May 25, 2014

PUBLIC FORUM: Letters for Sunday, May 25, 2014


---- — Thanks for makingbike tour a success

The Cass County Historical Society would like to thank everyone who made the fourth annual County Wide Historic Bike Tour a success.

This year’s sponsors were Goris Dental Clinic, First Farmers Bank & Trust, Cass County Democrats, Cass County Title Co., D.E.S.K., Coonie’s Select Auto, Cass County Republicans, Dr. Dianne Brown O.D., Dr. Ken Lawrence O.D., Mark Leeman, Mara Mart Store, and Break Away Bike & Fitness. We cannot thank you enough.

We’re also grateful to the city of Logansport, Jan Fawley of the Parks Department, and Becki Harris of Logan’s Landing for their co-operation with the event.

CCHS board members Mike Shannon and Paul Ulerick have co-chaired this event each year. Mike maps the routes that he believes will appeal to fellow cyclists, while keeping in mind the historical theme of the ride. Paul takes charge the day of the event and makes sure things run as smoothly as possible. Event volunteers CCHS President Jeanie Jones, Steve Jones, Becky Rivers, John Davis, Don Snyder, Frank Smith, Barbara Reed, Mike Fincher, Myra Vanecek, and Bud Reed made this year’s bike tour informative and fun. Thank you all for the time and effort that you put into it and for representing our community for our out-of-town entrants in such a positive way.

To our good neighbors from Miami County, Break Away Bike And Fitness, thank you for setting up each year, making your mobile unit available for any repairs or necessary items.

Many thanks also to Alvin Beckman and the members of EMA who play a most important role the day of the bike tour keeping a watchful eye for all of the entrants’ safety.

Thelma Conrad

CCHS executive director

Urging board membersto vote no on proposal

An open letter to Logansport’s Utility Service Board Members regarding the new power plant proposal:

Do not adopt Mayor Ted Franklin’s Power Purchase Agreement because:

1. You are identified as the buyer in the PPA; the seller is not identified. Indiana law requires that the real seller, not some registered name, be identified. The statute of frauds requires that the seller, as “the party to be charged,” be identified. That is so you can learn such things as: Is the seller solvent? What assets does the seller own to back up his responsibilities under the contract? Is the seller committing his assets to back up his responsibilities, or is the seller limiting his risk by forming an LLC? Does the seller have experience generating electricity on a commercial scale? What is his track record?

Under French law, French businesses must be registered. An SARL is a French version of what we call LLC. The PPA identifies the seller with a French business address as “TCS Energy Group SARL.” However, my search of the Registre du Commerce et des Societes shows that there is no business entity registered under that name.

2. The PPA is founded upon an additional contract, the Development Agreement. If you agree to the PPA, you are also agreeing to parts of the DA. It is your job to study, discuss, and understand both, inter-related, documents.

3. You should not agree to a PPA which does not require the Seller to provide its Backup Delivery Plan until July of 2016. Do not agree, in advance, to a Backup Delivery Plan that you have not seen and may not like.

4. Do not agree to what you cannot see. The PPA’s Exhibit B is blank. Without such a “description of the facility” the Seller is not required to deliver any product.

5. Do not agree to use the national Consumer Price Index as an electric rate escalator. I challenge anyone to show precedent in the electric industry for such a method to increase rates.

6. The PPA implies that MISO needs increased capacity and that Franklin’s secret investor has a plan to capitalize upon that need. There is no proof of increased need. Purdue’s State Utility Forecasting Group has again lowered its projections of Indiana’s need for power.

7. Your consultant, John Skomp, told you that it was a bad investment to build a natural gas generating plant using bonding (cheap money). Another one of your consultants, Garry Petersen, is telling you that it is a good investment to build a natural gas generating plant using private financing (expensive money). You should figure out whether your consultants are giving you good information.

8. Do not sign the PPA because it allows your partner to assign the Seller side of the PPA to someone else.

9. Do not sign anything until you see what your risks are. Your risks should be spelled out in the DA.

Jim Brugh


Obamacare costsare hitting home

I am probably going to upset some of my friendly acquaintances on the Democratic side of the aisle. Not because I want to, as I like these people, but as a result of the partisan divide that exists today. You see, today I just got my Obamacare letter. This is the letter that many have tried to deny exists. The letter that Mr. Obama said would not happen.

I know talking about Obamacare opens a huge can of worms that cannot be fully argued in a short letter, so I am going to limit this to a few personal facts:

• Currently, I am married with 3 children and pay $659 monthly (including a dental plan) for an $11,000 per year deductible. So essentially, I pay $7,908 per year to be self-insured.

• According to the letter I just received, I will pay $1,141 monthly (plus another $88 if I want dental) for a $12,000 deductible. Doing the math: $14,748 per year to be self-insured. Just an increase of $6,840!

The kicker is: this is the most catastrophic plan I can get! My choice is take it or have no insurance!

Proponents will say, “Well, it promotes wellness to the greater good.” This argument would be much easier to take if the government had any track record of nationalizing one-sixth of the American economy and doing it better than the private sector. Healthcare is neither getting better as a result of this law nor is it getting any cheaper.

As it relates to the greater good, let’s see how this law can potentially affect local non-profits. You see, the $6,840 increase I face is very close to what I donated to local causes this past year. How is this increase going to affect my opportunities to help local causes? Ask yourself this question.

To my friendly democratic acquaintances: I would normally keep these criticisms to myself in the interest of civility and to keep you as friends. However, I then read this morning that the esteemed senator from West Virginia, Mr. Jay Rockefeller, claims that those who oppose Obamacare are racist. That is what triggered my anger as much as anything. If you’re going to raise my premium by almost $7,000 for the same product, I don’t care what your race or gender, I oppose.

This kind of rhetoric from Mr. Rockefeller is exactly why so many people outside of the Washington Beltway feel so helpless and misrepresented. This act was passed without a single Republican vote (I believe), yet we are called racist if we oppose it. This is in addition to Mr. Obama telling us we can keep our insurance if we like it and premiums will not go up. It’s time to talk about the facts, not inject shameful rhetoric into the discussion.

Tony Scagnoli