FLOYD COUNTY —
England responds to Clere story
I am writing in response to Daniel Suddeath's article in the Tuesday March 23, 2010, edition of The Tribune entitled “City Ready to seal the deal?”
This is the third time in as many months that State Representative Ed Clere has taken it upon himself to announce the conclusion of important negotiations between the City of New Albany and State of Indiana. While I understand that Mr. Clere seeks kudos and political points as he is heads into his campaign to seek re-election to a second term as our State Representative, I think it is inappropriate for him to be the spokesman of City of New Albany business without coordinating with my office.
In late December 2009, Lt. Governor Becky Skillman visited New Albany to announce the award of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant for the S. Ellen Jones Neighborhood. The details of that event were conveyed to my office at the eleventh hour via an e-mail from Ed Clere. Mr. Clere did not confer with City Hall. We had to scramble to appropriately welcome the Lt. Governor.
More recently, Mr. Clere announced that he brokered a deal with the Indiana State Revolving Loan Fund for sanitary sewer bonds, stating that it would slash the City’s proposed rate increase in half to 35 percent. After reading the fine print, however, it was obvious to everyone that the rate would not be cut in half. In fact, it would only be decreased to 64 percent once the full increase kicked in, and the deliberations of the Common Council continue.
But Mr. Clere's premature announcement of the Ind. 111 relinquishment tops them all. This deal has not been consummated, although I believe we now have a “meeting of the minds” with Mr. Zier of InDOT. Moreover, Mr. Clere's premature “leak” to the press now jeopardizes this deal, as he has caused confusion among the Common Council members and others, like Mr. Clere, who have not been party to all of the details of the negotiations.
Mr. Clere certainly deserves recognition for the role he plays as “ombudsman” in city-state negotiations. However, he should be careful about what he says and when he says it.
At the appropriate time, in conjunction with InDOT, the England Administration will release details of the Ind. 111 relinquishment agreement and how it will benefit the citizens of New Albany. In the mean time, maybe Mr. Clere can persuade the State of Indiana to provide some stimulus grant funding to fix New Albany’s sewers. $3.5 million dollars like he got Georgetown would be a great start!
— Douglas B. England
Mayor of New Albany
Athletics: the other half of education
We are living in challenging times!
I am not speaking about the spirit with which one high school football team or basketball team challenges another or the courage that is required for a young high school wrestler to face an intimidating opponent.
Instead, I’m referring to the economic challenges facing school corporations throughout Indiana. Budget cuts not only threaten the quality of the classroom experience, they also put “extracurricular” activities, such as high school sports, at risk.
In reality, referring to activity programs (such as athletics, band, drama, debate, etc.) as “extracurricular” is a misnomer. They actually are “co-curricular” due to the many life lessons that one learns through participation.
The role that athletics play in our state’s high schools is not to be taken for granted, nor is it to be taken lightly. Numerous research studies prove that student-athletes are more successful than students who choose not to participate in athletics.
Evidence of the value of activity and athletic programs is more than anecdotal. Consider these facts: In the publication, “No Child Left Behind: the facts about 21st Century Learning,” published by the United States Department of Education, it was reported that students who spent no time in extracurricular activities were 49 percent more likely to use drugs and 37 percent more likely to become teenage parents.
Researchers writing in a 2004 article published in the “American Journal of Health Behavior” showed that students participating in organized high school sports were 25 percent less likely to be current cigarette smokers.
Certainly, at the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. we are more focused on athletic participation than on other activities, so many of my thoughts are centered on the value of education-based athletics in our schools. However, I believe these concepts are applicable to other co-curricular activities as well.
Not only do high school athletic programs produce better students, they serve as a source of pride for local high schools, unify communities, and develop character. Additionally they provide a unique opportunity for teenagers to learn much needed life skills that may not be a part of the classroom curriculum.
Athletic programs provide valuable lessons for practical situations. Where else can a teenager learn the value of teamwork, the importance of sportsmanship, and the lesson that success is a by-product of hard work? Where else can a high school student learn self-discipline, build self-confidence, and develop the skills to handle competitive, pressure-packed situations? These are all products of education based athletics and are qualities they will need in order to become responsible, productive citizens.
When I was a high school principal, I always treasured those dedicated teachers who were devoted to inspiring their students to learn and appreciate their particular discipline whether it be physics, calculus, literature or a foreign language. These educators were knowledgeable, stimulating people to have on a faculty. However, by necessity, the focal point of all outstanding classroom teachers must be on the academics.
Therefore, unless they are taught at home, and unfortunately many are not, where are our young people going to learn those essential life skills that are an innate component of competitive athletics?
If we have that resolve to resist the temptation to make the cost of competing prohibitive or, worse yet, to totally eliminate athletic programs in our high schools, the winner will be our state’s young people. They need all the help we can give them as they enter a global society that is increasingly complex, fast-paced and competitive.
— Blake Ress, Commissioner of the IHSAA
FLOYD COUNTY —
England responds to Clere story
- >> Submit a Letter to the Editor
- READER LETTER: It’s time to wake up, America!
- Reader: Pence’s health care priorities out of line
- NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For June 6
- NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For June 5
- MAILBAG: Volunteers needed
- LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: May 29, 2013
- LETTER: Oklahomans need our help
- NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For May 22
- NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For May 21
- More Letters Headlines