Letters to the Editor

Fund pays tribute to Bettye Weber

I lost a dear friend and neighbor last week. Bettye Weber was known and loved by hundreds of students at Floyd Central where she taught English for many years. She couldn’t go anywhere around Floyds Knobs or New Albany without getting a shout out of “Hi, Ms. Weber!” She always remembered their names. Many of her former students have expressed their appreciation in posts to the Floyd Central Alumni Facebook page, which also has an obituary.

I knew Bettye first as my children’s teacher and as a neighbor in the Knobs, but we became close friends when we worked with the grassroots community group, Save Our Knobs. Betty was one of the founders of the organization that successfully worked to maintain the beauty and rural character of our community. She was always the enthusiastic organizer of the Save Our Knobs annual picnic — a neighborhood potluck that brought neighbors together for an update on land use planning in the county and a forum for candidates for local office. Bettye was a passionate environmentalist and loved her rural home and farm on Campion Road.

But as much as Bettye loved her home and her students, she may have loved her cats more. She had quite a collection — she didn’t know exactly how many, but she knew their personalities and named most of them. Her husband, Dan, used to say that he had a herd of cattle and Betty had a herd of cats. The cats were strays or rescues or had been born on the farm. They lived outdoors and patrolled the barns and grounds, and each one had a place in Bettye’s heart.

As a tribute to Betty and her cats, her friends from Save Our Knobs have set up a fund in her memory at the Floyd County Animal Rescue League. Anyone who wants to honor Bettye with a gift to this fund, may send a check to the FCARL, P.O. Box 285, New Albany IN 45151, and note that it is for the Bettye Weber Memorial Fund.

Carol B. Tobe, Floyds Knobs

Create 3-digit suicide crisis number

September is Suicide Prevention Month and it’s important that we are there for each other and take steps to prevent suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s theme for the month is to #KeepGoing, by taking simple actions to safeguard our mental health and save lives. From learning the warning signs for suicide and what to do if you are worried someone is struggling, to bringing education programs to your community, we can all learn new ways to help each other save lives.

One action I’m taking is to urge my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health. When someone is in acute crisis, it’s hard for them to think clearly, and even reaching out for help can be a struggle. For this reason, it is vital that Congress pass the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (H.R.4194/S.2661) to make a three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline a reality. This legislation will provide the funding and resources needed by crisis centers across the country that support those struggling with their mental health and thoughts of suicide.

In this time of uncertainty, we all need to find new ways to connect and support each other.

Together, we #KeepGoing.

Sheridan Hamilton, Louisville

Correction

An Opinions page letter that ran in Wednesday’s News and Tribune misattributed a saying; it should have stated:

An Immodest Proposal (Apologies to Jonathan Swift).

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