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October 30, 2008

Residents concerned over choice to charge for obituaries

Editor's Note: As word continues to circulate about a local print newspaper's decision to charge the bereaved for obituary placement in their publication, people are voicing their concerns. The same editorial was published in our Whitley News Network partners, the Tribune-News in South Whitley and the BuscoVoice.com in Churubusco as well. Here is a reader's comment from BuscoVoice.com...
For the record, we have been aware of this for some time now and want our readers to know we will remain committed to the concept that our departed citizens deserve to have their life celebrated and that their loved ones should not have to balance cost with the decision about what to details to abbreviate at a time of such sorrow. We at Talk of the Town will never charge for obituaries and encourage families to share as much information as they would like for inclusion on our memorial page -- including multiple color photos if they choose. After all, celebrating the lives of our citizens in their entirety is important for the living and for future generations who will turn to that information for research.

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County genealogist disappointed at The Post & Mail's decision to charge for obituaries

The Post and Mail recently posted a new policy regarding what it will print in an obituary at no cost. The paper will now only print basic name/date information. No longer will the paper print – at no cost to the deceased's family – information, like activities involved in, military service, awards/honors earned, group/church memberships, locations lived and other notes that describe the person's life.
I am sure the paper does face rising printing and distribution costs, but I would hope the publishers are aware of the importance that printing complete obituaries make in the communities they serve and the history they record each day. Deciding what is printed in the deceased's obituary should not be based on the family's ability to pay.
I have devoted countless hours researching family histories and doing research for people from across our country who have ancestors who were a part of Whitley County's history. Newspapers printed here from the 1850s to the present serve as an invaluable resource for doing that research and documenting family and community history.
 Obituaries are not just names and dates, but stories and life histories of our citizens and how these lives built our community.
With the newspaper's new polity, we begin to lose parts of the history of Columbia City, Whitely County and its people. The printed words in our community newspapers serve as a basic and fundamental record, in many cases a legal word, of the people, places and happenings of this community.
I hope The Post & Mail will review their decision on obituaries and return to printing at no cost to the deceased's family the complete life record of our citizens. This is a prime responsibility of a community newspaper along with reporting other community happenings. These are the reasons that the community newspaper is preserved in libraries and record centers everywhere.
Under this newspaper's new policy important information will be gone forever for generations that follow us. Obituaries should not be the victim of our economic choices.


Charlotte Hurd Blair

Whitley County Genealogist

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Still shrugging at Loe's letter from Larwill

Consult your ATLAS for an overview of our earth and its geography.  Check out library books to discover gods and goddesses featured in Greek and Roman Mythology; within those pages, meet a peripheral Titan named ATLAS, condemned by Zeus to balance the heavens upon his Atlas-like brawny shoulders for eternity. Comic book culture popularizes ATLAS as a really big guy groaning under the weight of that perpetual globe strapped to his backside. Then along came Russian-born novelist Ayn Rand with her cult following demanding that "anybody who is anybody" read her ultra-thick novels and thus learn to salute the dollar sign, symbol of capitalism. Somehow or other, ATLAS and AYN collided and colluded.  In 1957, this "LOVE THY SELF ABOVE ALL ELSE " authoress decided that ATLAS, who represented the most visionary among us, should maybe SHRUG.  End of fictional story?  End of the world as we know it? If you, like I, cannot follow all of this, should we all pull out our road-maps?
Wellllllll, Robert Loe of Larwill alludes to Rand's book title, ATLAS SHRUGGED, and inquires how letters to editors aid in resolving problems, whether,  governmental, societal, economic, political, etc.  Only guessing here, but just as Rand's lengthy novels continue to fascinate, Thomas Paine's pamphlets promote patriotism, Charles Dickens' Madame Defarge successfully knits lists of names, the Bible instructs, and Will Shakespeare informs,  it follows that the voices of the people memorialized in newsprint ought not be chastised.  May the fourth estate continue its enlightenment of the masses. May "PRO PATRIA" remain the motto of both the Sri Lankan Army and the Royal South Australian Regiment of the Royal Australian Infantry Corp. (Although, admittedly,  that portion of Mr. Loe's letter I fail to fully comprehend.)   Laissez-faire, think tanks, peasants, barricades, glitterati, proletariats, serfs, feudalism, bourgeoisie, fiefdom, fiddle dee dee. 
Advocacy, activism, alliteration, anarchy, Ayn, and Atlas crowd themselves into this letter to the editor.  Exactly why I do not know.   However, Loe's  encouragement, or is it discouragement,  of Terry-letters perplexes.  Perhaps true happiness may someday be achieved when MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON?
This just in!  ATLAS SHRUGGED starring  Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and my personal favorite,  Russell Crowe, coming to a theater near you in 2009.  This monumentally convoluted novel's cinematic treatment having existed in limbo for over 35 years, somebody has probably succeeded in dumbing down Rand's overwrought , over-rated philosophy extolling self-centeredness. (Afterthought:  Crowe's comeback also noticeable during Barack Obama's pricey info-mercial...waving wheat field stolen from the GLADIATOR set, and ripped-off soundtrack evoking the BEAUTIFUL MIND of Nobel-Prize-Winning Genius John Nash under-scoring the proceedings.) 
If I follow your logic, Robert E. Loe, ask not for whom Atlas shrugged; he lifted up his shoulders in despair when Hillary lost the Democratic nomination--and we all fell down and went BOOM!  As to your suggestion that WE "band together to form a plan of action", may we invite Ralph Nader and Ron Paul to our PARTY?



