Letters to the editor: Jan. 31 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: Jan. 31

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Posted: Saturday, January 31, 2009 8:26 pm | Updated: 12:35 am, Sat Oct 8, 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

MESA SCHOOLS

Restructure grade levels to alleviate tax burden

Mesa Public Schools continues to waste hundreds of thousands of dollars in needless duplication by maintaining the seventh, eighth, and ninth grade junior high system instead of converting to a sixth, seventh and eighth grade middle school system.

The waste comes in the expensive duplication of ninth-grade classes at the 12 junior highs and the six high schools.

Because of failures and transfers from other school systems, each of the high schools must offer all of the required freshman courses and most of the elective courses. This means that they must also purchase the textbooks and support materials and provide instructors and classrooms that are already being provided at the junior high schools.

Extra curricular activities, particularly sports, are also a major cash drain. Instead of six freshman teams in each sport, Mesa has a team, unique uniform, equipment, facilities, coaching staff, and support personnel at each of the 12 junior highs. And event transportation is a huge expense.

I have raised these questions with the Mesa Unified School District but have not seen any evidence of serious consideration by the district. I am only one small voice. If a few dozen parents or taxpayers would contact the board and encourage a few of their friends to do likewise, perhaps some mover or shaker would motivate the district powers to initiate an objective investigation into the potential costs and savings so that public discussion and debate over the feasibility might result in change that would improve our children’s academic environment while alleviating our tax burden.

JAMES R. IVERSEN

MESA

FERAL CATS

Returning them to park won’t keep other felines away

Feral cats should be removed from the Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch. Efforts to trap, neuter and return the cats are ineffective and come at the expense of natural resources.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, colony management programs result in a statistically insignificant reduction in the feral cat population, and the cats do not prevent others from joining the colony. As long as we condone the practice of trap, neuter and return, which is subsidized re-abandonment, people will continue to dump their pets.

There are numerous public health concerns regarding free-roaming cats, including the fact that they are the only species to shed the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis.

Having cats near waterways is not a good idea. Further, well-fed cats are no less motivated to hunt, the hunting instinct is separate from the urge to eat. Returning these cats to the wild is just one more way humans degrade whatever isolated and fragmented patches of habitat remain for native wildlife.

Feral cats are not wildlife — their home is not outdoors. Learn more by reading this brochure from the Arizona Game and Fish Department at www.azgfd.gov/pdfs/w_c/abci/keepingcatsindoors.pdf.

LINDA CHERKASSKY

VOORHEES, N.J.

TEEN DRIVERS

Life’s little setbacks

I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t be sympathetic with the mother who had to deal with what she saw as “such a serious problem” (“Another month to wait for his license”, Letters Jan. 16). This mother was truly upset about not being able to put her 16-year-old out on the street in today’s traffic rather than wait a month.

If that was only issue all the rest of us had to deal with in these trying times, how much better our lives would be. The change in the law really isn’t the issue here; it’s her reaction and venting that is.

As a mother who raised three children (and taught them to drive, as well), and the grandmother of four, I would have relished every second I knew they were safe and not behind the wheel of an automobile.

Especially now that being out there has become so much more dangerous than when my kids were young. And no, I am not some crotchety, old grandmother. I am still very much active and am on the road quite a bit myself, and safely I might add. I’ve just returned from a trip to California, which I drove alone, in order to visit family over the holidays.

So, to this mother I say, don’t let something as minor as your son’s situation get to you. How will he learn to deal with the little setbacks in life, if he sees you react to one in such a “big” way? Remember the phrase “Don’t sweat the small stuff”?

Trust me when I say, in the real scheme of things, this was small stuff. Teach your son that this was really no big deal. I’ve been around long enough to know.

MARILYN T. GODLESKY

QUEEN CREEK

GUANTANAMO BAY

Terrorists could gain civil rights in federal prisons

Will the enemy combatants detained at Guantanamo Bay that President Barack Obama wants to transfer to federal prisons (he’s closing everything overseas and other countries aren’t eager to take them), continue to get their perks in federal prison?

Will they get special meals and religious accommodations such as designated hours for prayer with their own prayer mats and foot-washing facilities, personal copies of the Koran, clothing exceptions, etc? If so, it is likely that there will be either some beatings and murders, or riots.

We can then expect the American Civil Liberties Union to bring suit for equal rights of all the other prisoners. If they don’t get their special privileges the ACLU will bring suit on their behalf for discrimination and denial of their “rights” since they will be on U.S. soil.

Obama has converted a foreign enemy terrorist problem into a domestic terrorist-civil rights problem. I guess that is one change!

BILL SANDRY

MESA

TO OUR READERS:

Gilbert Town Council Forum

The Tribune Editorial Board will host a forum for the candidates running for Gilbert mayor and Town Council starting at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 2 in the council chambers at the Gilbert Municipal Center, 50 E. Civic Center Drive. To suggest your own questions, please write to ltemplar@evtrib.com.

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