Letters to the Editor week of 3-3-11


(Editor’s Note: Last week’s Letter to the Editor was from State Senator Jim Smith, not former State Senator Jim Lewis. Vevay Newspapers regrets the error.)


Punishing children

To the Editor:

I just finished reading Letters to the Editor: Bullying in the February 24th, edition of the paper and I’m speechless. If I understand what the parent was saying correctly then educators of the Switzerland County School system are fostering an atmosphere of fear and mistrust (of adults) while teaching the children that bullies are protected from the terrible tattlers.

Seriously – I mean Seriously? Children are punished for going to their teachers for help? And all in an effort to keep that child from becoming labeled as a tattle tail? Are you kidding me?

Someone please tell me there is a huge misunderstanding here . . . because if this is the case, each and every one of you who turned a child away or punished them for coming to you for help should be more than ashamed of yourself.

 Paula Reitsma



To the Editor:

I recently learned of the news that the Switzerland County High School choir will not be participating in this year’s Valley Choral Festival. This is such a shame. I went to Valley all four years in high school and it was something all of us choral members looked forward to. I went to MCHS, and choir was at the very end of the totem pole. Band, theater, and every other organization in the arts had more funding, and most of all, more support. Not to mention the significant difference in funding between any of the arts and sports. I read that the reasons Switzerland County will not be participating include the state and well-being of the director’s health, and the choral members arriving home too late.

First of all, the director has stated that their health is not an issue and would love to participate in Valley. This director has 22 years of experience, who could be more qualified to prepare the choir for the Festival? The first three years I was in choir, my director was Lynn Miracle. She is an extremely talented and renowned choral director all throughout the Southern Indiana region. She retired my freshman year of high school, having well more than 22 years of choral directing experience. Mrs. Miracle still prepared us for Valley the year she was retiring and it was my first year partaking in the Festival, and by far, the best. The second reason Switzerland County will not be participating in Valley is the members of the choir will be arriving home too late. The girls from the choir who wrote the letter to the editor did a superb job with their investigative research. They stated that the girls’ swim team did not arrive home until Midnight on a recent school night, and the choir would arrive home around 11 p.m. on the evening of the festival. I was also a member of the girls’ swim team for Madison and can recall on numerous occasions where we returned home after 11 p.m., and I was much more exhausted than when returning home from Valley.

Considering all of this, I have two questions for those against Switzerland County participating in the Festival: How many sporting events occur during the year when students arrive home late? How many Valley Choral Festivals occur during the school year when students arrive home late? I’m not a member of a high school choir any longer, but I’m assuming things haven’t altered too much since I graduated, and Valley is still once a year. I also guarantee that any other events the choir participates in, they can count on one hand how many there are. I’m not sure of the real reasons Switzerland County cannot partake in Valley, but these so-called “reasons” they have given us are just plain idiotic. The choir has substantial arguments against these claims and should be taken more seriously.

The fact of the matter is, the arts are still less important than sports in the school system. Sad to admit, yes, but very true. I am not in any way badgering the sports teams, but am advocating equal importance for both the arts and sports teams. If this were my senior year and was told my choir, that I had worked my entire high school career for, could not go to Valley, I would honestly be devastated. The Valley Choral Festival is the one place and time a year that the choir members get to be themselves without being ridiculed. We get to share our love and appreciation for music that I’m sure the choral members at Switzerland County believe they’re being punished for. It is very distressing knowing they will not be able to participate in the event they have been looking forward to all year, and my heart goes out to all of the members and their director.

Heidi J. Brown


(formerly of Moorefield)

Landfill county

To the Editor:

Maybe we should bring back the zoning law that was so aggressively shot down last year . . . yeah, like most, I don’t think so either. Telling you when to take down your Christmas lights, or making you remove a junk car from your property may be a bit extreme, but what about the side of our roads? Switzerland County (in my opinion) is a beautiful county with a lot to offer whether you’re a tourist, or have plans to stay for quite some time, but the harsh reality is that our road sides really do need to be cleaned up.

I drive around Switzerland County a lot in a week’s time, and yet I’ve not seen one “No Littering” sign anywhere. Although what I do see is a lot of glass bottles, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, plastic bags, and paper along the side of our roads. Seeing that there is a stiff fine for littering or something similar to that would surely make most people think twice before just throwing their garbage out the window.

The Switzerland County Sheriff’s office, Detention and Communications Facility was built in 2005. This very nice and much needed facility can hold up to 10 times the amount of inmates than the previous facility. So you can probably guess where I’m going with this fact. Why aren’t the inmates being used to help clean up our road sides?

In addition to posting “No Littering” signs and using inmates to clean up our litter, perhaps the county could institute an “Adopt-a-mile” program. If promoted properly this would give local clubs and businesses a chance to pitch in.

