I am writing in regard to the recent e-mail that I received from Mary Ann Sparks, director of Human Resources for Wilson County Schools, regarding the new pay scale that will be implemented for the 2014-2015 school year. I want to take a minute to advocate for our profession and the reasons why I feel like a base salary of $45,500 for a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) with no pay bumps, increases, etc., is unfair and not an appropriate pay rate for our profession.
I am the Junior Class President at Lebanon High School. I am writing this letter to voice my concerns on the future of our school system under the leadership of our current director, Dr. Tim Setterlund.
Jasmine Carlisle, a 15-year-old Mt. Juliet High School sophomore, has followed closely the recent situation involving Wilson County Schools Director Dr. Tim Setterlund. She has written a letter to the Board of Education about the situation and with her mother's written permission, The Wilson Post is printing it online Monday night and will print it in Wednesday's print edition.
Editors Note: This was sent by email to parents who have children attending schools in the Wilson County Schools system. It was forwarded to The Wilson Post, and we thought our readers would be interested in it as well.
By WILLIAM E. FARMER
If you havent been to a gun show, you have missed a cultural treat. The folks who regularly attend these events are average Americans who love guns and will be pleased to show you what they love about weapons.
The typical gun show is held in large areas with plenty of room to set up tables for gun dealers and gun collectors who display their guns of all types for sale or for viewing by other gun folks. It is a busy fun event organized to promote gun ownership.
At the gun show there are presently two types of gun sales -- licensed dealer sales operating under Federal law (required to perform a background check on the gun sale) and private non-dealer sales and gun exchanges which are not required to perform a background check to see if the gun purchaser has a criminal record or mental health problems.
Some non-dealer gun sales without a background check occur in the parking lot out of car trunks before the gun owner has entered the gun show. This is called the Gun Show Loophole and is the subject of the proposed gun control law debate. The question is, Should we close the loophole and require background checks? Or will this type of regulation impose a loss to our individual rights under the Second Amendment?
Will this proposed background check requirement extend to private gun sales that are not part of gun show events? Will such a check help stop mad men from getting guns or is it just an attempt to stop the unstoppable? What do you think?
We know that recent polls show that 92 percent of our citizens believe background checks should occur at gun stores; 87 percent want checks at gun shows; and 75 percent are for checks on private sales (See Time/ CNN, January 2013). The impact of the Newtown and other shooting events has left a mark upon us. But what is too much? Should the rights of law abiding people be constrained because of some mentally unstable persons? Those who have been victims or have lost loved ones from gun violence will say it is necessary. Do you agree or disagree?
If it saves one life, is it worth the restriction on our freedom? What if that life was someone you love? Can the proposed background check really make a difference? We are a nation of guns. There are an estimated 310 million guns in the USA, the most guns per person nation in the world.
The second nation with highest guns per capita is Yemen, a Middle East terror stronghold. There may be a message in that statistic.
One of our greatest Founding Fathers, President John Adams, believed our citizens will meet our civic challenges by working for the common good. In the gun control debate, what is the common good? I wish John Adams was here to help us.
The proposed background check amendment recently prepared by Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and others has gained some support in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Manchin has a high rating by the National Rifle Association (NRA). The proposed law requires a background check for a criminal record or mental problems involving all gun sales except to your family. Family includes your immediate family and in-laws and extends to your first cousin. In some areas of the country, being able to sell to your cousin without a background check opens gun sales to a large part of the persons county.
Under the Manchin Amendment, all sales at gun shows and on the Internet or in publications would require a background check or make the persons involved open to a Federal violation carrying a penalty of imprisonment for up to five years.
Persons who fail the background check are unable to purchase a weapon. Proponents of the Manchin Amendment claim the proposed law does not permit a Federal Gun Registry which is feared by many in the gun community. Opponents of the background check law point to the fact the Newtown tragedy would not have been stopped by this proposed law. Even so, the parents, relatives and friends of the Newtown victims have gone to Washington, D.C. to support the Manchin Amendment which closes the Gun Show Loophole.
The debate in the U.S. Senate will be interesting. After that the U.S. House will take up the subject. The House leaders have already declared the matter to be dead on arrival. What do you think should happen?
I suggest you go see a gun show before it changes. The gun folks are nice. Most are average citizens who love guns. They will be happy to see you. If the Manchin Amendment passes, the gun shows may disappear.
Editors Note: William E. Farmer is a local attorney who has served as Tennessee Democratic Party Chair and as a Lebanon City Councilor. He is a Tennessee Gun Permit Holder.
