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 Letters Published in October 10, 2007 Issue



 Oct. 10, 2007 – Letter submitted by Lee Stacey, Knightstown

The last couple of days my wife and I have had the privilege of having lunch in the "new" Knightstown American Legion Post.

What a nice, clean, efficient establishment they have created!

In keeping with their "creed" they have gone beyond the mark in what they have created. I hope all who have the opportunity to visit the post will do so. Lunch was great, and the fellowship, as always, was super.



 Oct. 10, 2007 – Letter submitted by Susan Houston and family, Carole and Rowland Yeend, John Houston and Marc Houston, all of Rushville

On September 21, Steve Houston sustained a heavy blow to the base of his skull resulting in a grade three concussion. Ironically this occurred while at home in his own workshop, not during his regular duties as a deputy sheriff where personal risk is routine.

The most eloquent arrangement of words cannot fully convey the appreciation we feel for those who were there for Steve including, but not limited to members of the: Rush County Sheriff's Department; Rushville Police Department; Rushville Fire Department; Volunteer Fire Fighters; especially Rushville Township VFD; Davis Towing and Recovery; Indiana State Police; DNR Conservation; RHM Ambulance Personnel; and Lifeline Air Ambulance.

You heard the need and you came, whether on duty or not, to see if you could help. Because of your swift response, skilled care and caring assistance, Steve is improving. Complete healing seemingly will take time and require rest, one of his toughest assignments yet.

We also believe in the power of intercessory prayer and know that it made a difference. Our thanks go to those who activated the many prayer chains, to all who offered prayers both silent and spoken, and to Rev. Deann Anderson for being at our side at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Unfortunately, Steve does not remember what all happened or who was around so he can't thank you personally. On his behalf and from the bottom of our hearts, thank you so very much. We are blessed to be a part of this large extended family of law enforcement, fire fighters and first responders.



 Oct. 10, 2007 – Letter submitted by Calvin E Terrell, National Weather Service

On Thursday October 4, the National Weather Service at Indianapolis (NWS) honored Kathy Ratliff of Knightstown, a cooperative weather observer, with a 15 year Length of Service Award.

Ratliff routinely records and reports daily amounts of precipitation including snowfall and snow depth from official NWS equipment located at her home. Precipitation data are important to the mission of the NWS. Through a national network of cooperative weather stations, the NWS and the National Climatic Data Center gather the information for daily forecasting, publication and research. Over 250 stations are included in the network in Indiana, with over 11,000 in the U.S.

Cooperative weather observers such as Ratliff assist the NWS greatly in forecasting the weather as well as river and stream heights. Without dependable weather reports from areas such as Henry County, the NWS forecasting ability would be considerably reduced.

The NWS applauds the loyal and dedicated service of Kathy Ratliff and looks forward to many more years of faithful service.



 Oct. 10, 2007 – Letter submitted by Thomas M. Gorman Sr. (husband); children Tom (Betty) Gorman, Jr.; Jim (Sondra) Gorman; Brenda (Bill) Merrell; Mike (Marsha) Gorman; Ramona (Sam) Cooper; Dianna (Steve) Morgan; and grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren

The family of Elizabeth Gorman would like to express our thanks to the Lincoln Center Alzheimer Unit nursing staff in Connersville and the nursing staff at Millers Merry Manor in Rushville for their excellent care; Dr. Kassob; John and Connie Todd of Todd Funeral Home in Knightstown; Mable (Hinton) Shelley and Donna (Lukens) Gaither, along with the families at Carthage Christian Church for their time and delicious meal; Gregory Howard for the beautiful service provided for his aunt; family, friends, neighbors and coworkers for their beautiful flowers, cards, calls, food, and many thoughts and prayers.

Alzheimer's is a terrible disease that takes the minds of so many loved ones. They forget who they are and who you are; when visiting them, you might a see a smile or see them crying and not be able to express why. Give your loved ones lots of hugs and love. You never know when this dreadful disease might take over their lives. According to everything you hear and read, we will see a lot more being affected with this terrible mind snatcher.



