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Answering earlier letter's question


This is in response to the Aug. 3 issue's People's Forum letter, "Will you be next?" where the lady asks if we have seen the TV show of old, antique junk (my term) in woods and fields.

She says junkyards — where parts are recyclable — saves folks money. Therein lies the problem. Some folks scatter old cars, machinery, etc. on their property instead. Do we have a county ordinance against this? I applaud Mr. Shelton. Why can't we help the elderly, etc. clean up their property and get some pay while doing it? Give teenagers a summer job. Look at Taswell, and doesn't English look great around the golf course?

Hoarders don't sell or get rid of anything. Is there a law against owning too many cats or dogs? Recently, on Hatfield Road, one or two pit bulls got loose and killed and ate one of their neighbor's sheep. The law wasn't notified, but would the county have reimbursed them for the sheep? Just wondering.

Mary Green
English, Ind.
September 12, 2018

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Let's join others in improving county


To the concerned citizens who care about the future of the county, I feel your pain. I, too, care about the future of the county, and I am hopeful that the county is being run as efficiently as possible.

I, however, would like to propose a new way to improve the county. Many concerned citizens and I are actually pitching in and trying to improve the county. In 2018, the Crawford County Chamber of Commerce has hosted two seminars to try to provide advice and resources to our local businesses and anyone else who wants to attend, as we have made sure the subject matter is not restricted to businesses. The Chamber also partnered with Economic Development to bring Indiana Secretary of Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo to Crawford County to discuss the evolving training and education needs today, and how Crawford County can provide more opportunities to children and adults alike.

Purdue Extension has provided health and nutrition programs and has created opportunities for kids to get hands-on with technology and improve their STEM skills, teach kids the value of hard work, build crafts and many other things that I'm sure I have missed.

The Community Foundation of Crawford County took the lead in securing Crawford County's participation in HCI, which we have had around 15 to 20 meetings related to in the last almost two years, including a public forum to identify what the biggest needs in the county are, and we are working diligently on a capstone project to try to improve the county at this time. The Community Foundation has also given out a lot of grants to improve worthy programs and organizations in the county, and Christine and Laken are very faithful to support other organizations whenever they have time and oftentimes even when they don't.

The sheriff's department, in conjunction with several other departments and some businesses, held an outdoor skills camp this year for local youth in honor of Charlie McDaniel. There are also increased opportunities to get involved in ministries in the jail.

CASA, the local volunteer fire departments, the volunteer reserve deputies for the sheriff's department and the town marshals' offices, the 4-H board and their supporting volunteers that aren't on the board, the Council for a Drug-free Community, the GRACE House volunteers, the Junior Leaders, each school's P.T.O.'s, the volunteers that run the food pantries, Habitat for Humanity and many other organizations that I can't name off right now have all been working hard and doing a fantastic job and helping to improve the county in their own way, whether it is big or small. To any organization or effort that I failed to name, I apologize, and allow me to say that I appreciate each and every one of your efforts and that those efforts are making a difference, even if it doesn't always feel like it.

Nobody can be involved in every volunteer effort in the county. Nobody should even try to be involved in all of them. But look around, find something where you have the right skill set or even just a little bit of time, and help out. That goes for elected officials and regular citizens alike. I know everyone is busy. People have jobs to work, businesses to run, families to take care of, kids' extracurricular activities to attend and other responsibilities that they have to take care of. But if everyone who is concerned about their county and about seeing it improve in the future, about seeing it be a place that people want to come to, to live or to visit, a place that our kids want to stay or come back to when they graduate college or complete a training program, if everyone who wants that could just give a little of their time to one or two volunteer efforts, then think about how much better off our county would be.

I don't intend this to be an indictment of anyone. My hope is that it will be taken as a call to arms to the citizens of the county. Please, let's direct our collective energy in the correct direction, toward improving our county as a whole. Republicans, Democrats, independents, people who are just sick to death of politics, we should all be able to agree that we want the county to move forward. So, pick a focus area or two that you want to work on, find a group or two that are working on that area — if you can't find one, I would be happy to point you in the right direction if I possibly can — and let's start accomplishing that goal. Now can be the time, and we can be the people that we have been waiting on to improve Crawford County.

Jesse Belcher
Eckerty, Ind.
September 12, 2018

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Response to commissioners


They, the Crawford County Board of Commissioners (BOC), hath decreed that anyone whose opinion differs from theirs is misguided, misinformed and incorrect. To mock and ridicule citizens who exercise their right to free speech at public hearings is Trump-like. The next time the BOC wonders why more people don't participate in the governmental process by attending meetings they should look in the mirror. The BOC were all at the meeting. If they had an opinion, they should have expressed it then.

