* Family extends thanks for well wishes
To the Editor:
I want to thank the community for the kindness and support you have shown us over the past seven months during my husband's illness and recent passing.
I can't count the number of times people have stopped me in a store or restaurant to ask how he was doing.
A special thank you to the staff of the Community Rural Health Clinic for being so supportive and letting me keep my foot in the door even in Mark's absence.
Thank you also to Pastor Tony Alstott and the congregation of Brazil First United Methodist Church for all your prayers, encouragement, meals and kind words.
Thank you to our family, friends and neighbors for helping with babysitting, meals, laundry, and for mowing our lawn. I won't list names because there are too many and I know I will miss someone, you know who you are!
Thank you to the staff at French Funeral Home for doing a wonderful job, during a stressful time in Susie's absence.
This is truly a caring community we live in! Thank you! The family of Dr. Mark Thomas, Jean, Abby and Joey Thomas.
* Finding disappointment in the library
To the Editor:
Since the reopening of our library, my 6-year-old grandson has wanted to see the new facility and get a library card.
This past Tuesday, after picking him up from Kindergarten, we decided to make a visit and enjoy the new addition. Much to our dismay, we found getting a library card was more difficult than anticipated.
We were warmly greeted by the lady at the front desk, who asked how she could help. We told her we both wanted library cards. She first asked if my grandson lived with me and I told her no. She then stated that his parents would have to come with him before she could issue a card.
She then asked me if I lived in the city and did I have any identification. I told her where I lived and pulled out my driver's license as verification. She then asked if I had any mail with me that I had received in the last 30 days with my current address. When I told her I didn't, she then asked if I had my car registration with me. I told her that we walked from my home to the library.
She then told me that I would have to come back later and bring mail received in the last 30 days before I could receive a card. Obviously, we were both shocked.
To say my grandson's first encounter at the library was not warm and fuzzy is an understatement. All these years, I have been under the impression that libraries were supposed to be a user-friendly place to go. I also thought that getting young kids interested in reading was important, but obviously I was wrong again.
I certainly hope that other potential users of our new facility have a better experience than my grandson and I.
* Keep an eye on possible new state policy
To the Editor:
Greetings, my name is Keith Chasteen and I live in Kentucky.
Last month, I visited your area for the first time to meet my two brothers from Illinois for some recreational gold prospecting. Although we camped and prospected in Parke County, we did our shopping, eating and gas buying in Brazil (Clay County).
We had a great time in your area.
However, the State of Indiana might make that our last recreational gold prospecting gathering in the Brazil area.
Indiana resident Chuck Lassiter has the details posted on his website at http://www.midwestprospector.com/dnrcita..., which basically explains that at this time, the State of Indiana is considering drastic changes to recreational prospecting in the state. Not only will this have impacts on public lands, but also on private lands! It would also mean fewer out-of-staters like myself coming to your area to enjoy weekend gatherings, including eating at your restaurants, buying your gas and groceries, etc.
I hope that everyone who promotes recreational activities and tourism in your area will contact your state representatives to let them know that you welcome folks coming to your area for enjoying all of the wonderful activities offered, including recreational gold prospecting.
Thank you for your consideration of this subject.
* Area family thanks community for support
To the Editor:
We cannot begin to express what it means to our family to the overwhelming response to Brandee's Bracelets.
Thank you for making Brandee's wish to go to the prom come true.
More importantly, thank you for supporting Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis.
The money will most definitely go to a very special place to help some very special children. Thank you so much to each and every one of you who purchased a bracelet for yourself or for a friend or loved one.
With everyone's help, we were able to send $1,000 to Riley in Brandee's memory.
We would like to extend special thanks to the following individuals: Northview Principal Tim Rayle, Junior class sponsor Amy Wetnight, Northview junior class, Northview staff and students, Van Buren Elementary staff and students, Forest Park Elementary staff and students, and Ivy Jackson for her wonderful story about Brandee.
Junior Josie Harris, who took the time to stop by prom night to check on us and who generously gave us her wrist corsage with one of Brandee's bracelets fashioned in the arrangement.
Senior Cody Bradbury, who made our day when we asked him who he was going to the prom with, and he said, "My date and Brandee, of course."
These last six months our whole world has seemed to be spinning out of control.
We would not wish this pain on anyone, but knowing we have the support of so many people helps us get through the day. Please know that we will never forget your kindness.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all of your thoughts, prayers, cards, phone calls, visits, and your contributions to Riley Children's Hospital in memory of Brandee. She was an amazing person and we miss her terribly.
