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Bills would concentrate power in Indianapolis

Feb. 4, 2015

I was under the impression that the Republican party was all about smaller government, yet bills have been introduced in this legislative assembly that will concentrate all power and authority in Indianapolis.

Senate Bill 249 states that no county or township shall enact any type of ordinance prohibiting a CAFO or CFO. At present, those large buildings, housing thousands of animals and their tons of manure, can be as close as 500 feet from a residence. You can go to www.in.gov/idem/4994.htm to read what they do and don't regulate and to see if the IDEM has issued any permits for your area.

House Bill 1321 does the same for fracking. Fracking is a type of oil or gas well, where water and chemicals are pumped into the ground, fracturing the subterranean rock so that the oil or gas can be extracted. This type of drilling has been known to contaminate neighboring wells and has been linked to minor earthquakes in several states. You can read all about it on www.dangeroffracking.com.

House Bill 1290 nullifies all EPA regulations and puts our protection from industrial pollution of CAFOs and fracking into the hands of a politically appointed board (www.in.gov/idem/6815.htm).

House Bill 1351 nullifies all local ordinances restricting CAFOs and/or fracking.

You can read these bills by going to www.iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills.

It seems that this legislative body is putting business and economic development above the welfare of those Hoosiers affected. By giving the state government all control, we lose our right to have any say. Once a right is lost, it is very hard to get it back. One by one, rights can be removed and, when people realize what has happened, it's too late. So, contact your state legislatures at www.iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators and make your thoughts known. If you don't come to the aid of your neighbor, who will come to your aid when you need it?

Harold Wilson
Corydon, Ind.
February 18, 2015

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Talk with your kids about relationships

Feb. 3, 2015

Did you know that two out of three teens will experience teen dating abuse? Unfortunately, 75 percent of parents don't talk with their kids about relationships. While numbers as large as those are scary, talking to your kids shouldn't be. Although your kids may not tell you this, they actually want to have these conversations. Ultimately, by initiating these conversations with your teens, you have the power to set them up to have safer and healthier relationships throughout their lives.

The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence Youth Council is a group of high school students from all over the state. They have talked with other teens and adults across Indiana about why these conversations aren't happening and why they're important. Because many adults have told them they are afraid to have these conversations, here are a few fear-busting tips on how to have these conversations early and often:

It's OK if you think this is hard.

It's OK if you don't always know what to say or have the perfect advice in that moment.

It's OK if you don't know the answers to all of your child's questions.

You can work together to figure it out!

There's a difference between not knowing exactly the right thing to say and choosing to say nothing at all. Use your past experiences — and new information — to help lead teens in the right direction.

Keep in mind that conversations (talking AND listening) are better than interrogations (shooting questions at them and expecting immediate answers).

Remember to be open-minded and non-judgmental when talking and listening to your kids.

Kids will answer your questions if they feel like they can give honest/real answers.

Both adults and teens have valid information to share.

Don't jump to conclusions.

If the timing isn't right, don't make your teens feel pressured to talk; let them know that the door is always open.

We urge you to visit stand4respect.org to find information on how to start conversations about topics like:

Consent ("From sharing a snack to sharing an apartment").

Healthy uses of social media ("Love in a technological age").

Giving and receiving respect ("Flirting with respect").

Supporting us through breakups/fights ("Being a backboard").

After visiting stand4respect.org, the next step is to talk with your teens. Together you have the power to prevent this problem.

Jon Kuss
Director of Hoosier Hills PACT
February 18, 2015

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National Guard service important

In response to the Viet Nam veteran who posted a comment in the (call-in) section (recently): Thank you for your service. That being said, much of your information is not factual.

Both George Bush and Dan Quayle served in the National Guards. The service the guards provided in protecting our country was and is as important as the service you provided.

More than 50 percent of our guardsmen have combat experience. While here on our land, they serve in search and rescue and emergency relief during disasters. Perhaps you would be thankful to them if you were the one in need.

You speak with hate in your heart, unforgiving animosity. For nearly 50 years, you have carried around a heavy load of hate in a little basket with you. It is time to get a better understanding of the guards and empty your basket.

Your comments made me wonder if you could have looked into the eyes of the mothers and fathers of the five young guardsmen from Bardstown, Ky., that lost their lives in the Viet Nam Conflict. Those young men were not HIDING, they were not COWARDS.

The guards fought in WW I, WW II, Desert Storm and other conflicts. They are there for us, and they were there with you. Need I say more?

I am the wife of a soldier that stood proud and served his country in the U.S. Army during the Viet Nam Conflict. Your job was no more or no less important than that of any other soldier, or guardsman.

