I wasn't at the (Crawford County boys' semi-state) game, but watched it on my computer. Just wanted to vocalize my love for Crawford County basketball and the county as a whole! What a great place to live! Great kids raised to be respectful by great people.
The announcers were amazed at the support from our community. People from outside our area wonder what is going on with this "little school" from a 10,000 population community. Yes, of course, we LOVE our basketball, but what they really see is the love and support for each other … as a community … which transcends the game of basketball. It is just evidenced by the support for our young people.
Families are what make up the county. I see the Benz family (every generation), the Crecelius family (every generation), the Hangers (every generation,) the Broughtons (every generation), the Strouds (every generation) … and let's not forget Wade Bell, been there taking pictures since heck was a pup!
Let's not forget the Holzbogs (every generation), the same people and families that were at every game since I played 35 years ago. I cannot name them all (although, I just named half of the county). Oh, let's not forget the Elliotts and every generation … you know … the other half of the county. Throw the Coxes, Morgans and the Sheltons in there, and I think that covers the whole county! If I missed a last name, please forgive.
Back to the point, to our Crawford County basketball players and cheerleaders, what you have done, and what you are doing, transcends the game of basketball! In this age of computers and separation, you are bringing a community back together as a "family" in support of a single purpose. A state title would be great, but, beyond that, and of greater importance, people, politics, occupations and any trivial divides are healing in the pride and appreciation of how you represent us on the public stage as the Crawford County High School Basketball Team. The New Generation of Crawford County Citizens. … That's why I LOVE CRAWFORD COUNTY!
March 22, 2017
I'm responding to the March 1, 2017, Clarion article by Indiana Sen. Brandt Hershman, "Utility Fairness for Hoosier Customers," justifying Senate Bill 309. This bill, far from guaranteeing fairness, would crush the solar energy industry in Indiana and deprive Hoosiers of the chance to benefit from the solar boom.
Sen. Hershman's argument against net metering, which pays solar-energy homeowners full market price for the energy they produce, is based on the claim that rooftop solar installed by individual homeowners raises utility rates for other customers. But the study that supports this claim comes from Edison Electric Institute, whose internal documents demonstrate that the organization's focus is increasing profits for the electric industry, not helping ratepayers. Meanwhile, the Brookings Institute reviewed 20 studies nationwide, writing that "(i)n short, while the conclusions vary, a significant body of cost-benefit research conducted by PUCs (public utility companies), consultants, and research organizations provides substantial evidence that net metering is more often than not a net benefit to the grid and all ratepayers."
Sen. Hershman also claims that Hoosiers who invest in solar energy for their homes shift infrastructure costs to their neighbors. But solar users pay a service/infrastructure fee. So, this argument, too, is specious. PV Magazine, which reports on photovoltaic research, writes that "studies in at least 16 states around the country prove that solar customers don't harm non-solar customers. In fact, most studies have found solar customers help non-solar customers by taking pressure off the aging grid. Most recently, the well-respected Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) has recently debunked the zombie lie again."
Here's what Sen. Hershman wants to do to fix these non-existent injustices.
Net-metering, the current process, allows investors to bank the excess energy they generate but don't actually use for their own needs and withdraw it at its full value, just as Hoosiers would bank extra money each month and withdraw it at full value (with interest!) when they need it.
With SB 309, once a homeowner is deemed to have paid off the original investment, the utility takes the excess at wholesale prices, then requires the homeowner to buy his or her own energy back at retail prices, currently 60 percent more than wholesale. This would be equivalent to a bank only returning a customer only 39 cents on the dollar after using her money while it was banked.
To put this in perspective, imagine that I purchase equipment to make and sell widgets. I work until I pay off my investment. At that point, I am suddenly required by law to sell the products I make at a 60 percent discount to the government, which then resells them at full market value.
That the Senate, in passing this bill on to the Indiana House, felt the need to delay it for current customers is an admission of how bad the bill is. Even with the delay, this bill sends a message to people thinking of investing in solar that they will not be allowed to reap the full benefits of their investment. This mindset affects even the co-ops, which are currently exempted from the proposed policies. According to the Brookings Institute, similar legislation in Nevada led to a 92 percent reduction in people investing in solar. As more people in Indiana decide against solar for this reason, a vibrant new industry that could be creating jobs withers; the International Renewable Energy Agency reports that "employment in the U.S. solar business last year grew 12 times faster than overall job creation."
And for Indiana residents, solar prices remain high.
Remember that the utilities Sen. Hershman wants to protect are monopolies. Hoosiers already have almost no choice in the utility marketplace. I urge Hoosiers to call their representatives at 1-800-382-9841 to request that they vote down this bill and preserve what choice is left.
