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Your Views: Forget blame; cast vote for a hero
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I, along with many others, are greatly concerned about the upcoming presidential election. I started voting in the early 50s and was taught early on that it was my duty as an American citizen to get out and vote and help put the person who would be best for our country in office.

I am 72 years old, and over the past 50 years I guess I have voted as many times for a Democrat as I have for a Republican. It all depended on who I thought would be the most honest person to serve our city, county, state or country.

In the last several weeks, I and many others have lost quite a large portion of our retirement savings. I cannot blame this on President Bush, or even President Clinton. I blame most of the problem with my loss of retirement funds on our useless U.S. Congress.

I know I cannot live long enough to recoup this loss. Neither do I believe that either one of the two who are now running for president can do much to correct my problem during my lifetime. So my vote for president will go to the one who is a true American hero who dearly loves his country, one whom my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren can feel safe about when they go to bed each night knowing that person is in the White House.

For the sake of this article, it does not matter whether I am Democrat or Republican. It matters only that I cast my one vote for a real American in whom I trust.

I cannot vote for someone to fill the highest office in the country who has a questionable past, who was a community organizer, who only served two years as a U.S. senator, and who associated with people who did not like our American way of life. Voting for someone like that would be a cowardly despicable act. I should expect no less than to be disowned by my family, shunned by my friends and be branded a traitor by my countrymen.

Lamar Wilbanks

Restore Chicopee water tower or take it down
How sad to see the Chicopee water tower in such a state of disrepair. Those of us who have known that water tower our entire lives would like to see the property owners either paint it or (reverently) take it down. Would someone dismantle it for the materials?

In addition to being a shameful eyesore, it's got to be a danger to those around it. What happens when the rust gives away and the storage portion of the tower falls to the ground and rolls out into the highway? Perhaps the property would sell faster and for more if the tower were removed?

Those of us who have known and loved Chicopee our entire lives realize that the new owners of the Chicopee property have no allegiance to its history nor compassion for those who have lived that history. It just seems like the right thing to do. Either paint the tower or take it down.

Peggy M. Turk

Religion used to explain the true evolution of universe
This is in response to Joan King's extremely confusing and seemingly out of character effort to inject "God" (and hence religion) into the beginning of the universe and the subsequent evolution of life and humans. All major religions are based on the mythological concoctions of ancient, primitive people such as the Hebrews, prior to any scientific explanations of our origins.

Joan says that at the beginning "something happened" which is as close to recognizing the big bang theory as she gets. Even though the universe may be expanding and contracting over the eons, we exist only because the universe is currently expanding.

Once set in motion, the expanding universe is subject only to nature and change. This is why people, including Joan, wonder why "God" allows natural disasters, diseases and the multitude of other ills to which mankind is subjected when it is simply the universe running its course or evolving.

For a person so adamant about preventing the teaching of intelligent design in our schools and who is obviously a proponent of evolution, the statement that evolution is "profoundly religious because it says we are all related" seems ridiculous.

Huh? Yes, we all evolved from early humanoids in Africa and subsequently populated the entire Earth, but what does that have to do with religion?

Another fallacy, promoted by religions, is that we are the only intelligent beings in this vast universe when it is asinine to reject the possibility of other intelligent life evolving in all this vastness much as we did. Surely, somewhere and perhaps in many galaxies, there are planets with conditions similar to ours and conducive to the origin of life and the evolution of beings pondering the same questions as to their origins and that of the universe.

Jim Scharnagel