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Saint Clair Times Newspaper Archives Dec 13 2012, Page 5

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Saint Clair times (Newspaper) - December 13, 2012, Saint Clair, MichiganOpinion St. Clair times thursday december 13, 2012 5aour View As an architect he soared state owes full tuition to pact participants robbing Peter to pay Paul works out pretty Well for Paul but Peter is Gering pretty tired of it. Peter in this Case represents Alabama families who want their children to attend College to have a better Chance at a better life and Paul represents Alabama a collies and universities. Alabama a prepaid affordable College tuition Pacis plan was established by former gov. Jim Folsom jr., and former state treasurer George Wallace jr., As a Way to help families plan for their childrens future. Enrolment in the program allowed families to make payments to the state with the Promise that their children a tuition would be paid when they went to a state College. The state invested the funds with the Hope that enough Money would be earned to keep the program going on a sustainable basis benefiting both the states families and colleges. The plan worked Well until the recession of 2008 and the accompanying plunge in the Stock Market. That created a Perea storm that threatened the finds ability to continue. Lower tax revenues led to inadequate funding for colleges and universities who raised tuition to cover expenses. The troubles in the Stock Market meant less Revenue coming in from the payments made into the fund. The state treasurers office which oversees pact responded by ending enrolment in the program and instructing parents to pay the difference Between what the fund could pay and what the colleges were currency charging for tuition in order to stretch available dollars to cover its enrollees currency about 35,000, with about 10,000 of those currency in Collie. Parents understandably Felt cheated a the it had enrolled with the understanding that tuition would be paid in Fiill and that a what they expected. An agreement to pay tuition at 2010 Levels was challenged in court and a new legislative act requiring colleges to accept that amount is under review by the Alabama supreme court. Folsom has blamed the investment strategy arguing that a shift from fixed assets and government Bonds into the Stock Market placed the funds at too great a risk. He May be right and a review of what went wrong Mit be instructive to help officials in the of Titre avoid eng the same mistakes in the future. But in the present the state has an obligation to those families and students in the program to Honor its Promise of pre paid tuition. Today a Economy is not the same As 2008.1�?The Stock Market has improved and tax Revenue at the state level has largely recovered. In fact both the Alabama education association and the state superintendent of education Are saying its time to give state teachers a raise. Aea is pushing for a 10 percent raise for k-12 employees and some in the state Are pushing to add an entire new Grade level to the Public school system a a a pre a a program which they say is needed to prepare Young children for kindergarten. And even during the recession the state provided millions of dollars from state tax Revenue to three of the states private schools a Lyman Ward Talladega College and Tuskegee Institute. We Hope the court rules in favor of reduced tuition for Pacis enrollees and if it does that it will be enough to solve the problem. But if it does no to it seems Only fair that fulfilling the Promise of prepaid tuition should also be temporarily considered As part of the states education budget. Its Only fair. Peter has been robbed enough. This is a question of priorities. Yes we would love to see teachers get raises we would love to add another level to state education. We would love to see the states nationally admired Reading program frilly funded. And we would love to continue support for private colleges As Well with the caveat that More transparency be available for the taxpayers who provide the Money. But we believe the state should first live up to its Promise to the pact participants and see that their needs Are met. In school buildings All across Alabama we reach about character. It seems that keeping your word is one definition of character and Alabama should do just St. Clair times volume 2012 no. 50 publisher de Fowler editor will Heath associate editor Gary manner design editor Heather Baggett contributing writers David Atchison Laura nation Atchison Elsie Hodnett marketing advertising director Pam Adamson 256-299-2140 circulation manager Kandi George. 256-299-2170 St. Clair office manager Dale Halpin 888-653-8229 Pell City advertising sales Clancy Harmon 205-884-3400 classified advertising sales Kim Jones 205-884-3400 office Towne Park Plaza. 