News and Tribune

February 26, 2013


Cursive writing’s day has passed

While I rarely watch television, I noticed one morning on the news that the Indiana Senate had passed a law requiring schools to teach cursive writing. I was a little confused that they didn’t include teaching on how to chip hieroglyphs into stone or put chicken scratches on a clay tablet.

I know this sounds silly, but cursive has become as obsolete as hieroglyphs and cuneiform writing (the chicken scratches). 

I am puzzled and disturbed that our elected officials would pass bills that take us backward instead of leading us forward, while wasting limited teaching resources. 

The current focus should be to teach all children typing from kindergarten on with the understanding that when voice recognition technology has matured, that this too, will be obsolete. I am at a loss as to why an elected majority of senators would waste their time and our money debating and passing SB120, and would hope our representatives will have a lot more sense. 

Being politicians, I really do not have much hope. Before anyone passes judgment, I am 53 years old and cursive writing was a valuable tool until I was in college and word processors came into being, as was a can opener to open a pop can, until pull tops and aluminum cans came into existence, as well as returning bottles that you had paid a deposit on instead of buying a 2-liter. Times have changed, whether we like them or not, and it is time for everyone to get on board, especially our elected officials, and direct those changes in the direction that our children need, instead of the members in the senate that want to but us back into the dark ages.

— Dan Haley, New Albany  


NARFE leader calls for retirement fairness

Discrimination has existed toward some seniors in Indiana for 36 years. 

A senior who receives average annual Social Security on $16,000 pays no Indiana State or county income tax on that income. A Civil Service retiree in Indiana receiving the same amount of retirement income pays 3.4 percent State income tax and, on average, 1.43 percent county tax on all but the first $2,000 (and in some cases on that, too) a total of $676 yearly. That is $676 a Civil Service retiree doesn’t have for prescriptions, groceries, utilities, property taxes and other expenses.

It is a lot of money when you are living on a fixed income. All we want is fairness, the same treatment most Indiana seniors already receive. There is no objection to the income tax exemption received by seniors on Social Security or Railroad Retirement. Indiana lawmakers need to correct this gross unfairness in the upcoming legislative session and treat all seniors the same.  

Two bills have been introduced to begin corrective measures — HB1294 and SB336. If you are a Civil Service annuitant or active federal employee, please call your state legislators at 800-382-9842 (House) and 800-382-9467 (Senate). Ask your legislator to actively support these aforementioned bills. If you need more information, please call 812-923-3626.

— Don Savage, National Active & Retired Federal Employees Association, New Albany


Teacher remembers first class


In September 1965, I began my career as a teacher in the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. My first classroom assignment a fifth-grade at Slate Run Elementary School. Those 34 students were great.

Over the years, I’ve thought of them often and wondered where life led them. Below is a list of their names. I’m aware of some of their career choices and have listed them in parenthesis.

Sally Huff (education), Sherri Payne (nursing), Steve Bare, Sam Faris (trucking business), Tony Gibbons, Paula Stoner, Steve Uesseler, Carla Dolan (social work), Karen Linton, Laurie Oldham, Nancy Trobaugh, Marie Keithley (banking), Denise Scott, Fran Hanson, Connie Willman, Mike Burp, Sharon Salmi, Kathy Copas, David Flanigan, Danny Flanigan, Glenn Norrington, Gary Ragsdale, Peggy Peers, Nancy Summers, Richard Overton, Patty McDermott, Debbie Bell, Teresa Fleming (education), Bobby James, David Mock, Cindy Conrad, Roxanne Keithley, Lu Anne Keithley and Lisa Fetz.

It would be great to hear from any or all of these great “kids.”

— Urban “Urbie” Keithley, Georgetown


Resident calls for a different kind of tax break

The Indiana General Assembly decision over whether to lower the income tax to 3.06 percent has been an issue. The reality: This type of plan would be problematic for fears of a budget crunch in future years. 

How would Indiana attain additional money for its budgets if it runs dry of funds? Indiana would be better served in raising the exemption on annual income tax returns from $1,000 to $4,000 to lessen the responsibility on the working people in this state. In addition, the state has attained a large budget surplus in the financial coffers. Maintaining a $4,000 exemption on annual income tax returns would be more useful than giving a $120 credit on annual income tax returns.

Both individuals and families deserve more than pipe dreams in Indiana. They would be better served in obtaining a $4,000 exemption on their annual income tax returns for financial relief yearly. Gov. Mike Pence would be smarter by raising the exemption to $4,000 instead of providing lip service to everyone.

— Eric L. Ellis, Floyds Knobs