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West Side Is Changing

By Readers · October 8th, 2008 · Letters

West Side Is Changing

Kevin Osborne’s article “Considering ‘Life Peace Zones’ ” (issue of Oct. 1) really made my neck veins pop. The establishment of so-called “life peace zones” is just a transparent attempt to thwart a constitutionally guaranteed right and to ram Catholic orthodoxy down our throats.

This appalling presumptuousness is almost more frightening than the fact that reproductive rights are still under constant attack 35 years after Roe v. Wade became law. To think that our City Council’s time might be taken up with a bogus “zoning restriction” proposal infuriates me. It’s one more masked attempt to manicure away a woman’s access to family planning! If Chris Monzel and his colleagues on City Council are looking for something constructive to do with their time, they might consider taking action to address the social ills which compel women to seek abortions in the first place: lack of information on family planning, lack of protection for battered spouses, sexual crimes and crushing poverty.

It might come as a surprise to some, but the West Side is changing and not everyone who lives here swings to the same tune.

— J.M. Greenway,

Teachers Need More Support

A Lakota School District teacher gave me Joe Wessels’ column titled “School Funding Fight in the Burbs” (issue of Sept. 10), and I have to send a note of appreciation.

I work as a consultant for the Ohio Education Association. My job is to represent teachers in Mason, Lebanon, Kings, Waynesville and Monroe.

Right now I’m assisting my colleague in Lakota as he struggles to obtain a settlement for the teachers. I have worked for OEA for 23 years. In my earlier years I watched with pride

and glory as the school districts I represented began to grow and flourish. I saw teachers’ salaries grow to a somewhat respectable level, and we were able to increase salaries for those coaching and for extracurricular jobs that take so much time and devotion beyond the normal school day. I can even say that I’ve been around long enough to see young, bright “kids” come out of college and bring such enthusiasm back to the classroom.

But the last several years have been disheartening. I now face school boards who want concessions that will throw the profession backwards. Most school boards aren’t doing this with malice — they’re simply attempting to balance their budgets on the teachers’ backs. I keep saying at the bargaining table, “Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water!” Teachers take time away from their families — or do work at night — to fight and beg for a lousy 3 percent raise, and then they’re accused of being greedy or not caring about the kids they teach.

— Marla Bell,



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