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.
Making the right choices
I would say Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman positively has had the welfare of Gilbert residents in mind in all his decisions. Fire and emergency protection has been rejected by county islanders when they;
• Refused to incorporate and:
• Refused to pay their bills when they had a contract for those services.
Berman refusing to give free services is a way of protecting Gilbert residents.
When a city is growing at the rate Gilbert is, it definitely would not be advantageous. In fact, I would think, looking out for Gilbert residents would definitely include wooing big business, providing an industrial area, and then wooing big industry. This would not mean that the mayor and Town Council do not have the residents at heart. Quite the contrary. All this is very helpful tax-wise and convenience-wise.
Families are in control
After 30 years in “the biz” I can certainly attest to the changes we are all seeing in public education but to assume as a letter writer did, that public education is a place of chaos and malcontents, is just not true. Equating our public education students to “confrontational thugs and future prisoners” is quite unfair.
I can honestly say that in all my years as a proud and dedicated public educator, I have never viewed my students in that way. Of course there have been students I have taught that have faced extreme personal misfortunes which in turn have affected them in their school life. However, I have truly found that most, if not all children, want to learn and want to be held accountable. I have struggled to help those children, as would the majority of teachers I have encountered.
The family, though, is the driving force behind children’s successes. It seems old-fashioned and simplistic, but the family is what “drives the bus” when it comes to the future of their children. And unfortunately, we as educators have no control in the area.
School and education have taken a back seat to all the outside influences in our world. No longer are “school nights” sacred and protected and devoted to school work, family time and getting to bed at a decent hour. Now, school nights are for hanging out at the mall, renting videos and staying up all hours. These small pleasures collectively add up until school is a mere compliance that children only feel obligated to attend rather than eager to attend.
The final assessment lies in the future of the family. It is that simple and that difficult at the same time.
Medical training early
I have some serious thoughts about our students in high school and some of the things they are being taught. With the growing shortages for doctors, nurses and technicians of all sorts, why don’t the schools offer courses on these subjects?
Take nursing, for instance; the last one or two years of high school courses could be used to prepare students, and then a hospital could pick up the tab for final testing and schooling — with a signature from the student promising to stay at their facility for a certain period of time. After they pass drug testing and agree to periodic testing, courses like this would be a boon for students with little hope of a good future and also for the medical field.
Instead of focusing on sports and many other courses that are of no consequence, it’s time to start really educating our kids.
I don’t believe the hype
Dave Bachmann’s letter in the Oct. 17 Tribune castigates the Tribune editors for their views expressed in the Oct. 15 editorial, “Gore’s Nobel isn’t too hot.” I found no place in that editorial where the editors denied the “237 articles” Bachmann refers to relating to global warming that have appeared in the Tribune.
What I gained from the editorial, and Tom Patterson’s prior commentaries appearing in the Tribune, is the unfounded exaggeration and alarmism that have been connected to and predicted on the basis of these events. Further, there is no foundation, and it is highly questionable, that man can do anything to significantly affect these global changes that have been ongoing for millions of years.
Pulitzer for propaganda?
A large number of articles in the Tribune promoting man-made global warming doesn’t make it so, as a reader suggests. Your recent editorial “Gore’s Nobel isn’t so hot” (Oct. 15) is correct. There is a factual report on global warming exaggerations by an actual climatologist in “Meltdown.”
In his book, Patrick J. Michaels presents the facts about climate change and exposes the outright falsehoods advanced by reporters with preconceived ideas, a political agenda and a propensity for alarmism. It would be more accurate to call what Gore received the Nobel Propaganda Prize.
Flake betrayed middle class
Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was one of the votes that kept millions of children from getting health care by allowing President Bush to veto the State Children’s Health Insurance bill. I guess Flake thinks it is OK to spend billions of dollars on war profiteers such as Haliburton, KBR and Blackwater. I guess he thinks it’s OK to vote time and again for tax cuts for the oil companies. I guess he thinks it’s OK to bail out large corporations whose marauders take millions in bonuses while depleting the retirement funds of workers such as Eastern Airlines and Enron. And while the GOP held the majority of the House and Senate, Flake did nothing. He never asked for hearings regarding the ethical misdeeds of big business or his party. And the assault on the middle class continued.
Flake is party to the hijacking of my country. I guess he thinks he can stay in my house. His guess would be wrong.
Homeowners need more help
Our Scottsdale school property taxes increased 24 percent this year and now comprise 74 percent of our total property taxes. Instead of holding down further expenditure increases to help homeowners dealing with declining values, increasing interest rates, and rising foreclosures, district administrators want an extra increase in spending.
Nationally, more money has not brought improved pupil achievement — inflation-adjusted per-pupil expenditures more than doubled from 1970 to 2004, while National Assessment of Educational Progress scores for 17-year-old reading, math, and writing achievement remained virtually unchanged. School staff are not underpaid — next year Scottsdale teachers will be paid far more than those in most private schools, about $30/hour (starting), up to $62 per hour (top of scale) with excellent job security, pension and health care benefits.
Similarly, elementary school principals can receive nearly $100,000 per year. Improved administration could fund all programs and positions without more funding. Do not bail out Scottsdale school administration’s poor management.
LOYD AND DENISE ESKILDSON
Logan fits with city’s leaders
I have read with great interest a number of recent articles, including yours in the Sunday Tribune, applauding the tenure of Don Logan as diversity director in Scottsdale. Frankly, I am both amazed and amused at this. Scottsdale has not been more or less racially or lifestyle insensitive than any other area in Arizona. This was always a statewide problem and one that has only marginally improved throughout the years.
Example: Logan did not stop Scottsdale from picking up Christmas trees prior to Three Kings Day during the holiday last year. This was a direct affront to many Latin residents. Second, he only recently took direct action to recognize and protect those who practice alternative lifestyles. Most cities took up this effort years ago. The bomb that, unfortunately, appeared at Logan’s desk has never been identified as directed at him because of race.
The city of Scottsdale has never been referred to as an having outstanding government leaders. This may well be part and parcel of the weak mayors we have endured, especially the current occupant of the office. Lap dancing and restaurant names do not count as strong programs. The City Council has enjoyed some effective individuals, currently represented by Bob Littlefield and Tony Nelssen, but overall the term “best and brightest” is not often used.