I just read the Tracy Press’ annual post-July 4 article about illegal fireworks. I agree that “this year was worse than last year”; in fact, it gets worse every year. And here’s why, quoting directly from the Press: “no citations were issued for illegal fireworks possession” and “firefighters did not confiscate any illegal fireworks.” With this approach by police and fire, it’s virtually guaranteed that the use of illegal fireworks will continue to increase. The only person likely to desist (just maybe) is the guy who was holding the exploding M80. Tracy desperately needs a zero-tolerance policy for illegal fireworks, with enforcement.
Gus Carlson, Tracy
Three cheers for Tracy
I want to thank these wonderful strangers that helped a 90-year-old woman push her scooter home when it stopped and wouldn’t run. They delayed their schedules to assist her. It is people like them that make Tracy a great place to live. Three cheers for Tracy and its loving, caring residents. Thanks and may God bless you.
Frances Loveless, Tracy
Thank you, kind stranger
Saturday evening, July 12, I decided to go to the corner of Carlton Way and Tracy Boulevard. I wanted to see what the music was about. It sounded like everyone was having such a good time. But as I turned around to go back home, I got my rented scooter’s back wheel stuck between the sidewalk and the grass. The scooter weighs 150 pounds. As I was wondering how I was going to get out of this, a man from across Tracy Boulevard came to my aid. Boy, lucky for me there is still some humanity left in this world! The man was doing security for a wedding reception. He took time to help out an old woman. Nowadays, that’s rare. I didn’t even get his name. I am hoping while he is reading the Tracy Press he sees this letter.
Arleen Robbins, Tracy
Teacher merit pay needed
With teacher tenure on the ropes in California, schools that want to see the best teachers retained should move to a merit pay system and away from automatic raises based on education and time of service. The city of Dallas has already done this, with teacher raises based on the following criteria: 50 percent on classroom performance as observed by administration, 35 percent on student improvement, and 15 percent on a student survey.
To put this in context, when I got my master’s degree, my annual teacher income rose by $5,000 without the need to prove that my degree translated into greater student achievement. Well over half of teachers have a master’s degree. Looking at TUSD, if a master’s degree increases pay by $4,000 a year, this will translate to $1.6 million in extra compensation without proof of better classroom performance. Wouldn’t it be better to award that money to those teachers who perform and prepare your child for the future?
While greater education and time served should mean a better teacher, it does not always work out that way. I, personally, would favor a partial tuition subsidy based on a sliding scale for teachers that complete a higher degree, once it is demonstrated that the investment has led to higher student performance. There are always 10 percent of students that will refuse to learn and 10 percent that will learn even with the worst teachers. The other 80 percent are affected by good teaching instruction.
Shouldn’t teachers be rewarded like everyone else? That is, on how well they perform?
Scott Hurban, Tracy
Clean up street sweeper service
Why are we paying for a street sweeper when they do a very lousy job? On July 15 at 6:30 p.m., the street sweeper went racing through our court and didn’t do anything. Actually, most of what was in the street ended up on the sidewalks. The city needs to go out and watch this guy operate his machine. It’s sickening at the waste we taxpayers are paying. Fifteen years ago, the sweeper who was sweeping the streets then did an excellent job; in fact, if he didn’t like the way it looked, he came back and re-did the court. This guy just drives on as if nothing matters and couldn’t care less what happens. Furthermore, 6:30 p.m. is when most of the citizens are back from their long commute and do not want to just sit out in front of their house and wait for this poor excuse for a street sweeper, get back in their car and move it when he comes by and races around their street. Why doesn’t the city set certain times of the day for the sweeper to conduct his useless job while most are at work and the streets are clear of vehicles, notify the citizens when and what time he will be by. I know the city has set schedules for him, but most of the time it isn’t followed. I’m fed up with paying more for a hell of a lot less.
Thomas Bist, Tracy
‘Gringo’ offensive to diner
This is a letter I sent to Taqueria La Mexicana at 2610 S. Tracy Blvd.:
“My name is Ian Garrott. From time to time I have come in and enjoyed the food that you serve and am very appreciative of the service you provide to the community.
“I noticed on your menu you have an item called ‘Gringo Tacos.’ Although I sense there was no ill intent behind choosing the name, I feel like it is rather offensive to me and other white people to use this name to describe this menu item, and I would like to ask that you remove this item name from your menu, as ‘gringo’ is a disparaging name to white people.
“‘Gringo; often disparaging: a foreigner in Spain or Latin America especially when of English or American origin; broadly: a non-Hispanic person.’ — Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
“Please take great consideration in what I am saying and please remove this offensive term from your menu list. Feel free to contact me regarding this situation at any time.”
Ian Garrott, Tracy