The BOC's letter has contradictory statements (CS), improperly takes credit, deliberately confuses the public with razzle-dazzle B.S. (RDBS) and mightily blows their own horn.

CS1 states they are not taking sides in the tax debate. If so, then, why are they ridiculing citizens who are.

CS2 states the estimated cost of economic development is misinformed. The next sentence says they agree.

CS3 states that saying SIMCO will employ four people is misinformed. The very next sentence, I kid you not, states this new business, SIMCO, will employ four people. The statement also states it will eventually grow to 10. Eventually is called speculation, and in 1929 speculation caused the Great Depression.

CS4 agreed that economic development is not a state-mandated task but disagreed it is a luxury. In most homes, when all the bills have been paid and groceries bought, any money left over to buy a beer is a luxury. Since economic development is not a MUST, it is a luxury, unless the BOC is using the philosophy of buy beer first then groceries.

The BOC improperly credits and blows its own horn when it implies the previous BOC and economic development director did nothing in the post. High Mark Supply (owned by the same people who are starting SIMCO) located in Marengo in 2009 when the previous BOC and economic development director were in office. For eight years under the previous economic development director and BOC, and two years under the current, they grew and are now expanding to a new facility in Carefree. The previous economic development director was also instrumental in getting the new Dollar General in Marengo.

A RDBS and blow-your-horn statement was the one that makes a company expanding and moving to Carefree sound like the BOC has saved mankind.

The most boastful RDBS and blow-your-own-horn statement stated we have fixed more roads, culverts and bridges in the past two years than have been attempted to be repaired in the past. How do you attempt to repair a bridge? Does that mean there are bridges out there that were attempted to be repaired and weren't? If I had a child or grandchild and they ride on a bus that crosses bridges, I would call the BOC and find out if any of the bridges my child rides over was attempted to be repaired. If it was attempted to be repaired, I would raise Cain until it is. A child's safety on a school bus should be at the top of the BOC's list. The public should also be told how many roads, bridges and culverts have been repaired in the last two years and in the past. Since the past goes back to the 1700s when roads were first built and no records kept, 1950 to the present will be sufficient. If the BOC can't produce the records or numbers of attempts, that will prove they are misguided, misinformed politicians making comments in an election year.

Thank you for allowing me to exercise my right to free political speech.

Gary Robinson
Marengo, Ind.
August 29, 2018

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Honor Flight for local Korean War vet timely


The July 25 Style section front page had a particularly inspiring article by Taylor Ferguson: "Pair of veterans take Honor Flight."

Henry Broughton is a Korean War veteran and a highly respected member of the Alton American Legion Post 133. This trip is at a particularly good time since some remains of 55 war casualties from the Korean War are being returned by North Korea to the U.S.A. this week. Respectful transfer ceremonies were conducted for our deceased soldiers. The war may be over for some families, but it is estimated over 6,000 are still waiting for closure of our fallen heroes.

The Korean War major action was from 1950 to 1953. But, the war has never been officially ended by signed agreement. There is a neutral area called Panmunjom between South Korea and North Korea that still has meetings at the tables on the dividing line between the United Nations forces and the North Koreans. Any visitor there has witnessed the blue-colored U.N. buildings and the two flags that had signed agreements to be the exact same height on the tables where meetings are held. And, then, when flags' heights are compared, the North Korean flag is a half inch taller than agreed to. They can not be trusted with even a flag's height.

This trip reminds us to be thankful to our veterans who faced massive Chinese forces, over a million strong, surprisingly attacking at the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir and other northern areas. Our forces attacked in reverse to successfully get back to the DMZ area and battle stalemate was achieved. Besides the shooting battles, there was also terribly cold conditions to face and survive. If you have ever been lucky enough to talk to a survivor of these battles, you are amazed they did manage to survive. The Chinese have had a close relationship with the North Koreans these 65 years since.

With the meeting of President Trump with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, there are hopes this war can really be ended and that de-nuclearization can occur and their rockets destroyed. Our president has spoken — he believes the leader is sincere and this should happen. He is also keenly aware of the lying and deceit that historically they have conducted and so demands no concessions allowed until this de-nuclearization is fully accomplished.

We are so lucky that Henry was a returning veteran and we get a chance to talk with him and the great life he has lived in Southern Indiana and the community he has contributed to. He has been a great success we can all be thankful for.

Charles A. Totten
Leavenworth, Ind.
August 15, 2018

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Routine wearing thin


Hooray! Some on the air and in the press have finally called the "Wizard of Oz." The outrageous statement today precipitates a furor, if not a crisis. (Think bigger button, tariff, Angela Merkel.)

But, wait — a contradicting statement tomorrow will save the situation and stave off disaster. In both cases, the "Wizard" is at the top of every newscast.

