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February 24, 2009

Another Modest Proposal

Believe it or not, some do-gooders wish to outlaw cigarettes but hold forth that since our newly-elected president smokes, such a prohibition will never occur.   

Let's prioritize other possible illegalities first.  Outlaw booze--again, adultery, giving birth to too many children, control-freakism, obsession with money, mental cruelty, school-yard bullying, big-brother complexes, slaughter of meat-producing animals, steroids in cattle feed, insecticides sprayed on crops, texting while driving, driving itself due to toxic emissions from mufflers, neurologically-damaging cell phones in general, allergy-producing bouquets of roses, and public toilet seats.

Better yet, why not outlaw privacy-invasiveness, condescension, hypocrisy, elitism, arrogance, and, of course, bigotry?

Susie Duncan Sexton

Columbia City


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February 19, 2009

In Over our Heads: Stop and Smell the Coffee

By Susie Duncan Sexton 

 

I'll pray for you.  You pray for me.  Tea for two, and two for tea.  I see the moon--the moon sees me.  The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see. Even, Steven?  Let's position ourselves upon cruise control, by kneeling with palms pressed together while achieving an upward tilt to our profiles.  Cannot leave each other until we've pronounced, " A-men". Finally, I'll pat you on your head and instruct, additionally, that specific Bible verses be consulted.  Thus end our responsibilities to one another.  Now, on with our busy lives, and are we fine with that?  

     

Native American Indians chant, Muslims bow toward Mecca, Buddhists meditate, while you and I facilitate prayer chains and organize ourselves into prayer warriors.  To whom do all of us, in our extensive diversity, have a direct line?  Why not to each other through daily meaningful communication, good deeds and honest, happy relationships?  Why the ceremonial pageantry and the escape into mysticism?  Let's enjoy the party while we're earth-bound, as heaven seems far away and decidedly undocumented? 

 

Prayerfulness?  Silent, personal, unheralded--between one soul and whomever one is addressing, even one's self, organizing our noblest thoughts in order to co-exist peaceably with all life forces!  We must answer to ourselves and sense our obligations toward one another in real time.  Surely, HEAVENly headquarters cannot absolve our guilt, while leaving some of us out and admitting others.  Not my heaven on earth, the idea of which would be assurance that this precious gift of time offers productivity, pleasantness, and compassion while we live, with no waiting around to see if we're eventually black-balled or not.  No heaven and no HELL, just IMAGINE!

 

Christopher Robin knelt at the foot of the stairs, while a mis-interpreted prayer from Henry II precipitated the assassination of saintly Thomas a Becket, as Prince Hamlet scoured his own intellect for truths.  German composer Engelbert Humperdinck set a prayer to exceptional melody for Hansel and Gretel:  "Now I lay me down to sleep..."  Playwright Thornton Wilder, in OUR TOWN, tops them all through the youthful, ghostly Emily's ultimate breath-taking question to the audience: "Goodbye to clocks ticking...Mama's sunflowers, food...coffee...new-ironed dresses...hot baths...sleeping and waking up.  Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you.  Do any human beings realize life while they live it?  Every, every minute?"  I regard Emily as the most profound pray-er in all of literature and possibly history; her soliloquy the ultimate prayer.

 


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February 09, 2009

Whitley County Commissioners weigh in on the Kernan-Shepard Report, how it may impact this county

February 9, 2009

To the Citizens of Whitley County:

Much has been reported concerning the Kernan-Shepard report and how it will affect our county. We believe it is our responsibility to keep the citizens of Whitley County informed as to the impact on our county. Currently the county is looking at ways to contain expenses.

First, we want to make it clear that if the implementation of the Kernan-Shepard Report will make county government better for all citizens and save our county money, we will support their recommendations. We have studied the report, talked with the Governor, Legislators, and other County Commissioners and Councilmen. At this time, we cannot see any financial savings to the county (actually will cost more) or that it will improve services provided by the county to our citizens.

