Due to the weather, some customers may experience late delivery of The Roanoke Times. We apologize for the delay.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Thanks for writing of immigrant successes
Thanks for the recent stories on immigrants in our area — Norma Velez (“Breaking boundaries,” April 30 news story) and the Estacios, mother and daughter (“Success, defined,” May 12 news story).
These women should be very proud of what they’ve accomplished. Each has overcome hardships and obstacles to become a successful and productive member of the American family.
As we debate various proposals for immigration reform, we should look to these ladies as shining examples of what this great nation is, and can be.
School board cut parents off too soon
I recently attended a Roanoke City School Board meeting at which two citizens sought to speak on behalf of their son (“Parents upset over students’ drinking,” May 15 news story). They wrote meticulously prepared speeches and arrived organized and on time, but when they stood to speak, they were informed that each was allowed only three minutes.
Not only is this limitation not published on the Roanoke City School Board website’s page, “Citizen Guidelines for Participation During Meetings,” but this restriction on citizens’ ability to air their grievances seems to be in direct contradiction to the board’s duties and responsibilities to “promote the public’s presence in the schools; establish effective communications with staff; . . . and ensure response to public concerns,” as stated on its website.
As a former Roanoke public school student and a resident of the Roanoke Valley, this concerns and frightens me. If the public cannot make its concerns fully known, how can it possibly give voice to the problems it wants addressed? If the school board is failing in its responsibilities here, where else can we expect it to fail? Schools are far too important to ignore this vital flaw in the system.
NANCY Y. SIMPSON
Editor’s note: The guidelines, which can be found at tinyurl.com/bk2lwbu, states, “Each citizen is permitted to address the School Board for the time period announced by the Chairman or Vice Chairman.”
They don’t know? That’s a problem
The words “I don’t know” seem to be the norm these days. When questions are asked about what happened in Benghazi, with the AP phone records search or the IRS targeting certain parties, the answer from those in charge, right on up to the president, is, “I don’t know.”
How is it that these people don’t know? Could it be convenience? Let’s face it. The Benghazi killings happened at the most critical point of an election, and they happened because of incompetence.
You can’t tell the country you are incompetent, then expect to win the election. So, what do you do? You say you didn’t know. It’s the same thing as incompetence, it just doesn’t sound as bad.
You could ask “what difference does it make?” as Hillary Clinton did when asked why four Americans were killed. That says incompetence, but with a touch of arrogance.
We have real-time video and the Internet documenting what people say and do. It’s not like one can simply burn the papers and claim they don’t know.
The question these days is, why didn’t you know?
Citing police for lack of response
I note with much interest recent news stories that mention drugs, burglaries, dangerous intersections, tailgating and road rage as focal points of local law enforcement. All important, I readily admit.
However, over the years I have been a party to complaints about speeders in the neighborhood and drivers who constantly disobey traffic signals (red lights and stop signs) to name a couple. Does it take a serious injury or (God forbid) a death to get a response to our complaints and requests?
We are all taxpaying citizens, and I think we are entitled to a tad better treatment.
JAMES C. MARTIN
Weather JournalMany very icy despite 'bust' claims