Sun, Jan. 19

Letters to the Editor

Ree Carnes the queen of Middle Verde Road


There is a lady by the name of Ree Carnes, but I call her the Queen of Middle Verde Road for I see her time and time again making that four miles of road beautiful by picking up paper, bottles, cans, and other trash that thoughtless people must throw out of their car windows, I can’t imagine what our road would look like if it wasn’t for Ree, the Queen of Middle Verde Road. It would probably look like the road between the town of Camp Verde and the dump.

I find it hard to believe that all that paper and trash comes from thoughtless people in their vehicles. One day, I was following a garbage truck and a lot of paper was coming out of the top of the truck — back on the road.

How wonderful it is in this day and age to see and know someone who sees a problem and does something about it, not looking for fame or reward. Yes, Ree Games is truly a queen and her husband, Jerry, must be some kind of king. They deserve recognition.

David R. Beeler

Camp Verde

Education, like everything else in life, costs money


There are people in the Verde Valley who would have us believe there is a war going on and that they represent the “Anti-Tax/Peoples” side. They are using a vital resource as a weapon in their imaginary war. Their weapon? Our children’s education. The lyrics of their fight song go something like “we just want what’s best for the students.” It’s a war alright, a war against women and children.

How in the world does taking money away from our teachers and the educational system equal what’s best for our children? This is a moot question for those who feel the need to respond with a personal attack.

My tax bill for the year 1998 included $298.98 for Mingus. Two of my children have graduated, a third is a year and a few months away from graduating. Do I think I have received my $298.98 worth (another moot question)? Well let’s see...

One child is attending, and doing well in, an Ivy League school. The other, also doing quite well, is at the Honor’s College right here in Arizona. The third child wants to be a geneticist, something she’ll have to attend a four-year college to study; which indicates she’s no slouch either. Not a bad return for $298.98 a year.

“Anti-Tax” opponents will say “well she can afford to send her children to college.” Wake up. This isn’t about what I can afford to do after/if my children graduate. If they graduate, or if they want to continue educating themselves afterward, who do you think is directly (I’ll say it again in case anyone missed it and because this is the point here) directly responsible for that happening — teachers, teachers, school/home, teachers.

Life costs money. No one has to teach us that. Educating our young people costs money. We are horrified by the Columbines, Oregons, Oklahomas, etc. We need to teach our young people to honor and respect life so these atrocities will never happen again. The first and foremost way to teach this lesson is to show them what honor and respect are, by giving it in kind. Paying a first-year teacher a salary that’s barely above the poverty line, taking away programs, beating the “coordinated curriculum” dead horse, are not the ways to get that lesson across. It’s not the way to take care of our children.

There are those who use the argument of schools overseas having a free education. Wake up — again. I lived overseas and paid $15,000 to 18,000 a year, per child, for education, in addition to paying 50-60 percent of our salary in local taxes, along with U.S. income taxes. There is no free anything, and sometimes we have to pay extra.

For people on fixed incomes, do you think people with children aren’t on fixed incomes too? There is no money tree to go to because there are children in the house. “How about raises?” you might ask. Well, if you’re a teacher at MUHS, no problem there ... they haven’t had a raise in years!

Is unification is really the best thing for our students? The people of Verde Valley didn’t invent the concept. There have to be schools out there that have been doing this for a while. Why not find out the positive and the negative? Everything has two sides and if Dr. Street is so sure this is the best way to go, then I believe it is his job to find out why, and let the public know.

Life is also all connected in some way. We pay for education, on through Medicare. Life costs. Pay up front, pay at the end. How much time and how much money are we willing to invest? The consequences of our children getting short changed are enormous.

We are seeing them when we witness the kind of chaos, mayhem, and tragedies called Columbine, etc. For those who would naysay this, I say, “pull your head out of the sand, and really learn about preventive education through education.” Stop making war on women and children and become a constructive community voice. You have to volunteer (or work) at the school to really know what’s going on, how the money is spent, what teachers are teaching, etc. Sitting back and taking weekly pot shots is a weapon of anarchists whose only goal is unrest.

For those who say, “well some of us have to work, we don’t have time.” I am not afraid to say, “that’s a garbage excuse.” There are lots of parents (and tons of them teachers that don’t get paid anything extra but are there because they are parents, or care) who volunteer their time and work too. It all comes back to what we are willing to invest. Remember these kids are the ones who will be voting about Medicare/Medicaid and social security increases, or what kind of home to put mommy or daddy in when they can no longer take care of themselves. Find out the facts, all the facts, then invest wisely.

E.M. Short


Our nation obviously in need of prayer


A Texas high school student offered a prayer for her teammates before a game. The school had warned that her she couldn’t use any religious message in her speech. The Supreme Court is going to review and decide whether she could do this or not.

In the 1770s some brave men fought a battle for freedom of speech, religion and other freedoms. They did without food, clothes and a warm place to sleep. They felt that they were doing the right thing to free us from the king of England’s tyranny.

From 1861 to 1865 the civil war was fought for more freedom. These fellows also suffered, but really felt as though they were doing it for a good cause.

World War I, and World War II followed and the same guidelines were given. Freedom.

My question is just what is going on. I am an old woman, but doesn’t this young girl have the freedom to say prayer or has someone taken that away from us. If so I must have been sleeping.

If the Supreme Court decides that she is guilty are we going to have to fight another war?

Sometimes I wonder just what is going on. Maybe we have become to complacent and someone has changed some rules.

I don’t know about anyone else, but when the “jig” is up. I think the citizens of United States of American will give them a run for their money. I certainly hope that we don’t have to prove that.

Jene Hoglund


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