News and Tribune

January 29, 2013


Art teacher comments on Pilot House project

I was so disappointed to read an article in the Jan. 7 issue of the News and Tribune on the status of the Pilot House project. If you had contacted anyone from the Pilot House group, we could have prevented some of the inaccuracies in his reporting.

Unfortunately, the overall plan for the future of downtown Jeffersonville has changed significantly since the Pilot House project was initiated. Many of the proposed projects that would have helped to make the renovation and use of the old school cafeteria building feasible are no longer part of the masterplan. 

Such an ambitious endeavor requires a lot of groups and intentions to be in alignment, and they no longer are. Jeffersonville City Attorney Les Merkley indicated that we had not fulfilled our requirements; we had in fact, completed the necessary documents, but they were no longer relevant. We believe that it is prudent to be practical and realistic, so we have changed our plan.

The decision of the museum group to change their plan was not a “blow” to the Pilot House project, but a logical step that took place after all parties involved with the Pilot House agreed that current conditions were not conducive to completion of the project as intended. We still hope to continue to have events and projects that combine art and history.

The proposed art facility is not dead in the least; it’s just not currently going to occur in the old cafeteria building anytime soon. The Jeffersonville Arts Alliance was formed last summer and has held classes and three JAM (Jeffersonville Arts Movement) sessions. Each of these sessions has attracted between 40 and 70 participants to create a temporary art installation. 

The “Day of the Dead” masks that were displayed in October on Spring Street were created in one of the JAM sessions. The sessions are held at Jeffersonville High School, with the encouragement and support of Greater Clark County Schools. The school corporation is a fantastic partner in our fledgling efforts to bring public art programs to Jeffersonville, and we fully expect to bring the City of Jeffersonville in as a partner in the near future.

Art has a place in Jeffersonville, and the evidence of this has been obvious during our full JAM sessions. We are excited about our plans for the future, and we only have one requirement — be positive. There is no place for negativity and gossip in our world.

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— Dawn Struck, Jeffersonville


Government needs to take action

In November, the American people decided to give Barack Obama, the Senate Democrats, and House Republicans a second chance. Now that they have all been sworn into office, it is time for them to get to work.

Over the last four years, both sides in Washington have played games, they have created crisis upon crisis to try to one up their opponents, all the while continuing to ignore the most pressing issues that face the American people.

Most recently, in a lame-duck session of Congress, after the president was securely voted into a second term, they created a lot of hype over what was called a “fiscal cliff.” This crisis was created by a series of deals made over the last two years.

In the ultimate deal that was passed to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff,” taxes went up on all Americans earning a paycheck (after the President and Democrats promised not to let that happen for anyone making under $250,000 a year) and nothing was done to curb spending.

Washington must take serious steps now to solving our financial problems. Over the next three months the debt ceiling, sequestration cuts and expiring continuing resolution and annual budget have to be addressed. How do we approach these critical issues? 

First, Congressman Young is holding constituent meetings from 1:45 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, in Jeffersonville. Call his office at 812-288-3999 for an appointment. We deserve to be a part of the conversation and an opportunity to discuss the critical votes that lie ahead.

Second, the president in 2008 promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. The Republicans in the House vowed to cut $100 billion in real spending after gaining a majority in the 2010 midterm elections. Both of those promises were broken and since the American people have given them a second chance, it is time to make good on those promises. 

Finally, the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in more than 1,360 days. All Americans should be outraged by this. The Senate must pass a budget now. 

These are just baby steps we have to climb to overcome our debt problems, but they are responsible places to start. After all, the president himself has recently been calling for a responsible approach to solving our problems, so let’s hold him to his word.

Thank you.

— Lisa Morris, Sellersburg


Remembering the old team

Several members of our 1963 baseball team have  passed on. My hope is that those of us left will get to read and remember each other. It lets us know just how precious life is. Here is my poem:

Our Old Baseball Team

I thought of our old baseball team, several have gone on ahead;

The thought caused my eyes to gleam by all those names I read.

We are the Red Devils of old, most don’t remember our names;

Some bodies broken, some are cold, many attended our games.

The games and memories in our past, I still remembered all their names;

Time gone by even so fast, our pitchers threw no flames

Our coach Bolton, they called Doc a good coach and funny guy;

We all thought he was our rock, then a tear it filled my eye.

— George L. Dorman, Clarksville