I am writing to correct a false impression that people may have after reading The Telegram report on potential USD 457 budget cuts. A statement was made in the article (Wednesday) that the elimination of school library paraprofessionals would least affect students. Nothing could be farther from the truth. One of these 14 dedicated employees is usually the first face that students see when they enter the school library. One of these people may be the first person to lead a student to the book that sparks that child's life-long interest in reading.

Library paraprofessionals guide students to reference sources, instruct them on how to look up library materials, and make sure that computers are operating properly for individual and class research. The teacher resource center coordinator assists teachers with instructional materials that brighten every school classroom wall and that give visual instructional information to classrooms throughout the district.

Readers need to consider that the lives of these individuals and their families will be affected. Their family income, in turn, affects the Garden City community. Business owners should take note that these workers will have less money to spend in your stores. These families will have less money to invest in savings intended to support their own children's future educational plans.

Packaged instructional programs cost money but they may be of secondary importance in these lean economic times. Students need more adults working with them directly rather than less, and library paraprofessionals work with students face-to-face daily.

It is time that patrons of Garden City USD 457 and citizens become passionate and concerned about these recommended cuts that affect the lives of people who are their neighbors and friends. It is time to write, e-mail and phone board of education members that the library paraprofessionals are vital to the education of your child. They continually support teachers' classroom instruction and their work affects all students of every school in Garden City. Not too many positions in any workplace have that kind of impact.

Write, phone or e-mail your state representatives and senator and inform them that raising revenues statewide to support public education is not optional, it is vital. Help them understand the need to maintain and increase support for public education so that the quality of your child's education does not diminish.


Garden City

Truckers need to be heard

To the truckers in Finney County:

Did you know it is against the law in Finney County to park a truck by your house on your own property? The sheriff is going to begin issuing tickets if we don't cease and desist. These range from $100 to $500 each time your truck is on your property. We were issued a summons to go to court and discuss this with the judge. At present, we are complying with the ruling by getting a shop with parking another added expense on top of everything else.

We truckers, as one entity, need to let the county know we are unhappy and want our right to park our trucks by our houses. We purchased our homes in Golf Acres, T-Bone Estates, on Industrial Drive and elsewhere in the county for that sole purpose to park our trucks (our bread and butter) on our own property, not only for convenience but for the safety of our trucks.

The Truck Stop and Co-op don't really want local trucks parking on their property. Both businesses are there for the truckers traveling cross country. It doesn't help them if their parking lots are filled with local trucks. The Co-op expects you to buy fuel there very understandable. Plus, there is no security at either place. You park at your own risk. The vandalism and theft is prevalent in both areas. We know because it happened to family more than once.

We can use your voice and your presence by attending a County Planning Commission meeting Monday at the County Building at 911 N Ninth St., across from the police and sheriff department.

I urge every truck driver and their family to come to this meeting and fill the room. Let the commissioners know this is important to us and our futures here in Finney County.


Garden City