News and Tribune

November 1, 2012

News and Tribune letters: Nov. 1, 2012


newsroom@newsandtribune.com

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Reader urges vote for Boisseau

Vickie Boisseau is running for Greater Clark County Schools board. She started her career of 37 years with Hillerich & Bradsby in an entry-level position of purchasing clerk and is now director of account services. She is a lifelong resident of Clark County, married for 38 years and mother of two daughters and grandmother of four grandchildren.

She has served as a board member for the Greater Clark Educational Foundation for the past three years, raising funds for the ACT Testing Initiative and the Advanced Placement Scholarship Program. Vickie believes we should arm our children with knowledge, skill and preparation. We can accomplish this only through safeguarding their educational resources.

Greater Clark is a $100 million corporation, one of the largest school districts in the area, and should be run as a business for educating kids. Dysfunction within the school board shifts the focus from educating children to the dynamics of personal politics.

Vickie wants to restore professionalism and respect to the board to better serve students, teachers, parents and the community. Currently, enrollment is down due to private schools and family relocations. With the potential of River Ridge attracting more businesses and families to the area, it is important to offer a strong school system focused on excellent educational opportunities.

Vickie has no personal agenda; she sees a board that could benefit from her business sense and personal demeanor. She is a dynamic and engaging speaker, who does her research. She accepted no special interest monies, but has paid for her campaign with her funds and small donations from family and friends.

She will not accept the school corporation’s insurance policy. Vickie will donate half of the board of trustee pay to the Greater Clark Educational Foundation. She’s not looking for a job, she’s looking to serve the public by bringing her business skills to enriching the educational environments for our kids.

My friendship with Vickie Boisseau goes a long way back and we serve as members of the St. Augustine Parish/Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary. Vickie is very active within the community, serving as a board member with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Arthritis Foundation. She helps nonprofits in their fundraising for various causes, (breast cancer, charities, civic groups, etc.)

I am proud to endorse Vickie Boisseau for Greater Clark County School Board of Trustees. I hope you will vote for Vickie. Our kids deserve better.

— Linda Stephens, Jeffersonville



Former judge endorses Meyer



I am writing to endorse Ed Meyer for election as County Commissioner in the first district. We vote for commissioners countywide so I hope to share these thoughts with many people.

First, and above all, Ed is a decent man who is running a positive campaign for continued public service as our commissioner. He has always conducted himself that way.

I have known Ed and his family for many years and he is a forthright individual with a dedication to the youth in our community and schools that is second to none. Ed is a teacher and has been a coach in Clark County. He has benefited many families  by working in our schools.

Ed was one of the first local officials to serve on a local government agency to assist the county in its first jail expansion. He helped move us away from the old Mayberry-type jail mentality and helped design the modern juvenile detention facility that we now have. No one likes to build jails, but prisoner lawsuits against the way things were run here mandated a federal court order to modernize.

The lives of many children from broken homes caught in the midst of the justice system have been changed through intervention of experts in the juvenile system here because we stopped “throwing them in jail” as we did for years.

Meyer stepped up to take a lead role in building a separate facility for our young people, which compiled with state and federal law at the time. These were bold and  risky steps for a public official to take. But Meyer knew that his work on the first Building Corporation would stand the test of time and he knew it was the right thing to do.

I served as the juvenile judge in this county for 12 years and had many more opportunities to work with Ed in public life. His attitude is always constructive, always upbeat and is focused on solving the problem at hand. Many of the politicians in the courthouse don’t think that way and that is why it is a necessity to retain Meyer as commissioner.

These are difficult times for county government and the future in how it is operated. We need a steady and proven hand in charge at the commissioners’ office. The challenges are significant and I would guess solutions to solve some of the problems will not be easy.

Ed has the capacity to put all the politics aside and make the right decisions to keep county management sound and stable.

I hope you will join me in a vote for Ed Meyer as county commissioner, first district.

