Paid school board
is not the answer
In response to Charles Blackwood's letter about public education:
I find it interesting that after complaining about paying too much for teachers, his main idea for fixing public education is to hire a professional school board. I wonder how paying a school board would help?
Wouldn't that just cost more?
And one reason that teachers need a union is that we are constantly being asked to give more for less. Check out the list of items we are asked to do at www.jamievollmer.com, and click on "the burden." Many of these items should be the responsibility of parents, not teachers.
Comparing public school to homeschool is not realistic, given that public schools are open to all students, while the majority of homeschool students are taught one on one by an involved parent. I wonder how much time Mr. Blackwood has spent in a school to see what actually happens there. We would love to see him, or anyone, there if they are willing to base their opinions on experience.
Also, many of the decisions which affect schools are the result of state and federal legislation. I believe that the people are responsible for the actions of their leaders. Why focus on just the school board?
If you want to improve public education, don't start by attacking it, instead, begin with the idea, "what would be best for the children?" Doing that will solve a lot of our problems.
Larson makes his
living with hate
There can be only two scenarios in regard to your choice of a Lars Larson column for your December 21 issue.
First, the selector has never listened to a single minute of Larson's show or second, this person sees no dichotomy whatsoever in choosing a person who makes his living showering hate as the one to bemoan the limited hateful response to his idea.
There are plenty of nut cases out there on both sides of the political spectrum. These are the folks who use hate calls and destruction to try to make their point. Those people are a danger to democracy.
The sleight-of-hand in Larson's case is that the Newt Gingrich list of "political hate phrases" is stock in trade. Any single instance of disagreement with his view is grounds for another episode of name-calling directed at all things left of his (extreme) political position.
Hence, those few disagreeable responses to his idea are grounds to paint all things liberal as "enemy."
"Have you no shame"... Mr. Larson?
The art of napping
shared by reader
For better use of my time, I have a kitchen timer at my easy chair so that when I take a nap, I can control how long I nap.
If I don't do this, a 15-minute nap turns into an hour-and-a-half nap.
I take three 15-minute naps during the day instead of a long nap. I never take my timer away from the chair. It makes my naps much more efficient.
Short naps are far better than one long nap.
E.A. "Buck" Buchanan
helped many locally
As our "Warm and Fuzzy" clothing drive comes to a close, we would like to give a heartfelt thank you to the following people for making this year's collection another huge success.
We thank Loren Faxon for allowing us to have our drop site at Starlite Lanes Bowl, and the staff at Starlite for prompting the drive; the Rickreall Grange for all the beautiful hats donated; the Dallas Senior Center for donating of hats and mittens; and all the other people who dropped off supplies.
We wish it to be known that everything collected stayed in Dallas!
One last thanks to Trinity Lutheran Church for the purchase of homemade ornaments. All funds went to the Dallas Food Bank.
Deb and Greg Darr
ensure its success
Many thanks to those who attended our 65th Annual Rickreall Christmas
Pageant. It takes approximately 150 volunteers to make this long-time tradition happen every year. The cast, chorus, crews, and committees who put so many hours into making the 2005 Pageant happen appreciate the wonderful audiences who attended this year' performances.
The donations we received will help make the 2006 Pageant happen.
It was good to know that others, like us, understand how special this event, small old school building and community are. In a world that usually goes by too fast, or is too often changed for the worse and not the better, it is our sincere hope that the Christmas Pageant will continue as it has for so many years.
We invite those who come every year, those who have not come in some time, and those who have always wanted to come, to put us on your calendar for the next Pageant. It's the week of December 4, 2006. Anyone interested in more information on receiving free tickets may call 503-623-2723.
For the Christmas Pageant
board of directors
not include abuse
Now comes 2006 to beautiful Oregon -- Paradise of the Northwest!
But scary. Young people, pay attention.
We have a significant meth problem, both by offenders and at least one "therapist" class instructor of those on probation or parole.
Let me sound off with my concern.
Rather than a positive, "be all you can be" attitude toward recovering users, encouraging toward a better life, replacing an old-user-attitude with tools to "put on a new man," from what I'm told, one instructor harasses and accuses them of lying, sexual offenses, etc., and goads them by false accusations and singles them out for humiliation and depression from this psychological abuse.
Can Polk County do any better with recovering meth and/or heroine users?
Or do we need some investigation into a sadistic-type instructor?
If this particular instructor can't show them how to achieve a better life without drugs, then why is he in charge of their lives?
Young kids, watch out if you do drugs. Abuse is the recovery plan!
Be scared and forewarned in beautiful Oregon 2006.
Writer wrong about
teachers and board
Mr. Blackwood thinks (letter, Dec. 21) that teachers don't need to keep up to date with complex changes about their subjects or the other issues facing teachers (preventing violence in the schools, dealing with abused children, managing drug babies/students, etc.).
He also apparently thinks everything is the same in schools since 1950 -- does he really believe that the advances in every subject, increased diversity, class sizes, the hours kids spent watching TV, increased state and federal regulations (such as Bush's intrusion into local schools) have had no effect on the classroom and school?
The school board is a carryover from much earlier days when small communities gathered together to build and support schools, and, as a checks-and-balances system, it's still a good idea.
School board members should act as professionals, representing the community as they make decisions, and as individuals this is sometimes difficult. However, having a committee run the day-to-day school district, as Mr. Blackwood suggests, would be an expensive disaster.
I'm sure every teacher who read his statements about them as professionals is offended. Those who go into teaching do it because they love children and are willing do dedicate their lives to children. Those who stay in teaching do so despite a lack of support by taxpayers, parents and community members such as Mr. Blackwood.
Our nation needs an educated population -- not just the elite or the easy-to-educate, but every individual. It takes professional teachers, professional administrators, fair and thoughtful school board members, and a community that recognizes their dedication and contributions.
I don't think I'm the only Dallas resident who believes in our schools and our teachers, and am willing to support them in any way I can.
John L. Tenny
by utility work cost
According to Dallas city staff, Dallas utility users will be paying for placing the utilities underground (during ODOT's intersection realignment) for the next 20 years. This was decided by the Dallas City Council, at the recommendation of the city manager.
The bill to Dallas utility Uers? Only $1,000,000.
No problem -- we have lots of money, right?
And the citizens didn't really need to know about it or approve it ahead of time, right? (It was listed on the Dallas City Council's regular agenda, which isn't published in the paper.)
You guys are OK with it, right?
Editor's note: Dallas City Council agendas are not established until the Friday afternoon before the Monday meeting. The newspaper publishes on Wednesday. Dallas rersidents can, however, view the agendas online at www.ci.dallas.or.us.