News and Tribune

March 6, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For March 6


Duke manager says help is available on bills

Winter heating bills can be a hardship for individuals and families who are already struggling financially. This year, Duke Energy Indiana customers in need are receiving significantly more funds to help pay their electricity bills. We are contributing $700,000 annually over the next five years for low-income energy assistance as part of our company’s Edwardsport plant regulatory settlement. 

Our customers and employees have contributed an additional $100,000 in assistance, raising our total Indiana energy assistance funds this year to $800,000. 

This year’s funding triples the amount each customer can receive. Customers who need help paying their electricity bills can receive up to $300 toward their bill if their local Energy Assistance Program agency determines they are eligible based on need and other criteria. Previously, customers were only eligible for up to $100. 

In addition, for at least the next five years, we are expanding the program to include any Duke Energy Indiana customer who qualifies based on income guidelines. Previously, only low-income customers at least 60 years old or disabled were eligible.

Experience teaches us that customers who cannot pay their power bills often face other hardships. That’s why we work closely with social service agencies, including community action agencies around the state, to weave a larger safety net to assist our customers. We partner with the Indiana Community Action Association and the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority’s Energy Assistance Program, which distributes our assistance funds. 

For information on where to find the local energy assistance agency serving you, go to www.incap.org or call Duke Energy at 1-800-521-2232.

As winter winds down but heating bills linger, we hope these funds lend a helping hand to those most in need.

— J. Pat More, South District Manager, Duke Energy

 

Happy birthday, Gen. Rowe and the Quartermaster Depot

It was on land that had been seized by the federal government in Jeffersonville that was later commissioned on Feb. 21, 1864, as a new general hospital. It was one of these hospital buildings that the Quartermaster Depot department first made shirts and trousers for the Union Army. 

Later that year, on July 18, 1864, nine other divisions of the Quartermaster Depot were assigned different class of supplies to each. The Seventh Division was charged with the procurement, storage and issue of vehicles and harness, hardware, etc., for the period of the Civil War.

Later, the supply demands of World War I threw an enormous load on the then half-century-old depot. That Jeffersonville met the challenge was indicated in the fact that more than 200 new buildings were erected; a pumping station, electric light plant, sewage and heating systems enlarged with two modern fire departments.

Since the declaration of war followed that fateful day of Dec. 7, 1941, the depot had added new equipment, remodeled many of its structures and added a new administration building, No. 66, engineering building, No. 41, a cafeteria and other permanent warehouses for that time. Of the 74 classes of supplies listed in the quartermaster supplement to the federal standard stock catalogue, the depot was charged with the procurement or manufacture of 11, with an estimated 27,000 total number of articles.

Brig. Gen. Guy Rowe, born Feb. 25, 1886 was assigned to the depot July 1, 1920. The depot on Nov. 23, 1942, was presented the coveted Army Navy “E” award, with the addition of two stars soon after. On March 27, 1943, the Treasury Department awarded the depot a minuteman flag for its employees’ war bond deductions.

We are proud of our city and its services to our country through the Jeffersonville Quartermaster Depot. This is a time of reflection on our city for the 149 years since the depot’s inception and the Jeffersonvillians who paved the path that has so enriched our fair city today.

— Leroy Heil, Jeffersonville

 

Sequestration is stupid, reader says

Our government has failed. The sequestration is a disgrace. Forget those who think it is great — they lack any knowledge of how it really works. 

The cuts are not arbitrary and programs that need money will lose it. Programs that have waste will see no loss. That is why Simpson Bowles, economists, most of Congress and the president have called it stupid, stupid, stupid.

The president is at fault. He thought if he proposed something so stupid, so dangerous, that Congress would never allow it to happen. That is like thinking your 4-year-old won’t take the cookie because you said it was bad for him.

Congress is at fault because no matter what anyone else says, they are the only people who could have stopped it.

In the end, this is the most positive sign of complete failure from our government that I have ever seen. The president and Congress played politics and forgot they had a job to do.

No matter what some of you may think, the deficit is not our biggest problem. Our biggest problem is jobs. Creating them would create revenue. When was the last time you heard about a jobs bill?

And you, the American people, are guilty. By not screaming from the top of your lungs that if this happens, not one Congressman will be re-elected, you have given them carte blanche to once again fail you miserably and get away with it.

Sequestration is stupid. Congress and the president know it. And no matter what some people think, it was their job to prevent it.

How sad for our country.

— Richard Hodge, DePauw