"I shop and do business in Cornelius and am weary of the hostile conditions within the city."

Story missed a tale of redemption

I would like to start off this letter with sincere sympathy to the Stewarts for the terror and fear that I'm sure they went through during this whole traumatizing event ('The ransom that never was,' News-Times, Sept. 7, 2011). I honestly can't imagine being in their shoes, as I am a mother myself.

That being said, I find it a little odd that Dennis Ross's murder and the consequent capture of his murderer was touched on in this article. Even some things were said about Richard Garcia. However, the whereabouts of my uncle Rick (Richard Reichard) were not even touched on.

I guess the News-Times didn't find it relevant that my uncle Rick has turned his life around 100 percent, is an upstanding member of society with a career, is a father and a grandfather, is clean and sober (has been for years) and attends church on a regular basis.

How about the fact that he attended Portland State University and had an accumulated GPA of 3.87, majoring in environmental science and economics? He was also honored enough to meet and shake hands with President Clinton at PSU while receiving several awards from the university.

I don't know what exactly triggered this article being written, since 32 years isn't a huge milestone and I'm sure everyone involved including the Stewarts have moved on with their lives. I know that our family lived through this and suffered as well as the Stewarts; I also know that my uncle did his time and regrets the choices that he made in his past.

Our family is pretty well known in the community and still resides there, and this is a horrible reminder for all involved either directly or indirectly. I find it sad that 32 years later that his younger nieces, nephews and other family members are going to have their name associated and judged about something that they didn't even know about. I feel sorry for uncle Rick, my grandparents, my mom, aunts, uncles and his daughters (my cousins) for this being brought back up.

He was 21 years old when this horrible crime happened which, if you do the math, means he is 53 years old now. What kind of society is this that you can't pat a reformed criminal on the back and be proud that he beat the odds and turned his life around?

I'm going to close by saying that I am proud of you uncle Rick. You have accomplished so much and you are one of the most intelligent people I know.

I don't agree with a lot of the choices that you made in the past, but I'm extremely proud of the man that you became and continue to be. You are a wonderful dad, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, fiancé, friend and example that people can turn their lives around for the better.

Janelle Gilman-Jarrett

Youngsville, LA

Councilors are doing their jobs

We live in a society that cares less and less about service to people while caring more and more about profit. There's nothing wrong with profit in and of itself.

That's how most of us make a living. But massive profit at the expense of others is a different matter. It's an abuse of power for government officials to raise taxes to support higher salaries for their own profit.

Excessive taxation while restricting freedoms and calling it economic development is dishonest public policy. Small communities cannot long survive such practices.

Codes should be business friendly, and there should be fewer vacant buildings as a city grows.

I shop and do business in Cornelius and am weary of the hostile conditions within the city.

These are a few of many reasons I hope Cornelius residents will support keeping Mayor Knight, Councilor Gottwald, and Councilor Minshall on the Cornelius City Council.

Deborah L. Knapp


Actions, not promises, are what matter

The News-Times reminds us that on Sept. 27, Cornelius voters will get a chance to 'keep or oust' 'Team 3.''

The whole Cornelius recall issue seems like a great reminder that citizens don't only care about what candidates aim to do (campaign promises), but we also care about how they do it.

Mayor Neal Knight and city councilors Mari Gottwald and Jamie Minshall handled their issues with city manager Dave Waffle wrong, and the citizens of Cornelius are going to pay for it dearly. The Cornelius special recall election is also a reminder that there are processes available to citizens to make things right. Bring on the ballots!

Janice M. Epstein


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