New Salisbury, Ind.
March 15, 2017
Current Indiana law allows energy customers who generate their own energy to use the electrical grid to send it back to their energy provider and receive a credit that is three to four times higher than what it's actually worth. Because they still need the grid, but get reimbursed so generously, they end up forgoing costs associated to maintain the grid.
This creates a system where other customers pay more for their own energy because of a cost shift. To fix this, Senate Bill 309 was introduced and considered by the Indiana General Assembly. After some initial opposition to the bill, the Indiana Senate amended the bill to allow customers who self-generate to still get a favorable return on their investment, while making sure that other customers aren't paying higher energy bills.
The changes made in the Senate create an equitable system for all customers, and I hope this bill becomes law.
Bill Byrd, Indiana Utilities Shareholder's Association Board Member
March 15, 2017
It is always good to read the Opinion page and especially review a featured article by Ashira Young (Feb. 8, 2017), who expresses opinions that provoke thought and evaluation. This week was no different with her article "Truth vs belief." She does a nice summary of the difficulty in sorting out the truth from fiction and how it is related to our beliefs.
Obviously, as a "practitioner of energy psychology" she has some understanding of our belief system and wants to share it with us in a helpful way. She mentions "fake news" and "spin" and the concerns we might get them confused with the truth because there is so much of this in the normal drive-by media we are exposed to daily. As she said, it is true we believe what we see. I take exception to two of the items where she creates "spin."
She states: "We can take some time to delve into what the unintended consequences might be when we clamor after the notion of jobs and forget about the massive pollution of our planet." I read this as a statement that she is stating we have a "massive pollution" in this country today. I will totally disagree with this as a current environmental condition of our United States.
I can remember 50 years ago, when entering some cities, like Gary, Ind., you could smell the city and it was not pretty. That time is long gone due to all the gains businesses have improved in this area. We don't need some grand government program pushed by the "tree huggers" that they are constantly engaged in. I say she is "spinning us" into the lingo of the "tree huggers" of how bad things are, and it is not true. She has exposed her belief system, not the truth. This country needs more high-paying manufacturing jobs, and I know, when created, the companies will have high environmental standards adhered to. No fear of the future from jobs.
The second item: "When we insist on our moral judgments in deference to giving women the power over their bodies." This seems obvious also that she is referring to the now legalized abortion. Never have I heard that a woman's body is also a choice to having intimate relations or not. This is the woman's body. Why is this never said? This act creates another human being; it is not a disease. The condition can be avoided, and the choice is up to the woman. She has power over her own body.
I think that unborn children deserve some consideration, once life occurs, that overrides the woman's power for the abortion. She made that decision, and it created the soon-to-be-born child. Again, I think Ashira is "spinning us" into only part of the circumstances. The whole picture of what a woman has liberty to do to her body. It does not justify taking the life of another human being. I recommend reading the book "Gosnell" by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer to learn what a crime we have in this country.
This second item may be "T.M.I." — too much information — and so it is difficult weeding through it all. The truth is babies do not just happen and the woman controls whether or not it does. Birth control methods have been a well publicized issue since Obamacare came into being.
Charles A. Totten
March 15, 2017
Debbie Forbes must be a wonderful person! I would like to commend her for making and donating three quilts to three veterans. Each quilt represented the veteran's branch of service. What a wonderful thing to do!
I would also like to thank her for all the hours she spent making the quilts. The picture in the March 1 Clarion News shows how beautiful they are.
Jerry Ann Piontkowski
New Salisbury, Ind.
March 15, 2017
I would like to thank Brian Smith, Wade Bell and Chris Timberlake for the special sports section on the North Harrison Lady Cats basketball team.
Obviously, the outcome at the state finals was not what we wanted. However, their season and the run to Indy was one fantastic ride.
One statement in the article by Brian Smith stands out above all the rest, and I quote, "Within Class 3A, North Harrison is the first non-private school to reach back-to-back state finals since the class era began in 1998."
This statement makes me wonder what would happen if the public schools and the private schools would have separate tournaments. It doesn't seem fair that the private schools can recruit players and the public schools use the talent from the kids in the district.
Nevertheless, I am so proud of these Lady Cats and looking forward to watching them play next year.
One proud Lady Cats fan,
March 08, 2017
People forget Obamacare is actually a stand-in for its proper name, "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." No wonder we call it Obamacare; that's a mouthful. However, the hatred shown towards Obamacare has distracted us from the original meaning: to protect, WE THE PEOPLE.
