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 Letters Published in June 11, 2008 Issue



 June 11, 2008 - Letter submitted by Mark and Lori Anderson, Knightstown

We would like to thank the power company, family, town, friends, neighbors, police and NAPA for all their help and prayers from the results of the storm. We greatly appreciate everything that was done for us.


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 June 11, 2008 - Letter submitted by Steve Wilkerson, Carey Ellis and Jess Vaughn of Knightstown

We would like to thank everyone who came down to the Optimist diamonds this past week and helped clean up after the storms and flood. There are too many to name, but you know who you are. Thanks again.


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 June 11, 2008 - Letter submitted by Shirley Richardson, Knightstown

Town of Knightstown employees, telephone and cable employees and all volunteers from surrounding communities are to be commended for the wonderful job they did recently in restoring power, telephone and cable services to Knightstown residents.

Saturday, May 31, Knightstown looked like a war zone with all the damage to property and trees caused by the storm. We are thankful that no one was killed or seriously injured.

Kudos to everyone!!


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 June 11, 2008 - Letter submitted by Misty Parham, Lewisville

It's good to see that justice is alive and well in Knightstown!

On May 28, I was pulled over and ticketed $129 for driving through a yellow light that turned red as I passed under the light. I thought if you could not safely stop it was legal to go through on yellow. I guess I thought that slamming on my brakes in the intersection with my two small children in the back seat would not be considered safe! I proceeded to get pulled over and Chief Baker tells me "I hate giving tickets it's the worst part of my job, but I have to give you this ticket because people saw you run the light." There were no cars on any side of the intersection except the chief and I, therefore I was not endangering anyone, nor did anyone see me.

I am having a hard time feeling like justice is being served when I saw what happened the next day. On May 29, a local man threatened the life of Chief Baker. In a news report found on, "the man had been calling 911 all day asking for an officer. When Cheif Baker arrived at the home, the man threatened to shoot him and then turn the gun on himself. The chief then backed down and that is when SWAT units were called to the scene." This incident caused officers of the State Police, sheriff's deputies and the previously mentioned SWAT units to come to Knightstown and assist the KPD. I personally saw WTHR's helicopter circling overhead. A large area of the neighborhood was roped off by police. Onlookers were asked to leave the area, and local residents were asked to remain in their homes. The police chief was threatened. The SWAT team had to enter the man's house. Was this man arrested? Not to my knowledge. Was this man fined? Not to my knowledge. Was this man billed for all of the valuable public resources used to diffuse the situation? Not to my knowledge. So, did no one see this? Yes, everyone in town knew that this was going on! Yet Chief Baker didn't ticket him or press charges because he has known him all of his life. How is this fair? Because the Chief and I don't go way back I get a ticket? I may be wrong, but isn't threatening to kill someone a little worse than running a yellow light?

My question to the readers of this letter and to Chief Baker is, which is the worse offense? Why are people being given tickets for running yellow lights but not for engaging in a two-plus hour standoff with police and threatening to kill a police officer?


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 June 11, 2008 - Letter submitted by Tom Saunders, State Representative (R-Lewisville)

Henry County residents may have received an unwelcome surprise in their mailboxes this past week, and I wanted to shed some light on a situation that has me concerned.

The Three Rivers Solid Waste Management District recently began mailing postcards requesting payment of a $12 "annual fee" that, according to the postcard, was mandated by House Bill 1240. These fees are used to fund Three Rivers, which is responsible for facilitating used tire collection, used appliance collection, environmental education and household hazardous waste collection. Additionally, Three Rivers is responsible for recycling drop-off sites in Knightstown, Middletown, Mooreland, New Castle, Spiceland, Sulphur Springs, and used motor oil collection at the Henry County Highway Department.

Two things need to be clarified:

*The House Bill 1240 mentioned in Three Rivers' postcards was passed in 1990, six years before I entered the Indiana General Assembly. This was not a bill that was passed recently.

*After examining the text of House Bill 1240, it is apparent the law does not require waste management districts to collect a user fee. In fact, until this year, Three Rivers received its funding from Henry County property taxes. Apparently, the Three Rivers board voted last year to change its funding source to a fee-based system; owners of each parcel of land in the county would be charged $12 yearly. In addition to the fees, the district also receives funding from people who use the area landfill.

The Indiana Code requires the district to consult residents through a public notice and a public hearing before the waste management district's board. Members of the Three Rivers board are local officials from around Henry County.