— Clementine Barthold, former judge Clark Superior Court   No. 1, Jeffersonville



Reader miffed at health care policy



I have had a Medicare Advantage policy issued through Anthem. Now that policy is canceled.

But not to fear. Anthem is offering a new policy with double the co-pays and some drugs not covered whatsoever. I’m guessing this is the cost of Obamacare at its best.  

— Wayne Tomes, Henryville



Horning is the choice for Senate



As an acquaintance and supporter of Andrew Horning, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, I was blessed to be sitting front and center of the candidates at Indiana University Southeast for Tuesday night’s debate.

From inside the auditorium, the statement made by Mr. Mourdock passed as a nonissue. It was not until getting home that I learned that a big deal was made of the misspeak. It is a wonderful way as usual to avoid the issues that as U.S. citizens we face every day. Instead, we focus on destruction of a candidate for something that will not effect the majority of us in our everyday life vs. weighing who is truly the best candidate for the elected position we are trying to fill.

I support Horning in his run for Senate, because he is a man of high values and stands firm in his beliefs. He is running as a Libertarian so we all know that the corporation and big-money donors are not throwing money his way. Andy is running for office because he has a great love for what our Founding Fathers envisioned this country to be.

In our lifetimes, we have lost so many of the freedoms that our forefathers fought and died for. Andy is not running for office for fortune or fame, but rather so his children and grandchildren can know the freedoms that our state and U.S. Constitutions are meant to protect.

Please visit Horning’s Facebook page to read his response to the statement made by Mourdock at the debate. While Andy does not agree with Mourdock — his view on the unlimited powers our federal government should have — he does defend his gaffe.

If his words do not tell you that this is the man that you want to be captain of your team, nothing will. Please join me in voting for the most principled man on the ballot, Andrew Horning.

— Kathy J. Heel, Elizabeth

GOP leader urges vote for Pence



I would like to ask everyone to vote for Mike Pence for governor. Mike wants to make Indiana the state that works, will promote private-sector job growth, develop world-class schools, protect taxpayers and support families.

Mike is a family man and a man of honor. I have known Mike for a while and have friends that have known him since they attended Hanover College with him.

Mike is qualified to be our next governor and is a lifelong Hoosier. I would ask that you please visit mikepence.com to learn more about Mike. Please consider voting for Mike Pence for governor Nov. 6.

— Jamey Noel, chairman, Clark County Republican Party and Indiana Republican Party 9th Congressional District



Young endorses Matthews for commish



  As the congressman for Indiana’s 9th District, I have the opportunity to work with county government officials all across Southern Indiana. I know that Floyd County — like our district, state and nation — faces some tough decisions in the future. It will require leadership at the county level that understands the issues at hand, that is willing to be bold in looking for solutions, and that can clearly articulate their vision for economic growth and job creation. I believe that Dave Matthews can be that sort of leader for Floyd County, and recommend him as a candidate for Floyd County Commissioner in the Nov. 6 election.

I don’t often weigh in on local elections, but feel strongly that Dave Matthews is the right man for the job. As a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy myself, I know that Dave was trained to lead when he attended the U.S. Air Force Academy. As I’ve got to know him over the past few years, I’ve been impressed with his passion for Floyd County and his understanding of county issues. I’ve known him to remain cool and confident, even in stressful situations. But most importantly, I know he’s willing to make the choices necessary to build a strong local economy in Floyd County.

I wholeheartedly endorse Dave Matthews’ candidacy for Floyd County Commissioner.

— Todd Young, 9th District congressman



Reader says only vote is for Obama



American national politics during the 1920s was dominated by the Republican Party, which controlled the White House and Congress throughout the decade.

American national politics during the late 1990s and early 2000s was dominated by the Republican Party, which controlled the White House and Congress for more than a decade.

Republican-controlled policies of the 1920s caused the Great Depression starting in 1929. Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover were all Republican presidents before the 1929 depression. They also had a Republican majority in Congress before the economic meltdown of 1929.