1911 Martin St. A. Pell City Ala. 35128 phone 205 884-3400, fax 205 814-9194 toll free 1-888-653-8229 a Mali wheat looking to buy or sell classified works Call 205-884-3400 or 1-888-653-8229ask about our affordable display and rates with total county coverage by Eugene Robinson just this once i wish i could write with pictures instead of words. That would make it easier to explain Why the brazilian arc Nitea Oscar Niemeyer who died wednesday at 104, was one of my heroes. Not for his politics of course but for his glorious buildings which Are Freedom itself sketched in Concrete and Glass. It is ironic that a Man committed to an atheistic ideology designed one of the great religious structures of die Worlof the metropolitan Cathedral of our Lafo Aparecida in brazils futuristic capital Brasilia. You be seen the Cathedral in photographs. It looks like a giant Tepee with poles of Concrete the sloping Walls made of Brilliant stained Glass. The poles almost meet at the Apex but not quite. Instead they curve Back outward in what looks like a ges Are toward heaven. Inside the great conical space is bathed in Blue Light from the vast stained Glass Walls. It is a transcendent place of worship a space age Chartres. When i was in High school i wanted to be an architect. Titis ambition a which was absurdly Midi read As i Learned at Collie in architecture 101. I was fascinated with the audacity of Brasilia. Urban planner Lucio Costa Niemeyer a Mentor Laid out the City in the shape of an air plane with residential neighbourhoods along the wings and monumental government buildings running the length of the fuselage flanking a greensward reminiscent of the mall in Washington. But the buildings Niemeyer designed for Brasilia were not Standard Issue neoclassical. They were modern. The Stark unadorned angularity of contemporary architecture was softened by curves. Niemeyer a buildings were human whimsical sensuous. They were sexy. The Pianalto Palace where brazils president works could have been just a Glass walled Box Niemeyer gave it what looks like stylized upside Down flying buttresses. The Itamar aty Palace which serves As the foreign ministry could have been Boring Niemeyer surrounded it with a Moat like Refle Aing Pool and for the Interior designed a breathtaking cantilevered spiral staircase. And at the end of Tostan a great Esplanade Niemeyer Desi Neci an iconic Structure to House the brazilian National Congress. Its like an assemblage of strange building blocks. On a Low rectangular base sit four huge forms twin narrow towers in the Center and big Concrete hemispheres on the ends one facing up and the other facing Down. I a the hemispheres Why not most great architects seek to impress Edify instr a. Niemeyer wanted to Surprise and Delight. His work was serious and taken seriously but there is a playfulness about his buildings that i find irresistibly charming. He always said that the cur viness of his work was an homage to the female form. Niemeyer said his motto was a form follows i done to know of any Archit a who has had More Impala on the Kwik and feel of a nations built environment than Niemeyer has had in his native Brazil. He did important work abroad but most of his amazing output is in his Homeland. He continued to work on projects As recently As last year. Perhaps the Best known of his More recent buildings is an Art museum in nit Eroi a City on the other Side of Guanabara Bay from Rio de Janeiro. It looks like a flying Saucer that chose to land next to the Bay. A Long sinuous ramp that leads to the Entrance has no visible support. Why the ufos Motif Why not one of my favorite Niemeyer creations is the Samba Rome. It is essentially an enormous set of grandstands lining a Busy Rio de Janeiro Street that during carnival is transformed into the site of a two Day Parade Competition among the City a elite a Samba it says something about Brazil that officials would aim Mission the nations most acclaimed Archit a to design a 90,0 k seat venue intended for the sole purpose of partying. Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes declared three Days of mourning in Niemeyer a Honor. President Dilma Rousseff said that a Brazil today lost one of its so did the world. Contact Eugene i Hinson at Eugene Rob Mson Wash Ostrom letters to the editor what a your opinion let us know by letter fax or email. Mcclendon has support of county Daas Distria attorney for St. Clair county i wanted express my gratitude to rep. Jim Mcclendon for his stance opposing the legalization of marijuana. I would dare say that the great majority of St. Clair county has the same opinion. To Hose who argue in favor of the a Aliza Tion of marijuana do so arguing for its limited medical use. Medical use has been controversial since California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in 1996. However marijuana is currency a schedule 1 substance . Having High potential for dependence with no accepted medical use under the Federal controlled substances act. In Faa the Depan ment of Justice last night issued the following statement to the citizens of the state of Washington where marijuana was just legalized a regardless of any changes in state Law in Washington state growing Selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under Federal also most professional medical associations