A good deed

I wanted to share a story about my cousin Dominik Torres.

Dominik is that kid that walks into a room and everyone gravitates towards him.

I believe it is that contagious smile he always wears.

He can always turn a bad day into a great day. On Dec. 31 he was eating at El Pato in Harlingen with his mom Velma Torres and her best friend Bettina Elliott.

Dominik was just going about his day and eating his lunch, with the help of my aunt of course when a gentleman who was leaving the establishment stopped at their table.

What he did next was beyond amazing. He handed my aunt a folded bill and said, “Here, this is so you can buy him something.

I had a cousin in a wheelchair and I know it is hard.”

So to the guy with the $100 bill we thank you! Your selflessness has truly touched our lives. God Bless You!

Julie Gonzalez Harlingen

Off base

To The Editor:

Hog wash.

That’s my two word answer to “School choice benefits Texas and the Rio Grande Valley” by Rafael Bejar (VMS Feb. 13).

What is being proposed by school choice advocates amounts to little more than tax funded segregation.

Sadly, Mr. Bejar makes this case himself when he says, “But with over 140,000 kids on charter school waiting lists in Texas and only about 40 charter schools throughout the valley, their chances of attending one of these charter institutions are dismal.”

Mr. Bejar’s statement exposes the school choice proposal being floated by Lt. Governor Patrick and others as the money grabbing statement it is.

The proposal is really pretty simple: let the state tax money follow the student wherever the student goes. This is how the system works now but only within the public school system.

Patrick, Bejar and their friends want to extend this concept to include private schools.

According to the Dallas Morning News, this money amount will vary from $5,836 to $8,754 depending on family income and disability status of the child. The problem lies with access.

I know of only two private high schools in the valley, and while there are several private K-8 schools, the fact remains that neither of these high schools nor the K-8 schools are large enough to enroll all the students from the valley who might want to enroll.

Nor do I believe they would want to be that large. This means they would limit access to their educational programs.

I am not sure what good the money would be to students who are put on the waiting lists Mr. Bejar describes.

They will remain in a public school that now will have less funding because it was siphoned off to schools they can never attend.

Mr. Bejar also neglects the fact that the valley already has school choice. There are the charter schools that are for profit but are public.

These schools have grown to meet the need of the community just as any business does. I have every confidence that this will continue.

There are also multiple open enrollment districts, and the magnet school option provided by the public South Texas ISD.

This school choice proposal is a straw man argument that benefits those who are wealthy enough or lucky enough to be within the private school pipeline.

Too bad for anyone else. Instead of the pipeline, they get the pipedream.

Michael L Nicholson La Feria

Theft at Hugh Ramsey

To the Editor:

On Friday, Feb. 10, around 10 a.m., a Hispanic male about 30 to 40 years old was seen cutting the lock on the storage container in Hugh Ramsey Park.

A visitor to the park confronted him and was told that he was hired to remove and replace the lock on the storage container.

About an hour later, this same person was seen leaving the park in a light blue pickup truck loaded with garden tools, wheel barrows and metal trash containers.

The information was relayed to park volunteers on Monday and upon inspection of the storage container, the volunteers found that all our garden tools including rakes, spading forks, shovels, trash cans containing bird seed and a large container of Round-up was stolen.

Call me naïve, but I find it amazing that some lowlife person would do such a thing. As volunteers, we spend hundreds of hours a year working in the park trying to make it more enjoyable for citizens of Harlingen and to have someone steal our tools and supplies is just a slap in the face.

If anyone has any information about the incident, please report it to the Harlingen Police Department.

Linda Butcher Hugh Ramsey Park Volunteer