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Opinion

  • BY DAVID HAMMOND, Guest Columnist
    A lot has been said about right-to-work and a lot more will be said in the upcoming legislative session. Voters need to understand the meaning of the term and consequences of its implementation.

    Right-to-work laws are statutes enforced in 22 U.S. states that prohibit membership, payment of union dues, or fees as condition of employment, either before or after hiring.

  • BY VINCE LUECKE, Editor
    So long, 2011. Almost, at least. It’s been an up-and-down year at best for this columnist and part of me is more than eager to turn the calendar and celebrate 2012.

  • In his autobiography, Mark Twain said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” There was a lot of truth in that humorous remark, which helps explain why the facts aren’t always what they appear to be.

    One example is the often-stated “fact” that the U.S. Postal Service is losing money and needs to reduce mail delivery from six to five days a week and eventually to three days a week.

  • State Auditor Tim Berry recently revealed the state’s spending limit was better than everyone in Indianapolis thought it would be. According to figures released by Berry Thursday, the state finished out the budget year – which ended June 30 – with a surplus of approximately $1.2 billion.

    He went on to point out the surplus can be credited to the mixture of improved income-tax collections and more than $1 billion in budget cuts.

    So, news of a surplus could mean some funding will go back into the state, right?

  • The Obama Administration’s arguments against getting Congress’ approval to continue military actions in Libya have the stink of dishonesty.

    Honor and honesty share a common root. If we are not honest, we have no honor. No honesty exists in our nation showering Libya with bombs, then claiming it’s not war and therefore Congress needn’t be bothered to consider whether the killing and destruction should continue.

  • Recently, a committee working to better downtown Tell City asked for the public’s opinion about ways to make our Main Street more attractive to tourists and to our residents, as well. And it was good to see the community respond. The ideas and suggestions that were given to the committee members were published in the May 23 issue of The News.

  • The Indiana Department of Health’s Immunization Division has stated that beginning July 1 it will no longer be able to provide vaccinations to families with health insurance.

    State health officials said the new rule will ensure that families with insurance don’t rely on free vaccines.

    We understand the state health department’s not wanting to have its free services taken up by those who can afford them, as using the department’s time and money for those could deprive some indigent people of necessary care.

  • Some parts of Indiana’s new immigration law are just plain silly, but some correctly go to the source of the problem of illegal immigration.

    A couple of the silly aspects, such as permitting someone to be targeted for deportation simply because a “notice of action” has been issued to them, are properly being challenged in court.

  • High-school seniors across the county are graduating and as they close one chapter on their lives and start another, we extend to them and their families hearty congratulations. Cannelton students received their diplomas Saturday and Perry Central seniors graduated Sunday. Tell City seniors will conclude their high-school careers Friday.

    Seniors will take varying paths in the weeks and months ahead. Some will continue their education or join the military, while others may opt to dive in to the working world.

  • A disturbing thing has happened.

    Recently, Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a law that drastically cut federal funding to Indiana’s Planned Parenthood. In total, according to The Indianapolis Star, the law will cut about $2 million in public funds to the organization and prohibit the use of Medicaid at Planned Parenthood, making our state the first in the country to do so. The New York Times reported that the signing of this law puts our state at risk of losing $4 million in federal family planning grants each year.

  • With budget crunches hitting most entities that try to accomplish positive things for their communities, it’s nice to know that there are public-spirited citizens willing to donate their time, talent and occasionally property.

    The Perry County Parks & Recreation Department has been blessed with contributions from such citizens lately.

    Michelle Deom told the parks board at Wednesday’s meeting that she wants to donate to it approximately a half acre of land that has been in her family for more than 50 years.

  • There’s no doubt Tell City and Perry County people will continue to answer the calls of their community, their state and their nation as members of the Indiana National Guard, but they will no longer assemble in what was until Thursday the Tell City Armory.

    From a grammatical standpoint, it’s not proper to capitalize armory in that usage. Technically, it has always been an Indiana National Guard armory in Tell City. The National Guard is a state organization, and when ordered into service, falls under federal control.

  • Floodwaters were finally receding Friday. Good news for everyone threatened over many days by the rising Ohio River.

    The flood of 2011 caused its share of problems, a handful of evacuations, flooded basements and sandbagging operations, but it also brought out the very best in us.

  • April 6 found a statewide smoking ban turned down by an 8-1 vote from the state Senate Public Policy Committee assigned to review the issue.

    House Bill 1018, according to a recent Indianapolis Star article, had split senators on the committee between not wanting a state mandate for banning smoking and believing that the current proposed bill was too weak to do any good.

  • The United States is the world’s greatest military power, but is it our job to be the world’s policeman and interfere in internal affairs of other sovereign nations?

    And by starting military action in Libya while we already have forces engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, are we stretching the U.S. military, not to mention the federal government’s budget, too thin?

    Those are questions we think should have been thoroughly debated in Congress before President Obama made the decision to start military action in Libya without congressional approval.

  • The state officials most responsible for ensuring Indiana’s children are educated seem to be doing all they can to stifle the process most likely to ensure the state’s prosperity.

    High-schoolers who are able will get the chance to move ahead to college a year early if Senate Bill 497 makes it into law. That’s wonderful, but it will affect the schools those students will leave behind.

  • Recent headlines about the seizure of dogs from a Perry County man’s home generated plenty of buzz and an outpouring of concern and assistance for those rescued animals.

    We hope the positive response helps generate long-term support for efforts to prevent similar cases of animal abuse or neglect in the future. But for that to happen, more of us need to get involved in helping control our local pet population and supporting advocates who want to put in place common-sense measures to protect animals.

  • When the NCAA started requiring 820 SAT or 68 ACT scores for freshmen to be eligible for college sports, longtime college basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian predicted that there would be cheating on those standardized tests to make star athletes eligible.

    He’s been proven correct in several cases. The most notable one involved current NBA star Derrick Rose, who led Memphis University to the NCAA men’s Division I championship game in his only season there.

  • Tell City-Troy Township School Board member Dr. Gene Ress expressed conflicting and misguided messages when he addressed a small crowd at a school-board meeting Tuesday.

    The gist of his message: Fellow board member Sherri Flynn did nothing illegal when she talked in an open meeting about the board’s hiring of new Schools Superintendent Lynn Blinzinger, but board members shouldn’t share with the public anything that occurs in executive sessions.

  • It’s no secret that Hoosiers – and Hoosier politicians – disagree on the roles labor unions should play in the 21st century work place. So-called right-to-work legislation in the Indiana House was effectively killed last month after Democrat lawmakers in that body left the state, literally. In doing so, they denied that body a quorum and added Indiana to a list of states in which lawmakers have fled their seats to stop legislation they opposed.