Fact or Fiction?

Monday, May 2, 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: Is it true that ArtsCape will be held in Capaha Park and not downtown Cape Girardeau because someone forgot to reserve the appropriate spaces for it?

A: "No, that's not true," said Rebecca Fulgham, executive director of the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, co-hosts of the event with Old Town Cape. "After two years in a row where the wind was awful, we decided we really needed to move it to ground where we could secure tents with stakes rather than hold the event on the parking lot, where we had to rely on sandbags. Last year, we needed volunteers to hold the entertainment tent and vendors often had to chase their products down, the wind was so strong.

"When we made the decision to change the venue, we called the county about reserving the courthouse gazebo," said Fulgham. "There was a question about putting stakes in the ground. But it wasn't immediately checked whether the gazebo was available on the date needed. As it turned out, there was already a wedding scheduled there. So we moved the event this year to Capaha Park, which is still on the edge of the Old Town Cape district.

"The courthouse park and gazebo have been reserved for ArtsCape for the next four years," she said.

While I had her on the phone, I asked Fulgham about ArtsCape. What is it? When is it?

"ArtsCape is Saturday, May 21," she replied. "And Tunes at Twilight will be May 20, the night before. Both will take place that weekend at Capaha Park with ArtsCape activities happening from the bandshell to the Rose Garden. The street painting festival will be held around the lake. There will be something fun for people to do whether they are artistic or can't draw a circle. There will be tons of activities for kids, lots of music, food, and arts and crafts vendors. A specially planned project, Arts for All, will allow disabled and abled artists to work with special tools in creating art."

Followup: In a recent answer, it was partially explained how there may be a student in a Cape Girardeau public school who does not live in that specific school attendance area. Since the question acually dealt with a different issue, I did not cover all the ways a student might be enrolled in one school while living in a different area. This answer brought forward some additional information from teachers and administrators, who wanted to be sure the record was clear -- and to express their appreciation -- that children of staff could attend school where a parent worked. According to them, this accommodation is extremely helpful for several reasons, including transporting kids to school. I asked superintendent Mark Bowles if he had additional comment.

"Like many, our district encourages the commitment of our staff to the district by allowing them some choice in where their children attend school," he said. "These choices apply to all staff members, not just teachers. Staff members that live outside the district boundaries may elect to enroll their children in the district without paying tuition. Typically, staff members choose to have their children attend the same school at which they work, but the final decision is based on enrollment and class size: children who live in the attendance center [district] get first priority.

"Staff members who live in the district have some choice as well," said Bowles. "If they live in one attendance center [district] but work in another, they may elect to have their children attend the building at which they work. Again, this depends on enrollment and class size with residents [of the attendance center district] getting first priority."

Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian. E-mail him at jrust@semissourian. com.

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