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 Letters Published in October 1, 2008 Issue



October 1, 2008 - Letter submitted by Julia Fennder, former lance corporal, U.S. Marines and Paul Zamarian, Santa Clara, Cal.

Dear Editor,

As you consider your vote, here are things to look at:

Women’s Rights

John McCain ahs always been against a woman’s right to choose. By picking Sarah Palin he intensifies this position. He wants Roe v. Wade overturned and would appoint Supreme Court and federal judges who support this position.

Sarah Palin is against a woman’s right to choose, even in cases of rape and incest. While mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, women who reported being raped had to purchase their own rape kits at a cost of $300 to $1,200. This kit is essential in proving rape. Alaska has a rate of rape, incest and sexual assault double the rest of the country. In response to this policy in Wasilla, the Alaskan legislature passed a law requiring this kit be provided for women.

In contrast, in 1994 Joe Biden authored the most comprehensive federal law against sexual abuse in our history. But in October 2007, John McCain voted against Biden’s legislation for funding rape kits. McCain has voted for Viagra being covered by health insurance, but against contraception coverage.

Veterans’ Affairs

As a vet with more than 20 years of naval service you would thinkg John McCain would be a strong supporter of our vets. But his actions show otherwise. He has voted to oppose or table 1) $20 million for veterans’ healthcare facilities; 2) $322 million for safety equipment for our troops in Iraq; 3) $430 million for veterans’ outpatient care; 4) $1 billion in new equipment for our National Guard; 5) $1.5 billion in additional veterans’ medical care, paid for by closing tax loopholes in one vote, and $1.8 billion in another vote.

Most recently, McCain opposed the Webb-Hagel GI Bill, even though the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Disabiled American Veterans, Blinded Veterans Association and the Paralyzed Veterans of America were for it. The Disabled American Veterans Association gives McCain a 20 percent favorable rating. Obama gets an 80 percent favorable rating.

Economic Judgement

In the 1980s, as one of the “Keating Five,” McCain was involved in necessitating the savings and loan bailout. He supports a form of privatizing Social Security and putting part of our Social Security in the stock market. These actions should help you decide on November 4.




October 1, 2008 - Letter submitted by John Leisure, Knightstown

Dear Editor,

There has been quite a brouhaha raised over Democratic Vice presidential nominee Joe Biden's statement that paying higher taxes is patriotic. I thought about it and Sen Biden is correct, any act in support of your country is patriotic. Some chose to serve in the military, others choose public service or serve as policemen and firefighters. I believe that paying taxes is just as important as any other act committed in the interest of the nation. Then my mind turned to unpatriotic acts, of course treason and aiding an enemy in time of war are right up there at the top, but there are some others that we might consider as well.

1. Not paying taxes at all seems unpatriotic as does hiding income to avoid paying taxes.

2. Moving wealth offshore so you don't pay taxes seems to qualify.

3. Moving your company's headquarters to some post office box in the Bahamas to dodge taxes seems to fit in as well

4.Closing down a factory in the U.S. and moving it to Mexico or China so you can save on labor costs seems questionable to me, and having workers pack up the factory and their jobs as the factory closes down is just wrong as well

5. How about hiring illegal immigrants instead of legal residents to save on labor costs. That seems unpatriotic to me at least

Some of these things are legal but so is burning the flag and I'd bet few in this area think of that as a patriotic act.

As a patriotic American I'll pay my taxes and I won't cheat on them nor will I spend my time trying to come up clever ways to lessen my responsibility. I am aware that there are some out there who won't act in the same way and no matter how tightly they may wrap themselves in the flag they can't make me believe that they are truly patriots.




 October 1, 2008 - Letter submitted by the Knightstown Chamber of Commerce

 Dear Editor,

We would like to thank everyone for supporting the Hoosier Fall Festival again this year! This is a wonderful community event that brings in many folks from out-of-town to help support our local businesses and town.

Much work goes on all year to plan for the festival. So, many thanks go out to Dave and Kay Denney, Mike and Sonja Wells, Rich and Emily McCorkle, Erin Winters, Darry and Sue Hood, Patty Keesling, Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service, Mike Hinsey, Knightstown Dental (Dr. Doug Huynh), Mel Matlock and the town workers, Adams Enterprises, Knightstown High School, Rusty Johnson, all of the entertainers who shared their talents at the festival, and to the community for its continued support.

