Letters to the editor, Sept. 1, 2021
ESL program leads to success
I am a retired Spanish teacher. When my children were young, I hired two Chinese sisters to provide daycare. Their husbands were graduate students at Tech. They were professionals, but spoke little English. Each left behind a toddler in the care of grandparents.
Two years later they sent for their children. Both were five years old. They started English classes in our ESL program and six months later started first grade with strong language skills. Fast forward, Peter graduated from Stanford with a degree in computer engineering. Connie is a pediatric surgeon.
I was taken aback when the School Board rejected a grant that would help this program provide services for kids like these. The decision seems fiscally irresponsible and a lose-lose for our district.
The longer students struggle to gain fluency, the more more attention and resources they draw from the classroom teacher, from other students, and from the district as a whole. Success lies in a strong, well-funded program.
The Board cited concerns about 'strings' attached to the funding. I assume they did their due diligence and researched the requisites of the grant. I'd ask that you share those findings and the specific reasons for rejecting it.
Maureen Zimney, Rapid City
We need this
Councilman Bill Evans suggested that Rapid City invest some of the extra money to build a Bell Tower. Unlike money grabs to satisfy a personal interest, this would benefit all of Rapid City and the surrounding area for generations to come.
The Bells would become a destination for tourists from all over the world. We have Mount Rushmore, the Presidential Statues and the perfect addition would be a Bell Tower. The sound of the Bells would be an inspiration for all of us.
They would give us many opportunities for special
ceremonies. We need this kind of beauty in our community.. The cost is reasonable but the benefits would be huge.
Edie Boulter, Rapid City
More comments needed
Thank you for publishing Sen. Jessica Castleberry's explanation of the seemingly universal right of any citizen to bear any sort of firearm.
I eagerly await this Constitutional Scholar's comments on the concept of " A well regulated militia".
Scott Norman, Seattle WA
Wow the pro masker letter to the editor demands a response. I find the comment that the school board doesn’t care about students’ safety offensive and ignorant.
I agree with your demand for choice in education. Finally, with the help of the Covid 19 crisis people are coming to the conclusion – yes finally – that school choice is a good idea.
Maybe school choice and having the money follow the child to the school of the parent’s choosing is an unintended consequence of this bad situation.
Please keep demanding school choice and it may become a reality.
Janette McIntyre, Rapid City
Trust the doctors
Who has taken over most of the Rapid City School Board and district?! What alternate facts have made them so illogical? We are still in the middle of a public health crisis, thanks to all the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers out there. This is not the time to let down our guard! If we want to get back to normal, we just can't wish it into existence. We have to do what the medical experts (not quacks) have recommended. Christians, compare Christ's sacrifice to a couple nearly painless shots in the arm and mask over the face when around groups to protect yourself and others.
I'm a 1967 graduate of RCHS. I cannot fathom the school board and majority of district back then responding to a pandemic the way ours have.
They would have had school staff and age-approved students lining up in the gym to get vaccinated prior to the start of the school year just like I had to do in the 50s for the polio vaccine of which we were very grateful. We are in new world now with the internet spewing many lies. You trust doctors to save your life; trust them on the vaccine and masks.
Sandra Schneider-Troy, Rapid City
Whiners, not patriots
Twenty years ago, terrorists hijacked four passenger planes and flew them into three buildings, killing nearly 3,000 people.
Within months, tens of thousands of patriots, wearing heavy clothes, heavy boots, helmets, body armor and loads of equipment, were slogging through hot desert environments in the belief that they could help prevent more attacks and more death.
Now, a virus has killed more than 200 times as many people in the US as died on 9-11. Now, “patriots” — who think they’d be willing to kill and die for their country — cry like babies and whine about freedom when told to put on a little mask or get a shot.
How am I supposed to respect those who won’t even go that far to save lives?
Paul Sauser, Rapid City
Leave politics out of it
If Americans are not willing to sacrifice temporarily a small piece of their freedom like a Mask, or social distancing, or vaccines for the better good of all then this a different America than I grew up with.
It is a new and sad America when our neighbors are not willing to sacrifice a small thing to save others lives. Where will this ideology take us? And do any of us really want to live in a dog eat dog society where the only survivors will be those who are willing to take the most.
If you don't know what is happening go to a hospital and spend an hour in a Covid ward and see people who were there because they ran into someone without a mask. We don't mind wars when we cannot see or feel them, until they enter our personal lives and kill one of us. I am just asking Republicans to become aware of what is happening and leave politics out of it.
Brent Cox, Sturgis
Quit idling your cars
I recently visited western South Dakota. It was disappointing to see how many drivers thought it was acceptable to let their vehicles idle while parked. The strangest were no one in the vehicle or windows down and idling. Many drivers still believe in the “old” idling behavior.
Since the introduction of electronic ignition and fuel injection in the late 1980’s these beliefs are no longer valid. Some current facts about vehicle idling: more fuel is used in 10 seconds of idling than starting, for every 2 minutes of idling you could drive 1 mile, vehicles only need 30 seconds of warm-up before driving, vehicles today are designed for 50,000 starts (10 starts per day = 13.5 years).
Idling in traffic is required, idling while parked is optional. Examples where unnecessary idling occurs: using cell phones, long predictable traffic stops like road construction and rail crossings, warming up vehicles, long drive through lines, and schools.
3.8 million gallons of fuel is wasted in the U. S. every day on unnecessary idling (38,000 extra tons of CO2). The climate is changing faster than we are. Save money and help save the planet. Turn your key be idle free.
Checkout websites like iturnitoff.com.
Stephen Kingsbury, Beaverton, OR