Lenard Needs Our Help!

Please read and do what is right. Please forward it to family and friends.

Peace and Blessings to All.

Leonard Peltier’s first full parole hearing was held in 1993, at
which time his case was continued for a 15-year reconsideration. On
Wednesday, it was announced (in Portland, OR) that Mr. Peltier has
recently applied for and been granted a parole hearing. The hearing
is scheduled for July 27, 2009. All supporters are encouraged to
step up their efforts in support of parole for Leonard Peltier.

Letters in Support of Parole

It is really important that everyone write letters in support of
Leonard’s petition for parole. These letters can be quite simple
and should cover the basic points important for parole decisions. A
sample letter follows. Feel free to use it, but know that it’s even
better if you write one in your own words. Be courteous and concise.

Get as many people to sign similar letters, as well. Carry a sheaf of
spare letters with you. Get one signature per letter, that is, rather
than using a petition format. Mail them to the Parole Commission,
but also send copies to the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
(contact information below).

Guidelines for General Supporters

First, we ask that you sign the online at
http://www.msplinks.com/http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/parole2008/.

Next, draft correspondence to the U.S. Parole Commission. A sample
letter follows.

Sample Letter

United States Parole Commission
5550 Friendship Boulevard
Suite 420
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7286
(Insert Date)

Re: LEONARD PELTIER #89637-132

Dear Commissioners,

Convicted in connection with the deaths on June 26, 1975, of
Ronald Williams and Jack Coler, agents of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, Mr. Leonard Peltier remains imprisoned at the United
States Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

The court record in this case clearly shows that government
prosecutors have long held that they do not know who killed Mr. Coler
and Mr. Williams nor what role Leonard Peltier “may have” played
in the tragic shoot-out.

Further, in a decision filed by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
on December 18, 2002, Mr. Peltier’s sentences “were imposed in
violation of [Peltier’s] due process rights because they were based
on information that was false due to government misconduct,” and,
according to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in 2003: “.Much
of the government’s behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and its
prosecution of Leonard Peltier is to be condemned. The government
withheld evidence. It intimidated witnesses. These facts are not
disputed.”

Despite these admissions, Leonard Peltier has served over 33 years
in prison.

After careful consideration of the facts in Leonard Peltier’s case,
I have concluded that Leonard Peltier does not represent a risk to
the public. First, Leonard Peltier has no prior convictions and has
advocated for non-violence throughout his prison term. Furthermore,
Leonard Peltier has been a model prisoner. He has received excellent
evaluations from his work supervisors on a regular basis. He
continues to mentor young Native prisoners, encouraging them to
lead clean and sober lives. He has used his time productively,
disciplining himself to be a talented painter and an expressive
writer. Although Leonard Peltier maintains that he did not kill
the agents, he has openly expressed remorse and sadness over
their deaths.

Most admirably, Mr. Peltier contributes regular support to those
in need. He donates his paintings to charities including battered
women’s shelters, half way houses, alcohol and drug treatment
programs, and Native American scholarship funds. He also coordinates
an annual holiday gift drive for the children of the Pine Ridge
Indian Reservation.

Leonard Peltier is widely recognized for his good deeds and in
turn has won several awards including the North Star Frederick
Douglas Award; Federation of Labour (Ontario, Canada) Humanist of
the Year Award; Human Rights Commission of Spain International
Human Rights Prize; and 2004 Silver Arrow Award for Lifetime
Achievement. Mr. Peltier also has been nominated for the Nobel
Peace Prize six times.

Leonard Peltier is now over 60 years of age-a great-grandfather-and
suffers from partial blindness, diabetes, a heart condition, and
high blood pressure..

I recognize the grave nature of the events of June 26, 1975,
and I extend my deepest sympathy to the families of those who
died that day. However, I find aspects of this case to also be of
concern and I believe Leonard Peltier deserves to be reunited with
his family and allowed to live the remaining years of his life in
peace. I also believe that, rather than presenting a threat to the
public, Mr. Peltier’s release would help to heal a wound that has
long impeded better relations between the federal government and
American Indians.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Signature

(Your Name)
(Your Street Address)
(Your City, State, and Zip Code)

For Family and Friends

As with any professional correspondence, your support letter should
be on letterhead (if you have Microsoft Word or another similar
program you can easily create professional-looking letterhead from
a template). The letterhead should include all of your contact
information including your name, address, phone number(s) and e-mail
address if applicable.