We do not support a single person elected county executive. This will actually cost the county twice as much financially as what we currently pay three commissioners. Kernan-Shepard Report states that the County Executive would appoint the Treasurer, Recorder, Assessor, Surveyor and Coroner. We do not believe the County Executive should be allowed to appoint these positions. Those people are responsible to the voters of Whitley County and should be elected by the voters.

Township Trustees provide a valuable and economical service to our citizens locally. They are the contact point for citizens in their township who have questions, problems or need assistance. They deal with issues one on one with those people to get issues resolved in a timely manner and as efficiently as possible whether it be day, night or on the weekends.

If the County is forced to assume the duties of township government such as assessment, poor relief, fire protection, emergency medical services and cemeteries, additional county staffing would be necessary due to the fact that there is currently no one in the current county employee structure that could assume these duties. The current county budget does not allow for additional hiring.

Counties have not been given any direction as to how the recommendations will be implemented. It appears that the state is getting “the cart before the horse” in the implementation of these recommendations and that little thought process has been put into the end results of these changes. We feel County Government should have an input into this report as it affects a personnel increase and necessary financial increases.

We will continue to follow the progress of the Kernan-Shepard report as it makes its way through the State Legislation.

The “powers” in Indianapolis should read Morton Marcus’s article in this week’s Business Weekly wherein he states, “the current drive to reform government should not start with local government but with state government. The best place to begin is with the circus that does not entertain-the Indiana General Assembly.”

In the meantime if you would like an abbreviated copy of the Kernan-Shepard Report, you may pick up a copy at the Government Center, 220 W. Van Buren Street, Suite 101.

We urge you to become informed regarding these proposed changes which will ultimately affect you. Contact your Township Trustee, County Councilmen, Commissioners and Legislators with questions and comments.

Sincerely,

Whitley County Commissioners

Don Amber, Mike Schrader & Tom Rethlake

 

 


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February 04, 2009

YMCA Strong Kids Campaign needs your support

“…with the economy the way it is.” 

I have been hearing this phrase within so many conversations in the past few months.  It seems to be the reason for why this or that is happening or not happening.  As private citizens, there are just some things out of our immediate control at this time.  We have put our faith in a new president-elect and his selected team, and we hope and pray the economy will improve, sooner rather than later. JoEllen Rush, YMCA Board of Directors

When so much of what is going on around us is out of our control, there’s one thing we can control.  We can choose to stay physically fit through exercise.  This is totally up to us—under our control!  It is a great choice, not just because our bodies are healthier, but because of the benefits of exercise as a stress releaser.  Who isn’t stressed these days?

The YMCA will begin their annual Strong Kids Fundraising Campaign in February (formerly Partner with Youth).  Hopefully by now, Whitley County residents are aware that its YMCA does not turn away people who seek membership, but need financial help.  Working with individuals and families to help them achieve a healthy lifestyle is what we are about.  Through fund-raising last year, we raised over $29,000 to assist community members participate in our programming.  We have a concern for adults, but an even greater concern for kids—we want them strong and healthy.  This year we have provided assistance amounting to $40,000 to about 500 individuals and families.  Our $29,000 definitely had to be supplemented by other YMCA sources, however, to meet these needs.

Every year we conduct our campaign, and though it requires much time and hard work, this community has responded generously.  We have been able to help boys and girls with needed finances to take part in soccer, flag football and basketball, swim team, summer camps, etc.  The fellowship and friendships formed around these activities are an extra added bonus. One of the greatest and most needed programs we offer is our after school childcare, and assistance with expenses is often needed.   What a great way to invest our donors’ dollars!

If you receive a call about supporting the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, please give as you are able to this most wonderful cause and help us reach our goal of $29,000. We just cannot say “no” to anyone interested in and in need of a healthy lifestyle, and we won’t with your help!

Thank you Whitley County for your past support of Strong Kids!

 

JoEllen Rush

YMCA Strong Kids Campaign Chair


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