The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 3, 2013

Letters to the Editor 11/3/13

The News Courier

The News Courier encourages letters to the editor. Submissions should be no more than 400 words and should include a name, address and telephone number for verification. Submissions that do not meet requirements are subject to editing. Send letters by noon on Thursdays to P.O. Box 670, Athens, AL, 35613, or email to

GOP, math and Common Core

Dear Editor:

As a math major, electrical engineer and math-only substitute teacher for Athens, East Limestone, Sparkman, Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools, I see compelling reasons for using the math Common Core curriculum in Alabama.

All math teachers I have talked to realize the benefit of having a nationwide math standard. While substitute teaching at several high schools, I see many transfer students coming into our area. It is especially hard on students that are “behind” because the math curriculum was not the same in their old school. Similarly, some transfer students are “bored” because they have already had the material that is being taught in their new school.

It appears that some in Alabama do not want to be told what math material is necessary that will ensure students entering college or transferring to another high school will have an “equal footing” should they decide to go out of state. If Alabama sets their own standards, what process makes sure the subject matter presented is what is needed at those schools? Who is Alabama to say they should be the ultimate authority? Do they coordinate with other states to ensure Alabama students will be exposed to the material needed to enter universities such as UCLA, MIT, UT, or Georgia Tech?  Isn’t that what common core is for? Didn’t Alabama have representatives that helped establish what core material should be taught? For years Alabama had a curriculum that ensured that all counties in Alabama were taught the same material, why? They saw a need for conformity. In my eyes, the same is needed nationwide. One could even argue, why not let the counties in Alabama decide what material to present? Who is Alabama to decide what Limestone County students need to be taught? We have educators who are just as intelligent as educators at the state level.

It seems the GOP and Gov. Bentley are trying to stand in the door of success and do not see the benefit of offering Alabama students a means of transferring to other schools, inside and outside of Alabama, so that math students are neither ahead or behind. They need to get over the mentality that “I am the one in charge, and what I say goes.” It seems to me they think, “Who is the federal government that thinks they know more than me?” The answer is, the educators from all over the nation that have united and produced standardized subject material known as common core. They know more about education than the governor or GOP. Politicians need to stick to what they know best — spending money that we don’t have and money that our grandkids will have to pay back.


William Ellis


Grateful for flag replacement

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank all who helped replace my husband’s flag on his grave, Neal Griffin.

Thanks to the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives for all they did to replace the flag.

Many thanks to The News Courier and WHNT.

To all the servicemen and mayor of Athens for taking part, our family was so grateful for the city of Athens for all they did.

Also the Rescue Squad for installing the cord back on the pole.

Love you all.


Louise Griffin and daughters Nancy and Shirley


Kudos to Korean veterans program           

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Kennemer family, I would like to thank everyone that helped to present the wonderful program honoring our Korean veterans. Many tears were shed as a huge audience watched the Walter Phillips family story unfold. Lighter moments brought laughter to all who attended. One can only imagine the many hours of practice it took to put on a show of such magnitude.

A special thanks to Jerry Barksdale for sharing the story of our brother, Otis Elwyn Kennemer, and his 1,000 days as a prisoner of war. This was the first time we had heard this story. We always knew he was our hero. Now, we know some of the awful things he had to endure. Although 60 years have passed since his homecoming, our family still gives praise to God for his awesome care.

The fact that these POWs risked their lives to attend their “secret church” tells of their great faith. Elwyn tells us that these late night services gave them hope and comfort.

If anyone would like a DVD of this program, they may do so by calling the Alabama Veterans Museum at 256-771-7578. The cost is $10.


Jo Lemay


Happy with medical care

Dear Editor:

I want to take this opportunity to thank the staff of Senior Rehab and Recovery at Limestone Health Facility for the wonderful care I received during not one but two stays for short-term rehab after an injury. 

I fell two years ago and broke my left hip and recently fell and broke my right hip. The staff was caring and attentive to my needs. I was treated with respect, the food was great and every effort was made to provide a homelike/comfortable environment.  I was even able to get a perm at the facility Beauty Salon. My family was able to visit anytime and was always welcomed by the staff. 

Therapy helped to give me back the confidence, skills and the knowledge I needed to return home.  Dr. Mancuso and her staff were readily available and always willing to address any needs/concerns that I had.  I consider the staff of Limestone Health Facility trusted friends who know exactly what to do to get you back on your feet.

Seniors:  Compassionate, professional care is available in our community offered in advancing levels to meet our individual needs.


Lorene Magnusson Davis

Limestone County