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home : opinion : letters to the editor December 17, 2014

Recount served purpose
Dear Editor,

The recount is complete. It went smoothly and came out with a crisp unambiguous answer. It is good to see that local government appears to be working well on one of its important functions.

All the parties involved acted commendably. Every once in awhile one needs to test the systems that have been put in place to insure fair and timely elections, which is one of the key functions of government. Congratulations to all involved.

New voting equipment and the change to voting centers remains necessary. Just because our old system still works doesn't mean we should not change to an even more cost effective and user friendly system that has comparable accuracy.

Hopefully the details of how County elections are actually run will remain in the forefront of discussion and new voting machines and voting centers will be authorized in 2015 with a fresh council.

Michael P. Fons


Saturday, December 13, 2014
What is best option for accessibility?
Dear Editor,

I would like to point out something in regards to the handicap access problem at the courthouse. It seems like we have a choice here of making a long ramp with a one-time cost and some maintenance like salting in the winter or an elevator which costs more and will have a higher annual maintenance cost. Fiscally the ramp is the choice but there are other factors involved here that I believe need to be looked at.

A lot of elderly people or people who use canes do not use wheelchairs but have limited mobility and cannot walk up a long ramp or up stairs. An elevator would give these individuals better access to the courthouse than a ramp. The elevator would also provide better protection of handicapped individuals from the harsh winter weather or the hot humid summers. Also the elevator would be available to everyone.

The ramp would also be an eyesore. Why go through all the trouble with the parking area and then put a mammoth ramp that defeats the whole purpose of making a pleasing entrance to the city. I believe that the extra expense of an outside handicap elevator is justified here.

Jerry Turner,


Friday, December 12, 2014
Reader discusses potential retaliation
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Chairpersons say thanks for Community Thanksgiving Dinner
Dear Editor,

Another Thanksgiving is gone and the Lord blessed us again with a great turnout. We have a very caring and wonderful community that is willing and ready to help serve and make this possible. It is so cool to see everything come together, will all the volunteers that donate their time in getting it all ready and all the food coming in throughout the days to prepare and serve. We served around 228 meals inside and around 649 meals between take out and deliveries. It was great to see all the people fill the room and have a great time with fellowship, good music and food.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Red Cross sees caring in community
ear Editor,

At the center of our community lies the reason for us all to be grateful - caring hearts! As we go about the hustle and bustle of the Holidays it is apparent our community cares for each other! As I read the paper, listen to the radio and talk with our neighbors there is a lot of activity going on! Activity that is all about helping others in so many ways! It is wonderful to see ages coming together to assist each other.

The Red Cross has been blessed by caring hearts this past year! We have been able to be here to assist our neighbors that have gone through the emotional strain of their homes being damaged by home fires and tornados. We have been able to reach out and assist our military families during their time of need to ensure their loved ones returned home or received a message from their families. Many times this year we stood beside our firefighters during an ongoing response to ensure they had needed water and food. Many of you turned out to the blood drives that helped ensure someone's tomorrow or took a CPR class to be ready to help a neighbor .We are thankful for all the churches and schools that are on our shelter list to be able to help us care for our community when the time comes. To our wonderful volunteer's that go out to help around the clock! You are amazing!!

Why are we here? To prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.

Monday, December 8, 2014
Letter was nice change of pace
Dear Editor,

Got The Paper this morning and opened it up to see another long Letter to the Editor. Thought one more tiresome argument about states rights or Washington rights. Same old argument that they had when the colonies started to form the United States. Were we going to be a national country or just each state another tribe like in Europe. This went on after the Civil War when they had to get the Southern states back into USA. It never lets up. Now are they are criticizing President Obama with the usual same old arguments down through history. But much to my surprise was a story of a great train ride to Washington, DC. I read every word of this wonderful well written letter. A great change for Letters to the Editor. Thank you Helen Hudson!!

Bill Stieg,


Friday, December 5, 2014
An open letter to Governor Pence
Dear Governor Pence,

Imagine you're in charge of a company that serves the public good; imagine your company, unlike others in the same business, has to ask for money every year to keep itself, an arterial of the country's transportation system, running. Imagine that fracking, another part of America's "essential business," is gumming up your works. Imagine that high winds last night halted the Capitol Limited train east of Sandusky Bay, winds so strong it was unsafe to cross the bridge for many hours.

