Urge Congress to aid students

Kids are back in school again, and hundreds of nervous students now have their first couple of weeks under their belts. They've met their teachers, received instructional materials, and are learning in welcoming, updated school buildings.

But for millions of children and youth around the world, that first day of school is only a dream. A staggering 263 million children and youth are out of school globally. It doesn't have to be this way.

With U.S. support the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has played a major role in getting tens of millions of kids a quality education globally. But GPE will need the support of Congress to continue progress.

I hope we can count on our representative to cosponsor the bipartisan GPE House resolution 466 to ensure more kids access the possibilities created by going to school.

Bob Leppo

Santa Maria

Be thankful for paycheck

I am far from a sports enthusiast but I cannot sit back and not have my say on the uneducated behavior of the players on NFL teams.

It is hard for me to believe these ungrateful players who, thanks to this nation, are able to play a sport and be paid millions of dollars to hit, shoot, dribble a ball and then have the audacity to thumb their nose at the country that has helped them achieve this goal.

The worker who spends 9 to 5 with pick and shovel, or sitting at a desk working on projects to make this country greater, earns a pittance, and yet they go to work and not demonstrate against the country that gives them the opportunity to earn a paycheck.

And yes, they are black and white workers, who do not have the time or inclination to bite the hand that feeds them.

We are one nation of many nationalities. We cannot be a divided nation if we want to survive. Get with it, be thankful for the job, whatever it is and get off your knees — unless it is to pray to your God.

Anita Dwyer

Lompoc 

Old Santa Maria would benefit from mixed use

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Many thoughts came to mind after reading about the four-story building they want to build at Main Street and Broadway in Santa Maria. I worked on Main Street years ago, and loved the old buildings and people. They reminded me of the simple life when I was a child. Those days are gone.

I grew up in Redondo Beach when jobs were plentiful and most people had a family support system. I lived through the redevelopment of Redondo Beach and saw Torrance grow into what it is today. I watched as they built two malls in the early 1960's. Many large apartment buildings were built. Those developments were planned well and work today. Wide streets with garage parking seems to be the answer.

I see this happening in old Santa Maria along Main Street. They have the wide streets. People who can't afford or want a car can walk across the street to the mall. You can catch a bus, go to a movie, and the grocery stores and medical centers are close by. This is an ideal location for low-income and senior apartment living which we desperately need today.

I can see West Main with rows of mixed-use buildings on both sides and if trees and grass can be planted, it could be a beautiful place to live. The baby boomers are downsizing and looking for affordable housing.

My only concern would be that the air's terrible when the fields are being plowed and being sprayed. Also, people's pets would need a safe place to play.

Arleen Miller

Nipomo

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