January 7, 2013 |

YOUR LETTERS for January 2013

Rethinking education

Dear Editor,

In a recent Guest Editorial, Don C. Brunell reinforced the need for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills for college-bound students, but also stressed our need for skilled craftsmen: “certified welders, electricians, plumbers, iron workers, technicians and mechanics.”

Yet, with “Math and Science” becoming such a deafening cry, teachers and administrators are often blinded to important disciplines that help our young people find fulfillment using their natural talents and develop societal skills not steeped in the hard sciences or geared to producing today’s wide variety of hi-tech products.

No one doubts that excelling in math and science is critical to landing today’s best paying jobs. But is financial success life’s only reward?

They say, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But, exactly what does he win? Are those lacking aptitudes for math and science of no worth to our society?

Some say, “Market drives the need.” But don’t values drive the market? Have ours gone awry?

Should we not recognize that, because of our psychological differences, some people are just not “cut out” for a world that revolves around math and science? Beethoven was not; Monet was not; Hemmingway was not. Were their contributions of no worth?

Future generations will be sprinkled with those having a natural affinity for math and science. But, is our preferential treatment of students who excel in those disciplines creating a better world for us, or just a world in which people without such affinities are destined to be second-class citizens, allowed only menial jobs or required to subsist on tax generated entitlements?

And what does the constant harping about “math and science” say to students who may be brilliant in fields unrelated to either?

Here in Washington, we give incessant lip service to being “fair.” But what message do our ACTIONS send?

Bill Cook

Lake Stevens

Thank you to the community for food bank donations

Dear Editor,

We are honored to express our appreciation of everyone that contributed to the Granite Falls School District (GFSD) Food Drive.

Over the past few weeks, we have seen a community come together to help local families-in-need for the holidays. We could think of no better way to show our gratitude than to simply say thank you.

As we approached the start of the Food Drive, we set high goals for donation totals. We hoped for 15,000 items and $4,500.

We thought that as a community, these goals could be reached and exceeded.

Beginning November 26, we collected non-perishable food items, household items, personal care items, and cash donations. With such an outpouring of generous donations from the Granite Falls community and our surrounding areas, we were able to set record highs for both food items and money.

As of December 10, we collected over 20,000 items and more than $13,000. These numbers are still impressive to us, and we cannot begin to thank everyone enough!

This year, we adopted 125 families that included over 300 children. Each family received gifts, stockings, a holiday meal certificate, and non-perishable food items. We were able to provide so much to each family entirely because of the amazingly generous Granite Falls community.

Because we received so much food this year, we were able to donate food to the three local community food banks as well.

Concluding our 2012 GFSD Food Drive, our team of fifteen High School coordinators and two advisors want to send out the most appreciative thank you to everyone that supported the food drive. With your assistance, we were able to help give families a nicer, more worry-free holiday this year.

Thank you for showing us what is possible when we join together for a great cause. We are changing lives!

Megan Davis

Granite Falls High School Senior,

on behalf of the Granite Falls School

District Food Drive Coordinators

State needs to fix roads to fix economy

Dear Editor,

A recent quote by Reema Griffith, Washington State Transportation Commission, "There is a price to pay to have a better commute," stuck with me and I had to think about what she had said.

Currently the state tolls the 520 Bridge and the revenues are meeting the expectations, very rare occurrence, and so other tolls are already approved with more to possibly be considered.

Already the state legislature has approved for tolls on the Viaduct Tunnel, Express Hot Lane on I-405 (Bellevue-Lynnwood) and the bridge between Portland and Vancouver.

The GPS company, Tom Tom, recently ranked Seattle as fourth worst congestion in North America.

CNBC ranked Washington 36th on its state rankings for infrastructure and transportation.

The 2012 Legislative session begins in late January, will our state again focus our money and time on projects that will not alleviate congestion or will they play politics with our economic future?

I would like to see transparency on the projects selected, why they get selected, and how much congestion will be relieved.

Our state cannot properly recover from the recession if we cannot move goods and people efficiently. The time for social engineering is over and real solutions need to be brought to the table.

Todd Welch

Lake Stevens

Students a huge help in feeding the hungry

Dear Editor,

This letter is to thank the students at Granite Falls High School and Mountain Way Elementary School for their amazing holiday food drive and the incredible amount of food they collected. Happily, it took many hours and many volunteers to load, unload, and organize the shelves in our food bank thanks to your donations.

We also want to thank Lake Stevens Albertsons and the Lake Stevens Haggen stores for their continuing donations throughout the year and to the Granite Falls IGA for its more than generous donation.

Our community blesses so many in need and our food bank would not continue without our local support. We are so appreciative of everyone – students, community, local grocers, and volunteers! Thank you all!

Michael Touchette,

Food Bank Coordinator

Granite Falls Father’s House Church

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