustling commercial center. We passed mile after mile of rural abandonment and poverty – not only in Texas – so it is remarkable that the Feb. 26 issue brought colonias to the public’s attention. As the “richest nation on earth,” we cannot continue to close one eye to third-world housing conditions and label it self-reliance in a conservative state. The state and federal government should work with colonia residents to encourage their efforts, undertaken despite limited resources, and not sit back and exploit their talent and initiative.

Anna Lisa Goldschen

Henderson, Nev.

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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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