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Opinion

  • I've spent the past few weeks removing names from the birthday lists The News have maintained for many years.

    The roster of birthdays run on Thursday's Page 2B and while we've tried out best to keep it updated, it's not always been as high a priority as it should have been.

    That changed a few weeks ago when I was politely raked over the coals by a woman whose husband's name was still on the list a year after he died.

  • Pressure is mounting in Congress to do something about climate change. And while political debates in Washington, D.C., may seem far away, the outcome will have a direct impact on Southern Indiana Power, our cooperative members and other electric consumers.

    Already our nation faces a looming energy crisis, with demand for electricity ready to outstrip supply. Unless significantly more power plants are placed into service soon, consumers could experience brownouts and even rolling blackouts in the not-too-distant future.

  • An old Jesuit priest once told me during a 30-day retreat about the value of getting out of bed each morning and acknowledging the possibility that the coming day may be your last.

    "Sooner or later, you'll be right," he quipped.

    For me, the saying is a reminder of the dangers of putting things off, saying what I could do today, I'll wait and do tomorrow. Sooner or later, we run out of tomorrows.

  • To varying degrees throughout its history, this nation has viewed itself as practicing the most honorable of governmental forms. We've proudly noted that people of other lands looked to us with envy, wishing they, too, could enjoy a national fabric threaded with fairness and respect for the rule of law.

    One recent development soiled that fabric. Another reinforced it.

  • I wanted to "take my head out of the sand" (as Cannelton Mayor Smokey Graves said in a June 12 News story) long enough to explain my position as a former Cannelton city councilman regarding the city's sewer rates.

    Let me preface this by saying that it is my understanding that our community is essentially set up as a user on Tell City's sewer system.

    We pay that community monthly based upon how much sewage we send them for treatment. Our rates as individual household users can then be affected by that monthly cost, somewhat of a trickle-down effect.

  • Now that Tell Citians have cleaned out their garages and attics for the community's spring cleanup, it's time to make our city's neighborhoods and business areas look extra nice the city for the upcoming sesquicentennial and 50th Schweizer Fest.

    Simple steps taken now can make our community extra beautiful for the thousands of people likely to visit Aug. 2-9. Even more importantly, making Tell City extra lovely will help us feel even more proud about the city where we live or work, not just this summer, but year-round.

  • Americans know their nation needs to wean itself from foreign oil - and eventually from petroleum altogether - but seemingly can't agree on the steps they're willing to take to boost oil and natural gas production here at home.

    Should areas off our coasts now off-limits to drilling be opened to exploration? Should drilling be allowed in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a battle zone for years between environmentalists and those who believe that area's oil reserves need to be tapped?

  • An older man who struck up a conversation on the other side of a gas pump a week ago worries another economic depression is on its way. He may be right.

    Higher prices for what we put into our cars, trucks and stomachs have many people wondering if another financial collapse isn't around the corner.

    Add to all of that an unstable stock market, climbing unemployment and worries about wars and political instability, and it's enough to bring the most optimistic among us to long for better days when things were a lot cheaper.

  • As of Friday morning, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline cost $4.09 at Circle S in Tell City. On average, Americans are paying more than $4 a gallon, which is $1 more than what we were paying this time last year. It's troublesome to see people lined up just to get gas for $3.96 because that's "cheap."

    We are all hurting from rising gas prices. No one is exempt, including industry and agriculture. And that means everything from food to entertainment costs are rising.

  • It's a big year for gardening as more and more value-conscious Americans fed up with high food prices set out to grow a bigger portion of the food they and their families eat. I'm trying to join the trend.

    As a rural area with a strong tradition of family farming and gardening, Perry Countians have long produced a lot of their own food, whether growing vegetables and fruits or butchering animals raised in local pastures.

  • We're going to spend $57,715 and hope for the best.

    That was the decision that emerged from a May 29 Perry County Redevelopment Commission meeting.

    We understand and appreciate the frustration its members expressed about needing to reroof a courthouse not yet 15 years old. We wish, however, that they'd gone a step beyond merely replacing the shingles.

    As we reported Thursday, a couple of members said they didn't want to authorize that work, knowing problems that led to leaks will remain, but felt it was their best option.

  • I arrived in Tell City's sister city with bells on. Actually the cows were wearing the bells. I was carrying a camera and ambitions of tracking down William Tell in this town in central Switzerland surrounded by mountains.

    Altdorf, which is German for "old village" is about Tell City's size, with a population in 2002 of 8,700. It's the capital of the Swiss canton of Uri. Switzerland is made up of 26 cantons or states making its official name Confoederatio Helvetica make sense. Swiss money and license plates carry the name or the abbreviation CH.

  • We editorialized against the death penalty 11 years ago, citing as one of our reasons the fact that innocent people are sometimes wrongly convicted. If they have been executed, there is no way to correct the mistake if they are later proved innocent.

    A news story last week from Melbourne, Australia, emphasized that point again.

  • To the citizens and taxpayers of the city of Cannelton: Since a reference has been made from the current mayor that the City of Cannelton has not progressed in the past 12 years, I find it now necessary to present facts as to the increased assets that have been added to the city from 1995 to the end of 2007.

    1. Community center, land and equipment, $1,254,680

    2. Fire station, trucks and equipment, $719,554.56

    3. Police equipment and cars, $93,096.90

    4. Library building and accessories, $600,013.06

  • Salami in Stuttgart, pork cutlets in Pforzheim and cucumbers and fish in Freiburg. Another German town, another fast meal. It's my travel-food tradition and last week was no different as I touched down in Munich and spent my first hard-saved euro on a meaty sandwich of lettuce, tomatoes and bacon.

    Just about every German train station has at least one sandwich kiosk - most have several - and I've been hooked on them for years. Traveling alone, I seldom sit down for lunch or supper and since I want to do and see as much as possible, I almost always eat on the go.

  • Today is Memorial Day, a day set aside since 1868 to honor and remember our nation's veterans.

    Then it was called Decoration Day and was established by an organization of Union veterans called the Grand Army of the Republic.

    The first observance was held at Arlington National Cemetery, where officials including Gen. Ulysses S. Grant presided over ceremonies. Children from the Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphan Home and members of GAR made their way through the cemetery reciting prayers and singing hymns while putting flowers on Union and Confederate graves.

  • My colleagues in Congress and I spent a majority of last week working on, debating and passing bills focused on stabilizing the housing market and strengthening our economy. The faltering housing market has affected all aspects of our economic state. Folks only need to drive around their neighborhoods or down the street to see its devastating effects. Odds are that one in 13 families is currently behind on their mortgage payments.

  • As each Perry County senior receives their diploma this week and next, changes are going to happen. No longer are you high-school students confined to an 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. schedule, a structured life of clubs, sports, school work and other obligations tied to school.

    Now is the time to really use what you've learned in those walls to make your decisions count even more than what they have. Experience new things. Go out, do things you never would have thought about doing.

  • Perry County's fourth-graders received quite an education Wednesday while taking part in the annual Old-Fashioned Day at the county fairgrounds.

    Several groups, including Purdue University's extension services in the county and Lincoln Hills Resource Conservation and Development Area help organize volunteers for a day of hands-on learning on what life in the past was like.

  • Perry County's response to animal-abandonment, -neglect and -cruelty problems, woefully inadequate not too long ago, has been developed over recent years into what can be described as a solid foundation. We have a state-of-the-art shelter, an animal-control-officer position and regulations he or she can cite in doing the job.