Letters to the Editor – Issue of Aug. 30, 2012
The reluctant hero
Since I was a young man, I have followed our space program from the first Mercury missions, to the Gemini missions, the Apollo Program, to Skylab, to the numerous Shuttle flights and just recently to our successful landing of Curiosity on Mars. I look forward to many more but will always look back on one event that changed us forever.
For those who are old enough you know where you were on July 20, 1969, the day Neil Armstrong and his Apollo 11 team landed on the moon. For me I was in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, and I was fortunate to be near a TV and was able to watch the landing with my buddies. For a brief time, we forgot about the war, we forgot we were thousands of miles from home, we were proud to be Americans. We accomplished the unimaginable after President Kennedy challenged the nation to go to the moon and back just eight years earlier.
With the death of Neil Armstrong, we lost an American hero. He was a man made from the “right stuff” just like Charles Lindbergh. He was our reluctant hero, who did not look for fame and fortune, who commanded the greatest mission of all time.
I certainly hope our teachers have spent some quality time with their students this week, to tell them about the Apollo 11 mission, about Neil Armstrong the man and the astronaut. Perhaps there is a future astronaut in one of their classrooms.
Dave Grosch, Poway
Time for new thinking
I have two children at the PUSD high school level. I read the Aug. 2 Viewpoint written by Kimberley Beatty (Quality education is eroding in PUSD). I found the article well-written and supported by facts.
Beatty is legislative vice-president of the Palomar PTA Council. (For the record, I have never met Ms. Beatty.) Her viewpoint reflected exactly the experience that I have witnessed in my children’s education. Class sizes have reached an unmanageable level. Last year my children had 41-45 students per class. Teachers are stretched to the limit, through no fault of their own. We all know the state funding is to blame which makes budget decisions by the PUSD board even more critical.
Then I read about the controversial capital bonds approved by the PUSD board. Is this the same board that we are trusting to lead the district through a state budget crisis? In the Aug. 16 edition, I read numerous letters to the editor faulting the board for the bond decision. Ironically, the newspaper also announced three candidates seeking two PUSD board seats, two incumbents and Ms. Beatty. I don’t have to think too hard about my vote. I think it’s time for some new thinking on the board.
Kim Brenneman, Poway
Loan sharks applauding
Thanks to Mr. Lyles (Aug. 23) for assuaging my anger over the bond by explaining I am being selfish and motivated by personal political gain. And I thought it’s because a we owe almost a billion dollars and no one told us.
Only the government using taxpayer dollars could believe a repayment ratio of 9-to-1 is a good thing. Loan sharks everywhere are standing and applauding. I also agree with those political hacks who believe the bond would have failed if the total payout were known. Just being aware it couldn’t be paid off early is a red flag. Oops, there’s political gain getting the best of me again. After all, what are the odds of needing another bond in the next 40 years?
And please don’t say it’s for the kids so any cost is worth it. Then again, they will need good paying jobs to pay off this albatross.
As for having no recourse about the bond, I disagree. I will not vote for any of the individuals involved in this misuse taxpayer dollars.
So Mr. Lyles was correct, I am politically motivated.
Thomas Drzewiecki, Poway
A weak business plan
Like many people, I am very upset with the details of the Poway Unified School District bond fiasco.
What worries me most is what if PUSD needs any more funding in the next 40 years? Let’s all cross our fingers that no more renovation or similar projects come up.
This is a weak business plan at best.
Steve Reyno, Rancho Bernardo
Take swing at helping others
On Sunday, Sept. 2 Temple Adat Shalom is holding its first Mini Golf for Good event, raising money to help Interfaith Community Services feed the hungry and house the homeless of North County.
Over the past year I’ve seen dozens of sponsors and hundreds of volunteers step up to make this amazing effort happen. We’ve created an experience that will be talked about for years, and look forward to welcoming friends of every faith for the time of their lives.
On behalf of the entire committee and ICS, thank you for helping us help those most in need.
Rob Weinberg, Event Chair, Rancho Bernardo
Missing fall colors
Read Bob Emery’s June 21 column on his trip to the Northeast with amusement. Having grown up in New York and Indiana, I love to see all the greenery when driving. I especially miss all the fall colors.
After living in Poway for 31 years, it’s a shock to see all the trees, grass in the fields, when we do a driving trip back there.
Goes to show that where we grow up has a impact for life. Well, maybe not so much the snow! Too many memories of shoveling my parents’ driveway.
Christine Wright, Poway
What rules of road?
