Letters for Nov. 25, 2012

Nov. 25, 2012 @ 08:15 AM

Marvin – Let’s Spend As Much As We Can…

Your Marvin Village Council is at it again… spend all they can on highly questionable projects, with no accountability or input from their taxpayers. Efird Park at $1,500,000 was only the start.

The latest money-pit is their new Town Hall and Community Center, ½ mile off New Town Road, in Efird Park. As Marvin taxpayers, you are poised to spend nearly $400,000 (a very conservative estimate) on what they are contending is a ‘temporary’ location/building.  Yes, you heard me right – temporary. Only the most deep-pocketed corporate entities or high-profile celebrities would dare to spend that kind of money for something temporary.

What purposes would this temporary building be used for? Council meetings, a junior library, scout meetings, other community functions, and weddings. The weddings suggestion has been mentioned several times during open council meetings. Who is going to rent a small, temporary Town Hall and Community Center, with admittedly self-limiting environs? Never mind that the building septic system is not rated to handle anything but a three bedroom private residence. It seems to me that you, the taxpayers, will be financing something that has zero potential to satisfy even the modest needs of the Village.

How does this use fall within the Councils ‘passive park’ format. Full-time, year- round employees to man, clean, maintain, secure and supervise all activities, extended hours to accommodate evening functions, traffic, light and noise pollution at all hours, and all this without the direct input of taxpayers and neighbors? One Council member is pushing for a full time caretaker/family/deputy to occupy the top floor – salary for said person off-set by free room and board or some such accommodations. Sounds like 18th century England to me.

Your Council adamantly told you, while spending more than $100,000 in legal fees over four years, that the folks being forcibly annexed last summer wanted to be part of Marvin. Ultimately, 85% of effected homeowners rejected the annexation. Now, they are telling you that you need to spend $400,000 on this temporary home for the Village Hall. It’s your money. Do you agree?

Here’s another way to look at it. $2,000,000 invested in the park with approx. 1,200 taxpayers supporting it. That’s $1,667 per taxpayer. Are you getting your $1,667.00 worth of use and value? Is your neighbor? Is anyone???

They are holding a regular Village meeting on Nov. 28th. If you find this wasteful spending of your hard-earned tax dollars offensive, consider going to the meeting and voicing your opinion. At the very least, call Village Hall, ask for full details, and ask why they aren’t calling for a public hearing and/or direct, verifiable input from taxpayers and neighbors about this project. They need to tell people their plans, gather real input, and then find responsible solutions.

A $400,000 Town Hall and Community Center in Efird Park is clearly not appropriate or justifiable.

Paul Schneider

Unincorporated Union County

 

The Holocaust Remembered: An English Class Project

I am reminded of the many gifts in my life for which I am truly thankful, among them my family and my freedom. However, in a single conversation, I was further reminded of my greatest gift – I am alive!

My husband teaches at Central Academy of Technology & Arts and, upon telling me about a student English project on the Holocaust, he encouraged me to go see it. A student-collaboration, Roni Rose, a sophomore, conceived a collage-type display that shadows the details and lives of several Holocaust victims, among them her grandfather, Shalom Kramarski.

Upon entering CATA, I dutifully signed in, as should all visitors (though I forgot to get a name badge). Simplistic in display, visitors and students are immediately immersed in the exhibit. A condensed time-line collage, you learn snippets of victims’ life-stories and their outcomes accompanied by the painful images of their existence and heart-wrenching poetry and writing by fellow students and others.

Sadly, Roni’s grandfather suffers from Alzheimer’s. For those of you who are familiar with it, or those of you destined

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to become acquainted with it, sun-downing and Alzheimer’s digression back to our earliest memories leaves Shalom re-living flash-backs of the atrocities and Auschwitz almost daily.

For a few, the Holocaust is emblazoned in their memories. For some, it has become only hearsay. For many, it’s a chapter in their history lessons. Thankfully, the display has captured students’ and visitors’ attention alike! Though the Holocaust is in the past and regretfully in the present for Shalom, Roni’s goal is that we all remember the past, learn from it in the present to ensure that it will never be our future again!

I, too, encourage you to visit the Holocaust display at CATA and be thankful. Thankful for your families and the freedoms that our Veterans have provided us. Thankful that we are not destined to relive our past daily, as does Roni’s grandfather. Thankful that our youth are still responsible enough to know that we must learn from our past and take note of it. Thankful that CATA and Union County Public Schools support the personal growth of their students in this endeavor. And thankful that when you sign in at the Office and get the badge that identifies you, you have the freedom to remove it when you leave.

Teresa Weis

Wingate

 

If you love your country, embrace change, move forward

The last time I checked my history book, the United States is a country consisting of immigrants, i.e. The American Melting Pot.

