Letters to the Editor, October 11
Note to T-G readers
The Shelbyville Times-Gazette will publish no more letters prior to Oct. 14 about the candidates or campaigns for the special election of a representative for State House District 62.
Learning community concept beneficial
To the Editor:
In education circles the term learning community has become common place. Those individuals not a part of this circle may be wondering what it is.
A professional learning community (PLC) is when the teachers in a school and its administrators continuously seek and share learning and then act on what they learn with the goal of enhancing effectiveness as educators so that students benefit. By working as a learning community both teachers and students benefit.
Teachers create a pool of knowledge that was acquired through life experiences and real life situations. The school also creates a working environment that values and supports hard work and the acceptance of individual differences.
For students the results include: decreased dropout rate, greater academic gains, and smaller achievement gaps between students from different backgrounds.
This summer as part of my in-service requirements here in Bedford County I attended a workshop with the Harris Middle School staff about PLC's and how to create and maintain one within the school.
The in-service was not only beneficial but refreshing as well. I am proud to be a resident of a county that is being proactive in embracing new concepts and ideas to enrich the educational environments of our students.
President's Olympic effort challenged
To the Editor:
The jobless rate in the United States has now risen to 9.8% with 15.1 million Americans out of work; a twenty-six year high amid the worst depression since the 1930's. This being said, our president and his wife saw fit to jump aboard the tax-payer subsidized jet and fly off to Copenhagen to solicit the 2016 Olympics for Chicago.
Much to their chagrin, their efforts fell way short on this little venture. What a let down for the President's own home town of Chicago, and as expected certain elements of his fellow democrats are now blaming former President Bush for the defeat. In fact, not only did the United States lose its bid, it came in flat last in the voting. However, beside the fact that the U.S. lost, I would question the propriety of the trip in the first place. Just how many hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars did this effort in futility cost? And, what is the value added of winning the Olympics? Will it put food on the table, add jobs and win the war in Afghanistan?
Welcome to the real world of international politics, Mr. President. It seems that your personal appeal is falling flat and your shallow expostulations are not swaying the world to your views. In particular, here in the United States your arrogance and unfilled campaign promises are coming home to roost and eventually you won't have Bush to lay all your failures on and use as a scapegoat.
Next time, perhaps, you should take your former religious adviser, the reverend Wright, with you on your jaunts and his compassionate and gentle religious presence will persuade your audiences on the world stage.
Charles David Sliger
You don't have to itemize for this deduction
To the Editor:
The "Cash for Clunkers" program for new cars may have ended, but the IRS wants to remind taxpayers that many people might overlook another special break available. If you buy a new vehicle this year, there's a special federal tax deduction available that can help you save money, in some cases hundreds of dollars. This tax break will allow people who buy a new vehicle in 2009 to deduct the sales and excise taxes they pay when they file their tax return next year. The tax deduction is available on the 2009 federal tax return even for those who claim the standard deduction.
The deduction is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and applies to taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price for qualified new cars, light trucks, motorcycles or motor homes. Generally, vehicles weighing 8,500 pounds or less qualify. This means that most new cars and many new trucks will qualify. New motor homes qualify regardless of weight.
Buyers are entitled to a partial deduction if they earn between $125,000 and $135,000 ($250,000 and $260,000 for joint filers). The deduction is eliminated for those who earn over these amounts.
To qualify the vehicle must be new and purchased in 2009 after Feb. 16 and no later than Dec. 31. There is still time left but the clock is ticking.
More information is available at www.IRS.gov/Recovery
Terry L. Lemons
Director of Communications
Internal Revenue Service
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