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 Letters Published in October 8, 2008 Issue



October 8, 2008 - Letters submitted by Joe, Penny and Shelby Patton, and Katie Buckley

Dear Editor:

We would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for all of the kind and considerate acts of generosity and compassion from so many members of our wonderful community, including whomever called the fire department, members of the Knightstown-Wayne Township Volunteer Fire Dept., Sherri and Mark Messer, Christy Schull, Amy Johnson, The Banner, members of the KHS varsity cheerleading squad and coaches and their families, including Jill Gorman, Jana Burton, the Fenders, the Doubmans, Amanda Silver and family, Russ and Cheryl Hammer, Scott and Traci Morgan, Jacob and Nina Smith, Tony and Terri True, Tom and Dana True, Jason and Lisa Smith, Shannon Erwin, Leigh Vaughan, Glenda Peacock, Jeff and Anne Marie Weiland, Tracy Smith, Kelly Hall, members of the Wilkinson Church of Christ, Norm Patrick, Grant Wilfong, Teresa Smith, Morris and Dottie Smoot, David Bundy, Chris and Leah James, Jim and Marcia Patton, Marion Redstone, Patti Redstone, Kimberly Hopkins and members of the Sheridan junior high cheerleading squad and their families, Vicki Redstone, Valeria Mansfield, Chuck and Jane Slinger, April Buckley and Gary Gulley, Jennifer Kaufman, John Harlburt and members of the Crowe-Horvath team on site with the IBM Coalition, members of IBM, including Peggy Anthony, Teresa Vanstone, Jennifer Powers, Frank Bauerly, Richard Jones and many other people who have helped us out in so many ways. We are truly blessed to have so many people praying for us and extending their help day after day.


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 October 8, 2008 - Letters submitted by Barry Welsh, Indiana 6th District Congressional Candidate

Dear Editor,

Right now our economy is suffering from poor decisions by those in Washington and on Wall Street, and the people here in East Central Indiana are paying the price for it. The last thing we need is a $700 billion dollar knee jerk reaction. Many in Congress voted against this bill last week because they knew it would not bring serious reform, but now have abandoned their principles and voted for it because of partisan pressure, and lobbying interests. What we need in Indiana are long term solutions to a slumping economy, and reform that can benefit everyone.

I have watched the debate in Washington over what to do with amazement. One of the key elements missing is input from the public. I know what I have heard from my constituents over these past few days, and it is not support for this legislation.

As an economist and a citizen and a tax payer, I oppose the Wall Street bailout plan, and if I were serving in Congress I would vote NO. It is well intentioned, but it remains terribly flawed. The current 451 page plan does nothing to offset the cost of this proposal, leaving taxpayers with the burden of picking up the tab for serious lapses of judgment by private financial institutions. Those that should have been regulating, and those in Washington who allowed this to happen, did so by removing the safeguards that had protected consumers and the economy since the Great Depression.

It is clear that something needs to be done to stabilize our economy; I don’t believe that this bill is it. Without mandated relief for homeowners there is no guarantee the money will go where it is supposed to. Without serious reform this bill will not protect us from a repeat of this crisis in the future.

The important thing right now is that we stabilize our banking industry and our credit markets. We need to give people with savings and investments a reason to keep their faith in American banks. That is why I support the part of the legislation that increases FDIC insurance to $250,000. I would like to see a package a third of the size of the one currently passed, this is taxpayer’s money, and we have already released 400 billion to the banks through the US Treasury. I think that an additional $250 billion should be used now to stabilize the markets, so that banks are able to extend credit and loans to small businesses and individuals.

Congress should call for an immediate freeze on all bankruptcies and foreclosures, until a long term solution can be put in place. This legislation should be about saving jobs and homes, and there is no guarantee the current bill will do either. There should be oversight to make sure this money is used the way it was intended, for the public good, not the corporate bottom line. All of the “extras” need to be stripped from this legislation. This is too serious of a problem to play politics, and we need straight answers, not more of the DC two step.

