Johnson City Press Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Opinion

Animal Shelter funding, Teacher salaries, education and more in Friday's Forum

June 21st, 2013 8:56 am by Staff Report

Animal Shelter funding, Teacher salaries, education and more in Friday's Forum

I think it is an embarrassment that Washington County and Johnson City can’t come up with the funds to pay for the new shelter without looking for donors. It is even worse that they are currently wasting the money already put aside for the new shelter.  
As a citizen of Washington County, I will help, at no charge, to assist in raising funds to build the new shelter.
First, having been in sales, I was taught that even though a “home run” is great, “base hits” can be easier to obtain, as well as more beneficial.
Let’s stop trying to find people that will make $100,000 donations, and find ways to get $100 or smaller donations from all the animal lovers we have in Washington County.
Let’s look at other successful fundraising attempts. The supermarkets from time-to-time ask their patrons to donate to a charity by adding to their grocery bill. Let’s ask all the veterinarians and stores that sell animal supplies to do just what the supermarkets do.
The Veteran’s Memorial raised funds by selling walkway bricks — they call them Memorial Bricks — for $100 each. The Animal Shelter can call them the Animal Lover’s Walkway.
I challenge each and every government official and animal lover to purchase a walkway brick. I will be the first to donate.
Let’s also go to the businesses in Washington County and ask for their assistance. They will want to help if their companies are publicized for helping our animals. It will help them to get new customers.
The final element needed from the city and county to show the legitimacy of this endeavor is a real plan going forward as to how they will fund the new shelter after it is built.
Although my family regularly donates food and supplies to our current shelter, it is wrong that they have to “beg” for these things that should be funded through the city and county.
ALAN MAUTNER
Jonesborough
Teachers’ salaries
Please support us as we oppose state Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman’s new proposed salary schedule. Huffman’s new proposal fails to recognize the value of experienced teachers or advanced degrees.
When setting salary for the people responsible for educating our children, how can the state suggest that the person’s level of education doesn’t count?
In fact, how can we have a strong education system if we don’t demonstrate by our policies that we value education?
If you value our children, please don’t devalue our teachers. Please support our teachers and oppose this change.
JULIA ELLIOTT
Jonesborough
Tuition v. scholarships
Regarding the rising tuition costs at East Tennessee State University, I am beginning my eighth year as a professor in the music department at ETSU. During my interview here eight years ago, one item that stood out was the scholarship offerings for in-state and out-of-state students.
Recruiting students to study the fine arts is a challenging process, and having scholarships to offer students in easing the financial burden helps this process greatly.
But, as tuition costs and fees have continued to increase steadily, scholarship amounts have not paralleled this increase and have remained the same each year.
Over the course of four years of an undergraduate education, with tuition costs and fees continuing to rise while the scholarship award remains a fixed amount, the cost of an education outpaces the scholarship level.
If costs and fees continue to undergo inflation, why isn’t this proportional to state scholarship amounts also?
DR. CHRISTIAN ZEMBOWER
Johnson City
Education first
Before proceeding let me state that I am a sports fan. I think raising tuition costs again at East Tennessee State University is outrageous to say the least and raising tuition to fund a football program or any other sport borders on fiscal insanity.   
I have heard it stated that if the idea of adding an extra $125 per semester for football had been put to an actual vote in front of the student body, it would have been soundly defeated.
Football was a losing proposition before and will be again, not to mention this time it is starting out millions of dollars in the red.
You have to recruit top college prospects and a top-notch coaching staff. What chance does ETSU have in today’s college football environment of doing either of these things?
ETSU will hand out full scholarships to subpar players that in all honesty probably do not have the scholastic skills needed to attend college in the first place.
This football fiasco is being driven mainly to satisfy some alumni who should be using their influence, time and money to fund the needs of the medical and science departments and maybe even support a decent engineering degree program.
I have heard also that ETSU wants to purchase land for a liberal arts building. What does the jobs market have to offer anyone with a degree in liberal arts? At least the football players and the arts majors will have a $28 million parking garage in which to park their cars. Just two more examples of money well spent to train folks for today’s job market.
Almost forgot, what about that new baseball field with the $100K-plus scoreboard?
Regardless of the source of revenue — be it tuition, government grants or whatever — educational needs should have first priority, then if any is left over, let’s play ball.
RANDY TAYLOR
Jonesborough
‘Abortion pills’
I have a response to a cartoon that accompanied Kathryn Lopez’s column on June 13.
The cartoon depicted a young girl and made reference to her being able to buy “abortion pills” without her parent’s permission. This is absolutely nothing more than fear mongering.
The over-the-counter Plan B and other “morning after” pills in no way perform an abortion on a fetus. They only prevent a pregnancy. They prevent the fertilization of an egg.
The other pills that you take after you have conceived are still only available in a clinic with a prescription written by a doctor.
LEIGH COFFMAN
Johnson City

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