News and Tribune

December 11, 2012

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For Dec. 11


GOP head wants campaigning out of schools

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels claimed at a recent education reform conference that teachers used illegal and improper methods to oust Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett (Groppe, Gannett News Service).

“If you’re a fan of anything-goes politics, it was a creative use of illegal — but still creative use — of public resources,” Daniels said at a Washington, D.C., meeting of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. “We got emails sent out on school time by people who were supposed to be teaching someone at the time, all about Tony Bennett. We have parents who went to back to school night to find out how little Jebbie is doing and instead they got a diatribe about the upcoming election.”

The head of the state’s biggest statewide teachers union said Daniels is wrong.

“Those accusations are incorrect,” said Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association. “The governor wasn’t in any schools to see any of those things happen.”

Well, if Mr. Schnellenberger wants physical evidence of what we are saying, all he has to do is go to any public school in Indiana. Come here to Floyd County and we will show you pictures of teachers leaving boxes of political bumper stickers at classroom doors, political campaign literature encouraging votes against Tony Bennett in the teachers’ lounge and students who testify that their teachers are encouraging them to insist that their parents vote against the superintendent.

 It is time for us to admit it. This is happening in our schools. And, it is time for us to insist that the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. board demand a change. Political campaigning in our public schools should be forbidden. Violations of this policy should be punished. Teacher union business should be conducted away from our schools.

A huge percentage of parents are tired of the antics of the ISTA and a small number of bad teachers. We feel this kind of “education” has no place in schools that our taxes are paying for.

School board: Clean up this mess or get someone to replace you who will.

— Dave Matthews, chairman, Floyd County Republican Party

Reader seeks cooperation, understanding in politics

Dear Republican friends,

Get a grip. Not all of us who voted for President Barack Obama were influenced by Marxist glory, or flower power or the desire to masticate the Republican Party.

Some of us are just garden-variety Democrats who also voted for Republicans we happened to like. Losing a presidential election does not mean that the Republican Party is powerless. They still have everything they had before Nov. 6 — strongholds in several states, state governments (Indiana for example) and many local governments. Its leaders still have their enormous wealth and their leadership positions in business and society.

It seems to be true that the United States is headed in a different direction, whether its for better or worse, only time will tell. The world is changing. Technology, immigration, new ideas and the forces beyond our control might cause our country to go far left on some issues and to the extreme right on others.

Calling each other bad names doesn’t seen to be helpful. We need to work together to keep our country that best in the world, Bipartianship, tripartianship and nonpartisanship, it seems to me, should go a long way toward keeping a strong democratic government that is the light of the world.

— Flora Clipper, Jeffersonville

Thanks for helping make New Albany great

On Saturday, Nov. 17, while many people were preparing for the upcoming holiday, a small but diligent band of about 30 volunteers gave up their Saturday morning to clean, weed, plant, mulch, fill planters and in general, beautify downtown New Albany. This was an initiative of Keep New Albany Clean and Green and it was inspiring to see the community come together to make this happen.

Thirty planters filled with winter kale and pansies were placed around the downtown area. The following weekend, another 30 were planted and placed. They look great.

Thanks to the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County and Samtec for providing the necessary funds to purchase the planters. Thank you MainSource Bank for doughnuts, coffee and water to support the volunteers and sincere appreciation goes to the many volunteers who worked so hard to make it happen.

The city has come such a long way in the past few years but there is still so much more that can be done to make New Albany even a greater town. If we continue to work together for the common good, the city will continue to attract business and New Albany will be a destination. Look for even more great things to come and find ways to get involved. This is what makes out community great.

— Jerry Finn, New Albany

Don’t like water rates? Capture your own

Sellersburg’s water rates could double. Are you mad as hell, Sellersburg?

Let it be righteous anger agreeable unto God.

The governing bureaucratic men went to charge the people of Sellersburg for water. The God of Heaven made the water and it is free. Whom do you follow, fallible lying men whose motive is to sink Sellersburg into deficit?

My grandparents and yours thirsted for water when this land was virgin. They fell trees to build houses and dug cisterns. Are we any more or less than they?

 With every natural cloudburst there are pennies falling from Heaven. These are the same rain drops that replenish the rivers, lakes, wells and cisterns, and that those bureaucratic men feel righted to charge you for.

Be of good cheer and catch for yourselves those pennies form Heaven that flow from your rooftops down the pipe into a rain barrel you have provided or to fill a recently dug cistern. Bear the soul of your pioneering grandparents and use the natural water that God himself provided for free.

— Leroy Heil, Jeffersonville