Letters to the editor


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PT construction hindering education

Dear Editor,

I am a PTA volunteer at Prairie Norton Elementary. For many months, I have watched the Norton Road construction taking place in front of Prairie Norton Elementary and Norton Middle School.

I would have thought that the construction would have been finished before the start of this school year – but it was not. I do not know who is responcible for this road work but I do believe that not much concern was given to the students, school staff members, bus drivers or parents who attend these schools every day.

I have had comments made to me from parents. On one occassion, I was told that one of the school entrances was blocked by construction and the signal does not always work.

One parent attending an open house had trouble breathing from the construction dust. A major concern is the bus drivers making wide turns into the schools.

These schools are not air-conditioned. Windows are open when it is warm. Children can hear the construction, which is disruptive to the educational process.

But why are all of these people here? The education of our children. I applaud the administrators of these buildings.

Every morning, before and after school, you can see teachers and administrators in the school parking lots watching over the safety of the children.

I wish the people responcible for the construction would have the same concern about the safety, health and educational welfare of our children. With overtime and additional man-power, this job could have been done by now. When are we going to start putting our children first?

Sheila Ragland, PTA mom,

HBA endorsing candidates?

Dear Editor,

In its 79 years of existence, the Hilltop Business Association has never publicly endorsed a candidate for political office. Imagine my surprise in reading the Oct. 8 edition of the Westside Messenger and finding that the HBA ran a paid ad encouraging readers to vote Gary Baker for the Columbus Board of Education.

Granted, the board position is supposed to be non-political, however, it is common knowledge what this candidate’s party affiliation is and the several political endorsements he has received.

It has always been the HBA’s policy to invite all candidates for a particular race or office to appear at their meetings, offering a chance to to hear both sides of an issue or candidate. If the HBA wanted to mention Baker’s candidacy, the ad should have mentioned the other candidates running for for the Columbus Board of Education. Many HBA members have run for political office over the years, and have never been publicly endorsed by the HBA.

As a past president (1988-1989) and former exceutive secretary (1990-1995) of the HBA, I am embarrassed by this turn of events.

Lois Neff,

Fond Halloween memories

Dear Editor,

Halloween has dramatically changed over the years. By mid-September we are bombarded with daily ads promoting everything spooky from decorations to expensive costumes.

I remember one year when my mother was readying my sister and I for “Beggars Night.” Money was tight at out house, but our mother was both innovative and creative when it came to home-made costume design.

This particular year (in the 1930s), she wrapped a huge white sheet around my sister and me, fastened it down the front with silver safety pins, and told us we would be trick-or-treating as siamese twins.

She also gave us a brown-paper bag for our anticipated goodies. At that time, there were no shiny orange plastic buckets to carry our treats in.

Unfortunately, the unusual costume was scratchy and uncomfortable. After knocking on several doors, my sister and I started punching and kicking each other beneath the sheet as we walked down Terrace Avenue. When we finally returned home, we fought for another half-hour over how to divide our Halloween candy. What fun!

Tody, it seems children are mostly dressed in expensive store-bought outfits. Personally, I liked growing up in a time when there was less commercialism and more ingenuity. Times were safer then also.

Phyllis G. Orcutt,


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