BH school board is a big part of the problem

Editor,

Let me get this straight: The state of Michigan has proposed closing Benton Harbor High School over concern for students whose test scores are in the bottom 5 percent in the state. In response, the mayor of Benton Harbor has threatened to disrupt next year’s Senior PGA golf tournament, whose main sponsors are Whirlpool and KitchenAid – companies that have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city and school system.

Apparently this same logic led the school board to ask the state to forgive its $16 million in debt and give it additional funds to rebuild the school system. Under the board’s watch the school system has lost hundreds of students and borrowed millions of dollars, which it does not have the resources to repay. Meanwhile, the high school needs police officers to maintain order, elementary teachers are afraid of their students and two superintendents have been convicted of stealing from the school system, and the graduation rate is apparently less than 60 percent.

A good starting point would be for the board to admit it has made mistakes instead of claiming the closure is an attempt by unknown parties to take over the high school’s land. Until the board acknowledges its share of responsibility for this sad situation, there is no reason to expect an infusion of even more taxpayer money will lead to a different result.

Doug Allen

Benton Harbor

Proud to come from a long line of ‘sand rabbits’

Editor,

These comments are regarding the article on Sunday, “Remembering the ‘ghetto by the beach’”

My Father, Bill Bischoff, was born in 1902 at 908 Pine Street (I think) – one of four children to Albert and Bertha Bischoff. He told me many stories about growing up there and being called a “sand rabbit” by playing on the beaches and in the dunes. He mentioned eating sand cherries and playing with the snake grass that grew in the dunes. I did many of the same things back in the 1950s and ‘60s.

One thing that playing in the sand and living below the bluff allowed him to become was one heck an all-around athlete by being a very good half-back for the Bears, and excelling in playing baseball for St. Joe’s town team, and as a substitute for the barnstorming House of David baseball team. He and many of my uncles started working for Cooper Wells below the bluff and with the Nineteen Hundred Corporation (aka Whirlpool). One uncle (Fred Bischoff) spent many years at The Herald-Press and finished with the joint newspaper, The Herald-Palladium.

My limited knowledge and fleeting recollection of my dad’s stories is that “sand rabbits” was a popular term back at the early 20th century, and those named that were proud of the term. And I am proud to be a descendant of one of them.

Dave Bischoff

Charlotte, N.C.

Lawmakers must get busy and fix Michigan roads

Editor,

Our vacation took us across roads in Indiana, Kentucky and part of Ohio. There was a lot of construction but the roads were great and we never hit a pothole. I guess that confirms the consensus that Michigan’s roads are the worst in compared to many other states.

My message to the governor is “let’s fix the bad roads”! It made our vacation much pleasanter to travel on good roads. I’m sure our visitors to “The Great Southwest” will much appreciate seeing some improvements.

Dawn Consolino

Coloma