Comments from readers at

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Conversations get lively at, where commenters are encouraged to weigh in on stories via Facebook. Here’s a sampling of some recent comments:

Charter plot thickens

“Does this pass the smell test? In fact, does anything about this superintendent pass the smell test? We have a school district that certainly has room for improvement, a part-time, double-dipping superintendent who spends all his time peddling insurance products and negotiating contracts with himself to transfer control of the schools away from the district so that he has less to do as superintendent? This stinks to high heaven!”

— Timothy B. Jones EdD

“Well, well, well. The plot thickens on the part-time superintendent! LISD deserves better!”

— Billy H. Roy

“Fire him. Get a trustworthy superintendent and replace the LISD school board! If they don’t listen to the people and teachers it’s time for them all to go.”

— Jason Bates

“If all of the LISD campuses will ultimately be transferred to the nonprofits, what use is there for the bloated administration headed by Wilcox? I wonder if any LISD administrators have consulting agreements with the nonprofit currently running these campuses?”

— Nathan Cooper

“This guy has been getting away with crap for years with the full approval of the Longview school board. It is way past time to clean house. Out of all the talented education professionals in Longview, there is not even one that can perform better than Wilcox? Get real!”

— Chris Smith

“He’s been using LISD as his slush fund for long enough.”

— Jennifer Davis

“I hope the News-Journal keeps digging. They haven’t even scratched the surface.”

— Stephanie Downs

EMT trainingRegarding “New EMT certification program training Jefferson High School students,” Thursday:— Alisa Dompe

Food columnist’s 50th

“I met this sweet lady finally, bought several cookbooks. She is such a joy to talk to! I used to cut out her recipes from the News-Journal and yesterday as I was going through a box of clippings, I found the strawberry pie recipe. You can be sure I’ll make this Valentines Day.”

— Brenda Braswell Oakley

“Barbara always reminded me of Erma Bombeck, I loved reading their books and columns. They both make and made me smile. Keep typing Barbara!”

— Patricia Davis Russell

“Such a wonderful person to know. So glad God put us together as friends. You have added so much to all our lives.”

— Ric L Grant

“Remember her from St Mary’s School, and her daughter. Great lady.”

— Sara A. Gonzalez Lilly

“Have used her recipes for 50 years! A very special lady and friend! We taught school together in Pasadena and she was the Cupid that introduced me to my wonderful husband, Harold Deteau!”

— Shirley Hall Deteau

”She was my choir teacher in middle school. Love her! Glad to see she’s doing well.”

— Kimberly Prince

“Love this lady! She is a treasure.”

— Lisa Goldstrich

”Barbara is a treasure!”

— Gai Bennett

“She is a WONDERFUL lady. She was my choir teacher in 7th and 8th grade.”

— Laurie Turman-dehoff

“Mine too!”

— Jesse Finch

“Barbara McClellan is one of my favorite people in the world! Such a kind, loving heart! I’m grateful for her in so many ways!”

— Sarah ‘Wilson’ Medin

“I love to just sit and read her cookbooks. I have three of them. They are so comical.”

— Pat Whitaker Vanderwater

”Such a gift and blessing to so many.”

— Brenda Liverman

“I’ve been reading your column ever since you started, and went to your microwave class to show us how to use the microwave when they first came out. My copy of your first cookbook is worn and dirty but still in use.”

— Gayle Mauldin

“I would love to meet her!”

— Jami Lynn Summers-Wanamaker

“Love you, Barbara!”

— Amy Aten McHaney

“Great story in the News-Journal!”

— Anne Hugman

”So many great recipes! She’s a treasure!”

— Mary Zorn

“Love her recipes!”

— Sue Ann Ruff Cocke

“Love her column!”

— Kay Dotson McQueary

“I remember her best as my music teacher at St Mary’s.”

— Criselda Marquez

“You are an amazing person, Barbara McClellan. I think you would’ve enjoyed my chicken cacciatore last night!! Cheers.”

— Eric Grimes

Schools session

“A big thanks to the LISD board members and the staff who took the time to answer the questions regarding this subject. I came to the meeting with questions and left there with a better understanding of the direction that board and others are trying to take the district.”

— Priscilla Borens

“I was among the first group of integrated Longview school students in the ‘70s. As I recall when we integrated brown kids, Anglo kids received the same quality of material. I think as usual the board is blowing smoke to the public. It is my opinion that there should be term limits on school board members so they can stop the madness and provide the students and taxpayers with honesty and transparency.”

— Debra Boyd-Jones

” ‘Democracies die behind closed doors’ — Damon Keith”

— Chiquita Ballenger

“It seems if, after 34 YEARS on the school board, Mr. Simmons is finally seeing the results of what he’s been fighting for he would let it play out a bit, see if the fruits of his labor have the affect he’s fought to achieve. Why rush to move an entire district down a path that has no measurable success to date? Why take precious developmental instruction time away from our children while teachers are trained just so we can meet funding requirements? The funding, innovation and forward thinking advancements may be just the cutting-edge movement we need but not at the expense of children missing years of building-block education that sets them up for failure as they move forward. We can’t give them that time back. They lose.”

— Rhonda Bullard

“I have a better question: Why? Charter schools have increasingly become corporate entities with little to no accountability to local elected school boards or parents. I haven’t seen LISD’s plan, but why not spend the time and money and effort electing responsive legislators who will change the ridiculous systems being forced on local schools, and restoring neighborhood schools to the community and making all schools excellent?”

— Sharon Barbosa-Crain

“If they do I’m going to ask Kirk Shields where our property taxes are going because charter schools are funded by state.”

— Debra Gray Pope

“Better look at yesterday’s article. It’s a money thing, period. And about whose pocket it’s going into.”

— Sandy Reeves

End near for eyesores

”The house on U.S. 80 right off Silver Falls, they need to clean that mess up. Its a disgusting eyesore. Fine them if they don’t.”

— Pamela Gaspard-Ray

“Need to start near I-20 since that is an incoming to our city and looks the worst.”

— Brittany Racine

“I agree with you.”

— Dean Vinson

“Good, keep getting rid of the abandoned buildings.”

— Jerry Bagley Jr

“Great work, Ed! Now how about all the other council districts! Get busy and swing the hammers. Such eyesores all over town!”

— Bruce A Cammack


— Malinda Fried

Today's Bible verse

“But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.”

— Psalm 22:19

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