Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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Letters to the Editor

Gothenburg school is a jewel

I had the pleasure of touring Gothenburg Public Schools on Saturday, July 2, with the GHS Class of 1991 20-year reunion group. Even though I currently have two children in the system and go to events there regularly, I still wanted to take part in that tour because I am just awestruck by that facility. It is still unbelievable to me that a town of 3,500 people has such a wonderful facility and that the administration now has to deal with the “problem” of a student population that is growing faster than ever projected.

Another thing that struck me was the pride and passion that superintendent Mike Teahon had when he gave that tour. As a taxpayer in District 20, I am truly proud of the way in which my tax dollars are being spent.

I appreciated the openness and transparency displayed by Mr. Teahon when talking about all aspects of the school system. He is proud to tell anyone the whole story anytime they want to take the time to listen.

Mr. Teahon commented that he has given a tour nearly every weekend this summer. He does not have to do that. He did not have to give up part of his holiday weekend for me. He did that because he has a passion and love for his school and his community and he is proud to share the story.

The heart of every small community is their school. In a day when many small schools are struggling to keep their doors open, Gothenburg is not only keeping the doors open, they are remodeling and adding on to parts of the facility while not placing any further burden on the taxpayers. The planning and forethought of our superintendent and his board is second to none.

Scott Bartels, Gothenburg, GHS Class of 1991


Rebuttal reinforced my point

In my June 22 letter I wrote about the Bush administration’s handling of funding for democracy promotion and civil society groups in Egypt. The writer of a June 29 letter quoted, “The Government of Egypt has resisted USAID/Egypt’s democracy and governance program...” and “Per the Egyptian government’s complaints, the U.S. now limits it’s funding to NGOs registered with the (Egyptian) government, therefore excluding most human rights groups...” They wrote, “Most times there are two sides to a story.”

I fail to see how this added information is another side of the story. It only reinforces my point that (as perhaps the weakest president we have ever had) Obama didn’t want that fight and cut funding for the people of Egypt. I was under the impression that Democrats are the “party of the people.” Obama helped bring about the likelihood that radicals (Muslim Brotherhood) will come to power there. He seems to have no problem funding whatever government that might bring. Will they keep the Suez Canal open?

Bush was under the same pressure from the Egyptian government, but had the determination to go around President Mubarak, who I wrote, was no humanitarian toward his people. From a Washington Post article: “The George W. Bush administration tried to change the dynamic regarding civil society funding, though its effort met with fierce resistance by the Egyptian government.” and “The Bush administration’s effort was also backed by Congress, which...directed that assistance shall not be subject to the prior approval by the government of any foreign country.”

In the same article: “Toward the end of Bush’s term, his fiscal year 2009 budget proposed spending $45 million on democracy and good-governance programs…$20 million on promoting civil society…the same as 2008.” and “A 2009 audit of Egyptian aid by the USAID inspector general found that the results of the U.S. government’s democracy effort were mixed, though the greatest success was achieved in programs funded directly by the United States.” Since we were already giving them money, it seems to me that Bush’s policy was more effective (and less harmful).

The writer found it ironic that Republican tea partiers are against funding socialism in our country, “but don’t seem to mind the aid that goes to foreign countries.” First of all, tea partiers are not exclusively Republican. Many are also Libertarians and fiscal Democrats. Secondly, the broad statement about foreign aid shows ignorance of tea party views. Many oppose involvement in foreign ventures, e.g. presidential candidate Ron Paul. Nothing in my letter implied that I was for or against the funding. I wrote, “at least there was peace.” But, there was also corruption and suffering.

Bruce K. Rutherford, author of “Egypt After Mubarak,” commented on Obama’s cuts in contrast to his Cairo speech. “There was the perception that he did the opposite of what he said he would do and there is anger and disillusionment at the U.S. and Obama in general among almost everyone I talk to in Egypt.” Thanks Barry!

Neil A. Davis, Gothenburg


A successful Walk due to many

The Fourth Annual Dawson County Walk to End Alzheimer’s was held on Wednesday, June 15, at the Cozad Country Club. The generosity and compassion of the residents of Dawson County was once again evident at this year’s walk!

The enthusiasm of the teams who walked the course, the friendly competition of the teams who golfed, the numbers of businesses, organizations, and individuals who donated, and the perfect weather resulted in the success of the event. As has been tradition, this year’s results exceeded last year with a final total of just over $12,000.00 raised.

I would like to extend personal appreciation to the Walk’s committee members: Michelle Hecox and Tish Habe of Hilltop Estates, Patti Herndon of Golden Living Center and Debbie Riley and Heather Strickland of Park Avenue Estates. In spite of their already busy schedules, these five women “gave it their all” to help make the Walk a success. I would also like to thank the volunteers who gave their time to assist the day of the Walk.

