|Mon, Mar 10, 2014 12:06 PM
Having been raised in Frenchtown, I recall how important Wetzel's Grocery, Herman Barnes Blacksmith, Bary's Service Station, the post office and Satterfield's Garage — all located in Depauw — were in our family's life. It was a simpler time when folks could get the necessary things they needed on a promise to pay for it when crops were sold and the merchants could trust them on that promise.
Donnie and Kathy Satterfield were an important part of that environment. How often do I remember my dad pulling up to the pumps at Satterfield's and Donnie or one of his employees would stop what they were doing to fill the gas tank and, of course, talk about what was going on in the community. Usually, there would be a lively discussion and/or card game going on at the cash register area, and Donnie was seemingly always working on something in the shop. I remember Kathy (Kat, as I knew her) as always being friendly and helpful in the hardware store they built in the early 1980s. I can't recall how many times that hardware store being there saved me on a project when I was working in that part of the county. And, of course, I have to mention Buford as being a fixture of the store, even though he was just a big, lovable ole dog. I would get to know Kat and Donnie even more during fair week as we had a booth next to one another, and I always looked forward to our conversations. Over time, we became friends and I am blessed because of it.
I personally know how hard Donnie and Kathy worked on getting the fire station in Frenchtown and, if it were not for the Satterfields and the uncommon generosity of another family in Frenchtown, that fire station would not be there today.
But this letter is not about a building, but about two fine human beings who now seem to be under the attack of those they have loved and served.
In Donnie's long tenure as trustee, there has never been any alleged improprieties such as the ones of late. I believe that, if cooler heads had prevailed, that would still be true today. I'm not sure if it is a hidden agenda, deliberate misinformation, a rush to judgment, unchecked emotions or what to have elevated the issue to the level it is, but, knowing the Satterfields as I do, I am confident there will be no evidence to support these allegations. It is disheartening to witness what has been leveled against these stalwarts of the community, and I can only imagine the pain this has caused Donnie and Kat.
The Satterfields' current situation reminds me of one my favorite stories told by famed humorist Will Rogers. Seems a politician was running for re-election and happened upon one of his constituents and asked for his vote. The constituent replied he didn't think he could vote for him. Stunned, the politician recounted the many times he had helped him (the constituent) and spoke in detail of all the benefits he was able to win for this voter and wondered what criteria could possibly be leveled against him as to not get his vote. The constituent looked up at the politician and asked, "Well, what have you done for me lately?"
Donnie and Kathy, I want you to know how much I appreciate all the things you have done for your community to make it a better place for everyone, and I am proud to know and support you.
Richard L. Gettelfinger
March 05, 2014
The mission statement of the Historical Society of Harrison County is to preserve, protect, promote and interpret the rich history of Harrison County, Ind.
In keeping with the Society's continuing efforts to serve the community, the Historical Society of Harrison County would like to issue an urgent appeal asking for community support for the "Harrison Heritage Project." Funds will be used for the purchase of the historic Branham Tavern (formerly Ozzie's). This log structure at 419 N. Capitol Ave., built for William Henry Harrison in the early 1800s, is a vital piece of Harrison's legacy in Harrison County which must be preserved. We believe this structure is an important piece of downtown historical interpretation and envision a William Henry Harrison Educational Center to tell Harrison's story in Harrison County.
Any contributions toward this urgent appeal, which has a March 23 deadline, will be greatly appreciated. Checks may be mailed to the Society treasurer, Sean Engleman, at 740 Steam Engine Road NW, Corydon, IN 47112. Checks should be payable to the Historical Society of Harrison County and have "Harrison Heritage Project" written on the memo line.
Thanks for your continuing support.
Karen Schwartz, president, Historical Society of Harrison County, and Missi Bush-Sawtelle, vice president, Historical Society of Harrison County
March 05, 2014
It's really never too late to join Scouting. Scouts develop and learn lifelong skills, participate in outdoor adventures they may otherwise never do and benefit from forming meaningful friendships.
Troop 4025 out of Georgetown welcomes new members all year long. Right now, your son could get signed up and begin to experience the world of Scouting like millions of others.
The boys at our troop plan and lead their meetings with adult leaders offering guidance, support and suggestions. They enjoy outings and events like camping, canoeing, rock climbing, hiking, survival skills and skiing. They also work toward earning merit badges in areas like archery, shooting, chess, cooking, science, business and so much more.
We meet at Tunnel Hill Church near the Georgetown exit off of I-64 at 7 p.m. Mondays. Boys 11 years of age to age 13 are prime candidates for joining; however, older boys are welcome as well.
Come visit us for an evening and talk to one of our adult members about our troop. With summer camp right around the corner, now is a great time to join! For more information, please call me at 1-502-609-5287.
February 19, 2014
House Bill 1071 is a bipartisan bill which recently passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee and went on to receive a unanimous "Yes" vote on the Indiana House floor. HB 1071 represents correction of major civil rights issues existing in our state for the past 29 years.
