District should sell empty building
Because of my years of directing garden and learning activities at the Downing Children’s Garden at Botanica, I was asked this fall to join the expansion of the Fundamental Learning Center, pending the purchase of the empty Emerson Open Magnet School building (“District not selling vacant sites now,” April 14 Local & State). The goal of the center was to develop a community garden planted and cultivated by Right Literacy Academy students and shared with the adjacent neighborhood. This site also includes an ideal area for the development of an outside classroom to be used by the students during the day and local families on nights and weekends and in the summer.
With the center’s acquisition of this building, the teacher education program would expand its course offerings to include programs about creating school gardens with limited budgets and spaces. When former Emerson staff members and parents learned about the possibility of this site reopening as a school and community resource, the enthusiasm was apparent. As a Riverside resident myself, I feel our community would prefer to see a vacant school building used for similar purposes rather than using taxpayer money for the upkeep of an empty lot.
To concerned taxpayers, or those interested in community involvement: Please contact your local school board member about this building sale.
NEVA SEDORCEK THIESSEN
School not welcome
After reading “Honey Tree and Branches Academy to expand with second building” (April 15 Business Today), we, as residents of adjoining Teal Brook Estates, feel compelled to tell a different side of the story.
We have lived in our homes for more than 20 years, and we moved to the development largely because we loved the beautiful nature of the area. We thought no one could ever build behind us since it was in the floodplain and was often full of water, particularly when Cowskin Creek overflowed. We enjoyed a woodlands view from our backyards, with deer, fox, turkeys, wetlands ducks and birds.
Then Honey Tree came along and built directly behind our property. Now it is expanding south with a second building (even though the land is still designated as floodplain). So instead of seeing forest and wildlife, we look directly into school buildings just feet away from our property with lights that shine into our homes at night. Traffic congestion on this two-lane stretch of West 21st Street is already a problem with the existing school, and can only get worse when the second school opens.
Property owners south of us, beware. What is our heartache now may soon be yours if Honey Tree decides to build a middle school and then a high school. And you will have no idea it is coming until the bulldozers arrive.
BEN and MICHELLE WILGERS
Tax dollars misspent
I saw how efficiently our tax dollars are being used this week.
There were three large trucks and a pickup-type truck from the parks department on my street. One truck had a bucket, one truck had a wood chipper, and one had a flatbed.
There were eight men, but only two did the work. One went up in the bucket and cut down two limbs, and the other man put them into the chipper. One other man came over and opened up the chipper tailgate, and one man helped rake up some small twigs. The other men walked around, visited with each other and, as far as I could see, were the drivers of the big trucks.
I have no idea how much they get paid, but for no more than they did, it was a total waste of money. There were other trees around that needed some branches trimmed or removed, but they were ignored. It took about 15 minutes to do the “work,” and then they were gone. Makes me wonder how many other “crews” go around the city and waste time and money.
A letter writer stated that abortion, because it is legal, is not a holocaust (April 18 Letters to the Editor). According to Webster’s Dictionary, one of the definitions of a “holocaust” is great or widespread destruction. Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion was legal, more than 57 million fetal lives have died, many with cruel and unusual punishment.
Fetuses are human organisms. They feel sensations in their bodies in the early weeks of life. Abortions that utilize painful strategies like dismemberment, stabbing or cutting will be felt and inflict pain in the fetus. Babies born alive after a “failed abortion” and left to die on the counter also experience end-of-life suffering.
The legality of Roe v. Wade does not diminish the suffering and pain to fetuses at the end of their human fetal life. These are not animal fetuses. These are human fetuses, and it has been a holocaust of great and widespread destruction since 1973.
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