Archive for Thursday, May 13, 2004

Letters to the editor

May 13, 2004

To the editor:

Friends of Baldwin City Recreation would like to extend a big thanks to all who helped make this year's lake clean up effort a big success. Thank you Dr. Boyd for the donation of trees. They are taking off tremendously and we promise to keep a close eye on them. Thanks to Gary Dick of Custom Mobile Equipment and Frank Foye of Santa Fe Market for the wonderful picnic tables. They are beautiful and something the community can be proud of ... go enjoy them! Thanks to the Boy Scouts and the many others who showed up in the rain to help us. The improvements continue as weather allows.

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I would also like to make a short note in thanks to our community for regarding the lake improvements with respect. In a time when our youth is so product conscious (dolphin free, sweatshop free ...) I would hope this same generation realizes the value in the community effort at the lake and would regard the lake as property deserving respect. Vandalism has been a huge and sad deterrent. Destruction of property is a reflection of the perpetrators' ignorance and selfishness.

As a community, let's urge a sense of pride in all the areas meant to enhance our lives. The lake, the pool, the ballparks, all seem to have become major targets. I urge the community to be alert and help protect our recreational facilities.

Thanks for a great community success.

Katie Skinner

Friends of the Baldwin

City Recreation

To the editor:

It has come to my attention over the last several weeks that there has been a large amount of discussion and debate in the Baldwin community concerning my status as the head boys' basketball coach at Baldwin High School. As the head coach of the program for the past three seasons, I would like for all of you to consider the following points regarding our program:

1) I am proud of what we have stood for concerning academics. Our student athletes have represented this community in an exemplary manner. The young men in our program have always been held accountable for their actions.

2) I am equally proud of our accomplishments on the court during my three seasons here. The varsity teams have achieved a winning record in league play over the past three years. The Bulldogs are also on a short list of teams in Eastern Kansas who have advanced beyond the first round of post-season play in each of the last three seasons.

3) Each team under my guidance has improved as the season progressed, and has competed with class. The overall program has grown in size and scope each year with more participants active in the game both during the season and just as importantly, in the off-season.

The Baldwin High School boys' basketball program has been run effectively, efficiently and diligently during my tenure. Consequently, I remain confident that any close examination of our program will reveal that I have done a respectable job as the leader of the program. I am confident that a majority of the Baldwin School Board upon consideration of these matters would ultimately reach the same conclusion. However, as a student and teacher of history and government I realize that rulings and policies rarely, if ever, have any meaningful impact on the attitudes of those bent on defying those decisions.

I am, of course, not a quitter by nature. I have earned every single advancement in my teaching and coaching career through countless hours of hard work. However, those who know me well also know that I willingly make sacrifices for others. It is in this spirit that I believe it is in the best interest of the players in our program, whose talents I believe in, for me to offer my resignation from the head coach position.

The reality is that we currently live in a society which over-emphasizes athletic achievements at the cost of other worthy accomplishments. I intend to challenge people to reevaluate their priorities in this area while also embracing the competitive challenges of sport. Unfortunately, we live in a fault-finding society where people often find it easier to criticize than to recognize the good. Having said that, I have received tremendous support here from coaches, the faculty and from dozens of patrons, students and student-athletes. I will be a winner for the rest of my life just by being associated with those individuals.

I want it perfectly clear to all those concerned that I am not resigning the coaching position as a result of administrative pressure. Allen Poplin and others on the administrative team have been supportive of my work in every area at B.H.S. My resignation from the coaching position is a direct result of the disappointment I have regarding the nearly constant indignities and the vague, mainly baseless criticisms I have endured, none of which should approach the level of considering a termination. Therefore, I intend to resign my post immediately and I do not intend to seek further coaching positions in U.S.D. 348.

Coach Jeff Haas

Baldwin City

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