Very special gratitude goes to Cozad Country Club and its manager, Tanya Phaby. Tanya and her staff went out of their way to insure an enjoyable afternoon for all participants. Cozad Country Club donated over $800 in green fees and cart and club rental. The clubhouse and other amenities were made available to us at no charge. The residents of Dawson County are privileged to have such a fine club available for their enjoyment.

As our country’s population ages, the numbers of persons afflicted with Alzheimer’s is rapidly increasing. Every 69 seconds someone new is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. A year ago studies reported every 71 seconds.

A year ago Alzheimer’s was the nation’s 7th leading cause of death. It is now the 6th leading cause. Each year there are more deaths resulting from Alzheimer’s than breast and prostate cancer combined.

There is not yet a cure but research continues to discover strategies for treatments and getting closer to finding the cause. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s plays a large part in supporting that research and offering help to victims and support for their families. The generosity, care, and love given by the residents and businesses of Dawson County will help reach the goal of “a world without Alzheimer’s.”

My sincere gratitude goes out to everyone who participated and donated to this year’s Dawson County Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Linda Butterfield, Chairperson

2011 Dawson County Walk to End Alzheimer’s


Let’s really see rest of the story

The rest of the story? Ok, Let’s look at the rest of the story.

Anywhere you go in Nebraska, the “cost per pupil” figure is calculated the same…by the State of Nebraska. You can look those costs up for any school district in the State. When you do, you will see that only eight have a lower cost per pupil than does Gothenburg. In Dawson County, Gothenburg has the lowest cost per pupil of any public school…$688/year lower than Cozad and $828/year lower than Lexington. In fact, Gothenburg is $1,488/year lower than the state-wide average. When Mr. Teahon said we have one of the lowest “costs per pupil” in Nebraska, he was stating a demonstrable fact; he wasn’t hiding some secret relating to your tax bill and he darn sure wasn’t lying to you.

No, those costs don’t include the cost of bond repayment, and there is reason. Bonds pay for buildings over a 20- to 25-year period. The buildings last for 75-100 years. Eight hundred students a year use this building so over the next 80 or so years, that means 64,000 students will benefit from this school. Did you figure that in when you looked at your tax bill?

Also, while the State Constitution mandates we provide an education for the children of Gothenburg (which is what the cost-per-pupil is measuring), it does not mandate the age or size our school buildings must be. The residents of District 20—let me emphasize that—the residents, the people who live, work, shop and worship here, chose by way of an election to increase their taxes above and beyond the annual cost-per-pupil to provide for the school buildings we now have. If you lived here, you would have been able to express your opinion through your vote…but you don’t live here.

I have read your letters telling the Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District how to run its system, your letter complaining that somehow it wasn’t “fair” that you didn’t get to vote for a new school in a district in which you don’t live, your letter to me when I was on the board of education for District 20 telling me I should “investigate” one of our teachers because she came from South America, the Chamber of Commerce on how to run the fall Harvest Festival, the city council on how to run the city, the county on how they should clean out road ditches and now basically calling the superintendent of our school system a liar.

Mr. Klein, as I said, you don’t live here. You inherited some land here, but by your own choice you are not a member of this community. You are a member of a community in Colorado. You talk about the family farm, but truthfully, yours isn’t a family farm it is a farm owned by your family. A significant difference.

If you want us to listen to your advice, move back. Instead of being an absentee landlord with no interest in the area except how much money you can make from your property, farm the ground yourself. Buy your pickup here. Buy your food here. Go to church here, get on the city council or school board…in other words, join THIS community.

Your feelings and beliefs may not change, but your voice would have more relevance if you lived here and participated in the decision making entities. If nothing else you might actually learn what an effective superintendent of schools Mr. Teahon is and the fact that, without his excellent budgeting and financial management of our district, your taxes would be even higher.

Mark Peyton, Gothenburg


Swim meet goes swimmingly

On Saturday, June 18, the Gothenburg Swim Team hosted Minden, Lexington and Elwood with approximately 165 swimmers competing in 134 events, for a total of around 570 splashes. The meet went very smoothly and could not have without all of the community support we received in the days leading up to the meet.

We appreciate Frito-Lay for donating chips, as well as Pony Express Chevrolet and Runza for donating ice for the concession stand. We’d also like to express gratitude the City of Gothenburg for spraying around the pool for mosquitoes, the pool manager and guards for prepping the pool and guarding during the meet, and especially all of the community members who came to support the team and cheer for our swimmers.

We are reminded, once again, how fortunate we are to live in this town!

The Gothenburg Swim Team


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