We know that she is perfect now and in a far better place. Our Angel got her wings!
Terry, Pam and
* Reader offers plea to school corporation
To the Editor:
To repeatedly do the same thing the same way and to expect different results, I have been told, is one way to define insanity.
With a graduation rate of around 76 percent, our education system, on the national, state and local levels, is failing to educate one in four of our students to meet the minimum requirements for a diploma and that is insane.
In 2005, our school corporation started planning to renovate our facilities. The project that they came up with would have repaired and updated the school buildings and replaced the central office and bus maintenance facility at a cost in excess of $53 million, but failed to include any changes affecting the education processes or substantial reductions in costs that would allow that money to be spent on education.
That plan was rejected by the public and scaled back by the corporation. However, the revised project has the same flaw. While it maintains the status quo and the number of facilities, it shows little promise of impacting our graduation rate or reducing costs. The revision does expend $11 million on two elementary schools that the replacement of has been repeatedly recommended since the 1980s. The upkeep of these buildings was neglected while the Capital Projects Fund money for their upkeep was spent to meet other needs. That and the Americans with Disabilities Act require us to renovate or replace them. However, our non-educational facilities, the central office and maintenance facility, must also comply with the law, be maintained and be functional. That fact apparently has now been disregarded. These plans have been devised by a very small fraction of the citizens who will be affected by them and who, in the end, will pay the bill. We, the citizens of Clay Community Schools Corporation, need to determine the future of our school corporation. We need to look to improving not just our buildings, but our education process. We can say that we are as good as the state and national average or we can do better. Let's do better and stop failing to educate one in ever four of our children. We need to do this to improve our community and our citizenry. Our highest achievers go to college, but only a few remain in this community. Our failures stay here because they cannot earn enough to go very far away.
How can we change our buildings to maximize education not only in that building, but within the corporation? Do we need to look at our curriculum to insure that we are getting the minimum education to the students that need it instead of offering unneeded classes to those who excel? That is the situation today. Do we need to look at redistricting to alleviate overcrowded classrooms? We need to get involved. This is a call for action on your community. We need to learn the facts and make a decision that will affect the students and the community long into the future.
* It's time to fix and clean up county roads
To the Editor:
As most of you know, the roads in Clay County are terrible.
Here are some that we have traveled recently: 1100 N, 300 E, 1300, 1350, 400 E.
That is only a few! There are plenty more of them, just take a drive.
Our questions are for the people in charge of this. When will they be repaired and why haven't they been repaired sooner? Oh, don't blame it on the rains we are having, because these roads have been in this shape for years. Now, it has not rained every day, has it?
And one more question: Why does it cost $40,000 to repair one bridge?
Open your eyes people! Clay County roads are in the worst shape ever.
It's time for repairs and no more excuses.
The signs said, "Brown can do for you." Well let's see what Brown can do for Clay County.
* Reader gives reasons behind increases in food prices
To the Editor:
Ethanol is taking the rap for the increase of food prices.
Major news outlets and pundits are all demanding a reduction of ethanol production because they believe it is the major reason for increases in food prices.
We could cut or stop ethanol production in this country and it would have very little affect on food prices. However, it could increase the cost of fuel by increasing the amount of oil used for fuel and by eliminating competition.
Cutting production will not give us any more acres of wheat or rice, therefore, it would not have an affect on flour or baked goods.
It would not affect the amount of produce grown in this country or the cost.
There are two main factors increasing food prices. They are fuel costs and worldwide demand. Fuel costs are directly related to the distance the food is moved. Consider the cost of fuel required for the distance corn is moved from local grain elevators to distributors to processors to distributors again and then to retailers. This can be thousands of miles.
Worldwide demand has increased in the last few years because of increases in standard of living in some countries, such as China and India. Because of this worldwide stock, supplies have declined and this puts more pressure on prices.
Weather is another factor that affects crop prices, whether it be wet or dry. This is a factor that affects the planting, growing or harvesting season.
Any time one of these seasons is affected by weather, it ultimately will affect the price. Last year was a very good year nationwide and this year could be completely different.
However, this wasn't true worldwide. We now must consider worldwide production and supplies.
The next time you see some food item has gone up in price, remember the cost of fuel to transport that food to you, also that competition from other countries would like your cheap food.