Written by Don Ratzlaff Wednesday, 27 June 2007 01:36As we prepare to celebrate our freedoms next week with Fourth of July celebrations, we would do well to remind ourselves to truly embrace the freedoms we claim to be so dear. In times of war, especially unpopular ones, we’re tempted to be less tolerant of the voices of criticism and opposition in our land.
We don’t have to like the political views we hear, whether they be in the national media or local coffeeshop. But freedom of speech says they have the right to be voiced. It also means we can disagree with them—and even better, engage the speakers in respectful dialogue.
Though French in origin, the words of philosopher Voltaire in the 18th century should be the creed of every American today: “I disapprove of what you say, but...
Written by Don Ratzlaff Wednesday, 20 June 2007 09:56We want to publicly acknowledge Gordon Mohn for his contributions to the educational health of Unified School District 410 during his 14 years as superintendent. His retirement at the end of this month will bring to a close a chapter of steady and progressive leadership for the district.
Mohn’s administration has been characterized by at least two passions: that kids from all economic, social and ability backgrounds be given a fair chance to develop their potential to the fullest, and a desire to collaborate with other entities to establish new relationships and approaches that would work for betterment of all parties.
We’ll also miss his steady and thoughtful demeanor that invited conversation rather than demanded acquiescence when...
Written by Don Ratzlaff Wednesday, 13 June 2007 12:29As disappointing as a delay would be, we need to know if the district’s public-private partnership is legal.
It’s disappointing that USD 410’s voter-approved facilities-improvement project likely will be slowed, and possibly derailed, by the filing of a lawsuit by a patron who objects to the partnership between the district and Tabor College to enhance the football and track facility on the Tabor campus. The lawsuit claims joint ownership between a publicly funded institution and a privately funded institution is illegal.
Legal counsel for the district researched the issue prior to the school board moving forward with the plan, and district officials say their attorneys are confident of their position. The plaintiff says his...
Written by Laura Campbell Wednesday, 06 June 2007 10:31The folks in Marion deserve praise for putting on such an outstanding Chingawassa Days this year, despite concern that rainy weather might cause more than just Friday night’s activities to be moved indoors.
Even on that night, what fun it was to have six Elvis tribute artists travel in from both coasts and several states in between to compete in a qualifying contest for the Ultimate Elvis competition this August in Graceland. Their presence was a tribute not just to the King himself, but to the Marion community for its efforts in getting them there.
For that and the rest of the weekend fun, we say to Marion: Thank you. Thank you very much. —LC
Written by Don Ratzlaff Wednesday, 30 May 2007 11:50Even though elements of the timing and circumstances give us pause, we endorse Unified School District 410’s $6.625 million bond issue proposal and urge patrons to vote “yes” when they go to their polling places next Tuesday.
Even district leaders recognize these are not the best of times to bring to this proposal to a vote.
The Easter weekend wheat freeze raises the prospect of an average-at-best harvest, which has cast a pall over the agricultural community as well as the local businesses that depend on that income for a livelihood. The prospect of a voting in property-tax increase is even less appealing than usual.
The fire in late April at the city-owned former AMPI building raises questions about the suitability of that...
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