I find your unsigned, no-name post heartless and offensive. I pray that you will find comfort from your bitterness.

P.L. Frost
Corydon, Ind.
February 04, 2015

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Here are reasons why farmers to what they do

We echo recent comments made in the Jan 7, 2015, newspaper regarding the unnecessariness of additional ordinances for livestock farming at the county level. To fully comprehend and appreciate the complexities of farming, it might be beneficial to revisit why farmers do what they do.

Sometimes farmers plant or harvest after dark. Many times this is dictated by weather as was the case this past fall when farmers waited to harvest soybeans and corn until conditions became dry enough. This wait required working in the field into the late-night hours long after the sun had gone down.

Like humans, animals sometimes get sick and need antibiotics. When this happens, farmers call the veterinarian. Just as in human health, the use of antibiotics for animal health is highly regulated. Labels and guidelines regarding administration and withdrawal are followed.

Today's modern no-till or minimum-till farming methods prevent soil erosion and runoff which ultimately avoids contamination of creeks and streams.

Some farmers use artificial insemination to get improved production and growth in a livestock operation. In the case of a cattle operation, this process can provide a more consistent and uniform calf crop.

Use of genetically enhanced crop makes it easier to control weeds and insects. Drought-resistant crops is one example of this type of science.

Raising animals in buildings began in the 1970s. This housing system protects animals from predators and extreme weather conditions. For example, placing a sow in a stall while she farrows (delivers a litter of pigs) protects the baby pigs from being mashed or eaten by their mother. This automation results in better management, reduced costs and healthy production environment.

All of the above — and more — enables the American farmers and ranchers to produce an abundance of quality food under high standards at an affordable price for consumers.

Unfortunately, many take our food supply for granted. Much of America's food supply is shipped overseas and throughout the world. Of the 7.2 billion people on this planet, nearly one billion go to bed hungry, starving or extremely malnourished. Population estimates indicate there will be nine billion people by 2050.

Farming and ranching is a 24/7 job. Farmers oftentimes are called "champions of animal care" and it's important for consumers to know "why farmers do what they do." Besides working hard and making an honest living, we are feeding the world with an abundance of quality and safe food. This safe food supply could be threatened with additional and unnecessary ordinances.

It is imperative that we are proactive in telling the story of "why farmers do what they do."

Peter J. and Joan T. Schickel, Concerned citizens and semi-retired farmers
Lanesville, Ind.
January 28, 2015

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Think again about Sunday alcohol sales

For many years, advocates for communities around the state have fought to protect both residential interests and those of our local merchants. But, too often, our efforts have been overrun by national and international big money and their lobbyists, who have been far more interested in maximizing their bottom line than in the welfare of the people of the state of Indiana.

Keep your eye on that lobbyist behind the curtain. He's a whiz at telling you what he wants you to believe (and at not telling you what you need to know). He'll tell you that Indiana's alcoholic beverage law is archaic, obsolete, behind the times, out of touch with modern reality. (He doesn't tell you he is a paid lobbyist — for out-of-state corporations.)

Grant Monahan's article in the Opinion section of the Jan. 7 edition of the Clarion News in support of Sunday sales, beginning with his very first sentence, contains many erroneous "facts" and flawed conclusions.

Mr. Monahan says that prohibition was repealed because "the American people realized that it simply didn't make sense." Not so. Prohibition was repealed to remove the stimulus for the fearful lawlessness perpetrated on the American people by mobsters flaunting the law in order to maintain and control the alcoholic beverage industry.

Mr. Monahan says that carryout sales in Indiana have not changed since 1933 but are "exactly the same." Now, Mr. Monahan knows full well that, for his clients, carryout sales have changed considerably, and to their benefit.

When prohibition was repealed, the Indiana General Assembly, recognizing that alcohol is a dangerous drug with potentially harmful, even fatal consequences, enacted the Alcoholic Beverage Code, Title 7.1 (the law that Mr. Monahan finds archaic).

Purpose No. 1 of the law is to protect the economic welfare, health and peace of the people of the state of Indiana. Is it archaic to protect the people of Indiana?

Purpose No. 2 is to regulate and limit the manufacture, sale, possession and use of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. Is it archaic to control a beverage with dangerous potential?

In order to accomplish these purposes, the General Assembly created the package liquor stores to be the retailers to sell alcoholic beverages responsibly. The package stores were severely limited in those sales: no one under the age of 21 could enter a package store, clerks had to be at least 21 years of age, and only a few items related to alcohol could be sold. Those limitations have not changed since 1933 — for the package stores.

