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 Letters Published in May 7, 2008 Issue



 May 7, 2008 - Letter submitted by Addrea Carter-Brown, Knightstown

Kudos to the young woman, in the minivan, that knows what respect is!

Having southern roots and being raised in Knightstown, by great parents who taught me respect; I also would have stopped until every last person with the funeral procession had passed. Why? Because I was taught to respect the dead and the people mourning their loss!

I've been to funerals in other states where everyone on the interstate, traveling in both directions, stopped their vehicle (semis included), exited their vehicles and placed their hand over their hearts. That's respect!

So to the disgruntled, elderly man who had the time to research the law and write a letter to the editor … hope one day you can get your priorities straight! I hope that next time instead of wasting a bunch of time researching laws and complaining that you can find three to five minutes, in your busy day, to respect not only the dead but those that are mourning their loss!



 May 7, 2008 - Letter submitted by Knightstown Neighborhood Crime Watch, Board of Directors

We would like to extend our heart-filled thanks to everyone who stopped by the fish wagon on the town's public square May 2 and 3, and to everyone who donated baked goods. This fundraising event was a huge success.

We also want to let everyone know we moved into our new office space at the Hoosier Gym on Monday and that we plan to keep regular office hours 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. After this Friday, however, our office will not be open for two weeks due to the gym being closed for cleaning.



 May 7, 2008 - Letter submitted by Indiana State Senators Jean Breaux (D-Dist. 34), Earline Rogers (D-Dist. 3), Connie Sipes (D-Dist. 46), Sue Errington (D-Dist. 26), Vi Simpson (D-Dist. 40) and Karen Tallian (D-Dist. 4)

Tuesday, April 22, (was) the national observance of Equal Pay Day, the day when individuals throughout the country recognize the wage gap between working women and men. Equal Pay Day is held annually in April to signify the point into a year that a woman must work to earn what a man made the previous year.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women who work full-time, year-round earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men - a gap of 23 cents. The gap is even greater for minority women as African American women earn 66 cents and Hispanic women earn 54 cents to every dollar earned by men nationally.

In Indiana, women's pay falls below the national average with Hoosier women earning 72 cents for every dollar earned by men. The amount drops for college educated women in Indiana who make only 68 cents for every dollar. That ranks Indiana 50th in comparison to other states and Washington, D.C., and raises the question if the wage gap might be a contributing factor to Indiana's brain drain. With a pay gap of 32 cents, why wouldn't a female college graduate look to career opportunities in other states?

Pay inequity not only harms women, it harms families and communities through depressed living standards and higher poverty rates, particularly among female-headed households. Paying single working mothers as much as their male counterparts in comparable work would cut their poverty rates in half. American families lose more than $4,000 in annual wages from the inequity. Individually, American woman lose between $700,000 and $2 million in lifetime earnings from wage discrimination. This loss in wages also affects women as they go into retirement. According to the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement, women will go into retirement with at least $300,000 less in earnings than their male counterparts.

The first answer to this problem is for employers to examine and, if necessary, correct their pay practices to ensure that all employees performing comparable work are rewarded equally.

Second, women must stand up for equal pay. Knowing the labor market and industry salary averages can help women ensure that they are getting paid fairly. The Indiana Commission for Women ( and the WAGE Project ( have many resources to help women research fair wages, relevant laws and what can be done about wage discrimination.

As with most changes, it would be preferable for the market to adapt itself and for employers to move toward equitable wages on their own initiative. However, legislation may be necessary. For employers who continue to pay women less, legal penalties or civil action may be the only remedies.

In the Indiana General Assembly, legislation that would expand on federal and state equal employment laws has been proposed for years. Unfortunately, those bills have not even gained a public hearing in the Senate Committee to which they were assigned. Legislation to close the wage gap deserves more serious consideration, and Hoosiers deserve the opportunity to speak to the need of such a measure.

We hope that the national observance of Equal Pay Day brings attention to this discrimination throughout the country. More importantly, we hope that Hoosiers step up to make Indiana an example for how fair, equitable pay for all workers can improve the quality of life for our citizens. The need is great, and the time is now. Women and their families cannot afford to wait!



 May 7, 2008 - Letter submitted by Rex Bell, Hagerstown

Being grandparents lets you relive a lot of the experiences you had when you were raising your own children. Some pleasant, some not so pleasant. My wife and I are now embarking on our second round of "potty training." While I have never been overly enthusiastic about changing diapers, especially with the rinsing and pinning required with the cloth diapers of my early parenthood, I did find that I tolerated that chore better than the dreaded cry of, "Daddy, come wipe me!"

