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Fri, Oct 31, 2014 11:17 PM
Issue of October 29, 2014
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Youth council out to start conversations


Dear Hoosier parents (and other adults who care about kids):

Did you know that two out of three teens will experience teen dating abuse? Unfortunately, 75 percent of parents don't talk with their kids about relationships. While numbers as large as those are scary, talking to your kids shouldn't be.

Although your kids may not tell you this, we actually want to have these conversations. Ultimately, by initiating these conversations with us, you have the power to set us up to have safer and healthier relationships across our lifespans.

We are the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence Youth Council, a group of high school students from all over the state. Over the past few months, we've talked with other teens and with adults across Indiana about why these conversations aren't happening and why they're important. Many adults have told us that they are afraid to have these conversations.

So, here are a few fear-busting tips that our peers have given us on how to have these conversations early and often:

•It's OK if you think this is hard.

•It's OK if you don't always know what to say or have the perfect advice in that moment.

•It's OK if you don't know the answers to all of your child's questions.

•You can work together to figure it out!

There's a difference between not knowing exactly the right thing to say and choosing to say nothing at all. Use your past experiences — and new information — to help lead us in the right direction.

Keep in mind that conversations — talking AND listening — are better than interrogations (shooting questions at us and expecting immediate answers).

•Remember to be open-minded and non-judgmental when talking and listening to your kids.

•Kids will answer your questions if they feel like they can give honest/real answers.

•Both adults and teens have valid information to share.

•Don't jump to conclusions

If the timing isn't right, don't make us feel pressured to talk; let us know that the door is always open when we are ready.

We urge you to visit stand4respect.org to find information about how to start conversations about topics like:

•Consent ("From sharing a snack to sharing an apartment").

•Healthy uses of social media ("Love in a technological age").

•Giving and receiving respect ("Flirting with respect").

•Supporting us through breakups/fights ("Being a backboard").

After visiting stand4respect.org, the next step is to talk with us. We need your help in having these tough conversations. Trust us, we'll be thanking you later. Together, we have the power to prevent this problem.

So, what are we waiting for?

Editor's note: The ICADV Youth Council is a group of Indiana teens working to prevent teen dating abuse through the change of culture, not couples. Traditional prevention efforts have focused on telling victims what to avoid. The teens believe that a change of culture is needed to improve how others are treated in relationships. They work to make respectful relationship behavior the easy choice by fostering conversations between adults and teens about healthy relationships, encouraging other teens to take action and voicing teens' points of view to adults who can make changes that impact teens. Since its beginning in 1980, the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence has worked to ensure that people who help survivors have the information and resources they need. To prevent future violence, ICADV advocates for change through public policy, informational campaigns to increase awareness and educating young people about the cyclical nature of violence.

ICADV Youth Council
October 29, 2014

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Let your voice be heard: vote


Like many of you reading this, I will have work and personal responsibilities to take care of on Nov. 4, but I also will take the time to cast my ballot in the 2014 General Election.

I can hear the list of reasons now for not doing the same: "I'm too busy." "We're not electing a president or governor; why does it matter?" "It doesn't make a difference; they can't get anything done in Washington (or some other location) anyway."

Reason No. 1 just doesn't cut it. It is not only a right, but a responsibility for each of us to help choose our government representatives with thoughtful consideration. It's the foundation our country is built upon.

As for no national or state chief executive being on the ballot, let's look at who is: Our nine members of the U.S. House, all 100 state representatives and 25 state senators; the state auditor, state treasurer and secretary of state; not to mention the candidates who make so many important decisions at the local levels of government.

It's simply true that all elections matter.

Finally, many people do feel that their vote doesn't make a difference. Practically, it does. When I first ran for my local school board, I won by only 44 votes: one vote per precinct. But the unfortunate reality is that politics too often interfere with good public policy.

Not participating though, in effect, is giving up your opportunity to be part of the process. Voting is only the first step. Become educated on the issues. Communicate with your elected officials about your priorities. Learn how their votes impact your state and, more specifically, your workplace and job.

Whether you cast your ballot on Nov. 4 or do so through early voting options, let your voice be heard.

Kevin Brinegar, President and CEO Indiana Chamber of Commerce
Indianapolis, Ind.
October 29, 2014

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NHCTA appreciates attendees at forum


The North Harrison Classroom Teachers Association hosted a candidate forum Oct. 23 at Morgan Elementary School. We invited our five school board candidates, Marla Adams, Stan Byrum, Steve Hanger, Veronica Sieg-Battista and George (Randy) Southern. We also invited candidates for Senate District 47, Sen. Richard Young and Ms. Erin Houchin, as well as candidates for House District 70, Rep. Rhonda Rhoads and Heidi Sellers.

