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Letters Published in August 27, 2008 Issue
August 27, 2008 - Letter submitted by Dan Webber, president Knightstown Neighborhood Crime Watch
I would like to extend my deepest appreciation and sincere thanks to the following people for the special honor and plaque I received at the Aug. 21 Knightstown Town Council meeting: Council President Valerie Trump and other council members; Knightstown Chief of Police Danny Baker; Henry County Sheriff Butch Baker; and all members of the Knightstown Neighborhood Crime Watch and citizens of Knightstown.
Anyone interested in joining KNCW or finding out more about our organization is encouraged to attend our next meeting, Monday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. in the classroom on the east side of the Hoosier Gym. Refreshments will be served.
August 27, 2008 - Letter submitted by Virginia L. Peters, Kennard
I have just learned through the last week's Knightstown Banner, dated Aug. 6, 2008, that a couple from Knightstown, the Moores, of the Knightstown Family Church, called the Family Fellowship of God of Abrahamic Faith, is planning on its first service on August 24 at Kennard Elementary School.
Headline in The Banner: New Church Forming in Kennard. Well, I would like to know who them permission to do so. In the first place, they are not allowed to have any kind of prayer or prayers in a public school. That is the law. They have no right do come here and use Kennard Elementary School for any kind of church service. Did the school board give their consent without the consideration of the people of Kennard?
My question to you, the school board, is, have you made some sort of a secret deal behind the backs of us who pay the taxes on this school to close the Kennard school? And perhaps you are thinking on leasing it to the Moores for a church. I do not see you letting go of the building as long as you can make money from it.
New school board member Steve Dalton said in last week's Courier-Times that the school boards in the past have mentioned closing the Kennard school more times than he can count. He goes on to say redistricting could be the first of other uncomfortable options the board may have to discuss later - especially in light of the schools' tight financial situation. Well, whose fault is it for your tight financial situation? None other than the former school boards and administrations who, in the past, have been wasting and squandering the taxpayers' money because of their own stupidity for years.
Now they're talking about redistricting part of the boundary to put some second graders in the Knightstown school. Well, I smell a rat, or maybe more than one. You have already taken out our fifth and sixth grades and there was no redistricting done then. You took kids from right here in town and put them in your school. Now it's the second graders you are messing with, most of whom, you say, are on the outskirts of town.
But you won't stop there. You'll find something else to use against this town. You want to come in here and take our school. And you'll get away with it, if something isn't done to stop you. People here in Kennard need to wake up. If we lose our school, then we have nothing to offer any decent people to come here and live.
All we would have left would be the post office. The only other business would be Good's candy shop. And if the school goes out, then goodbye post office. Without the school, who would want to live here? Well, here is what I say to you: I don't care who you are, you can go somewhere else and start a church, and if you live in the country and you have held your services at your home, then put yourself up a building on your own land.
Maybe the churches here don't care if you're here, but I do. And it isn't because I don't believe in God, because I do. And, by the way, do you have to have a license with the state of Indiana to preach or teach in any church? My guess would be you don't. I would bet you got around that by the homestead thing. Have you gone to any legal Bible college? Or, did you just take a home course? Have you been a member of any church that is legal and licensed by the state of Indiana? And, most importantly, have you been born again?
And have you stood in front of The Man and confessed your sins to almighty God? Well, you sound like a cult to me. And poor Kennard would be a prime target for one. And I think you, Charles A. Beard School Board, are up to something. And if you want to be here so bad, I suggest you rent the town hall again for your three Sundays, like you did before.
August 27, 2008 - Letter submitted by Stacy Cox, Kennard
Look out! The liberals are coming! Ooh! Let's all be scared!
Really, Mr. LaMar, after all the many letters to this newspaper, was last week's letter the best you could give us on why we all should be shakin' in our boots about the possibility of an Obama presidency? (For a party that is supposedly so much tougher, why do I constantly have to hear from Republican politicians how scared we should be about everything?)
Certainly we must all by now understand that you, Mr. LaMar, are of such an independent mind that you would never jump on any bandwagon before fully considering a political candidate's or party's voting record. You would never do anything so trendy as to memorize the latest Karl Rove-style talking points and self-righteously call for us all to listen. Oh no, you would never push the latest (trendy) "line of attack" such as warning the great people of this county we shouldn't be seduced by celebrity.
Every letter you have ever submitted for us to consider should have first stated: "Please set aside your common sense before reading further."
Mr. LaMar, I understand that you have personal experience as a member of governing body and as a member of our country's military. Therefore, I have concluded you believe we readers to be either too unsophisticated or too intimidated by your resume to pose any comments or questions to your statements.
