Letters to the Editor
Cape grandmother calls for code of conduct
I would like to take a moment to comment on this terrible problem we are seeing in our schools where people of authority are abusing their power toward the students they are entrusted to safely care for in the schools.
Headline reads: Basketball coach charged with offensive touching. Are you appalled by this as much as I am? Are we becoming desensitized to the actions of inappropriate relationships between adults and our young students? Is this why it is becoming a growing phenomenon?
There are many reasons or causes for these actions and the overall degradation of the actions of a few professionals in our schools. And this has become a nationwide problem, not just in our local schools. Nonetheless, it is happening in our schools and we have to respond to this problem. We have a responsibility to respond to this in an overarching way.
My suggestions for the Cape district and other local schools would be to ensure that there is a district-wide code of conduct for staff/student relationships and if there is, then this code needs to be revisited and re-presented. The boundaries need to be clearly delineated regarding allowable, acceptable and inappropriate interactions between student and staff. This information can be disseminated to the staff through an in-service day and for the students, a forum or assembly for learning what is acceptable or not acceptable behaviors. Students also need to feel safe to go to staff to discuss questionable staff/student interactions.
To those in administrative positions, please consider this matter very seriously to help maintain the professional reputation of many of our wonderful teachers and support staff. Most importantly, as a professional and teaching institution, teach and role model for our children what trusting and healthy relationships with adults entail.
A Cape school district resident
A grandparent to children attending Cape schools
Support HB265 for cancer patients
I’m writing in support of Delaware House Bill 265, legislation that would require health insurance plans in our state that cover cancer treatments to provide equal coverage for orally administered cancer medications as they do for intravenously administered or injected cancer medications. For many patients, oral medications have no intravenous substitutes, so they have no choice but to pay more for their treatment. These patients have to decide upon their treatment choice based on cost, rather than efficacy. According to recent studies, 10 percent of them will not fill their initial prescriptions for oral cancer medications due to these high costs.
This is unreasonable. We are asking our citizens to pay more to treat their cancer diagnosis when the overall cost of healthcare with use of oral medications is lower: fewer hospital visits; lessened risks of infection, illness and complications; and less medical staff and administrative costs. Every cancer patient should have access to the most appropriate treatments recommended by their physician. No one should have to choose between saving money and saving their life. Our legislators should vote in favor of HB265.
Delaware State Lead Ambassador
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Recent job fair indication of problems
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Non-farm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.3 percent.”
Somehow or other the American people are not impressed by this stat since they know that eight million jobs have been lost since 2005, and that the middle class’s earning power is going steadily down. Yet, President Obama never misses an opportunity to say things are getting better, and candidate Mitt Romney claims that things are getting worse, so who’s right?
I’ll be happy to settle the issue: things are getting worse for the lower and middle classes; only the upper class is getting better, a whole lot better. The proof is in the pudding. Been to the gas pump or the grocery store lately? If you want daily evidence go to the website: www.dailyjobcuts.com and see for yourself.
Now a personal note: I went to a job fair for the Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary in Georgetown March 10. Since it is a nonprofit organization, I’m guessing that the going pay is in the range of $8 to $10 an hour.
I was shocked when I arrived at the facility’s entry point off Shingle Point Road; there was a line of cars waiting for permission to turn onto the facility’s private dirt road. The intersection was controlled by a state police officer, who after a short wait waved me to proceed and park along the left-hand side of the road; I was about a half mile from the main building.
Upon reaching the administrative office, I waited for a pleasant greeter to recognize me, who then informed me that I would be number 118 for a speed interview.
One hour into the job fair, the interviewer was meeting with the 12th interviewee. At a rate of 12 interviews per hour, I was looking at a nine-hour wait, so I handed in my resume, but was informed that without an interview, I probably would not be considered for any position. I was the exception in departing, as many many people stood about, waiting and waiting.
During my short visit, I saw at least 200 cars lining the dirt entry road with more cars steadily arriving; the newcomers were now parking along Shingle Point Road. It was around 1 p.m. when I left, so there were still at least three more hours left of the job fair.
The people seeking a position were pleasant, well ordered and obviously hungry for any work. The waiting crowd ranged from the poorly dressed, young and older, to a singular fellow carrying a briefcase, perhaps a former Wall Street banker - at least I hope so.
Friends, our fellow Americans are hurting and it bothers the hell out of me to see it in person. I think it says a lot about us as a people that we are so decent in the face of our country’s plight; why we don’t put up more of a fight, I sometimes wonder, but I guess we still believe in our country enough to think that maybe someday, things will actually get better.
In closing, I’ll cite an Indiana University study that found 46 million Americans are living below the poverty line - up 27 percent since the start of our latest recession; enough said!
Congress needs to act on oil prices
Headline: Oil prices hovered above $107 a barrel on March 1 despite growth in crude supplies and weak gasoline demand.
Question: How do we explain the rising cost of gas at the pump when supply is going up and demand is going down?
Answer: Wall Street speculators are driving the cost up.
• Oil productions is at its highest level in eight years
• Oil demand is at its lowest level since 1997
• More oil rigs are operating in the U.S. than in the rest of the world combined
• Oil imports account for less than half of U.S. oil consumption
• In 2002, speculators controlled about 30 percent of the oil futures market. Today, Wall Street speculators control nearly 80 percent of this market.
• Big speculators, primarily hedge funds, are pouring money into the oil market, betting that the price will continue to rise. (Fox Business News)
• Independent analysts state that oil should be trading around $75 a barrel.
It is time for Congress to demand that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission does its job and ensure that oil prices reflect supply and demand rather than excessive speculation.
CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton calculated how much extra drivers are being charged as a result of Wall Street speculation. Honda Civic drivers pay an extra $7.30 for each tank of gas. For larger vehicles, such as a Ford F150, drivers pay an extra $14.56 for each fill-up. That’s more than $750 a year going directly from the consumer’s wallet to the Wall Street speculators. (Bernie Sanders I–VT)
It is time for CFTC to do what the law demands and make sure oil prices reflect supply and demand. It is time for us to tell Congress that we know we are paying more for gas because of Wall Street greed and we expect them to represent us, not the same speculators who caused the recession.