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Letters: Citizen input made all the difference

Citizen input made all the difference
Annexation is defeated, not by talk of taxation without representation, it is defeated by the dollar. It was too expensive for the city.
Wait a minute! When the city was planning the annexation study, did they not figure the possible cost of annexation? Where was the city manager in this planning? Where was the City Council?
A plan this big must be supported by cost effectiveness. Once it was taken before the City Council, one would assume that the costs had been studied. The city pays good money for people to study cost analysis before submitting a plan. We depend on these professional and elected people to analyze plans so we, the taxpayers, get good value for our tax dollars. All of a sudden, the city realizes that the plan was too expensive. Something is wrong here.
Once again, we have a civics lesson showing how important the citizen is to the democratic process. Many people believed that the process was not democratic; the city had already made up its mind. Free speech and cost analysis, however, won the day. The sad story is that the cost analysis had to come from one of our own citizens. This citizen was not paid or elected to compute it. We owe him a great deal of thanks, and I for one, salute him.
For all of the high school students who are studying government or economics, take heed. When George Washington speaks, everyone will listen, but sometimes it takes an average citizen to get him to the microphone.
ó Gordon Correll
Salisbury
Teacher set example
Recently an article was written about an event at West Rowan High School called The Biggest Loser. The program was set up to motivate our teachers to lose weight and become healthier in an obese society, which in turn sets a good example for students.
One of our fantastic teachers, Mr. Blake, stated in the article that he ate differently and exercised more; he even did the horrible thing of walking for 10 minutes during his planning period.
Someone said in a later letter that the public paid teachers to teach and prepare to teach, not walk laps during their planning period. When I read this article, one thought came to my mind: “Are you serious?”
Right now in my English class, I am learning about debating and the different techniques of arguing, and I would be more than happy to debate whether the Biggest Loser program is harmful or good for our school. I might lose because I am incredibly stupid due to the fact all my teachers are walking instead of teaching me. On the other hand, I might win because, although I am incredibly stupid, this claim is outrageously unqualified and anyone could win this argument.
First of all, who’s to say teachers can’t plan while they walk? They are teachers and they can multi-task, unless, maybe, they were educationally deprived as students because their teachers walked during their planning period. Maybe this is what is wrong with our country ó not drugs, killing, and theft ó but teachers walking during their planning periods. A typical planning period is an hour and a half, so I don’t think 10 minutes is going to take too much away.
The walking set a great example for students ó an example they wouldn’t have witnessed if it was done out of school. ó Marco Gupton
Salisbury
Students gain
Being a student at West Rowan, I saw the West Rowan Biggest Loser from the inside. In response to the recent letter to the editor about this, one thing I have to ask is, how long do you normally walk? Teachers’ planning periods are an hour and a half long. Walking only takes up 20 minutes of that time. In short, I don’t feel I am losing anything; in fact, I feel I am gaining. Walking during the work day, eating well and losing weight gave my teachers more energy and made them less stressed.
Studies show that exercise increases brain activity. In Japan it is even required to exercise at work to reduce stress and keep adults healthy.
The students aren’t losing because teachers are walking; students are gaining excited and energized teachers who are not run down and stressed. Isn’t that more important?
ó Claire Kistler
Salisbury
Lesson on cigarettes
I attended the Earth Day Celebration at Overton Elementary last Friday. Several organizations helped to teach elementary school students learn important issues about Earth Day.
Our Youth In Action Against Tobacco Council had a booth on how cigarette butts affect the environment and how secondhand smoke affects dogs, cats and birds. The fourth- and fifth-graders who attended enjoyed learning that a dog or cat can die after eating two cigarette butts people have left in ashtrays or on the ground, and that cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world.
We also made posters about deforestation, which is the clear-ing of trees in order to produce the tobacco products. The students asked questions and were very active. This was a great event hosted by the Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department!
ó Sophia Barber
Salisbury

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