Native Americans occupied it when the Europeans came to this country on the Mayflower,  this piece of land now called the United States of America. Even when Christopher Columbus sailed here in 1492 and brought a sprinkling of black people with him, Native Americans were already here.

My question is this: How can a country made up of immigrants belong to one specific group of people and they alone should govern it and tough luck for everyone else who are citizens here? Since the election, I am seeing more and more small pockets  of people soliciting the government to divorce them from these United States and forming their own private government. How crazy can an ideology be? As I understand it, this land called the United States was bought or acquired and established over 200 years ago when none of us were even here.

My point is this: All of the individuals and groups who feel as if the USA is not the country that they want to continue to live in no matter what state you live in, the solution is to just move somewhere else.  These people do not speak for the majority of Americans or the states. The election proved that. I am saddened that people in the 21st Century can still be this inept. “Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it” is a famous saying. If the government would grant these people’s request and form a committee which would visit each person who signed these petitions, grant them their wish while revoking their citizenship, seizing their property and freezing their bank accounts and give them 30 days to be deported to whereever it is they want to be, they would literally die.

They may also realize then how gracious this country has been and the plight of the illegal immigrant in this country. For those who do not realize it, this world is going through a paradigm shift not of our making. Many people will go through this shift with no problem but unfortunately many will not. But as Bishop Eddie Long stated almost four years ago at the death of Coretta Scott King: “The people are looking for a leader, ... but the leader is not going to be in an individual, but it is going to be a people.” I believe these people will be so galvanized and one one accord with the same ideology, philosopht, and zeal for the truth that they will be unstoppable. That prophesy was fulfilled Nov. 6, 2012. We rise, fall or sink together. If you love your country, embrace change and move forward.

Betty Williams

Monroe

 

Carolyn Lowder has give her best to schools

When a child enters school, it is every parent’s wish that the teachers that become an integral part of this educational journey will be the best in the profession and the most caring. As a student, you hope that you will be assigned to that teacher who will understand the subject matter so well that you earn passing grades and yet enjoy your unique personality.  As an educator, you seek out fellow professionals that are passionate about their students and the communities in which they live and work. Carolyn Lowder was and is one of the finest examples of each of these roles.

I had the good fortune to live in the Wingate community and many of my teachers did as well. This was, most of the time, a blessing. But it could also be a student’s worst nightmare because if there were any questionable activities, there was a direct hotline to my parents. Being a parent now myself,  I fully understand the value of this, but then I was not nearly so appreciative. My family felt that an education was pricelessand they were delighted with those teachers that joined my brother, sister, and me in our lifelong learning experiences. We had the best and the teacher’s word was law, even if I had a difference of opinion sometimes.

As a student in the Forest Hills cluster, I was extremely blessed to have teachers who were superior in their knowledge of subject matter and dedicated beyond measure to insure that all of my classmates, as well as me, had every opportunity to excel. Mrs. Lowder, at that time, represented the best in her field and I, not being of a scientific mind, was assigned to her chemistry class, which would prove to be he beginning of atremendous experience with her. Her expertise not only gave me insights into the world of periodic tables but also to the patience, sense of humor, and dedication that Mrs. Lowder shared with all of those in her classes. Never did I question her commitment to us and I was not afraid to ask questions or seek additional explanations because she made each of us feel valued and our ideas were important to her. It seemed like she lived at that school because she was always there ready to listen  as to why we couldn’t finish our homework, or give us extra help if we needed it. Her door was always open and she greeted each of us with a smile, many times laughter, and patience that knew no boundaries. If she were to write a book, my class I’m sure would be highlighted — for many reasons.

When I became an educator, I found myself reflecting on the teaching styles of those that had most influenced me. Mrs. Carolyn Lowder demonstrated to me that you can be knowledgeable, professional and caring. All of these characteristics  I hope that I have carried with me. Her presence has been notable, for she volunteered regularly and maintained that persona of dedication to those students needing a special, caring individual in their lives. Wingate Elementary School, among others, was fortunate indeed to have her as a mentor and friend of education.

For 18 years (I may be wrong aobu tthe exact number) Mrs. Carolyn Lowder has devoted her life to the students of Union Countyby serving on the Union County Board of Education. There has never been any doubt in my mind about her passion for the children, families and communities that she was elected to serve. Every decision she has made was made with thorough consideration for what would be best for all concerned. Mrs, Lowder has served with dignity and grace, never wavering from the ultimate goal of providing the best possible educational experience for all the students of Union County. Thank you, Mrs. Carolyn Lowder, for the endless hours and tireless devotion you have given the Union County school system. Our system has been strengthened and guided by one of its best.

Karen Baucon

Monroe