I certainly can’t leave out the citizens of Switzerland County who own road front property. We, too, have a moral obligation to care for the land, that cares for us, and asks for nothing in return.

I can go on and on with ideas, but I have to stop and ask: are we really allowing liability issues or money issues to deter us from taking the necessary steps to limit the amount of garbage that is being spewed onto our road sides? With more than $8 million given to the county in 2010 from wagering and admissions at the Belterra Casino alone, I would think that we wouldn’t be. That money is for Switzerland County and one might think that just a small piece of that pie could be used to clean up our county. So in closing, I challenge our county officials, and the citizens of Switzerland County to do the right thing.

Step up and clean up.

Eric Fletcher

Near Florence.


To the Editor:

I know Mike Cooney and respect his intelligence and writing skills. I have known him personally and found him to be fair-minded and honest.

After reading “A Stone’s Throw” (February 24th), I felt compelled to reply to his comments on the state of political affairs in the U.S.A.. He stated that “the way to express our views was the ballot box” (paraphrased). I think that anyone who voted for Obama (including me) would agree that voting has been a failure in the hope of fundamental change in our system of government. The bailouts of Wall Street and huge institutions have proven that the elected officials of our country work for U.S.A., Inc., not for Main Street America.

“Taking to the streets is not the proper way” – so, what would have happened if the American Revolution had not “taken to the streets?”

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.” And what country can preserve its liberties, if the rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson.

I am not an advocate of violence, but “taking arms” can also be “taking up pens” as in seeking and spreading the truth about our government and who they serve. Follow the money and you will find that our government at its highest levels serves Wall Street corporation’s interests – not yours and mine. Corporations are enjoying record profits while unemployment, bankruptcy, and foreclosures are also at record highs.

So what do you think the people “wish for,” Mike? To keep their job? And home? That is why the people are in the streets protesting, and are more than “wishing for” – they are exercising their rights to protest.

Rocky Hollingsworth



To the Editor:

I have been a long time resident of Switzerland County. I went to school at Switzerland County High, and graduated in 1982.

All my years in school teachers always told us to have our parents to help us. Our teachers would drill this in our heads, and now we wish parents would be more involved with their children’s education, and would do more to help out with school subjects and activities.

I am a firm believer in helping children in any way I can. I was asked recently to try and help out our choir students, and I was happy to do so.

I went to the school board meeting Monday night to see why our choir students could not go to New Albany for a performance, but did not make it in time for the session about choir, but I was told by another concerned parent that the superintendent pretty much put her foot down and said we could not have a bus to take the choir students to New Albany. Well, okay, that is fine. After Monday night’s school board meeting Kathy Williams, students from choir, concerned parents and myself were offered gas money from Bill Roberts, Vern Waltz and Wayne Daugherty. I offered my time and my own car, along with Kathy Williams as well offering her time and car to take the choir students to New Albany Thursday for Choral Valley and were told to try and talk to our superintendent and principal Tuesday morning to see if she would change her mind, and let us have a bus so that we all would not be cramped and could go together.

So I, along with a few choir students and a concerned parent went to see our principal Daniel Noel about letting our choir students go.

He would not give us a reason why. All he would say is that he could not get into it with us for fear of losing his job. He told us to speak with Elizabeth Jones. On our way out of the office we ran into Elizabeth Jones. As I made an attempt to speak with her concerning the trip the choir students wanted to attend she made a discourteous look, and slammed the office door in our faces.

We have gone through the chain of command, with no results.

The reason our children wanted to go so bad is because this is a very big event for a student to attend.

This event would look great on a college application, and not only that, this event has been going on for 73 years, and the Switzerland County School Corporation, along with Madison schools, started this 73 years ago. Our choir students, and may I remind you these students are our children, have been allowed to attend this event always before, so when Elizabeth Jones would not speak to us, we as concerned parents decided to use our own cars, time, and money to take our children to New Albany Thursday.

As Thursday approached, Kathy Williams called me to inform me that Daniel Noel called the principal of New Albany Schools, to have our children along with the chaperons arrested for trespassing if our students showed up to participate in the event.

What on earth is wrong with our school board members for allowing our superintendent to act this way.

To think they would stoop so low as to have our children arrested for something Mrs. Beitzel has been teaching our students to do for the past few months. Yes, she was teaching our children the songs that would be performed at the festival. Not only that, Mrs. Beitzel has been leading our children on for the last five months to believe they had a chance to attend the Valley Choral Festival, when in fact she knew they were not going to be able to attend.

In my opinion, I feel this is a very bad action on our school board members to allow this to happen. There was no reason for our children to not have been able to attend. What is going to be taken next from our children? We as parents need to stand up for our children. Get a grip, this has to do with our children/students’ education.

Becky Jones

Rachael King

Heather Turner

Frank Rininger