March 23, 2014

PUBLIC FORUM: Sunday, March 23, 2014


---- — Utility board should request cost proposals

I read with interest the open letter from Jim Brugh, local attorney, to the Utilities Service Board (USB) explaining that a local ordinance gives that board responsibility for running the utility. The board has the sole responsibility for finding a way forward for our Logansport Municipal Utility (LMU) to get off coal as fuel to produce our electricity.

I attended the February USB meeting expecting to hear discussion about what changes could be made to our local electricity production. There was no discussion of the future of power generation during the meeting. Why not?

I understand that natural gas is the industry standard which most utilities in our situation have chosen. However, I believe the more we rely on natural gas, the higher the price will climb. Worse, the gas industry will increase hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to obtain more gas, causing even more groundwater contamination, air polution contributing to climate change, and possibly earthquakes. Earthquakes have been documented in regions undergoing fracking where there were no recorded earthquakes before the fracking.

I am a strong proponent for renewable energy. We must not damage the Earth any further. I would certainly be in favor of exploring solar energy. Solar energy is the most abundant energy on Earth and solar panels can be erected almost anywhere. Technology continues to improve and prices continue to fall. I recently saw an ad on TV that Florida Power and Light built the first hybrid solar and natural gas utility in 2011, and it is operating. The latest generation of solar power focuses solar energy with mirrors to create steam to power turbines. The technology is there.

We most definitely need to explore purchasing our power. I have heard that the price would be cheaper than generating our own electricity with gas. We need a price to compare with other proposals. We could use solar power to supplement power that we purchase. We can be innovative and still use a common sense approach. Why isn’t the USB requesting proposals and engineering plans? We don’t want any more industry leaving town because of the price of electricity.

Lastly, I want to praise our local utility linemen. When I hear of other parts of the state and nation suffering power outages for days, I am so thankful for Logansport Municipal Utilities employees. Lets try to retain them!

Sue Norris


Those concernedneed to be involved

Open letter to all the parents who have children in our public schools.

Now that the state of Indiana has officially rejected the Common Core Standards for our schools, the question is how to get rid of them.

I am sure there are a number of you who are concerned enough to want your children to learn to write in cursive and do math with the old tried and true methods. You are going to need to get involved and let your voices be heard loud and clear.

Please consider banding together and attend school board meetings, or better yet, consider service on the school board itself.

I know we have excellent, caring teachers in our school system who would love to have the freedom to do what they know is best for their students and they could use your support.

Jean Starkey


Decision continuesto be questioned

My name is Ruby. I’ve lived in Logansport most of my life. Many times I have donated to the United Way. This year is the first time I have regretted doing so. I am very upset that the United Way removed the Mental Health Association from their agencies. Because I donate items to the Mental Health, I know how busy they are and how much they do for people. When I called the United Way for an explanation of why they did this, I was told that the Mental Health was given a list of standards and didn’t comply with them. When I asked what the standards were, it was “I don’t remember right now.” I was disappointed with this answer.

Surely the United Way owes our community this. They have made it very clear that accountability is of the utmost importance at the United Way.

I think the United Way needs to give them the exact standards they need to abide by. After talking with the Mental Health Association, I believe they have done everything that has been asked. The organization told me they called and talked with people every step of the way and were told everything was in order.

Even up to a few days before the allocations committee met with the Mental Health presenters, they were told all was well. After their presentation, they were told they did a great job. Just what happened after that, where the decision was unfavorable, they do not know. Rumor has it that the consultant that worked with the organization was brought in to discuss her beliefs on what was wrong with programming at the Mental Health Association. The people I have spoken with want a complete summary of why the Mental Health was dropped by the United Way.

It seems to me with all of the media reports of trouble with people who have mental illness we as a community, i.e. United Way, should do all we can to help these people. Our government has turned its back on many of these people. Now it seems that the United Way is doing the same. God made each of us in his own image. We are here to help each other. The love that is given to these people at our Mental Health Association cannot be duplicated by any other organizations in the community. The people that made this decision might be the very ones that need help in the future.

Ruby Parker


Don’t cut out good program from community

I think Mental Health America of Cass County should not be cut off from funds from United Way. Mental Health provides a lot of services to the community.

It helps people take care of their money and gives them so much each week so they don’t use it all at one time; provide bingo with prizes and food; provides hot showers to the needy; provides laundry services; provides a lot of Christmas parties, which they rent the carousel, and the merry-go-round, plus food.

But it doesn’t stop there, they are here forever. So think twice before you cut off a good program.

Alice Hankee