Critical thinking missing
Many issues have been evident in our community lately dealing with the school board and the decisions it made in regard to our school system. Money and critical thinking are just a few, out of the many issues, that come to mind. The reason for this letter is to address the issues and raise awareness because things need to be changed.
The supply budget for teachers is not enough for providing students with the necessary materials for learning a lesson efficiently. For example, teachers have a limit on how much paper is printed, which could restrict students’ way of learning. Because the school board decides what the supply budget is, it is responsible for restricting some opportunities for learning. One way that the school board can help resolves this problem is by increasing the line-item budget for supplies.
Another problem is there is not enough focus on critical thinking in schools. Introducing critical thinking earlier would allow students to have a strong foundation when entering college. Because schools do not produce many critical thinkers, they produce students who are not ready for college. The curriculum set up by the school board needs to be adjusted to fit the needs of the students.
We need to come together as soon as we can and present our argument to the school board. We are not trying to attack school board members, just simply trying to look out for what is best for the current and future students in our community.
-- John Ngo and Taylor Mayhue
Cost of living
Responses to “Right wing math,” (Discussing raising minimum wages). Typical responses have been; “to deserve a raise you must:
Get higher education.
Assume more responsibility.
Increase your productivity.
Now really? For years and years, cost of living raises have been granted by the pen of the president of the United States. Cost of living raises are driven by inflation, and have little or nothing to do with employee self-improvements. Cost-of-living raises have not cost jobs or destroyed the economy. Most Government JOBS and PROGRAMS are indexed to track inflation. Minimum wage is not, so why not?
Is this rocket science or right wing math?
-- Victor T. Volskay Sr.
My curiosity got the best of me after hearing several “Georgia 811” spots on the radio about “Calling before you dig,” so I went to their website and read “By law, everyone -- including homeowners -- must contact Georgia 811 by dialing 811 or 1-800-282-7411 at least 48 hours before beginning any mechanized digging on your property. If you are unsure as to whether you should notify Georgia 811 before you break ground, remember, even if your digging project is small, its (sic) always best to call!”
So I called 811 and explained my situation, that I’ve been rototilling my garden in my back acre early in the spring for the past 15 years, and expect to do so again in the next few weeks. I wanted to know if that would be impacted by the law. The lady at the 811 number said that the law requires contacting 811 at least 48 hours before any intended ground breaking, even my garden work.
I am required by law to have someone come out and paint where it is safe to do so, in spite of my last 15 years of success in my garden. I was further told that any ground breaking on private property, even landscaping such as planting trees, bushes, or even flowers, by law required permission and an on-site visit to mark safe dig-zones.
I contacted the Gov. Deal’s office at 404-651-7774 and clearly explained my previous conversation with 811. They confirmed what I was told. I called Ross Tolleson’s office at 404-656-0081, and they confirmed the same. I called Rep. Larry O’Neal’s office at 404-656-5052 and finally talked to someone else who also thought that rendering of the law was absurd and they said they would look into it this week. I provided each of the offices with my name and address with an invitation to have them send out law enforcement to arrest me after my tilling is complete. I mentioned that while I don’t have Thomas Jefferson’s “tree of liberty” in my backyard, I do have what was once called a “Victory Garden” that will need watering, and that this application of the law is tyrannical.
Gardeners, be ye warned. Spring is coming, and you must call 811 before putting spade to dirt. Better yet, call the numbers provided and demand this law be overturned. Garden centers like Lowe’s and Home Depot have recently announced plans for thousands of seasonal hires this spring. But they should heed this warning: If the disclaimer, “call 811 before you plant this shrub” isn’t included with all those trees, bushes, flowers and vegetables that will be sold this spring, they could be held as accessories to your crime.
-- Dan Topolewski
Although Macon is a city well known for its musical culture, architecture and artwork, there are many things this city needs to improve. Macon has the resources to improve upon these problems.
With the amount of crime occurring in the city, the sheriff’s department has its hands full. Please bring back bike patrols. Bike patrols are a very effective method of seeing things that are much harder to observe in vehicles. Bike units could inform one or two patrol cars of an issue. This could be done in more areas than just downtown.
Also, more beautification of blighted areas needs to occur. If Macon improves these areas, then crime would, more than likely, decrease. This would encourage fewer people to leave the city and prevent so many large uninhabited areas.
Macon’s community service program needs to be reinstated. Mercer University has done a lot in the past years to motivate students to help all around the community. We need to excite students into seeing the city’s potential through seminars. There needs to be a method in which the community itself helps out the city. This could be gardening in areas of high grass and painting over graffiti on walls.
We also need to get other citizens interested in Macon’s vast culture and history. This city has potential. With the help of local businesses, universities, and citizens working together, we can realize a better Macon for all.
-- Hamzah Shroof, Raj Patel,
and Andrew Clarke
Concerned Mercer students