Mr. LaMar, do you know one thing that I really dig that is NOT trendy? Call me a big nerd, but I just can't stop thinking about that sexy Constitution of the United States and especially, those oh-so-cool Bill of Rights. I get near-to-fainting thinking about how that Constitution is hanging in there despite the lack of attention from the media and most elected representatives of both political parties.
I can hardly get control over myself, so consumed I am with hope that our Constitution will make its big comeback and those trusted media personalities on all sides of the political spectrum will be on the screens of our teevees and monitors discussing in depth its strength and its ability to get up after it has been knocked down and kicked all over.
I also keep hearing voices in my head that sound like my parents and teachers and coaches. They keep saying things like "use your head" and "use your common sense" and "work hard and smart and everything will turn out fine" and, the one that is a real bugger, "Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you." I've searched my memory and cannot recall ever being told to just "do unto other Americans and to hell with everyone else."
I find it hilarious that your number one point to bring up in your last letter was about the estate tax. Again, why not first state "I know you readers don't know any better so I come with my most absurd point first." You set your letter up telling us to be wary of the big celebrity and then we're supposed to care about Obama voting against the repeal of the estate tax? Only one to two percent of Americans ever have to pay this tax. In 2009, the exemption on this tax will be raised to $3.5 million (or $7 million for a couple) and then the tax is still only due on the amount over $3.5 million. I'm sure most of us around here are losing a lot of sleep worrying about the good folks with estates worth more than $3.5 million.
Repealing the estate tax would likely be devastating to charitable organizations who benefit from these multi-millionaires looking to reduce the size of their estates for tax purposes. Repealing this tax would also increase our national debt over 10-year period to as much as a trillion dollars by some estimates. No big deal, right? We can just borrow some more from China or whoever ... it's so trendy to do that these days!
As for your points about stem-cell research and defining a fetus as an "unborn child" ... I won't even bother with the normal arguments. When your political faction starts to show they care even a little about what happens to real living children outside of the womb, then maybe I will listen to your concerns. Just this week our military dropped some bombs in Afghanistan killing about 50 children. Since they were already born and living on the other side of the world, that's no big deal, I guess. It was worth it, I read, as an overpaid spokesperson for the military said some Taliban insurgents were killed too.
Your party's nonsense about being pro-life is more than I can stomach. None of you cared about those frozen embryos until some smarty-pants scientists (probably scary liberals) wanted to see if they could help people already born and trying to maintain their life. Your party makes no similar protest about the plight of the already-born children (and adults) when they die of causes that could be prevented if our country didn't spend more than all other countries combined on making war in every corner of the world. The pro-life party? Give me a break!
Most of your other points just reveal how inadequate your understanding is of our Constitution and our country's history. I wish I could express how depressing it is to read people in your position imply with such pride that only the lucky ones are entitled to due process. Unlike you, I believe in our ability to deal with all people by legal means. I don't care how tightly you wrap yourself in the flag and yell "traitor" at me, I will never, ever believe that it is legal or morally right to snatch people up all over the world (including American citizens), never tell them what they are accused of and then lock them away in a prison for years where they are tortured. There will likely be no one in the current administration held accountable for any of the massive amount of law-breaking they have done. Punishment and disgrace is only for us little folks. The super-wealthy and the corrupt always have people like Nate LaMar backing them up, I guess.
This is already long and I'm sure most people had no idea what you were even talking about with your other points ... you know, since they are busy trying to figure out how not to lose their homes or recovering from the shock of their grocery bill ... so I will pass on commenting on the rest of your scary list of Obama votes. Some of us actually read and pay attention and could possibly outline the two decades of McCain votes. Having served on a government body, I'd think you would know, Mr. LaMar, that any pol's voting record can be spun however one wishes and almost no vote is as simple as a one sentence summary like you provided. Most voters, unfortunately, don't care to delve deeper.
Maybe you should drop the not-so-subtle condescending attitude toward anyone considering a vote for Obama, or anyone who may be a liberal. You have no credibility in telling anyone around here what liberals think. You have no clue, which is obvious in every letter you write. (I'm pretty sure you don't have a clue on what moderates think either.) Liberals and progressives are not big fans of Obama. He's a cautious centrist who buddied up with Dick Lugar when he got to the Senate, so he's hardly a liberal's dream candidate!
