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LISD Board Candidate Paige Shoven: Bond Elections Should Be a Transparent Promise

Letters
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2013/4/13 5:59:04 (2092 reads)
Letters

Bond elections are one area of control LISD has over its finances. These monies help build and maintain our buildings and technology. The last bond election was in 2008 for $697 million dollars. I personally was against this bond, not that our kids don’t deserve the best, they certainly do, but this bond package promised more than it could give and now that the money is about to run out, many of us are left wondering why our classrooms were never built. The truth is, the wording on the bond never promised anything to anyone, it was essentially a blank check to the district. This bond election was the catalyst to move me from a parent of an elementary student to a frequent visitor and speaker at school board meetings.

Last year, LISD formed a facilities committee, a group of community members who volunteered their time to look at the buildings LISD owns and produce a budget to maintain those buildings. As committee members we were invited to walk the buildings and talk with their principals or managers about what their individual needs were. A special thanks to Representatives from PBK Architects for walking each and every building while keeping organized notes for us to refer back to. Every wish was documented in what ended up being many 3 inch binders worth of information. The committee sat down over several months and prioritized those wishes. By the time the final calculations were made, LISD’s wishes total approximately $500 million dollars to repair or replace our current buildings. I anticipate LISD calling another bond election within the next three years.

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Letters: Support For Same-Sex Marriage

Letters
Posted by mjbw1983 on 2013/3/25 14:17:19 (1198 reads)
Letters

The Supreme Court is currently deciding the issue of same-sex marriage.

I am a terminally heterosexual Navy veteran and I support same-sex marriage.

I know several gay and lesbian veterans. We wore our country's uniform and took the same oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

In 2008 I watched Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva's testimony to the House Armed Services Committee regarding "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," a policy that banned gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military until it was repealed in 2011. Sergeant Alva was the first Marine wounded in Iraq and received a Purple Heart.

He is also openly gay.

If gays and lesbians can serve in our armed forces and if necessary make the ultimate sacrifice, then surely we can allow them to marry the person they love.

In addition, I have gay family members; one on my mother's side and one on my father's side. I strongly believe in their equal rights because they are people that I deeply care about.

I am standing on the right side of history, and I encourage my fellow Texans to join me.

Michael Watts
Veteran, US Navy 2002-08
Denton, TX

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Letters: Advice for Candidates Running for Public Office

Letters
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2013/1/12 17:00:00 (2142 reads)
Letters

So you want to run for office?

The time of year is upon when local elected officials, read school board and city councils, are up for reelection. I had the privilege of serving in Highland Village from 2006-2012. No one person has all the answers about running for local office, but there are several things I would like to share from my experiences that may help the aspiring candidate.

First off is that if you have to do a sell job on the members of your family, you might want to reconsider a run for public office. It is essential for your family to be one hundred percent behind you. Reluctance will not do. Only full force enthusiasm should describe your close friends and family’s ideas about your candidacy. These folks support will be essential during a campaign and after you are elected.

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Letters: Time for Honest Conversation About Guns

Letters
Posted by LewisvilleTexan on 2012/12/23 19:35:24 (1364 reads)
Letters

Far too often, we hear that any attempt to design reasonable gun control, is an affront to our Second Amendment rights and a deprivation of our liberties.

What about the innocent victims of gun violence, and the shattered lives of their families and friends? Were their "Unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness," of a lesser value than Second Amendment rights?

In an attempt to prevent future massacres of school children and teachers, some government officials now naively suggest having armed marshals and arming teachers in our schools rather than trying to find genuine, practical solutions. Maybe, someone will suggest that students should be required to wear flak jackets or bullet proof vests?

There has never been a better time than now, to have a serious and honest conversation about keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable, and reducing their use in crime. The concerns of gun owners should be part of that conversation and for once, so should the concerns of teachers, parents and all who are concerned about gun violence.

Jeff Andonian,
Carrollton

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Letters: Israeli Attacks on Gaza are Terrorism

Letters
Posted by Mphillips on 2012/11/20 3:00:23 (1174 reads)
Letters

Do Israelis have the right to be frightened by the experience of the Nazi Holocaust and to do all they can to prevent a repetition of that nightmare? Absolutely.

Do Israelis and their American friends have the right to be on high alert and to take it seriously when groups like Hamas and demagogues like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threaten to wipe Israel off the face of the map? Of course.

Do the people of Israel have the right to be angry and to protect themselves when rockets are launched against civilians in Jerusalem and elsewhere? No doubt.

Do they have the right to fight back hard against groups that embrace murderous attacks on unarmed victims like Hamas, Hezbollah and, before that, the Palestinian Liberation Organization? Certainly.

Those rights, however, do not imply an unchecked moral license, utilizing a massive technological advantage, to rain murder and mayhem from the skies of Gaza.

This past week, civilian deaths from Israeli air raids in that overcrowded strip of poverty and misery has neared 100, with more than 800 wounded, including more than 200 children. Israelis can claim they are just going after the terrorists with their wide-scale bombings. But Americans made similar claims when they exterminated a village called My Lai in South Vietnam in 1968. In the weeks leading up to that slaughter, American soldiers in the region near My Lai had been killed in sneak attacks by a persistent enemy. Enraged and terrorized, those troops felt they had earned complete moral authority as they gunned down the unarmed and the helpless in that sad collection of hamlets.

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