Letters to the editor

Neighbors thank Hansen, public works department

Once again my neighbors and I would like to thank Scott Hansen, director of public works, for hearing our concerns, no matter how small, and working with us to accomplish satisfying solutions. Mr. Hansen breaks the stereotypical image of the distant bureaucrat.

Our hats off to Mr. Hansen and his public works crew.

Linda Barnett

Salary disparity shows where city’s priorities are

I noticed in the Sept. 25 issue of the Boulder City Review that our city has two employment ads.

One is for the position of a part-time meter reader.

The other is for the position of a part-time Safekey and summer parks coordinator.

The disturbing part of these ads is that the meter reader position pays nearly $23 an hour and the Safekey position pays $12 an hour, almost half the salary of the meter reader.

I’d bet the meter reader has little to no contact with the public, whereas a position in Safekey oversees our children’s welfare. Where do our priorities lie?

Chris Frausto

Citizens should vote on new street name

We support the name Hoover Dam Boulevard and believe the best way to pick the right name is to have residents vote on the name by phone, text, mail, online, etc.

Brenda and Mario Pierfelice

Sunrise Rotarians appreciate support for Wurstfest

The Boulder City Sunrise Rotary wishes to thank the entire community for the support and generous donations in making this year’s Wurstfest a success. Without the many volunteers, sponsors, contributors and most generous hungry and thirsty bidders on the more than 250 items that were offered, the funding for our drug and alcohol-free all-night after-graduation party for our Boulder City High School seniors would not be possible. A big thank you to everyone.

Harold Begley

President, Boulder City Sunrise Rotary

Teacher happy with classrooms at high school

I am writing this letter in response to what I see as an incomplete story about the Clark County School District Bond Oversight Committee’s decision to fund the next phase of the Boulder City High School remodel/upgrade.

The story makes the argument that the classrooms need to be replaced because they were built during the Truman administration. The picture of a classroom shown with the article actually shows how good our classrooms are. Why did no one with the Boulder City Review ask the teachers how we feel about our classrooms?

The only problem with the classrooms specifically mentioned is the heating and cooling system. I own a house built in 1932, and I did not tear it down and build a new one when I had plumbing, wiring or air-conditioning problems.

The bones of the school are strong. We only need to upgrade the plumbing, modernize the computer network, replace the air-conditioning system, and a few more infrastructure issues. We don’t need a whole new building.

The teachers know the benefits of the large rooms we have and the natural light that we get through our big windows. The schools in Las Vegas are enclosed boxes with few windows designed to control large numbers of students. That is not what BCHS needs.

I think the $16.3 million should be used for upgrades at BCHS, but not to replace the current rooms. It is not uncommon for many of us to have 40-plus students in a class and with our large rooms this is not that big of a problem. I am still able to keep the students focused and give individual attention to the students because they are not piled on top of one another. I currently have 1,170 square feet of classroom space, but I would have a maximum of 850 square feet in the upgrade (a loss of 27 percent of my current room), according to plans made in the mid-2000s without input from BCHS teachers.

The story said that very few changes have been made over the past 30-plus years. I strongly disagree. I first attended BCHS (when it was also the junior high) in the fall of 1972, graduating in 1978, and my children graduated from BCHS. I am now in my 31st year as a teacher at BCHS, and I have seen quite a few changes at our school.

Over the past 20 years or so, CCSD has built us two new gyms (which have had numerous problems with heating and cooling, and the main gym has a lousy sound system), a cafeteria, a new library, computer labs, science classrooms, four regular classrooms (that are as small as the rooms you would find in Las Vegas schools), an auto shop, and band room.

CCSD has provided BCHS classrooms with audio sound systems, mounted LCD projectors, smart boards, wireless Internet access, and plenty of computers for each teacher to excel at his/her job. Sounds like a lot of changes to me.

I invite any of you to come to my room (check in at the main office first) and see how well we have it. The test scores are high at BCHS because of the students, the teachers, and because of the classrooms the students learn in. I have taught in Las Vegas, and I have attended professional development classes in many rooms in the new schools the people quoted in the article seem to want to get for BCHS. These new schools in the valley offer nothing to the teachers of BCHS, except less space than is necessary for good student/teacher interaction.

I have seen quite a few decisions over my career in education made by people above my pay grade who meant to do what was best for our students. Sadly, many of these decisions were made without much input from the people who deal with the students the most.

I appreciate the fight for equal facilities for our kids in Boulder City, and I want the best for our students, too. However, letting the CCSD build another of its boxy schools, with small classrooms, very little natural light, and crowded hallways is not the answer.

Bill Strachan

Boulder City native and teacher at BCHS

Educators important in lives of students

My immediate response to Donald K. Pennelle’s letter to the editor in the Sept. 18 Boulder City Review that educators should not support Ballot Question 3, The Education Initiative is my favorite quote: “100 years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the type of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”

Question 3, The Education Initiative, is the most important decision Nevada voters will decide in the November election (early voting starts Oct. 18). Nevadans will vote to increase the funding of schools by instituting a tax on the gross revenue of businesses generating more than a million dollars a year. Eighty-seven percent of all Nevada businesses are not in this category. The largest 13 percent run the spectrum from Wal-Mart and national retailers to the medium-sized family ranch and fast food franchisee. There may not be a perfect tax, but Texas funds its state via the margin tax.

Educators know the meaning of being asked to “do more with less” — not enough desks, not enough text books, not enough copy paper, not even enough toilet paper and paper towels in school restrooms! If TEI doesn’t pass, there is no means to make significant improvements to the funding of schools. Without more funding, Nevada schools will continue to limp along: lowest in per pupil funding, low performance on toxic testing, high dropout rate, and high teen suicide and pregnancy rates.

A study done in July by the UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research finds TEI would create more than 11,000 jobs and would have a positive effect on the economy. These findings correspond with studies showing Nevada’s inadequate funding of education and consistently low education rankings “limit economic opportunity in the Silver State.”

Voting yes on Question 3 is the most important thing Nevadans can do to help our students and our economy. Students, schools and the economy — yes on 3 helps all three!

Valerie J. McNay,

Speech Language Pathologist

Clark County School District

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