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Letters Published in April 9, 2008 Issue
Apr. 2, 2008 - Letter submitted by Tim Wehr, CAB School Board candidate for Ripley Township
Hello. My name is Tim Wehr and I am running for the Ripley Township seat on the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation School Board. I have lived in the Carthage area for the last 11 years, and I've been a Rush County resident for 30 years. My wife, Abbie, and I have six children, with three of them now students at Carthage Elementary.
Currently, there are many issues that need to be addressed at CAB. It is imperative that school government be open and forthcoming with information. It also needs to be accessible and convenient so that parents can be involved. The school employees need to have affordable insurance available and our teachers deserve a current contract. Programs that were previously cut need to be reinstated, such as the choir program and a social worker for our elementary students. I also believe the public needs to know why the school board has been spending so much money to keep redacted memos a secret. Our cafeteria program's shortcomings, financial and nutritional, also need investigating and improvements need to be made.
I feel that my prior experiences on the Carthage Town Board have given me an education on how local government works. I have experience in dealing with and utilizing budgets, and I have knowledge on how to work with other government agencies. I also helped with the writing of the town's grant application for the water project.
I know that I can be a strong voice for the people of the Charles A. Beard school district. I am not afraid to dig deep to find answers for the people. I think that it is necessary that the mysteries surrounding CAB's finances be divulged. I will also be an advocate for students of the Carthage and Ripley Township area, as well as all others in CAB's schools.
If you are a citizen of the CAB district and would like to see a change in how our school corporation is being run, you must visit the polls on May 6. The only way that can change can happen is if you vote.
Apr. 2, 2008 - Letter submitted by Mary Lou Hayes, Knightstown
The number of people who have no or minimal health care coverage is increasing. As a nurse, I have spoken to clients who are non-compliant (not following their prescribed treatment plan) with their medication regimen. Most of the time they will say their non-compliance is due to financial reasons. I want to let people know that there are resources available for reduced cost of prescriptions. Four dollars - that's right, $4 - for a prescription without any insurance or need to file an insurance claim.
Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Kroger each have lengthy lists of medications that are covered by this minimal charge. Their lists are not exactly alike. Some medications may be on Kroger's list, but not Walgreens' or Wal-Mart's lists. There may be a substitution for a non-generic (name brand) ordered medication that your physician (or other health care provider) may be able to prescribe that is on one of these lists. Maybe your insurance co-pay on generic drugs is $10 or $15. If you have a prescription written that complies with one of Wal-Mart's, Walgreens' or Kroger's lists, you could pay $4 and not have your insurance charged. This is a win-win-win situation: 1. You could save yourself $6-$11 or more by not paying co-pay out of your pocket; 2. You are saving an insurance company money and not giving them a reason to increase your premiums or your deductibles; and 3. You have been able to fill your prescription and be compliant with your health care provider's orders.
You need to obtain a Wal-Mart, Kroger or Walgreens list of $4 prescription medications and take it to your next health care provider appointment. Do your homework first and check to see which of your prescriptions are on the list and highlight or mark them for quick reference. This will save time at your doctor's office visit and show that you are trying to be a compliant and conscientious consumer/patient. Please note that occasionally you may have a larger/double dosage for your medication than is on one of the lists. The prescription can be written for that dosage and you may pay $8 instead of $4 - still less than a trip to a fast-food place or some deductibles/co-pays.
There may be other companies that are investigating ways to match these reduced price lists.
Be aware that you may need to wait a little longer to get your prescriptions filled, buy you do not have to "shop around" and spend extra money on other items unless you want to.
Apr. 2, 2008 - Letter submitted by Ron Short, New Lisbon
Wow! The Knightstown Neighborhood Crime Watch kick-off at the Hoosier Gym was far and away the best community function I have seen in Knightstown in about 20 years. It was informative, entertaining, and an all-around good visit. It was well planned and done, and in light of the last minute complications, a tremendous effort by all the volunteers concerned.
I know there are many people to thank, but to single out a couple: Knightstown Chief of Police Danny Baker for coordinating police and emergency presentations; the Hoosier Gym Board; and, especially, Mr. Webber for spear-heading this entire event.
I hope that this is only the beginning of a renewed community awareness that will continue to grow. It reminded me of what I call "the good old days." There was a very congenial atmosphere, something for everyone, and many people talking and visiting. I learned some things and, in general, enjoyed my socks off!
