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From Kenai River to weighted grades, reader has a lot on his mind

Posted: Tuesday, December 02, 2003

I believe that it is time to get a few things off my chest.

The first is the Kenai River guide issue. I cannot understand why it took that much time and money to come to the conclusion that the motorized boats are the ones polluting the river. Well, duh! I wouldn't think that it was the drift boats!

Since no one in the position of authority is willing to put a moratorium on the number of guides, why don't we at least limit the number of days that the motorized boats can be on the water. Why is Monday the only drift day? Why not make every other day a drift day? The Kasilof River guides don't seem to mind that they have to drift.

I am waiting for the day that some other "rocket scientist" releases a study suggesting that the boat wakes are in fact the culprit in the bank erosion problem. There is little doubt in my mind watching the wakes pound on my shoreline! Let's get our collective heads out before it's too late!

The next issue is about the weighted grades. I approached the school board several years ago on the subject. All I got was a nod and empty promise that it would be looked at once again. The school board says that all the colleges take a close look at the grades and take into consideration that the student has taken advanced placement courses.

Well, I am here to tell you that it does not happen. With the tens of thousands of applications that go through the college admissions office each year, they barely have the time to glance at the numbers much less do the math. If that momentary glance shows a substandard number, the application is rejected.

When I approached the school board about the issue, I was told that the students who take advanced classes would likely not stay in state for college, so the "other" kids need the higher scores to qualify for the University of Alaska Regents Scholarship (free college if in the top 10 percent). They also alluded to the fact that all the "smart kids" would tend to go to the school that offered the greatest number of advanced classes.

I for one am tired of the feel-good policy that our school board has adopted. They want to make everyone feel good about themselves getting an "A" in basket weaving rather than giving them something to aspire to. Has anyone else noticed that classes have five or six valedictorians?

Let's quit rewarding everyone, and instead honor the ones who are daring to succeed. I am so very glad to have my last child graduating this year, yet I feel sad for the parents who are trying to make a difference. Might as well bang your head on a brick wall, you get the same result without having to sit through a school board meeting.

The last issue is one that really hits home. I am a below-knee amputee who is always given a dirty look when I park in a handicapped space. Just because I am not in my late 60s it seems that I should not be allowed to park there.

Once at the post office a senior citizen approached my vehicle and asked if I knew what that parking spot was for. I immediately removed my leg, held it to his face and told him that the space was meant for me. Seniors are not the only ones eligible for the plates. Enough said.

Bill Keller

Soldotna



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