I reviewed the Beacon Journal’s endorsements for the November election, paying special attention to the school board candidates (“For Akron school board,” Oct. 13). They are of great concern to me, as I currently have two boys enrolled in the Akron Public Schools, one a special needs child at the mercy of a district whose intentions I question daily.
School board members are the voice for parents, students and special needs children like my son, Maddox, whose advocates are his mother and father, not the district’s teachers and administrators.
We are alone in the fight for his education, and he is lucky he has us, but what happens to the students who pass through Akron schools, lost because they were not fortunate enough to have an advocate? We all need a voice, and that is why Scott Stetson is the candidate I want speaking for my family.
Stetson, like other candidates, has children in the district. Two of his are special needs children. His daughter has Rett syndrome and attends North High School. His two sons attend Resnik Community Learning Center; one has autism spectrum disorder.
As a father of special needs children, Stetson understands the unique challenges we face. Like me, he attends countless Individualized Education Program meetings, is well versed with the labyrinth that is district policy and understands firsthand the importance of preserving fragile parent-teacher relationships.
He is also an attorney who practices in the areas of ethics, public policy and legal compliance, so he brings an in-depth knowledge of administrative and legislative procedures. His addition to the board would greatly benefit families like mine who want to work with teachers and administrators for the education of our children, not against educators.
I was concerned about the endorsement of Dave Lombardi, the only non-incumbent recommended. He ran unsuccessfully for judge last year. One cannot help ask why he is running for the school board. The two positions are not closely related; one is not a springboard for the other. Which leads me to this conclusion: This board seat is more about furthering a political career and less about our children.
We and our children deserve a candidate whose intentions are clear and whose skills, experience and, most important, passion will make Akron schools a place where you want to send your kids, a place you are proud to send your kids.
As the mother of four children, two currently students in the Akron Public Schools and two who will be, I will be casting my vote for the candidate who not only has clear intentions, but who also can help streamline a bloated district that asks for more but offers less, mend our Continuous Improvement rating and, most important, who can help parents disappointed by a broken system. I believe that candidate is Scott Stetson.
Monique D. Sombati
Blame Obama? Nice try
What part of “government shutdown” doesn’t the writer of the Oct. 18 letter, “What a phony shutdown,” understand? Sure, the military suffers when services are suspended. So do many other segments of society. And now we’re told the country lost $24 billion as a result.
Somehow it’s the president’s fault? Was he the one to say no government unless you kill Obamacare? Was he the one who wouldn’t let the House vote on a clean continuing resolution, which would have passed weeks ago? I think not.
Talk about phony. Shut down the government, and then blame the government for not working. That’s a nice excuse, if you can get anyone to believe it.
Malala deserved the Nobel award
In response to Trudy Rubin’s Oct. 16 commentary (“How the Nobel committee blew its opportunity”), I have to agree that Malala Yousafzai, a fierce advocate for women’s and girls’ education, was sadly, and to the detriment of her home country Pakistan, overlooked for this prestigious award.
This bright young lady, all but exiled from her home country, speaking out against the brutality and oppression of war since she was 11, has survived a near-fatal gunshot wound to the head by a group of cowardly men bent on silencing her forever. The Taliban claim to detest Western influences, yet have been very outspoken about killing her should she return to the Swat Valley. Malala knows that educated and empowered females are a direct threat to their power and control.
On this side of the ocean, she has many supporters and people who share her passion to educate every last child, boy or girl. She has become the voice for millions of the voiceless around the globe, and for this she is to be commended. She deserved to be honored.
Less deserving is our warmonger president, a past recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, for ordering the deadly drone campaigns in Pakistan and for killing innocent men, women and children in many countries throughout the world.
I scratch my head in confusion, questioning the credibility of the prize itself. Or perhaps Orwell’s narrative has finally caught up to us and the new motto has secretly become War is Peace.
Malala will tell you that a good education eradicates the evils of oppression. My hope is that one day soon she will proudly lead us all on a path of peace.
Failing to address our real problems
As Congress contemplates dealing with the financial crisis, dare we hope that consideration for all the people will lead to a just and equitable solution guided by the real needs of the economy and not by the greed of Wall Street?
To hold hostage such successful programs as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while indulging corporations with huge tax cuts is unconscionable. These handouts and the unlimited funding of the military do not lead to job creation, but tend to amplify economic problems.
No confidence in Congress
In 2008 and again in 2012, many believe that an uninformed voting bloc elected a president who has done and said many unexpected things. Soon after he was elected, an uncompromising Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, with the admonition of the unpopular Nancy Pelosi, who said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”
Public furor over this was unanticipated; however, its implementation may already be an unstoppable, speeding freight train. Unwilling to accept the Affordable Care Act as law, critics took it to the Supreme Court which, though it had to be unnerving, ruled the act legal.
After 40 failed attempts to repeal the act, the opposition used an unconventional method, connecting the defunding to the extension of the federal debt ceiling, knowing that doing so might unseat them the next election.
When asked for clarification, many members of Congress became unavailable for comment. So while avenues to a permanent solution remain unopened, and the uncontrollable new program is having an uncomfortable beginning, we unlucky citizens who will be fined if we are unable to buy insurance are saying: “This is unbelievable. How can so many unqualified people be serving in Congress? How long can both parties hold to unalterable positions?”
When all is said and done, most of us will be unhappy with some aspect of the act. Our doors of opportunity may never be unlocked. Our dreams for the good life will be unreachable. It is getting harder and harder to have an unswerving faith in this country. What an unappetizing mess.
Heavy hand of the park district
With the coming elections in November, Metro Parks is once again asking the average taxpayer to support its cause. While the park system has provided some very nice places to spend time, it has also adamantly turned its back on other interests that the district should support.
A park should be a place where a variety of activities can be enjoyed, not just the preservation of nature. In 2010, the park system threw out the Corsair Model Aircraft Club, which had occupied a very small section of land located next to the Summit County fairgrounds.
This organization had been there since the early ’70s, and has provided a safe place to fly model airplanes in a well-kept area. The park system claimed that the club did not fit its mission. The park system said that it was going to build a walking trail there, and the model planes would create a safety hazard.
With over 125 miles of hiking trails spread around the county, there was no need to spend taxpayers dollars to build another trail just to toss out the Corsair club. If the park system with all its land cannot accommodate a variety of interests, its requests for support should be denied.
Paul J. Connor