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Mailbag: Oak View children deserve our concern

August 17, 2011

Allegations against me by Mary Thompson in her letter to the editor ("Trustee's conduct not professional," Mailbag, June 16) cannot stand unchallenged. The first allegation that my "lack of courtesy and respect to the board president was shameful" and the implication that I should be disciplined is similar to another employee-written complaint submitted directly to the district. Apparently she believes the Ocean View School District president has dictator powers to be meted out against those that dare to speak up.

I am a person who dares to speak up and speak out frequently. A board president is elected by the people without superwoman powers different from other trustees. When the president publicly rules in error, she must be held to account in public; this is democracy, not disrespect.

The more substantive claim by Thompson is that my questions regarding the illegal and immoral overcrowding in Oak View neighborhoods are somehow uncompassionate. Housing around this neighborhood school consists of small two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments in "fourplex" buildings. Social services have advised me that the vast majority of these housing units are "doubled up" with two families residing in each apartment. This means two mommies and daddies plus six to 12 children for a total of 10 to 18 persons residing in one tiny apartment.

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It is shameful for landlords to rent this way and a disgrace to city enforcement of occupancy use laws. However, my concern is for the children. These children live in a Spanish language ghetto with Telemundo TV 24/7 and no place to study in the home. And now with our OVSD cutbacks, there is less capacity for after-school study and learning by these suffering children.

I will continue to work to provide the space and place for our most vulnerable, the children of Oak View, to learn English and obtain the education tools needed to succeed in our great country.

John Briscoe

Huntington Beach

Editor's note: Briscoe is a trustee for the Ocean View School District.

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Cutting taxes not the answer

Regarding "Protestors demonstrate outside Rohrabacher's office," July 28:

The solution to the impasse is to raise taxes on wealthy Americans. The Republican stance that it will hurt employment is hogwash. Businesses don't hire employees, nor do wealthy Americans hire more help because their taxes are lower. They hire employees only when there is demand for additional help. If taxes are involved, that cost is passed on in the form of higher prices for the commodity. I know this because for 26 years, I ran my own small business. I never hired an employee because my taxes were lower!

The Republican position is asinine. Do not vote for any Republicans in 2012. They are all idiots!

Dave Carleen

Huntington Beach

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