The weather caused many problems this year and scared away many of the vendors who had committed to attending. Each year we continue to get better vendors and attractions to add to the festival, so be sure to check us out next year! Again, thank you to everyone!




 October 1, 2008 - Letter submitted by Dr. Kenneth L. Russell, Professor of Education, Emeritus, Sam Houston State University

Dear Editor,

I know there will be loud objections and condemnations of this essay. Let me begin by saying that I am definitely opposed to abortion.

I want it clearly understood that I am equally opposed to bringing unwanted or defective children into this world to be abused, tortured, raped and all of the horrible things that can happen to unwanted children. There is definitely a need for an intelligent solution to this very old personal problem that worries so many people running for public office.

So I am left with a dilemma. Please do not counter with the solution that someone will adopt the unwanted child. Orphanages and children's homes are full of children that have not been adopted. Hospitals see hundreds of children born with physical and mental defects that cannot be corrected. And please do not confuse a fetus with a baby. A pile of lumber is not a house, and a fertilized egg is not a chicken. The embryo in an egg becomes a chick when it pecks out of the shell, and a fetus becomes a baby when it is born and breathes on its own.

Never forget that God aborts millions of fertilized eggs and fetuses every day. God does not want imperfect and unwanted children brought into the world, so he tries to get rid of imperfect fertilized eggs and fetuses before they become unwanted or deformed children at birth.

Man, in all of his sympathy, does everything is his power to take it out of God's hands by spending billions of dollars to take care of and perpetuate imperfection.

Let me propose a solution as awful as it may seem to some. If God has not already eliminated the unwanted or imperfect fetus before it becomes a child then let the mother and family make the decision whether to get rid of it or not. God gets rid of imperfect fetuses in his goal of perfecting his greatest invention - the human race.

Let those who are opposed to abortion spend their money and time in educating people in pregnancy prevention. Primitive man did not try to overrule God and never went to the extreme of trying to preserve the unwanted or the imperfect.

Let us put some teeth in being responsible for one's actions. If a girl or a woman through irresponsible sexual activity does not want or can't care for a child, let the fetus be aborted. If she carries the fetus to maturity and cannot pay for its delivery she should be TEMPORARILY sterilized until she has paid the bill. Then she can be just as irresponsible as she wishes without punishing the public with the cost.

Let's face the facts, bringing a baby into this world at public expense is a form of subsidized theft. We might just as well make it okay to steal a loaf of bread if one is hungry.

Let's get tough and realistic about people being responsible for their actions.

The male must also be held responsible for his actions. I'll discuss this in a future essay.


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 October 1, 2008 - Letter submitted by Belinda Deni, Knightstown

Dear Editor,

An issue has come to my attention lately and I would like to address it to this paper and its recipients. This issue is a food safety and awareness issue that I am sure needs to be more than just discussed. The Burger King in Knightstown, 9229 W County Road 650 S (765-785-2700) is filthy, unsanitary, and in my opinion just downright awful. I have had several bad experiences there over the course of many months and it just seems to be getting worse as time progresses. That is the purpose of this letter - to call attention to the problem - and then to have it fixed.

On August 21, 2008 the CSPI Food Safety Administration released a statement talking about concerns with spinach and certain lettuces. It was brought to my attention several times that no matter what the CSPI said Burger King, more-or-less, did what they wanted to. Certain tomatos, etc. have been “questioned” a lot this summer and I still find them here at the local Burger King in Knightstown. I experienced a complete turnaround in the Burger King in Anderson. I even spoke with their manager who seemed very friendly and didn’t mind talking and walking through food safety guidelines with me.

Not the case with the Burger King in Knightstown. I tried talking to their manager and not one of the young teens working there could “find” them for me. The place is always dirty - don’t get me started on the restrooms - and several friends of mine (one just last month) suffered food poisoning from this place. We decided it was either their lettuce, or their salad dressings - which usually when I order them are both room temperature. I would really like this problem to “take care of itself” and shine a better light on the city of Knightstown. Besides Subway, which is almost always clean, what “chains” do we have here in Knightstown? None - which is exactly how many more I will want, personally, in the future if they turn out to be as bad as Burger King. Thanks.