Republican controlled policies of the late 1990s and the early 2000s caused the Great Recession of 2008. From 1981 through 2008 we had a Republican president for 20 of 28 years. We had a Republican Congress for 14 straight years and a Republican president for eight straight years before the recession.

Republican politics played the major role in both economic tragedies nearly 80 years apart.

During the Great Depression America’s unemployment rate skyrocketed to 25 percent and remained at more than 10 percent for more than eight years.

Now, let’s look at unemployment after the 2008 recession. The unemployment conditions had many of the same similarities of going to 25 percent for a second time because of Republican economic policies. Many economists were predicting unemployment to go above 15 percent.

Americans elected Barack Obama, a Democratic president, who started his term in January 2009. We were losing 700,000 to 800,000 jobs per month when Obama took office. With no help from a Republican Congress, as a result of President Obama’s stimulus program, unemployment peaked out at 10 percent, not the 25 percent of the 1930s.

Obama now has 31 straight months of job growth in the private sector and has created 5.2 million jobs. Unemployment has declined to 7.8 percent and is expected to go lower as the economy is improving. Most all economic indicators show we are recovering.  

My question is this: Why would America even consider a Republican president?

President Obama is an American hero whom the Republican Party and the far right-wing media have demonized to the uninformed voters. Republicans created the problem, obstructed in fixing the problem, and now blame the problem on President Obama. Now Mitt Romney wants to take us back to the same policies that created the problem. I am amazed this election is so close. It is like America has a severe case of amnesia.

It is an American tragedy when we allow the right-wing media and big money to control our politics and factual information. The loser in the long run will be the American people.

— Ray Beaufait, Charlestown



Parent writes of failure in leadership



As a parent of children now old enough to understand and react to the tumultuous events brought about by the leadership of the Greater Clark County School system, it has become increasingly difficult for me to try to “rationalize” the events of the last two weeks, let alone the last 12 months.

How do you explain the expulsion of an administrator who has brought about real and positive change at JHS; not only in academic achievement but in the demeanor and daily operation of the school.  Then, to find out that the superintendent, pressed to appoint an administrator to fill that hastily created vacancy, chooses an assistant principal who, almost one week prior to his appointment, had been arraigned and pled not guilty to charges of shoplifting.

How can our school corporation leadership be so out of touch with current events that this travesty of ignorance and lack of follow-through was allowed to happen.  Was the zeal with which the Board and Administration chose to move against Mr. Sexton so overwhelming that they failed to “see the forest for the trees?” Was their desire to remove him from his position so intoxicating that they chose to install an accused thief in his place?

This failure of leadership must be reigned in.  Our community cannot afford to continue to endure these negative events that detract from the positive and uplifting accomplishments of our students.  This administration has clearly lost focus and is mired in issues that erode from the primary mission of our school system: OUR CHILDREN!!

More than ever before, we have an opportunity to effect real and positive change.  Please remember to vote on Nov. 6 and do not forget to turn your ballot over and vote for CHANGE!!

— James H. Wesp, Charlestown





‘No hesitation’ in support for  Meyer



  This is a letter I wanted publish supporting Ed Meyer for election as county commissioner. I  know it seems like this is one of the stormiest campaigns I have seen in a long time. I know Ed is a very good man and it does no good to run negative campaigns against good people.

Wanda and Charlie Meyer were friends of mine for years. I have watched their families grow up as fine adult citizens. My own sons grew up with Ed and I have always known the Meyer family to be honorable and dedicated hard workers.

It seems like our politics has taken a downhill slide in recent years and it has become so hateful. If this is allowed to go on it raises the question what will be left behind for our children and their children. Ed Meyer is not a negative person and he has always used his energy to help other families. More than that he has helped our community as a commissioner.

We wouldn’t have the new jobs at the ammo plant without Ed Meyer. He worked on that project when everybody else laughed about it several years ago. They are not laughing now. People have new jobs at River Ridge and new businesses keep opening there. Ed Meyer has shown he was a man of vision to see the benefits of what that project could bring.

