Addressing a discrepancy
Paul Moomjean laments the distances that private schools like Oaks Christian and St. Bonaventure must travel in order to play other like-minded private schools in their athletic endeavors (Right Persuasion, 7/11). However, part of this may be their own fault.
The last I knew, public schools were unable to recruit student athletes outside their attendance boundaries. Private schools are. Consequently, the private schools which were interested in developing the best athletic programs could recruit student athletes anywhere they chose to.
Consequently, as the power of private-school teams grew and grew among the sports-prone privates, they had to form leagues from a number of far-off areas, which resulted in the long trips Mr. Moomjean described. If the private schools had the same attendance restrictions as their public school counterparts, this discrepancy might cease to exist.
As a young man, I was taught to respect people like fire fighters, police, teachers and nurses and other such people who served the public. Now I find that such people are held in utter contempt by people like Mr. Name Withheld (Letters, 7/18). Just a few things to consider about teachers. To be a teacher you need to go to school for a minimum of five years. Then you work, essentially for free, as a student teacher. Then, if you are so lucky to get hired in this lousy economy, you get to work long hours to do your job. Contrary to popular belief, teachers routinely work before and after school on their own time. We don’t get paid not to work in the summer; we have our checks prorated so we have an income in the summer, those of use who aren’t working in the summer. Many of us, myself included, work other side jobs to make ends meet. The starting pay is usually on the low end for a person of such education compared to many other professions or similar education levels.
Few teachers are in it for the money. By the way, most districts require that a teacher put up half their contribution to their retirement. It has been common practice to provide some retirement benefits as a compensation for the relatively low pay that teachers traditionally have gotten.
Personally, I worked 10-12-hour days to do the job I felt was necessary as a science teacher. There were no little elves or fairies to set up or to take down my labs. I worked six days a week and spent on average $1,000-$2,000 of my after-tax income on supplies for my classes. On Sundays, when I went to school to prepare for the forthcoming week, I would see several of my colleagues doing the same thing. This is not unusual. I love my work and my students. It is the hardest and most demanding job I have ever had.
But don’t take my word for it, Mr. Name Withheld, if you have a college degree (You can thank all those evil teachers for teaching you to read and write, etc.), take the CBEST test, get an emergency credential and see if you can get a long-term substitute position for, say, four to six weeks. You do the lesson plans, you grade the papers, you try to keep the students engaged and involved in their own education, and last but not least, you do the discipline. This is not a Leave It to Beaver world in which students come in and eagerly wait for you to educate them. It’s a little more challenging than that.
I challenge you to do this. Then when you have walked a mile in my shoes, we can talk.
Oh, and by the way, I didn’t see you complaining about many of the CEOs in business making between 300 and 500 times the average worker in their company.
Name NOT Withheld
Paranoid letter writers
Three out of four letters to the editor in the July 18 VCReporter wrote anonymously! So how in a citizenry-run governance can governing take place if citizens are too fearful to talk to each other? “… land of the free and home of the brave,” really?
Your feature story about life in county jail in last week’s VCReporter (The Ultimate Reality Show by Butch Warner, July 18) that profiled select inmates based on their “celebrity” status (then comparing them to reality television’s “bad boys,” where the inmate celebrities were to be considered the “real deal”) was tasteless and repulsive at best, and terribly irresponsible at worst.
First off, there was not one “success story” of an inmate who has turned his or her life around, nor were any jail officers, administrators or social workers interviewed for comments. All you had were inmates being profiled who had gained “celebrity status” while in custody, where such celebrity status is earned by virtue of being the “baddest boy on the block” (as it were). Or for some other ridiculous reason.
I did not appreciate the free publicity given by your paper to these criminal inmates, or the inference that it’s somehow “cooler” to be a criminal in jail than an actor on television. Or that being the baddest boy in prison is somehow “cool.” All of these messages are WRONG and IRRESPONSIBLE and should NEVER HAVE BEEN ALLOWED IN PRINT!
With our prisons overcrowded and inmates being released before they have served out their full sentences, society is stressed enough with these gangster thugs roaming our streets.
To further glamorize their lives of crime with a full four-page (Editor’s note: it was actually two pages) feature story in the VCReporter was one of the worst examples of journalistic irresponsibility and editorial indiscretion that I have EVER come across in my entire life!
One would think that the least that your paper can do now is to feature any of these clowns after they get out of prison, and ONLY if they have had a few YEARS in which they can PROVE that they have turned their lives around (and I don’t mean becoming a local preacher or teen counselor).
Justin Markman is not employed by and has no formal ties to local, state or federal law enforcement, nor was he asked by law enforcement to write this letter.
Share the Road, the Laws, the Cost
Mr. Alan Sailer is certainly justified to have his own opinion on this or any other subject for that matter. (Letters, 725) It’s too bad Mr. Sailer did not read my first letter completely, or if he did he simply didn’t understand it.
First off, I have absolutely no animosity toward cyclists. What I was referring to in my letter about the right-turn problem is that on Thompson and Telephone, the bike lane is moved on the left of the right turn lane so that any car making a right turn has to pass over the bike lane. To expect the drivers of cars to have to make way for cyclists is ridiculous. Just an accident waiting to happen.
Secondly, Mr. Sailer makes the same argument about paying his fair share as most other cyclists do. “I pay license and insurance on my car and pay gasoline taxes so I am paying my fair share.” Well, Mr. Sailer, I have a car, my wife has a car and I also have a Honda motor scooter. I have to pay license and insurance on all of my vehicles in order to use the public roads, so does that mean I have paid my fair share three times? Or perhaps I should be allowed to drive my Honda scooter around without license or insurance.
There has been over $24 million dollars spent in California on amenities for cyclists in the past couple of years, the cyclist have contributed nothing directly for this cost. The state has given over almost half of the roadways, bike lanes, green boxes, bicycle racks and others which the drivers of cars help pay for.
As the sign says, “Share the Road.” They need to add a couple of lines to those signs. They should read in whole, “Share the Road, the Laws, the Cost.”
I am glad that Mr. Sailer would be OK with cyclists being made to license and insure their vehicles. I also realize Mr. Sailer was intending to interject a bit of humor with his statement about a 5-year-old girl filling out insurance forms and/or not allowing anybody below the age of 18 to ride a bike. At least I hope it was an attempt at humor.
FYI: In the city of Ventura, cyclists are allowed to ride their bicycles on the sidewalks everywhere except in the Downtown area, although on any day you will still see bicycles being ridden on the Downtown sidewalks. You will also see cyclists riding through stop signs, red lights, and breaking other rules of the road. I inquired with the Ventura Police Department about how many tickets had been given to cyclists for running stop signs or red lights in 2012, the answer from the police department was, one (1) ticket had been given in the entire year.
Not so smart
Thank you so much for printing the article on smart meters (News, 7/25). Edison has so much money to fight the truth, it is hard to be heard.
Two members of Congress (Jerry McNerney, D- Stockton; and Matt Cartwright, D- Pa.) have introduced a congressional bill (HR 2685) that would apparently require all electricity providers (including rural cooperatives and municipal utilities) to join the “smart” grid and …
This is our next battle to fight.