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 October 01, 2008 - Letter submitted by Nate LaMar, New Castle

 Dear Editor,

If it weren’t for a trade show, I would have attended this year’s Republican National Convention. In 1988, I attended the RNC in New Orleans. Little did I know our Hoosier homeboy, Sen. Dan Quayle, would become George Bush’s running-mate. How euphoric it was to witness his speech in person! I felt the same excitement watching Gov. Palin speak, even if on TV. I can’t wait until her Oct. 2 debate against Sen. Biden. Hopefully she will be herself, and ditch her “handlers,” as Quayle should have done.

For at least the past 20 years, ideological balance has trumped geography in the “Veepstakes.” In 1988, left-wing Gov. Michael Dukakis (D-MA), tried reaching out to moderates by balancing his ticket with Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-TX) as running-mate. Vice President George Bush, known for his moderate views, reached out to conservatives by selecting Sen. Quayle (geography played a lesser role, as Quayle’s selection also helped bring victories in Indiana’s neighboring swing states: Illinois; Michigan; Ohio).

The most left-wing member of the US Senate, according to National Journal’s non-partisan voting record analysis (unlike Congressional Quarterly, NJ monitors only substantive votes), Sen. Obama could have reached out to moderates, like Rep. Chet Edwards (D-TX), whom he briefly considered. However, in choosing Biden, the 3rd most left-wing US Senator (NJ, Jan. 30, 2008), Democrats now have a liberal/liberal ticket.

On the other hand, Senator McCain, known for his moderate voting record, reached out to conservatives by selecting Gov. Sara Palin (R-AK), a fellow “maverick,” with experience comparable to Teddy Roosevelt when he became William McKinley’s Vice President. This means Republicans now have a moderate/conservative ticket. Obama has probably been kicking himself ever since for not balancing his ticket better!

Demographics are also important. Obama, a young, black male, chose Biden, an older white male; McCain, an older white male, chose Palin, a young, white female. Geography is no longer a factor. Delaware and Alaska have low populations (each has only one Congressional district). But Biden, who is about as “Eastern Establishment” as it gets, suddenly reinvented himself as a blue-collar “kid” from neighboring Pennsylvania!

With neither McCain nor Palin being Ivy League-educated, and from Western states, for the first time since 1976, the Republican ticket has no elitist Eastern Establishment connections. McCain/Palin is a balanced ticket, and will look-out for the rest of America!


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 October 1, 2008 - Letter submitted by Ed Kowlowitz, M.D.; Owner and Medical Director, Center for Pain Management

Dear Editor,

On any given day, more people suffer from pain than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. In fact, more than one-quarter of Americans — especially those living with chronic disease — regularly endure some degree of persistent pain. Chances are you know someone living in pain — maybe it’s you. Unfortunately, too many suffer quietly and needlessly when you can have power over pain.

In recognition of National Pain Awareness Month, I encourage you to become informed about pain. Whether it affects you or a loved one, learn all you can about pain management options and the types of health care providers who specialize in pain. Visit your local library, search the Internet or talk to people you know who are living with pain.

The National Institute of Health Statistics indicates that low back pain is the most common type of pain reported by Americans, followed by severe headache or migraine pain, and then neck pain. The good news is most pain can be greatly eased with proper pain management. You have the right to have your pain properly assessed and treated. You stand the best chance of making that happen when you take an active role in treatment. This means communicating with your doctor very specifically about your pain and its impact on your quality of life.

If you are not satisfied currently with your pain care or your loved one’s treatment options, don’t give up. Be direct; ask your health care provider if he or she is comfortable working as a partner in developing a pain management plan. If the answer is “no”, ask for a referral to a pain specialist or find another health care provider. You’ll get the most effective relief when you make sure to follow their advice on exercise, diet and recommended treatments.

The Power Over Pain Action Network, a project of the American Pain Foundation, is a national network of volunteers working to raise awareness and inform people with pain about their rights as a patient. Visit for more information.


