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Letters Published in May 23, 2007 Issue
May 23, 2007 - Letter submitted by Stormie Foust, Bloomington
In December of 2006, TIME magazine devoted their cover to American education and the future. In the article "How to Bring Our Schools Out of the 20th Century" was a guideline of the skills that children will need to succeed in this new economy: "knowing more about the world," "thinking outside the box" and "developing good people skills" were only a few. The article asserts explicitly that the national conversation about education should be "whether an entire generation of kids will fail to make the grade in the global economy because they can't think their way through abstract problems, work in teams, distinguish good information from bad or speak a language other than English." I believe that this will be the fate of the children of the Charles A. Beard School Corporation if the school board carries through with the proposed cuts, a result of the their own lack of financial planning and foresight.
One of the programs slated to be cut is a gifted and talented program for younger children. This program is one of the few times when academically high-achieving students can be in an environment that challenges and inspires them; a refuge from mediocre classes that teach to the lowest level and do little to instill a drive to learn and succeed. If you remove those opportunities and wait until high school to offer any sort of academic challenge to students, only the most tenacious of children will still be receptive to the thrill and reward of education.
The "arts" should certainly not so easily be dismissed as dispensable. They teach skills which will be essential to prosper in the changing workforce as well as higher education: creativity, abstract thought, group work, and cultural education, all of which will be vital for this generation to prosper in the ever-globalizing workforce of the future.
My four years as a student in Mr. Crouch's choral department and my six years in Knightstown's gifted and talented program taught me much that simply can't be learned sitting at a desk, staring at a chalkboard: how to work as a group towards a great performance, how to have confidence in oneself, how to project emotion through art and connect with the audience, to question and explore, to seek challenges, to inspire oneself, to think and to love to learn.
I believe adamantly that these lessons, learned by practice rather than theory, have been invaluable in my academic success in high school and college and in my everyday human interactions. These are programs which make children more curious, more driven, more inspired, and more thoughtful. For adults (ostensibly entrusted to see to these children's best interests) to take away programs due to their own failings, which could mean the difference between future success or failure for the children their policies will affect, is ill-advised at best and reprehensible at worst. It is not their own futures they are so casually gambling away. The children of the CAB School Corporation will be well-suited neither to the corporate world nor to academia, but to low-paying service jobs and filling in test sheet bubbles (taking care to make their mark heavy and dark).
May 23, 2007 - Letter submitted by Janet White, CAB Transportation Director
I would like to thank the following groups and businesses for supporting our Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation bus drivers and aides by sponsoring our fourth annual Bus Driver Appreciation Banquet, which was held Monday, May 14, at the KHS cafeteria and enjoyed by 49 drivers, their guests, and administrators:
Knightstown Elementary PTO, Carthage Elementary PTO, Kennard Elementary PTO, KHS Athletic Dept., and Leakey Insurance Agency sponsored the delicious meal prepared by Cheryl Hammer.
The following businesses donated door prizes which were put in a drawing following the meal: Cardinal Bus Sales; Cut Loose Hair and Tanning; Gas Grill; Hoosier Outdoor Power; Knightstown Automotive; Knightstown Elevator; Knightstown Locker; Knightstown Tire and Auto; LP Greenhouse; Kozy Kabin Salon; Mane Gathering Salon; Main Street Threads; Midwest Transit IC, Morris Printing; Orsheln Farm Store; Pavey's Grocery; Pic-n-Save Noble Romans Express; Post & Post Hardware; Smith's Implements; Superior Motors; The Ivy Wreath; Top Ten Video; and White Flash Auto Value.
The community support for this event has been super, and is much appreciated by the drivers and myself!
May 23, 2007 - Letter submitted by Beverly S. Estell, Shirley
The town of Shirley owes a big "Thank you!" to Melinda Gerrish of Cuttin' Up Stables for her work on a community affairs grant that paid for new signs at the north and south edge of Shirley. The time, artwork and gathering of information for this - we should all be very proud of her hard work and efforts. Let's all work together and be proud of our town.
May 23, 2007 - Letter submitted by Employees of the Knightstown Post Office
The Knightstown Post Office would like to thank everyone who participated in the National Letter Carrier's Food Drive on May 14. We would also like to thank the Wayne Twp. Clever Clovers 4-H Club for helping to collect the food - you did a wonderful job! A total of 2,000 pounds of food was collected and taken to the local food pantry that serves Knightstown and the surrounding areas. A big "Thanks!" to all of you.
May 23, 2007 - Letter submitted by Robert L. Webster, Lewisville
The media has just made a big deal about the fact that Toyota outsold General Motors for the first time in history. The media forgot to tell everyone, however, that this was only on a worldwide basis. Here are some facts: GM had a record quarter, up some 66,000 units. GM still leads Toyota in the U.S. In fact, GM outsold Toyota in 12 of 15 countries. Two of the only three countries GM did not outsell them were Australia and India, where they outsold GM by 3,000 units. The third country is, of course, Japan, where they delivered 691,000 units. It will be hard to beat them on a "worldwide" basis when we are not able to compete with Japan fairly. They charge us a 22-percent tariff, plus the yen is currently subsidized, while we charge only a four-percent tariff.
