To the editor:
The Leavenworth Times “leadership” has censored my most recent letter to the editor, signaling the possibility that they no longer are concerned with the appearance of presenting balanced views in the paper.
While they continue to allow and even pay several conservative columnists to write scathing, name-calling columns regularly, they seem to have shut out every liberal or progressive voice.
As a result, the Times no longer truly reflects the community and seems to have become merely a tool for the extremist conservatives who continue to be published.
All the Times has now that shows any sense of community are the local ads, the very brief pieces it publishes over individual businesses and events, and the obituaries.
In the last few years, many concerned community members have asked for investigative articles on several community issues, such as (just to name a few):
- Why the recycling at the transfer station in Lansing now puts paper and plastic (two of the most easily recyclable products) together with tin. Is it because, while we community members believe we’re actually helping the planet, the government has deemed recycling too costly to bother with?
- Why the city clerk’s office continues charging money for providing public information. What made them start charging fees for public information?
- Why USD 453 has said nothing concerning the millions of dollars they will now receive from the state for campus security, even though they duped enough citizens into approving a bond issue that highlighted the need for that very issue. The district will either have supremely beefed up security or there will be millions of dollars hanging in limbo, millions we will all pay for through our property taxes. No wonder the district is now looking to reduce the mill levy.
- Why no one reported the fact that one of our Leavenworth County precincts actually ran out of Democratic ballots during the primary elections.
These are all issues that liberal and progressive citizens usually feel are important. Yet the Times continues to ignore requests to investigate, refusing to do what local newspapers should do: report on local issues.
Why has the Times chosen to go in this negative direction by ignoring government issues that affect us all, especially given the fact that nearly 11,000 people in Leavenworth County are registered Democrats? Even the New York Times’ map of political affiliations shows that Leavenworth is more balanced between the parties than our Times shows.
The letter the Times censored concerned a possible reason why so many conservative women are willing to eliminate all women’s rights to choose what happens to our bodies, leading me to wonder just how much closer the ultra-conservatives in this community will come to suppressing women’s views and voices outright.
As Salman Rushdie, who dared to question authoritarian Muslim rule in the Middle East, once said, “The response of anybody interested in liberty is that we all have a say and the ability to have an argument is exactly what liberty is, even though it may never be resolved. In any authoritarian society, the possessor of power dictates, and if you try and step outside he will come after you.”