Accessibility must count
Susan Odgers (Nov. 17 column) is right on the mark, and so is the writer of a letter she cites regarding Mario Batali's recommendation of a restaurant, which is handicapped inaccessible, as one of his nine worldwide favorites.
Though I agree that the current owner of this restaurant has valid issues with this circa 1860s building, I, too, think that it is terribly wrong for Mr. Batali to include it in his list of favorites since it does not provide access for the handicapped and therefore is not accessible to all.
No matter how delicious the food, courteous the service, wonderful the ambiance, if it is not available to everyone, how could someone possibly give it a worldwide recommendation?
You don't need 'fluff'
On behalf of the voters of the Traverse City area, we wish to offer the students of our public schools an apology.
Even though they experienced the hardships of the Great Depression and World War II, when we were your age, our parents and grandparents voted to increase their taxes to invest in the buildings and programs students needed to achieve a successful life.
We elected a board to study your educational needs and to hire administrators to assist them in creating and implementing the programs which will best enable you to be successful. We believe that they have done a fine job.
We just didn't expect or want them to ask us for the money to pay for the improvements required.
In these most difficult economic times, we have decided that as long as your school has a roof and a football field, you don't need "fluff" such as an auditorium and new buses.
So we're sorry, you'll just have to do the best you can with what's available.
Just remember, it's important that you study hard and get a good job, because your taxes will be needed to pay for our Social Security and Medicare.
Dick and Nancy Steiger
More than her 'label'
I am writing in response to the two letters published on Nov. 15 regarding Traverse City Area Public Schools ("Modify curriculum" by Carrie Wozny and "Shocked by differences" by Linda Oosse).
Both writers expressed a desire for their special needs children to be included with their peers in a "regular" classroom to be challenged to reach their full potential.
I am a parent of a 3-year-old daughter with Down syndrome.
She recently entered Suttons Bay preschool and is receiving services from an excellent team of providers, with us as parents included in this process.
Mrs. Wozny has not had this experience at TCAPS. This makes me look ahead with trepidation that our daughter, and we as parents, may be treated in a similar fashion, as Mrs. Oosse expressed.
We parents of special needs children want what any parent wants — an education that is best for our child, in a challenging environment, in our neighborhood school, with peers and friends surrounding her.
Mrs. Wozny's daughter's experience has changed on each of these points. As educators, TCAPS must recognize that each student is more than her "label."
They should be treated with dignity, and TCAPS should put forth policies that reflect this.
Geri Gallagher Valentine