Unequal busing of parochial students irritates parent
I am a resident of Austintown and in the past I have voted for each Austintown public school levy. My parents were both public school educators and my family's livelihood depended upon financially secure public school systems. As a homeowner, I am aware that the stature of a community and the value of its homes are often related to the strength of the community's local school system. Nonetheless, recent actions taken by the Austintown Board of Education have given me no choice but to reverse my previous support of each school levy.
The board's new policy for the busing of the district's children discriminates against parochial school children. While the public school children will continue to be bused as in the past, parochial school children are now bound to a cumbersome and time consuming procedure involving switching buses and time delays. The board's initial modifications to the past busing policy were ill-conceived and lacked any practical foresight. At board meetings, sincere questions posed by concerned parents were met with silence.
As a parent of parochial school children, I fully realize it is my choice to pay my full property taxes and not utilize the public school system for the education of my children. I merely ask that they be transported to their schools in the same manner as public school children. While the board's policy may meet legal requirements, it plainly established two unequal levels of service. While I am forced to accept a diminished level of service from the board, they can expect an absence of support from me at the polls. They have left me no choice.
Kirtz program dropped after showing its worth
Thank you, legislators and "big shots," for eliminating the Early Intervention Program at Leonard Kirtz School. I'm sure it's just a fluke that these developmentally disabled pre-schoolers showed tremendous social and educational progress under the tutelage and loving care of Helen, Monica and others.
Why waste any more money on these children with special needs? We have plenty of bridges to repaint and roads to repave!
Corruption or indifference: Effect is very much the same
During the mob trials of 1999, the front page of the March 10 Vindicator quoted a defense attorney as saying, & quot;I never heard of a town as corrupt as Youngstown ... at times I can't conceive it -- corruption up and down the chain. Apparently, the people of Mahoning County are used to it and accept it. & quot;
Six years later Mahoning County officials are told they must maintain a jail population of 300. The message to the criminal element is that they can operate with impunity. Want proof? Just spend a day listening to a police scanner. The subtle effect on the police and the court docket has become overwhelming.
Where is the outrage? Where is the demand that this situation be corrected? Do we just accept it? Are we more concerned with the demographic makeup of a particular police department or whether or not we can park on the street? And if Mahoning County residents are incapable of outrage even while our back doors are being pried ... whither Mahoning County?
KIM R. KOTHEIMER
Youngstown board took cheap shot at East Side
This letter is addressed to the Youngstown Board of Education, which took what I feel was a cheap shot at the former students and residents of the East Side and the alumni of East High School in regard to the change of the colors and mascot of the new East High School
The resolution as it was drafted stated that the new East High School would retain not only its name but also its traditions and its heritage. The matter of color or mascot should not have been secretly submitted to the students for a vote, if the words of the resolution were honest and true. An administration that uses its time and resources to address a matter that has already been settled should be monitored more closely in regard to their job performances and priorities. When we look at our present academic situation in regard to poor scores on proficiency tests, SAT, and ACT scores that this board should be concerned about -- colors and mascots should not have even come up.
If this issue became a priority, then this administration has way too much time on their hands and we as voters will remember this. You have violated our trust and confidence in you as leaders who were put in charge to direct the education of our children.
The issue seems as though it is a petty dig at the people of the East Side and former students because we chose not to name the new school after Mr. Berry, a relative of the current superintendent. I think members of the board should deal with the more important issues facing the Youngstown public school system today -- educating our children.
Gasoline and oranges
A recent Associated Press news story noted that turnpike accidents have increased by 27 percent since the speed limit for trucks was increased to 65 mph last September, and that turnpike accidents involving trucks have increased by 36 percent during that time.
Perhaps more troubling still, was the news that the average speed of cars is now 75 mph and the average speed of trucks is now 67, whereas the averages were 72 for cars and 62 for trucks before the speed limit change. We all know that averages can be deceiving, because for every car that is traveling at 65 mph, the averages cited mean that another car is going at 85 mph.
Gasoline prices continue to rise, the death toll in Iraq continues to rise, and people continue to drive considerably above the legal speed limit, causing ever more accidents. This is insanity. We are paying a heavy price for this foolishness. Gas prices rise, billions of our tax dollars have been spent in waging war in Iraq, and over 1,800 of our servicemen have died. If anyone thinks the monetary and human costs of the war in Iraq are not related to oil, ask yourself this question, & quot;Would we be fighting in Iraq today if its main export was oranges instead of oil? & quot;
STEVEN K. BROWN