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Letters Published in June 3, 2009 Issue
June 3, 2009 - Letter submitted by Michelle Swift and Andrea Sharp
We would like to thank the following vendors for their donation, or contribution to our support staff appreciation celebration: Hillyard, Leakey Insurance, Arab, Commercial Foods, Gordon’s Food Services, Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, Inskeep, Holiday World, Kings Island, Newport Aquarium, Offisource, Best Kitchens, Bob Evans, Anytime Fitness, YMCA, Kim Nails, Nail Expo, Great Clips, Kroger, Ikon, East Central Educational Services, Staples, Los Amigos, Mancino's, Central Indiana Water, MainSource Bank and Crackers Comedy Club.
If we have forgotten anyone, please accept our apologies. We appreciate everyone’s contribution. We extend a special thank you to Sonnie Thompson for cutting all of the fruits and vegetables, and Gene Neff for making and donating his beautiful handmade cedar bowl.
Finally, we offer Beth Clapp, Sonnie Thompson, Sue Moore and Gene Neff our best wishes in their retirements. Thank you for all your years of service to our students. Thank you again.
June 3, 2009 - Letter submitted by Dalton Scott Rinehart, senior, Knightstown High School
My name is Dalton Rinehart and I am at the completion of my junior year at Knightstown Community High School. I am a member of the National Honor Society and the National Technicol Honor Society. I recently completed my first year of vocational school at the Eder Careers Center located at the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home. I was involved in the broadcasting program at WKPW. I was anxiously looking forward to attending another engaging year in this top-notch program. So needless to say, I was filled with much woe upon hearing that the school, along with most of the programs at the career center, were closing.
However, I regained my excitement at the possibility of Knightstown Community High School transferring the program to its bases. This program would be a great source of buildup for ALL school events. This includes sporting events, school plays, and many other after school activities that would stimulate our community. The program has done so much for all of the students who have attended this outstanding program. The program has taught me more English skills than my very own junior English class.
So what I'm saying is this, Knightstown Community High School should take a long hard look the broadcasting program and look at all of the positive outcomes that this program could bring to the community. I look forward to seeing what occurs in the very near future.
June 3, 2009 - Letter submitted by Carol Stuthridge
Some will want to know, if the home is doing such a good job with the kids, why would they be in trouble only a couple of days after leaving the home?
Please remind them that the kids were thrown out of the home and back into the very same situations and communities where they were failing before!
A child who has parents that loves and monitors them is blessed. Unfortunately, many of our children have parents who do not want them and who couldn't be bothered to do the job of being a parent. Are any of us really prepared to make solid decisions when we are teenagers? Wouldn't a less than ideal environment make it even more difficult to do the right thing? How would you like to be adopted only to be discarded at the home? We have a number of kids at the home for that very reason. Many have been through the foster system and it didn't work for them. What's the other option? Juvy?
We are talking about kids! Our kids were 'at risk', which is why they were at the home. At the home, they were protected (even from themselves when necessary). There were no gangs to join, no drug dealers to meet with at the corner and no parties to get drunk.
The students were made to get up and go to school. They were helped with grades. They were given plenty of recreational activities and 3 good meals a day. Most importantly, they were given hope and a future. Governor Daniels stripped that all away! How should they feel?
The governor did not look out for the best interests of the kids. I firmly believe that this was a done deal months ago. I warned fellow employees that if they voted for Governor Daniels, the home would be closed and I am a Republican!
On May 13, Governor Daniels said on the news that he had not made a decision … really Governor Daniels? So you made this decision and put everything in place with the National Guard in a week? Somehow I find that hard to believe!
I spoke with Alison Franklin of Youth Challenge and it seems that they had been out to the home several times over the past few months at the request of Joe Fox. This was a done deal and people need to call the governor on it. Please do not chop up and create via editing a soft, cushy piece. Please, let Mr. Powell and all of us who have fought long and hard for the best interests of the kids - have a critical voice for a change!
After this week, I will no longer be employed at the home. I will be more than happy to meet with you and to conduct an interview once I start my new position (laying asphalt)? Best wishes.
June 3, 2009 - Letter submitted by Mr. Tourism
Hard economic times sometimes demand that we cut back to one degree or another on many things, including entertainment and travel. But we can enjoy sites of interest right here in Henry County, and inexpensively. My “Mr. Tourism” appearances recently took me to Knightstown, and I was impressed by what I saw and how much I enjoyed myself.