The focus of the forum was to hear the position of each candidate relevant to public education issues in Indiana. The Nov. 4 elections will be crucial for public education in Indiana because of the politically motivated attacks on our duly elected State Superintendent of Schools, Glenda Ritz, the $300 million slashed from education a few years ago and the additional $100 million the school-voucher program is costing public schools and Indiana taxpayers.

The goal was to give the voting public an opportunity to meet the candidates in person and be able to submit questions relevant to the North Harrison school system and the Indiana public school system.

I appreciate that all five of our local school board candidates came and answered questions put forth by our audience. Our moderator, Mrs. Pam Bennett-Martin, commented on the "tough" but "fair" questions asked by the audience and the "thoughtful" answers given by our school board candidates.

I am also appreciative that Sen. Richard Young and Heidi Sellers took the time to come to the candidate forum. They, too, tackled the tough educational questions prepared by audience members.

Neither Ms. Erin Houchin nor Rep. Rhonda Rhoads, who co-chairs the House Committee on Education, chose to attend. I am sure that voters who came to the forum would have liked to hear from all the candidates.

I would like to thank all those who took part — the candidates, the workers and the audience — for helping to make the candidate forum a success. I also would encourage all voters to get to the polls on Nov. 4 and cast your vote. When you do, please remember the responsibility we have to give our Indiana students the best public education possible because a public education is the foundation of a free society, and the foundation of a great democracy is a citizen's responsibility to vote.

Dan Haskell
North Harrison Classroom Teachers Association
October 29, 2014

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All play role in ending child abuse, domestic violence


Each community has an important role to play in preventing child abuse. Obviously, this begins at home, but all community members can take part in helping respect life no matter where one may find that life. All of us can and should speak up when we see negative actions toward another life.

The month of October is dedicated to Domestic Violence Awareness. Research has shown where there is violence in the home toward an adult or child, up to 60 percent of the time both forms of abuse exists (Journal of Family Violence). In addition, those who have been abused as children are more likely to physically harm their children.

We can help stop this cycle. Community agencies can work more closely together to form a collaboration sharing a common vision of recognizing the issue with a child or family and seek help for them. Individuals can help through these steps:

•Get involved in a local organization to prevent adult or child abuse.

•Support a workplace environment safe from all forms of violence and have policies in place that support victims in accessing information, services and legal remedies.

•If you suspect that someone close to you is being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently ask if you can help and call.

•Talk to your faith leaders about domestic violence. Discuss ways in which your faith community can promote healthy relationships, provide support to victims and their children and send clear messages that domestic violence is not acceptable.

•If a relative, friend, classmate, colleague or teammate is abusing his partner — or is disrespectful or abusive to girls and women in general — don't look the other way. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to him about it. Urge him to seek help. If you don't know what to do, consult a domestic violence program. Don't remain silent.

•Encourage young boys to be nurturing and young girls to be strong. Help children develop knowledge, attitudes and beliefs that lead to healthy relationships.

•Respect and promote respect for all people, regardless of race, gender, religious affiliation or sexual orientation. Do not tolerate discrimination, violence or degrading behaviors against anyone you perceive to be different from yourself.

•Recognize that teaching peace begins at home. Teach your children and grandchildren to reject violence, especially in the face of peer pressure or messages to the contrary in popular culture.

If you would like more information about the Harrison County PCA Council or ways in which you can help the community spread the message, please call 812-738-4971. In addition, if you or anyone you know is the victim of child abuse and/or neglect, please call 1-800-800-5556 to report. This number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days per year.

Roger Corley
Harrison County PCA Council Member
October 22, 2014

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RIght to Farm bill fails to protect animals


Thanks in part to the "yes" votes of Sen. Richard Young and Rep. Rhonda Rhoads, the state legislature passed a Right to Farm bill to protect the rights of farmers to choose among all generally- accepted farming and livestock production practices. This means they will not consider any future legislation to ease the suffering of animals on these Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or CFOs (smaller versions of CAFOs), which means they have actually passed a Right to Harm bill.

The dairy industry uses tail docking to make it easier for the farmers to attach the milking machines, which means the cows can no longer fend off flies, and dehorning without pain relievers.

The veal industry confines the baby bulls purchased from dairy farms into small stalls know as veal crates, where they are kept immobile for 16 weeks until they are ready for slaughter.

