Re: "Superintendent Letter," Hesperia Star, 10 July 2007, A6
In response to Mr. Trudel's personal assault on this page last week, I offer the following in my defense. I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps soon after my eighteenth birthday. I, like many others, survived USMC boot camp, Infantry Training School, and then went overseas for a year and a half. I came back from Europe and finished my tour of duty humping up and the down the lovely hills of Camp Pendleton, participating in Combined Arms Exercises at glorious Twentynine Palms, and having loads of fun at "cold weather camp" up in Pickle Meadow at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center. I received an honorable discharge from the USMC for my efforts. And you were almost right last week Mr. Trudel, because my actual years in the service did do actual wonders for me.

My wife of 16 years served actively in the US Army for four years, also receiving an honorable discharge. My father, whose 76th birthday our family celebrates next week (if he survives the next round of chemo) graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1954. One of his defensive line coaches at West Point was a guy by the name of Vince Lombardi. Dad was still flying jets for the military when my older brother, sister, and I were born, but he gave it up when my younger brother entered the picture.

And speaking of my younger brother, he too served in the US Army for over 20 plus years. I am extremely proud to have been sired by, married to, and been a sibling to honorably serving members of our nation's military. I was proud to have served along my fellow marines as well.

It earned me, in the true Platonic sense (in case you've read Plato Mr. Trudel) the right to "rant" at local school board meetings when these local school districts do phenomenally stupid and wasteful things which set my children up to fail rather than provide an extremely robust and rigorous academic curriculum which will help prepare them for this new world we live in.

Chris Bentley
Hesperia

Proud to be a teacher
Like Chris Trudel, I have always been proud to be a teacher for the Hesperia Unified School District. However, since last November's election, I've had "an eerie, queasy feeling" (to borrow a line from Hardy Black) regarding what has happened in our district.

I continue to be perplexed by decisions our board of trustees has made and I'm deeply saddened by the loss of so many of our fine administrators.

The reputation of our once highly regarded district is rapidly sinking to a level from which it will take years to recover.

Gwynneth Morin

Disposal fees
(Editor's note: This is a reprint of a letter that was originally sent to the City of Hesperia.)
Received your Notice of Public Hearing (Disposal Fees).

SEC. 6. (a) (1) of Article XIIID states that the basis of proposed new fees or charges must be included in the Notice. You failed to do so.

SEC.6. (b) (3) of Article XIIID states that fees or charges must be proportional to the cost of providing service to the parcel. Your proposed charge of $22.55 (Residential Monthly Regular Service) is a flat rate. Flat rates are unconstititional.

To be proportional services must be metered: electricity is metered in kilowatt-hours, natural gass is metered in therms, water is metered in gallons, telephone service is metered in minutes, etc. Disposal service has to be metered to be proportional.

SEC.6. (b) (1) and (2) of Article XIIID states that fees and charges cannot exceed the cost of providing the service to the parcel. Any City tax added to the fee, collected by the hauler, and returned to the City for the general fund is unconstituional. (For instance, a $500.00 tax per truck imposed by the City on the hauler.) Thus the requirement for the basis.

John F. Konieczny
Co-Author Prop. 218
Apple Valley

Patriotism or arrogance? Regarding the city council taking a vote and installing the lettering, "One Nation Under God" in the council chambers. I believe that to be an act of arrogance on the part of the city council and another example of a lack of contact with the community.

Putting the beliefs of a few ahead of the community as a whole. No shame as to what good that the money used for such arrogance could have been used to enhance the community. The time involved just putting the issue before the council, when issues such as noise, litter, city blight, crime, graffiti, etc. confront the community of Hesperia. With all those issues and more, the city officials are out "praying" and believing in such fantasy. Though religious beliefs and praying is a constitutional right and a personal activity that came about at a time in history when religion was an answer to life issues before the evolution of scientific fact, knowledge, etc. and should not be a part of city business. Maybe a focus on reality should be a prime factor of the city goverment. Those in city goverment and the community that get comfort from religion and praying should do so in their homes or places of worship. The city council chambers should represent the community as a whole.

Sheppard Blumenthal
Hesperia

Confusing commentary
Your "View From Main Street" this week seemed to include too many thoughts, none of which were fleshed out.

1. Comparing the War of 1812 to the current conflict in Iraq /Afghanistan.
2. The one third of Americans who fought against Great Britain in the War of Independence.
3. The "faulty intelligence" which Colin Powell delivered to the UN.
4. What choice would Geo. Washington have made.

I submit that this would have been great conversation on the picnic blanket rather than add more confusion to an already repulsed public.

I admire a Liberal...just don't go over to the side of Nancy Pelosi, Noam Chomsky, Jane Fonda, Michael Moore, Jimmy Carter, Arianna Huffington or blog on moveon.org.

Bill Muller
Hesperia

Misdelivered mail
I enjoyed Margaret Furman's recent commentary about misdelivered mail in her neighborhood.

My impression is that the problem has worsened over the decades. I wonder if it is generally understood by recipients of misdelivered mail that they are obliged to return it to the stream of undelivered mail as soon as possible. I shudder to think of all the mail that has been unceremoniously dumped into the trash.

Section 1702 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code states that whoever takes any letter from any mail carrier before it has been delivered to the person to whom it was directed shall be fined or imprisoned up to five years.

I've read second-hand advice from the office of the postal inspector that the preferred response for misdelivered mail is to return it to the mail carrier with some kind of a note of explanation. This avoids the misinterpretation of intention that could expose the unwitting postal customer to prosecution. As a practical matter, any such notorious redirecting of mail leaves one open to claims of more felonious shenanigans (i.e., "So where's the rest of my mail; and how `bout that prize-winning notification from Publishers Clearinghouse that I'm expecting?").

Personally, I would treat such misdelivered mail as a "hot potato" and try to put it back into the mail stream as soon as humanly possible -- without a note from the neighborhood Good Samaritan.

R.C. Chapman