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Letters Published in September 3, 2008 Issue
September 3, 2008 - Letter submitted by Danny Ramsey, Charlottesville
Bobby was a sophomore in high school. He just turned 16. He just got his drivers license. He was a good student.
Steve is a senior in high school. He just turned 18. He can legally buy alcohol. He is a good student. Steve and Bobby were on the football team. The team won the big game. There was a party.
Steve's parents are out of town. Steve, 18, buys the alcohol and hosts the party. Bobby attended the party. They had fun. They got drunk. Bobby, a new driver, attempted the drive home.
Steve was at school on Monday. Bobby was not.
We all make poor choices.
According to The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking, alcohol use by young people is a leading contributor to death from injuries, plays a significant role in risky sexual behavior, increases the risk of assault, and is associated with academic failure and illicit drug use.
Lets not encourage underage drinking in high schools and middle schools.
There is too much to lose - grades, a future, a loved one.
Leave the drinking age at 21.
September 3, 2008 - Letter submitted by Tony and Angela Moore, Knightstown Family Fellowship Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith
Recently, I have had the privilege to attend some of the school board meetings led by our new superintendent, Gary Storie, and the new school board. Never before have I been so impressed with the outstanding caliber of public servants who are voluntarily dedicating their time to serve our community. I believe the public will soon realize, if they haven't already, that this is a new day in the C.A. Beard School district and that we, our children, and the community have a bright future ahead.
This school board has the integrity, the character, the financial prudence and wisdom, and the business experience to make the best decisions for our children and their education. This current school board stresses that all information is public and we have complete access to their actions and decisions. They will make decisions which are legally correct and ultimately the best for our community. That it why I have written this letter, to let the community know that the school district made the decision to rent their school facilities to our faith-based group, the Knightstown Family Fellowship (KFF), based on the law of our nation. It is called the Law of Equal Access.
In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Good News v. Milford, 121 S.Ct. 2093, resolved a conflict of whether the faith-based group, the Good News Club, could rent their school facility for religious purposes. The Court ruled that public schools and other government facilities can no longer exclude religious instruction, prayer or worship, simply by claiming that they had not opened their facilities to that subject matter. Nor can such prohibitions be accomplished by labeling the proposed religious use a "religious service" or "proselytizing." The Court reaffirmed the protected status of religious speech in whatever form it may take, and ensured that the limited public forum can no longer be used to perpetuate unconstitutional religious discrimination. As Justice Scalia succinctly put it, "Because it's ‘religious’ will not do." Id. At 2108 (Scalia, J., concurring). (Source: ACLJ.org.)
In other words, if you allow your facility to be rented out, even if it is a public school, you cannot deny a group that legal right to rent, or allow the school to discriminate, based on religion or what that group will be teaching or talking about. In fact, it would be against the law to deny us that right to rent the facility. It's a freedom and a right that is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution which says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
So, on Sunday mornings, Sept. 7 - Oct. 5, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., at Kennard Elementary School, KFF will be studying the subject of marriage, based on the principles found in the Scriptures, having prayer, and sharing our faith in the one LORD God, and in His Son, Jesus. We want to help you build a stronger marriage and if it's already a good one, to make it even better! We would like to extend a warm invitation to anyone who would like to join us - everyone is welcome - and to check out our website at www.KFF.homestead.com.
Our plans are not limited to Kennard Elementary School. Plans are currently in the works for holding our next children's event, six weeks in October and November, to teach children, "Super Heroes of the Bible," in Knightstown Elementary School!
Tony and I are not pastors and make no pretense to be. We have no desire to become one, either. We are just a family who loves God, and desires to meet with others to encourage them in their walk with the Lord. We want to share what we know and what we've learned with others. We have a passion to live out the Bible in obedience to our Heavenly Father. We are not perfect people with perfect kids, but we are humble enough to know that this life is too hard to do it alone. We have a heart for the family and a passion for the Word of God.
