Letters to the Editor for Oct. 14
Look for opportunities to give this season
By now, most of us are tiring of the negative economic news. Despite assurances by economists that the recession is "over," that only tells part of the story.
While there are glimmers of hope of recovery for the nation's and the world's economy, everyday people and their families are having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Jobs are scarce, neighborhood homes continue to fall into foreclosure, and stocks fall as often as they rise. That puts pressure on many household budgets.
As many of you know many of those hit especially hard by the recession are turning to the county for help. But others are turning to local non-profit agencies that can also help.
Food shelves, credit counselors, second-hand shops, emergency funds, non-profit health care providers - they are all experiencing skyrocketing demand.
They need our help to continue to give that hand up to your friends and neighbors who need a little boost to make it through these tough times.
Perhaps you would like to contribute some organizations that could provide scholarships for participation in athletic activities, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H Foundation and other similar activities.
Many of our youth programs will need help because of reduced family income and foundation support.
The need in the community is great, and it is only through a community effort that that need will be filled.
Please check your budget, and see if you can spare a charitable contribution, that - when added to everyone else's giving - will make a difference in the lives of your friends and neighbors during these difficult financial times.
Washington County commissioner
District needs to rethink stance on boys lacrosse teams
The school district has clearly indicated to the boys lacrosse community that they want to see multiple varsity teams this spring, despite firm opposition by 60 concerned players, parents and coaches who attended a recent meeting.
What are the motives for this misguided policy? The administration stubbornly repeats the mantra of "more varsity opportunity" for student-athletes.
Lacrosse opportunities of any kind in District 833 would be non-existent without the dedication and expertise of our pioneering coaches.
The novelty of this sport in our region means that the activities directors cannot possibly have the first-hand knowledge required to overrule coaches and players, who are the people most qualified to make this call.
A decision based solely on impersonal data and flawed assumptions and ignoring the advice of those closest to the sport, will be detrimental to the long-term viability of the program.
Our common goal is a varsity team for each of our three high schools, but if the separation is premature, it will reduce, not expand, player opportunities. An unstable program with inconsistent participation won't benefit anyone.
The fundamental missing ingredients here are developmental teams for younger age levels. The seventh/eighth grade lacrosse programs have only existed for two summers in Cottage Grove and four seasons in Woodbury.
Contrast this with any other team sport (baseball, football, soccer, etc.) where the "feeder" youth programs and athletic associations have been well established for decades. This single factor has everything to do with the continued viability of a varsity athletic program, and this crucial infrastructure is just not yet in place for boys' lacrosse.
With a total of only 41 junior and senior players in the entire district, the numbers just don't add up this year, no matter what kind of spin the athletic directors put on them.
A single varsity/junior varsity program requires at least that many experienced players. A split at this point will place novice players on the varsity/junior varsity teams who are simply not ready to compete at that level, and it could put less experienced players at risk of serious injury in this contact sport.
Will that be what's best for the boys?
South Washington County Boys Lacrosse Booster Club