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Comments from readers at

March 17, 2017 at 4 a.m.
Updated March 17, 2017 at 10:17 a.m.

Conversations about the news get lively at, where commenters are encouraged to weigh in on stories via Facebook. Here’s a sampling of some recent comments:

Statewide texting ban

Regarding “Texas House passes statewide ban on texting while driving,” Wednesday:

“I hope this passes. Then LPD needs to start stopping people in Longview for doing this daily. Hope they have to pay a steep fine.”

— Lyle Vogt

“I’m glad they passed this because they’re putting others’ lives in danger while being on their phones and texting while driving. People probably still won’t listen just like they do with drinking and driving. People just sometimes need to learn the hard way by giving them tickets or throwing their butts in jail.”

— Rachel Streefkerk

“Yes, it should be against the law everywhere but it is up to individual states. I certainly do not want Big Brother involved. Those who text and drive and cause an accident will be sorry they did when a hungry lawyer gets their phone records for use in a lawsuit.”

— Stephen Lamb

“The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. One out of every four car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving. Your right to text or play games while driving ends where my safety begins. Texting while driving is not a rational choice.”

— Ted Ferguson

Homeless task force

Regarding “Longview mayor: Homelessness meeting to be behind closed doors,” Thursday:

“The mere fact that it’s closed-door tells me they’re going to go with a heavy-handed method and attempt to scour the woods and arrest those living in them as well as drive the majority of homeless out of Longview.”

— Zoe Butcher

“Zoe, I see your point and am hoping that this task force is made up of people who want to help homelessness, not protect the woods. I suspect it will be known once the people chosen are made public.”

— Sandi Sach

“Just drive on up to the City Council meeting at City Hall and see who is going in. Why is this such a ‘secret?’ Good grief ! Most of these ‘homeless’ people are mentally ill. If we really cared about this the great state of Texas would not be cutting the budget to help these people.”

— Colleen Cayard Kelly

“News-Journal, please help me understand your thinking. This would be the same if a group of teachers with Longview ISD (public funded entity) wanted to form a task force to address low reading scores. You seem to think they are subject to the Open Meetings Act. I think not. I don’t blame Mayor Mack for not wanting the media there. All you seem to want to do is create division, instead of being an asset to the community. A perfect example of this is your poorly crafted article with your imagined racial disparity at the police department. Get over yourselves.”

— Ely Remington Hunter

“Closed door does not necessarily mean that they are trying to keep it secret. Based on the open records act filing requirements, this could simply mean they are wanting to keep the initial working meetings casual, like brainstorm sessions where people are free to discuss and express opinions, even take devils advocate stances, without it being misconstrued and recorded as an official position at this point.”

— Matthew Nehrling

Police force makeup

Regarding “Longview PD fails to reflect community’s racial makeup, survey shows,” Saturday:

“Comparing Tyler to Longview doesn’t make it OK.”

— Sandi Sach

“I haven’t met a qualified minority applicant that has been turned away by LPD. The secret is they must apply for the job. LPD has sought applicants who are well versed in the Spanish language for many years. They also encouraged officers to become fluent in the language by offering a raise in pay after learning the language when I was there.”

— Joe Wilson

“Jose Sanchez you need to become a police officer to bring the numbers up. Oh wait, you probably are making more as a lawyer. Perhaps you and the reverend both can talk to other racial/ethnic groups to find out why they aren’t waiting in line to sign up at the police academy as soon as they get out of high school. Seems like if they wanted a job in that area it is there for the taking. Maybe we should spend even more taxpayer dollars to entice already trained Hispanic, black, biracial officers to move to our little hole in the wall Longview so any criminal we might have here, regardless of where they came from, will feel more comfortable talking to them. No one criminal should have to talk to an officer of another race/ethnicity and especially not all those white ones, right? While we are fixing that, how about the judges? How many criminals would turn from crime and lead a law abiding life if only every judge they came before was of their own race or ethnicity and would speak to them in their own language instead of that blasted English that seems to be so prevalent! In closing, Here’s to another thankless article about all these white men and women (80-plus percent) who are willing to serve us every day when others won’t!”

— Karen Harris Jackson

“You don’t just ‘sign up.’ You have to be recommended and sponsered to go to the accademy. Good ol boy system at it’s best. If we truly want diversity, we have to reach out to it and sponsor someone besides Bubba.”

— Steve Richardson

“Exactly, people don’t understand that. I went to Kilgore fire academy (only black). And while the police academy was going on out of maybe 60-70 students it was one black. So there isn’t an effort to hire minority people. No matter what is said.”

— Havon J. Russell

“Where is the demographic that shows the number of qualified minority aplucants that have applied for the LPD. Did the News-Journal forget to put it in the article purposefully or is there such a demographic available?”

— Paul Gonzalez

“On the surface this would appear to be a story about policing, diversity and hiring practices within the LPD. In reality it is a much larger story about East Texas and our culture. This disparity is prevalent in all aspects of our society in East Texas. We are a divided and racist, sexist society at almost every level. Go into any business and you will find the same bias. Blacks, Hispanics and women are underrepresented and paid less than their white, male counterparts. Until the repressed rise up and demand true equality it isn’t going to change.”

— Steve Richardson

“ ‘Rise up and demand true equality’ OR shape up, get off your butt and qualify for the police academy, OR scrape up every dime you have to open your own business and work hard for years to make it and yourself a success. Learn that no one owes you anything. You get it done yourself if you want it, just like the majority of us middle class! Take your own advice and don’t look at color!”

— Karen Harris Jackson

“This article serves nothing but suggesting that the LPD is racist and planting mistrust into minorities towards the police. Could it be that the reason for this is not the Longview PD failing but the minorities failing to become police officers thus failing to protect their own communities?”

— Erika Tamassy

“You need to face reality. There is racism.”

— Elouise Smith

“Personally, I am more comfortable talking to a black law enforcement officer. I work in a predominantly white environment and is totally at ease, but when it comes to law enforcement I would rather deal with blacks. The black law enforcement officers appear more relaxed.”

— Leeandra Larry

“Is the implication here that Longview PD knowingly and deliberately chooses white male applicants over similarly qualified minority (Hispanic, African-American, and female) applicants? I didn’t take it that way. I think it’s just a careful analysis of the numbers and a suggestion that best practices for a satisfied community include a more even distribution of minority hires in the police force. Feels a little like each side (the police stink no matter what and all white people are racist group and the police can do no wrong how dare you question you them group) both are overreacting here.”

— Mark Lucas



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