April 13, 2008
As a resident of Truckee for the past 21 years, and a parent of an elementary school student, I am deeply concerned about the future of our community.
Over the years, I have sadly watched many, many talented friends and neighbors leave the area for more affordable locations. Some commute from Reno and continue work here, some we have lost to other communities.
Once again, the dedicated teachers in our schools are fighting for a working wage. Why? As taxpayers, we have approved measures to pay for music, vocational ed, libraries, special friends, computer labs, school counselors, etc. Now, the taxpayers are asked again to pay for improvements to aging facilities. All of these expenses are paid from our property taxes to the benefit of the school district. Surely, with all of these expenses taken off the load of the school district budget, our school board can pony up a living wage for the backbone of our schools ” our committed teachers.
For four years I worked weekly at the elementary school and had an opportunity to observe the teachers’ passion and commitment to our students. This commitment has been unwavering despite increased demands upon the teachers to meet unreasonable federal testing requirements with little or no funds to do so. The time is now to stand behind the teachers and demand support from the district board. Our teachers form the foundation of our community’s future. Without a foundation, the structure will fall.
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In February, 2008, three key U.S. government agencies arrived at a revolutionary agreement to begin phasing out animal testing and instead pursue innovative and animal-free methods to evaluate the safety of new drugs and chemicals. The agreement is based on a groundbreaking report, which concluded that ending reliance on animal tests will allow scientists to more accurately predict health risks.
Yet the National Institutes of Health (NIH) still devotes about two-thirds of its $29.2 billion budget to animal research, including many millions spent on cruel and ridiculous animal experiments to study the effects of addictive drugs on humans. It’s time for the NIH to fully apply the latest scientific rationale and scale back funding of such wasteful and grotesque animal experiments.
April 20-26 marks World Week for Animals in Laboratories, during which all concerned citizens are encouraged to speak out to oppose the inhumanity and inefficiency of animal experiments.