Your Voice: Parks need maintenance and values instead of gun laws
Jul 04, 2014 | 2874 views | 3 3 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
No park maintenance


Last night, Sunday, June 29, around 9 p.m., I watched as two sprinklers crossed each other at William Kendell Lowes Park in south Tracy, watering the lawn, two sidewalks, the street and the electrical box. By the way, these two sprinklers were replaced last year by the city, because someone knocked off the heads. Two other women came up as I was watching, and all three of us were upset. The one woman took out her phone and recorded video of the problem. I called my husband over to see what we were watching and to ask who in the city we need to call to turn this in. He said, “Oh, I turned this in two weeks ago and they still have not done anything. Also, there is another sprinkler that there is no head on it.” He went on to tell us he waited to see if they came out to fix this problem. He told us that they had not come out, so he put a head on the one sprinkler that had no head. Why does my husband have to fix the sprinkler system at the park? Why has the city not contacted us to find out where these sprinkler heads are at? When I tried to call the city this morning, Monday, all I got was voice mail. The same thing my hubby got two weeks ago. I do understand about the problem with Sycamore, since this park was one of the parks they took care of. To report anything, you had to call the city, because if you told the workers, they told us “no speak English” or “talk to supervisor.”

We are in a drought and have to watch our water use. Why isn’t the city doing this also? When this call went into the city two weeks ago, this should have been fixed immediately. But if you go right down the street to Veterans Park, it is maintained beautiful. Why that park and not this park?

Elizabeth Tidd, Tracy

Values, not gun laws, protect society


In mass shootings, the first reaction is to pass more gun laws. How is that working?

With so many broken families, schools must instill in students the value of human life, from the womb to the grave. Instead of driving girls to abortion clinics to have abortions without their parents’ knowledge — which devalues human life — we should teach dignity and respect for life.

We cannot pick oranges from a peach tree or apples from a banana tree. We reap what we sow. How we live and what we teach our children is what they learn and what they will become.

Value-free programs don’t work. Students should be taught the difference between good and evil. Diversity programs should be replaced with inclusion programs that teach sympathy and empathy for all humans, regardless our differences. Boys should be taught to respect girls, and girls, self-respect.

We cannot expect perfection from children — they are inexperienced and not yet fully developed — but we must correct and discipline them when they err. “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”

You wouldn’t dare sail across the ocean without a charted course. Neither should we send children sailing through their lives without direction. Children without values cannot pass them down to their future children, since you cannot give something you don’t have.

We shouldn’t act surprised that one in five girls at state universities are victims of rape or attempted rape. With lack of values and practically no punishment, we shouldn’t be asking why but why not. These college students will become lawyers, judges and classroom teachers, and of course politicians.

Instead of tackling the real issues, we pass laws that have a lot of bark but no teeth, such as ineffective gun laws.

Joe Vieira, Tracy

Teachers must take responsibility


If you want the best teachers for your money, please demand the following from them. They must see their profession as a calling and not a job. The job is often thankless and they must strive to be professional in their field. They must be passionate about the success of their students and expect little or no thanks from parents or students. They should give countless hours giving students their best, and they should be optimists in regard to the potential success of every child. Do not hire teachers that spend their entire time blaming the parents and the students for their lack of achievement. Teachers need to look to themselves and ask what they can do to make more students successful. I started as a full-time teacher with Stockton Unified School District in 2001. From 2010 to 2013, I was out of the classroom as an English literacy coach, where I helped teachers improve their instructional delivery to better student success. I was chosen for this position because I had success with my students raising their academic standards. In 2013, the federal money ran out and I was back in the classroom. I got exemplary observations from both my administrators and from the district that monitored my instruction with English learners. I have seen a lot of bad parents but knew I could do nothing about them. What I could do is work my hardest with passion and love for my students. Any teacher that wishes to blame all failure on parents and students alone and takes no responsibility for the failure of their students should get out of the profession or be terminated.

Scott Hurban, Tracy

Comments-icon Post a Comment
July 08, 2014

Are you advocating for a culture (or society) which achieves absolute 'success' with every individual?

I am with Mortimer J. Adler who believed the purpose of education was to 'produce' "good citizens and thoughtful human beings."

Is this truly a part of our education? May we do better with education?

I think we both believe we can.

Still, you state this: "I have seen a lot of bad parents, but knew I could do nothing about them."

Now, did teachers fail these bad parents you reference? Are we to blame teachers for all bad people in this country?

Do you know what is detrimental to our country's metaphysic? The sentiment you may do as you wish, that freedom isn't about responsibility or restraint, that habitual sedation, whether through alcohol or marijuana, is a way for people to deal with stress or have fun. Isn't it interesting that disabling the brain is so desired by so many of us, because, let us be frank, sedation is disabling of the brain. The teenage adolescent is vulnerable, and many aspects of our culture exacerbate this vulnerability.

How many fathers got drunk this weekend and failed to give 'proper' guidance to their children?

July 13, 2014
No we are not accountable for all bad parents. No, not all students will be successful, but it is not for teachers to assume which one will be and which will not based upon their upbringing. We must work for every student to be successful as that is what we can control. Since we can't control bad parents, it is futile to obsess on things we cannot control. This often becomes an excuse for our own failures.

By doing our best as teachers, we will do our part to make the world a little better than when we found it.
July 14, 2014

You "found" the world in a bad place? Do you suppose it will be any better upon your earthly departure?

American culture is incredibly benighted; we idolize the least important people in life; we are incredibly mimetic to e-device dramas; we have perfected the skill of rationalization; and we are so fragile we brand ourselves with body graffiti, while ignoring our interior spiritual development. I find it tragic a man would cry and riot because his favorite sports team lost a championship game. Our fanaticism is our fear and our moral stasis.

We encourage readers to share online comments in this forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a space for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Comments that stray from the topic of the story or are found to contain abusive language are subject to removal at the Press’ discretion, and the writer responsible will be subject to being blocked from making further comments and have their past comments deleted. Readers may report inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at