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Letter of the Week

This week's winner is again a response to another letter writer -- love that civil discourse, especially in an increasingly uncivil season.

On Thursday, Lillian K. Staats of Wasilla responded to a Monday letter by Rick Martin of Juneau about the Russian band Pussy Riot's conviction and sentencing for their protest at a Russian Orthodox Church.

Under the headline "Limiting free speech isn't just," Staats wrote, in part:

"... he states the conviction of Pussy Riot was just, if a little harsh.

"Really? Just? These women, however much he may dislike them, were exercising freedom of speech, much like Martin did in writing his letter to the editor, and much like I am doing this very moment.

"I am so grateful I live in America, where, if I choose to, say, make fun of my government, or make light of tragedy (what do you call the new rash of guys attacking armed police officers with baseball bats? Natural selection), I may do so.

"I don't take that privilege lightly at all. We live in a country where separation of church and state is always being tested, and what you may consider good and right, I may consider despicable, and vice versa.

"I recognize the sanctity of freedom of expression, no matter how warped I may personally feel it is."

Please keep exercising your freedom of speech with letters to the editor. There will be a full page of exercise on Monday.

-- Frank Gerjevic