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Sound Off! calls published Sept. 23, 2009
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• Dangerous parents

I have two children who attend Virginia Parks School. For the last two years the school staff has worked very hard to create and maintain a safe "drop off/pick up" area for students. Most days you will find the principal and many other staff members at the entrance and inside the parking lot directing traffic and curbside opening doors for students to get in/out of cars. Although it truly amazes me that they continue to dedicate so much of their time each day, it does not surprise me given the care and dedication that staff members at that school have always had towards their students.

What does surprise me is the parents who don't follow the guidelines of the parking lot; that are in such a hurry to pick their children up that they are willing to sacrifice the safety of their own children, as well as others; and those that I see screaming obscenities at the staff (in front of their children) when they are reprimanded for not following the parking lot rules. What are they teaching their children by these actions? And why can't they simply take an extra 5 minutes to follow the parking lot rules to keep everyone safe?

Personally, I tend to go at the busiest drop off/pick up times and it has never taken me more than about seven minutes to go through the process.

So, I ask these parents, is less than 15 minutes out of your day not worth the safety of your child? I am pretty sure when viewed that way, you will feel your child is worth that small amount of your time.

I support the Virginia Parks staff for their continued goal of keeping all students safe and hope that other parents will send their comments in to "Sound Off!" to show the staff that we support and appreciate them.

• What's this meter stuff?

I'm so upset about this nonsense about meters. We get an increase of almost 100 percent, now we get meters? What is this about? I, for one, am unemployed and looking for employment for almost one year. What hope is there? I take care of my water. Maybe you should drive around and meter the homes that don't take care of their watering and to tell you the truth there are so many people who just waste water. I don't think metering is going to do any good. This is nonsense. I'm so against it and if there is any get-together I want to be told and I will be there.

• Council's waste of money

I would like to know why the City Council voted, according to your paper, to spend $54,000 to inform the residents about water meters. We have already been informed about water meters through the media, the paper, inserts in our bills. Why do we have to spend $54,000 to tell us that we're going to get meters? It just seems like a waste of money; it could have paid a salary for a whole year and I think they should be called on it.

• Thank you President Bush

Thank you President Bush for your work after Sept. 11, 2001. You kept out country safe and showed the world's terrorists that they are not safe from the reach of the U.S. You said that if we cannot bring them to justice then we would bring justice to them. You were a man of your word and they have not attacked us since. It's obvious we went to the right places (Iraq and Afghanistan) to fight the war on terrorism. Despite what skeptics think, Iraq was a huge supporter of terrorism based on all the top world terrorists found and killed there by our troops. There is overwhelming proof that Iraq is a terrorist nation, but there are still some who refuse to believe that.

Thank you for all of those prosperous years while you were in office. Thanks to you I was able to buy a home, a car, and advance in my career. Many of my friends and family also prospered too during your Presidency. We are definitely not rich, but we did work hard for what we have. We sacrificed and labored to get to where we are in our lives. We never received any aid or handouts, we simply worked hard when the opportunity was there.

The laziness and greed of others should not overshadow your work. They were the cause of their own demise which also affected the rest of us now. People need to understand that our country is not about handouts, it's about opportunity. You gave a lot of us opportunities and we took it, but obviously other didn't and they want handouts still.

You kept our country alive, but now it's dying and may never recover. Our core Constitutional principles are slowly being eroded away and the face of America is changing. Soon we will no longer recognize our own country.

I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I am an American and I will never forget.