Over the years, the intent of the Legislature has been seriously eroded so that many other entities have been permitted to sell alcoholic beverages. However, the restrictions imposed upon the package stores were not required of those other retailers.

A child of any age unaccompanied by an adult may enter a drug store, grocery store or gas station convenience store and wander through the aisles of alcohol for carryout sales. Those retail establishments may sell anything from milk to motor oil, from toys to toiletries, from shoes to sleeping bags, in addition to selling alcoholic beverages. Quite a lot of changes from 1933.

While it is contrary to law for grocery stores to sell hard liquor, big box stores holding a pharmacy permit flaunt the law and sell hard liquor in their grocery section, which is usually the section farthest from the pharmacy. Maybe not so much change from 1932.

Mr. Monahan would have us believe that alcohol is a product just like milk or ketchup or cereal or cookies or french fries. Those items are food. Alcohol is not a food. It is a drug. A drug that can harm and even kill.

The General Assembly has always recognized this danger to the people of Indiana and has intended alcohol to be a controlled substance, not a free-market commodity, as Mr. Monahan would have us consider it to be.

Mr. Monahan says that retailers in Indiana border counties are losing business to neighboring states by not having Sunday sales. Not his clients. They have stores on both sides of the border, indeed across the borders of states all over the United States (and some all over the world). And they take profits from Indiana back home to Arizona or Rhode Island or Tennessee or England or the Netherlands.

Mr. Monahan says Sunday sales is an matter of "convenience." Convenience for whom? The responsible drinker plans ahead. The irresponsible drinker wants access to his alcohol whenever he wants it — now. We know from experience (and lots of statistics) that more access to alcohol leads to more bad behavior. Do we want to enable the irresponsible drinker to have more access to alcohol or do we want to support his family and neighbors who would appreciate a day of respite?

Mr. Monahan is right about one thing that he said in his article: this issue is about retail growth — for his clients. Because of all their limitations, package stores cannot afford to stay open seven days a week. Were Sunday sales permitted, they would go out of business.

How very "convenient" for Mr. Monahan's clients and the growth of their bottom line. With their only competitor out of the way, they would have the entire alcohol market to themselves. Since those out-of-state retailers already benefit from having almost none of the restrictions that were intended to protect the people of the state of Indiana, were they to be in control of alcohol sales in Indiana, would we be back to 1932?

When Mr. Monahan says that Sunday sales (more access to alcohol) has no financial cost to Indiana taxpayers, good grief. You already know the answer to that, but ask any police officer, E.R. physician, family counselor, auto repairman, insurance salesman.

Beware those paid lobbyists behind the (green) curtain. Sunday sales? Good for irresponsible drinkers and out-of-state corporate greed. Not so good for responsible Indiana residents and home-grown retailers.

M.L. Walker
Eckerty, Ind.
January 21, 2015

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Issues with 'farming proponents'

I am writing about the article that was in your Jan. 7, issue, titled "Farming proponents caution against 'piggyback' ordinances."

I am concerned about our elected officials being swayed by these paranoid people who think advocacy groups are out to get them. They seem to think that any type of regulation to protect the citizens from pollution or improve the living conditions of animals in those large buildings is against them personally.

The focus of the Commissioners' meeting was about enacting ordinances that seemingly affect only pets but could affect their farmed animals. I would like to point out that Indiana Code 35-46-3 covers offenses relating to animals; however, section 5 of that code says these offenses do not apply to "acceptable farm management practices." So, unless that is changed, they have no worries.

The article mentioned the new law in California that will free egg laying hens from being crammed in small drawer-size cages where they are left until they are considered used-up. Please go to www.eggindustry.com to see this "acceptable farm management practice." I think it's pitiful that those people think humane treatment of commercial hens is a bad idea.

It was also mentioned that we are blessed to have cheap food, but with extra restrictions, our food prices will go up. I would like to say that our "cheap prices" come at the expense of all the pain and suffering of all those animals raised in those large buildings. Which seems to be something those people don't want to consider. At one time, people enjoyed cheap cotton raised by slaves, but we eventually saw the moral degradation of that practice. And maybe someday we will see the moral degradation of these "acceptable farm management practices." It's not about them; it's about the animals they raise, and I don't think people would mind paying a little more knowing the animals were raised humanely.

Ray Wilson
New Middletown, Ind.
January 21, 2015

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United Way helps Cedar Street Food Pantry

We just want to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the United Way for their financial aid to our food pantry. For several years now, they have given us monies to help purchase foods for the pantry.