But I imagine I'll get through it. I did the last time around, anyway. I do remember getting some advice from parents and in-laws concerning the timing of the training. The general consensus seemed to be that there was no use starting before the child was ready, and that different children decided they were ready at different ages and stages. I know that applied to my children, and I have a strong suspicion it will apply to my grandchildren as well.

I suppose that's how things have worked all along. Different individuals tolerate and react to things differently. Back at Millville Grade School, classmates would pester my old buddy Stinky Wilmont mercilessly, and sometimes he would make it through an entire recess without decking one of them. His brother Gilbert lost his composure much easier, and most of his tormenters moved on pretty shortly.

Our Founding Fathers came to this country and put up with British rulers for 150 years before deciding that it was time for a change. Of course, some came to that decision sooner than others, and some never came to it at all. It took the French a little longer to start their revolution, but once they got it started, they kept it going a little longer, at least the ones that didn't lose their heads over it did.

According to a recent Rasmussen Report survey, the American people may be ready for another change. The number of people who self-identify as Republicans has fallen to just over 30 percent since the 2004 elections, while those who self-identify as Democrats dropped to about 36 percent. I don't know how most of them are identifying themselves politically now, or even if they are identifying themselves at all. I do know where a few of them have ended up.

Bob Barr, a former Republican U.S. Representative from Georgia, and former United States Attorney , has left the GOP and joined the Libertarian Party. There's a better than average chance that he is going to seek the party's presidential nomination. There's also a better than average chance he'll get it.

Mike Gravel, the, uhhh, colorful Democratic Senator from Alaska, has left his old party, joined the Libertarians, and thrown his hat into the LP presidential ring, although getting the nomination might be a bit of an uphill battle.

The LP has seen significant growth recently, with membership increasing 14 percent in the first half of 2007. Gallup Surveys, Pew Research Center and the American National Election Studies find that about 14 percent of voting age Americans now hold libertarian values of fiscal conservatism and social tolerance.< /p>

Maybe not yet enough to win a presidential election, but certainly enough to influence the outcome of that election. And certainly enough to bring about a change.

And we all know that elected officials, like diapers, need to be changed once in a while.



 May 7, 2008 - Letter submitted by Roy Littlefield, executive vice president, Tire Industry Association

The Tire Industry Association strongly urges Congress to pass the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act (HR 2694) in order to ensure that car owners and their trusted repair shops have the same access to safety alerts and repair information as the franchised new car dealer network.

Vehicles continue to become more and more sophisticated with virtually every system either monitored or controlled by computers. In fact, most new vehicles are equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) that are controlled by computers.

TPMS systems do not take the place of regular maintenance on tires, but are intended to protect motorists from the dangers of operating a vehicle with underinflated tires. Keeping these systems updated and in safe working condition requires ready access to complete and accurate information from the car companies.

The Right to Repair Act offers protection to car owners by making it illegal for vehicle manufacturers to withhold information necessary to diagnose, service or repair motor vehicles, including TPMS systems. Right to Repair ensures that car owners can have their vehicle serviced at the repair shop of their choice, whether it's their neighborhood repair shop or a franchised new car dealer.

Please visit to send a letter to each of your congressional representatives, urging them to support the Right to Repair Act (HR 2694) so that all American motorists can continue to enjoy the affordability and convenience of having their vehicle serviced at the repair shop of their choice.



 May 7, 2008 - Letter submitted by Don Cliff Wiseman, Middletown

Hillary says she is a Democrat and openly courts neo-conservatives that have brought havoc to this country. Perhaps she is going back to her roots of being a "Goldwater Girl." Limbaugh, Coulter, and Cunningham are telling Republicans to change and vote for Hillary in the primary and vote Republican in the fall. Hillary knows and has not reputed. There is a problem of deception. Hillary and her most fervid Indiana supporter have voted far too many times with this Bush.

Hillary is no Bill when it comes to money. Her campaign was $8 million in debt. Think of our present economy. She is not paying the debt for her employees Health Care. She has been critical of Obama's Health Care Plan. Hillary has spent the money that the Health Care and Insurance Industry PAC have given her and she owes them. Hoosiers for Common Sense Health Care knows that Hillary's Health Care Plan is a bonanza for the Insurance Companies and that is the truth.

Recently on "Good Morning America" Hillary when asked if Iran attacked Israel she said that "we would be able to totally obliterate them." First Israel has the most advanced atomic weapons program in the Mid-East and if Iran attacks let Israel take care of them. A Commander-in-Chief or in any fight never telegraph your moves. There was a president that said "speak softly and carry a big stick."

In the small chance Hillary gets the nomination she is better than McSame and I would have to vote for her!

Hillary says that Obama is just talk. Look at the Obama money machine! Obama does not take money from PAC's or Washington Lobbyist. Look at the quality and quantity of Obama volunteers. No doubt Obama could talk some people into doing the good thing and that beats warfare.


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