July 14 2010 12:00 AM

A refreshing candidate

While thieves were busy stealing his campaign signs in the cover of democracy, Bob Robinson was hard at work reaffirming the beauty of our political system, one-by-one, knocking on doors with only the help of his grassroots support--no lobbyist influence is welcome in Robinson’s campaign.

Whether you agree or not with Robinson’s politics, voters must respect his ability to do what many others do not, and that is his relentless refusal of donations from lobbyists. Juxtapose this with typical politicians, who will tell you the evils of lobby money on their way to a free lunch with lobbyists.

I, for one, am ready for more candidates like Bob, who are willing to work with a limited volunteer staff, small donations, and union-shop made campaign flyers, shirts, and signs. As a matter of fact, let the thieves know to keep taking those signs — I want to do my part donating to Robinson’s campaign and circulating my money back into the Eaton County economy.

— Jessica Kelton, Lansing

Still a classic

I read with a great deal of interest Bill Castanier’s article ("Controversial or a classic?" 7/7/10) about the ongoing ’classic or controversy’ debate over Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird (this week marked the 50th anniversary of its publishing). There are those who suggest the book is a sugar-coating of Alabama in the 1930s. I don’t think so. What is sugarcoated about a town wanting to lynch an innocent man for a crime he didn’t commit? What is sugar-coated about little kids shouting dialog like "My daddy say’s your daddy’s a nigger lover" and "My daddy says nigger’s ought to hang from the water tower." In fact, the book is pretty harsh stuff when compared to the 1962 Academy Award winning film. While the film is entertaining, it’s PG rating is pretty tame when compared to constant use of the "N" word in the novel.

I was fortunate to have been cast in Riverwalk Theatre’s production of To Kill A Mockingbird. I played the role of Mr. Gilmer (the prosecutor), and I will never forget the dialog in the courtroom scene. It gagged me to recite some ugly language but it also made for great theatre and I felt privileged to be part of the scene.

I would like to think that a 50 yearold-script that continues to be produced and generates passionate debate has stood the test of time. The script encompasses multiple themes: coming of age, tolerance and empathy, fatherhood and hero worship, and the eccentricities of small-town people. It’s also about racism and incest, murder and injustice, fear and ignorance, and the possibility of redemption. Yes, To Kill A Mockingbird was and remains a classic.

— Gary Mitchell, Lansing