Letters to the Editor week of 2-3-11


Farming history

To the Editor:

In my years here in Switzerland County, I have seen the decline of the small farmer to almost nonexistent. I am talking about the farmer that raised modest crops and raised a family on what he and she grew or sold. There will always be farming to feed the world, but we have lost the mom and pop farming of years ago. The tools of the old farmers have also disappeared from the landscape due to scrap metal prices being high. The people that once farmed with these tools will soon be gone and the knowledge and history of these tools will also be gone with them.

I know we have a historical society, but I admit I know little about the system. I think the preservation of the history of farming would be something the county would get behind and support because it has touched all their lives at one time or another.

I know the historical society bought the Bear place on River Road and is a grand river view sight, but I do not see the practicality of visiting this place on the steep hill if it is ever completed, it seems to be abandoned. I would much rather see something done about the school houses around the county. The one room school houses in the county are falling down into the ground or being torn down is a disturbing sight to me.

The flat land near town would be much more suitable for such a sight to house relics of the past. I feel the farmer has earned his or her place in history and it’s time to tell and show their history now before all is gone and there is nothing to show the younger generation. There needs to be a place where the hand tools and the machinery can be seen. Where it shows how grandma or great-grandma made butter or sewed quilts y hand.

I remember w hen the auction of the King Museum on River Road was going on, people buying the pieces of history collected by Mr. King most of his life. The conversations going around the crowd, what was this, how did this work and so on.

History is something the young and the old can enjoy and is time for such a place to be in Switzerland County. Where this heritage is so strong. The farm history of all the tools is still around and cheap to buy, just needs a place to be shown and people that care.

Dave Peters

Near Vevay

Aftershock program

To the Editor:

It is my opinion many people still do not know about The Y Aftershock extended school day program being offered at the Middle School every Monday through Thursday.

Aftershock is for students in grades 6, 7 and 8. It begins at 3 p.m. It ends at 5:30 p.m. It offers bus service to Pleasant, East Enterprise and Patriot at no charge. Each extended day begins with a snack at no charge.

After snack, Aftershock gets down to business. There are three to four licensed teachers every day to assist students with their homework and to instruct enrichment sessions. Yes, at no charge to the students.

Aftershock now offers homework sessions at 3:30 and 4:30 daily. Students just need to bring their agenda books with their homework assignments to Aftershock. Oh, yes, Aftershock works with teachers to make sure what homework has been assigned. All this is a free service to you.

The enrichment classes change every month. This month the classes include “Photography,” “I Heart To Be Healthy,” and “The Art of Graffiti.” Our enrichment classes are being instructed by Bud Acton, Kaleesa Archer, Adam Cole, Brad Dornbusch, Brooke Levell and Casie Jesop this month.

Can you believe this? All a student needs is to have a registration form filled out, front and back, by a guardian to begin attending Aftershock.

Aftershock is planning a field trip on a school day in May for all students who have attended 30 days.

Can you believe all this? The best kept secret in Switzerland County . . . an unbelievable opportunity for our students to be better prepared for class and experience new and exciting classes at no charge to anyone.

Nancy Peters

Craig Township

Education concerns

To the Editor:

Representative P. Eric Turner seems to think all citizens in our community are “confused” about charter schools. By Mitch Daniels and Representative Turner’s rationale . . . if the public is confused then Representative Turner and Governor Daniels are at fault for not being good teachers and should be evaluated, given two weeks notice without a hearing and fired from office. Let’s start applying what they propose for education to them and see how they like it. We are not confused. We know when big government is trying to take over local control of schools and hand it over to big business interests. What do you think it means when a big business interest “sponsors” a school? Money means influence and capitulation by those who need it. What does Mitch Daniels truly know about education in our local communities and serving local needs? His past experience only shows that he is in bed with big business and is only concerned with serving their needs, not our local communities. He is openly contemptuous and hostile to education, students, teachers, superintendents and anyone who asks intelligent questions about this issue, and he misleads by using statistics that sample comparisons the like of comparing apples to oranges.

Fact: Last year, 30 of Indiana charter schools finished at the bottom of ISTEP testing.

Fact: A 2009 study by Stanford University found that 37 percent performed worse and 46 percent showed no big difference and only 17 percent showed improvement over some public schools.

Fact: Many charters recruit top students and get rid of poor performers, boosting the schools’ test scores and saddling traditional schools with a disproportionate number of students with disabilities, behavior problems and poor English language skills. Is this really democracy in action?

Fact: A 2010 study by the UCLA-based Civil Rights Project found that charter schools tend to be more segregated than traditional schools not only according to race but primarily among high versus low income. With this economy, everyone is a few moths away from poverty if they lose their job.

Mitch Daniels continues to fast track legislative bills so elected officials and their constituents do not have time to fully investigate the entire impact on citizens and taxpayers of Indiana. He is using Indiana as a stepping stone for his political ambitions. Remember the Indiana Toll Road fiasco that he cites as an accomplishment? Indiana lost 65 years of revenue in how he handled this. Cintra-Macquarie invested 3.6 billion and the return on their investment will be $120 billion over the 75 year lease period. Governor Daniels is either ignorant or clever like a fox and neither is good for Indiana taxpayers.

Law makers are voting along party lines . . . these issues deserve more attention than that. I urge all concerned citizens to contact their representative now and say “No” to these so-called education reforms. Call daily . . . let them know the future of education in Indiana is important to you and to our children’s futures.

Sharon Hansel

Near Mount Sterling