To protect us from the insurance companies charging us premiums and then spending it flying each other and lobbyists around the world to vacation on islands we have only seen in movies. To protect us from losing our homes when our children get sick. To protect us from paying for insurance that doesn't cover the essentials: prenatal care, breast-feeding supplies, mental health services, treatment for addiction and preventative care. The goal was to make sure we weren't just paying for care when we needed it, but to pay for the care we might need. You know, the definition of insurance.
Obama and others did a really poor job explaining all of this, and they not only did a disservice to themselves, but to you, as well. They let others control the messaging, and those people did nothing but twist it up and allow us to be misled by the negatives. Did you know that there were people lining up for coverage to get their rotten teeth pulled from their heads for the first time? Have you ever had a toothache? Can you imagine suffering with a mouthful of them for years?
What about if you had never had insurance and smoked for most of your life, and the last time you went to the E.R. because you fell and bruised your rib, they had told you they saw a spot on your lung? You couldn't afford to get it checked out then. You wouldn't have even known where to start finding a family doctor to write you a referral for a screening, much less paying for all of that or the cancer treatments you might need.
I've heard so many people complain about how high their premiums are or that they don't want to be forced to pay for insurance. I agree with you. I don't want to have insurance or pay more for it, but I can't afford NOT TO have insurance. What if I needed it? My options are: pay for insurance in case I need it, or lose everything I have if someone in my family gets sick. For me, that isn't even a decision. Until some fairy godmother waves a wand and makes it where we all get socialized medicine, those two options are the reality. As an employed person, I have about $500 per month taken from my check for health care. The complaining I've heard seems to come from people who have no idea how much it actually costs to have insurance. It costs me that much, and I bet my employer pays about $1,000 per month for me in addition to what I am responsible for.
Maybe you are upset because you are paying more now or you lost the plan you had before. Do you know why that happened? The plan you had before didn't have any of the required basic coverage deemed necessary under the Patient Protection Act. So, you were paying for care before that really wasn't even there. Fifty-four times Republicans voted to repeal or delay or block parts of Obamacare. Do you think that was in your best interest? They didn't have a plan to replace it with then, just as sure as they have no replacement now. They have been so focused on getting rid of it, they have put no thought into how they can make it better, make it work for all of us working so hard just to get by. Sure, premiums are high, and, yes, there are faults, but who is doing anything to FIX it? Do you just junk the car that is getting you to work every day because it keeps having issues? No! You fix it, while you save a little bit here and there to get something more dependable.
If we allow politicians to scrap ACA, millions of people will lose what they have and we will all be worse off. In this county alone, over 1,000 people will lose their health care if subsidies are cut and the Medicaid expansion is rolled back. This is politics, and those in Washington are messing with our lives, the lives of Americans who deserve health care. Not to be making the rich even richer. I might not lose my coverage, but I could lose the parts of it that were protecting me as a patient.
I know that you are all good people. I know you want the best for your families and for the people you know. You sit in pews and restaurants and ball gyms in this county and would give the shirt off your back to help someone. Do you not understand those people are what your higher premiums are paying for? They are giving someone else a chance to get that spot on their lung checked out. Your higher premiums are no longer paying for some big shot to fly his buddies to the Bahamas to golf for the day, but for your neighbor's baby who has been in the NICU for the last six weeks. If she didn't have that insurance, her family would never be able to get out of the debt that would create.
Americans are good, honest people. We take care of each other. It is time that we told our politicians we are tired of being pitted against each other for their political games. If your wife needs treatment for her breast cancer, you shouldn't lose your farm to pay for it. Come sit next to me in a town hall meeting with Todd Young, or Joe Donnelly, or Trey Hollingsworth, and let's make sure they know we want to take care of each other.
March 08, 2017
This past week, I was going to attend the Crawford County school board — at the time and place that the Clarion had listed for the meeting. The board had decided to meet somewhere else. The change was not listed on the website, and I do not really know how they expected the general public to find out.
When I got to (the) actual administration building where the superintendent was holding the meeting, I saw that — apparently — they were not concerned about the public attending the meeting. It was being held in a small conference room with barely enough chairs for the school board and the school system employees in attendance.
Since I was late, I thought I had missed my opportunity to address the board, but, after all of the business of the school board was completed, I was asked if I still wanted to speak. You bet I did.
The first issue I wanted to address might have seemed trivial — the seating order of the school board. I told them that, to any impartial observer, it looked like Superintendent DeRossett ran the school board and not the other way around.
The school board president, Lance Stroud, seemed to take some offense at that. He apparently did not see the irony in the fact that the school board meeting was crammed into that tiny room not because it was convenient for the board — they could drive to the usual spot as easily as there — not because it was convenient for their constituency — it was smaller than the usual spot, too small for even the few who attended. We were meeting in the administrative building because it was more convenient for DeRossett. That is the only believable reason.
