Letters to the Editor week of 6-12-08

337

Dump the pump

To the Editor:

With high gas prices taking a larger bite out of our budgets, there’s no better time than the present to consider finding alternative ways to get to work, and thereby “dumping the pump.”

 June 19th is the third National Dump the Pump Day so I am encouraging Hoosiers to consider doing just that – dump the pump. Our addiction to fossil fuel has helped perpetuate our driving habits but the high cost of gas has led us straight into the quandary of feeding this addiction versus cutting back our fuel consumption.

 As with all challenges, solutions abound. There are cost-efficient ways to get to work while cutting back on fuel use, improving our health and preserving the environment. The most obvious alternative is using public transportation when available. While the modes of public transportation may vary depending on where you live, if there is a bus or train readily available, then by all means, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of these options. If there are no car or van pools, consider starting one by asking your friends and neighbors if they would be interested. Advertise on a board at the library, the grocery store or even on the Internet.

 When public transportation is not an option, consider riding your bike. Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Health and Safety Director, Dave Appel, regularly rides his bike to and from work 50 miles each way. He lives in Bloomington and works in Indianapolis. Dave says that by riding his bike to work round trip not only does he save between $12-$14 but he receives tremendous health benefits because he burns over 2000+ calories a day. While this may be an extreme example, it clearly illustrates that pedal power does have its benefits.

 If you live within walking distance from your workplace, I would encourage you to set your alarm clock a little bit early, leave your car keys at home, put on a pair of comfortable walking shoes, and hit the pavement. I walk to work every day and my morning stroll gives me time to gather my thoughts for the day ahead while walking home gives me the opportunity to unwind.

 Not only will dumping the pump have a positive effect on your wallet and on your health, benefits will also be felt in our air quality. Typically, the last two weeks of June are when ozone levels are at their worst. IDEM has a “Knockout Ozone” awareness campaign during this time frame to educate Hoosiers as to how they can reduce their ozone impact. The recommendations I have highlighted here are the same as our Knockout Ozone message.

 By trying an alternative way to get to work for just one day, on June 19th, you might find that you like it. I can guarantee you will like saving money while reducing air emissions and improving your health. I know I do.

Thomas Easterly, Commissioner

Indiana Department of Environmental Management

Preserving history

To the Editor:

Some time after 1968 and the closing of Vevay High School and Patriot High School it was decided to tear down the Vevay High School building. I have been told that the presence of asbestos was the reason. It w as not renovated for posterity. The Switzerland County School Corporation had the building demolished. Fortunately, high school pictures and memorabilia were saved in an upstairs room of the grade school building. That building was renovated into offices for the superintendent of Switzerland County School Corporation. There must not have been any asbestos in that building.

A few years later a new school board decided that the pictures and memorabilia had to go. Everything was to be taken to the landfill to be destroyed. Fortunately some graduates of Vevay High School found out what was about to happen to the only thing left of a 100-plus years of school history. It is my understanding that a group showed up with pickup trucks to stop the travesty, but to no avail. They had to follow the dump trucks to the dump where they then did everything they could to save what we now have left today. I would like to know more about this event and encourage participants to call me.

All that we have been given, by those who understand that history is important, we now have in the hands of Vevay High School Alumni. We are proudly displaying all that we can at the Switzerland County High School. We need to thank the school board and school officials of Switzerland County School Corporation who understand that its history is important.

A few years later the Patriot High School mysteriously burnt to the ground. That dirty old asbestos again. I am not sure what was lost there – everything probably. I would like for someone from Patriot to fill in the details and send them to me.

Three years ago Vevay and Patriot High School Alumnus started the quest of finding and saving everything that pertained to the two high schools and every grade school that was at one time in this county. I am happy to say that w e have had a fantastic amount of success. But we know that there is still more to be saved. Patriot and Vevay are united in this effort. The Patriot Alumni and Vevay Alumni have donated $1,000 each for the cause.

It is now your turn, Vevay and Patriot graduates. We want anything pertaining to schools. Dig them out. We will make copies of pictures, graduation announcements, etc., whatever you entrust to us, and return the originals to you. Contact your Alumni officers or Bill Roberts at 427-2901, or take them to the newspaper office for me.

Bill Roberts

Bennington