Letters to the editor

Another day, Altoona asks for another dollar

Another day in Altoona, another headline stating the Altoona Area School Board is looking to spend more of our money.

We are now being asked to foot the bill for a new sign, an unwanted and unnecessary expense.

The current sign works. No one really has been overheard saying, “You know what we need, a better sign,” but the school board will pass this like it has passed everything else and hand us the bill.

This is the same school district that will tell teachers and parents they do not have the money to purchase actual supplies the students need to do their day-to-day activities in the classroom and ask you to spend your hard-earned money to purchase them.

Teachers also take money out of their hard-earned checks to buy supplies. They should not have to do that.

The same school board that tells us that an $88 million school and a $48,000 sign are needed so our students receive the best education expect us to believe they cannot afford a pack of pencils and pens.

Ronda Wininger


Passing message of civility to Trump

Along with many other Americans, I was shocked, but sadly not surprised, by the recent actions of the Trump administration regarding children of immigrants being forcibly taken from their parents and sent to who knows where.

As for Trump’s Muslim ban and the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold it, Justice John Roberts stated, “We express no view on the soundness of the ban.”

Excuse me? Isn’t that their job, to determine right from wrong? Not just rubber stamp it because the president has the authority to do it?

What a copout.

I thought the Supreme Court was supposed to represent the people, not the president. It’s interesting that North Korea is on the list, and it is also interesting that they are starting to rebuild their nuclear arsenal.

How naive of Trump to think that he could sway this murderous dictator.

These latest reprehensible actions of the White House brought to mind a billboard put up close to the local Outback Restaurant. There is a picture of Abraham Lincoln with a quote stating “A house divided cannot stand. Civility is in you … pass it on.”

I don’t know who is responsible for putting up this billboard nor do I know the reason behind it. I would like to think it is directed at Donald Trump.

But regardless of the reason, I would like to say thank you. In light of the chaotic state of this country, and in light of many of the media now talking about the lack of civility in the White House, it is so very appropriate.

Elizabeth K. Shade


Slow drivers create problems on I-99

I would like to address all the folks who travel the I-99 corridor daily, north- and southbound, along Altoona and neighboring towns.

Unless there is a PennDOT worker explicitly holding a stop or slow sign along the construction work, there is no need to be driving 25-30 mph below the posted speed limit of 55 mph in a construction zone.

There are many drivers who take this highway route daily and the constant near stopping and slowing down of cars because other drivers can’t navigate a simple single-lane diversion or are gawking at construction workers is frustrating to say the least.

Be courteous to other drivers, and either keep up with the posted speed limit or stick to in-town driving.

Scott Hord


Levels of lead must be reduced in water

When parents send their children to school, they assume that they are in a safe and healthy environment.

Unfortunately, in Pennsylvania, this is not the case. Children are drinking contaminated water in the very place they go to learn. As stated in the article “Schools urged to test water” from July 8, schools in Philadelphia and Butler County found lead, a neurotoxin, in their drinking water.

The decision to require school board discussion on levels of lead is a step in the right direction, but we need stronger action to protect our children’s health.

When school officials say their district’s levels are satisfactory, how are they defining satisfactory?

We need to ensure that these schools are utilizing their best testing practices.

We need to lower the acceptable level of lead, and make testing and disclosure a requirement for schools to guarantee our children a safe and healthy learning environment.

Allison Capasso


Observatory’s opening brings sight to behold

Kudos to Glenn Nelson, Jim Krug and all of the individuals who helped to plan the grand opening events for The Mountain Lion Observatory at Fort Roberdeau on July 11.

It was wonderful to see several hundred people attending the event and supporting Krug and the Planetarium Club, including many Altoona Area School District teachers and AASD board member Sharon Bream.

The observatory provides a great opportunity for central Pennsylvania residents to explore the planets and stars without having to travel to Pittsburgh.

Krug gave an excellent, informative presentation to those in attendance regarding the summer night sky. The absence of city lighting allowed us to see, with the naked eye, many constellations and planets.

It is truly a Blair County treasure, and it made me proud to be a resident of Blair County.

Donna M. Messner