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 October 1, 2008 - Letter submitted by Steve Cook, NASA Ares projects manager, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.

 Dear Editor,

If you don't follow NASA more closely than noting a space shuttle launch or space walk on the International Space Station, you may not be aware that America is building a new rocket. It's called the Ares I, and it is America's rocket that will carry humans into space for exploration missions to the moon and beyond.

Together with a larger follow-on rocket, the Ares V, and a capsule called Orion which will house our astronaut crews, the Ares I makes up our country's new space transportation system.

America first landed on the moon almost 40 years ago when Neil Armstrong took the small step that was a giant leap for mankind. We didn't stay very long back then.

Now we plan to build an outpost on the moon, and conduct scientific research there that will result in learning more about our own planet and the universe we live in. We also will learn the skills required to continue space exploration and expand human presence throughout our solar system.

Just as happened when we first went to the moon with the Apollo program, the technology innovation this activity generates will find many new uses in our nation's economy, promoting national prosperity.

And just as in Apollo, it will take the collective skills and hard work of our entire nation to make this happen. Right now, 213 companies in 32 states and Puerto Rico are working on the Ares I rocket -- including three firms here in Indiana.

America's space budget is spent right here on Earth.

Building a new rocket provides many benefits. Besides technology innovation, economic stimulus and acquisition of new knowledge, it inspires the next generation of scientists and engineers and promotes our national security and our national pride.

For all these reasons, many other nations around the globe are rapidly expanding their own space programs. China has announced plans to send its astronauts to the moon.

They do so because not only does it take a nation to build a rocket – a new rocket also can help build a nation.


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 October 1, 2008 - Letter submitted by Thomas Easterly, Commissioner, Indiana Dept. of Environmental Mgmt.

 Dear Editor,

Along with children returning to school, autumn brings with it the bounty of summer's harvest, crisp evening air and the changing color of fall foliage. While nature's beauty provides a glorious visual display, what Hoosiers do with fallen leaves can affect the environment.

Historically, many Hoosiers have been quick to reach for their matches to rid their yards of fallen leaves and other yard wastes, such as grass clippings, branches and weeds. While burning gets rid of the wastes, the smoke from these fires affects air quality, so setting fire to yard debris is not advised. Smoke from all fires releases carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, fine particles and ozone-forming chemicals and can cause a number of negative impacts for Hoosiers and our environment. Unlike dry, seasoned fire wood, fallen leaves have high moisture content and tend to smolder, releasing thick, unhealthy smoke that can affect family members, neighbors and our environment.

Why should we be concerned about finding alternatives to open burning leaves and other yard waste? Anyone can be affected from the unhealthy smoke from burning piles of leaves. Elderly, young children and individuals with respiratory or heart ailments are particularly vulnerable to ill health effects from fine particle emissions. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) revised the threshold for both particulate matter and ozone, holding all communities accountable for ensuring concentrations lower than ever before. As a result, all of us should work together to prevent unhealthy emissions from unnecessary open burning of leaves and other yard waste.

The good news is there are simple things every one of us can do to improve air quality, starting with the disposal of yard debris. The best way to get rid of leaves, branches and other yard wastes is by composting, chipping and mulching. These options can be done in your own yard or through a program set up with your city, township or county. Composting returns nutrients to the soil instead of releasing harmful chemicals into the air. Chipped wood can be used around trees and in flower beds to retain soil moisture and control weeds. Mulching leaves on the lawn with a lawn mower returns nutrients to the grass, fertilizing your yard. Raking leaves into a pile and composting them over the winter creates a fertile soil amendment that can be used for flower beds, gardens and potted plants in the spring. Food scraps can be added to an active compost pile year-round to reduce the amount of kitchen waste being sent to landfills.

Since burning leaves, twigs and other yard waste is bad for the environment, I strongly recommend considering alternative ways of ridding your yard of waste. Smoke is unhealthy to breathe, it's a hazard, and there are safer, cleaner and more environmentally-friendly ways of disposal. To learn more about ways to dispose of yard debris, visit IDEM's Web site at



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