By B. KEITH WILLIAMS
Lebanons Public Square is thecenter of our beautiful city whichis full of beautiful people. OurPublic Square is one of the townsgreatest assetsyet it alsohappens to be one ofthe least attractiveand most dangerouspartsof our city!
I am atrial lawyer. My job requires me to visit squares all over the State and throughout the Southeast. I can honestly say I have been to 100 percentof thetown squares in Middle Tennessee and 75 percent of town squares in West and East Tennessee. Our Square has fallen behind the times. We need to capitalize on our biggest asset,as other cities have.
By B. Keith Williams
Thirteen Tennesseans are dead and more than 60 others are suffering from life-threatening meningitis. Survivors face an unimaginably painful, months-long or years-long battle against the dangerous fungus that is burrowing into their tissue and bones.In most cases, the killer fungus was injected into their bodies directly into their spinal columns by for-profit medical clinics. These clinics bought cheap drugs from an out-of-state corporation that reportedly had no license to make and sell the drugs as they were doing.
By ANNE DONNELL
You can use this for your column. Ive looked it up, but the explanation is unclear. What is the difference between continuous and continual?-Smart Friend
Its so good to have smart friends; their conversation alone is priceless. Embroider that on something.Which makes me think of Alice Roosevelt Longworth. She famously displayed an embroidered pillow which read, If you havent got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me. You can purchase a T-shirt sporting that from Caf Press (online) or look around locally and have it done. Nice to wear on those days youre feeling the misanthropy (general hatred, disdain, or mistrust of the human species or human nature). The political season tends to bring on the misanthropy. The U.S. presidential season brings on the misanthropy all right and the heart attacks and the strokes and some highly questionable version of truth.
By MARK LEE
I was 5 years old in Ms. Alice Barbies Kindergarten on South Tarver when Gaye Baird hired my mother, Dorothy Lee, to be a secretary in the Admissions office at Cumberland College. Gaye Baird, Charlie Gregory, Bonnie Fakes, Merlin Sanders, Dean Howard, Dean Robinson, Kenneth Hawkins, Mary Templeton, Mrs. Imogene Ahles, Dr. Ernest L. Stockton...the names and faces are etched in my memory. You see, I was a latch-key kid back when you could let a 5-year-old walk across back yards to school. We lived on Cleveland Avenue, a block away from Cumberland.
The following year as a 1st grade student at McClain Elementary, I continued to walk to school, but it was after the last bell rang that things would get interesting...Around the block and down South Hatton I would walk to Memorial Hall. It was there, every afternoon from 3:15 to 4 p.m. when mom got off, that I made my rounds of the Admissions Office, the Deans offices and the financial office where Mrs. Templeton and Mr. Hawkins carefully counted the debits and credits of Student accounts. The only office I didnt wander into was Dr. Stocktons. Mrs. Ahles guarded the Presidents Office in her polite and efficient manner and when Dr. Stockton would chance on me in the halls, he would politely say hi and keep about his business of running the school.
By GEORGE ROBERTSON, M.D.
What are you doing on fall break? That is the question overheard around town. Most people are going on a trip or taking their families to the beach. Many of the good things are in the planning stages and most families already have hotel or condo reservations for their clan to enjoy.Remembering back to my childhood brings on a different experience for the fall hiatus. Growing up in West Tennessee, this time of the year was reserved for the fall harvest and especially in Crockett County where the schools would get out for six weeks for cotton picking.
By GERA SUMMERFORD
The new film Wont Back Down introduces a new-to-most concept of parent-trigger laws laws that enable parents at a school to call for the firing of teachers, closing the school, or turning it over to a private charter school operator.
The film suggests that the best way for parents to improve their childs education is to use the parent-trigger law to take over the school and hand control over to a charter school. The film never takes into account the reality that parent-trigger laws have no track record of success.While the movie offers a heartwarming story of a mother fighting for her child, it is just that a heartwarming Hollywood story. The reality is that Wont Back Down is divisive and designed to pit parents against teachers, school boards and the teachers union.
By ANNE DONNELL
Whats the story behind celebrating birthdays? Is this ancient or more recent? Finally, should I write Happy Birthday! or Happy birthday! I can see reasons for either way. I have to say I love celebrating birthdays (mine included). Whens yours?-Everyday Is Somebodys Birthday
First things first. My birthday is in the wonderful month of May, full of flowers and graduations and school closings and, icing on the cake, Mothers Day. May is named for Maia (meaning "the great one"), a mountain nymph (one of the seven Pleiades), the goddess of spring, parent with Zeus (Jupiter) of Hermes (Mercury).To bring this thing really down home, Mercury in copper (maybe with a little tin in it to make bronze) was on top of Union Station in Nashville. He toppled off in a storm in 1951. BUT, you pagans neednt worry because over at the Parthenon they put up a huge (41 feet, 10 inches tall) pagan image -- Mercurys cousin Athena (she sprang from the head of his father; perhaps cousin covers this) and theres another smaller statue of Mercury (in steel this time) back on the station. The gods are humming in Music City all right.
