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Letters to Editor

Letters to Editor

Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 8:01 pm

Dear Editor, 

As a very concerned citizen (who has no stake), I am expressing my views on the impact of the U.C. Goodyear plant closing. Prior to Goodyear, the whole area was economically depressed with only UTM with half of its present enrollment. 

With this plant closing, the region will revert back to the same condition. Besides associates, others will also lose their jobs because of a domino effect. Some businesses may benefit because they can either force their workers to take pay cut or hire new ones at low wages. 

Those 600 associates, whose contract was bought out by Goodyear have found no job. So where will laid-off workers find jobs in this region? Even if they move out , how can they sell their homes when so many houses will flood the market?

How will they make mortgage payments and prevent foreclosures? Banks will end up holding the bag. They cannot afford to make purchases they have been making. Will that not hurt local businesses? 

They cannot afford to seek medical help and may have no health insurance so the health industry will feel the pinch. With no wages, federal, state, county and city taxes will be hurt. How can local governments provide services? 

Our politicians swarm at election time like frogs in rainy seasons. They bombard us with e-mails, manifestos and computer-generated phone calls to get our votes. 

After getting elected, they turn around and deprive us of our jobs by letting greedy corporations take our jobs elsewhere and now to China (against which Eisenhower had organized SEATO, spending so many billions of our tax money). Go shopping and find “MADE IN CHINA” labels. Our trade deficit is a barometer of our destruction. 

Our politicians can find twice the land of the size of Washington, DC in China at a fraction of the cost. So why don’t these politicians and corporate executives move to China and run the government and corporations from there, which may not be difficult in the computer age just like call centers overseas? 

That will reduce the federal  budget to a quarter of present budget meeting the goal of Tea Party candidates who pledged to reduce the federal budget. Over and above that our politicians  elected by us became so benevolent during and since WWII that they have been spending our tax dollars in foreign aid, Marshall plan for Europe, maintaining overseas bases and fighting wars (the latest being in Iraq). What do they care if they use our hard-earned money and our soldiers are killed? 

These politicians have continued to pour money into Pakistan when its army and ISI have been in collusion with Talibans who wage suicide attacks killing our soldiers and civilians and harboring Bin Laden, who has not been captured. 

After closing the plant, Goodyear will move some equipment and depriciate the rest and claim on their tax return, again avoiding taxes to their benefit. Area county, city governments and utilities have been spending millions building and maintaining roads, paying utility lines, etc., for the use of Goodyear and all of that will go down the drain, in addition to losing revenues from wage losses. 

It will also strain unemployment compensation, welfare and food stamp programs. Associates also have contributed to the earnings of Goodyear by their hard labor and quality production only to be rewarded by thankless Goodyear. All that money sent by associates is at stake now. 

Corporate executives will lose not a penny and continue to draw their fat salaries and bonuses. The local plant manager will be moved elsewhere and his house taken care of by Goodyear.

I do not know what the union leadership has done and is doing to prevent plant closure. I am reminded of the longest strike by steelworkers around 1969. Union bosses ultimately won but workers lost their jobs because of the cheap import of steel and its plastic substitutes. 

Steel town became ghost town. It is now up to the associates to unite to work as hard as possible to save their jobs and prevent plant closure even if it means  making some concessions. A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.

Thank you.





Dear Editor,

Much attention has been given in recent weeks to education “reform.” While a focus on these important issues is welcome, the voices of educators – those of us working daily in classrooms across the nation – have been inexplicably ignored in the debate.

Educators were working to improve our public schools before it became trendy, and we are eager to collaborate with parents, community leaders and anyone else who shares our vision. We offer no “manifesto” and no easy answers, only the promise of hard work and a chance to make a difference.

The status quo is not acceptable, but improving public education is a complex challenge.  Ideology and simple solutions are no substitute for hard work and proven practices.

We cannot move forward without acknowledging the real challenges facing our public schools.  One out of every five children in our nation today lives in poverty.  Poor nutrition and health care and illiteracy in the home, among other things, have a real impact on learning. 

Helping all students succeed requires addressing this whole spectrum of needs – a fact ignored by many “reformers.”

Too much of the debate has focused on blaming teachers. Yet, teachers are not the problem in education today, and neither are our unions. Nobody wants unqualified teachers in classrooms.  We need to focus on nurturing great teachers, by strengthening preparation before they enter the profession, and ensuring ongoing opportunities for experienced teachers to build their skills.

We must move away from the current systems for evaluating students and teachers. Standardized tests are clearly not the solution, either for measuring student achievement or judging their teachers. We need to focus on measuring the skills our children will need for the 21st Century – critical thinking, reading comprehension and writing, and the ability to ask pertinent questions.  And, we need to allow teachers and management to collaborate on new methods of evaluation that will give a better picture of what students are learning, and help teachers improve their practice.

There is no silver bullet to improving education, and movies and manifestos that claim to provide simple solutions do a great disservice to students and teachers. 

The only way to provide a viable choice to every family is by improving our neighborhood schools.

As an educator, I truly hope that this national debate will allow for real dialogue about the challenges facing our education system and the hard work and collaboration necessary to address them. Let’s put aside the rhetoric and stop the blame and start working together to give all of our students the world-class education they deserve.


Melinda Weaver

White House


Dear Editor,

I am an autistic person and suffer from severe depression. I am reacting to an online article about some Facebook users suffering from depression due to frequent friend request denials and unfriending. I have been using Facebook in the last couple of years in efforts to reconnect with old friends and to voice my opinions. Recently, Facebook is having a negative influence on my disability and lifestyle.

It seems if I am having more enemies than friends on Facebook. More friends (whom I’ve known from my childhood) are either denying my friend request or unfriending me for undisclosed reasons. I do often wonder why these people are “slamming the door” in my face. I have not offended these people.  

I am also wondering if these people are discriminating against me because of my mental illness and disability. I stand up and voice “what I believe in.” I have the First Amendment right to post as many status messages as I want without annoying a person. I feel as if these people are giving me a very poor reputation. They are not forthcoming on why they no longer want to be friends with me and this is making me suffer from emotional distress.  

All Facebook users need to realize that I am a person like everybody else and nobody is perfect. People with mental disabilities are not animals and not all criminals. 

And I do not have the desire to play any Facebook games and this is my choice and not everyone else’s. And I do have the habit of not adding input to every status message. I do believe that those who have offended me on Facebook will regret this action that they’ve taken against me later on in life.

I would like all Facebook users to take plenty of time to think about the person who has sent them a friend request before accepting the request. They need to accept this person’s (even if it’s an old friend) Facebook posting habits and views even if they do not agree with their political and religious views. 

I would like everybody to take some time to think about the well-being of that person who they are about to unfriend. I am going to be more careful on choosing friends on Facebook. Thank you very much for listening to my opinions.  


Elysia Duke


wcp 2/15/11