EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 11, 2013

Sound Off

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Mail complaints

As a retired letter carrier, I can’t believe the complaints by some people regarding their mail. First, if your mailbox is 30 feet from the street and we have two feet of snow, you will not receive mail if you don’t plow or shovel to get access to your mailbox, whether it’s a walking route or a curb-side route. If you have trouble with the Shawsheen post office, use the blue boxes or talk to the postmaster. The government does not dictate the time for lunch. People like this probably still think their taxes pay for postal salaries.

New faces

This is regarding the election of Methuen School Committee members in the fall. There are going to be a few vacant seats. I agree with Ms. Quinn’s remark that “it is time for new faces and ideas. When people stick around for too long, things get stagnant and people get set in their ways.” And Robert Vogler, who served on the committee for 35 years and lost in the 2011 election, is planning to run again. I would ask him to rethink his plans.

‘Fat letters’

Regarding “fat letters.” Some seem to think the teachers and schools are responsible for generation of the letter to parents about each child’s BMI. The screening, letter and follow up information are from the Department of Public Health. They are generated from the school nurse’s office after each child is weighed and measured. The teachers have absolutely nothing to do with it. It never pleases a school nurse to send letters home that upset parents but is part of the job description. With the obesity rates in this country, public health is attempting to get to parents and kids early in their school years. Please look at the information for what it is and don’t shoot the messenger!

Wake up

The “fat letter” is not bullying; it’s a health status letter, same as you might get if there was something unusual with your child’s vision and hearing. Just say “thank you” and start taking some action. Your child’s health is at stake! Teachers are not involved. It comes from the school nurse and is mandated by the state health department. You’d be the first complaining to the school, the School Board, the nurse and the health department if there was any health issue that they knew about and you weren’t informed. You’d probably even file a lawsuit over it! I’ve battled my weight all my life and this is a crisis for everyone. It is a factor in rising health care costs. Wake up and pull your head out of the sand. That salad your kid eats drowning in ranch dressing isn’t as healthy as you think.

Tennis courts

It’s interesting that some in Andover can think about spending $400,000 on tennis courts that will be used by a very small percentage of townspeople. I guess they haven’t heard of the recession and the number of people not working. Think of all the good that money could do. Just think of the teachers, police and firefighters that could be hired. But tennis is more important.