Future legislation by the next Congress should address mortgages, savings, investing, and trade policy, and what regulations need to be in place to make sure this does not happen again. This isn’t about placing blame, but finding our mistakes from the past, learning from them, and forming lasting solutions. As part of the next Congress I pledge to support legislation that provides real solutions for average people, because that is who I represent, the average people of the Indiana 6th Congressional District.


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 October 8, 2008 - Letters submitted by Tom and Beth Coy, Kennard

Dear Editor,

This letter to the editor is to thank Eric Cox for giving Krista Coy the start she needed toward a successful career. The summer before Krista entered Franklin college, Eric let Krista intern for this newspaper. It was her first start at a career in journalism. Today, one year later, she is starting her sophomore year at Franklin in journalism. Today, October 4, 2008, Krista received her first check for a published article. Krista wrote two articles for the Graduate magazine back in June. Today she went to her mailbox and received a check from the magazine for both articles with a request for more! I won't mention the sum of money she received, but I will say it was not chump change! I cannot show enough gratitude toward Eric and The Banner for giving Krista such a great opportunity and showing her the way toward a great career. Thank you, Eric Cox, for being such a great inspiration and help to our daughter. Forever grateful to you.


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 October 8, 2008 - Letters submitted by Debbie Shaul, Knightstown

Dear Editor,

I would really like to thank all the employees at MainSource Bank in Knightstown. My husband had a heart attack and had surgery on September 26. I stopped by the bank on my way back to the hospital and I told Cheryl, who was at the drive-thru window, that Mike had a heart attack. They sent him a very nice card. It’s really a good feeling to know that, when you bank at MainSource Bank in Knightstown, they care enough to know your name. It’s really nice to have a bank that cares and lets you know you are a person, not just a number.

Thank you very much for the card. It meant a lot.


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 October 8, 2008 - Letters submitted by Alice Hartman, Knightstown

Dear Editor,

Thoughtful citizens will not let Nate LaMar's (Banner, October 1) "Democrats now have a liberal/liberal ticket" frighten them, as that writer no doubt intended. They will not let "liberal" be purloined, for everyone wants a friend who is liberally kind or a liberal hand cutting the Thanksgiving pie.

In our political world, liberal means all are included and fairness is the goal. Conservative has come to mean conserving the most for the few.

The McCain/Palin ticket is truly a "balanced ticket" (Lamar), but it is a maverick/maverick ticket (Sarah Palin, debate, 2 Oct. 2008). Going astray is quaint in a Western but not a desirable quality in a world leader.


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 October 8, 2008 - Letters submitted by Rich White, Executive Director, Car Care Council

Dear Editor,

With no end in sight to high gas prices, consumers can take control of how they drive their vehicle to get more miles per gallon. The Car Care Council recommends the following ways to drive smart and save money:

* Combine errands in one trip and get good directions before you head out to minimize driving unnecessary miles.

*Lighten the load by getting stuff out of the car, including the trunk, with the exception of important emergency items such as a spare tire, flares and a first-aid kit. Items that are not needed weigh the vehicle down, causing an increase in gas usage.

*Stay within the speed limit and use cruise control on the highway. Gas mileage usually decreases when going over 60 miles per hour (mph).

*Avoid aggressive driving. Your driving behavior has a lot to do with fuel economy and sudden stops and starts and rapid acceleration decrease your vehicle’s miles per gallon (mpg).

*Check the condition of the gas cap. Approximately 17 percent of vehicles on the road have loose, damaged or missing gas caps, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.

*Don’t idle your vehicle and go inside instead of waiting in long lines at the drive-through window to avoid wasting gas.

In response to reports that gas is being stolen from vehicles, the council recommends that drivers park in well-lit and highly-traveled areas and consider using gas caps that lock to help prevent this crime.

Performing simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance can also save big money at the pump, perhaps as much as $1,200 per year, while improving a vehicle’s safety and dependability. In fact, according to the survey by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, 75 percent of drivers said they are maintaining their vehicles better because of rising gas prices.

To help you make the most of your gas dollars, visit the Car Care Council’s Web site at to order a free copy of the 60-page Car Care Guide designed to help you save money, conserve energy, improve highway safety and help protect the environment.


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 October 8, 2008 - Letters 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 8, 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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