On Saturday I took the “Historic Walking Tour” of Knightstown. I arrived at the Public Square on a scheduled day when the chamber of commerce was sponsoring the tour, and was handed a brochure with a map and sent on my way. On the Public Square itself I found the Historic Knightstown, Inc. and was delighted to spend nearly an hour chatting with Bob Myers about the society and their beautifully displayed museum collection. Mr. Myers is a retired educator who has served his entire career in Knightstown schools as teacher, principle and superintendent. He is a walking history of Knightstown, a treasure himself.
North on Washington Street, I found the Knightstown Academy, built in 1876. It is a castle like structure, in fine condition still. It served as a schoolhouse until 1986 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The building has been converted to residential space for those who yearn to live in a castle.
There are 20 or so magnificent homes on the tour, many built for the families of captains of industry in eras gone by. Some favorites for me were the Dayton Heritage house c. 1866, the Elias Hinshaw house, built in 1883, and the Leonidas Newby house, built by the first man to graduate from the Academy in 1882.
I drove south to the Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s Home for my first visit. I hadn’t realized that the Home is actually in Rush County. The many dormitories classroom buildings and a free standing chapel give the appearance of a small college campus. The academy was opened in 1867. By 1871 there were 371 children enrolled. The main hall was destroyed by fire and replaced in 1883. At one time, the school was totally self-sufficient, with a working farm, dairy, bakery, greenhouse, florist, carpenter, cobbler, print shops, and a hospital. Ironically, if some of that self-sufficiency were in evidence today, this important historic institution might be able to continue operation.
The next day I took a ride on the Carthage, Knightstown and Shirley Railroad. We boarded at the CKS depot in Knightstown. My attention was immediately drawn to the nearly 30 people attired in authentic 19th century costumes. There were many 21st century passengers also boarding, but these costumed ghosts from the past were most fascinating. They are the Great Lakes Freight and Mining Company, a group of performers who entertain on the train ride. And entertain they did. Even before we departed, a man was arrested for stealing a horse and placed in irons. One man was so drunk he could hardly stand. All of the men were carrying at least one weapon. At one point, they all broke character long enough to instruct the children about the danger of firearms and to tell them that if they found a gun, not to touch it, but to tell an adult.
The diesel engine, built for the air force in 1951, slowly pulled an array of cars plus a caboose over the rails to the depot in Carthage. Everyone disembarked to stretch their legs and have refreshments in the depot. Meanwhile a ruckus arose out front. A woman in a long red dress accused a cowboy of insulting her and was insisting that her husband shoot him to defend her honor. The sheriff arrived and announced that if they were going to shoot at each other in his town, they’d have to do it by his rules. The woman in red was still raising cane and demanding justice. Well, the problem was, neither of the gunmen were good shots and each time they fired at each other, spectators would fall over dead. After several people were down, the sheriff figured out a way to resolve the problem. You’ll have to ride the train to learn the results.
The kids had a chance to have photos taken with the performers and we boarded the train for our return trip to Knightstown. Soon after we crossed the Big Blue River bridge, the engineer announced that he had a cannon pointed at him and he’d have to stop. The train was being robbed … (take the ride to learn the results). This was great fun. A delight for all ages. I watched the passengers depart in Knightstown with big smiles and much thanks to the performers. So Hoosiers, we don’t have to go all the way to Orlando to show the kids an afternoon of entertainment. It’s right here under our noses. Enjoy Henry County!
June 3, 2009 - Letter submitted by Jim Hope, Knightstown
I want to start off by saying I am a taxpayer in Knightstown who is concerned about the way money is being spent by the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation.
Teachers hadn’t had a raise in two years. When the school board did give them raises last fall, they went back and gave them raises for those previous two years also. It ended up being more than a seven-percent raise total.
There are at least five CAB employees who get a special health insurance benefit where they only have to pay 25 cents a year toward their health insurance premiums and CAB pays the rest. This works out to be a benefit worth around $25,000 a year the employees with family coverage and about $9,000 for those with single coverage. I’ve also heard the superintendent doesn’t get his insurance through CAB’s policy, but CAB goes ahead and pays him an extra $9,000 or so a year anyway, the amount it would have paid on his premium if he did get insurance.