 Oct. 10, 2007 – Letter submitted by Cort Swincher, Knightstown Town Council member (ward 3)

I, Cort Swincher, cannot attend the town council meeting on October 17, or the candidate forum on the 18th. As I announced right before the beginning of the September town council meeting, I have started a new job and have to travel during October for training. I will be in Alabama that entire week so I cannot attend.

I encourage all of you to read the questionnaire I filled out for The Banner.

I can be reached for questions at (765) 445-7501. I will return your call if I am not home.



 Oct. 10, 2007 – Letter submitted by Stacy Cox, Kennard

A story in the current Rolling Stone magazine about the long-running missile defense shield, more commonly known as the Star Wars program, revealed:

"Today, thanks to Rumsfeld's devotion to the shield, missile defense is the single most-expensive weapons system in the American arsenal. The Bush administration has nearly tripled Clinton's average missile defense budget, to $11-billion a year - a sum almost four times larger than the U.S. government's total spending on energy research. By 2013, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, missile defense will be costing us nearly $19-billion a year - roughly half the current budget for the entire Department of Homeland Security."

It has also been reported by various sources that the U.S. government is spending around a BILLION dollars a WEEK funding operations in Iraq with possibly as much as 9-12 BILLION dollars sent to Iraq completely unaccounted for during these past five years.

Yet, the Bush administration and Henry County's Rep. Mike Pence, who is supposed to support what is best for the people he represents, believe spending just SEVEN billion a year to pay for more children to obtain health insurance coverage under the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a program to be funded by a 61-cent tax increase on cigarettes, is just too costly. Actually, they say it's not the cost, but the principle. I guess the U.S. federal government can, by force and with lots of money, do what they want in countries all of over the world, including our own, but helping working people obtain health care coverage for their children is standing strong for the "free market" principle? No problem, I guess, for working people's taxes to pay for the salary, pension and benefits for Rep. Pence and for those he employs on his staff?

These are our leaders with such high moral values?

In a press release, Rep. Pence stated, "This bill will take a program designed to help children near the poverty level and expand it to include families with incomes of up to $83,000 a year" and he urged Bush to veto the bill.

Be advised: this is a great talking point, but it is not true, at least not in the sense that Bush and Pence use it. Rep. Pence knows that $83,000 sounds like a lot to people in the Indiana counties he represents.

The main point to consider with this program is that it is a state program. Each state decides how to run its program and, by most accounts, the program has been successful. It is true that the State of New Jersey requested a waiver with the federal government running the CHIP program to allow the state to increase the income level in its state to $83,000 to allow more children to qualify. The federal government declined their request. For those Hoosiers who have never left the town where they were born, it might come as a shock to realize that bringing in $80,000 a year in Indiana goes a heckuva lot farther here than it does on the East Coast. It is unfair to prevent states with a much higher cost-of-living to hold to a specific number.

But, Pence's talking point is hardly the crux of the issue here. I want to know from my representative how he can continue to declare so loudly that he is "pro-life" but wants me to not make a connection with the fact that he continues to support and fund policies that result in massive death, destruction and misery for those of us actually living here and around the world. We can waste billions on a program like Star Wars that many claim is a science-fiction dream, at least for another 25-50 years, but our leaders cannot back policies that would allow working people who can't afford the outrageous cost of health insurance to cover their kids.

President Bush says folks like our family can just go to the emergency room when something happens. Only people who have insurance and have never been forced to go to the emergency room for care could possibly say such a thing matter-of-factly.

How is it that the voters of Henry County keep believing that a leader like Mike Pence has strong family values and a high moral character just because he reminds you how strongly he is against abortion? Are voters incapable of understanding that being a real "pro-life" leader should also include caring what happens to people after they are born?

Bush's veto can still be overturned and our representatives need to know what you think about this issue. You can contact Rep. Pence's office at 202-225-3021 (D.C. office) or 765-640-2919 (Anderson office), or by fax at 202-225-3382, or you can use the contact form on his website at


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