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Letters

May 22, 2014

NEWS AND TRIBUNE BRIEFS — For May 22

Salvation Army leader gives thanks for food

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the New Albany post office involved with the very successful food drive on Saturday, May 10, proving that neither rain nor sleet nor snow will stop the letter carriers from their job.

Also, we would like to thank David Stemler at PC Home Stores for providing the trucks and labor to deliver the food to The Salvation Army’s food pantry.

The approximately 12,000 pounds of food that were collected will go to those in our community that come to us in need. The Salvation Army’s ability to meet those needs would be greatly limited without the tremendous effort of your annual food drive.

Last year, 5,835 individuals in Floyd County received four to five day supply of food through our pantry.

Also, thank you to all the employees that went the extra mile in helping us load cans for delivery.

Again, your continued trust and support of The Salvation Army is greatly appreciated. May God bless you as you have blessed us.

— Maj. Stephen L. Kiger, The Salvation Army Corps Officer

Reader: There’s plenty of good in Indiana

A recent letter to the editor lamented the fact that there are too few headlines trumpeting Indiana’s achievements compared to her sister states.

As the writer seemed genuinely concerned, I did a little digging to see if “just once” some of our great state’s accomplishments might be worth publishing. A quick Google session produced some interesting finds.

To make the achievement list, Indiana had to be ranked number 25 or higher among the 50 states to be considered “in at least the top half of the nation.” I know our current president claims there are as many as 57 states, but for this writing I am using the more traditional number of 50. With regards as to whether or not these categories reach a “meaningful” social or economic measure, I leave it to the reader to decide.

Note: all cited categories are within the last three years of available data with citations available readily via numerous online sources.

So, here are some happy Hoosier headlines and rankings:

No. 20 in unemployment rate

No. 20 in patents issued

No. 16 in Real Gross Domestic Product

No. 16 in total research and development expenditures (academic/industry)

No. 16 in Best High School ranking

No. 15 in Number of union members

No. 14 in college enrollment (No. 8 in freshmen from out of state)

No. 13 in exports (total foreign and domestic)

No. 10 in total agriculture (top 5 in corn and soybeans)

No. 7 in manufacturing employment/production workers

One of 19 states to report a budget surplus for 2014

No.  2 in automobile production

No. 1 in steel production

So, Hoosiers, take heart. There is much to be proud of.

Can we do better? Sure. Are elections important? You bet — especially when we have an informed electorate.

My advice — don’t vote for a candidate simple because they have a (D) or an (R) or an (L) by their name. This nation and our great state deserve better than that. All of the parties have candidates worthy of our consideration.

We owe it to ourselves and to each other to study the issues and the candidates and make an informed decision at the ballot this fall.

— Al Knable, New Albany

Reader supports judicial candidate

I am writing in response to Lindon Dodd’s May 10 column concerning a Republican candidate running against Laura Harbison in November.

I noticed that no Republicans signed up for the primary election. Where were the potential Republican challengers in the primary?

It looks like they were waiting to see how the “political wind” was going to blow. If any person wanted to be judge, they should have thrown their hat in the ring, instead of waiting on the sidelines to see if Mrs. Harbison could unseat the incumbent.

When others said Judge Jerry Jacobi was “unbeatable,” Ms. Harbison courageously stepped forward for Clark County. She ran a positive campaign based on her qualifications and not focused on the adverse events related to the court.

As a resident of Clark County, I want a judge who will make a decision when it is the right thing to do, not when it is the easy thing to do. That is why I am supporting Laura Harbison.

She will be a decisive judge who will stand strong for our community and not sway as the political wind shifts. Take the policies out of the race and support Laura Harbison. It takes real leadership to step up and run for office. Ms. Harbison will be fair and accountable.

— Peggy Luther, Jeffersonville

Thanks for the tax help

On behalf of our local AARP Tax Aide leadership team, we would like to express our sincere appreciation for your excellent support this past tax season.

Our trained volunteers were able to file, free of charge, a total of  about 3,300 total federal and Indiana tax returns at our New Albany and Sellersburg tax preparation sites. Our clients enjoyed substantial personal cost savings.

Thank you also for publicizing our effort to recruit new volunteers October through December, 2013. They surely were needed and contributed to our program.

Come later this year we will again be seeking additional volunteers to join us. Hopefully, you will be able to assist us to communicate our need to your readers.  We will contact you in late October with detail information on this needed effort.

Again, many thanks to you and your staff.

— Ed Scharf, Sellersburg, and Polly Keach, New Albany, local Tax Aide coordinators

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