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Saturday/Sunday, Dec. 31, 2011-Jan. 1, 2012: Using welfare, value of library media specialists

Arlington’s history

With regard to a recent BDN article about the wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery, the story has (and not for the first time) placed it either “in” or as “a suburb of Washington, D.C.” It is in Arlington, Va., and overlooks Washington, which was the original intention when the house was built there in 1802 by the Custis family, who named it after their family’s Virginia estate.

General Robert E. Lee never owned it as it was entailed to his wife’s eldest son after Mrs. Lee’s death, but she left during the war at her husband’s urging and neither ever returned. General Meigs, commanding a garrison there, first used Mrs. Lee’s rose garden for the start of a military cemetery, with the intention of rendering it uninhabitable for the Lees. Even his officers considered it a petty gesture, and the Custises later sued the federal government for illegal confiscation.

My parents are both buried there, so I have a nodding acquaintance with the details. Still, since so many kind-hearted people give their time to make the wreaths and even drive them down, it would be nice if they knew where they were going. As for our schoolchildren, well, is it any wonder we’re falling so far behind the rest of the world?

Alice Jones


Use welfare wisely

I agree with Christine Bouselle, the college student who wrote about welfare recipients shopping at Walmart because I work as a cashier at a supermarket and see the same thing.

I’ve seen people use two or three food stamp cards for their order. Why do they have two or three cards? I’ve also seen the cash part be used for buying cigarettes. Shouldn’t that money be used for soap, diapers or household cleaning products?

I understand that some people really need the help but they should use it wisely and not waste it. These people also could use coupons.

I had a young mother with a couple of young children go through my line using food stamps. She used coupons and looked like she planned her meals. She bought good healthy foods and very little junk food. You could tell she was trying to feed her family healthy meals and making her food stamps stretch. I could’ve hugged her. I was so proud of her but didn’t say anything because I didn’t want her to feel bad.

Please realize there are a lot of people who are abusing the program and they are the ones who make it hard for the ones who are honest and truly need the help.

Cynthia Hirst


Information age post

As education budgets are slashed throughout the state careful consideration must be given to the goals of educating our students. Literacy stands at its core. Library media specialists ensure guidance for the entire learning community, accessibility of resources, and direct instruction of research skills. This position is an integral part of high performance learning at any school.

Glenburn School stands to lose this critical position and a valued employee, if the district accepts budget cuts proposed by administration. Library media specialist Val Rich began her work for Glenburn Library in a former one-room schoolhouse with a small collection of donated books. In the 20-plus intervening years, the library has been transformed into a modern information center, housing 16,000 books and materials, serving both the school and public.

In the Information Age, with literacy at the core of education, it seems foolhardy at best to lose an employee who inspires students with both a love for literature and a firm knowledge of how to locate, evaluate and apply information. The position affords the opportunity to work with students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, getting to know each individual and his or her unique interests and needs. The library’s collection of books and materials is based on the needs and interests of each person using the facility.

We teachers believe Glenburn cannot afford to lose its library media specialist nor the professional abilities and personal qualities that Val Rich brings to her work.

Jean Watts

Deborah Crocker

Janet Ecker

Sari Ohmart

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