Describe your relationship with Leonard — how do you know him, for
how long, etc. Write about his character, and his accomplishments
both before and during imprisonment. Discuss improvements made
since being incarcerated such as education and his philanthropic
work. Discuss Leonard’s positive attitude and, despite his innocence,
the fact that he has openly expressed remorse and sadness over the
deaths that occurred on June 26, 1975.

Finish your support letter by telling the Parole Board how you
will support Leonard once he is granted parole. Your support might
be financial, such as a place to live, use of a vehicle, or help
finding job offers. Your support can also be emotional such as
providing advice and encouragement.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO ALL SUPPORTERS: When you write a letter in support
of Leonard’s parole, mail the letter directly to the U.S. Parole
Commission, but also please send a copy of your correspondence to
the Peltier Legal Team, c/o LP-DOC, P.O. Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106.
Time to set him free… Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.

Friends of Peltier
http://www.FreePeltierNow.org

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Black Hills & Snow Removal

Several local residents appeared before the Sturgis City Council, Monday night, to express concerns and dissatisfaction with street clearing efforts after last weeks blizzard.

  • Sturgis City Manager David Boone gave a presentation on snow removal when the meeting began. He outlined the city’s plan and what transpired every day during the storm. Based on what happened, Boone said, the city could not have done anything differently.

    Cindy Klien referred to cleanup on Junction Avenue and Lazelle Street as “terrible.” She explained there was barely room for two lanes of traffic, and she couldn’t see around the corners.

    Klien said she couldn’t figure out the cleanup on Main Street, as most businesses were probably closed. She is a home health nurse and added she almost got hit numerous times while going to see patients because there was only one lane of traffic in many places.

    “Probably 90 percent of us need to get out because we need our jobs to get where we’re going,” Klien continued. “I don’t have a four-wheel drive vehicle.”

    Klien said she was around town a lot seeing patients after Nov. 8 and couldn’t tell that someone was working 24 hours a day on main roads that needed clearing.

    While acknowledging the heavy snow and difficulty in getting around, Klien added many elderly people were stuck inside for some time. She suspects the area will receive a lot of snow this year.

    Donna Lee lives on Douglas Street in Sturgis.

    “I’ve never seen such a horrendous mess,” she said.

    Her son lives on Eighth Street, and Lee said that street was never plowed out.

    Lee added that she shoveled six feet of snow off the top of her car, which had snow dumped on it. She said no cars were on the street’s other side, and she paid a private person to open the city street in front of her home.

    “Main Street should not be your top priority,” Lee continued. “Junction and Lazelle – your lifelines of this city – should be your main opening where two lanes of traffic can get through.”

    The Sturgis Community Center and Sturgis Liquor parking lots, according to Lee, should be the last priorities.

    If the city doesn’t have the right types of equipment, Lee said, that should be considered.

    Lee also suggested some type of committee planning. “We’re not going to go anywhere if we don’t get a better plan if we get two to three feet of snow dropped on us three times a month.” She went on to say that scenario has happened before.

    Venus Rice lives on Eighth Street and said drivers plowed snow from Hope Street onto Eighth. She added she spent two days shoveling snow so she could get out and check on elderly folks.

    Rice is a native of Pennsylvania, which receives considerably more snow than South Dakota. She said the plows there are able to move heavy snow with no problem.

    “Pennsylvania gets the plows out as soon as it starts snowing,” Rice said. “They do not wait for it to end.”

    Linda Two Crow said her sister lives in the Main Street apartments, where a number of residents are ill. Two Crow added one week passed before she could get to her sister to dig her out.

    Two Crow went on to say she thinks that should be a priority and echoed others’ sentiments.

    “I appreciate the stuff that’s been done, but I saw a lot of trucks just setting – a lot of loaders just setting – for hours,” she said.

    Roger Schieman asked if entities like the Water Department and Parks Department have back hoes. He inquired, if that is the case, why those were not used to help clear city streets.

    Schieman said some street areas were opened, but the snow was dumped on the sidewalk. He asked who was responsible for snow that comes off the city streets and is dumped onto private property.

    He added he has seen other places where cleared snow is dumped onto a fire hydrant.

    “Who’s responsible if a fire breaks out, and you cannot get to that fire hydrant?” he asked. “The property owner, or the city?”

    Schieman related the area received about 52 inches of snow in 1973. He said he didn’t hear citizens’ comments then like he heard tonight.

    Boone, responding to a question, said the community center was set up as a shelter. He added a number of areas in town lacked power, and those people went there.