As my job has me driving near many Poway schools each morning during the week, I am constantly reminded of the lessons many parents teach their children as they drive them to school. The most common lessons being, that certain laws and common courtesy don’t apply to them, so we can make illegal U-turns, double park, drive around the line and cut in at the front, and do all of this while chatting with a cell phone at their ear.
I wonder if these children can follow rules at school once they arrive. I wonder where bullies come from?
Alan Johnson, Poway
A word from the family dog
My name is Benny, I live in Rancho Bernardo. I’m an old large dog of indeterminate breed.
When I was young I became lost on the beach in Oregon. A nice mailman named Larry found me. We lived together for 13 years and we both grew old. One day for some reason Larry didn’t come back. I never saw him again but his brother and sister came for me. I could smell that they were family so I knew I was safe.
They took me to live in San Diego. I especially liked walks. There are the most interesting pungent plants. I could smell little creatures underground.
As time went by I started having problems walking. I would stumble, scrap my toes and cross my back legs; they didn’t go where they should. I had many visits to doctors and specialists. I might have degenerative myelopathy, which I know isn’t good but it doesn’t hurt or cause me pain.
My people work very hard to look after me and they really know what they’re doing. I may look like there’s no life left in me, but I wish you wouldn’t stare; I’m not a side show at the circus. When you make remarks about putting me down, it really stresses us out.
Pease read more on degenerative myelopathy. We’d appreciate your compassion without all the questions, judgment and interruptions. I know you all learned good manners. All we’d like is to relax and enjoy the time we have left in peace.
Meryl Burke, Rancho Bernardo
Ryan not her choice
Regarding the Aug. 23 letter by Vicki Jo Jones, Paul Ryan is a good choice for those people who feel “Planned Parenthood” is an abomination, but what about the women who cannot afford to have another child because they do not have medical coverage or enough income to feed and clothe another child?
He has voted to cut back on all funding for the helpless in our society and hopes that seniors are stupid enough to believe his proposal for privatization of Medicare will benefit them.
His views on cutting taxes for the richest people in our country who have sent our jobs to China, Taiwan and India will also benefit us.
Ms. Jones should look beyond her nose and realize that she has been manipulated.
Shirley Cooper, Rancho Bernardo
Letters in the Chieftain
Poway can’t afford Mangum
Months ago Dick Lyles insisted the best candidate for City Council was 16- year PUSD Trustee Jeff Mangum. He said Mangum had been “tested with the toughest fiscal challenges” and “passed with flying colors.”
Now that the billion dollar bond bombshell has been dropped on Mangum’s election hopes, in his most recent column Lyles claims that the public reaction is simply the result of “politics” and in any event Mangum had nothing to do with it. Lyles is wrong on both counts.
The strong community reaction has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the fact that PUSD trustees borrowed $105 million dollars and obligated our children and their children to pay back nearly a billion dollars. The board had the opportunity to purchase a “call feature” and decided on their own not to.
And as to whether Mangum had anything to do with it, the minutes of PUSD’s October 11, 2010 meeting leave no doubt. He made the motion to approve the first Authorization of Issuance for the $105M bond.
It is also important to point out Mangum was a trustee when PUSD burned through the proceeds of 2002’s Proposition U long before its promised projects were completed. That reckless spending led to the need for Proposition C which led to the current billion dollar boondoggle.
Sorry Dick. Poway can’t afford to have Mangum in office. There’s only one true fiscal conservative in the race for City Council. I’m voting for Steve Vaus.
Pat Johnson, Poway
Board responsible to everyone
Based on Mr. Mangum’s response about integrity, don’t vote for him for Poway City Council. The decision by the school board, including Mangum, was secretive, self-serving and most importantly not an urgent crisis situation.
The board talks about some funds from the state, but none of the buildings involved were so bad they couldn’t have waited another five or 10 years if needed. The board wants you to believe that school renovation is a very important part of learning. It is not. It is, always has, and will always be the quality of the teacher and the quality of the child’s attitude toward learning. The current school board doesn’t want to get it because they have an agenda.
It is funny how the board took the issue on bonds to the county tax collector, but not to the PTA or to the taxpayers. The school board thinks they are only responsible to the school parents. They are responsible to all the taxpayers and they better start remembering that. None of these school board members should ever represent taxpayers in Poway, in any capacity, ever again.
Bill Barnick, Poway
- Challenger enters PUSD board race
- Letters to the Editor: Aug. 23, 2012
- Quality education is eroding in the Poway Unified School District
- Guest Viewpoint: The ‘new normal’ in public education
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