So, if you're looking for something real, that will help you get through today, based on the principles of the hope God gives us for eternal life in the age to come, then KFF just might be worth checking out! And trust us, you have the freedom to do just that at the school! Come taste and see the freedoms that God provides, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
September 3, 2008 - Letter submitted by 2008 Panther Football Team
We would like to thank everyone who donated during the Pass the Bucket for Riley Children's Hospital at the game Friday night. Thanks to your generosity $223.37 was collected. We also collected $40 for hat day on Friday. We are blessed to help support a great cause. Again, thank you for your support.
September 3, 2008 - Letter submitted by John Swartz, Knightstown
It seems to me the Letter to the Editor from Stacy Cox, Kennard, should have actually been published as a Banner Perspective since she is the general manager and married to the publisher.
(Publisher's Note - The wife of the publisher is perfectly entitled to voice her opinion in a letter to the editor. The Banner Perspective represents the opinion of the newspaper. A letter to the editor represents the opinion of the individual writing it.)
September 3, 2008 - Letter submitted by Andrew Horning, Libertarian candidate for governor
Because our crime rates are rising … within our own government! Judicial misconduct, bad cops, jury tampering/abuse, school building scandals (e.g., AEPA/Tremco no bid scheme), and of course lawmakers are breaking laws at every level and in every significant way. As our government has broken the laws that protect citizens from oppression and war; and as citizens lose their jobs, homes and even lives for no good reason; it's time to take a stand for justice and decency.
Our government surrendered the moral authority to lay traps for decent citizens when politicians have trampled their own legal authority - the state and federal constitutions.
I propose we stop issuing unmarked cars (like hot rod Mustang Cobras) at once. I propose we stop entrapping and extorting citizens with speed traps and "infraction deferral" programs until our crime rates (civilian and government crime) are substantially reduced.
We must stop putting our police into ever-more adversarial roles against our citizens. We must allow them to protect and serve instead. And we absolutely must restore respect for law and order by policing our police and by governing our own government at last.
September 3, 2008 - Letter submitted by Rita McBride, Fortville
Several months ago I read an article that attempted to analyze why we elect the candidates we do. It left me with the depressing conclusion that too many of us vote for emotional reasons that have little to do with the real issues. I doubt that the people most capable of running our country could even be nominated, much less elected, to the presidency. Nevertheless, we must do the best we can to inform ourselves about the issues and the candidates as we try to decide which one to support.
For that reason, I was pleased to find Nate LaMar's letter in the Aug. 20 Banner. From him I learned about the National Journal and have looked over the website and bookmarked it for further use. However, we must be careful not to rely too much on voting records. It isn't always as "concrete and precise," as Tom Curry states. In his book The Audacity of Hope Barack Obama writes, "But most of the time, legislation is a murky brew, the product of one hundred compromises large and small, a blend of legitimate policy aims, political grandstanding, jerry-rigged regulatory schemes, and old-fashioned pork barrels. Often, as I read through the bills coming to the floor my first few months in the Senate, I was confronted with the fact that the principled thing was less clear than I had originally thought; that either an aye vote or a nay vote would leave me with some trace of remorse."
I'd like to offer an additional source of political information that I'm finding quite useful. You all know how things go in the campaign: One candidate says something is true; another says it's false. The press dutifully reports both statements but we often are left with no clue as to which candidate is telling the truth. I recently learned of a website that checks the accuracy of the factual information in political speeches, TV ads, etc. It's run by the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly and posts new information daily.
It is PolitiFact.com and my only criticism is that little, if any, information is presented about third-party candidates. It's too bad that so many people still think a vote is wasted if it isn't cast for a Democrat or a Republican. As many of you might suspect, both candidates are lying and both candidates are telling the truth. Oh, a word of warning to those of you who rely on books as a source of information - forget the anti-Obama book Obama Nation by Jerome Corsi. According to PolitiFact it's so full of factual errors that it's useless. No, I'm not trying to tell anybody how to vote, just trying to encourage people to learn the facts and vote intelligently.