Thanks to Danny Webber and all.
Apr. 9, 2008 - Letter submitted by John Leisure, Knightstown
Oh Pa-leese! The answer to problems with the Charles A. Beard School Board and administration is more of the same? Sure, there may be untoward activities going on with both, but let's just let bygones be bygones. Just because the school board showed amazingly poor hiring decisions in the past doesn't mean that they are doing a poor job; just because accounting irregularities show up from time to time doesn't mean anything, honest.
Mr. Howard, those who fail to remember the past are doomed to repeat it, and we can't even be sure just what went on in the past. Would you have the school corporation, at the very best, waste more money?
I don't think that the status quo is so wonderful that the citizens of the CAB district need more of the same old s***. After the expulsions, inattention to the work history of job candidates, the 2007 Jefferson Muzzle Award, the irregularities in accounting and the obsessive secrecy of the school administration, it's getting to the point that some residents of Knightstown may well be considering wearing paper bags over their heads whenever they leave town.
Apr. 9, 2008 - Letter submitted by Rex Bell, Hagerstown
One of the problems we face when we talk about eliminating property taxes is the insistence by our elected officials that the loss of revenue would result in the loss of government services. The first things they mention are police and fire protection. I guess that is the first lesson in Politics 101. Whenever taxpayers start to complain about excessive government spending, threaten them with the loss of police and fire protection. And if they complain about the cost of the new high school gymnasium, threaten to lay off some teachers.
But when reasonable people face a shortfall in their funding, the first cuts in spending shouldn't involve basic trips to the grocery or their chosen form of shelter. That's not to say that the money we spend on necessities couldn't be spent a little more wisely, or that some of the frills couldn't be eliminated. But wouldn't it make more sense to start with dropping the premium channels from your cable provider, or maybe canceling that gym membership, or your subscription to the "Cookie of the Month" service?
From the federal to the state to the local level, politicians have lost sight of what they should really be doing, which is providing basic, essential government services. Any talk of eliminating a tax, or lowering a tax, or actually cutting government spending, threatens the growth of government, which in turn threatens the power of the politicians.
They assume we will accept that any reduction in our taxes will result in a reduction in government services. They are fond of warning us to be careful what we ask for, because we might get it.
While that might be true, I would suggest that taxpayers be especially careful when asking for something from the government, because you never know what you are going to end up with.
You might reasonably ask your government to take the taxes you pay on gasoline and use them to build and repair our roads. What you end up with is nearly half of that money being spent on flower gardens, hiking trails, bicycle paths, studies on adolescent obesity and thousands of other pork-barrel projects.
You might ask your government to simply educate your children, and instead end up paying for a top-heavy bureaucracy that costs three to four times more per student than private schools.
You might ask your government for health insurance to protect your poorest senior citizens, and instead end up with a program that spends your tax money to furnish Viagra for the wealthiest segment of our population.
You might ask your government to raise an army to protect you from foreign invaders, and instead end up paying to have troops stationed in 140 countries around the world, providing security for nations quite capable of providing their own.
Sometimes getting what you ask for isn't nearly as bad as getting what you didn't ask for.
I think I'm ready to ask for a little less government. How about you?
Apr. 9, 2008 - Letter submitted by Ralph D. Ayres, executive director of Indiana Retired Teachers Assoc.
The Indiana General Assembly completed its work on Friday, March 14, with the governor taking final action on Monday, March 24. As executive director of the Indiana Retired Teachers Association, I would like to thank each member of the area's legislative delegation for supporting the final versions of House Bill 1019 and Senate Bills 51 and 72. These legislative initiatives are important to retired educators who dedicated their professional lives to helping Hoosier children reach their potential.
As part of the discussion of controlling property taxes, a provision that affects many senior citizens on fixed income was enacted. This initiative will limit property tax bill increases to no more than two percent annually for individuals aged 65 and over who make less than $30,000 annually (single) or less than $40,000 (joint), if the assessed value of their home is less than $160,000.
In an economic climate that is uncertain, your area legislators had the insight and vision to address concerns of many of their constituents. As a retired educator myself, I say thank you to each state representative and state senator who listened to retired educators at their town meetings and at committee hearings. We appreciate your concern and positive action.
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