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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, March 09, 2001

A little kindness could go long way in stopping school violence

People, what's wrong with our kids? The problem is not gun control; guns are not at fault. I believe that "we the people" are responsible for the downfall of our society. I believe the problem has been humanity.

How people treat each other is more important than we realize. I believe we need to teach our kids how to respect and care about others. "Do unto others as you'd have done to yourself" -- the same basic principles taught to us in the Bible. Everyone has the right to be respected and treated with dignity, not teased and taunted, put down and left out, simply because they are different or shy.

I'm not saying that you have to like everyone, but we must learn to treat others with respect and kindness. Maybe, then, kids will not feel the need to lash out with violence -- they will have no reason to get back at anyone.

Think about it -- were any of these kids respected by their peers? No. They were outcasts; no one cared or noticed them until they lashed out! I believe it is a cry for help.

People, we can change this if we all do our part. Educate our youth on humanity and practice it ourselves so that they can learn by example also. Be kind to ALL people. How many more children will die before we learn this lesson? Please, take a good look around and see what you can do to help someone.

Concerned for our youth,

Mini Henry, Soldotna

District should not ignore students whose disabilities are not visible

This letter is in reference the article by Shana Loshbaugh titled "ADA compliance concerns raised" in the Wednesday issue of the Peninsula Clarion.

The physical compliance of buildings and grounds should not be the only Americans with Disabilities Act issue discussed within the district. Like the article stated, "The issue goes beyond wheelchair ramps. It includes all sorts of things most people never notice, things like doorknobs for hands lacking dexterity, benches in locker rooms or special lighting for people with impaired vision." There are also unseen disabilities of the students throughout our school district that are often ignored, one of which is the students who are on special diets.

My daughter is one of those students; she is allergic to dairy and wheat products, as I am sure other students in the district are. It seems a shame that with two very common food allergies affecting students in our district that the lunch program, which I believe has federal funding, contains dairy and/or wheat products on a daily basis.

Why can't there be menus available for those students who have food allergies, not only dairy- and wheat-free meals, but also those that are free of gluten, egg and nuts? Just take a look at your child's school lunch menu; how often do you see cheese and bread items on the menu? Why not have soy and rice milk available for these children to drink? Both products are available in individual containers.

The staff at Tustumena, thanks to Nurse Sam, who is also Christina's dad has tried to make every effort whenever possible to make adjustments and allowances for her diet. This was much easier when she was to be only dairy-free, but now that she is also to be wheat-free she is no longer able to purchase a lunch time meal. Again, it is a shame that our school lunches contain items that many children's bodies cannot tolerate.

Please remember the children and families who don't have the visible disabilities when trying to bring the district into ADA compliance.

Beth Strange, Kasilof

Tragic accident confirms compassionate side of humanity

I would like to comment on a letter to the editor published Wednesday from Vickie Tinker that was titled "2 dead because of head-on-crash, not because of bad weather in pass."

Although I agree with Ms. Tinker's comment regarding the Clarion's extensive commentary on Ms. Nikolas' private life, there are a few misstatements I would like to clear up.

First, there are four people dead. Not only did Ms. Nikolas and her son die, but Mr. Bridgeman and Ms. Roberts lost their lives as well.

Secondly, the Clarion, not the Anchorage paper, stated, "There is a possibility of alcohol being a contributing factor, but that is not confirmed yet." It does not state which driver was suspected of intoxication. Ms. Tinker assumed far too much out of that one sentence.

Thirdly, I was traveling in a 1995 Ford F150 four-wheel drive two vehicles behind Ms. Tinker's Blazer when the accident occurred. We were in whiteout conditions with incredible winds. The roads were like a glass bottle. We were traveling up a hill at approximately 30 miles per hour. The accident occurred at the top of the hill.

From what I observed, the Daewoo was going too fast for the weather conditions and when he realized he was going to begin a steep descent, he panicked and hit the brakes, which in turn created the spin into Ms. Nikolas' lane.

We were out of our vehicles within minutes after the accident occurred. At least a dozen people were on the scene for several hours. Due to the inability to use our cell phones to call for help, a gentlemen offered to drive back toward Anchorage for help. It took an hour and a half for emergency vehicles to arrive.

Unfortunately, Mr. Bridgeman, Ms. Roberts and Skyler Nikolas were dead on impact, and CPR was performed on Ms. Nikolas to no avail.

In this instance, weather and poor judgment on the part of the speed of the Daewoo were the major factors.

I would like to thank all the people that stopped to assist with this tragic accident. It was a terrible and horrific scene that I will not forget. The outpouring of support and aid in the bitter cold, wind and snow confirms the compassionate side of us all.

Lori Chase, Kenai

Encore for both 'Music Man,' novel suggestions about testing students

First off: Thank you all for the "Music Man."

Second Off: Thank you for having your finger on the pulse of the exit exams, Vicki Pate.

You make more sense than anyone who's opened their mouth about the subject.

It makes absolute sense to test a student after finishing the first and the most telling round of public education. This is where the successes and inadequacies of the past for 10 years are at their peak for the young person.

In a sense, high school is the test of our educational system. And this can be hell on wheels.

Vocational-technical high schools have a definite place in all of this, as well.

Give our young people options! One size does not fit all. The student in Santee, Calif., is a good example.

Cheri Edwards, Soldotna

Coalition shows true colors; can it be both pro-, anti-development?

The people who were invited to participate in the Community Rivers Planning Coalition to represent "environmental" interests have quit participating because they accuse the group of being too development oriented.

A recent letter to the editor accused the CRPC of being "anti-development" and trying to "lock it up and lock you out."

Where does that leave this community group?

Phil North, Kenai



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