No wonder then that Amtrak President, Joe Boardman, was a bit distracted in the dining car this morning when I recognized him-what a surprise that he was there!-and greeted him. I spoke his name. He looked for a moment like he wanted to crawl under one of the white tablecloths covering the tables in the dining car. "The train is five hours late," he said mournfully. "Yeah," I said, and reminded him about why I recognized him: I spoke about our Crawfordsville rally on October 1 to save the Hoosier State and to improve passenger rail service everywhere in Indiana. On that day, he himself stood in our CHS kids' Amtrak station garden, greeting us and shaking hands. He brightened briefly. "We sent INDOT another contract again yesterday." I smile, putting my thumb tentatively up. "Good news?" He shrugged, "Not necessarily."

Monday, December 1, 2014
Reader: No smoke at Courthouse
Dear Editor,

Smoking should be banned from the Montgomery County Courthouse. Tobacco smoke is a carcinogen. Tobacco smoke from your cigarette or mine is a carcinogen. Citizens deserve an environment as free as possible from carcinogens to conduct public affairs.

Smoking is a choice not a right. The Chamber of Commerce now supports repeal of the current bad Indiana law called a "Smokers bill of rights." Smokers should not be classified into a protected group.

One cannot effectively argue that dispensing a carcinogen on County Property should be permitted.


Michael P. Fons



Sunday, November 30, 2014
Mayor forgot about FISH food pantry
Dear Editor,

Our ill-informed Mayor Barton declared Nov. 17 to Nov. 23 as Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. He neglected to mention the FISH program. I invite his honor to visit us at the FISH food pantry housed in the First United Methodist Church. We are open 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
There are forms of fanaticism in county
Dear Editor,

Most U.S. citizens are undoubtedly troubled by ISIS terrorism and the prospect that we may have to someday contend with it on our shores. But the good folks of Montgomery County have another form of fanaticism that is troubling as well.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Recount is legal, will show who won election
The recount of the Mark Smith-Gail Lough County Council District 3 election is legal, fair and appropriate. Both candidates should be there or have a designee there to observe the recount to ensure integrity.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Government should not regulate family planning
The world population is now over 7.2 billion and is projected to reach 8 billion in less than 10 years. The need to feed and provide energy for this population explosion will place an enormous strain on all resources. Reducing the rate of population increase is essential for the continuation of man as a species.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Reader touches on many subjects
Try and stay with me; this letter contains several unrelated subjects.

1. Courthouse Lot: I believe we should beautify our courthouse parking lot.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Volunteer fair a success
Erma Bombeck once said, "Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation's compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another."
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Candidate says thanks for support
On November 4 citizens across the nation went to the polls to elect candidates to national, state and local offices.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Post-election Apocalypse still hasn't happened
It is Wednesday, the day after the election, and Todd Rokita won the House of Representatives. Dr. Fons predicted dire consequences should Mr. Rokita win, but win he did. We conservatives in Indiana have someone in Washington D.C. fighting to keep government out of our lives. Inexpensive energy, notably coal, nuclear and fossil fuels, drives the engine of Freedom and Freedom is what we conservatives will continue to fight for.

Friday, November 7, 2014
Community invited to help with Thanksgiving Dinner
We hope that everyone had a wonderful year. It's hard to believe another year has gone and it is that time again to plan for the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Over 900 meals were served last year and we are very excited and look forward to another great year.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Reader responds to recent letters regarding global warming
In response to the recent letters regarding global warming I would like to make a few additional points. Atmospheric CO2 has risen significantly in the past 50 years.

Monday, November 3, 2014
Reader: We need to stop the EPA now
Why is the EPA going forward with implementations that will prohibit the use of coal to produce energy in America? Coal is like a vegetable. When the farmer digs a potato out of the ground he washes the dirt off of it. When coal is mined it is dirty, a bit more than the potato, but in the present day, the coal is cleaned up and when it is burned it is very clean. Indiana has almost NO air pollution.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Reader: Have the self-respect to vote for Dale
Please vote for John Dale for Congress.