By ANNE DONNELL
Im curious about why we say What in Sam Hill and Hot as blue blazes. Please give us an explanation of these, as they seem pretty far-fetched to me, and I say them!-Man with Wild Speech
What in Sam Hill is this guy talking about? Just joking; our QP of T (Question Person of Today) has asked about expressions commonly used, which means they are effective. The user believes they work and believes the listener, and less frequently the reader, understands them. And we do, dont we?As to the origins of these two, its the old, familiar story of sources with various explanations. The snarly forest of the origins of words and phrases is not easily penetrated; the treasures hidden stay hidden. Mostly.
By U.S. Secretary of Agriculture TOM VILSACK
After spending much of August out of Washington, Congress is back and rural America is watching closely, hoping for passage of a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible.
With farmers facing the worst drought in decades this summer and the current Farm Bill set to expire on Sept. 30 of this year, time is running out for Congress to act.
You and I both know the stakes couldnt be higher.Since early this summer, when the Senate passed a comprehensive, multi-year Food Farm and Jobs Act, the Administration has expressed its preference for such comprehensive legislation and urged Congress to act before the current law expires.
The Red Cross has launched a large disaster response effort that could last for weeks, affecting multiple states along the Gulf of Mexico. As the remains of Tropical Storm Isaac continue to creep slowly north, affecting millions of lives with strong winds, heavy rain, flooding and coastal surges, the Red Cross in Tennessee is working to respond.
A storm of this scope and magnitude requires the Red Cross to send our volunteers to various parts of the country to help in different capacities such as sheltering, feeding and supply distribution, said Regional CEO Joel Sullivan. This is what we train and prepare for every day so that when the call to action arrives, our volunteers can hit the ground running to provide help and hope to people whose lives have been uprooted after a disaster.
The Red Cross has more volunteers, equipment and supplies poised ready to help people in the affected areas after the storm passes.
More than 3,000 trained Red Cross disaster workers from all over the United States have deployed to the Gulf region to help.
We have 311,000 ready-to-eat meals and kitchen support trailers in the area. In addition, the Southern Baptist Convention has mobile kitchens capable of producing thousands of meals a day prepositioned alongside the Red Cross.Across the Gulf Coast, 197 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are ready to move in to serve meals and distribute relief items once its safe to do so.
By ANNE DONNELL
Which of these examples is correctly written? John was born in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1975. OR John was born in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1975. I see this in print both ways in books, in magazines, and in newspapers. Thank you for working to polish up the language skills of your readers.-One of Those Readers
Yep, dont believe everything you read (OK, believe this newspaper). Dont believe all the facts you read, and dont believe the way theyre written.
Step back in time to November 3, 1948, the day after national elections. The Chicago Tribune published a bold headline on its front page: Dewey Defeats Truman. Theres a famous photograph of President Harry S. Truman, with a big grin, holding the newspaper. Thomas E. Dewey, then former governor of New York and the Republican nominee for president in 1944 and 1948, was expected to win; but Truman, who succeeded to the presidency upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt, won. Life Magazine earlier printed a picture of Dewey captioned, The next President of the United States.The pundits and the pollsters, though undeterred by this, as we can tell from all the noise coming out of them this election year, were wrong. Chicago Tribune Politics (online) notes, Radio comedian Fred Allen noted Truman was the first president to lose in a Gallup and win in a walk.
By GEORGE ROBERTSON, M.D.
The little town of Erwin, Tennessee seems to have little to offer. It lies in the heart of the Smoky Mountains just southeast of Johnson City. Its oblong layout is dictated by the surrounding peaks as it hugs the valley near the North Carolina state line. But the best thing about this remote small town is the scenic river flowing through it.
On Wednesday, Linda and I put on our personal flotation devices and helmets in preparation for the white water run on the Nolichucky River, a 9-mile stretch of whitewater just up river from Erwin. A 45-minute bus ride took us over the pass where the Appalachian Trail crosses the road and then into North Carolina where we would put our seven-person raft into the muddy water above a long stretch of whitewater in the eastern USA.We practiced our strokes and Ben, our raft guide, shouted instructions loud enough to be heard over the churning roar of the river.
