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Opinion: Letting your opinion be known

Monday, February 7, 2005

If you have a question, e-mail factorfiction@semissourian.com or call Speak Out (334-5111) and identify your call as a question for "Fact or fiction?"

Q: How can someone who submits a letter to the editor of the Southeast Missourian know for sure that it was received by the newspaper and will be printed?

A: "Letters to the editor are processed as quickly as possible to ensure timely publication. If letter writers don't see their letters published within three or four days, it would be a good idea to check with the editor to see if the letter was received," said Joe Sullivan, editor of the Southeast Missourian. "Letter writers who want to make sure their letters are being processed are welcome to call the editor at any time. All inquiries are welcome." The telephone number to call is 335-6611.

Q: Is it true that students in some Cape classes can get extra credit to raise their grades by bringing materials to class needed by their teachers for teaching purposes? If true, how is this different from parents buying higher grades for their children? Students should receive grades according to merit, not purchasing power.

A: "The question makes a statement that would be endorsed by any parent or educator," said Cape Girardeau public school superintendent Mark Bowles. "However, the general implication that students can, effectively, buy grades is impossible to respond to without more specific information about the incident that gave rise to the concern. For example, awarding five bonus points for bringing in a box of tissues for classroom use would fit the statement, but certainly wouldn't raise a concern about purchasing power having an influence on grades.

"This is an excellent example of the difficulty of trying to resolve specific concerns regarding a classroom teaching practice through the media. The individual with this concern needs to address it directly at the building level at which it was raised," Bowles said. "If this individual needs my help getting in contact with the proper staff member, please encourage him or her to contact me." Bowle's telephone number is 335-1867.

Follow-up about Shaltupsky jewelry story: Kitty Rueseler, who lives at Chateau Girardeau in Cape, was the first of a dozen who called or e-mailed to offer more information about an answer in last week's column. She said there was a store downtown owned by Mike Shaltupsky, that sold tobacco, liquor and jewerly. "It had wonderful costume jewelry, and I expect many people my age remember it," she said.

Another caller had a copy of a 1958 city directory, that identified the store name simply as "Mike's." But she also remembered it to sell liquor and costume jewelry. The store was at 411 Broadway.

"It always had a nice display of jewelry to bring the women in. The tobacco brought the men in," said Mary Alice Eaker, who also called. "I remember the nicest bracelet and earring set, which my husband bought me for our anniversary one year."

Mike was the son of Morris Shaltupsky, whom I wrote about last week, said an e-mail. The same e-mail also said the Shaltupskys were related to the Minnen family, which had a ladies' dress shop at 101 N. Main St.

Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian. He can be reached at jrust@semissourian. com.


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Jon K. Rust
Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian and co-president of Rust Communications. He serves on the board of directors for the Associated Press. A native of Cape Girardeau, he has lived and worked in New York City, Boston, San Francisco and Moscow, Russia.