The recent series of letters regarding Todd Rokita's denial of facts concerning the effects of fossil fuel use on global warming indicates his malicious intent.

Friday, October 31, 2014
It doesn't matter is a Republican runs as an Independent to me
It's exciting to see we have a choice in the fall election for the District 3 County Council seat. Mark Smith has run a positive grass roots race, is well qualified and is collaborative.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Candidate: I didn't attack my opponent like Tea Party has me
After the moderate Republican candidate for County Council District 3 was narrowly defeated by a Tea Party Republican in the primary election, friends and neighbors approached me to run as an Independent in the November general election to give voters a choice.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Zoning is not the only reason to support a candidate this election
With the election less than a week away it is disconcerting that the only reason one should vote for a candidate is his/her statement on zoning. There is so much more at stake and there is a candidate for council #3, Mark Smith who knows this!

Thursday, October 30, 2014
Indiana is 6th most polluted state
Indiana was ranked the 6th most polluted state in the US according to the Natural Resources Defense Council's list of "America's 10 Most Polluted States". The Gibson coal plant in Owensville was ranked the fifth worst polluter in the U.S., and the Rockport coal plant ranked 10th worst polluter.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
A message to all Montgomery County veterans
I would like to personally apologize for missing the Veteran Expo on Oct. 23, 2014 where many of you showed to get your flu vaccine. I take full responsibility for missing the event. I was scheduled to attend and fell on Wednesday evening injuring my elbow.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Airport runway expansion almost didn't happen
The headline in The Paper looked great: "Project Runway - Runway Extension is Becoming a Reality"
Monday, October 27, 2014
Reader: A vote for John Dale is a vote for Obama policies
Which direction do you want our great country to go?

A vote for Democrat John Dale is a vote for our current President and Senate policies that are turning our great country into an insecure, economically weak, socialist country.

Monday, October 27, 2014
Cast your vote for candidates that will help county grow
Economic statistics for Montgomery County released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the end of September 2014 show that the economic development plan created by leaders from industry, utilities, MCED, education, and city and county government is producing results.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Reader: Vote for Tea Party candidate and say no to change
It's easy to say no. When politicians, scientists and well-meaning folks ask you to consider doing something that is good for you and your family they often use big words and try to convince you with statistical analysis of data.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Thanks for the anniversary cards
Thank you to everyone who blessed us on our 50th wedding anniversary.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Reader: Opinions do not matter to scientists, only facts based on data
Mr. Pickerill's recent defense of the Republican Party and Congressman Rokita's denial of man-made climate focuses on opinion polls and not scientific data. Opinions do not matter to scientists only facts based on data.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Reader: How can a candidate be a Republican and run as Independent?
A recent campaign ad for Mark Smith is ambiguous, but none-the-less instructive. The ambiguity is the uncertainty regarding the candidate's political party affiliation.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Rokita stands up against the Global Warming Chicken-Littles
During a recent debate between Congressional candidates Todd Rokita (R) and John Dale (D), environmentalists in the audience criticized Rokita for daring to question their claim of "settled science" on the so-called global warming crisis.

Friday, October 24, 2014
Reader: Indiana deserves better
Tuesday's League of Women Voters debate between Congressman Todd Rokita and challenger John Dale was a dreadful spectacle. While the challenger, John Dale did a commendable job; the Congressman once again demonstrated his narcissistic personality and his utter contempt for the rational voters of the district. Please do not vote for Mr. Rokita in the November election. Indiana deserves better.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Reader: Learn about lobbyist
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) writes model bills for submission to state houses across the country. Their efforts are helping multinational conglomerates boost their bottom lines by decimating renewable energy, energy conservation and environmental protections.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
City shows that compromise can work
It's sad as we watch the lack of compromise in State and Federal Legislature causing gridlock whereby very little is accomplished, what does get done is one-sided, and only benefits a few. It's refreshing to see that some locals can sit down and come to agreements benefiting all.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Independent candidate can't claim party affiliation
The primary election is where members of the same party are chosen by that party to be the duly elected nominees for that party in the general election.
Monday, October 20, 2014
What does 'get out of the way' mean?
A recent article and past articles in The Paper state that those of us in the local TEA (Taxed Enough Already) party movement, the constitutionally based conservatives, have "no vision" and our only solution to local economic development is to "get out of the way" and say "no".

