<b><center>Letters to the Editor</b></center>
Rush Limbaugh makes insensitive comments
I heard that on Nov. 2, Rush Limbaugh used the word "retard" on his syndicated radio program in referring to labor unions taking a "van load full of retards" to register to vote. He said one of the presidential candidates had "locked up the retard vote."
As the mother of a daughter with developmental disabilities and a strong advocate for people who have all types of disabilities, I am appalled that a so-called informed radio personality would use this term.
The word "retard" has become OK in recent years. I often hear people referring to one another as a "retard." How sad! And how unkind!
Use of the word is painful not only for families of people diagnosed as mentally retarded but also anyone with disabilities and feelings.
The Arc of Arizona and other organizations have spent years advocating the rights and dignity of the mentally retarded. State and local agencies concur that "retard" is simply not acceptable. In fact, people are using other adjectives in lieu of the term "mental retardation," including "mentally challenged," for example.
Mr. Limbaugh has offended a large population in this country and I, for one, am concerned that any further use of "retard" will perpetuate a bad habit that too many unthinking and uncaring individuals already have. Please think before you speak!
The Arc of Arizona
PV public works director needs lessons on roads
The Nov. 7 Courier carried an article titled "Rough roads in PV – Trade-off for construction." which quoted Prescott Valley's public works director as saying, "The town and its contractors are working on a number of road constructions."
He also said, "The town can't chip seal roads until the daytime temperatures are above 50 degrees, with nighttime lows above 40 degrees." So, "the trade-off was rough roads." Thus, the public works director gave drivers a word of "caution."
Perhaps Prescott Valley's public works director might consider contacting the roads department in my upstate New York hometown to learn how to lay and repair streets during all kinds of weather and under various forms of construction. If New Yorkers waited until the temperatures were "just right," they would be driving on roads like Lakeshore Drive in Prescott Valley, most of the year.
Here's a word of caution to the public works director: Driving on unsafe streets could result in serious injury.
And to Prescott Valley's town manager, who claims to be adamant in "treating all town employees the same," why not have the Prescott Valley Police Department work only on days when the temperatures are hotter than 50 degrees and the nighttime temperatures exceed 40 degrees? After all, some of our streets are already unsafe.
Coffee services make out like bandits at businesses
I can buy a can of Folgers coffee for approximately $7; businesses probably pay less because of quantity purchases. The instructions on the container say the contents will make 240-270 servings. Using the lesser number and say I have two refills, that container of coffee would serve me for 80 visits. Businesses I have visited charge me $1-plus.
By my calculations, from a $7 investment those establishments collect $80-plus. An 1,100-percent mark-up.
Perhaps that is where the government should invest our Social Security funds.
Law lets people give to help private schools
The Arizona Tax Credit initiative allows all Arizona taxpayers to donate up to as much as $500 to qualified private school tuition foundations and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on their state income tax return. These funds must go to scholarships at qualifying private schools.
In Yavapai County, Orme School and Primavera School have joined together to form Orme Primavera Schools Foundation. Donating your tax dollars to support education directly benefits everyone involved.
Donors receive a $500 state tax credit and a federal tax deduction to a non-profit organization (501 (c)(3); the schools benefit by receiving tax money for their respective scholarship programs, and more of our young people will have the opportunity to attend Orme or Primavera.
Depending on the amount of your state tax liability, you may donate as much as $500 to the Orme Primavera Schools Foundation and as much as $200 to the public school of your choice to support extracurricular activities. I urge you to do both and help our local schools continue their tradition of excellence in education. You must donate by Dec. 31 to get credit on this year's tax returns.
Thank you in advance for your support. For a donation packet please call Carol at 445-5382 or Critt at 632-7601.
Carol Darrow, vice president
Orme Primavera Schools
Niece's daughter inspires many with her optimism
I recently returned from Tampa, Fla., after attending my niece's daughter's funeral. It was not only a sad affair, but also very enlightening.
Molly Allen was born with cystic fibrosis. She lived 16 and a half years – longer by far than most with this problem. Her zest for life, even with her problems, was something to behold. She always smiled and never let on the pain she suffered.
At her service, students, teachers and the church pastor spoke so glowingly of her demeanor and accomplishments that no one in attendance could hold back the tears. No one had ever heard Molly complain of her illness; she was always the first one to boost someone else who was feeling low.
Molly was on the "Today Show" last year with Al Roker and Katie Couric. She was supposed to go back this past summer, but things just didn't work out. During her final weeks in the hospital in St. Louis, the people of the Today Show sent her a tape where they all – led by Al Roker – gave Molly a cheer for her to get well. Molly didn't make it, of course, but it did give her a boost.
She has left this earth now and has gone to a better place. God himself said that enough is enough and took her to be with him.
We will miss you, Molly Allen, but we sure won't forget you. Whenever someone smiles, it will remind me of you.