Tennessee homeowners are already reaping substantial benefits under the National Mortgage Settlement, according to a preliminary report released this week by settlement monitor Joe Smith.
Compiling data received from all five mortgage servicers who are party to the settlement, the report shows that Tennessee homeowners have received over $36 million in relief during the first quarter of the settlement from March 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012. The relief comes in the form of loan modifications, refinances and facilitated short sales.
The monitors report also shows that at the close of the quarterly period servicers were in the process of offering an additional $17-29 million in savings to Tennessee homeowners.Although this preliminary report represents a good start by these five servicers, there is still a lot more work to do, said Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper. Our office is committed to making sure that homeowners receive the benefits they are entitled to under the settlement.
By Tennessee Attorney General BOB COOPER
Some returning students may think that the new generation of synthetic drugs on the shelves of their local stores is perfectly safe and legal. But if they really believe that, it is a good thing they are going back to school. Recent changes in Tennessee and federal laws cover a broader range of synthetic drugs and impose increased penalties. Store owners who market these dangerous substances run the risk of seeing their store padlocked by local authorities.
Synthetic drugs burst onto the scene in Tennessee a couple of years ago under harmless-sounding names such as bath salts and plant food. The products were widely promoted as legal alternatives to ecstasy, cocaine and other controlled substances. At that time, the Office of the Attorney General and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture responded aggressively to get these products off the shelves. The General Assembly also took prompt action to outlaw the substances. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation cooperated with local law enforcement, district attorneys and my office to crack down on retailers and wholesalers under the new statutes.
By ANNE DONNELL
Did you see the cartoon on Facebook (recent columns indicate you hang out there) in which the guy says something like, When I hear I seen, I never expect it to be followed by the inside of a book.? Also, did I place the question mark on the last sentence correctly? Im an engineer so I like language used accurately! Thanks for working on it. -Line It Up, Nail It Down
Great name! I have to laugh at the cartoon. Thinking it could be Grammarly as theedge in the caption sounded like those folks, and Grammarly has a Facebook presence, I went looking. Grammarly.com helps you detect plagiarism and improve your texts. Check your papers for plagiarism, grammar, style and more. Theres a blog http://blog.grammarly.com/, and I found the aforementioned (legalese is fun!) cartoon there.
By GEORGE ROBERTSON, M.D.
Since the temperature was soaring about 100 degrees every day, I decided to find some cooler weather in the mountains.
I had a couple of days off so my wife and I chose the bike ride near Damascus, Va., called the Virginia Creeper Trail. The name comes not from the five-leaved plant also found in the area but from the action of the trains that once used the railroad bed where we would be biking.
The gradual uphill (about 2 degrees) climb meant that the trains would slowly make their way out of the valley with their loads of minerals or wood, creeping along the uphill trail at a few miles per hour up Rogers Mountain.
By ANNE DONNELL
Please explain the difference between the abbreviations i.e. and e.g. I confuse the two and feel uncomfortable using them or even reading them! Thank you. I appreciate that you want to help.
-Guy Scratching My Head Over This
Ill skip the dandruff-related remarks, and thank our QP of T (Question Person of Today). His question is about id est and exempli gratia. Huh?
By TARA SHAVER
AARP Community Outreach Director
Dont you think its appropriate that the first National Volunteer Director for AARP comes from the Volunteer State?
Margot Seay, a Kingsport resident who has served as AARP Tennessees state president for the past six years, will spend the next two years traveling the country in her new role providing advice and leadership for the Office of Volunteerism and Service.
Although AARP Tennessees staff and volunteers will greatly miss Margots counsel, energy and passion, we are excited to share her with the rest of the nation. However, her departure leaves a huge hole for our team and for nearly 670,000 AARP members in this state. And we want to begin filling it as soon as possible.
By ANNE DONNELL
My granddaughter just asked me why she had to learn the rule about i before e, except after c. As I was trying to answer her she pointed to the word Science on her science folder. Please help me out on this as I told her I would get in touch with you and ask. Thank you. -Granny in a Quandary
Bright granddaughter! U.S. Presidential timber, Id say; Ill have to last until shes 35. U.S. Constitution says this (not that I have to last, but that she must be at least 35 to be President of the United States). And, a person must be at least 35 to be Vice President, 30 to be a Senator, or 25 to be a Representative. Article 1 (legislative branch), Article 2 (executive branch).
About the i before e: lets say, throwing logic to the winds, the exception proves the rule. I dont remember any form of geometry letting anyone get by with that.