Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, May 19, 2019: Nurses, Trump’s economy, literacy and homeless

Rep. Harder questions Education Secretary DeVos’ plan to cut literacy programs

California representative Josh Harder challenged Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos at a hearing on April 10, 2019. Harder, who is a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, questioned DeVos' motives about cutting literacy programming.
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California representative Josh Harder challenged Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos at a hearing on April 10, 2019. Harder, who is a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, questioned DeVos' motives about cutting literacy programming.

Nurses deserve love and gratitude

We celebrate those in the nursing profession with an emphasis on May 12, which is Florence Nightingale’s birthday. She is credited as the founder of modern nursing.

The Nightingale Pledge is the oath most schools of nursing use at graduation ceremonies. It reads, “I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.”

Those in the nursing profession take this oath very seriously and live it in their daily work. At Community Hospice, we recognize our nurses and thank them for the incredible care they provide to our patients and families. Their dedicationis always accompanied by deep compassion. They deserve every word of encouragement and every compliment they receive.

Thank the nurses who you know. They are a vital part of healthcare in America.

C. DeSha McLeod, president and CEO, Community Hospice

It’s much more than just the economy

Re “Robust economy justifies anything” (Letters, May 16): Does it justify the spread of toxins in our environment, or ravaging our resources, against nature and common sense? Does it justify Americans from not having the medical attention, devices and medicine for a healthy life? Does it justify the manipulation of wealth, leaving the hardest working Americans with little or no chance to climb the economic ladder?

Besides, we don’t have to have a “lying, racist, bigoted homophobe” in the Oval Office for a healthy economy. Obama’s last five years in office, after he slowed the recession, showed an average annual job gain of 2.47 million, and an average drop in unemployment of 0.7 percent. Trump’s annual job gain of 2.35 million and average unemployment drop of 0.4 percent, indicate the same trajectory. However, Trump’s budget deficit is the largest ever, and after-tax corporate profits are the highest in history.

As far as Trump’s negative personality not hurting our economy, perhaps the writer should ask the farmers, steelworkers, auto manufacturers and about every other working, middle-class American, what Trump’s personality has done. We don’t have to trade in our morals, ethics, dreams, our kids’ futures, or our country’s democracy for profit.

Dean Jepson, Turlock

Who doesn’t pay taxes? Oh, yeah...

After inflating everything about himself except his waist size, it is a mystery why Master Dealer Trump was so closed-mouthed about his championship tax-loss record.

Well, he did say everybody was doing it. Check with your friends and relatives and see how many of them paid no taxes for the last decade. But, as he also said, it really is just a sport — and we are the ones getting played.

Jack Heinsius, Modesto

Proof that literacy programs work

I am pleased to see Rep. Josh Harder’s work in Washington, especially serving on the Education Committee as he calls out Secretary DeVos’ proposed cuts to federally funded literacy programs.

Such programs have greatly benefited my youngest child, especially this school year. Because of developmental and learning disabilities, reading has especially been a struggle for him over the years. He has always had the support and encouragement of his parents and siblings along with teachers in special ed and mainstream classes. This year he began a new Reading Plus program which, with the guidance of teachers and family, has proven to be the key that unlocked the door to reading. As this school year ends, testing has shown that his reading and vocabulary have improved five grade levels. He is more confident and sometimes reads for his own pleasure — including your newspaper!

If the secretary were to have her way such programs would no longer be available to students like my son. Thank goodness our students have a congressman who will fight to keep these programs intact.

Laura A. Scarborough, Manteca

Fix government by shrinking it

Governments spread like unstoppable plagues. They gobble up money and demand more as our national debt reaches disastrous proportions.

President Trump promised to cut debt, but a lasting place in history does not include debt reduction. The epitome of doing something about a big problem came in the late 1970s. President Jimmy Carter was faced with a scandalous gasoline shortage. Result: long lines waiting to get fuel and total hostility for Carter. He responded by forming the Department of Energy, which involved rearranging government functions and accomplished nothing, but it looked good so problem solved!

When Rick Perry ran for president a few years ago one of his issues was to dismantle the Department of Energy. Guess what? He is now secretary of energy; no more talk of closure! The Perry Rule is that once you are part of it, defend it. The only way to shrink government is to impose a hiring freeze: For every two employees departing, only one replacement is allowed. Reducing workers will realign priorities, not defense of organizations.

We need something like Base Realignment and Closure. That closed a bunch of military places like the Presidio of San Francisco, which had zero military value.

Bill Wood, Oakdale

Where were their names?

Re “Hughson Academic Decathlon team takes home national title” (Page 3A, May 6): I was disappointed that The Bee neglected to list all the names of the Hughson Academic Decathlon national title winners. The paper showed a picture of eight students and a teacher with a caption but no names. In the article, only a teacher and three students were mentioned.

Those students deserve more recognition than this. They studied so hard. Team members and alternates should be listed along with a picture. This is a big deal. No, I do not know any of them, just feeling they were kind of cheated out of their moment.

Kathy Witt

Few options for dealing with homeless

First, tremendous applause and thanks to the Modesto city workers who clean all the parks. They do great work in dire circumstances.

I walk my dogs in the park every day and pick up trash as we go. In recent days we have found piles of human feces, used needles and drug paraphernalia, dirty diapers, many dirty wipes, other hazardous waste, and huge amounts of trash, most of which has been shredded by lawn mowers. Few use the park anymore except for the homeless. The restrooms are disgusting within minutes of being cleaned.

Something must be done. Modesto has three choices: We can try to help the homeless, which will only work for those not mentally ill or drug addicted and will attract more homeless; do nothing, which will help no one; or give the homeless $10 and a bus ticket.

I realize there are no good answers, but Modesto taxpayers deserve to be able to use city parks at least as much as the homeless. Smart people in local government need to figure something out. Volunteer park wardens?

Alex A. Landesco, Modesto