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Letters to the Editor Nov. 21, 2013

Schools’ $1M expense on phones, clocks imprudent

I have read and reread the Nov. 16 article “Schools get $1M upgrade” that disclosed the school district’s decision to spend $1 million on an upgrade to the district’s phone, clock, bell and intercom systems.

Am I the only one who finds the School Board’s decision to spend money in this way a cause of concern and trepidation? Aren’t the phones and bells and clocks that they now have in good working order? They were working the last time I was on school property.

Apparently one of the selling points of the new system is that the superintendent will be able to speak to all the students in the district at one time. Why is this important?

Does the School Board think that in the event of emergency the on-site teachers will be paralyzed with indecision and not know what to do? Does it think that the on-sight administrators will refuse to take action unless they receive instructions from on high? Does the school administration fear that the land lines and their cell phones will all go out at once and they will not be able to communicate with the schools? 

This decision by the School Board to invest $1 million in phones, clocks, bells and intercom systems hardly makes sense in the best of times.  When we consider that it is  going to borrow the money to do these things by selling bonds, its decision is even more bizarre.

Or doesn’t the School Board realize that bonds are not “free money,” they represent borrowed money?  Money that the taxpayers will have to repay.

If the School Board has an extra $1 million, to spend why doesn’t it spend it on the students? How about putting the auto shop, wood shop and metal shop classes on a firm footing? How about creating programs that improve computer skills? Why not hire another teacher for special education programs? Or, why not invest in math, science, history and language arts programs? 

If we must borrow money to operate the school system, at least put that money to work helping the students.  Put the money to work hiring teacher’s aides and tutors for students who are struggling.  Come on School Board, you can do better than this. 

Michael Skudstad, Crescent City

Parks, playgrounds not even close to being safe

Is there anywhere safe in this town anymore to take small children to play? The parks are covered in graffiti and broken beer bottles.

I am all for freedom of expression, however you choose to do it, but keep it away from the kids. They don’t need to be around inappropriate writing on the slides and needles under the swings.

I can’t explain how many times I have taken a young child to the playgrounds and found things that should not have been there. They are unsafe for even adults to be at.

I don’t want to have to worry about sitting in someone’s personal body fluids or getting cut crawling under the slide with a baby. I don’t feel safe taking my small cousins there, let alone going there on my own.

We, the community, need to do something to protect these children’s playgrounds. Please, call me out if I am wrong, but these places are not even close to being safe.

Shelby Laverne, Crescent City 


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