It's pretty simple for me this election cycle. There's Obama and the Democrats or McCain and the Bush/Cheney Republicans (no other viable choices, once again). So, do I walk in the voting booth and vote for the guy (McCain) who's ready to rumble with Russia and Iran and wants to hold a strong military presence in Iraq and nearly every other country forever, no matter what the cost in blood and treasure? Do I vote for the guy (McCain) who graduated 894 in his class of 899 students or the one (Obama) who was qualified enough to teach constitutional law for 12 years at one of the GOP's favorite universities? Do I trust the guy (Obama) who has spent his life doing what this society says one should do to be successful ... work hard, get good grades, go to college, help in your community, be a good spouse and parent, have goals to better your own life and that of others?
Should I overlook that other guy (McCain) probably wouldn't have graduated if his father and grandfather had not been admirals ... a guy so morally transformed by his POW experience that when he came back and learned his wife had been disfigured in a car wreck, he resumed his party-boy ways and snagged him a young, wealthy heiress and dumped his first wife? Really, are Americans stupid enough to go to the polls this year worried about stem-cell research and the inheritance tax that they will stick another guy in office who has never spent a day in a working guy's shoes, who brags about not being very smart on the economy, who's super-enthusiastic about more war and indifferent about more debt? God, I certainly hope not.
I'm going to take the less trendy option and pick the smart student, the overachiever, the guy not afraid to work on the mean streets of Chicago or in a classroom of mostly rich and highly educated law students and the guy who seems to truly value life, work, children, and marriage ... and that would be Obama. He's no Eleanor Roosevelt, but at least I'm confident he's nothing like the current president!
August 27, 2008 - Letter submitted by Sarah F. Ward, Knightstown
Butler University President, Bobby Fong, has joined with approximately 100 other university presidents in asking lawmakers to consider lowering the legal drinking age from 21 to 18 again.
These questions need to be answered. Will legal drinking for 18-years-olds improve the goals of a university? If an 18-year-old can drink legally, how many more younger teens will begin drinking with their older friends?
Consider these facts carefully.
The brain is not fully developed until the age of 21 or even to the age of 25. Brain development in adolescence and into young adulthood can be impaired by heavy alcohol use. The hippocampus is responsible for learning and remembering. The hippocampus has been found to be 10 percent smaller in teens who abused alcohol than those of teens who did not abuse alcohol. [Dr. John Nelson, former President, AMA]
In 2003 the average age of first use of alcohol was about 14. Those who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence. The younger a person is when starting to drink, the more likely there will be behavior harmful to self and to others. Each year approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking including about 1,000 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, and hundreds from injuries such as falls, burns and drownings. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)
When the legal drinking age was 18 (before 1984) binge drinking rates among 12th graders were 41 percent; today they are 21 percent. (David Rosenbloom, Join Together)
August 27, 2008 - Letter submitted by Bill Murray, Knightstown
There is a small town in northern Illinois, close to the Wisconsin border, that has a claim to fame not too dissimilar from Knightstown's.
Hebron, Ill., is a small town of approximately 1,100 people built in the middle of farm country. They are located in McHenry County, just west of Richmond, Ill.
In 1952, Hebron High, enrollment of 98, became the smallest school in Illinois history to win the state basketball championship. The spirit of that town has carried over and Hebron has become a "you must see it town" with various antique shops, an ice cream parlor, old fashioned candy store, multiple "ma and pa" eateries with home cooking, and much, much more. When you look upward in Hebron you see their water tower hovering over the town with their 1952 victory banner affixed to it.
Maybe, just maybe, Knightstown could become this type of town if all the various elements of leadership would join together and form a plan and execute it. Sounds like perfection, but the pursuit of perfection would probably yield high returns: the people of Knightstown's needs, first; individual egos, second. It is hard to have an excellent football team when you have all assistant coaches and no head coach.
A very current example of "no head coach" is the CAB problem of owing approximately $900,000 in special education payments for the period 2007-2008. A few questions could be asked:
1. Are there monthly reports prepared by CAB administration comparing approved line-item budget amounts to actual spending?
2. If there are such reports, are they given monthly to the school board or town council?
3. Who provides the internal controls demanded by generally accepted accounting practices?
4. Who signs CAB checks?
5. Who audits CAB and other departments on an ongoing basis?
6. Lastly, if the special education (programs for exceptional children) was in the 2007 and 2008 budgets and not fully paid, then where is the money? Spent on other programs?
In the work of accounting of finance, you should not be dependent on an administrator telling the truth about financial conditions, but, rather, there should be a monthly reporting system reviewed by a third party. And there should always be annual audits by an independent firm, not by the persons running the system.
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