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DOD Should Do the Right Thing
When I saw your ad last week for this week's military story, I was worried it might be anti-military and anti-Republican ("What Lies Beneath" by Barry Yeoman, August 25). After the article finally arrived I was relieved that it was unbiased and kept the Republican bashing to a minimum.

But oh the horror! I almost couldn't believe what I was reading. We are all used to hearing of exploding land mines in Third World countries and nuclear stuff everywhere on former Soviet bases. But to hear about it in America is almost enough to cause someone to have a stroke.

I am about as pro-military as you come, but the way the Dept. of Defense is so callous about removing pollutants, and the fact that they did it for so long, is shocking. Civilians and military families alike deserve better. And to think that the Pentagon wants exceptions to environmental laws! The chutzpah.

I feel for the couple in SC that lost their grandkid and yet the DOD still stonewalls clean-up efforts. I hope the SC delegation in the US Congress, both Republican and Democrat, will show the DOD that they can't ignore their duties.

I also feel for the couple near Durham, NC, who found a bomb in their yard, yet the military won't pick it up.

I'm not big on trial lawyers, but this definitely is the time and place for them. If the Pentagon won't voluntarily do the right thing, someone must force them. As for the military saying most of the dumping was before environmental laws, well use some common sense. Common sense dictates that you not bury something that is marked biohazard. Common sense says you don't want biohazards at the same place as your drinking water and where your food is grown.

I suggest that legislators from different states work together to lobby their national legislators to have a Joint Democrat and Republican group in the US Congress decide which bases close and which stay open to guarantee there is no negative payback.

-- Kenny Houck, Pineville

Educational Malpractice
Re: "Dropping Like Flies" (by Tara Servatius, August 18): Unfortunately, this situation is unlikely to change, as many students are not being taught to read at a proficient level. Recently, Susan Agruso, a CMS Assistant Superintendent, admitted that "grade level" was borderline! How many parents do we think understood that grade level meant their child is behind?

These folks claim to be professionals, and years ago acknowledged reading as a gateway skill. They are also aware the research shows that if a child is not reading proficiently by the fourth grade, their chances of ever being a good reader are slim. Let's just call this what it is: educational malpractice!

-- Suzanne Stallings, Charlotte

That's What We Found
The article regarding teacher turnover in CMS schools, especially with new teachers (""See Dick & Jane Run," by Shannon Griffin, August 18), was of particular interest to us. As MBA students at Wake Forest University's Charlotte campus, last Fall we wrote an organizational behavior paper regarding this issue, gathering input from teachers, administrators (at all levels), and central administrative staff. Our findings and conclusions were quite similar to those described in the article.

-- James Mahen, Barry Korinek, Brett Harris, Ryan Monahan, Sergei Yeskov, Charlotte

Critics Help Expand Views
Perhaps I oversimplified my expression of appreciation for the wonderful review by Scott Lucas of Phillip Mullen's exhibit at Elder Art Gallery. I obviously left a loophole through which Randy Carson ("The Dubious Role of Critics," Letters, Aug. 25) was able to misinterpret my message.

While I am perfectly capable of enjoying art on my own, as I did when viewing the exhibit, I am always ready to expand my ability to see something in a new and different way. I'm not sure that if I had read Lucas's review first I would have gotten any more "excited" about the art, but I would have viewed it with a wider lens, so to speak.

Mr. Carson has confused a person's willingness to learn with a tendency to be "too lazy, or dim, to think for themselves." That seems like a quantum leap toward ignorance.

-- Jill Walker, Charlotte

Brave New Kudos
I commend you for your fairness and courage shown by carrying Gene Lazo's column, "Brave New War." The vast majority of papers in our area would certainly be afraid to carry this column. Creative Loafing has demonstrated its fairness by allowing articles and columns to be published within its pages from many political viewpoints. Too often, the media in America worries about offending the public by presenting views about the war in Iraq, the Bush administration, the environment, etc., from only an establishment conservative perspective. Creative Loafing has shown that it is willing to stand up to this dangerous trend by allowing Mr. Lazo to voice his opinions from a perspective that is often ignored. Keep up the good work, and keep on reporting the news to your Charlotte audience from a more progressive standpoint. Thank you for your paper.

-- Sid Sowers, Mint Hill

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