Letters to the editor

Missed the point

Dear Mr. Aphoshian (who happens to be a teacher),

Thank you for reading my article, or “rant” as you put it, titled “Sick and Tired.” I am surprised that you completely missed the point of what my article was about.

You said that I have no credibility, and therefore my voice is to be dismissed. You find my words “common sense” to be “sad” and “comedic.” Your article implies that educators’ and teachers’ decisions are based on common sense, since they know best.

Please explain why children need yoga classes that will cost taxpayers $800,000? As a taxpayer, I have a right to voice my opinion on how our tax money is used whether you find me credible or not.

This statement “for the good of the children” I do not find offensive, as you stated, simply overused. Your attack on my article is offensive, because you did not get your facts straight.

You made a statement that you are sick and tired of people like me telling teachers and administrators how to do their jobs. You are incorrect in your assessment that I was telling anyone how to do his or her job. My article simply stated that new classrooms and equipment are not necessary for children to learn, nothing else.

So, you did not like my referral to Mr. Jordan, a teacher who stands out in my memory, because he taught five decades ago. Apparently anything “antiquated,” including me, is also to be dismissed. Then I will give you something more recent.

Please Google a story about a homeless girl by the name of Dawn Loggins. Her quest for knowledge is amazing and proves exactly what I am trying to say. A child who wants to learn, will get an education without needless spending on new classrooms and equipment.

Some things never change, including students memories of great teachers. I wonder what your students will remember about you?

Cathy Staver

Encinitas

SDUHSD needs a fiscally-responsible board with a shared strategic vision

In this election year I am concerned about the San Dieguito High School District’s board leadership. I believe that the district needs a strong board that has a shared strategic vision to maintain the district’s high standards of educational excellence into the next decade and a balanced, fiscally conservative budgetary and administrative approach to ensure that all resources are used efficiently.

Currently the board, in a 3-2 split decision, approved a budget that may compromise the fiscal solvency of the district in future years. Additionally, they have not developed a proactive strategic plan that has received the proper input and buy-in from all important stakeholders, including taxpayers, parents, students, administrators and teachers. This plan needs to be developed in an independent and collaborative manner, that is not beholden to any special interests of any one group such as the teacher’s union.

I am very concerned that the district leadership has been fiscally irresponsible by approving a new teachers’ contract that allowed for a 5.5 percent retroactive pay increase with a 7.5 percent annual raise thereafter that includes such outlandish clauses as one that increases pay if any other local district in the area increases their pay with no tie to student performance.

Budget projections show that the contract may result in future district deficits. This budget may even allow for increasing the average class size to 38 students. This budget is not only fiscally irresponsible, but risks the great student performance that San Dieguito schools are known for.

The district deserves a fiscally conservative and responsible budget with no deficit spending that will put the health, well-being and performance of our students as our No. 1 priority.

The San Dieguto board majority must stop pandering to excessive and uncompetitive demands of its unions and start adopting the same conservative fiscal and administrative policies that our students’ families, businesses and future employers must adhere to.

Randy Berholtz

Del Mar Highlands

NCTD, quit bullying Encinitas residents

We’ve had it with North County Transit District’s intimidating, abusive tactics of ticketing ($500) residents for walking along the dirt path adjacent to the railroad tracks.

People are being harassed for merely walking their dogs, walking, running or biking along the natural path parallel to the RR tracks, even though residents and visitors have been doing this longer than NCTD has been in existence.

It is a shameful example of an overbearing governmental agency. NCTD can’t claim a safety issue for walking parallel to the tracks. It’s simply arrogant harassment by a regional agency, because they can.

Whoever at NCTD thinks spending taxpayer money on this type of harassment is a priority, needs to seriously consider new career options. There are real security issues on the system that need to be addressed, e.g. elderly passengers and women who don’t feel safe on the Sprinter.

The Encinitas representative on the NCTD Board, Council member Tony Kranz, needs to be held responsible for NCTD’s intimidation tactics and misspending of public funds.

Even though it’s his job as NCTD representative to protect the interests of Encinitas, Kranz didn’t protest or speak up for residents.

Ralph Thielicke

Cardiff

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