I have no hesitation supporting Ed Meyer to serve another term as our commissioner. He has kept us all safe and is dedicated to making our county a better place. I hope you will vote for him too.

—  Margaret Read, of Jeffersonville



Former teacher says it’s time to get GCCS board back on track



  On Oct. 24, a letter was printed in the Mailbag section of the N & T from Ms. DeAnna Hall regarding the upcoming school board election in Greater Clark. She hit the nail on the head regarding the current incumbent board members up for re-election. I will not go over the things she alluded to, but will add a few  things to her commentary.

My wife and I moved to Clark County in September, 1971 and to this date I have never seen a more dysfunctional group of board members as we now have (excluding Ms. Christensen and Ms. Kraft). In my travels throughout Indiana, I can truly say this board is the laughing stock of Indiana. I cannot see why any administrator in their right mind would put their career on the line and come to work for this board.

The first head to roll was Dr. Stephen Daeschner. A truly outstanding educator and administrator who did exactly what he said he would when he was hired. The only public reason given for his dismissal was in regards to his salary. Well folks, you get what you pay for and he was well worth every penny of his salary in terms of his accomplishments.

The next two heads to roll were the CFO, Dr. Tom Galovic, and the COO, Mr. Marty Bell. Both of these men had an exemplary track record and had the right credentials to serve in their capacities as CFO and COO. They are now gone.

The final head to roll was Mr. James Sexton, principal of Jeffersonville High School. Mr. Sexton did more to promote and institute programs during his three years at JHS than all the combined principals in the last several decades. There is not enough space to list all of his accomplishments in this letter, but if the reader will contact Ms. Nancy Kraft, a current GCCS board member she will be more than happy to supply you with a list of all that he has done during his tenure as principal (Ms. Kraft gave me permission to use her name).

These four gentlemen have one thing in common, they all came from Louisville. The reader can go in whatever direction you desire with that. In my opinion if the real reasons were known, these men were removed because Ms. Gilkey, and I use her name because she is the current board president, could not fully control and micromanage these individuals. When she pulled the strings, these individuals did not always respond. She now had that person in place in the form of the current superintendent.

I currently live in Clarksville, but in the GCCS tax district. Therefore, I do have a vested interest in this election. In  addition, I am a retired teacher having taught 26 years, 1977 to 2003, as a technology teacher at JHS. I am very upset at the endorsements the teacher PAC made. I just hope the teachers will vote their conscience.

This board is a run-away-train and the only way to stop it and to get it back on track is to vote for Vickie Boisseau, Dale Moss, Alice Dorman Butler and Becka Christensen.

— Jim McCoskey, of Clarksville



Writer  supports Gregg for governor



  The upcoming election should be a referendum on how the Republicans have governed Indiana. They have been in charge of the last eight years. Indiana now has a higher rate of unemployment that the national average. The reason this has happened is because all they do is Talk about jobs. The legislature has concentrated on passing bills to defund planned parenthood; the right to work for less bill, and to make sure that women have no choice on decisions about their own body.

Now, they are asking for four more years, to continue this agenda of giving lip service to jobs and of helping average people. Do not let them continue this bait and switch. Now is the time to turn it over to the Democrats!

Vote John Gregg for governor.

— Glen R. Pitzer, of Jeffersonville





Couple say Matthews’ leadership will benefit county



  Dave Matthews is an impressive leader in our community. A hard worker, dedicated husband and father, and an effective administrator, Dave brings excellence to everything he does. He served faithfully for a full career in the Air Force retiring as a lieutenant colonel. For the last 17 years he has flown those big jets we see overhead for UPS and served his community as a church elder, town councilman, party chairman and township board member. Dave works tirelessly to make our community better.

I know we benefit from his leadership. I also know we will be a better county by having him as our commissioner. I plan to vote for Dave Nov. 6 and strongly recommend everyone voting for him too. Dave won't disappoint us as our new commissioner.

