Letters to the Editor, Feb. 8, 2012

-A A +A

Ramp: Just keep driving


When I saw the picture on the front page of The Sentinel-Newson Jan. 25, accompanying the story "Dangerous ramp to be replaced," I was dumbfounded, as I am every time this topic comes up.

The caption states in part that "the car in the lead had been forced to stop when it was unable to merge." For heaven's sake why? Will it drop off the end of the earth if it doesn't? Is there some invisible barrier there that I don't see? Instead of slamming on the brakes and creating a very dangerous situation, why do people not continue to accelerate into the emergency lane past the white line?

There is clear hard pavement ahead essentially as wide as the on ramp itself. I always accelerate on into the emergency lane at any on ramp where I may not be able to merge within whatever space is allotted, so that I do not create a dangerous situation for myself or other motorists.

No problem. Am I missing something? 

Wouldn't doing that be a whole lot safer than swerving out suddenly onto the interstate or stopping your car just because you might drive across the white line at the so-called "end" of the acceleration ramp?

Jim Hurtt


Grateful for public school education


As a retiree who has proudly served 30 years in public education, I am greatly bothered when I read a story in the newspaper or view a report on television claiming that public schools are failing. These stories usually center on how a percentage of students have failed to achieve certain scores on standardized tests or have failed to achieve some state or federally mandated goal. Sometimes it seems as if through the excessive use of standardized tests, we are striving to produce a standardized student and eventually a standardized citizen. For the sake of the blessings of individual differences, let us hope not.

Public schools continuously are called into question by well intending politicians who invariably include educational reform as one of the main things they plan to accomplish during their terms (often before the last one of the many reform mandates has been fully implemented), thereby leading people to believe that there is a great deal wrong with their schools.

These same individuals never acknowledge just what an awesome task it is to provide a free public school education for all children or that when all things are considered public schools may be doing an excellent job. Children come from all walks of life, with diverse talents and abilities that may be affected by mental, physical, cultural and economic challenges.

I am occasionally privileged to visit a number of our public schools and am always favorably impressed by students whom I find to be courteous, helpful, well-mannered, talented, pleasant and bright. I also have the pleasure of working with some of these young people at the Shelby County Community Theatre. There I find them equally capable, talented, intelligent, helpful and well-behaved

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to attend and graduate from a public school.

After nearly 60 years I remain grateful for the teachers who in addition to providing instruction, cared about me, even though I was not a good student, and offered me words of encouragement. I sometimes wonder, what would I have been without public schools and those teachers?

Judging from the young people I meet and work with, I am convinced that dedicated, caring, teachers doing the best they can to help all children reach their potential are still out there. Someone is doing a good job! I ask you to focus your attention on the young people around you, not just on their test scores, and I believe you will agree.

William Gary Steinhilber



Sen. Paul and airport security


What is wrong with Sen. Rand Paul, this so-called elected official, and his run-in at an airport security checkpoint? He states that those who fly all the time should not be checked at airports?

I guess he thinks he is better than all Americans if he trips an alarm. Doesn’t he realize that it’s not only those from other countries that are putting America at threat? Or has he forgotten that we do have domestic terrorists?

Trust me, if I were flying at that time and this occurred in front of me, I would excuse myself and catch another flight.

I say that if Sen. Paul takes security as a joke then maybe he should resign his post as a senator.

I believe he should apologize to all Americans for his shameless act, to say this security process was an invasion of privacy. So is terrorism. I guess terrorists don’t have frequent flyer miles!

Edgar Olivares


Salvation Army thanks


The Salvation Army committee would like to thank all the people of Shelby County who made a contribution, whether it be time, talent or resources, to make this past Christmas season more joyful for 935 Angel Tree children who might otherwise not had Christmas.

We salute the men and women of area service clubs, civic organizations and churches who served at our Christmas kettles; the dedicated members of the Salvation Army advisory board who volunteered their time all year long to serve those of Shelby County who are less fortunate; volunteers who worked at city hall every day to get the packages ready for pickup; and those of you who gave monetary donations so that those who might otherwise have been forgotten experienced the joy of Christmas.

With your support, we will continue “doing the most good” for those in need throughout the year.

Bonnie L. Roberts, chairperson

Salvation Army Shelby County Service Unit