The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 8, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013


Study Fayette school levy, then decide

I would like to challenge the citizens of Fayette County to read and think before voting for the county school levy. I have never voted against a school levy, but this year, I have reservations and will study very much before I cast my vote.

In the last three years that the state has been in Fayette County, we have seen decline in our system and a group appointed by Charleston spending county funds like drunken sailors. For example, Mr. Dials enlarged the Central Office staff and look what has happened to your local schools.

Lower test scores, larger dropout rate, lower graduation rate and many other problems. Mr. Butcher takes over and he hires a curriculum director ($92,000+), keeps the director of Operations ($80,000+), must increase the associate superintendent’s salary by $12,000+ because she was not making as much as the curriculum director, a new bus and driver for Nuttall ($100,000) caused by school closing.

Now they want us to vote to continue a school levy that will add to your property taxes. The new levy calls for $650,000 for free meals for students. The county was getting free meals for all paid by the state and would have continued if county principals would have had every student’s parents or guardians fill out a lunch form. Principals failed to do this and the funding was lost. Now Fayette County taxpayers are being asked to pick up the tab.

They want to add $150,000 to transport students to athletic events as well as $72,000 to pay for admission to athletic contests, $8,000 for farm products that could be arranged at the Fayette County Farmers Market by walking across the street.

Brochures being sent home by students state that students will get free books, free meals, free trips, free everything. Nothing is free; it is paid by Fayette County taxpayers.

I urge Fayette County taxpayers to take time and study this levy and then decide, are you getting enough for your tax dollar? I have checked. I would save $469.25 if the levy fails.

As I stated, you must make up your own mind and I have not yet.

Randall Patterson

Meadow Bridge

Pineville poet proud of his latest creations

Well, I’m pregnant again. And it cannot be said enough: I’m as happy as a mother could be. My more than 1,000 children (poems) are quickly taught to style and profile their beauties before a world of judgmental eyes. Some fancy themselves, already, as celebs. World-class beauties.

Yes, I’m proud of each and every one. Like most parents — I have my favorites. Still, I wish each mimetic creation success in a sometimes cruel place. But if one stumbles; is called bad things — know I gave them my heart and soul — my very best.

All too soon I must push my little birdies out the door and they must learn to fly on their own. Sometimes tough love is all we can give them; — our happy moments, our sad moments.

So good-bye, my loves. Tell them it is a better place they have left, for without them where would this world be? Songs unsung and so many books (gifts) unread; that’s where.

Yes, Virginia, writers truly love their sons and daughters, — even as much as you believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny. So save a cookie and a sweet kiss for the poet.

May Mother Poesy bless you with an abundance of imagination and publication. But above all — rejoice this 2013 in what is left at your Mind’s doorstep. It just may be the happy delivery (by that fickle stork) of a new birth.

I have, as a mother, an uncommon craving for Asimov and Shakespeare.

Lonnie Bailey