He warned of cataclysm, but then saved the day. Our hero! For this he accepts nationwide acclaim and copious massaging of his ego.

A great routine, but wearing thin.

Sue T. Chapman
Milltown, Ind.
August 08, 2018

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Medicaid surprise


Medicaid has suddenly surprised all of us who are covered by them that there is one number to call for doctor's appointment rides that will only be scheduled by them. It is our only option for Medicaid to pay for a ride. They ask you if you have a preference of companies for rides. I told them that the only one left, in my area, is Blue River Services. They agreed that they use them as one of their companies.

I have had an extremely long-lasting bladder infection and my urologist referred me to an infectious disease specialist in Louisville, Ky. I confirmed the ride, with my confirmation number, the day before with Southeastrans, and they said everything was set up.

When the day of my appointment came, my ride was one-half hour late. He had called me that morning, and the ID showed a person I did not know, so I didn't answer it and couldn't hear the message that was left. I was not told that the company's driver would be calling me, with his personal cell phone, to confirm the ride again. He called me about 12:30 p.m. and asked me if I still wanted the ride. I said yes and watched for him to arrive at the scheduled time of 12:57 p.m.

I placed a call to Southeastrans at about 1:20 p.m. to tell them that he had not arrived (my appointment was at 2 p.m.). They put me on hold and called the company who told them their driver was in front of my apartment. I looked out, but they were not there. He had gone to the wrong apartment where I couldn't even see the van. They apparently told him I had called, so he came around the apartments, and I headed out the door to get his attention. My appointment was to be at Norton Brownsboro, which is about a one-hour drive. He told me that he also had to pick someone up in Sellersburg first. I called my doctor's office and explained what had happened and told them I would call them to reschedule the appointment.

In the meantime, I am having to experience extremely uncomfortable symptoms, and the soonest I can get another appointment will be two to three weeks from now.

I called Southeastrans and told them what happened and that missing the appointment was going to be very detrimental to my health. I asked for the number of the transport company, but they told me they couldn't give it to me. I told them that under no circumstances would I call them again for their "SERVICES."

I don't even blame the transport company. It sounds like they are doing the best they can with the new circumstances. The man who came for me told me that he was just helping out.

I have heard nightmare stories about this system and heard directly from others who also have had many of the same situations.

Medicaid should have given a heads up before making such a drastic move. We can no longer call our local transport companies without paying a very high fee because they are locked into this system.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Judy Bowman
Marengo, Ind.
August 08, 2018

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Will you be next?


This is in regards to Mr. Shelton's wanting our elected officials here in Crawford County to condemn an individual property because he does not like the looks of it.

The property is not next to Mr. Shelton and doesn't seem to be harming him in any way.

Crawford County has been a community of farmers, heavy equipment operators, small engine repair shops, gas stations, older lawn tractor sales and mechanics. Many collect older items because they are worth money and become more valuable as time goes on.

Depending on the price of scrap and hard times, saving these items could make a payment or feed a family.

Many work on their own cars, trucks, tractors and farm equipment because of economical reasons; others because they enjoy it.

Junkyards where parts are recyclable save folks money.

Mr. Shelton's ideas will be detrimental to many families because they will take money out of their pockets!

He also wants the taxpayers to foot the bill for cleaning up all property in Crawford County (I guess he will be judge and jury) for who gets condemned.

Pity anyone who has changed his own oil or is working on his equipment or vehicle, because now it's considered junk! Private property is called that for a reason; it's private.

We will now be changed from a county of self-reliant individuals to neighbors fighting because of any little thing they don't personally like to look at.

I, myself, like people who get grease on their hands and dirt in their hair; they may be able to fix my car for me, because I sure can't.

Looks like Mr. Shelton has not been watching the shows about finding old antique farm equipment discovered in the woods and fields. One man's junk is another man's treasure.

The question is, why is Mr. Shelton targeting this one individual? Will you be next?

Cara Beth Jones
Marengo, Ind.
August 08, 2018

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The good news about OASC sites closing


I hope you read the article on page one of the Clarion News by Taylor Ferguson on Wednesday's issue, delivered on Tuesday, July 3.

Apparently, the Older Americans Service Corp., OASC, has been supporting a program for persons 60 and older since 1960. The Nutrition Program provides free meals to these older persons and any with disability, living in a housing facility, where congregate meals exist. The congregate meals are served 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday at all the nutrition sites and provide the opportunity for seniors to share lunch. The three counties where these seven units will close are Crawford, Orange and Washington counties. Crawford County will still have one site open and that is in English. Other counties will still have them available. If information is needed, call 1-812-865-3352.

Greg Mahuron, OASC executive director, said the sites were closed due to lack of attendance. He believes that the decline in attendance is due to that generation still working and moving around.

