Letters to the editor
A ducky ending
I wanted to share a good news story.
As our family was returning from our evening walk, we saw some neighbors standing in the road. They said three baby ducks had fallen in the drainage hole in the curb. I called the Prairie Township Fire Department to see what they could do. They said they would come out.
Four firefighters came and immediately started assessing the situation. A neighbor had a long fishing net the firefighters used to rescue the ducks. They got all three baby ducks out and reunited with their mom.
The firefighters spent 30 minutes trying to get the ducks in the net. One firefighter laid down on the road and had his whole upper body down the hole. They did such a wonderful thing!
All the neighborhood kids were so happy to see a good outcome. A big thanks needs to go out to these firemen for job well done. Especially in this economy!
Westgate Easter Egg Hunt thank you
The staff at Westgate Recreation Center, 455 S. Westgate Avenue, wishes to thank all the volunteers and sponsors of this year's Easter Egg Hunt.
The event was a huge success due to all the community support we received. Our major sponsors were the Westgate Community Recreation Council (CRC), Hilltop Kiwanis and the Hilltop Lions Club. Additional sponsors were the Aids Awareness LLC, Brookshire Foodliner, Dominoes, Donatos, Extra Space Storage, Hilltop Business Association, Hometown Buffet, Jerry Spears Funeral Home, Joseppies (Murray Hill), McDonald's (W. Broad), Next Day Signs, Pepsi, Schoedinger Hilltop Chapel, Taco Bell (W. Broad), Tee Jays Country Place Restaurant, VFW- Post 4044, Wendy's (Sullivant Avenue) and corporate office, Westgate Neighbors Association, Western Lanes, Westway Paint and Body Shop and White Castle. Volunteers consisted of Boy Scout Troop 33at Parkview UM Church, Friends of Westgate Park, Kiwanis, Westgate CRC and other friends of the Recreation Center.
Thank you to all who helped this year!
Westgate Recreation Center staff
My heart is breaking
My heart is breaking tonight for my two children still at home. What we stand to lose in South-Western school district is so much more than what most people think. Not only did the children lose, the community lost a lot as well. We lost the support that we so desperately need to have a successful school community.
While the voting was being counted my husband was with our freshman daughter at her last home track meet of the year and I was with our son who was being inducted into the National Junior Honor Society as a seventh grader. Not only are my children in many extracurricular activities, they are all honor students as well.
Their sister is one of the lucky ones, she graduated from Westland High School last year. She was an honor student, ranked 23 in a class of 330. She participated in National Honor Society, WISE, prom committee, girls tennis team and was a thrower on the track and field team. Many of clubs and athletics she participated in got her noticed by many different colleges. She was able to go to Marshall University on an academic and athletic scholarship. There is no child more proud of being a Westland graduate than she is. Now, my other two who are just starting to compete at middle school and high school level will not have the opportunities that were available to their sister. How unfair for them and others who are is the same position?
People have said its the economy. Yes, I am sure that is a factor. My husband has not worked a 40 hour week at his job since before Christmas and I have not had a raise in over eight years because of the cuts made to library funding. So we are living within our means and have been for along time now. My husband is looking at 17 days without pay over the next two and a half months. We will survive. But will the children? Cut busing, do you want your child to cross Broad Street to walk to school? Drop athletes, band etc., do you want you child running around with their friends trying to find something to do? What about the teachers we will lose, schools that will close?
What price do you put on education? There is not a price for a good education. No matter how bad things seem to be, education and all that goes with it is what gives us the leaders of tomorrow. How can they be leaders when all they need to be successful is not offered? How can they be well-rounded adults if the adults they trusted to do right thing failed them?
I do hope that those who voted no had a good reason for doing so; we felt that there wasn't any other decision but to vote yes. Our three children and their educational future are worth way more than the amount we would have had to pay in taxes. If that means no pizza, movies, vacations then so be it. Being a parent means you sacrifice so that your children have more and better than what you had. Remember this, someone passed a levy for you at some point in your school years.
Bobby and Jane Barnhart
I will always vote no
I am very pleased that Issue 15 did not pass!
