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Opinion

  • As the days get cooler, more and more people are spending time indoors, which means being around more people. It also means a better chance at catching influenza. But before you spread it to your family and coworkers, why not try to prevent the flu bug's visit by getting vaccinated?

    Flu vaccines have been available since August and the Centers for Disease Control estimates between 143 million and 146 million doses will be produced for the 2008-09 influenza season. This all-time high supply includes three new virus strains to help protect the public.

  • What time is it in Perry County? As if that issue hasn't been overly scrutinized in recent years, the federal government wants to toss yet another complexity into the matter.

    We used to be happy in our little now-Central, now-Eastern corner of the world. Then the state imposed daylight-saving time upon us and got us to thinking about whether we should declare a time zone, and if so, which one?

  • The Citizens Action Coalition has legally intervened against the construction of a coal-gasification plant proposed by Leucadia to be located in Rockport in Spencer County.

    CAC is a consumer watchdog group of 70,000 statewide members. CAC represents residential ratepayers and homeowners before the Utility Regulatory Commission and the state legislature on energy and utility issues and environmental issues related to energy policy.

  • Ivan James was a rare gem of a man who inhabited the hinterland of northeast Perry County.

    His occupation was farming, a most noble pursuit he'd been born into. Ivan was a wide-brimmed-hat sort of fellow, blue-denim overalls, handkerchief spilling out the back pocket, whittlin' knife hidden in the front one.

    His hands were out-of-doors worn from a lifetime of hard use, but there was a softness in his eyes that revealed something of his old soul.

  • Our duty in the voting booth is a sacred one even in good times. The gravity of our task is multiplied many times when we're sending our loved ones into the paths of bombs and bullets, and when national and global financial systems are collapsing. For that reason, the trust we place in our voting systems must be absolute.

  • Matt Hayko's concern about Barack Obama and ACORN (Oct. 20 letter to the editor) is misplaced and the issue is important enough to not be left unanswered.

    ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is a grassroots community group that has been involved, since its inception in 1970, in working to raise voter turnout in minority and poor districts that in the past have often been targeted for quite well-documented drives, by whichever party is in power, to suppress votes.

  • In a letter to the editor published in The Perry County News Oct. 20, Jim Adkins alludes to a comparison of Sen. Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.

    This in itself describes how desperate some people are to elect their choice to public office. I receive e-mails and have had conversations with people all throughout this campaign season with questions about our two candidates for president.

    I have received racist e-mails and ones that refer to Barack Obama as a Muslim. I have heard comments that he will take away my guns.

  • For those men and women who live and breathe politics, the past few weeks have been heavenly. Indiana is in the presidential spotlight and Hoosiers will have a real say two weeks from tomorrow in deciding who will live in the White House for the next four years.

    It doesn't get much better than this for political junkies and as evidenced by the letters in this and past issues of The News, lots of us are truly interested in Nov. 4 races. It seems to be working. I just hope other races aren't being overlooked.

  • The Perry County Parks and Recreation Department deserves congratulations for its perseverance in seeing the Eagles Bluff Park project through to completion.

    Building a new visitors center and restroom building, repaving the deteriorated parking lot and entrance to the park, rebuilding the deck overlooking the Ohio River and the Cannelton Locks and Dam and putting new fencing around that deck had been planned by the parks board since it purchased the property from the Army Corps of Engineers in 1999.

  • Now that I am interested in maintaining my youthful experimental life and living longer and growing younger, there are things I think about and wish to share with you. This summer I have come into contact with many people who are having medical appointments or hospital stays for a great variety of illnesses.

    My overall generalization about what I have heard from patient reports is the focus of this writing. Please allow me to say this. There is a serious disconnect between the patients and their medical experience.

  • I woke up one recent Saturday to find toilet paper strewn across my front yard. The dastardly act was one of the most popular of the autumn pranks and something I guess has gone on for years, maybe since there has been toilet paper.

    During the night, while I slumbered away, minor-league terrorists armed with rolls of generic roles of tissue had draped my maple trees in white streamers that hung damp and limp by the next morning.

  • President George W. Bush ought to cringe every time he hears the word "change." The mantra coming from the mouths of both men campaigning for his job proves how eager the majority of Americans are to see him leave the White House and for a failed presidency to finally end.

    No matter if you subscribe to Barack Obama's "Change we need" or John McCain's "Change is coming," all of us are looking for something new and hopefully better in our 44th president.

    If only the election had been yesterday and Inauguration Day was today.

  • After spending several minutes in a phone conversation with my sister, I decided to sit down and try to make sense of one of the most common complaints of parents, teachers and employers.

    The problems are cell phones and texting, specifically where mobile phones belong and where they don't.

    We are, unfortunately, a society that demands attention, this very minute, for everything we do. Therefore, we feel entitled to carry our phones with us everywhere, even the most inappropriate places: school, work, church and dare I have to even say it, the funeral home.

  • I was afforded the privilege last Tuesday to speak at a candlelight service in City Hall Park marking the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    Pink bows and flags in the park and along Main Street offer a reminder of the millions of women, and their families, who are affected by breast cancer, of the importance of yearly mammograms and the need for ongoing breast-cancer research.

    Here's an edited version of my remarks, which share my mother's experience with breast cancer and the impact it had, and continues to have, on our family.

    * * *

  • Voicing our support for a $700 billion taxpayer-funded rescue of financial institutions isn't easy. Public sentiment was against the bill approved by Congress last week as many Americans see it as nothing more than a bailout of Wall Street fat cats, like the one depicted in our editorial cartoon today, who have fallen on tough times due to their own greed.

    However, we believe Americans who have the most to lose if our economy nosedives into recession will benefit from the bill.

  • We knew this would end. No, not a death, but the end of the quiet and calmness after the storm. The birds were even quiet, the squirrels leery of getting out and about.

    The deer were very jumpy. We were living without lights, running water and hot water. We could cook on an LP gas stove. Our neighbors couldn't, so we sent them boiling water for coffee. No showers, but generators running off and on in the distance.

  • I was not qualified to write a financial column until now, but recent market activity has provided me with a quick education. The biggest lesson: Investing toward retirement is exciting.

    The company managing 401K accounts for Perry County News employees offers a high-tech feature on its Web site. We can see a line chart indicating, normally, our investments' growths as we and our company feed money into them and as they enjoy, normally, market-based growth in value.

  • It's not rained in these parts for weeks, but for those smart enough to have socked away money over the past few years, the proverbial rainy day is here. Those with savings are better able to deal with a national financial crisis, including higher food and fuel costs.

    Sadly, I fear it's going to be raining economic hard times for a long time.

  • They knew better, but the Cannelton Common Council violated the law anyway.

    As we reported Thursday, the council's members met twice to discuss their proposed budget for 2009 without providing notice to the public or The News, according to Councilwoman Lynn Fulkerson.

    Indiana's Open Door Law requires governing bodies to provide the public 48 hours' advance notice of meetings, excluding weekends and holidays.

  • Often when a political candidate switches positions on an issue, critics deride that switch as a wishy-washy flip-flop, made only for political expediency. And often those critics are correct.

    But as situations evolve, there are times when responsibly thinking people - including politicians - should change their opinions on an issue.