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"The disadvantaged children helped through the voucher program are not a game ball to be tossed in and out of politicians' hands for spite."

V.M. Evans

Teach Our Children Well

I would like to share my thoughts on Clancy DuBos' conclusions of Gov. Bobby Jindal's performance ("Back to Reality," News & Views, Jan. 6). Anyone can stand on the sideline and find faults. I believe we, as citizens, must look at the whole picture and factor in the positive results being achieved and the ongoing issues yet to be addressed. We must look at the short-term and long-term goals. We must continue the efforts that are successful and produce long-term benefits.

  The disadvantaged children helped through the voucher program are not a game ball to be tossed in and out of politicians' hands for spite one against another because he or she did not obtain what was desired. If anyone needs to sacrifice, the politicians' salaries should be cut. Have you ever heard of pay for performance? We should pay politicians for excellent performance and reduce their pay for poor performance. Politicians make promises all the time knowing the delivery is subjective. Political pundits cast their opinions for or against the actions of those politicians and we, the parents, citizens, and children of those promises and actions, are the recipients of their failures or successes. While all the players involved go back and forth, we are watching the game.

  We should no longer tolerate the excuses of people who produce poor results in educating our children. I believe Bobby Jindal was trying to accomplish something proven to be very successful for those who need the help the most. Now that this program is underway and producing great results, it would be a travesty for it to become the victim of "payback" at the expense of childrens' education.

  Louisiana needs to do something good for a change and not deny our children the opportunity to obtain a good education in a safe and excellent environment.

V.M. Evans


Voucher Vultures

I am aware of the proposed budget cuts for the near future. The fact that the newly approved and implemented school vouchers for underprivileged and displaced elementary students are possibly going to be snatched back is very upsetting.

  Our children are now in better learning environments. My son Taj has really shown progress academically as well as socially. I feel it is because of the private school setting at the Upperroom Bible Church academy. What's going to happen to him when that comfort and peace are taken away? How are we parents going to tell our kids that the schools they have grown accustomed to and are looking forward to attending next year are just distant dreams that probably will not come true?

  Last July, when WWL TV's Eyewitness News asked about our kids having the opportunity to attend private schools with the Louisiana vouchers, I was happy to express my gratitude. I was elated and thankful to our state government and our newly elected Gov. Bobby Jindal. His leadership in educating our children made us feel the government really cared about the welfare of our kids. I urge our lawmakers to be statesmen and not like politicians at the expense of our children's future.

Yashica Smith


Park It Here

Chris Watson and Park The Van's return to New Orleans ("Label Maker," cover story, Dec. 23, 2008) might seriously be one of the most exciting and hopeful events for the city in recent memory. Watson's symbiotic relationship with music and his bands has always been evident, and its success juxtaposed against a dying corporate industry is very telling.

  He bent over backwards to help my former record store, Rocks Off RPM, which also was a casualty of Katrina. I've also just moved back to town, and seeing the cover story of The Gambit dispelled that remaining 1 percent of doubt that was left in my mind about my decision. Happy Day!

Colby Spath


Hot Topic

The article "Designing a 'Hot Zone'" (Health & Wellness, Dec. 1, 2008) was glaringly lacking in its implicit hot topic: primate research. We debate the treatment of detainees in Guantánamo prison, yet remain silent on the issue of imprisoning our primate cousins. Has this become so accepted as to go unmentioned in an article discussing a new primate center for research? How will they be treated? Our next of kin suffer from loneliness just as we do. Will they be allowed to interact with one another? Will they be granted any comforts while they serve in our interests?

  The ethics of primate research may be old news, but the debate continues and deserves some comment.

Caroline Williams

Send letters to response@gambitweekly.com or mail to 3923 Bienville St., New Orleans, LA 70119. Limit 400 words. Letters may be edited.

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