South-Western rarely misses an opportunity (whether May or November) to place a tax hike on the ballot. They always claim their ridiculous requests are necessary for the students. Myself, and I am sure many others simply do not believe them. I remember when they tried to introduce the 1 percent school district tax. They tried to convince seniors that they would be exempt; this failed further alienating the senior vote. I am convinced that no matter what levies pass or fail they will always have their hands outstretched for a handout.
I have never seen students in my neighborhood going door to door selling Christmas ornaments, fruit or any other item most schools sell to raise money. This district is all about milking the life out of homeowners. The only thing I do believe is that they will ask for yet another levy this November. Other than that their credibility is shot, and I will always vote no!
Daniel O. Martin
People want pay to play
I attended the South-Western public forum on May 11. I saw children who were worried and scared at the prospects of their future without any extra-curricular activity. Being a teen is hard enough without the added pressures for which our children have come to expect every three to four years when a school levy does not pass in our community.
To the superintendent, you began the public forum by saying you wanted to hear from the community how we would like to move forward. It was clear the majority in the room wanted to explore the pay-to-participate option.
I would guess the majority of the people attending the forum voted for the levy as this is the only option we parents have, but allowing the parent to decide to take on the financial burden to support our own children in an activity would give us another option. It has been said in previous meetings the reason pay to participate is not up for discussion is due to diversity. Looking around the room during the public forum, there was a diverse group represented; the clear consensus is that they are willing to cover the financial burden. Let us make the choice as to whether we can afford it for our own child.
Dr. Wise, you say you want to hear from the community but you aren't listening to us. You stated the lack of competitive teams as a reason for not implementing pay to participate, how competitive are we by not having any teams and our children not conditioning for their sport throughout the year?
Pay to participate is not the best option or the most desirable option, but right not it is our only option. I strongly urge the board to reconsider an emergency decision to implement pay to participate for the 2009/10 school year.
Schools are set up for failure
It was quite a shock when I woke up to hear Issue 15 failed again. I suspected homeowners and community members to finally get the message that our schools were in dire need of financial aid since the previous failed levy.
I stepped into school to continue my last month as a senior. Naturally, I feel proud to have the days count closer to graduation, and I am anxious to leave the last four years of my life behind me.
Although, I'm not sure I can just leave my school behind knowing it's due for failure. As a hopeful future homeowner myself, I cannot understand what makes the present day homeowner restrain from paying a simple increase to support our schools.
A common excuse I heard was due to hard economic times a monthly increase is just not possible, but these are simple increases compared to the price most of us will pay due to the levy's failure. It will cost many of us much more than the alternative by simply having to provide our own gas to commute children to and from school regularly.
The problems we face, and the economic struggles of today, are not going to go away by neglecting them. It might take us a while before we see progress, but we must face hardship like true Americans and put fourth effort in hopes that we may not face these same struggles tomorrow.
Students should blame administration, not voters
I have been a resident of Grove City for over 10 years and have two girls who attend South-Western City Schools and are directly affected by the recent levy failure. So it was with absolutely no joy that I opposed the recent school levy.
Last year I paid over $4,000 in property taxes and over $2,000 was for the school district. The levy would have added almost $600 a year to what I am already paying. So it is not the students who have to pay for it, it is the taxpayers.
The students have to suffer the consequences of an already over-taxed society. The students and parents, who are understandably angry, should direct their anger at the administration. This is an administration that uses strong-arm tactics to get what it wants. It is an all or nothing organization that wants it one way....it's own.
So let me point them in the right direction with a few helpful hints. First, listen to the voters. We have told you you are asking too much, so don't ask for as much next time. Second, stop the strong-arm tactics. Make the cuts that are financially prudent and not just the cuts that will anger people into accepting your levy. Third, stop lying to us. Stop telling us it costs too much money for activities when we know that is nothing but an excuse. Finally, it's time we accept the unfortunate necessity of pay for play.
Speaking only for myself, doing these four things would greatly enhance the chances of me supporting the next levy.
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