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Letters to the editor

June 23, 2004

More money doesn't make for smarter kids


To the editor:

Expense is something paid out or given up to attain an end. Since the battle cry of local and national school boards is not to "shortchange" the students, academia is of the opinion that ever-increasing expense creates and sustains education, rather than teaching old-fashioned reading, writing and arithmetic.

Reading is the world's greatest teacher, and if students are taught to read, they can learn. Television can teach students how to curse, rob, murder, rape and deceive, but cannot or does not teach the student to learn the backbone of an industrial society.

Therefore if we "spend" $9,000 per year per student in one area, and $90,000 per student in another area, school boards reach the conclusion that a tenfold increase in expenses paid out creates a student who is tenfold more "educated."

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When I was in elementary school the teacher's salary was $600 per year, rather than $600 per week. Since most dads, black and white, were in the alleged poverty level of earning between $18 and $25 per week, all of us kids in Chambersburg were poverty stricken, underprivileged, disadvantaged and brain-damaged from a diet minus protein, classified as corn meal for breakfast, and another load of "starch" called potpie for supper.

Since all of us kids born in the Great Depression were raised on a diet of "starch" rather than "protein," learned to read rather than being "entertained" by television, we could also multiply 2 x 2 and get an answer of 4, minus a Texas Instrument, and grew up to be smart enough to take what we learned and place a man on the moon.

Since history is the best teacher, if local school boards would research their local schools' history, by reading, they would discover what the teachers did then, compared to what they are doing now. It does not require $9,000 to educate a student in elementary arithmetic, since no textbook on the planet costs $9,000.

Intelligence therefore proves that a combination of poverty, low income and malnutrition, plus reading, writing and arithmetic, taught by the tune of the "hickory stick" (discipline) created the gainful result for those whom we all agree was the greatest generation.

Jim Thompson
Chambersburg, Pa.




Landlord lists a good idea


To the editor:

I am very glad that the City of Hagerstown plans to publicize the names of landlords who rent properties where drug arrests and habitual code violations occur.

I disagree with Allan Johnson of the Landlords Association that it will embarrass good landlords. I also do not agree when he says local landlords are taking steps to screen out that type of tenant.

Everyone realizes that anyone can make a mistake, but the landlords mentioned are habitual offenders and reside in Washington County.

You cannot understand what the city code enforcer or Police Chief Arthur Smith are talking about until you live close to this type of property - when a tenant moves and another moves in who is as bad or worse than the one who moved. This would seldom happen if references and police records were checked thoroughly.

There are many who will be quite happy if the city follows through with this plan.

Louise Dawson
Hagerstown




Stand by the president


To the editor:

I want to share a part of a letter we received from our grandson, Marine Pfc. Shatzer. He is stationed in Ramadi, about 65 miles from Iraq.

"Just trying to keep cool. The temp is rising over 100. Yesterday it was 110. I finally got to sit down and write a letter to you.

"It's not like my schedule back home. We work nights, days, holidays, and weekends. Not much time to ourselves.

"It's cool though! Each day has been a challenge, but God has seen me though each day. It's an honor to be serving my country!

"Hope that I will be able to come home soon."

Please pray for all our military, our young men and ladies who are risking their very lives so we here can be reasonably safe.

Even if you don't like the situation or our President Bush, stand with him as he tries to prevent another catastrophe in this great U.S.A. We live in the greatest country on God's earth. Not perfect, but would anyone want to live anywhere else right now? If so, why not apply for citizenship to where- ever you feel is better?

God bless our president as he seeks his guidance each day.

G.M. Hoffman
Hagerstown

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