News and Tribune

January 22, 2014

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For Jan. 22


A tribute to Don Herrold

Our Flag Man:

My hero, our flag man, will not be forgotten. Don Herrold, who flew so many flags in our community, he will always be remembered for his programs and his presentations promoting freedom. He was truly committed, a true patriot.

I'm proud to have known this true American hero, who went far and beyond his duty to proudly fly our flag for veterans past and present and for all of us who are free. We salute you, and we will hold you always in our hearts.

You, our dear friend, will not be forgotten.

Thank you from a grateful American, Donald Herrold!

Your friend

Loda Bruner

Jeffersonville

Reader responds to Camm article

In response to the article by Chris Morris in the News and Tribune on Jan. 15, 2014,

“Floyd County Council disputes Camm costs.” I was in attendance at this meeting to see how the vote would go on paying David Camm’s attorneys. It was just as expected and the non-stop harassment continues.

I can only wish that the same standards applied to public officials as it does the general public. I have seen the invoices submitted by Mr. Kammen for payment as well as the credit card statement from Mr. Levco. I am a pretty simple minded individual, but for the life of me I cannot seem to figure out why there was not a problem reimbursing Mr. Levco, who did not submit a single receipt. Yet Mr. Kammen has every single expense held in question. They both had a court order from the same judge ordering payment. Why should this judge only be deemed honorable and trustworthy when it applies to payment of a special prosecutor, that was appointed to the case? Why should the taxpayer continue to foot the bill for this ongoing harassment? And what appears to me to be personal vendettas.

Mr. Schellenberger made the answer quite clear to me. When agreeing to restore pay to the Purdue Extension/4-H Educators, but not the Public Defenders, saying as much as it was a no brainer calling it “a quality of life issue.”

All five public defenders could have had their paltry amount of money returned to them, for what the raise of one of the 4-H educators stood to lose in a year. The loss of the 4-H educators raise was two-thirds of a part-time public defender’s entire salary. As the educators pointed out they do things like teach food stamp recipients how to spend their money wisely and diabetics how to eat. These are redundant services, because those things are also taught by the FSA and by any doctor or hospital you may be a patient at; a social service that is again at the taxpayers’ expense.

Mr. Shellenberger seems to believe that being arrested and going to jail is only something that happens to criminals. I would like to inform Mr. Schellenberger that wrongful convictions happen every day. For many, a public defender was their only hope of freedom.

According to Mr. Biggs we are on track to have 3,100-plus felony cases handed over to public defenders in 2014, in Floyd County. That is with a staff that includes him, two full-time and five part-time public defenders. That works out to be 375 felony cases this year for each public defender. These part time public defenders also generally have a private practice as well. Every single person convicted of a felony in Floyd County while represented by a public defender could rightfully appeal based on inadequate counsel. I might remind Mr. Schellenberger that public defenders are not only a “quality of life issue,” they are a Constitutional issue afforded to us by the 8th Amendment.

According to the National Registry of Exonerations there have been 1,284 documented exonerations in the U.S. since 1989. The Innocence Project states that on average, a person will spend 13 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted. The Innocence project also recommends compensation of $50,000 for each year a person is wrongfully denied their liberty and freedom. That works out to be about $834 million taxpayers should have spent over the last 24 years, in an attempt to right the wrongs society committed against the wrongfully convicted.

Ask Michael Morton of Texas, Deon Patrick of Illinois, Ryan Ferguson of Missouri, ask their families if their being wrongfully convicted may have been considered a “quality of life issue.” Better yet ask David Camm, I am sure they will all tell you it was, and for David Camm, his public defenders were worth their weight in gold.

Kathy J. Heil

Elizabeth

Chemical spill opens political floodgates

The West Virginia Chemical Spill, (I’m told is used by Coal Industries) into Elk River effecting nine counties and more than 300,000 peoples wash and drinking water for five days, call up military, and of course the price tag will be paid for by flesh and blood citizens, not the corporate citizens which is a thing and not to mention all living things in its path, including the Ohio River.We are told in Louisville that human consumption will be within tolerance. I pray the person taking the measurement of what is tolerant isn’t Republican.

Republican Party and their Tea Party allies has blocked the Obama Administration for over two years to appoint a E.P.A. director to the agency, a position of regulatory enforcement, not a old guard dog that’s teeth been kicked out by the same rascals as they did to F.D.A. and other regulatory agencies.

Who I blame? Hugh, I blame the same rascals that support Government Shut Downs. The one percent puppeteers with the cash, Super Packs, Republicans appointed Supreme Court and Federal Court Justices who changed the laws of our land to let corporations either U.S.A. or foreign party with our ballet box.

Let us not concern ourselves if a person is brown, black, white or green. Let us not concert ourselves who’s the most entertaining, that isn’t about the Oscars. It is about land, water, air, education to survive as a species. Right is right and wrong is dead wrong.

Jimmie Bruce

Henryville