News and Tribune

September 2, 2008

LETTERS: Sept. 3, 2008

Speeding on Blackiston Mill Road

I just read the letter to the editor written by a concerned citizen about the speeding on Blackiston Mill Road and would like to comment that a 3-way-stop is badly needed at Potters Lane. Placing a 3-way-stop at this intersection would help to slow traffic.

At times, it takes several minutes for the traffic to clear enough to turn right off Potters Lane onto Blackiston Mill Road and it is almost impossible to make a left turn. During the holiday season, you may as well forget trying either a right turn or left turn, as you will not make it across.

A few years ago, the mayor stated that if the city was to place a stop sign at Gutford Road, then Potter’s Lane would get a 3-way-stop. Gutford Road has a stop light and Potter’s Lane does not have their 3-way-stop.

Since Blackiston Mill Road is now a “cut-through” for Veterans Parkway for those that do not wish to use the expressway, traffic is even worse than before. Now is the time to install a three-way-stop before there is a fatality or serious accident due to heavy traffic and impatient drivers.

Thank you for the opportunity to present my view.

— Wilma Polen, Clarksville

Reader: Another liberty lost

The loss of liberty is one of the saddest losses of all. It strikes to the very heart of all freedom-loving people.

Recently, we all suffered the loss of another liberty. We lost another freedom. The New Albany City Council followed the example of Louisville and Jeffersonville and removed the liberty we had to smoke in any bar or any restaurant in that city.

It didn’t make any difference what the owners of each establishment wanted. It didn’t make any difference what the clientele wanted. It didn’t matter how “state-of-the-art” any ventilation system was. The liberty to choose to smoke or not was taken away from every potential patron of any of these establishments. The government will decide for us, and we will not smoke.

Our government continues to protect us from ourselves. We cannot be trusted to be smart enough to that on our own. Where were these guys when the first “Big Mac” was created or “The Whopper,” or “ice cream?” That’s coming next, you know? The regulation of fat content, followed swiftly by our new governmental regulated diets and our mandatory exercise programs. If you continue to partake in alcoholic beverages, shame on you!

Until that day, we will continue to wear our helmets when we ride our motorcycles and our bicycles. It doesn’t matter just how stupid the bicycle helmets make us look or feel. We will wear our seatbelts in the car. We won’t ride in the back of a pickup truck anymore, as we might hurt ourselves. Many of us will never know that freedom. We will continue to watch out for lead-based paints and pesticides. We will keep one eye open for the escaping radiation from our microwaves and our cell phones, while the government continues to shoot extra radiation at our meat and salads to protect us from bugs and salmonella. We will be more careful because our government has disallowed any other behavior.

Sleep tight tonight! Your government is watching over you! Sure they just took another one of your liberties away, but who is really more capable of making those tough choices, you or your government?

You will come and go, but your government is the eternal thing! It is your government that is the important thing, the living thing that continues to grow, to thrive and to flourish! Your government knows best! The sooner you learn to live with that, the better off you will be!

— Richard D. Carver III, Sellersburg

She’s proud of Obama, ready for change

What a historic moment for our country. For the first time, an African American (and no one fits that description better) has been nominated to be President of the United States.

As a teenage Army bride from the North applying for a passport in an Alabama court house, I was so ashamed when I saw the "whites only" drinking fountain. Today I feel so much pride in my Democratic party for moving our country toward our constitutional ideal "to form a more perfect Union", in which every boy and girl of whatever color can realistically aspire to be President.

It's not only about breaking down color barriers, though. Barack Obama is an extraordinarily gifted man whose intellect, diligence, and grace have brought him to this place. By many measures, he represents the future — generationally, demographically and philosophically.

The contrast with the Republican candidate could not be starker. McCain proposes 20th century solutions for 21st century problems. Obama pledges to create jobs by retooling our factories for the 21st century and creating a green energy economy. McCain promises to continue the failed Bush economic policies that have squeezed the middle class and increased poverty, while rewarding the wealthiest 1 percent with more tax breaks. How has that worked out for you?

We must get off this path of self-destruction. We can't let Karl Rove's slimy pranksters, with their odious lies, once again divide us and make us afraid. They have demonized so many groups and individuals that, as Republican Jack Kemp warned, the Republican Party is in danger of being reduced to 10 white guys meeting at the country club! The slash and burn policies of the Bush/Cheney Administration have so damaged the Republican brand that it's not the Grand Old Party it once was.

The United States has a lot of catching up to do. Other countries have forged ahead with universal health care, alternative energy, high-tech infrastructure and transportation systems. Meanwhile, we have squandered hundreds of billions of dollars in an unnecessary war that has cost precious lives and lowered our stature in the world. So much damage has been done over the past eight years. We need an Obama/Biden Administration to right this ship and change course. Because we're not going back. No way, no how, no McCain!

— Ruthanne Wolfe, New Albany

Reader wants truth from NA-FC School Board

In the age of information technology and scandalous corporate “accounting irregularities,” I find it hard to believe there are so many discrepancies being reported to the New Albany-Floyd County School Board.

What do we have to do to extract the actual facts from this administration?

Dr. Brooks, we want the truth!

I attended the NA-FC school board meeting on Monday Aug. 25, to support the faculty and staff of Silver Street Elementary as they were recognized for their “Exemplary”status by the state of Indiana. I, along with many other parents and community supporters of Silver Street, left the meeting bewildered by the enrollment data that was shared on the district and individual schools. The data presented reflected that the district is short 134 students, which is the equivalent of a little more than $700,000 in revenue paid by the state. Dr. Brooks stated that the school board does not want to close a school, but they are also $700,000 short. He said the answer lay somewhere in between. I can appreciate the position they appear to be in, but appearances can often be deceiving. The numbers reported in this meeting just are not adding up.

It was reported that Silver Street had 246 students last year and we were currently sitting at only 234 students. I thought these numbers sounded low, so I inquired at the school the next morning to be informed that, as of that morning, Silver Street had 256 students enrolled and in the classroom. To confuse matters even more, the administration’s Web site reports that Silver Street had 270 students last year.

By my calculations — 22 unreported students times $5,400 per student — I just found $118,800 of the $700,000 shortage!

It is my guess that if the school board accurately examines the real numbers for each school in the district, they may just find more money to offset this shortage. I would imagine the teachers would not appreciate knowing that there are discrepancies being reported in enrollment numbers as they are negotiating contracts. If I handled the reporting of critical numbers in this manner in my job, I would be fired.

Dr. Brooks, please just give us the facts — not the information you want the public to believe.

— Jennifer Grose, New Albany