Line in the Dirt
[RE: Newscity, “Building Boundaries,” Nov. 23-29] I really don’t think it is that big of a deal that the Four Hills residents want their kids to go to Manzano. It is only a matter of about nine students transferring from Highland. Some Highland proponents may see it as a race and class issue, but who cares? I think they would be better off without the rich kids there, anyway.
The argument that the empty buses from Four Hills to Highland is a waste of taxpayer money is a good enough one for me, though I don’t see why these richer people couldn’t drive their kids to school in their big SUVs.
Personally, I really don’t care. I attend Freedom High School, so this doesn’t really affect me in any way. I am happy with my school and I think everybody should have a choice as to what school their children attend. Lines drawn in the dirt shouldn’t have anything to do with their educations.
Grab Your Skis
[RE: Letters, “No Pot for the Don,” Dec. 7-13] Ya know, Don, if there is a hell, one could probably ski there about now, because for the first time I remember, I find myself agreeing with most of what you said in your letter about marijuana. "Most" being the key word, however.
While I do not necessarily believe that doctors should basically be handing a bong and roach clip to patients, I do believe there are legitimate medical uses for marijuana. In smoking form, marijuana is at the folk medicine level. While there are certain positive results, one also gets the negative ones, such as damage to the lungs, and of course getting high. As I understand it, the general rule of thumb with medicine is that if the patient gets high, it usually means they are misusing the medication.
Strangely enough, marijuana gets a lot more negative press than several other much more dangerous substances. This may be why there's been so little research into its legitimate uses in medicine. Other drugs, such as opium and even cocaine, have found their way into mainstream medicine. Two examples that come to mind are morphine (an opiate, as I understand), and novocaine (from cocaine).
Again, while I certainly don't encourage drug use just to get high, I do think we seriously need to look into marijuana's potential for medicine. If we blindly shun it (or any other substance) just because some people misuse it and get high, we may be throwing away some potentially important medicines.
Very Low Food Security
[RE: Ortiz y Pino, “The Cellar Door,” Dec. 7-13] While I agree with Jerry's opinion, I feel the need to address the problem of poverty in this great nation. Yes, education is important, but that will not in itself end poverty. With 37 percent of all people in United States officially classified as living in poverty at least two months out of the year, and 15.6 million living in severe poverty (with incomes below half of the poverty line), we need to take strong action.
I don't pretend to have any expertise on the subject of ending poverty but I do have questions. With this knowledge of the people living in poverty, how can Congress pass tax cuts for the wealthy? According to The Heritage Foundation, "The federal government cannot account for $24.5 billion spent in 2003, and that Washington spends $60 billion annually on corporate welfare.” When are we going to learn from our mistakes and stop engaging in futile wars?
We can end poverty if we will it. We have the resources, but we are not making the effort to use them for the good of all. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were the goals of our founding fathers in our declaration of independence. But how does one pursue happiness when all of your time is spent worrying about just feeding your children?
On Monday, Nov. 27, I was invited to speak to Mr. John Lopez' classes on government at Albuquerque High School. He had recently allowed a former student to speak to the class on job opportunities in the military. I was invited to present a different slant on the opportunities he spoke of.
We both took our discussions beyond job opportunities and educational benefits.
My four sons all attended APS schools. One graduated out of state. My opinion of APS at that time was excellent. My high school experience was at Eldorado. Having only heard about goings on in our schools by watching the TV news and reading the paper, I was concerned about going to Albuquerque High. I would like to commend all of the staff and the students. The campus, the main building and the classroom I attended were all very well kept. The staff were all very professional and friendly. The students were very pleasant, many smiling at me with little encouragement. I was so pleased to see that my belief in the public schools in Albuquerque has not been misplaced.
The experience in Mr. Lopez' class was exceptional. We are very fortunate that Mr. Lopez is teaching in our city. He had excellent rapport with his students. His presentation of the class information seemed fine and he was quick with praise and encouragement to every student--he reminded me of some of my best teachers when I was in high school.
I would hope that you would put a copy of this letter into Mr. Lopez' records and to the principal of Albuquerque High School. I believe that when people do their jobs well, they should be recognized.
This experience proved to me that my vote in favor of the last school bond issue was a good investment in a good system.
Veterans for Peace
Democracy for New Mexico
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