I believe everyone at CAB should have the same insurance benefit. Why should those six employees be treated different from rest? I guess it’s because they are better than the others and are more deserving.
One school in our district was being considered for closing, but they’ve decided to put a hold on that for now because so many people came out in support of keeping the school open. They believe these children can learn better because the teachers are dedicated to the children and their parents. I also believe these children would lose out because they would be bussed to Knightstown and it is hard to pick up and leave their hometown.
Then the school board came up with another idea: refinancing on bonds they owe on for building Knightstown High School to get a lower interest rate. This will give access to $1.2 million left over from building the school. They want to be able to get their hands on this money so they can spend it. There’s at least one board member who wants to spend a great deal or all of this money on athletics – new facilities for football, soccer, track and other sports – at KHS.
They say the refinancing that will allow them to get their hands on the $1.2 million will not be a tax increase, but it will. The board said they will add two more years to how long it takes to pay off the bonds for KHS. What does two more years of payments mean to taxpayers? It means more taxes.
I always understood that this was the taxpayers’ money CAB was spending, but do taxpayers have any say about how it is spent? It seems the school corporation thinks the money belongs to it, to do with as they please, and all the taxpayers have to do is pay it back.
Where do our children come in on the I-STEP test they take each year?
Is CAB growing with new students each year? It seems to me like there are fewer students attending our schools than just a few years ago.
Are there jobs in this town for the students when they finish high school and college? The answer is no.
If CAB keeps spending money, they need to have respect for the taxpayers who have to pay this money.
June 3, 2009 - Letter submitted by Rex Bell, Wayne County Libertarian
My buddy Marvin, a farmer up by Mooreland, is fond of telling the story about the time he added a new hired-hand, Ronald, to help with some summer projects around the farm. It was mid August, and one of the projects involved installing a new roof on one of his barns. When Marvin took the new man out to the barn, Ronald informed him that he wasn’t able to climb.
Marvin ensured him that wasn’t a problem, because there was plenty of other work that needed to be done. They then drove to the other end of the farm, where a new fence needed to be built. Ronald was given a set of posthole diggers, and instructed where the holes for the end posts needed to be dug. If you’ve ever built much fence, you probably remember how hot the sun gets and how hard the ground gets around mid August.
When he retuned home for lunch, Marvin saw the posthole diggers leaning up against the barn, and Ronald nailing shingles on the roof. To this day, Marvin maintains that one of his greatest accomplishments in life was teaching the new man how to climb.
We’ve all been in situations where we found out we were capable of doing something we didn’t think we were capable of doing. A few times in my youth, I was convinced I couldn’t possibly get out of bed so early in the morning to milk cows. My father was able to convince me otherwise.
A while back, I was involved in a discussion about an employee who was taking a $3.50 per hour pay cut, in order to relocate with a company that offered health insurance. I offered my opinion that with an extra $140.00 per week, a person could by a high-deductible major-medical policy, open a tax deductible medical savings account, and in the long and short run be money ahead. The general consensus among the group was that people wouldn’t be able to make themselves contribute to the savings account. I suggested that maybe they needed to have a talk with my Dad.
The American people have developed quite a list of things they think they can’t do. The recent economic downturn and resultant budget cuts have caused some cities and towns to consider eliminating government provided trash pick-up. A lot of people are convinced that if the government doesn’t provide the service, trash will pile up and eventually bury us all. But in actuality, there are people who pay for their own trash pick-up, or haul their own trash, with seemingly minimal side effects.
At the federal level, the stakes are a little higher, but the principle is the same. We’ve known for a long time that the Social Security and Medicare systems are paying out more money than they are collecting, and the state of the economy is speeding those systems respective demise. The keepers of the programs recently estimated that Medicare is just 8 years away from financial meltdown, with Social Security meeting the same fate 20 years later.
With so many people convinced that they can’t survive without a government run retirement and healthcare system, I’m sure we’ll see a lot of activity by the government in the next few years trying to make those systems work by raising taxes, lowering benefits, raising qualifications, and lowering expectations.
I’d like to believe that the people who will come out winners in all of this are the ones who are able to figure out that they can take care of themselves, and their retirement, and their healthcare, without a lot of interference, or help, from the government.
Unfortunately, the way things have been working out lately, they’ll end up being the ones who take care of the people that couldn’t, or wouldn’t, figure it out.
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