 — Shawn and Ann Carruthers





Resident proud to support Mourdock



  Richard Mourdock stands strong in his pro-life beliefs regarding the sanctity of life. He is a Christian; he believes God is the Creator of life. He believes, regardless of the circumstances in which a baby is conceived, God created that life at that moment for His own purpose. Mourdock believes no one should have the right to end that life but God.  

I agree with Richard Mourdock, and I have proudly cast my vote for him for United States Senate.

— Patricia McIntyre, of Jeffersonville







Teacher: Donnelly better for education



As a public school teacher, I am constantly involved in the quest for education improvement but this elevation, even more so than usual. It is easy to see the detrimental educational policies of Tony Bennett, state superintendent incumbent, and Mike Pence, governor hopeful, but I feel people are less informed on our senate race between Joe Donnelly and Richard Mourdock.

Joe Donnelly fought to make education more affordable for Hoosier families and kids and increased the maximum Pell Grant award by 37 percent during time in Congress. Nearly 90 percent of Pell Grant recipients are from families with incomes lower than $40,000. Pell Grants are these students best opportunity at higher education. Donnelly fought against the Ryan Budget, which would result in higher tuition while slashing Pell Grants, only putting college further out of reach. He cut interest rates on student loans in half. Supported an increase in the $2,500 Hope Credit. Students can use that money for tuition, fees, and course materials. Donnelly believes we must provide both students and employers with the tools they need to compete. We must improve job training programs so that they teach the skills Hoosier employers need right now.

He believes we must also connect business owners with community colleges like Ivy Tech so students are being taught the skills employers need and are looking for. Highly skilled workers will attract and keep employers and good-paying jobs.

However, Richard Mourdock will cut $5 billion from Hoosier classrooms, slash Pell Grants by $72 million in Indiana, a difference in 10,000 recipients, and cut Head Start in Indiana by almost $25 million, eliminating 3,000 enrollment slots. Children who participate in Head Start receive free medical and dental care, have healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy playing indoors and outdoors in a safe setting. In 2014, 200,000 fewer Indiana children may have access to early education, such as pre-school. Over the next 10 years, two million children may be affected.

— Erin Braune, of Jeffersonville



Reader unhappy with newspaper over Mourdock coverage



   The vast majority of the national media outlets are talking about Mourdock’s rape comment at the IUS debate. However, those comments not only do not make the headlines but are buried on page number 2 of the article in the 10-24-12 edition. After listening to some of Limbaugh today on the radio I conclude that my local newspaper and Limbaugh are the only two “news outlets” who are trying to keep the story buried. Why was it not a headline? I will call the subscription office today to cancel my subscription.

— Dan Walton, of New Albany





Resident asks for support of Matthews



   I urge my fellow Floyd County citizens to vote Dave Matthews for County Commissioner. After 24 years in elected county office, it’s time to retire Chuck Freiberger and elect a fresh face. Dave is one of the hardest working, patriotic people I know. He is a man of integrity that I know will fight for greater transparency and fiscal responsibility in local government. He has been an excellent county chairman, UPS pilot, town councilman, and Air Force veteran. I encourage you to vote for Dave on Nov. 6.

— Matt Duncan, of Sellersburg



Writer gives take on Mourdock comments



I think we all know what Mr. Mourdock was trying to say. That our God can make something wonderful out of the most violent of crimes. Our God does not intend harm, but is wise enough to know when it will happen. Life has value no matter how it was created and the taking of life should not be done on a whim. I think we all will be surprised to find out what our God was doing behind the scenes to protect us from the free will actions of other humans bent on destruction. The statue in Daniel is complete and we only wait for the Stone, at that time we will know how wrong we all are and how right God is.

— Frank Fisher, of Clarksville



Resident says ‘extremist’ label not fair for Mourdock



   I have read Richard Mourdock’s original statement regarding the intrinsic worth of the human fetus and his subsequent clarification. I feel it is unfair to label him as an extremist because of his view.

