I am the proud sister of Mike, a man with Down Syndrome. Mike has lived with my husband and me for 25 years. He has attended the Achievement House since 1976 and more recently has started working at their Mailing and More work facility.
There are no words to express how important the staff is to my brother and the others who attend Mailing and More. These special people demand very little from our society. A sheltered workshop supervised by kind, caring people becomes more than a workplace. The clients finds acceptance without competition. They continue to learn beyond expectations and to contribute back to a world that needs to understand each other better.
Mike is a student of Gaye Donovan. Mike adores her as do the other students and we would be brokenhearted if she had to leave. Gaye is so well acquainted with her special friends and fully understands their needs. Her goal is to bring each student to their full potential and enjoy a high quality of life.
The dismissal of Gaye and others employed in this field would be devastating to so many. Surely cuts can be made somewhere else than the San Luis Coastal Adult Education teachers.
San Luis Obispo
Cheap new teachers
Regarding the article “Governor backs law barring layoffs based on teacher seniority,” April 21: The new law would allow layoffs of teachers with experience in favor of new hires. NAACP and other civil rights leaders also support the law because “inner-city schools are often staffed with newer teachers.”
It was not too long ago that NAACP and other civil rights groups were complaining that inner-city schools were burdened because experienced teachers were not sent to those schools. They did not want new, they wanted experienced teachers.
The simple explanation is that new teachers are cheaper than experienced teachers. The added economic advantage is that many of them will not stay in the system long enough to collect pension payments.
I am afraid that the long-term results of this kind of management will result in teaching no longer being a career choice. It will become just another kind of job and no longer a career that people enter by choice and stay with because they love it and care for children. Teaching must be the only profession where experience is a detriment.
Beer in theaters
Not even a $25,000 consultant could have engineered the idea published in your newspaper to boost tourism in our beloved county (“Beer at the movies not a bad thing,” April 23).
You confirm that alcohol sales at the theater are fine, because as John Travolta says, they do it in Amsterdam. Did you know that in that same theater in Amsterdam, they also openly smoke marijuana? When they all leave that theater high, they are greeted by public transportation, not increased law enforcement.
Will The Tribune support the legalization of marijuana on the ballot this November in California? Will The Tribune also support the idea that a county that supports entertainment as “prescribed by John Travolta” is entitled to all the other compassionate benefits in the Netherlands such as socialized, free health care and real public transportation?
A dramatic response
On Feb. 20, The Tribune published my letter, “Birthday wishes,” describing the wounds my great-nephew Army Staff Sgt. Christian Hughes received in Afghanistan. Christian is still a patient at Walter Reed but his injuries are improving and he’s now able to walk with the aid of a leg brace and a cane.
In my letter, I asked readers to show their concern by sending him a note for his 24th birthday, but was unprepared for what followed: At last count, he had received more than 2,500 pieces of mail!
The youngest writer was a 7-year-old girl, the oldest may have been the woman who wrote about her husband’s service in World War II. There were notes from all ages and walks of life.
The post office at Walter Reed asked him to remove his name from whatever Internet list he was on. Christian replied that all of the mail was from friends of his family! All of the mail was positive and did so much to help Christian know that his service was appreciated and that he wasn’t forgotten.
Christian and his entire family will never forget what San Luis Obispo County (and beyond) was willing to do for him. He sends his heartfelt thanks and his deep appreciation to The Tribune readers.
What are the city leaders doing with my town?
If you want to live in a library, move away! First, you cannot smoke on streets (you get more damage from passing cars and the cell phones glued to your ears), then no feeding the ducks, then no noise anytime, including weddings, reunions, St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween?
Are you trying to be named the most anal town in America? As a former mascot of San Luis Obispo High School (my sole job was to get people to make noise) and as a Cal Poly student, you have just crossed the line.
To the city I say put up your billboards now saying: “Want to have fun? Keep on truckin’!”
And to all of us who live here, I say plan all your events north or south where people welcome events. San Luis Obispo has lost its roots. Fiesta went first and the town worked all year together for this event.
I stay to care for my parents, but when I do leave, I will never be back; my town died a long time ago.
San Luis Obispo
Here’s a suggestion for the people in Arizona to help them enforce their new immigration law: require all those who have the appearance of possible illegal status to wear a yellow star on their clothing.
This strategy was very successful in Germany in the mid-20th century in eliminating undesirable “aliens.”
For those of us who disagree with this approach, I suggest we avoid the state of Arizona like the plague.