maintain that marijuana should not be administered to patients. During a recent hearing before the Alabama House health committee chaired by rep. Mcclendon the presi Dent elea of the Alabama medical association or. Michael Flanagan an Anaesthesiologist and pain management physician stated a was a pain physician i have not found a need to introduce marijuana into a patients he also said that studies showed Little evidence that marijuana helped alleviate pain More eff naively than other drugs. It is interesting to note that the alive ingredient in marijuana is Delta-9tarahy-Drocannabinol, commonly referred to As Tecl this alive ingredient has been available As a prescription Pill and available currency to doors who believe it would help their patient. It is important to remember that one of the factors that adults and teens consider in whether to use drugs is perception of risk. Today Many of our teens believe there is nothing wrong in taking prescription pills they obtain from a Friend or from the Medicine Cabinet at Home. The number one abused drug used by teens is prescription pills. Although these prescription pills Are legally prescribed for medical use Thev Are finding a Way into the hands of our youth often sending them to the emergency room and in some cases causing death. Legalizing marijuana tells our children that it has a value As a Medicine. In Colorado a recent Survey of teenagers in rehab reported that 74 percent of the teenagers admitted they first obtained their marijuana from someone who was getting it for medicinal purposes. I look Forward to continuing to work with rep. Mcclendon and our Law enforcement officers who strive everyday to keep our Community be. A Richard j. Minor Distria attorney St. Clair county medical marijuana a problematic Issue the St. Clair times recency ran an and that implored the people of St. Clair county to ask our state representative Jim Mcclendon about his stand on medical marijuana. I Tichik some questions from the and and ced or. Mcclendon. I have found him to be very approachable and responsive when questioned about other issues so the request in the and was not diff Cut to follow. It is my View that the medical marijuana Issue opens up a number of issues that arc very problematic from a Public safety perspective. Simply put do you think 1-20 would be Safe to drive if a number of the heavy tick Drivers had used marijuana in the last 24 hours would you want to Fly on a plane that was being flown by a Pilot who had used medical marijuana the Naglit before Quot Iti Anks for mining the and it exposed an issued that needs to be addressed. Red Tyler Pell City medical marijuana lobby does not Tell the whole Story i read the St. Clair times every week my in last weeks edition i was shocked to find a paid advertisement from the Alabama medical marijuana coalition attacking rep. Jim Mcclendon. Or. Mcclendon is currently our state representative and is chairman of the House health committee. Or. Mcclendon is also a Veteran a retired optometrist and a respected resident of St. Clair comity. More importantly. Or. Mcclendon is a Man of principle he says what he Means regardless of popularity. To he advertisement suggested that or. Mcclendon an opponent of medical marijuana should vote for the Bill because �?o70 percent of alabamians support it. In spite of popularity a discussion is needed on the benefits of Legal cannabis. Medical marijuana is not universally supported As a Medicine it serves As a Gateway to abuse and most import Andy facilitates increased criminal activity. Supporters Point to the american medical associations recent support of legalizing medical marijuana and its use As a treatment. However numerous scientific articles and reports indicate marijuana is not Safe. Some studies indicate habitual use can decrease the immune system cause respiratory ulness and have Long term impairments on mental health and cognitive abilities. Studies have also indicated a Large number of prescriptions Given for symptoms that can be a easily faked and to patients who Are recreational users. This data suggest medical marijuana will create an outlier Gateway through which recreational users can secure a Supply. Finally legalizing marijuana leads to an Overall increase in drug trafficking and racketeering activity. Regardless of what Alabama does marijuana will remain a controlled substance at the Federal level. Because of this states that do have medical marijuana dispensaries often see increased crime and corruption associated with disuse Saries. Proponents of legalization will Point to studies that indicate there is no correlation but for every study that does no to indicate a correlation a separate study indicates that crime rates and violence surges. Legalizing medical marijuana May be popular but that does no to mean its Best for Alabama. 1 know when i voted for Jim Mcclendon 1 did so because i knew he would stand on his principles regardless of popularity or political gain. I support his position and so should you. A Brad Watts Springville

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