I'm writing to support our teachers because this strike has brought back years of hurt, tears and disappointment. My husband was a school teacher and we heard the same remarks every year at negotiation time. These retired teachers fought hard for raises that would help struggling young families buy homes, acquire decent health insurance and pay off their student loans, etc.
Who really believes that these professionals prefer standing out in the cold day after day being labeled selfish, spiteful and uncaring rather than being in their warm classrooms with their children?
Teachers own homes in our community and pay taxes just like other community members. Teachers should not have to be beggars every two years in order to maintain a decent contract. Other professionals in our community: lawyers, doctors, psychologists, nurses and dentists are not subjected to this process. They simply raise their prices and you and I pay!
The teachers are willing to meet with the school board and Superintendent Lawrie. But, how sincere has Superintendent Lawrie been when she had ads running in newspapers, professional magazines, and on the Internet for replacement teachers even before the strike began?
I wonder....if the school board and Superintendent Lawrie had to stand outside every day, just like the teachers, would this whole mess be over?
It's hard in communities like ours to find fair answers especially when state and federal help has been cut so much and more burdens have been put on our local schools, but please.....this isn't just the teachers fault. They do care. They are a big part of the backbone of our community. We lose good teachers, we lose community assets.
Where's the right to breathe?
I was appalled at Rep. Paul Gazelka's recent vote against the Freedom to Breathe Act during Wednesday?s House Commerce Committee.
As a parent, I'm wondering if children aren't allowed to smoke in society, why they are forced to inhale second-hand smoke in restaurants? If you expose your kids to other people's smoke, you might as well pass around a lit cigarette and I don't know any parent who would allow that. I'm sick of my children and I suffering at the expense of others' "right" to threaten my health what ever happened to the right to breathe clean air?
It's time for the U.S. to go to work
America has got to get back to work. The Chinese aren't going to be our slaves much longer.
Jerrold C. Turnquist
No one should breathe toxic air
I chaired the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners in 2002 when we passed our county wide ban prohibiting smoking in restaurants.
Our board saw the issue purely as a matter of Public Health. Just like those who regulated the pasteurization of milk to prevent the public from getting TB from raw milk, we were/are protecting the rights of the public to breath clean, non-toxic air.
Those against the ban were mostly from the hospitality industry. Their concerns were about money. They assured us that the ban would take away the rights of those who patronize a smoking establishment and that businesses would fail.
This has not been our experience in Olmsted County. Despite a drop in the economy, we have had 35 new restaurants with over a 1,000 seats built since our ordinance went into effect. Also, we have had no problems implementing and enforcing the ordinance.
A survey, sponsored by our local newspaper before the ban showed wide community support. Another done after the ban showed such appreciation and support that the newspaper declared it a "non-issue".
We commissioners received immediate thanks from the community and are still hearing how our citizens appreciate the absence of smoke in our restaurants. In the 3 years that have passed, much more has been learned about the lethal effects of secondhand smoke. No one in any public place should have to breath toxic air.
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