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Letters 11/02/2012


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Radical Republicans tied to failed policies

Received: Oct. 29

April Wolfe Scott

Columbus

The world cheered Barack Obama’s election. Our country, that had been within minutes of looking like the trailer to the new TV series “Revolution,” now had a chance, along with the world ... to hope, for light in the darkness.

George W. Bush brought a wave of disgust to our shores, led us and friendly nations into Iraq; and when he gave his peers in the upper 10 percent a big tax break, he took us from the Clinton term surplus to tethering off a financial cliff.

This purported magic of giving to the rich (a tax break) and it benefiting the poor didn’t work in the serfdoms that our forefathers fled or the institution of slavery they supported. The tax break that broke us under Bush is the same one Republicans demanded continued under Obama, and it smushed the effect of the stimulus. Since Republican and tea party radicals said, “No!” to all efforts to turn the country around, you should directly blame them, not Obama.

Elected Republicans put their respective states at risk when they refused to cooperate with stimulus programs. Those funds could have paid for improved infrastructure. I guess if you are willing to throw 90 percent of all taxpayers off a bridge to give to the 10 percent, it doesn’t have to be a new bridge, any dilapidated one will do!

This magic tax break that hasn’t trickled down in 12 years is still the Holy Grail of delusional Republicans for the future. Bush wasn’t invited to the Republican National Convention in 2008, or 2012, for good reason. I’m no amnesiac. There was nothing positive trickling down from Bush or Republican policies. It was more like being repeatedly rained on.

Republicans have tea partied and went to bed with some of the weirdest far right radicals this country has ever witnessed. In 2012, it is reprehensible that an elected official wouldn’t believe in equal pay for women, responsible family planning or have the guts to denounce demeaning speech, laws or acts concerning race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or the 47 percentile.

Any Republican earning a seat in this election, even if they wear a centralist mask at times, will be dangerously in debt to these radicals. A radical is a radical, whether far Mideast or nearby Midwest. The Republicans might as well have handed out June Cleaver pearl chokers and aprons with chastity belts as party favors at their last convention.

Mitt, I would never vote for a candidate that doesn’t understand my contribution as a hardworking female, head of household. Additionally, as a grandson of a polygamist you elected to remain a member of a cult that didn’t allow African-American males to ascend to the lay priesthood till 1978; you’d been 30 then. As a teen, I walked out of my church the moment it was apparent my church seemed contrary to, “What would Jesus do?”

Republicans are unwilling to ask the top 10 percent in income to sacrifice back to their fair share tax rate but are too willing to sacrifice our young people to wars in foreign lands. Mitt’s irresponsible mutterings during the dangerous first hours of the recent Mideast riots could have placed us on the road to war again. He has asked for a defense budget higher than the military requested and surrounded himself with old war machine Republicans. What’s up, and will its ramifications result in our first draft for both males and females?

Obama has my vote to provide the steady, calm, intelligent leadership that has kept us on a recovery track and been respectful to our 100 percent and the world.

Worton best candidate for Superior Court judge

From: Sue Ballard

Columbus

Received: Oct. 22

I have known Jim Worton for over 30 years and count him as a dear friend. He went through the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. with my son. They have been best friends since fourth grade.

Jim is a loving husband and father. He has always been honest and fair in his private life as well as in his jobs as a detective for the Columbus Police Department, former police chief and as a lawyer. He went to Indiana University Law School while working full time on the police force. He is a conscientious and hard-working person. Jim will do no less as judge.

Bartholomew County can do no better than have Jim Worton as judge in Superior Court 1.

Vote for Jim Worton. He has my vote.

Pre-K schooling investment in future

From: Karen Garrity

Columbus

Received: Oct. 27

On Nov. 6, every Bartholomew County voter will have the opportunity to cast a ballot to invest in the futures of our at-risk 4-year-olds and to improve the quality of life in our community. Having recently retired after 43 years of service in education and as a lifelong resident of Bartholomew County, I feel compelled to give a voice to our children.

