News and Tribune

July 6, 2008

LETTERS: July 6, 2008

Shooting spurs many questions

I suppose somebody needs to go first, so I will do it.

I am a white male. I do not own a gun or a motorcycle.

Yes, I have been the victim of road rage. It was the most humiliating experience I have ever had in my life. If I had been armed that day, I might very well have responded in exactly the same way as Ms. Parrish did.

Now, with all that said, let me get to the point. Everything Yalanda Parrish did the day she shot Wesley Mosier was wrong! From all the news coverage I have seen, there is no doubt that with her gun permit and hot temper, she was an accident waiting to happen.

To be fair, Mr. Mosier could be Ms. Parrish’s male clone. The only difference between the two was she was armed, he was not.

From the moment Mr. Mosier, in traffic, got off his motorcycle and headed to Ms. Parrish’s vehicle, both individuals had entered “the twilight zone.” She had no idea about what he might do. He clearly miscalculated how she would respond to his presence. Just like the cowboy movies, these two put themselves into a “showdown mode.”

My gut tells me that if Ms. Parrish was white and Mr. Mosier was black, the white community would admire her aggressiveness. Instead of meek surrender, she took the bull by the horns! As for Mr. Mosier, if he’d been black instead of white, he’d been condemned by the white community as just another tough guy who got what he deserved.

Now, after having told the truth as I see it, let me say clearly, the whole incident was a tragedy for all involved. Thank God, Mr. Mosier didn’t die. Thank God, Ms. Parrish called for help and did not shoot a second time.

As for who to punish, I’d say Ms. Parrish and Mr. Mosier split the bill on his medical expenses and move on with their lives. My guess is that both individuals will spend the rest of their days punishing themselves for the poor judgment they both showed.

— Ken Miller, Charlestown

Charlestown Color Guard going strong

This is in reference to the article in The Evening News June 24, 2008, on the Jeffersonville color guard disbanding.

At Charlestown, with much smaller membership, we have an active Color Guard with members from the American Legion Post 335 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1427. We perpetuate patriotic traditions associated with holidays, ceremonies, and funerals locally. If a veteran passes away in our area and the family requests a military funeral, we provide one and we also always take care of our own membership, regardless where they are laid to rest.

On Memorial Day this year, we held ceremonies at Charlestown, New Washington, and Jeffersonville. We were honored to have former Congressman Mike Sodrel in our Color Guard at all three locations. He did a great job firing his rifles!

Always remember our veterans and those serving in our military.

— Bill Cheesman, member of Charlestown Color Guard

Reader: Don’t be so quick to judge

Some of the people who enjoy making a big deal out of Michelle Obama’s comments about being a proud American should equally attack John McCain’s wife, Cindy, for stealing painkillers from her nonprofit to feed her previous drug addiction.

Which potential First Lady seems like the better role model?

— Matthew Chinn, Jeffersonville

Reader: Couldn’t hospital help Youth Shelter?

In the present controversy about finding a proper Youth Shelter, could Floyd County ask Floyd Memorial Hospital for financial help?

Floyd County made all the bond payments for the hospital improvements of the 1960s except for one year. I was on the New Albany-Floyd County Building Authority Board in the late 1990s when the hospital was asked to make its own bond payments to ease a money crisis for Floyd County. Dan Burke, attorney at that time for the hospital, met with the Building Authority Board and the hospital obliged — for one year only.

Now, according to my information, the Indiana State Board of Accounts shows that Floyd Memorial Hospital has more than $48 million in reserves, invested. This can be verified by a phone call.

If the bond that Floyd County paid off for the hospital was a loan to the hospital, could Floyd County ask to be repaid? If it was a gift, could the hospital show its compassionate side and return the favor?

The young people at the Youth Shelter are part of Floyd County’s future, for better or worse. We must do what we can to make their prospects better.

— George Mouser, Floyds Knobs

Silver Class of ‘46 grad says it’s time for serious protest

On a visit to New Albany recently, I became aware that Silver Street School was in danger of being torn down.

It was not long ago, Sept. 11, 2006, that the Class of 1946 (of which I was a member) had a reunion there at the same time the school was celebrating its 90th anniversary. There were speeches by distinguished persons including, if memory serves me, a State Senator graduate of Silver Street School, extolling the virtues of the school. The article mentions a remark by the principal, Tony Duffy, that the school had just received the “first Exemplary Award from the state for improving each year in ISTEP test scores.”

What a short time it has been between “what a wonderful school” and “what a treasure for New Albany” and “tear down that old building.”

Each time I return to New Albany for a visit, I find time to drive by Silver Street School and recall my time there. It is always with a sense of nostalgia that I recall being posed for a class photo. The picture of the Class of 1946 in the newspaper article showed a group of smiling, alert students seated on the steps of the East Portico with Mr. Peder Espeseth, our teacher. At our reunion, we located every member of the class and had more than half attend our reunion.

Why should New Albany keep this old building?

Simply, because it is a treasure and it is still a great school. We Americans sometimes seem to rejoice in tearing down a building just because it is old. I was stationed in both Germany and Italy where there are literally thousands of buildings four or five times as old as Silver Street School. But the Europeans understand the value of antiquity. Should we not also value our school which is not only one of the oldest (if not the oldest) elementary schools in the State, but is also a gem of early 20th Century school architecture?

I understand that Mayor England supports keeping the school — three cheers for him — and I urge every person who ever attended Silver Street School to join with him in trying to save our school. It is time for protest parades, letters to the editor like that of Zack Van Winkle, letters to the School Board, and maybe even a sit-in or two!

Silver Street School is worth saving, but only those of you residing in New Albany can do it.

— Jack L. Kime, Maryville, Illinois