Letters to the editor: May 30 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: May 30

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Posted: Friday, May 30, 2008 7:46 pm | Updated: 10:40 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

EDUCATION

Keegan no one to turn to

I voted for Lisa Graham Keegan when she ran for the post of Arizona’s superintendent of public instruction. I thought she would use her political skills to help better education in Arizona for both our students and teachers. Keegan quit in order to further her political career on the national level.

If Sen. John McCain can’t find someone with more credibility and integrity than Keegan to advise him on educational issues, I fear we’re in for more of the “No Child Left Behind” syndrome we have been experiencing in our public schools for the past 7½ years.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Lisa Graham Keegan is a quitter and our students and teachers deserve better leadership and policy-making than she has ever delivered.

RICHARD E. MESZAR

MESA

Experts aren’t teachers

Austin Hill¹s commentary (“Experts in classroom? Only a union would balk,” May 22) attacking the Arizona Education Association for defending the teaching profession was not surprising considering his libertarian philosophy.

Hill believes our public schools should be privatized. [CORRECTION: The previous sentence was inadvertently omitted originally.] He knows Arizona’s very conservative Republican Party has been moving the state closer and closer to that reality in the past two decades. Charter schools, vouchers, private school tax credits and the perpetual cutting of taxes ensures our schools remain 49th out of 50 nationally in per pupil spending. You can’t convince citizens to vote away Thomas Jefferson’s beloved public school system if it is succeeding. The conservative Republicans have a phrase for it, “Starve the beast,” and they know it will be a slow step-by-step process.

The new Adjunct Teacher Initiative, which puts non-teachers in the classroom, is just another way Arizona ignores what should be the “free market” solution to the teacher shortage, paying better salaries to professionally educated and certified teachers. If members of the business community really want to help the public schools, start by electing pro-public education candidates to the Legislature and insist that they adequately fund Arizona’s neighborhood public schools.

Finally, Hill¹s attack on Andrew Morrill as a “union bureaucrat” is insulting to the thousands of AEA members who elected this very qualified and talented English teacher from Marana as their vice president. He is their voice at the state Department of Education in this backhanded attempt to undermine the teaching profession.

STEVE RAMOS

MESA

Voucher ruling an injustice

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruling of May 15 against HB2676 and SB1164, covering Arizona scholarships for pupils with disabilities and foster children, is a slap in the face to disabled and foster kids and parents living in Arizona. When the original intent of legislation was to help disadvantaged children to get the best education available, the failed philosophy of the People For The American Way, the ACLU, and educator-organizational types stepped in to defeat Maricopa County Superior Court’s initial approval ruling via the state appeals court.

Hopefully the Arizona Supreme Court will reverse this decision that insults the disabled and foster children of our state. The appeals court decision has yet to be sent to that higher court — hopefully soon. Meanwhile, funding is questionable for our disabled and foster kids during such an appeal, unless a judge grants a stay for the 2008-09 school year.

BOB RICHARDS

GLENDALE

OIL PRICES

Develop our own resources

It seems the Democrats care more about appeasing OPEC than they do the financial condition and comfort level of Americans. Is OPEC paying somebody to create these unbelievable laws barring the use of our own oil supplies? I can’t imagine an American of any stripe acting as the Democrats in Congress are acting now.

Not developing our own oil resources is treasonable when considered in the light of current conditions. Using the reserve crude to try to bring down prices is ludicrous to anybody who knows anything about OPEC. It not only won’t bring the price down, but it would put America in a really dangerous situation if our oil supply were cut off completely.

I think it is time for Congress to be called in for examination. The media needs to print the names of those in either party who vote for stopping our own oil development. It is high time those in Congress remembered who it is who pays their salaries, provides them with great health-care benefits, and totally unbelievable pensions. Let’s stop the congressional welfare until they wake up and smell the roses.

BOB McDEVITT

MESA

FOREIGN POLICY

Discourse is not appeasement

I find it unusual and funny, but sick at the same time, to hear our president talk about Nazi appeasement leading up to World War II. He claims it was not aimed at Sen. Barack Obama, even though that directly contrasts what his aides said prior to the speech. It is ridiculous to compare Obama to Neville Chamberlain. Appeasement actually involves giving up something to satisfy someone (like Czechoslovakia to satisfy Hitler), not simply talking to try to work out problems.

JAKE SANDERS

MESA

CHANDLER LIBRARY

Children do need protection

“Chandler: Where double-standard values make a difference.”

We have learned that KNXV-TV (Channel 15) sent young teens into Valley public libraries to document the kids trying to check out adult-rated videos with themes of sex and violence, videos they are unable to check out of a video store.

The 14- and 15-year-olds were refused the materials at the check-out desks of both the Phoenix and Glendale libraries. The Chandler library? No problem, kids! The youngsters sailed through bearing sex and violence.

Channel 15 then sent a 10-year-old into the Chandler library. Again, not a problem for a fifth grader to check out “Sex and the City” and slasher videos! The parents, with kids out of the room, then viewed the videos and were horrified.

Chandler’s response to allowing youngsters access to adult-themed videos? “The parents are responsible for handling these decisions about their children.”

Excuse us, Chandler, but now you have decided parents are responsible to make decisions about their families’ well-being and future? Seems to us you recently deemed Chandler adults are not responsible enough to make decisions about our families’ welfare, safety, and future when it comes to the secrecy, deception, law violations, and dangers posed by Covance.

Wheresoever Dick Mulligan goeth, may ye others follow. Stay tuned.

JAN McCLELLAN

CHANDLER

CONSTRUCTION NOISE

All must deal with it

Re: “Sleepless in Scottsdale: Noise annoys residents” (Tribune, May 7):

Everyone in this city, at one time or the other, has had to adapt to periods of construction noise no matter where they live.

In my experiences, the developer advised adjacent neighborhoods of working hours, early concrete pours and summer hours (which neighbors should know is common scene) as it can hit 100 degrees by late morning in the summer. The project evolves and ends and it’s over.

Soon, those summer temps will be here, I wonder how many of those neighbors will have their coffee on their patio then, let alone, leave their windows open?

Has anyone bothered to evaluate whether the market values of nearby homes has benefitted, or might benefit, from the development, once it is completed? By how much have those market values changed as result of development along Scottsdale Road or Camelback Road nearby?

Between the construction of the W Hotel, Waterfront condominiums, Safari Drive, Scottsdale Fashion Square Demo and other projects, the entire area is a construction zone, complete with all the associated construction noises. Construction noises that have been occurring near Scottsdale Road and Camelback for years, and likely years to come.

Why would anybody who lives nearby expect anything different?

MARK ORTEGA

AVIARA HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION

SCOTTSDALE

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