Friday, December 11, 2009
In support of the Carlisle School Committee
To the Editor:
I would like to drive a new BMW. I would love to shop at Whole Foods every day. I wish I did not have to cut back on my charitable giving. But in this economy, we cannot always have what we want. The same is true with running the Carlisle public schools.
Our school committee has been wrangling with how to balance a budget in an unprecedented economic downturn. Running the school is like running a company. Hard, thoughtful decisions must be made. I must admit, I am relieved that I am not the person who has to crunch the numbers, or to consider personnel layoffs that could result in larger classroom sizes. I am grateful that I am not the one who must decide between closing the school library, eliminating an award-winning music program, axing a valued teacher’s job, or consolidating administrative tasks.
I am grateful to our school committee for anguishing over these tough decisions in these tough times. Might I make different choices? Perhaps. But I have confidence that it is not I, but they -- having reviewed myriads of data, interviewed professionals, and spent many, many hours strategizing -- who are in the very best position to make informed, thoughtful decisions about managing our school.
Margaret Crouse Skelly
To the Editor,
As I drive on our lovely scenic roads, I find myself giving thanks for those moms and dads (like mine) who taught their children that people walking on roads with no sidewalks should walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. My mom told me that I would be safer because I could see the vehicle approaching me. I give particular thanks to those children who continue to heed their parents’ words of wisdom now that they are grown. And I give thanks for people like my husband who make sure that their dogs are under control when they are walking down the street.
What brought this to mind? Recently as I was driving home on my lovely, narrow road about five o’clock one evening, an approaching car’s lights blinded me. As is my wont when I am blinded, I pulled over to the side and stopped. After the car passed me, I saw a couple, their backs to me in dark clothes with their dog walking on the right side of the road a few feet in front of me. It was terrifying to realize how close I came to injuring him. I gave thanks that I stopped.
Walking is good. Exercising dogs is good. Safe walking and exercising is best. Please walk safely.
Paying too much to stay healthy
To the Editor:
When compared to other industrialized nations, the high cost of healthcare in the United States has people wondering what we are doing wrong. Although this country spends twice the amount of money on healthcare than other modern societies, Americans’ life expectancy is lower, infant mortality is higher, and the rate of obesity is higher than other comparable countries. Our nation spends $6.3 billion per day on healthcare, and the continued increase in cost is creating an unsustainable healthcare system in our society. Our current healthcare program has generated an increasing concern and change needs to be a top priority.
We must not only provide our citizens with the appropriate health coverage, but also education about preventive measures. Those with health insurance have greater access to primary care physicians, while those who are uninsured rely on more costly emergency room care. In the past year, more than half of the people who went to a hospital emergency room said they went for a reason other than an emergency.
Providing universal healthcare will help lower costs by reducing emergency room visits by the uninsured and by catching potentially serious and costly health conditions before they develop. The benefits of universal coverage come primarily from increases in economic well-being as a result of improved health.
The time has come for the leaders of our country to set aside politics as usual and come together to formulate a program that provides high quality, cost efficient, affordable healthcare for everyone. Too many people ignore medical issues because of their inability to pay for services and later their chronic health problems become a financial burden to our fragmented health care system.
Zanele P. Denaro
© 2009 The