Human life does begin by God’s blessing, even though the circumstances surrounding the conception may be evil. God doesn’t condone the evil, but nevertheless has a purpose for the new life. I think that we must recognize this and protect the fetus’ life. Let’s be fair in our debate of the issue.

— James Goodwin, of Charlestown





Writer encourages vote for Matthews



  I’m part of the Dave Matthews band! No, not that Dave Matthews band. I’m voting for Dave Matthews for Floyd County Commissioner and invite all my friends and neighbors to do the same.

I’ve known Dave for several years and have seen his integrity and honesty up close. Anybody who watches politicians knows those attributes aren’t always found in those running for office. Dave is a retired U.S. Air Force officer. One of my sons is now completing the training for his wings, so I know what a gruelling task that can be.

Dave has never shirked his duty to his country nor his fellow man. So, please join me and vote for Dave!

— Jeff Adams, of New Albany





Parent says use common sense in GCCS race



   I have been following the antics of the Greater Clark County Schools for some time now keeping quite and hoping things are not as bad as they seem but after this latest debacle I feel I can not keep quiet any longer.

Part of this current board has to go. It was bad enough when they got rid of a superintendent that made the most gains in test scores, graduation rates, and has more students taking advanced placement courses than any time in our history because of philosophical differences. This was exactly the results we as parents and taxpayers wanted when they hired Dr. Daschner, finally we were moving in the right direction and all they could come up with is philosophical differences.

 It was reported many times that Dr. Daschner would continue his amassing work for a considerable reduction in pay, but part of this board did want higher scores, and more A.P. courses, the very things we did and still do want so they got rid of him and brought in a superintendent that must want the same thing they strive for  — being less than the best.

Again we have a principal that has taken a school that was on academic probation and turned it around to be the 8th best school in Indiana and we now find that is not good enough so we bring out the philosophical differences card again this time removing the most productive principal this school has had in a very long time. Go ask people in this community about the changes that have occurred over the last three years and the answers you get will amaze you. More discipline, safer school, higher scores, higher graduation rates, more A.P. courses, all the things we expect from our schools and we have philosophical differences. The superintendent needs to work out the differences and keep this educator in place for the sake of our children. Call your school board and tell them you want the best for our children. We need to change the thinking of this board and make it about what is best for the children and not the differences that keep coming up. I intend to vote for common sense this election and hope you will join me. I am voting for Alice Butler, Dale Moss, Becka Christensen and Vicki Boisseau — together they can make our school the best they can be.

— Mike Reardon

A very concerned parent and taxpayer, Jeffersonville




Writer urges support for Christensen



This year it is critical that we decide whether we want public servants or politicians to serve on the GCCS School Board of Trustees. Four positions are up for election, and while candidates must live in their district, all voters will have a vote for each of those four positions. Incumbent Becka Christensen is a public servant who has proven her dedication and passion for this community.

Becka worked hard to keep Corden Porter and Maple Elementary schools open for the business of educating our children. Becka voted “No” every time job outsourcing came up. She worked hard to save the auto tech program in Charlestown, and supported all the change orders during the construction phases of both Charlestown and New Washington schools. She continues to oppose wasteful spending and reductions to student resources. She listens to her constituents and responds to their concerns and questions. She stands firm on what she believes.

Currently she’s hard at work trying to save the Pilot House project that she has spent several years working on. Becka Christensen is not afraid of hard work and doing good deeds. Just ask those of us that patrol the “pill mill” every morning and afternoon they’re in operation with Becka Christensen sitting right there with us.

We need a thoughtful, truthful person to parse through the business of the board and come to an unbiased conclusion that best represents the children, parents, teachers and faculty of Greater Clark. Our children deserve someone in their corner willing to fight for them. Public servant or politician? You get to decide on Nov. 6. Please vote for Becka Christensen.

 — Donna Spence, of Jeffersonville