Federal Civil Service retirees have been unfairly forced to pay state and county income taxes on their retirement income with an exemption of only $2,000. Survivors of Civil Service retirees do not qualify for this exemption. Social Security and Railroad Retirement income is 100-percent exempt from Indiana state and county income taxes.
The average income from Social Security is $16,000, leaving a difference of $14,000 in taxable income for a Federal Civil Service retiree living in Indiana. This unfair taxation is an extreme hardship. Indiana Civil Service retirees are also being punished by the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision at the national level.
Many Civil Service senior retirees have to make daily sacrifices in their choice of medications, medical treatment and other expenses in order to simply pay their monthly household bills. Some surviving spouses are losing their homes while being forced to pay Indiana taxes on their annuities.
Reps. Ed Clere, Robert Cherry, Eric Koch and Steve Stemler wrote HB 1071 asking for equal treatment for these senior citizens and worked alongside National and Active Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) toward the successful passage of this bill in the Indiana House of Representatives.
Although Sens. Steele, Grooms, Landske and Mishler are the Senate sponsors, each and every Indiana legislator has an obligation to correct this unfairness by bringing this bill to the floor and voting "Yes" to HB 1071 during this Senate legislative session.
New Albany, Ind.
February 19, 2014
Keller Manufacturing Co. had a great impact in Harrison County during its 100-plus years in business. During those years, a lot of people either worked there or had friends and relatives working at Keller. It was sad to see both the Corydon and New Salisbury plants close.
Although the building in Corydon may be gone and former employees have gone their separate ways, the memories are still with us. Memories of the sounds of the saws, lathes, drills, air guns, etc., plus the smell of fresh-cut wood and finishes come to mind.
As former employees of Keller Manufacturing, we often have times when we think of those who worked alongside us. Keller was a very good employer, and we miss the good people who we came to consider family.
We have set a date to try to join up once again with our friends and co-workers. Anyone who worked for Keller at either Corydon or New Salisbury is invited to attend.
The gathering will be at the Oasis Center, across from Alstott's hardware store in Corydon. We plan to meet from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 15. Please try to attend and bring along a two-liter and a snack to share. A group picture will be taken at 2:30 p.m.
Spread the word to everyone so no one is left out.
We hope to see you there!
Linda RIch, Lois Fessel, Carolyn McAdams, Eileen Hoehn and Mary Lasley
February 19, 2014
Lanesville residents may not remember the struggle that we had in the 1990s to literally save our community school. We were being threatened with being forced to consolidate with larger school districts because bureaucrats in Indianapolis decided that every school in the state was essentially the same and should look like the ones in Indy and Gary.
Having lost that fight with a little town, the state administration has changed the funding formulas to essentially starve small schools out of business, but, as we reminded ourselves in the 1990s, "You lose your school, you lose your town."
Now, we are being asked to give the school board the flexibility to fund basic operations and to pay our teachers a competitive wage. The 17-cent tax increase being voted on in May established a ceiling for our property tax increase, and the amount of increase will vary as the needs of the school versus the state support vary.
Let's put this into perspective: If your home is assessed at $100,000, you would expect to pay less than $65 more per year in property tax. And the great thing is, every dollar you pay in local taxes stays here and does not go to Indianapolis or to Washington, D.C. The other bonus is that we keep a very special school that is a source of pride for its students, graduates, teachers and the community as a whole.
The Lanesville Community School Corp. has always attracted out-of-district students who were willing to pay tuition to have small classes and personal attention, reflected in higher test scores. Thanks to open enrollment, the number of out-of-district students has significantly increased to more than 25 percent of the student body. That is a ringing endorsement that we have a special asset here in a special community that has gone toe to toe with the bureaucrats in Indianapolis more than once and won.
Vote in the May Primary election and, Lanesville, vote yes.
February 12, 2014
In April 2013, S.R. 62 was closed for a bridge repair east of Leavenworth. Stage Stop Campground, a facility of Harrison-Crawford State Forest, under the management of O'Bannon Woods State Park, was also closed. This popular campground along beautiful Blue River has been a favorite of outdoorsmen for years.
We are being told that it is highly unlikely that the campground will re-open for the foreseeable future. This is unacceptable. We are being told that the reason for this action is due to water leaks and substandard pit toilets. This is unacceptable. What maintenance and improvements have been made in the last 30 years?
For years, this campground has been treated as the ugly stepchild. The Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources has been neglectful in paying child support. This is not acceptable.
For more information on how you may help, please visit the Facebook page Re-open Stage Stop Campground at Harrison-Crawford Indiana State Forest. See also www.change.org/petitions/indiana-department-of-natural-resources-open-stage-stop-campground. Thank you.
February 12, 2014
Raising the rates is not the solution!
As apparently most government agencies do these days, the standard answer to budget problems is raise taxes or, in this case, raise rates or both.
They don't seem to examine the structure or process for the causes. Raising rates will not solve the problem; it will exacerbate it.
Question: If a business is not making a profit because it is not selling enough, will raising its prices solve its shortfall? I don't think so; that move will reduce sales and shorten the life of the business.
