Letters to the editor/North

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Plan to oust coach/director at North Allegheny questioned

We are writing in response to the July 3 article reporting that the North Allegheny school board is again considering the matter of Ralph Pagone serving simultaneously on the school board and as the volunteer head coach of the North Allegheny girls slow-pitch softball team.

The fact that the matter is being addressed now, after a few years of the same few disgruntled people complaining about Mr. Pagone, gives the appearance of retaliation because in the May primary election Mr. Pagone and other school board candidates who want to keep Peebles Elementary School open defeated current board members who would choose to close the school. This belief seems to be justified because Mr. Pagone is the only board member who would be affected by the proposal the board is considering to ban school directors from holding volunteer positions that are supervised by a district staff member. If this is not the case and the board is truly concerned about a volunteer coach serving on the board in the future, then Mr. Pagone should be "grandfathered" in so that he can keep both positions.

The fact that some board members suggested both a first reading and a vote on the proposed policy at the June meeting without advance notice to the public gives at least the appearance of impropriety and an effort to force Mr. Pagone to resign from the board and take with him his endeavor to keep Peebles open.

What about board members who would like to serve on a superintendent's advisory committee or who volunteer in classrooms or in other school-related activities? If board members are not to be permitted to volunteer coach, neither should they be permitted to volunteer in any other capacity.

The effort by some board members to force Mr. Pagone to retire from the board or give up coaching is an attempt to make his multiple service to North Allegheny unacceptable although it was appropriate when he accepted each of his two positions. Board members must remain cognizant of the fact they serve at the will of the voters -- the same voters who elected Mr. Pagone to the board, knowing that he volunteers as head coach of the girls slow-pitch softball team.



The writers are officers of the North Allegheny Girls' Slow-Pitch Softball Boosters Association.

The North Allegheny school board was scheduled to vote Wednesday night on the proposed policy.

We should all be proud to welcome new citizens

A great big thank you to the Post-Gazette for the article "This is Who I Am Now: An American Citizen." (July 3 Xtra)

Earlier in the week, I had watched the Ken Burns special on WQED about the Statue of Liberty.

I saw people welcoming immigrants and celebrating how their forebears came to the U.S. as immigrants -- some with no money and no connections.

As I watched this 1985 special, I wondered what has become of our nation in the last 25 years that we now are so unwelcoming to new arrivals. I expressed these concerns to a wonderful young administrative assistant, Linda, at Peer Support and Advocacy Network Inc. Linda said, "You need to read the Post-Gazette article." She was right!

It was wonderful to hear the stories of welcomed immigrants who work to welcome those who follow. This sounded so much more like the United States I've always been proud to belong to as a citizen.

Thank you for bringing these stories to the forefront and for making me, and I'm sure many other readers, proud of how we welcome new citizens!




Letters are subject to editing and should not exceed 250 words. The letter must include the writer's name, postal and/or email address and phone number. Send letters to: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222. Or email: letters@post-gazette.com.


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