News and Tribune

August 20, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For Aug. 20


Where’s the health care outrage?



My questions for the citizens of Indiana are:

Why are you not complaining to your governor and state senators and House members about all of our federal tax money that will start going to Kentucky, California and all the states that have signed on for the millions of dollars they will receive in the coming years from the Affordable Care Act?

Why should we be paying for other states’ health care and not provide for our own? The ACA is modeled on the Republican plan put into effect, beautifully, in Massachusetts by Gov. Mitt Romney, where 98 percent of their residents now have health care insurance.

Why did our state’s governor elect to keep affordable health care from our citizens?

If you find a sensible reason for this, please let me know.

— Barb Donahue, Jeffersonville



New Albany not immune to homelessness



The executive board of Tri-County Health Coalition of Southern Indiana would like to say a big thank you to the News and  Tribune and Courier-Journal for printing articles and pictures on the subject of homelessness In Indiana.

I pray that the city of New Albany government officials were able to read these. New Albany has a fine group of capable people running the city. However, they are stretched to the limit and geographically removed from that of the homeless population.

They need food, shelter or transportation to travel to the one and only homeless shelter in Jeffersonville.

For years, Tri-County Health Coalition and volunteers have begged and prayed for help for the homeless as we watched the population grow. At the beginning on Christmas Eve, the volunteers and I would find a few homeless people sitting in cars and under bridges in Floyd County to serve coffee and sandwiches. Soon, we found homeless veterans and as of today, Floyd County has addition homeless teens and youth living on the streets. My dear citizens please, I beg you, open your eyes, the street homeless youth population is growing very fast.

Tri-County is a very small organization with a shoestring budget and all volunteers; we can only do so much.

A wonderful friend to the coalition has supported homeless teens for months as they were allowed to sleep on the floor of our small office at night. Another friend of the coalition is purchasing food to feed the men that sleep under our bridges.

This summer, the board allowed our office to be a cooling center with cold water for people to get out of the heat.

The executive board asks for prayer and for the city government and citizens please help the people. Tomorrow, it could be you.

— Jesse Floyd, Tri-County Health Coalition president, New Albany

Resident calls for dog chaining ordinance



This letter is in regards to my many requests of the Clark County Commissioners to consider passing a dog chaining ordinance. Those requests have been ignored for several months now. The following is a recap of information sent to them:

Many communities across America and beyond have learned the hard way that not only is chaining dogs an animal welfare issue, it’s also a public safety hazard. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that chained dogs were 2.8 times more likely to attack than dogs who were not chained. Since 2003, at least 130 Americans have been injured or killed by chained dogs. Nearly 75 percent of those victims were children. Chaining dogs is a national public and animal welfare crisis. The passing of laws restricting chaining of dogs usually follows an attack by a chained dog.

In September 2006, the state of California banned the tethering of dogs for more than three hours in a 24 hour period. The governor said, “This bill helps protect dogs from cruelty and enhances public safety by preventing aggressive animal behavior that can result from inhumane tethering.” If we tried to invent the cruelest punishment for dogs, we probably couldn’t come up with anything worse than “solitary confinement.” Dogs chained outside suffer from loneliness, boredom and weather extremes that can be downright brutal.

While some people are uncaring when it comes to their dog’s comfort, others are merely repeating family customs. It shouldn’t happen to “man’s best friend.” Take a drive down many of our country roads and city streets, and you’ll see them — dogs left to spend their entire lives trapped at the end of a chain. This surely is one safety issue that needs little if any debate, not to mention a humane issue that should require no negotiation. A new ordinance would be best for all our citizens as well as all our pets.

I am requesting that the commissioners open a discussion and consider a dog chaining ordinance. The only response I have received from them was a call last year in which I was told that it would be too difficult to enforce. My response it that difficulty enforcing a law is not a reason not to have one.

— Robin Kerstiens, Sellersburg

Reader encourages action on fair tax



Below is an open letter to Congressman Todd Young, our U.S. representative for the 9th District. I am asking readers to contact Young at 812-288-3999  with encouragement to co-sponsor the Fair Tax bill in Congress. This National Sales Tax proposal, which replaces all federal taxes, except the excise type, without changing any programs is an excellent step toward righting our economy. The Fair Tax replaces the federal income tax, the Social Security and Medicare taxes, the death tax, the capital gains tax, and all others. We would also be relieved of all tax filings and turn April 15 into just another spring day. Elimination of the IRS with a simple Federal Sales Tax makes sense.



Dear Congressman Young,

Last winter The FairTax Act of 2013, introduced in companion bills HR 25 and S122, continued to stretch its impressive lead in Congressional sponsorship over that of all other proposed tax reform measures. As of Aug. 9, 2013, a total of 70 members of the House of Representatives and seven Senators have pledged their support to the FairTax by co-sponsoring the respective bill. Doing so, they have demonstrated their commitment to the only tax system proposed to Congress that meets every recognized feature for an effective tax system: simple, fair, visible, neutral (does not impact individual or business investment decisions), efficient, stable and promotes economic growth.  Indiana should have unanimous support among our elected representatives in Congress for the FairTax.

I encourage you to do the right thing today for your family, your constituents, Indiana and our nation by co-sponsoring HR 25. If you have any question about the FairTax, please do not hesitate to call on me at any time. I am here for you!

— David B. Patterson, New Albany, Fair Tax assistant state director and 9th District director