In the case of the post offices, there has to be a force reduction, not from the bottom but from the top. Over management and supervision is the death knell of many businesses. In most government agencies, they are not as fat as they are top heavy. The workers are fewer than the production needs. Raising rates will reduce use not increase profits.
So the post office must do a house cleaning to survive. Post office, look to yourself before you look to your customers for a bailout.
As far as 53 billion less pieces of mail — my personal mail has not reduced and it is mostly bulk rate, donation requests, ads — there are other factors that weigh in on their problems: viable alternatives like UPS, Airborne, FedEx, e-mail, lack of long-term planning, etc. and recognizing the waves and effects of the future (in the past). Reorganize for the future using early retirement incentives and attrition as initial force reduction initiatives.
Another question is who is making up the shortfall now? Could it be uncle sugar through our taxes?
William D. Zerby
February 12, 2014
The Spencer Township Advisory Board moved its annual meeting to the Frenchtown Community Center on Jan. 27 only after being advised by the Indiana Public Access Counselor that holding the meeting in a small home office would violate the Open Door law. Finally, the 60 to 70 community members seeking answers since last August were able to sit down at a meeting. Unfortunately, standing or sitting, there were no answers to be found.
Consistent with the evasive and obstructive tactics of the trustee and board members, the meeting opened with an opportunity for taxpayers to offer input and ask questions about the 2013 annual Financial Report. As the board refused to allow the taxpayers to hear or see the report, this offer was insulting and resulted in chaotic talking in circles for over an hour. The board and trustee wonder why the people have lost trust in them.
Having requested in advance to be on the agenda, I was told by Clerk Kathy Satterfield that she would ask the board. When I approached the trustee and (advisory board member) Ms. (Susie) Weigle, I was immediately told only Spencer Township taxpayers could speak. I asked for a copy of the Annual Report. She answered she could not give it to me as it had not yet been approved. Not true. It is common practice at school board annual report meetings to hand out copies at the door. In fairness, Ms. Weigle was misinformed, but because she has not had time to prepare for this role; (advisory board members) Bob Smith and Ed Sieg should never have put her in this position.
I became involved in this issue in August on behalf of my parents, who are 82 and 86, and their friends of similar age. The support of family and resources like the LifeSpan lunch program allow these lifelong taxpayers to remain independent in their own homes instead of going into institutions with high costs to health care and government programs. The economic value of senior citizen programs is so profoundly recognized that both federal and state agencies were created to promote their existence. Well, the value is recognized by most people anyway.
As I spend about one third of my time at my parents' home in Ramsey, I attended the center with them often and was so thankful for this amazing program available to them. I could not stand by and let it be taken away for no reason, and no reason has been justified. Having knowledge and experience of Indiana laws applied to budget and finance of public agencies, I have served, at the request of the people, as a volunteer consultant and spokesperson. I tried to work with board members in August to look for a solution, such as legally transferring funds in a number of ways and situations, but was refused.
In truth, the taxpayers should not have to be the ones asking the obvious questions. The board members, who are supposed to serve as oversight of the trustee, should have been asking the questions such as: Why did the trustee, or clerk or accountant raise alarm of a $29,000 deficit in August used to justify termination of the senior lunch program? Why are the utility costs so high? And, having done their due diligence to know what they were approving, why was the beginning balance in the 2013 General Fund $23,000 less than the ending balance of the 2012 General Fund? They did not ask one question.
But why do I care? I'm not a taxpayer in Spencer Township.
I care, and I am not going away; neither is the rest of our very capable and determined group. We are organized and will be supporting only dedicated, public-servant candidates for trustee and advisory board willing to educate themselves, to involve and value community members and their needs and to make logical, evidence-based decisions in the best interest of the people of Spencer Township.
Part-time resident of Ramsey, Ind.
February 05, 2014
I just found out Boy Scout Troop 47 and Cub Scout Pack 47 in Elizabeth no longer exist. How sad.
We used to have one of the premier troops in the entire Louisville Scout Council's area, just a few short years ago. This was because we had a very active group of parents that would give of their time to help out, and we had several volunteer parent/leaders. Now, they can't find any parents that will even volunteer at all.
So does this mean that the 57-year history of Troop 47 ends here and now? Not necessarily. All it takes is one or two parents to step up and take the reins. Trust me. If one or two step up, then others will follow. It really is that simple. You do not need any knowledge of scouting at all. That will come with time and some free training.
Please call the Scout office in Louisville at 1-502-361-2624 if you would like to volunteer.
When I look at my four grown sons, I can't help but remember the times we shared in both Cub and Boy Scouts. Some of the best times we ever had were on camp-outs and other trips with the Scouts. As my sons climbed their own trails to reach Eagle Scout, they quit being little boys and became young men. Scouting provided safe and positive events that we could participate in. Looking back, I think the parents had as much fun as the boys.
And now it all ends because no parents will get involved? Really?
Bruce A. Cunningham
February 05, 2014
Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 • 1-812-738-2211 • email