Susie Duncan Sexton

Columbia City

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October 13, 2008

Family feels blessed for outpouring of support for Adam Rumsyre

I want to send out a big thank you to all everyone who has made donations on behalf of Adam and his family.  We appreciate not only the monetary donations, but also the donations of food, supplies, raffle and silent auction items, as well as the time people gave volunteering to make sure that the Chili Supper was such a success.  I also want to thank Jefferson Township FD for sponsoring the Chili Supper, and Laud Christian Church for the use of their facilities. 
We had an amazing turnout from our community, and though Adam, Tam, and Mike could not be in attendance, Adam's brother Zach was there.  The entire family was moved to witness the number of lives that Adam has touched.  Thanks again to everyone. We cannot thank you enough for the love and generosity you have shown for Adam.  And as we continue to pray for Adam's recovery, we also praise God for the wonderful friends and family that the Lord has blessed us with.  They will be in my prayers also. 


Shannon Plattner & Family

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No point in pointing fingers, we're in this together

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice instructs each reader that snobbery flows both directions.  "Country-club" types look down their noses at the "salt of the earth" crowd who pretty consistently returns that disdain while glancing more than a bit resentfully upward.  Literary classicists frequently select themes of class warfare as central to their plots.  Reread F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby; check out any Dickens novel.
Tom Brokaw recently asked Ted Koppel if the current economic upheaval might lead to class struggles in the immediate future; witnessing two entitled media moguls discuss such a topic seemed an ominous harbinger of events to come.  Bewildering finger-pointing of the fiercest, sometimes crassest, sort already dominates televised panel discussions, newspaper columns, and restaurant chats.  If we're teetering on the edge of the Great Depression II, let's sniffily participate in the game of Name the Culprit?
No matter whoever or whatever caused the Dow to tumble, shops to close, industrialists to vanish, repossessions to sky-rocket, job terminations to increase staggeringly, banks to fail, credit card interest rates to soar, and, subsequently, the playing field to level, we all may be finally in THIS game together. Yes, this go-round the Family of Man occupies the exact same class-room, and all of us may go down holding hands...or not.  Break out the dominoes.
Susie Duncan Sexton
Columbia City

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October 06, 2008

Troubled Terrier's Tale

A small-town Hoosier's status, on September 13th, as a temporary guardian angel for one neglected, lost, possibly discarded, aging, straying Jack Russell terrier, strikes this habitual reader of newspaper opinion pages as admirable, kind-hearted, and generous of spirit.  This gentleman's recent Letter-to-an-Indiana-Editor alerts us to minute by minute haunting suffering most of us encounter often during our frantically bustling lives.  Commonly, a somewhat false and self-serving sense of logical reasoning kicks in, reminding us that good Samaritan-ship demands time...and usually money, considerably more than simply pocket change, too.   
That little dejected and rejected troubled terrier, abandoned eventually even by its well-meaning potential savior, represents a lamentable break-down in human communication amongst those who assume responsible, compassionate dominion over animals. Not one local or near-by establishment, dedicated to animal rescue/welfare, responded to his plea for assistance; after all, strolling man and wayward beast discovered one another on the week-end.  Perhaps, another caring soul...or two or three or more... should immediately engage in a diligent search along South Street in New Haven, Indiana, embrace the frightened animal, transport her on foot or by little red wagon or automobile to a loving and warm home, supply food and water, bathe the pooch, soothe its wounds, trim its over-grown nails and yes, unfortunately, wait until "regular office hours" to share the rescue story, as well as the cost of shots and follow-up care, with an understanding veterinarian or shelter staff member. 
Of course, September 13th, has long since passed, but should one's heart be so inclined, those homeless and unloved await around more than 700 billion corners each and every day and night. 


Susie Duncan Sexton
Columbia City

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October 02, 2008

Support Hoosier Cheeer for Our Heroes

As fall begins and we quickly approach the holiday season, I want to show our troops how thankful Hoosiers are for their sacrifice.  Last year, we collected over 15,000 letters and cards for our deployed men and women.  Once again, I need your help to make this year's effort a success.
Hoosier Cheer For Our Heroes" is aimed at sending our thoughts and prayers to our U.S. troops away from their homes and loved ones this holiday season.  I encourage everyone to write a note to our troops and let them know just how much we appreciate the job they are  doing for our country
If you are interested in sending a letter of appreciation or a holiday card to our
troops, please send them to my office by November 17th or visit my web page at
www.in.gov/lgov/ for more information.
All mail can be directed to:
Office of Lt. Governor Becky Skillman
c/o Hoosier Cheer for our Heroes
200 West Washington Street, Suite 333
Indianapolis, IN   46204 
If you send mail in bulk, we ask that you do not put each card in an envelope, and please do not include any money, candy, or other gifts.
Thank you for supporting our troops!  
Becky Skillman
Lt. Governor, State of Indiana

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