Budgeteer Letters to the Editor - Aug. 2, 2009What's on our readers' minds? Click it to find out!
Stop the madness, for the children
Harry Welty’s war against the Red Plan has gone far enough.
It is clear that he has overestimated the importance of his personal viewpoint on the subject of improving the building infrastructure of our public education system. His personal attacks on anyone and anything that will get in the way of his “crusade” must stop. In the end, the whole Let Duluth Vote movement seems to be more about the egos of its leaders than protecting the rights of voters and taxpayers.
Lost in all of Welty’s skullduggery are the school children of Duluth. In the beginning, long ago, this discussion was about creating better educational facilities for our children. There are so many compelling reasons our community should want to create better educational facilities.
I can’t think of any good reasons to support Harry Welty and his destructive war against a high-quality education for our children.
The world won’t wait for Duluth to stop arguing
Personally, near the age of 85, the world that I was born into vastly differed from the one that I will leave. People, institutions and even nations must adapt to irrepressible change.
Our nation subjugated illiteracy with the one-room school, which has given way today to the megastructures involved with all facets of learning and life.
Closer to home, Duluth once had 34 grade schools, 10 junior and senior high schools and a junior college, plus religious schools. As public school enrollment fell from 25,000 to 10,000, schools were eliminated to reach an optimal level, with every loss a battle. Gone were patriotic and religious undertones, replaced by a secular, business-like sharpness. Gone was drill, replaced increasingly by self-expression and wider choices.
The new world began its intrusion into education when the vast colonial world long held in subjugation was freed and challenged our supremacy. They became serious competitors, even displacing our markets within our own borders.
Another revolution intruded. Waves of new technology replaced old methods. These awesome creations bringing the world to our fingertips were a boon to education.
Duluth attempted to keep up, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, and usually in response to a particular problem.
However, sadly, this new century found our nation falling further behind. A national response was needed.
The school board presented its Red Plan, and other plans and modifications were proposed. Monetary restraints are a drawback, but sooner is better than later.
Hopefully a timely consensus will materialize. If not, this city’s propensity for endless bickering will erode valuable progress. When every citizen participates, then they will bond with an important cornerstone of civic virtue.
Hop aboard; the world is not waiting.
Give your children a name that will inspire them
David Brown, the man who wrote the book on naming babies after biblical heroes, has a very good idea. (July 25 Budgeteer)
In fact, the Catholic church has been centuries ahead on this idea. She has expanded this to include all of the post-biblical saints, some of whom — like King David and Mary Magdalen — were truly repentant sinners. These include St. Augustine, probably the greatest theologian ever.
To not include these saints of the past 21 centuries is to deny the grace of God and make a failure of Jesus and his life, death and resurrection — whose purpose was to make saints of all of us.
Until recent years, the Catholic church insisted on giving saints’ names at baptism, and priests even added a saint’s name if the parents had not chosen one. Allowances were made and should have been for variations derived from saint names because of the many languages in family backgrounds. For example, “Felice” in Italian is “Felix” in English and “happy” in translation. I have friends with each of these. “Beatus” is the Latin masculine and “Beata” is the feminine.
In any case, give your kids a model worthy of being modeled after. Don’t embarrass them with some silly handle for life.
Father Richard Partika