So what does the phrase, "get out of the way" really mean?

Monday, October 20, 2014
Bright solar for this election
On Friday Oct 10th I attended Tipmont REMC's ribbon cutting ceremony for their Community Solar project where they are selling electricity generated by their recently installed 240 solar panels to their customers.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Reader supports candidate for judge
Montgomery County is in an enviable position with respect to choosing the next Judge of Superior Court 1. All three candidates are well respected, competent and qualified for the position. The voters can't really go wrong. However, one does have to choose and I recommend Ray Kirtley for this position.

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Reader supports candidate for Congress
Please join me in supporting John Dale for U.S. Representative of Indiana's 4th District. Mr. Dale is running against incumbent Congressman Todd Rokita. The Congressman from Indiana's 4th district is one of the key representatives of Crawfordsville and Montgomery County in Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Reader supports Amtrak line
I support the Amtrak rail service between Indianapolis and Chicago known as the Hoosier State. The service will require the state to pay approximately $3 million per year to continue to operate this service for the benefit of its citizens.
Monday, October 13, 2014
League President responds to column
It is unfortunate that an individual who is the chairman of a local political party has chosen to attack the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County. Democracy is not a spectator sport.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Reader gives opinion of candidates
The County Council debates held Thursday evening were enlightening. After carefully listening to the responses of all of the candidates I have a suggestion for voters. Don't vote a straight ticket.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Reader: I know what candidate stands for
After recently attending a campaign meeting for Mark Smith here are a few observations I took away that may help the local Republican Party Chair get over his confusion. Mark Smith stands for centric Republican values.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Reader learns a lot on train ride
Dear Editor,

I had an educational and enjoyable ride on the Hoosier State train last week when I accompanied Mayor Todd Barton and City Council President Andy Biddle to Chicago. Here are a few pieces of data I found on the trip in support of this service.

Michigan currently funds passenger rail service with about $42 million per year and has multiple 100 mph lines serving a large percentage of the state. Illinois supports passenger rail with about $50 million per year and has daily trains from Chicago to the capital in Springfield, St. Louis and the Quad cities in addition to the Hoosier State line to Indianapolis. Indiana is being asked to support the Hoosier state with $3 million dollars per year. Indiana is currently running a budget surplus of over $2 billion and has no excuse not to support this much-needed service.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
ALEC's influence in Ind.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a powerful corporate lobbying group masquerading as an educational charity. ALEC was founded by multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporations in 1973. Due to its closed door policy, its operations were obscured from the public eye until recent controversies spurred media attention and resulted in the exodus of many corporate members.

ALEC has two types of members - corporate and legislative. Corporate members pay big bucks for seats on task force committees where they customize industry-written model bills to be presented in statehouses across the nation by its legislative members.

Thanks to ALEC, corporations are writing laws and controlling the public agenda through a well-entrenched group of legislators and corporate money, while giving the impression that this legislation originated from grass-roots initiatives and has private citizen's best interests at heart.

Lobbyist influence used to be a concern, but ALEC makes old-fashioned lobbying obsolete. ALEC allows corporate members to write legislation themselves and pay for access to lawmakers in secret, closed-door sessions. When lawmakers take ALEC legislation back to their statehouses, the lawmakers themselves become stealth lobbyists for ALEC's corporate agenda, cutting out the middleman.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Candidate: Judges need term limits
Two-term limits apply to many offices, from the President of the United States to the county sheriff. So why are term limits important for judges?
Monday, October 6, 2014
Thanks to everyone involved
The 2014 Darlington Fish Fry and Festival was successful in large part thanks to the following sponsors and donors. They provided cash, prizes, and/or advertising for everything we needed.
Monday, October 6, 2014
Thanks for supporting Darlington Fish Fry
We want to thank everyone who helped make the 2014 Darlington Fish Fry and Festival a success. Thank you to everyone who played a part in making the weekend possible.
Sunday, October 5, 2014

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