News and Tribune

December 12, 2012



’Tis the season for miracles

At 10 a.m. Dec. 1, we held our our fifth-annual Miles for Merry Miracles 5K Fun Run/Walk at the New Albany Amphitheater. Our entry fee was the participants pledge to sponsor a child from the Angel Tree. We had a great turnout and beautiful weather. Our youth leaders set a goal at the beginning of this season to obtain sponsors for 500 angels for the Salvation Army Angel Tree. At last tally, we had more than 650 Angel Tree sponsors.

This week, we will have our Christmas Celebration for our Angel Tree families. We will be serving these families a traditional Christmas dinner, have activities, crafts, games, prizes, and a special visit from Santa. At this event, we secretly give the presents to the parents without the kids even knowing.

We cannot thank our business partners and sponsors enough. Without their contributions, organizations such as ours would not be able to reach out and touch peoples lives. We would also like to thank the media for all the work they have done to get our message out. We would like to give a special thanks to Dawne Gee for coming to the race and motivating our runners.

I would like to personally thank each and every person who has donated, broadcasted or in any way contributed to such a worthwhile cause. I would also like to thank our Youth Board Members, who are the real people running the show. Finally, I would like to thank all the participants in this year’s Miles for Merry Miracles. The ability to come together as a community to give more than 650 kids some presents to open Christmas day is something that I am very proud of.

— Jake Hebert, M4MM adult mentor/marketing/public relations


Reader shares senator’s thoughts on fiscal cliff

Your readers should be very interested in remarks made by Sen. Jeff Sessions, the highest Republican on the Senate Budget Committee:

“I rise today to express my reservations about the fiscal cliff negotiations that are currently under way. Over the last two years, Congress and the president have held an endless series of secret negotiations. There have been gangs of six and eight, a supercommittee of 12, talks at the Blair House and the White House. But the only thing these secret talks have produced is a government that skips from one crisis to the next.

“Everything has been tried but the open production of a 10-year budget plan as required by law and open discussions of the difficult choices. President Obama campaigned on a tax increase of ‘only’ $800 billion. But now the White House is demanding $1.6 trillion in new taxes. Don’t the American people have a right to see these taxes and where they will fall? Shouldn’t the president of the United States, the only person who represents everybody in the country, lay out his plan, or must that remain a secret too? Will it just be revealed to us on the eve of Christmas or eve of the new calendar year? We will be asked to vote for it, to ratify it like lemmings, I suppose. In fact, the president is giving speeches calling for even more spending. The president recently gave a speech in which he said he wants to use the tax hikes to ‘invest in training, education, science, and research.’ Investment, of course, is just code for spending. Not once in the speech did he discuss entitlements, our $16 trillion debt or the economic catastrophe that could occur if we don’t get off this unsustainable path ...

“That’s why the process needs to be taken out of the shadows. With public debate, people would learn facts that are now obscured. Meanwhile, as the President demands more taxes, he refuses to do anything about government waste. Lavish conferences, duplicative programs, billions in refundable tax credits being mailed every year to illegal immigrants. No one is managing this government effectively. Why should the American people send one more dime in taxes to Washington when we won’t reform and manage the money we are already getting from them? So I am concerned about the nature of these secret talks and the fact that the Senate is really not participating. News reports say that it is only the speaker and the president of the United States who are negotiating. Apparently, the Majority Leader of the Senate is not intimately involved, the Chairman of the Budget Committee is not involved, the Chairman of the Finance Committee is not involved.

“These are Democratic leaders in the Senate. Certainly Republican leaders are not involved. The Senate is a great institution, and we ought to be engaged. The engagement of the Senate would allow the American people to know what’s happening. They are entitled to that. I believe we can do better. We must do better.”

— Shawn Loy, Austin