September 03, 2009 - Letter submitted by Nate LaMar, Henry County Councilman
Growing-up in a family hosting many exchange students, I keep in touch with "exchange brothers and sisters" in several countries. My senior year at Hagerstown High School (1984-1985) was the "peak" of its exchange students (six of the seven were in my class)!
Yehuda "Udi" Nezaria was our first Israeli exchange student. After his stay with us, he convinced his family to immigrate to the USA! He joined them a few years later (after his Israeli military obligation), graduated from medical school, and now practices podiatry on Long Island. In May, we were invited to the bar mitzvah of Udi's oldest son, Jeremy.
When Jewish children turn 13, boys go through the bar mitzvah and girls go through the bat mitzvah. These are coming of age ceremonies unlike any other. The bar and bat mitzvahs require at least six months of in-depth study, first of the Hebrew language, then of the Torah (equivalent to Christianity's Old Testament), under the direct supervision of a rabbi. Although self-paced, the goal is to have completed such studies by one's 13th birthday. Upon undergoing the bar and bat mitzvahs, 13 year olds are then treated as adults within their synagogues, to include being allowed to read the Torah at Shabbat (Sabbath) services, among other adult responsibilities within the congregation.
Having attended Jewish weddings, I am more impressed with the bar mitzvah. Jewish families spend almost as much on bar/bat mitzvahs as they do on weddings, not because they are wealthy (a common, often unfair stereotype), but because they have high expectations of their children and want them to realize how meaningful such ceremonies are. Jewish weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs are certainly not Las Vegas events!
In his Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, a member of South Africa's Xhosa tribe, tells of his coming of age as including his circumcision as a young teen. When they turned 13, a Ball State professor would put his children on an uninhabited island in the Great Lakes for a few days with minimal supplies, so they could learn to live off the land. Mexican families have quinceanera parties when daughters turn 15. But these are more like informal debutante balls, than a coming of age ceremony, and are non-religious.
I searched the Internet for a ceremony equivalent to the bar/bat mitzvah in Christianity, but could not come up with one. The closest I could come up with was CCD class. But my Catholic cousins tell me CCD classes vary widely from one parish to the next, and are often not taken seriously enough. As a Protestant, I remember confirmation class being more of a "becoming a church member" class, rather than a coming of age.
Perhaps a Christian coming of age ceremony could help solve many societal problems. We should also have as high of expectations for our children as Jews do. It is more than just teaching our children portable skills, as Jews have over the centuries out of necessity.
September 03, 2008 - Letter submitted by Tom and Betty Gorman, Jr.; Brenda and Bill Merrell Mike and Marsha Gorman; Ramona and Sam Cooper; Deanna and Steve Morgan; Sondra and Jim Gorman
The family of Thomas M. Gorman, Sr., would like to express our thanks to Dr. Kassob, respiratory therapy and nurses at Rush Memorial Hospital, John and Connie Todd of Todd Funeral Home in Knightstown, Mable Hinton Shelley, along with the families at Carthage Christian Church, and the grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren for organizing the delicious meal. Thanks to Gregory Howard for the beautiful service provided for his uncle; and to family, friends, neighbors and coworkers for their beautiful flowers, cards, calls, food and many thoughts and prayers.
When it comes to the elderly, so many of them are neglected. Most of their friends and many family members have passed before them and so many think they're old, so why bother with them. But, the love and respect our father of 93 years had from so many people showed how he lived such a full and caring life. So, young people, if you have an elderly loved one, neighbor or coworker or are meeting the elderly on the street, don't forget to give them the respect they are deserving of. Don't let them be a person that you see as just being old and without feelings.
From what we see on the news or read in the papers about the abuse elderly have put upon them, the elderly need all our help. Make it your mission to remember and help.
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