Letters to the Editor, March 26-29, 2016
Presidential poll exposes pitfalls of online voting
Tuesday’s Republican Presidential Primary provided online voting as a convenient substitute for attending a local caucus. I voted online without a problem, but that was not the case for my wife. Although she preregistered online and received confirmation of her registration days before the caucuses, she did not receive the email with the information needed to vote and was unable correct that deficiency in spite of our efforts to contact the administrators of the online voting system.
We don’t know if this was an isolated problem or representative of a wide-spread failure of the online voting system. However, her experience should serve as a warning to other voters of the problems that can be encountered when a new system is introduced and the risk that one can be disenfranchised if such a system fails to operate properly.
We hope that the Republican Party officials who are responsible for the new system find a way to correct the problems with the new system of online voting, and we hope that the results of the primary voting are truly representative of the opinions of those who attempted to vote. At the very least the officials responsible for the new online system need to apologize to those voters who were prevented from voting and to explain how these problems will be prevented in the future. Such actions would help to restore trust in our electoral system which is so important in a democracy.
F. Joseph Feely III
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School time is more about testing than learning
When I’m not at Treasure Mountain Junior High School in the eighth grade, I am at work at Papa Murphy’s or at Ecker Hill Middle School at swim practice. I just looked at the testing schedule for the end of the year and would like to share my concerns.
Including today, there are 54 days left of the school year. Then, I counted up the days that we are taking standardized tests and that number is 23 days. Twenty-three out of 54 means that about 42 percent of our days left in school are spent taking standardized tests. I have many concerns about the large percentage. With that many days spent testing, it brings students’ stress and anxiety levels up. It tires students faster and if we try to do homework at night, we as students do not have enough energy to stay up. That means homework does not get done, bringing down grades, creating annoyed parents and students who are worried.
I would like to pose the question: why do we need to take both Galileo and SAGE tests? If we take the Galileo tests throughout April, why do we need to take the SAGE tests starting a week after we finish Galileo? If our teachers need to teach us more before SAGE, then we are taking the Galileo test without a clue about how to answer specific questions. Furthermore, if we take SAGE to help us as students learn more, why do we not receive the results until near the end of summer? That would be about two and a half months that we go without any information. then is the information accurate anymore? We could have learned more over the summer which would make the data invalid.
Lastly, these tests are taken at the end of the year. At the end of the year, students already have end-of-year finals. Ninth graders take the AP Geography test. Quite a few students opt out of the SAGE test. Why do we give the option to do that if it is a standardized test? If the district is requiring students to take the test, but also letting students opt out, what is the point of requiring the test?
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope that you will take these concerns under careful consideration.
Treasure Mountain Junior High
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Eccles Center performance was inspirational
On March 19, my family and I attended a performance called Grupo Corpo. Being able to experience something so magical and delicate with the most important people in my life was special. I was mesmerized by the way the dancers moved. They made every dance a beautiful piece of art. All the dancers were so flexible and able to do whatever they wanted. Personally, the best part of the show was when the little blonde girl was getting lifted and thrown around by the three men. She did everything so effortlessly.
The first half of the show they were all in white outfits. It made everything look even more flowy and easy. The second half of the show the women were wearing red and the men were wearing black. Personally I enjoyed the second half better. I really enjoyed watching the little blonde girl because the men did a lot of lifts with her that I have never seen in my life. During intermission, I was talking to my dad and I asked "How do they memorize these dances?" My dad said "Well, imagine doing this all year long. For hours each day." After he said that, I realized that it’s like studying for hours every day. After a few days of studying for hours, it just becomes natural.
Grupo Corpo inspires me to move in a different way. Instead of always being so serious and tense, I’m going to start living in the moment, and I am going to move more loose. Watching this show inspired me to start dancing more at home and also I am going to start dancing with our Jamaican friends that live down the road. I am very thankful that I was able to attend this performance because even though it’s just men and women doing what they love, it made me realize that art is anything. Art is anything from playing soccer to just drawing on a piece of paper.
Jordan Crockett, 8th grade
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A yield of four raspberries this week was the culmination of a three-year effort for Tom Clyde: “I figure I’m into each of those berries at least $100. Nobody ever said farm-to-table was cheap.”