Letters (Feb. 3, 2010)

Helping neighbors helps all of us


Communities In Schools of Marion County was recently notified of an award of $750 from the Hillsboro Community Foundation.

This contribution to our Family Financial Assistance Fund will allow us to pay for necessary services, such as utilities, on behalf of at least seven low-income families who live within the USD 410 District boundaries.

Our organization began 2010 with zero financial assistance funds as this budget line was depleted in 2009 due to high use. Eighty households with 150 children from across the county received assistance from CIS and network partners last year.

Without this help, many of those families would have been without basic services such as water, heat and electricity at some time during the year. Thus, we are extremely thankful for this support.

Everyone in Marion County could benefit from the growth of the Hillsboro Area Impact Fund, and CIS of Marion County is prepared to offer support for making that happen.

We would like all Marion County communities, and the county as a whole, to remember that when a family is in need anywhere in our county, everyone is impacted eventually.

We are all each other?s neighbor, and the Hillsboro Com?munity Foundation is modeling the caring support that can strengthen all of us.

Linda Ogden, exec. director

CIS of Marion County


Thanks for couple?s super thoughtfulness


Now that the Trojan Classic is over again for another year, I would like to send out a thank-you.

Every day at 6 a.m. I would go into the gym to start the cleanup after the game and there was always a pleasant surprise for me. One side of the gym was already cleaned of bottles, cans and cups.

I did some checking and found out the Marion superintendent and his wife, while waiting for their son to be done with stats, used that time to clean up.

I just wanted to say thank-you to them. It made the day a little brighter.

Terri Penner

HHS custodian


County roads have become embarrassing


When I was a youngster back in the ?30s and ?40s, the roads were under township government. In the summer, my granddad and my dad always built two or three miles of road with the use of an iron-wheeled grader pulled with a Caterpillar tractor. They did a wonderful job.

The roads were improved over the years. Then the people voted to go to a county system. My dad went to work for the county, building and maintaining those roads. A lot of blacktop roads were built. Marion County could brag that we had more miles of blacktop road than other counties.

Now our roads and blacktops that are left are frightful, to say the least. If you travel blacktops to Harvey or Butler counties, you know immediately when you reach that county because the roads are much better.

We had large (huge) rock spread on our road a week or two before Christmas, and more since. It was really ?great? to drive on. The idea or plan is to build up a good base for the road. Well, my old pickup truck is going through a shakedown cruise. I wonder if maybe Marion County had stock in some tire or auto-parts company. One thing it did do was slow the traffic?a lot. But they didn?t burn much gas, and there went some tax monies.

We needed the larger rock on the road last summer when we were getting all that rain. When the strong wind and snow came, our roads were blocked because the fields were bare. So, I wonder why the snow fences were done away with.

I have always felt it should be the landowners? responsibility to erect a snow fence, or they could plant four to six rows of crops along the fine line to restrict the drifting of the snow on the roads. I am convinced it costs more to use high-dollar equipment and labor to unblock roads (tax money).

The First Mennonite Church congregation (so I was told) was told years ago that the 11?2 miles from U.S. Highway 77 would be blacktopped. Never happened. A lot of sand was put down and that helped greatly. Now, that huge rock!

Over the past several years, the box (smaller) bridges have been deteriorating. The banisters have been knocked down or cut off for the benefit of farmers? huge equipment. A lot of those bridges have washed out around the ends. The ends were marked with cheap fiberglass markers several years ago, which lasted a couple of years. They are not marked now, which makes it a dangerous situation, especially for those not familiar with the road.

Last, but not least, the Peabody Road blacktop between Burns and Peabody is an embarrassment?and much more. It is in deplorable shape in places. The school bus has to travel over this road when school is in session. Do I need to remind those who are responsible what could happen if a bus were involved in some sort of mishap?

To sum up: Good roads are certainly an asset. They are easier on vehicles and high-priced equipment and a heck of a lot safer. Too many of us would rather use our money to buy expensive cars and trucks than be taxed more for decent roads to drive them on.

Abe Lincoln and others said slavery was wrong, and a war was fought over it. Well, I?am tired of being a slave to the big landowners. My tax monies have helped some of those subsidized dairymen, farmers and ag producers, buy more land, bigger and more expensive equipment, and yet they do everything to avoid paying taxes on their holdings. Fair? Not in my book.

Maybe we should consolidate counties, the southern part from the Peabody-Burns road could go to Butler County?just a tongue-in-cheek suggestion (or not). As a rural mail carrier in Marion County for nearly 30 years, I spent a lot of tax money on gas and vehicles.

?The road to life is paved with good intentions.? Well, the roads we travel on in southern Marion County I guess are also paved with good intentions.

Virgil C. Clark



Evidence of cost hikes is overwhelming


Since the beginning of the health-care reform debate, I have argued that to achieve true reform, health care costs must be reduced. The failure of legislation now pending in Congress to reduce costs means that these reform proposals would fail.

There is overwhelming, credible evidence of the bills? failure to reduce health-care costs. Why does this fact continue to be ignored by President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress? Two recent reports are particularly important to consider.

First, the chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that administers Medicare, reports that the Senate health-care plan would increase national health spending by $222 billion over the next 10 years.

In addition, CMS could not substantiate Democrats? claim that the Senate bill would reduce costs by cutting waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare.

Another study, this one completed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, found that premiums in the individual insurance market would increase up to $2,100 per year for families under the Senate bill.

To ignore these and other studies is irresponsible. President Obama promised to cut Americans? health insurance premiums. Yet, multiple analyses show that health costs would continue to rise under the current plans and that any deficit reduction claims are achieved only through budget gimmicks.

President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid must not ignore the evidence. Doing so will have drastic consequences for families and small businesses in Kansas, as well as the financial future of our country.

Rep. Jerry Moran

Washington, D.C.


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