United Way has blessed our food pantry, and we are very grateful for their help. The need remains very strong for food in our area, and we would not be able to do what we do without the aid of the United Way. Our clients very much appreciate the additional food items that we purchase through the help of United Way.

Thanks, United Way!

Editor's note: This letter is the next in a series of letters from Crawford County organizations sharing how the United Way of Crawford County is making an impact on the lives of the county's residents.

Ed Conway, Cedar Street Baptist Church Food Pantry
Marengo, Ind.
December 03, 2014

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CCUM thanks area churches

Thanks to the following local church for their donations, time, effort and talents in making and distributing 30 Thanksgiving food boxes to families in our community:

Alton Baptist Church, Church of Christ, Church of God, Community Chapel Church, Crawford Consolidated UMC, Eckerty Christian Church, Fairview General Baptist Church, Hillview Christian Church, Latter Day Saints Church, Leavenworth Community Presbyterian Church, Lincoln Hills UMC, Little Mission Church, Marengo Christian Church, Marengo UMC, Marengo Wesleyan Church, Milltown Christian Church, Milltown UMC, Pilot Knob UMC, Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church, Rock Springs Community Church, Saint Joseph Catholic Church, Taswell Christian Church, Tower Full Gospel Church and Wickliffe.

We did God's work together! God bless you!

Crawford County United Ministries Officers, Directors and Advisory Council
December 03, 2014

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UW funds help YSB build teamwork

Take a moment to think about the YSB alternative school. First thing that comes to mind is troubled teens with behavioral problems that are transferred from CCHS, right? Wrong, that is not right at all; actually, the YSB not only holds suspension kids in a separate room, but also takes in pregnant teens, teens who cannot work in the classroom environment, students that are behind on credits and kids who showed up late because of various reasons.

I go to the YSB because I, in fact, am a troubled teen and am behind on credits. I dabbled in with the wrong crowd and got in over my head; I ended up running away for various reasons, and was gone for a couple of weeks after school started. With me having only 19 credits and being a junior — you should have 28 — I wasn't really in the predicament to tell anybody what I wanted. I was about ready to run away and never look back, saying forget school, forget all of it. Then, my parents decided it would be best to live with my mom, so I was sent down here, in the middle of nowhere, just a rest stop for passing through semi drivers and tourists. And that is how my life started.

I started YSB and realizing that I could actually get help if I didn't understand a problem, and knowing that the teachers would actually drop what they're doing and help me until I understood really awed me and made me feel like I could. Like I could do this, like I could graduate school and never have to look back. The teachers made me look back and say, "What was I thinking?" If I'd run away, I wouldn't have the opportunity to be here right now. Working and striving for success.

Teamwork is working together to achieve a goal. Without the help of the United Way funds, we wouldn't be able to get to know any of the classmates, because we would be sucked up in computer screens all day. The United Way funds us with grants to go out on trips and use teamwork and work in groups to individually get to know our peers. United Way funds lets us go on field trips to different places, and we take advantage of that and use teamwork to better understand and know each other so we can become a unit and help each other succeed.

Editor's note: This and Sami Trimble's letter are the next in a series of letters from Crawford County organizations sharing how the United Way of Crawford County is making an impact on the lives of the county's residents.

Daniel Sage, Crawford County Youth Service Bureau Alternative School Student
November 19, 2014

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YSB staff 'believes' in students

The Crawford County Youth Service Bureau has benefited my education in many ways.

I can work on my classes online at my own pace, and I get all the help I need. At first, I thought asking questions made me feel stupid, but now that I am asking, I understand the lessons a lot more and I'm starting to not need as much help as I used to.

The staff does everything in their power to get you on the right track and make the time to have one-on-one time to help you understand what you are struggling with. I couldn't ask to be in a better school than where I am now.

Everybody says, "The YSB is for kids who are in slow classes." Well, let me tell you why you are wrong. We are not slow, we are behind on credits because we either are messing around in class or need more time to understand the subject. The YSB is a chance to catch up at your own pace and earn the credits you need in order to walk across the stage and get that diploma to prove the people wrong who told you that you wouldn't make it.

The YSB staff believes in me, and I've learned to believe in myself. I know they are doing everything they possibly can for me to wear that cap and gown. I appreciate each and every one of them for getting me where I am today.

A special thanks to United Way for giving us the opportunity to go on trips! We can now be educated AND have a blast doing it! Overall, my experience with the YSB has been something to remember. But, thanks to them, I am on my way to earning my cap and gown.

Thanks for everything.

Sami Trimble, Crawford County Youth Service Bureau Alternative School Student
November 19, 2014

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Barbara Shaw
Schuler Bauer
Riggs Towing
03 - 31 - 15