Letters
Letters Policy
 
DeWittDailyNews.com welcomes letters to the editor, as a way we can let our readers and listeners sound off on the issues most important to them. If you wish to submit a letter, please note the following guidelines: 
 
  • All letters should be no more than 500 words in length, and should include the writer's name, address and phone number. We will not publish street address, e-mail address or phone number; rather, we reserve the right to contact writers to determine their validity.
     
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  • All letters become property of DeWitt Daily News.com and Kaskaskia Broadcasting, Inc., dba WHOW/WEZC Radio, and are subject to editing for length, content, grammar, punctuation at the editor's discretion.
     
  • Material that may libel or slander an individual or group will neither be accepted nor posted.
     
  • You may email letters to whow@randyradio.com; to ensure your message is received, please include "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line.
 
We look forward to hearing from you.

Letter to the Editor on Clinton School District and COVID

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted March 29, 2021

 

Dear Editor:

 

One year ago, teachers and students experienced a change in education that no one expected. COVID took away fourth quarter in-class learning in every school district in Illinois and learning was accomplished remotely with teacher’s instruction. Everyone hoped school would return to “normal” in the fall.

 

We have yet to reach that point even now. In the Clinton School District, there is in-class learning at the schools which requires masks and social distancing. And there is online learning at home using the Edmentum Online Learning Program. A tough decision to choose between the two for both parents and students.

 

In-class learning isn’t what it used to be, but the teachers are doing their best. Online learning is a whole different story. No teachers to ask questions and no other students to collaborate with. Learning is done on your own.

 

The Clinton School District established a policy over the summer that required parents make a choice between in-class and online learning before the school year began. After a week, several parents requested a change from online to in-class learning. They were understandably unprepared for the responsibility. It became clear that online learning had some weaknesses, especially for parents and students experiencing it for the first time.

 

In mid-October, the administration raised the question of online students returning to in-class learning at the beginning of the second quarter.  The teachers had reservations, so the school board made no changes to the policy at that time. The board did amend the policy to allow parents to switch learning styles at the end of the first semester.

 

Research indicates in-class learning offers the best opportunity for success.. Two weeks ago I spoke personally to Curt Nettles, the superintendent of the Clinton School District, and I spoke to every school board member over the phone. Each person I spoke to said they want all students back in class because they feel it is in the best interest of the students. I then attended the March school board meeting and asked the school board to allow online students to return to in-class learning at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

 

The school board discussed my proposal at the end of the meeting. Despite Nettles and the school board members telling me that students should be in school, Nettles reminded the school board that the current board policy restricted online students from returning to class after the beginning of the second semester and he thought teachers still had their reservations. These two items swayed board members against considering my proposal.

 

Here is the dilemma that faces the Clinton School District. Everyone believes students learn best in the classroom with teachers. The Superintendent told me so. The school board members told me so. And the teachers should believe it or I question their motivation for being in the classroom. If everyone agrees, then how in good conscience can the school district tell students they can’t return?

 

The answer is they haven’t. Some students have been allowed to return during the third quarter. The returns required “extenuating” circumstances and only Nettles decided whether the circumstances warranted the returns. One person in the district holds the power to include or exclude a student’s presence to learn in the classroom. Superintendent or not, one person’s opinion of what is or what isn’t extenuating offers no recourse.

 

There are students in the district that want to switch from online learning to in-class learning immediately. I personally know of at least two. I also know that their in-class teachers don’t have any reservations regarding their return. Both of these students have been told no. So why won’t they be allowed to return?  Because of the school board’s policy not permitting online learners returning and their circumstances don’t meet Nettles’ criteria. 

 

Can anything be done to correct this? Yes. Contact the school board members. Their phone numbers are on the Clinton School District website. Let them know your opinion of the board policy restricting online learners from switching to in-class learners immediately. The board members have the ability to call a special meeting to discuss this policy and adjust it as soon as possible. The students deserve your efforts.

 

Karl Diener
Clinton USD 15 Teacher (Retired)

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Station Editorial on DeWitt County Regional Planning Commission Decision to Avoid Extensive Litigation on Wind Farms

STATION EDITORIAL

Posted March 22, 2021

 

This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.

 

We applaude the recent decision by the DeWitt County Regional Planning Commission when they voted not to recommend attempting to rescind the Alta Farms  proposal to build a wind farm in northwest DeWitt County.  

 

In that meeting, DeWitt County State's Attorney Dan Markwell indicated that rescinding what's called the "S-U-P" allowing the Alta Farms project to proceed, could result in legal and financial headaches for DeWitt County.

 

The issue of wind farms in DeWitt County, has been a very emotional one over the past several years, with strong feelings on both sides of the issue.  But, after extensive testimony to the R-P-C and the County Board as a whole on 2 different occasions, the County Board narrowly voted in favor of the wind farm ordinance, thus allowing Enel Green Power's Tradewind Energy Alta Farms wind project to proceed.

 

We're not here to re-hash the merits or de-merits of wind farms in DeWitt County.  We're looking at this strictly from the costs of extensive litigation, that DeWitt County taxpayers would end up paying.

The DeWitt County Board has a right to hold the developer accountable in every phase of construction.  To not do that is shirking their responsibility.  But, there's a difference between providing accountability, and building legal road blocks which would mean some very expensive lawyer bills to be paid by the county, with no guarantee of the outcome.

 

We hope that both sides of this emotional issue will realize that further litigation against the other, will just fill the lawyer's pockets, and could possibly not have the outcome they want.

 

We encourage the members of the DeWitt County Board to continue being thorough in making sure that all of the taxpayers' money is being spent correctly and prudently.  

 

Because, that's what they're elected to do.

 

That's our opinion, we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.

 

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Letter to the Editor: DeWitt County Regional Planning Commission Made a Wise Decision

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted March 18, 2021

 

Dear Editor:

 

Earlier this week, the DeWitt County RPC made a wise decision for the future of our county. They opted not to recommend attempting to rescind the Alta Farms SUP.

 

In the meeting it was noted that our County States Attorney, Dan Markwell, had advised not attempting to rescind the SUP as it could create a financial/legal predicament for the County.

 

I urge the County Board to think about the future of our County when they consider this item as well. 

 

Sincerely,

Becky Fatheree, Clinton 

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