We know that all children are not born with the same access to resources or opportunities. In our local schools, 50 percent of our elementary families qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. Having grown up on a farm in southwestern Bartholomew County, we know geographic location and transportation, as well as economics, affect what parents can provide for their children.

The research is clear:

  • 85 percent of brain development occurs by age 5.
  • Only one out of eight children who are reading below grade level at the end of first grade will ever catch up.
  • 30 percent of children entering kindergarten do not have the reading and math readiness skills needed to be successful in school.
  • 75 percent of these children will probably not graduate from high school.
  • High school dropouts are often underemployed, unemployed or unemployable.
  • 85 percent of all juvenile offenders are struggling readers.
  • The number of prison beds needed in a year has been predicted based on the number of children not passing the third-grade tests.
  • The return on investment for every dollar spent on early childhood education is $7.

We can decide to invest now or pay more down the road in support services.

I am a proud mother of two and a grandmother of six, and I know first hand that it does take a village to raise a child. Please join us in giving our young children a gift that will last for a lifetime.

For as little as $0.05 per day we can help the 4-year-olds who do not have access to the resources or support, to become all that they are capable of being. Please vote “yes” for the BCSC question Nov. 6.

Pre-K can transform young children

From: Amy Kleinert

Columbus

Received: Oct. 27

I support the pre-k referendum for Bartholomew County, Ind. I have witnessed firsthand the transformation that can happen to young children that have access to early childhood education.

My own child is special needs and has been in the educational system since she was 7 months old. First she started with First Steps of Indiana (early intervention) and then at 2.5 years of age began her formal education in a public preschool.

This is how the education system works for children with special needs. It is well documented how important early intervention is for children with special needs, and those needs are addressed at the state and local education level.

The field of childhood development and the science behind how the brain works has evolved significantly over the past 10 years. Educators, scientists, doctors and academics have a much better picture into the continuum of brain development from birth to age 18.

The newest data from sources such as the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University demonstrates that the period of development from birth to 3-5 years of age is one of the most critical times for learning engagement. At this time vital neural pathways are formed that lay the foundation for future learning acquisition.

Blessed are the families that have the means to send their children to a private preschool and are able to provide a stable living environment with learning opportunities abound.

But outside of the private system, options are limited to families living on a budget or in need of full-day preschool. Or worse yet, the young children living in toxic, stress-filled environments of instability, domestic violence and poverty.

These are the children that by the time they arrive for their first day of kindergarten, such early chaos has stunted the growth of neural pathways so important for future learning. Their window of developing critical foundational skills has closed, even before their learning opportunities have started.

Sending 4-year-olds to school should not be viewed as an unnecessary luxury. It’s the most logical time for a child to be in school, being engaged socially and building critical skills for life.

It is also the time our educators can identify the children most at risk of learning disabilities and emotional challenges, and make a significant impact in that child’s long-term learning capabilities, before it’s too late.

If you are interested in learning more about the science behind the pre-k referendum, visit www.developingchild.harvard.edu.

Emergency responders serve area effectively

From: Caleb Tennis

Columbus

Received: Oct. 29

Last week, I attended the emergency drill put on by the Bartholomew County Local Emergency Planning Committee at our local airport. I was present as an observer and was given the luxury of seeing a real-life practice emergency drill performed first hand by local law enforcement and emergency personnel. The participants of the exercise were not aware of the scenario beforehand and were expected to treat the drill like a real emergency.

Columbus Police Department’s Matt Myers helped narrate the scenarios for us as they were unfolding. As observers, we were able to be just outside of the action and yet closely see how our trained personnel tackle walking into unknown scenarios.

What I witnessed only reinforced that our public safety departments are full of well-trained individuals who handle tense situations with a high level of professionalism and candor and are prepared to tackle almost any major emergency that would come their way. The coordinated effort between multiple departments was highly commendable.

Our public safety teams are incredible. The training and preparedness these men and women undertake to be ready for handling emergencies is simply amazing. Thank you to all of the departments involved and to our local officials who see to it that our city and county are safe places to study, work and live.

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