Dr. Francis Johnson, who passed away unexpectedly June 22, was a Danville icon for many years as his children were growing up. He and his first wife Ann raised their family in Danville and lived on Constitution Drive. All his children from the first family graduated from Monte Vista High School where Dr. Johnson was a team doctor for the football program from the 1970s under Coach Mike O'Leary. He served in that capacity into the late-1980s for Coach Rob Stockberger, eventually turning over the duties to Dr. Jerry Davis, who still serves in that role. Francis cared deeply about Monte Vista High School, its students, and of course the football program. As recently as three years ago, one of Stockberger's players, Jon Hamblin, saw Dr. Johnson on the field during a pre-season practice.
Dr. Johnson was like family to many people: friends of his children, patients and others. Most of the people who came up to his surviving children following the funeral said, "I feel like I was raised in the Johnson home." According to his daughter, Vicki, their home was a "home away from home for a whole lot of kids." Vicki added, "My dad had 21 grandchildren, five of them not related by blood." He reached out to everyone and made them feel as though they were part of one big family. He will be greatly missed by family, friends, patients, and the medical community.
Joan S. Hamblin
Let's legalize fireworks
I recently read an article in the newspaper about a massive stash of fireworks that was found by the Oakland police department. There were at least 2,000 pounds of illegal fireworks imported from China inside an Oakland residence.
I understand that fireworks can be very dangerous, especially since we live in such a dry climate. However, I believe that there should be some legal fire works the week of July 4th, or at least on that particular day. It is important that we celebrate our Independence Day. After all where would we be without our independence from Britain?
I also believe that fireworks should be legal around the New Year, too. If properly handled, fireworks can be an exciting and even safe way to celebrate.
I believe that if they are legalized, to ensure safety, there should be an adult supervising with a fire extinguisher nearby. There should also be a limit on how many you can buy. The City of Dublin allows legal "safe and sane" fireworks, so I believe Danville should allow the same.
Weeding out teachers
Not all teachers should teach. It's not fair to the teachers who have been given pink slips when some of the teachers who have been there a long time are really bad teachers. The whole thing is based on seniority. There are a lot of bad teachers that have been there a long time so it's almost impossible for them to get fired. The only way to get rid of them is for a lot of people to write a bunch of letters to the principal. But a lot of people are afraid that if they write a letter to the school, that teacher might retaliate on the student.
There needs to be a way for bad teachers with seniority to leave teaching and pursue other careers.