Reader: City needs to change its way
I am writing about two problems I have with the City of New Albany. One is the way they repair the roads and the other is how they are supposedly trying to “save gas” when picking up yard waste.
First, I retired 31 years ago. I bought a dump truck from Bill Chaney the next year. I hauled sand and gravel from M&M; Gravel & Sand pit on Seven Mile Lane. Indiana Gas Company started having Miller Pipe Company from Indianapolis install new plastic gas lines. I had a job hauling sand to fill in the ditches. I sold the old truck I had used two years later.
The last 20 years or so, somebody got the bright idea to use lime stone chips to fill in the ditches under the roads. These chips do not pack like sand. The result has shown with the streets sinking in with a big crack.
To check this out, turn down McDonald Lane, off of Charlestown Road. There is a ditch down the middle of the road. You would think somebody in the New Albany office (mayor, street department or city engineer) would have checked into this years ago and fixed the problem with the streets caving in and causing a big crack that later has to be filled in.
Like my old Grandpappy said, and was told to me by my older brother, anybody that works for the federal, state, county or city governments are our W.P.A. workers — We Piddle Along.
Next, I called the mayor’s office, because I had 11 bags of grass behind my house. That was from five cuttings. The mayor’s secretary said we are trying to save gas. The small dump truck came about 2 p.m. and picked up my neighbors’ bags on both sides of me. Then I drove down McDonald Avenue to Oriole Drive, where the house at 1640 had trash. There sat the big dump truck picking up the trash. That is what I call “saving gas.” The big dump truck could have picked up everything.
— Marvin Davis, New Albany
Mom supports teachers
As a parent of two children in the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corporation, I am writing to support the teachers in their contract dispute. I attended the rally with the teachers Monday night, as did other parents.
Although I am not a teacher, it is obvious to me that teachers do not have an easy vocation. I use the term "vocation" rather than "job," because teaching is a true calling. With everything on their plates, the last thing teachers need is a continued contract dispute. It is my sincere hope that the administration and school board will bargain in good faith this Friday and reach a FAIR contract with the teachers. The teachers deserve it, and our children deserve it.
My children have been blessed with extraordinary teachers at Floyd Knobs Elementary. It is time to settle this dispute and give them the respect that they deserve.
— Julie Fessel Flanigan, Floyds Knobs
She says it’s time for change
Congratulations to Senator Obama, who, by every reasonable measure, will be the Democratic nominee for President. Although I am one of those "older white women," I realize that we are not the future of the Democratic Party or of the country. It is truly time to welcome a new, younger, and diverse generation of voters and let their voices for real change in government be heard.
And for those who are still gnawing on the bones of the "Rev. Wright/20 years" issue, I ask this: How many Catholics have left the Church because of the decades of actual abuse and crimes against children committed, and covered up, by the clergy? How many members of Rev. Hagee's mega church have left because he called Catholicism a "cult" in one of his many insulting rants? People tend to remain in their faith community because it is the center of their spiritual, cultural, and social lives. We all know that pastors come and go, but the "church" belongs to the members.
— Ruthanne Wolfe, New Albany
Farm Bureau applauds Congress for passing bill
There has been a lot of rhetoric about the new farm bill, H.R. 2419, which was passed last week by both the U.S. House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. Much of that rhetoric has been inaccurate.
It seems that even in a major agricultural state such as Indiana, many people have little understanding of the farm bill, its importance to farmers both large and small, and its importance to everybody who is interested in conservation and in food aid for the needy — and to everybody who eats.
As has been pointed out repeatedly, the bill is a $300 billion package. However, what few people seem to notice is that almost all of that money goes to non-farm programs: food assistance and nutrition programs for needy Americans, programs to help conserve our natural resources, food safety and support for rural communities.
Only 17 percent of the package is devoted to the farm safety net — which makes up just a fourth of one percent (0.25 percent) of the federal budget.
Funding for hunger relief programs is why America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s food-bank network, asked contributors to lobby in favor of this farm bill. (The news release can be found at secondharvest.org.) The bill includes a strong nutrition title with $250 million a year in funding, indexed for inflation, for the Emergency Food Assistance Program and significant improvements in the Food Stamp Program.
Another factor that is ignored is what Americans are getting for their farm program dollars. Direct payments are not handed out freely — they compensate farmers for protecting wetlands and highly erodible land, providing environmental benefits the rest of America wants.
The bill cuts deeply into basic financial support for farmers while still providing food security for the nation. The five-year total for commodity-type supports is slashed to about $48 billion — about half the $95 billion in the previous farm bill. In addition, payment limitations have been significantly strengthened.
Those looking for substantial reform have found it in this bill.
Another factor often ignored is: What would have happened if Congress hadn’t passed this bill?
The most likely alternative would have been extending the current bill, which would have been even more expensive since it does not include the reforms. Wouldn’t that have been fiscally irresponsible?
Therefore, Farm Bureau applauds the members of Indiana’s congressional delegation who helped pass this bill, which is good for Indiana agriculture, consumers and the environment.
— Don Villwock, President, Indiana Farm Bureau and Knox County farmer
Reader: Don’t forget your grandchildren
I need to express a grandchild’s feelings and how they feel when forgotten by grandparents.
What about grandchildren of divorced or separated parents? What should the grandparents do?
Grandparents should not blame grandchildren for what happens between the parents. It isn’t the child’s fault. Grandparents should remember their grandchildren by sending them cards,gifts etc. Let your grandchildren know that you love and care about them, even if they can’t visit or be around you. It is your place to keep contact with them no matter what. Your grandchild will one day know that you did and do love them.
By denying them of their rights as a grandchild, when they are all grown up they will say, “If they cared where are the cards they sent? Why did I not get a gift from them like the rest of the grandkids? Why was I left out? They never showed me they cared.”
So grandparents please remember to always acknowledge your children and your children’s children. A child needs to know they are loved. An adult grandchild needs to know this also. So if you never see your children or grandchildren again, show them you care, they will always know they are loved by you.
— Barbara Dunn, Clarksville
Reader: City needs to change its way
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