Letters to the editor

Edition of April 4, 2002

Lions support research
To the editor:
The Hopewell Valley Lions Club, thanks to the hospitality of the Pennington Quality Market and the generosity of its customers, was able to raise $1,300 to support the Lions Eye Research Foundation.
   The sum raised through this White Cane Sale will help the Foundation in their efforts to combat blindness, one of which is to discover ways to cure macular degeneration. This is a condition which threatens the sight of one of four adults past the age of 50.
   Also, in answer to many at the event who asked about the used eye glasses which they have deposited in the yellow mail box at the market, please click on to our new Web site (www.hopewellvalleylions.org) and click on the eye glass icon.
   And, a reminder that there is also a menu item you can use to request free loan hospital equipment. This a service that your Lions have provided for a number of years.
Larry Mansier, Hopewell Valley Lions
Bare-bones budget
To the editor:
   On April 16, voters in the Hopewell Valley will be asked to vote on the school budget for the 2002-2003 school year. This year voters will have the opportunity to vote on the base budget and to vote on a second question.
   I would urge all voters in the Hopewell Valley who care about the quality of education in this district to vote yes on both questions. The base budget for next year’s program is a bare-bones budget. Most of the budget increases reflect the costs of opening the new elementary school and state- mandated items such as increased special education costs.
   The second question includes moneys for staff who are critical to the success of our children. Included in the second question are an additional guidance counselor for the high school and an additional Spanish teacher for the elementary grades.
   The guidance counselor is a critical addition to our high school staff. Next year’s senior class will the largest since the 1970s. More and more students are choosing to apply to college early decision. Elite colleges such as Columbia are selecting a majority of their freshman classes from the early applicant pool. Next year school will start three weeks late. Most early decision applications are due on Nov. 1. An increased guidance staff will guarantee that our high school seniors will receive the advice that they need before they apply to college.
   The Spanish program is also critical to our district. Our elementary Spanish program should include two 40-minute periods of Spanish per week. Without the additional teacher, our second and third graders will receive only 40 minutes of Spanish per week, half the recommended time.
   In order for the second question to pass, the base budget must pass as well. Therefore, I urge all Hopewell Valley residents to vote yes on both questions. If the budget and the second question are defeated, the quality of education in this district will suffer. We need to work together to guarantee a quality education for all our children.
Pam Crabtree, Hopewell Township