Corona del not local
I chuckled when I read Mr. Marshall’s letter (Sheet, April 18) regarding our small town and its water use. His points were well intentioned but clearly, being from Corona Del Mar, a beautiful area, he didn’t see why we needed to build more homes during the drought. Why not water Sierra Star and grow almonds with water at a gallon per nut? I have never witnessed a living almond tree in or around the Mammoth Lakes area, I have lived here since 1976. Sierra Star will be watered because it uses reclaimed water: a shining example of respect for our environment.
In response to Marshall’s suggestion to start a building moratorium in our Town, that’s a really bad idea. While he sees the ramifications of dramatically reduced reservoirs, our situation is much more dire. We have gone through four consecutive drought years on top of the “ housing bubble” and a larger failed national/international economy as well as synthetic price raising on petroleum products that affects how many visitors will drive to see us (you should see their faces when they pay more than a dollar more per gallon than they are used to).
We need jobs! Everyone in our Town and outlying areas has been affected financially. For every person we can keep employed, his or her wages will trickle through our community eight times. That carpenter helps keep the employees busy at the hardware store, who in turn keep a food server employed which inevitably keeps a player’s assistant on the job at Sierra Star, etc. To even begin the discussion on a moratorium is irresponsible and naive. I have witnessed the effects of a moratorium first-hand in our area many people had to leave because they just couldn’t hang on for another part-time ski season without summer work.
On a personal note: I will continue to conserve water as best I can, but will keep my grass and trees alive. After all, our area produces the water. I think what might be a more effective drought strategy (or how about a new positive habit) would be to reduce the amount of water which lands each and every day on the sidewalks of So. Cal. Just doing the math: there are close to 20,000,000 people living in your area. Focusing on behavior modification in So. Cal would be far more constructive.
The following remarks were read at the MUSD Board meeting of April 16.
Evenings are better
Dear MUSD Board Members,
I would like to address you on behalf of myself and numerous (17) other parents of eighth grade students at Mammoth Middle School.
We were recently made aware that promotion ceremonies for our eighth grade students will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 8.
I have been a member of this community and a parent in the school district for 15 years. The middle school’s promotion, like the high school’s graduation has always been held in the evening.
I contacted Ms. Rinaldi (Principal Annie) to ask why the time had been changed. I also asked she consider moving it back to the evening, as many parents must take time off work without pay or may not be able to attend their child’s promotion at all due to work.
In addition, any school-aged siblings who would otehrwise be able to attend are now unable to do so. The high school has finals that day.
Ms. Rinaldi replied that the reason for the change in time is because last year kids from other schools caused too much noise, that her teachers were unable to control the crowd, and they were frustrated that they could not hear the program.
I have attended my older two children’s promotions at Mammoth Middle School in 2012 and 2010, and did not experience this problem. I would hope that the administration could figure out a way, as it has in prior years, to control the audience. Perhaps non-eighth grade parents could volunteer to help. Perhaps each child could be issued a certain number of tickets to invite family and friends. I have attended numerous graduations at Mammoth High School in the evening as well. Mrs. LeFrancois and her team do an excellent job keeping the audience focused on the program. Another suggestion might be for the administration and staff to consult with High School Principal Powell about strategies they use at the high school.
I have spoken to many eighth grade parents about this schedule and not one parent agrees with this change. Some parents have told me that in addition to their other children not being able to be a part of their brother’s or sister’s special day, they have relatives traveling in that day. Given Mammoth’s distance and flight schedules, many of them will not be able to attend. A few other parents have also spoken to Ms. Rinaldi, but were told that no matter how many parents complain about this issue, she will not change the time. This intractable attitude is deeply offensive to many parents who not only believe that they should have a say in these decisions, but who will also be asked to help decorate the MPR for the event.
Another concern is what the sixth and seventh grade students will be doing during the promotion. Will it be a normal instructional day? Or are some of the sixth and seventh grade teachers staffing the promotion? If so, will substitutes be necessary, thereby incurring additional costs to the district?
One of the events that eighth graders most anticipate in addition to the promotion is the dinner and dance afterwards at Shogun. As was demonstrated by the disastrous switch a couple of years ago to holding dances in the afternoons, these students, and most parents do not want these events held at that time. This is not kindergarten.
I believed that middle school promotion was about the children, and about their families commemorating and honoring their achievement. Promotion should be a celebratory event that includes the entire family. To exclude so many family members from our eighth graders’ special day runs contrary to the educational goals of our district. If Ms. Rinaldi will not consider moving promotion back to the evening hour, I urge the board to consider our voices.