It seems obvious that this is a sign that the overall economy is definitely getting better and fewer people are in need of these well-intended benefits. This reduction in senior needs may also soon apply to other charitable functions that generous organizations have taken to insuring every American family has food and essentials and possibly other help when needed. This can be a practical and hopeful sign that real improvement in the United States economy is happening and just around the corner more people will have better-paying jobs and be self-supporting. The suggestion that some of this good news proof is that just about everywhere you look you see "Help Wanted" signs in stores' windows. If these open jobs pay a decent wage, then more people have the opportunity to be off welfare and having a better life.

Let's keep our hopes up and our eyes open that this transition is happening.

Charles A. Totten
Leavenworth, Ind.
July 25, 2018

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Time to try different dance


"Come on, baby, let's do the Twist."

Do you like to watch people dance, do the Twist or Foxtrot? Not the old-time Foxtrot, but the modern Foxtrot.

The modern Foxtrot, also called the Mr. T two-step, is performed daily on Fox News or in Mr. T's editorials. To perform the Mr. T two-step, you give a deceptive, or evasive, answer to a specific question. An example is, "How many lying elephants are in Washington, D.C.?" And the answer is, "There are thousands of wild asses in Africa."

An honest person or organization will admit when they have erred. Deceivers and fanatics will deny, give evasive answers or outright lie rather than admit to a mistake.

Mr. T and "Porno Prez" Republicans, it is put up or shut up time. Answer this very specific question: You stated in the 2016 election, no other year, some cities had more votes than population. Please name them.

The public, based on Mr. T's answer, will be able to determine if Mr. T and "Porno Prez" Republicans are honest or deceivers.

Mr. T, the Foxtrot and the Mr. T two-step is getting old. In your answer this time, try a different dance, perhaps the Willie Waltz.

Thank you for allowing me to exercise my right to free political speech.

Gary Robinson
Marengo, Ind.
July 11, 2018

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Always keep an open mind


My purpose in responding to Mr. Totten's reactions to my various articles is not to provide alternative perspectives on his scathing rebuke of just about everything I write, but to point out that it is hardly necessary, and indeed unjustified, to make it so personal. Mr. Totten apparently feels he is the arbiter and judge of who I am as a person when he knows little about me except through my writings.

Yes, one can glean plenty by what one writes, but being snide, validating the comment of being a "moronic liberal," questioning where my "incredible" and "outrageous views" come from, saying I don't self-reflect, and then denigrate the fact that my travels don't yield long-term relationships makes incorrect assumptions (except in his mind). It must be gratifying to you, Mr. Totten, to know that all your views are absolutely and unequivocally accurate, are the ONLY ones that people need hold and that any others that diverge from yours are not only supposed to be slammed, but that the "author" of those opposing views should have her reputation besmirched by callous and cruel sidebars.

When I first thought about writing a weekly article for the Clarion News, my intent was to inspire readers to ponder different ideas, even if they opposed their own. I thought perhaps it would open a window to different perspectives that might broaden one's horizons and expand viewpoints. I knew I was taking a risk of perhaps alienating some people. That just comes with the territory. What I did not expect was a tear-down of just about everything I write. It saddens me that people like Mr. Totten spend hours nitpicking each and every article I write and never once saying anything positive about anything I have written. Surely, Mr. Totten, you can't say that I am 100-percent wrong all of the time. If so, perhaps some of that self-reflection that you say I don't do might be something you COULD do.

People like Mr. Totten (and there are plenty of them) react with caustic anger at anything that does not conform to their beliefs. That's fine. That's their right, I suppose. But it is also my right not to be subjected to personal attacks simply because I may hold differing perspectives. In this crazy world we live in, respect for opposing viewpoints is hardly civil anymore. People don't fairly articulate and debate anymore. They just want to kill the messenger to silence them.

Well, Mr. Totten, you have successfully silenced me (at least in this particular form). I no longer wish to participate in a forum that goes beyond a simple and fair debate on issues. When you malign my character, denigrate me in just about every way you are able, then I choose to bow out. I don't do this because I expect everyone to agree with me. Hardly. But I do expect a measure of respect as a person regardless of whether you agree or disagree with my viewpoints. Perhaps you will find another who you can successfully tear down. I no longer wish to be your patsy.

Thanks to all of you who have dared to ponder my thoughts, ideas, perspectives, regardless of whether you agreed with them or not. I have sincerely been blessed to have had this forum and Chris Adams' support for my work these past nearly two years of writing. It has been enlightening in many ways.

Editor's note: For the past few years, Young wrote the "Inspiration Corner" column that appeared in the Clarion News.

Ashira Young
Milltown, Ind.
June 27, 2018

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Barbara Shaw
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