Word of Mouth

Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Word of Mouth gives readers a forum to express opinions on a variety of issues by telephone. Calls must be limited to one minute and we reserve the right to edit calls for clarity, length and libel. The number to call in 586-4636. Then press 8255 to leave your message.

What an incredible day my family had last Saturday. Many thanks to Kid Safe. I believe it was best four hours that we have spent at an activity in Juneau. We feel so thankful that it was free. Along with having a great time my children learned about bicycle safety in ways they've never even thought of. They learned about boat safety, gun safety, personal safety and electricity safety especially.

Please everybody stop the grotesque feeding frenzy on Dwight Perkins. Remember, "he who is without sin, cast the first stone." Also let the punishment fit the crime. You think he should go to jail, but he's lost his job, he's publicly humiliated and his life is a living hell. Have some compassion for him and also for his family who loves him and is standing by him.

I support Rep. Halcro's bill to use state employee airline business miles earned at the state's expense to reduce future employee airline travel expenditures. Using airline miles for personal gain is an abuse. The federal government does not allow such abuse by employees. Those miles earned at the government's expense are used to reduce or eliminate future airline travel expenditures.

Rep. Halcro may not realize this, but Alaska Airlines does not have to honor a huge account of funneled miles from state employees on state business. And it's not that glamorous to travel. You have to stay in a hotel, you're away from your family. You may get per diem, but you have to buy food on the run. Regular travel gets to be a bit of a drag. It's not quite as glamorous as the critics might think. I think it's just a perk that should remain.

Thanks to Cina McGraw, the Juneau EMT's, the Southeast Alaska Vet Clinic, the boat that raced over from the ferry terminal and the two men who hauled up my canoe after my dog and I went swimming in Auke Bay on Saturday. Your help was greatly appreciated. You're all one of the reasons that I moved to Alaska.

About teacher's salaries, the kids are in school nine months a year, but the teachers work year round. During the summer they are getting prepared for the next year's lesson plan. I'm not a teacher, but I work in the school and I know that they are there many weekends. They also work at home in the hours when most people are off. They are taking home tests to grade and stories to read. Teachers work hard 12 months a year.

The average teacher salary for nine months is not nearly $50,000. They only receive that amount if that they have been teaching for at least 10 years. Teachers are not paid for the three months summer vacation or for Christmas break or for any paid holidays. They are paid only for 180 days at school teaching. There are no paid holidays for teachers.

After six years of teaching, I'm nowhere close to $50,000 a year. I added up the time I spend and I make just under $11 an hour. I work summers to support my family. Teaching is not a job for the pay, it's a job for the love of students. And I enjoy my students and therefore I work hard to make learning a wonderful experience.

Take a look at DOT's preferred option to change the intersection at 10th and Egan. Those of us who work, live or travel on Glacier Avenue may be surprised to see it become a one-way extension of Egan Drive.

John Roxburgh's letter caught my attention because I've been following state and CBJ transportation planning developments. I'm convinced that reducing traffic demand and vehicular usage is a preferable and realistic alternative to more highway lanes and concrete overpasses.

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