The second issue I raised was that in August of last year I asked the school system's financial officer Jamie Smith if he had produced a cost/savings analysis for the consolidation. He said at the time that it was too early to have reliable figures. When I asked at the meeting, Smith said that the analysis had never been done.
My third and final issue was directly related to the savings that the taxpayers should have seen after the consolidation. I asked the school board if they had considered a reduction in the salaries of the school. I know that as an employer — and as a taxpayer in the county that is what I am — I would expect to pay less for someone to administer a five-school system than for someone in charge of seven schools. That is just common sense, really, but not the kind of common sense we find on the Crawford County school board. President Lance Stroud said that no, they had not considered that.
Mr. Editor, thanks again for your consideration in printing my letter. It seems to me that the Clarion's help in improving the Crawford County school board might be one of the most effective ways to improve Crawford County education.
Editor's note: The meeting was not listed in the Coming Events section of Feb. 15 newspaper. However, at the end of last month's school board meeting article, it incorrectly stated that the meeting would be at the Crawford County High School media center. In addition, the agenda for the meeting did state that the meeting would be at the Administration Building. However, it was sent to us after the Feb. 15 issue was printed.
March 01, 2017
Politics aside, the writing of Ashira Young offers ways of thinking to help cope with the uncertainties, fears and disillusions of this age. I am grateful to her for sharing her wisdom, and I am thankful that the Clarion News is brave enough to print it.
February 22, 2017
The Jan. 11 Ashira Young People's Forum article has mentioned comments from several readers and writers, including David Boone, Charles Thompson and myself, and it needs to have a response.
Of course, everyone agrees it is the common public good to have writers express their views to consider on issues to encourage logical reflection on the issues of the time.
She says her original article (Dec. 7, 2016) was in questioning why the election was determined by only a small number of electors. Does this seem a logical deduction? Does she believe that just 528 people out of the millions of Americans just decided to elect the president?
Doesn't she know these electors are voting in accordance with the results of the November election and state laws require them to abide by people's vote in each state?
She contradicts herself by saying in one sentence that Hillary (Clinton) was NOT her candidate and to assume so is inaccurate. But earlier she claims the writing of the first article was "not sour grapes because my candidate did not win." So, what is the truth?
Another contradiction, please. She mentioned, "I would be more than appreciative if assumptions about me and why I write about certain issues are not made because none of the readers really know me." I would have to say we know the writer pretty well, even if we have never met her.
It is very humble of the writer to state she has "done amazing things that have helped hundreds, if not thousands, of people." Does this make her better than all the rest of us and she thinks so and one of the reasons she writes? Perhaps a little arrogance here?
It is also sad to read that her vote was not easily cast because it was deciding which was the lesser of two evils. I have heard this two evils statement before by other people, but I have to say this should be an easy decision since having a presidential candidate backed by Planned Parenthood in the butchering of the weakest humans, the unborn, is inexcusable for any person claiming to be a Christian. (Clinton) has received high amounts of contributions from this organization and strongly defended them when some of the hidden things revealed on selling body parts, even shown on TV and obviously true are false.
Hillary has been proven to have been openly involved in selling the country's access, and the illegal email scandal has now been proven to have been hacked. This email situation was all because she wanted to hide the things she was doing, which is an act against the law and means she falsely signed documents that she would not do this.
She was well recognized by everyone as a person not to be trusted. The other candidate is a very successful businessman with some, but far fewer, problems in his closet.
Also, Young apparently believes that the Northwestern researcher has shown our country to be an oligarchy, and a small number of wealthy and powerful determine the policy of our country. By this belief, I guess no politician pays any attention to the voters who send them letters on issues. A sad statement to believe in and I think untrue.
Also, for proof of the three million votes by illegals is a tough proof since I am sure most of the poll workers may just be following outdated documents, but we also know some places have a planned conspiracy to falsely vote. Sometimes we know the cemeteries get to vote as in Chicago during the Kennedy election by enterprising officials.
Finally, I never mentioned Democrats, but in the three states that were pointed out (California, New York and Illinois), they are continually overspending their budgets and will probably go bankrupt soon. Since you have named the group and I now notice how this group has been promising demonstrations on Jan. 20, I ask myself, is this the proper, balanced way to celebrate the American election system during swearing in of the new president?
Since you also mentioned about the high number of Republican-controlled states and government bodies that has been consistently happening for the past eight years, there must be a reason. Thank goodness the people who vote are now making a decision for a better future.
Charles A. Totten
February 08, 2017