I do not think Three Rivers management communicated the new fee to Henry County residents very well at all. The vast majority of residents were caught completely off guard when the bill hit their mailboxes, threatening an additional $25 late fee if it was not paid on time.

We need to make sure Indiana law was followed in notifying residents of the impending fee. Although the new fee replaces the property tax revenue the district had received, the postcard made it seem that a new tax had been created.

I think Three Rivers should engage the community immediately in an effort to make residents aware of what they are paying for and why. Simply dropping a postcard in the mail does little to answer questions for residents who are rightfully concerned.

My office has tried contacting Three Rivers countless times, but to no avail. We have been in touch with the Association of Indiana Solid Waste Management Districts Inc. and will continue working to get some answers. Feel free to call or e-mail my office if you have any questions or concerns. I am continuing to stay involved in this situation, and I will keep you updated as I learn of new developments.


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 June 11, 2008 - Letter submitted by Barry Welsh, Democratic candidate for Indiana 6th Congressional District

Two years ago, during our first campaign for United States Congress, we ran a radio commercial where I said gas would be four to five dollars a gallon if we did not change. Many laughed me at, but I understand economics, and I had the correct judgment.

Two years later and gas is indeed at four dollars a gallon, and I understand the impact that has on all of us. My opponent (Mike Pence) does not see things in the same way. While appearing on Fox News, my opponent said, "Well, look, I did two parades today here in Eastern Indiana. Gasoline is at $3.99 a gallon. And while your report suggested accurately, that - that may be affecting vacation plans, it has no impact whatsoever on business, especially business on the farm."

I do not know if my opponent could say anything that could more indicate how out of touch he is with us in this district. I was amazed when he said, "Iraq was like any Indiana Market in the summertime," but to state on national television that the increase in gas prices have no impact whatsoever, takes things to a new level.

My opponent obviously continues in lockstep with Big Oil and with the failed policies of the Bush Presidency. We must move away from ALL oil, not just foreign oil. If I were currently the congressman, I would be bringing funding for wind, solar, and flex fuel vehicle manufacturing to this district, and the jobs that would be created.

My opponent voted no on HR 5351. This bill would extend tax credits to power companies that are producing green energy. Allow for financing through U.S. bonds up to two billion dollars for clean renewable energy research. Lowered property taxes for people with energy efficient properties, give tax credits for people who buy hybrid cars, and finally cut some tax credits for oil companies.

This bill would have created funding for projects in the sixth district such as expansion of the wind farm now being built in Randolph County, as well as the creation of new wind farms in Jay and Wayne counties, with the possibility of more wind farms in Randolph County as well. Also new jobs would be created in Muncie, Anderson, Connersville and New Castle. These are places where we have some of the best machinists in the country. They could be machining and building the turbines and blades for these new wind farms. Also the universities in the district, such as Ball State, would be able to receive some of this funding to innovate and design the next generation of green technologies. It's time we stop giving tax credits to oil companies that are posting record profits and start investing in the future of east central Indiana, and America.

My opponent also voted no on HR 6, the Energy Act of 2007. This bill would have increased standards for fuel efficiency in cars, increased production of renewable fuels, and also required ethanol plants, as well as other renewable fuel refineries, to lower greenhouse gas emissions, as well as other pollutants, which are detrimental to the surrounding communities.

This bill again would have allowed for the creation of new research and manufacturing jobs in the 6th District. The people in this district already know how to make great quality automotive parts, and there is no reason to believe that in the future they wouldn't be able to make great quality, more fuel efficient, automotive parts. This would also allow for east central Indiana to take advantage of its fertile soils that allow for ethanol plants to become a larger part of our economy, and become a new point of employment here, and this would eliminate the main concern that we all have about ethanol, and that is the pollution and smell that comes with some of these plants. This bill would have made these plants become environmentally friendly as well as more community friendly.

My opponent also voted no on HR 3221, which was titled: An Act Moving the United States Toward Greater Energy Independence and Security, Developing Innovative New Technologies, Reducing Carbon Emissions, Creating Green Jobs, Protecting Consumers, Increasing Clean Renewable Energy Production, and Modernizing Our Energy Infrastructure. How can one be against any part of that?

This bill would have given grants to medium and small business, allowing them to become more energy efficient, created more funding of research for renewable clean fuels, and set aside one billion dollars for funding of new clean energy producing plants.

Greater energy independence isn't just important when you're paying four dollars a gallon at the pump. It is a matter of national security. A matter of public health and cleaner communities, and most importantly, an opportunity to create new jobs here in east central Indiana. I hope you will join me in working toward these necessary changes.


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