Baker schools need to reconsider 4-day week
The school district is proposing “extra help” on Fridays for students. This indicates the 4-day school week is not effective. We owe it to our children to rethink the model of education that we provide. On the 5-day model, did students attend on Saturday? Is it fair to ask a struggling student to be excluded from their peers on Friday by extending their week: 4 extra long days of work (7:20 to 3:00 – add a bus ride). How does the child react to this? Are we looking at the physical well-being and social-emotional growth of students?
Every child learns at a different rate and pace, therefore, ALL students’ needs should be met within a regular school day. Many students benefit from working individually or in small groups. We already have small group leveled reading times, push-in support for students who need it, reading interventions — as well as innovative activities designed by teachers happening every day! Did anyone consider smaller class sizes by downsizing administrators and increasing teacher numbers? The 5-day school week for all students needs to be reconsidered because as a community we need to do what is best for all of our children. To say the parents and community have “adjusted” makes one think that the parents and community are adjusting to the needs of the school district and not the school district “adjusting” to the needs of the parents, community — and children!
Baker schools have a high dropout rate; a large number of students are being homeschooled — why is that? On Jan. 27, 2016, Baker City Herald reported 21 percent or more 8th graders drank alcohol; 10 percent of the 8th graders “binge” drank and 9 percent of the 8th graders have used marijuana and it goes on — what are our kids doing on Fridays with no school in session?
“Our children should not be working to reach an arbitrary bar of learning set by the state; rather, they should be allowed to shoot for the moon. Even if they miss, they will land among the stars.”
— Les Brown
Large minimum wage hike hurts some with few skills
Governor Brown wants Oregon’s Legislature to raise the minimum wage so that “no one who works full time has to live in poverty.” The mental picture here is of the poor struggling mom trying to keep bread on the table for her kids. But few minimum wage workers fit this picture. For one thing, two-thirds of them work only part time.
25.7 percent of minimum wage workers do come from households with less than $20,000 annual income. But even more such workers, 29.4 percent, come from households with an annual income greater than $60,000, and 11.8 percent have household income of more than $100,000. How can this be? Such people come from households where there are two or more employed, someone whose spouse has a good-paying job, for instance, or college students living at home with their parents. Minimum wage workers’ household income is scattered up and down the entire distribution.
Employers facing a large increase in the minimum wage will compensate by reducing the cost of employees. Some workers will have their hours reduced; others will be laid off, their income reduced to zero. It seems a bit much to have some poor people lose their jobs so that other poor people can make more money. But should some poor people lose their jobs so other well-to-do people can earn more? (Remember those 29.4 percent whose annual household income is over $60,000.) Come on, now!
Minimum wage jobs can be the bottom rung of the ladder to success for people with few job skills. But a large minimum wage prices such people out of the job market. If an employer has to pay someone $13 to $14.50 an hour, (Governor Brown’s proposal) who do you think will be hired? A college student or a high school drop-out? A high minimum wage slams the door of opportunity in the faces of those with few job skills.
Those advocating a high minimum wage despite all of the above want you to have a warm, fuzzy feeling about yourself; you are in favor of a program that will help that poor struggling mother, even though it really doesn’t.
Based on evolution, why worry about climate change?
Of the many questions regarding climate change (global warming) I’ll bring up just one. In the U.S. every year we spend millions of dollars educating our children in public schools. For biology, the only acceptable theory is evolution, the concept that all living matter changes over time to adapt to the environment. It is my understanding that teachers are not allowed to mention creation or even a generic big-bang term, only evolution. If we’re spending so much promoting the idea that all life forms adapt to their environment, why is there any cause for worry if the earth changes? If evolution were true, climate change wouldn’t matter, everything would evolve to the changed conditions. Logically we shouldn’t be spending time and money promoting the theories of evolution and climate change, they are mutually exclusive. People who argue for evolution and express fear over climate change shouldn’t be allowed to have it both ways.
Trader Joe’s could help solve Baker’s grocery problem
Baker City and Baker County citizens, arise!
You are probably tired of having only one major grocery outlet here in Baker. I have found a possible solution to this problem, but it will take the inputs of all of us to bring it about.
Ever hear of small grocery stores called Trader Joe’s? There are a few in the Portland area and one in Boise. These grocery stores are reasonably priced, well-stocked, clean and operated by people who are friendly and courteous. In national ratings, Trader Joe’s was voted number one for the last two years.
I have talked to the manager of the one in Boise and he told me that the company’s headquarters responds best to letters or emails from customers encouraging the opening of new stores. (This was a major factor in opening the one in Boise.) The address is Trader Joe’s, 800 S. Shamrock, Monrovia, CA 91016, attn: planning department. The website is TraderJoe’s.com/contactus.
If you have shopped at a Trader Joe’s and agree with my assessment, send them a letter asking them to come to Baker. Or, you can go to one in Portland or the one in Boise and see for yourselves.
Let’s all sit at our writing desks or computers and solve our grocery problem!
Robert L. Heriza
Meeting prayer issue need not divide us
I have been waging a battle in my mind over Mr. Gary Dielman’s prayer issues. I have decided to pray for Mr. Dielman as I don’t think he truly realizes what he is doing.
I am very proud to be a Christian. I’m not perfect, but I’m better than I used to be. I serve a true and loving God, but he is a jealous God and I would think it is unwise to turn your back on God, not praise God and be disruptive in meetings. If Mr. Dielman would like to come to meetings a few minutes late, every one will be glad he did and no one will be upset. Please don’t continue to water the poison tree.
I will pray for grace, which is God’s unmerited favor. We all need it. When you turn your life over to Christ it is the most wonderful, liberating feeling in the world. It is a free gift offer to everyone of us if we accept it.
Please continue to pray. Pray for our families, friends, community, for our country, for the elderly and the poor, the sick and dying, for our politicians and for the beautiful town we live in. Let us put all of this silly behavior aside and pray this issue is solved once and for all.
We are all so blessed.