LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Only in Port Aransas
I went to the post office to buy some stamps and pick up my mail. When I got home, there were no stamps. I called the post office and told them I guessed I had thrown them away with the junk mail.
Ten minutes later I had a phone call that they found them.
What a wonderful place to live!
Start training at ferry
This letter is in reference to the editorial “Tourists mean jobs; treat ’em well.” (Spinoff, South Jetty, May 14.)
The first people many tourists come in contact with are the employees of TxDOT when they use the ferry to get to our island. Attendance at the “Extraordinary Customer Service” hospitality seminar should be mandatory for the deckhands and those who guide you onto the ferry.
Thursday night, May 14, my husband and I were returning home via the ferry. We were the last car on the boat, and my husband didn’t even have a chance to turn the engine off before the deckhand in charge motioned for him to turn off his lights. My husband tried to motion that they would go off automatically (Don’t everyone’s lights go off automatically these days?), but the deckhand came to the driver-side window and wanted to talk to him. Now he had to turn the ignition key in order to put the window down causing the lights to stay on even longer.
This man was very rude, and he said the captain would turn the boat around and make us get off if the lights were not turned off (even though we were the last ones on and everyone else in two lanes would have had to get off first). Then after the boat started across the channel, he came back to our window and berated my husband again.
We were upset enough, but imagine if we had been first-time visitors to the island. What kind of impression would this have made?
Vaya con Dios
My name is Mary Fitzgerald Sibley and I am currently teaching seventh/eighth grade English/ writing at Brundrett Middle School.
As many of you know, my contract was not renewed for the next school year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my co-workers, students and their parents for making this a great school year. This has been a fun and productive year, which is evident by my TAKS scores (97 percent passing, 62 percent commended). Yea, seventh graders!
Although I won’t be your teacher next year, I expect you to exhibit the respect and love to the new teacher just as you have shown to me. I will remain living here in Port Aransas and look forward to seeing each and every one of you around town and at the beach.
With much love,
Vaya con Dios, amigos,
Football will happen
Thomas Carlyle said, “Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak”.
This comes to mind when I contemplate the controversy concerning the addition of volleyball and football to the PAISD curriculum. A group of parents, community members and school board members have spent countless hours researching this exciting possibility for our children, its feasibility and the concerns related to academics. They continue despite the obstacles, which they know can be overcome, the discouragements from members of the community, who need to be informed of the facts and the impossibilities that this will never come to pass, because eventually it will.
We are blessed with an exceptional school district with talented and inspiring teachers and administrators. With this high quality of a staff, I feel confident there is a way for our district to have football/volleyball without an academic sacrifice.
Superintendent (Sharon) Doughty offered two plans, which implied, intentionally or not, that to create these sports programs our district would suffer by higher teacher/student ratios and a cancellation of certain subjects. It is public knowledge that some of the cuts and combinations of classes she discussed will happen regardless of whether this initiative passes. It is disrespectful to everyone involved for anyone to manipulate facts and present them in a way that supports one’s own agenda.
Let’s keep brainstorming. There can be a solution without any academic compromise. I don’t know of one person involved with this initiative who would sacrifice their child’s or any other child’s academic success to start a sports program.
Let’s show our children that we can disagree on the finer points, but still work together for a common goal.
Port Aransas will eventually have a football/volleyball program -- that much is inevitable, -- but as Margaret Thatcher once said, “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
A Pulitzer Prize nomination? What a powerful, inspirational story (Jerry McDonald: The man behind the citizenship awards,” by Dan Parker, South Jetty, May 21)!
OK, I’m prejudiced. I brushed shoulders with Jerry - playing softball with him on the field that became the Jerry MacDonald Field, when it was turned around so that home runs went through the Presbyterian church window. It was enough. He was that kind of a guy.
I’ll never forget that awful day when the soldiers came to UTMSI with the message for Tootie and her pain; the reactions, “Damned war -- it takes our youth, our best” (Dan’s dad Pat Parker). That it did!
But we go forward, some with a little motto to guide them: WWJD? What Would Jerry Do?
In response to Charlie Macintosh’s letter (South Jetty, Letters to the editor, May 21), I say go to the public informational forum May 30 at the school administration building in Port Aransas and question your increase in valuation.
File your notice of protest. Look at the other assessments of sold properties in your neighborhood and present them to the board. Most Nueces County Appraisal District appraisals are in excess of current sales data and current asking prices are much lower that these appraisals.
We must voice our concern and demand fairness in this period of declining home values. This is not as difficult as they make it seem. All it takes is a little time and effort to protest this unfair and inflationary over-evaluation of our homes.
No to football
Both Flint and I do not want football/volleyball in our school. We pay enough taxes already, only for them to be redistributed to other places.
Why don’t you look into reducing Port Aransas’ rates as we are taxed higher than Flour Bluff, Corpus Christi and all other areas in Nueces County in the over 65 category exemption. If you do not believe this, call Rick Carothers at American Ad Valorem Tax Consultants, Inc. at (361) 852-3303. This is what our school board should spend their time at and what we elected you to do.
We are taxed too much.
Flint and Jill Reed
Wants it all
I would like to clarify any confusion about the status of the football/volleyball initiative and my position.
If a board member makes a motion on June 10 to add football and volleyball to PAISD, I would vote no. We will not have enough information. My hope is that we determine the next step in finding the answer to the question, “How can we successfully add football and volleyball to Port Aransas ISD.”
I am not in favor of my taxes going up.
Saying our taxes are going up because of these programs is misinformation being disseminated by people that haven’t attended any meetings.
My wife and I have two boys currently at Olsen Elementary. Our primary concern is their education. I believe the impact of extracurricular activities, specifically team sports, is critical in their development as young men. I would like to see them have opportunities year-round.
We have an outstanding school district. New programs will only enhance it.
We have fished, duck hunted, surfed and simply enjoyed all the wonderful things this island offers more times than I can count. Football and volleyball programs will not detract from those activities.
I look forward to seeing more options from (superintendent) Dr. Sharon Doughty and staff.
The rhetoric of increasing taxes, rolling teachers out the door, having humongous class sizes, etc., is reflective of misinformation. These are words spoken out of confusion and nervousness about something new and the potential of change.
When we truly see the clear picture of the costs of adding these programs (Academic +/-, Economic +/- , Community +/-), we will know the right direction in which to proceed. Let’s listen to the positive aspects of adding the programs before we throw in the towel.
I want to have my cake (academic excellence) and eat it, too (football and volleyball).
Jay Jones, trustee Port Aransas ISD