Ban the Bumps
I had already determined for myself, through a personal experience, that what the media say is quite often not the whole truth.
First of all, the headmistress of the lower school at Greenhill is Carol Morrow and not Gail Maura, as was reported in your story ["Scary story," Buzz, May 16]. So much for investigative journalism. Second, Morrow and the entire Greenhill administration does indeed have what you refer to as "lofty standards." As a parent of two Greenhill students, I wouldn't want it any other way.
With reference to the Goosebumps books, Morrow requested that the children not bring these particular books to school for free-time reading. My 9-year-old daughter received a Goosebumps book as a birthday gift. She read several chapters and said it was too gross to read. I read it and had to agree.
In today's world, it's difficult enough trying to raise children to be intelligent, responsible adults without deluging them with these graphically gruesome stories. While I agree that it is a parent's personal decision what they let their children read, I personally do not like mine reading Goosebumps books. It makes me feel bad enough having to explain to my young children the terms "carjacking," "drive-by shooting," and signs reading "gun-free zone" outside of schools.
Do parents and teachers really need to add the fictional horrors to the already too-real horrors we see taking place on Dallas streets?
As for your classification of Greenhill students as "affluent yard apes," that is just too crude for words.
Greenhill bans Goosebumps books. Better that the kids read A Bridge to Terabithia--unless you attend public school in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, where A Bridge to Terabithia is banned.
Glover for King
I've read articles in your paper and other publications about Clarence Glover, but this one really hit home ["Ready for battle," May 23]. Reading your article about "Clarence Jr."--that's what we called him--caused a flood of memories about life on Cooper Road.
Clarence and I go back as far as elementary school. Our fathers stood shoulder-to-shoulder in many of those community and civic activities. We were the first family on our street to have indoor plumbing. If pressed for a brief profile of Clarence's early days, I would say that he had been preparing for a high-profile leadership position all his life. Clarence has always had a take-charge, out-front, get-the-job-done attitude.
I can honestly say Clarence is a good guy. If Clarence was offered the title and position of King of the World, he would gladly accept, and who knows? He might be good at it.
Colis R. Johnson
I always thought the relevant issue in the Doug Hellman case was Hispanophobia, not bilingual education ["Power of words," May 2]. After all, anyone who has read about how a group of Latino parents at L.A.'s Ninth Street School recently organized a boycott of classes to protest the fact that their children weren't learning enough English knows that Hispanic attitudes toward bilingual education are far more complex than such readers as "Name Withheld" have indicated.
I myself have mixed feeling about bilingual education and the motives of its supporters. But I also have mixed feelings about the motives of its opponents. After all, the golden age of anti-Mexican prejudice wasn't that long ago. And I can't forget the fact that when Linda Chavez was made president of U.S. English back in 1987, she received several abusive letters from U.S. English members who quit the organization to protest the appointment of a Hispanic president. If that's the way Anglo conservatives treat Hispanics who are already on their side, then it's no wonder we Hispanics seem like "left-wing militants" whenever we oppose them.
And in any event, since when is the word "wetback" a compliment?
Rogelio Mendoza Jr.
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Taking care of business
I read with great interest the article concerning the closing of VVV Records ["Out with the new wave," Street Beat, May 15]. I, too, used to frequent VVV in the '70s, before I opened my store, and supported VVV with my music habit. At one time, the store was a great place to find import records.
The fact that things constantly change in the marketplace is part of doing business, and one's ability to change and adapt to new formats is an important part of staying in business. That has been the downfall of all of the record stores that have failed. Sure, they sold cool stuff; however, cool stuff does not pay the bills. We started selling CDs the day they were released and have now built up an inventory of well-more-than 10,000 titles. If I remember correctly, VVV didn't even bother with CDs until it was too late.
Once they become successful, the chain stores can join in and cannibalize the market and run more mom-and-pops out of business. Concerning all the chain stores that sell CDs below what they cost, they are destroying any chance of an individual starting up--and running a successful business in the retail-music industry.