Letters to the Editor: Thanks to the friends, thanks to judges, thanks for Conference USA

Thank retired judges for their service

In the past several months the Greene County Circuit Court has lost several long-serving judges to retirement. These judges collectively had almost 125 years of judicial experience. They came from many different backgrounds: some were prosecutors, some were defense attorneys, and some were in private practice. Some were originally elected, others were appointed under the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan, but they all became great judges.

Their replacements have now been appointed and over time will gain the experience and seasoning that a great judge requires. We are confident that they also will serve their community and their profession with the same distinction.

The public sometimes has a mistaken view of the job that judges do. We ask judges to make tough decisions every day in very complex and sometimes highly charged cases. These decisions are often criticized by the public, the media and even at times by attorneys.

We would like to publicly say thank you to Judges Mike Cordonnier, Tom Mountjoy, Calvin Holden, Jason Brown, Mark Powell and David Jones, who are public servants in the best sense of the word and have served our state, our county and our communities well. We wish them all the best in retirement and would encourage other members of the public, when they see any of these judges, to thank them for their exemplary years of public service. We are a better state for their dedicated service.

Steve Garner, W. Craig Hosmer and Kent Hyde, Springfield

Please stop, Dr. Mohammadkhani

I have read on several occasions that Maryam Mohammadkhani has implied or recently been quoted as saying, "Saving lives is all I've ever done." (Springfield News Leader May 8, 2024). As a retired pathologist I am sure she is aware that Johns Hopkins Medicine defines a pathologist as "a healthcare provider who looks at bodies and body tissues. They also do lab tests. A pathologist helps other providers reach a diagnosis. They are an important member of the healthcare team." Let's be clear: As PART of a healthcare team Dr. Mohammadkhani could help save lives.

Also, she is quoted as saying, "As a doctor ... I have fought to protect and educate children ..." Let's be clear: A medical degree and experience as a pathologist does not give one special insight into the educational, social, and emotional needs of children. That does not qualify her opinion as more important than anyone else's.

Hopefully, she is aware of Micah 6:8: to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

Douglas McNeal, Springfield

A heartfelt thanks from the Library

The Friends of the Library never cease to amaze the Library. This dedicated group of volunteers once again exceeded expectations by raising $209,016.30 at the Spring Book Sale, a 16% increase over their previous record set in Spring 2023.

The Friends of the Library’s dedication to supporting our library is truly admirable, and it was evident in every aspect of the sale. The library staff thank you for the endless hours of work prepping, sorting, boxing, unpacking, and running, which was an amazing experience for everyone involved. The funds raised will undoubtedly make a significant difference in enriching our library's resources and programs, benefiting our entire community. Thank you for your unwavering support and for being such invaluable partners.

Lastly, we thank our generous community for donating materials to the sale. The majority of the sale is made up of donated items. We are continually impressed by the sheer magnitude and quality of donations. This sale reflects all things good in our community.

Jim Schmidt, interim director, Springfield-Greene County Library District

Republicans resort to cheap tricks

Beware of deceptive wording on the GOP's amendment to regulate direct democracy — the petition process — out of existence. This monster will show up on the August ballot. Generally a NO vote is against passage, but be aware deceptive wording could turn that around. Eyes open!

Look at the growth of wealth disparity since the 1970s. ALEC — the American Legislative Exchange Council — and the GOP have employed deceptively worded constitutional and ballot initiatives using a deceived public to pass laws in their favor.

Right-to-Farm and Right-to-Work are prime examples of cheap tricks. RTF was represented as protecting farmer's rights, when actually, it allowed the sale of Missouri farmland to foreign nations — China. It overrode 1972 legislation protecting family farms from foreign takeover and establishing stern environmental boundaries. RTF exempts foreign purchasers from existing environmental regulations so adjoining family farms now are dealing with polluted waterways and carcass dumping. The RTF sales pitch was, "Everyone has the fight to farm" — so simple, but so deceptive.

ALEC's brainchild, Right-to-Work, claimed non-union workers were being forced to pay union dues — a blatant deception. Non-union workers pay agency fees because they benefit from higher wages and better benefits that unions make available. An agency fee is similar to attorney fees paid for representing your interests. It is not forced membership as the GOP implied.

RTW was made law by the GOP super-majority, but was repealed by voters through the initiative petition process. It gives Missouri voters a chance to rein in a wealth-favoring runaway legislature.

Hitler promised big industrialists policies to keep workers under control to gain power. Trump would insist states pass RTW following Hitler's example for labor control.

Think before you vote, American workers, for something evil this way comes.

Jan Lancaster, Springfield

USA! USA! Conference, that is

An even dozen members will be in the conference a year from now with number 12 being the most exciting of all. Missouri State is moving on up.

All Aboard.

A new train of thought is taking Bear Nation into a new sports conference that as indicated by its name has a more significant place on the map. Eleven states will be represented in a considerably more expansive alignment than the Missouri Valley, where a single state, Illinois, was overloaded with four schools. Lincoln may have had a liking for that type of presence in his land but college sports is a long time removed from the 1800s.

Several years have ensued as well since Missouri State won a hard-fought battle for a much-needed name change. No longer having a directional name was an accomplished goal. Advancing into Conference USA allows this university to finally have deserved name stature in a conference that is on a bigger playing field that won't have to borrow teams to even play football on a lower level like the Valley did with multiple Dakota schools.

While higher-visibility football is a natural focus of attention, basketball will benefit too. What had become a one-bid basketball league in the Missouri Valley where a regular season championship had virtually no value in relation to making the NCAA Tournament will soon be history, with a greater potential for future multiple bids in Conference USA, where the ball is likely to bounce to a greater height.

Players in the current NCAA system that is tantamount to annual free agency will continue to move about but a more likely probability for multi-year players staying in a program as well as having longer termed coaches will exist. There is a lot to cheer about. Fill those seats fans.

Mike George, Springfield

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Letters to the Editor: Readers thank retired judges, Conference USA