Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 12/22

Value local stores

Wow! The 250,000 people of Laredo, Texas, can’t keep a bookstore open (“Texas city of a quarter-million to lose its only bookstore,” Dec. 17). That means that one, they don’t read enough and two, they don’t shop locally enough.

We’re losing Johnson’s for Children and Therapy. Let’s not end up quoting Laredo resident Misti Saenz: “It made me wish I had shopped there more.” Shop at your neighbors’ businesses!

Helen Anderson San Luis Obispo

Learning differently

Regarding the article “Students bridge gaps, celebrate season” (Dec. 17), I would like to help the author bridge a gap of his or her own.

All brains learn differently, regardless of ability. Some learn in a manner that is outside the general education curriculum and are taught strategies to help them access the information being taught, helping them reach their potential. Special educators and legislators have been helping students close that ‘gap’ for more than 30 years.

We left behind the former prejudice, isolation, name-calling and low expectations associated with ‘special education’ and locked that door forever. Today, a majority of identified students are included in the general education classes and have average or above average IQs, but acquire and retrieve information differently.

In a citation, the author identified the students and classroom as “special education” three times in three sentences. Let’s insert a different label and see how it feels: “Students rocked out with (black, Hispanic, Caucasian, obese, short, etc.) student, [John Doe].” Although it may have been unintended, labeling people tends to “widen the gap” rather than create understanding.

Carole Morrow Grover Beach

Audio ad assault

In a recent perspective in The Tribune (“Bill on loud ads sounds like big noise,” Dec. 17), the article states that pending legislation regarding loud television commercials is frivolous. It compares loud commercials to other annoyances in life, concluding that our Congress has better things to do than worry about the loudness of TV commercials.

I couldn’t disagree more. None of the examples the article mentions (meat packaging, magazine ads, waiters’ behavior, teen-age headwear, etc.) burst into my home daily and without warning, causing my heart to pound with the “fight or flight” response as I search frantically for the volume control. Honestly, I have wondered more than once if people have had heart attacks brought on by a certain fast food chicken commercial.

The Federal Communications Commission has rules for the communication industry which keep us from being assaulted by unwanted pornography and violence during standard television viewing. Unwanted, unexpected blaring commercials are offensive and intrusive and affect my ability to enjoy my home. It is more than appropriate that this be taken up on a federal level.

Karen Mundt Cambria