Toyota makes a lot of noise about being an "American" company, but they imported more than one million cars from Japan into the U.S. last year. They make a big deal about their great gas mileage, but the fact is their CAFE fuel mileage ratings (fleet overall gas mileage) are less than GM, and building more big trucks and SUVs can do nothing good for these numbers. GM builds more 30 mpg vehicles than Toyota. They talk about creating jobs, but at what cost? How many American car makers have laid of tens of thousands of U.S. workers. Quality? Toyota had more recalls than vehicles sold last year.
One more fact: Even with all the hype about Toyota's new full-size truck, they are having to "incentivize" them up to $3,000 just to get rid of enough of them to justify the new truck plant they just built.
It seems to me, the media is distorting the marketplace. In this country, perception becomes fact in the minds of most folks. There are always two sides to every story. Why do the American people only get one side?
May 23, 2007 - Letter submitted by Heather Moore, senior writer, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Here's yet another reason to eat veggie burgers instead of hamburgers: Davis Creek Meats and Seafood recently recalled 129,000 pounds of potentially E. coli-contaminated beef that was sent to distributors and retailers in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Studies have shown that when contaminated meat is recalled, only about half of it is actually recovered - the rest remains in grocery stores.
You can protect yourself and your loved ones from E. coli and other bacteria that live in the intestinal tracts and feces of animals by leaving meat and other animal products at the grocery store. Most farmed animals are crammed into filthy sheds and slaughtered on killing floors that are contaminated with feces and other bodily fluids. These unsanitary conditions have led to a rise in food-borne bacteria.
Plant-based foods, on the other hand, don't normally harbor E. coli or other fecal bacteria. In fact, according to the USDA, 70 percent of food poisoning is caused by contaminated animal flesh. When fruits or vegetables do become contaminated with E. coli, it is because animal manure was used to fertilize crops or leaked into waterways. Cross-contamination can also occur when fruits and vegetables are placed on the same surface as meat.
As more people adopt a meat-free diet, our dependence on cows and other farmed animals will diminish, therefore lessening the threat of E. coli contamination - and saving human and animal lives. For more information, veggie burger recommendations and recipes, see www.GoVeg.com.
May 23, 2007 - Letter submitted by Cpt. Nate LaMar, Military Academy Liaison Officer for Eastern Indiana, Henry County Councilman
"The country was bankrupt and people were getting cynical about the war." Sound familiar? No, I'm not talking about today's war in Iraq. Rather, I'm quoting the narrator in the opening lines of the film "Flags of Our Fathers." This 2006 film told how the photo of Marines raising our flag on Iwo Jima was needed to boost our nation's morale and to sell more war bonds.
Today, we pause to honor all veterans, particularly our thinning ranks of World War II veterans. We must remember the many parallels between World War II and the Global War on Terrorism. Our brave men, who fought World War II, knew they were up against evil forces of fascism - an evil which targeted Jews, Gypsies, black people, and many others. Today's brave men and women fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, know they are up against evil forces of Islamo-fascism, a term first coined by former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. Islamo-fascism is an evil which targets Jews, Christians, moderate Moslems, women, professionals, and many others - basically, anyone who is not an Islamic fundamentalist.
Our brave men who fought World War II became known as "The Greatest Generation." It was this greatest generation who led our country through the longest period of post-war prosperity in our nation's history. Great men, like my grandfather, Bill Burkman, who started a successful construction firm and did short-term missionary projects in Nigeria; Dick Leitch, who became principal of New Castle's Sunnyside Elementary School, was eventually elected a city councilman, then school board member; and John McGrady, who became Memorial Park superintendent, and was eventually elected a Henry County commissioner. So many World War II veterans were elected to Congress, that by 1975, 70 percent of members were veterans. By contrast, today's percentage of veterans in Congress is only 23.5 percent. However, let's not lose heart.
Had it not been for World War II, and the Nazis' overrun of the Netherlands, a Dutch merchant ship captain may not have brought his ship into New York City's harbor. A few years later, this Dutch ship captain and his wife gave birth to a son named David. David went to West Point, graduated in 1974, served with distinction, then returned as a major to teach in West Point's Department of Social Sciences when I was a cadet. Today, General David Petraeus is commander of our forces in Iraq.
In December 1941, after Pearl Harbor and our entry into World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a Christmas visit to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. On New Year's Day 1942, Churchill and FDR worshipped together in President George Washington's own Christ Church, a small Episcopal church in Alexandria, Va. Never one to hide his emotions in public, tears came to Churchill's eyes as he and FDR sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." A keen student of history, Churchill recalled his own visit to some of the last surviving Civil War veterans at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, where General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in 1865. Similar to our Civil War, Churchill and FDR knew they had a long, hard slog ahead of them. It was their wartime leadership and faith that kept the Western world free. They never forgot the words of Isaiah 9:6 , sung so beautifully in Handel's Messiah: "… and the government shall be upon His shoulders. …"
Just as President Lincoln placed a heavy burden on the shoulders of General Grant, and just as FDR placed a heavy burden on the shoulders of Generals Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower and George S. Patton, so, too, has President Bush placed a heavy burden on the shoulders of General Petraeus in Iraq. In biblical times, David slew Goliath. May General David Petraeus be able to slay the Goliath of Islamo-fascism!
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