The pork industry confines sows to gestation crates during their 3-1/2-month pregnancies, where they can only stand up and lie down, bashing to death those piglets that are sick or considered runts in a process known as "thumping" and castrating the males without pain relievers.

The egg industry crams five or six hens into a drawer-size cage known as a battery cage, where they are kept for up to a year, debeaking to prevent them from pecking each other and tossing the unwanted male chicks, alive, into a grinder in a process known as "maceration."

The broiler industry raises birds that grow three times faster than normal where many are unable to stand and spend their short lives laying in their own waste.

It seems that if one person mistreats an animal, it is considered cruelty, but, if an industry does it, their actions are condoned and defended by otherwise intelligent people.

The next step to appease the animal agriculture industry will be to pass an "Ag Gag" law to make it illegal to photograph the abuses that goes on behind closed doors without the permission of the owner. Such a bill passed the Senate last year, despite Sen. Young's "no" vote, but was withdrawn from the House before a vote could be taken, so we don't know how Mrs. Rhoads would have voted. They may try again.

If an Ag Gag bill were to be passed, companies will flock to Indiana to start more CAFOs and CFOs because our state will be an animal agricultural heaven.

Ray Wilson
New Middletown, Ind.
October 15, 2014

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Handling of chip-and-seal not acceptable


I'm writing you concerning the numerous crushed stone and oil surfaced state highways in our area. A year ago, I wrote the Indiana Dept. of Transportation and the governor regarding the unacceptable condition of S.R. 62 following the "chip and seal" resurfacing. They expressed absolutely no interest in addressing the unbelievable mess caused by "chip and seal" resurfacing.

Therefore, I decided to write our state representative, Ms. Rhonda Rhoads, and our state senator, Mr. Richard Young. They were provided with information explaining why the "chip and seal" resurfacing of our state highways should be immediately stopped. Furthermore, I asked them to please work together, along with the governor, to resurface S.R. 62 with asphalt. Finally, I requested that future state highway "chip and seal" projects be changed to asphalt pavement.

Unfortunately, my numerous emails were ignored. As their pre-election mailings proclaim, Ms. Rhoads has been busy working on education issues, and Mr. Young has been busy working on hemp farming legislation. Meanwhile, we continue to drive on deteriorating crushed stone roads that were previously in wonderful condition.

Folks, every time that I drive on our state highways that have been ruined by "chip and seal" resurfacing, I am reminded of the upcoming election. I am reminded that our state representative and state senator did nothing to prevent the "chip and seal" deterioration of our state highways.

Kenneth Doane Sr., USAF Retired
Corydon, Ind.
October 15, 2014

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Time to enact Fair Tax Act


The Fair Tax Act, HR25/S122 has been held up by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee since 1997. This is a travesty considering the $17.5 trillion debt this country has that is growing.

When enacted, this plan is projected to bring about a 10.6-percent-plus growth the first year. Instead of moving away from the U.S., companies will have an even playing field here.

Imagine the impact of the $2,855,059,420,000 that the IRS collected in taxes during 2013 being left in the hands of businesses and taxpayers to be put into the economy. That would be a stimulus that works.

The reason the fair tax has not been enacted is our Congress and president uses the graduated income tax to bribe supporters and buy votes. They'd rather use a failed (Marxist) system than give this up.

It is time for the American people to demand this to stop.

What started out as a simple flat tax 100 years ago has spawned an IRS that resorts to unconstitutional actions to work. It is time the American people demand HR25/S122 be enacted into law.

For more information, go to www.fairtax.org.

Roy T Newsom
Granbury, Texas
October 08, 2014

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Republicans continue to dismantle public school system


The assault on Indiana's public schools began with Mitch Daniels and his man Tony Bennett, but Gov. Pence is determined to continue the assault. Only trouble is, Bennett was defeated for Superintendent of Education by Glenda Ritz, who got more votes than Pence himself, and this was before Bennett's several scandals became breaking news.

Even so, Pence remains determined in his assault on public schools and, for partisan purposes, seeks to undermine Ritz's commitment to Indiana's public schools by using political appointees to personally attack independently-elected Ritz and thus undermine the Department of Education's effectiveness.

Pence has also set up a Center for Education and Career Innovation, a costly shadow agency that overlaps the responsibilities of the Department of Education and four other state agencies. The CECI costs taxpayers over $3 million and is chaired by a non-educator who serves as the governor's special assistant at a salary of $120,000, more than the governor's $112,000 salary or the Superintendent of Education's $88,000 salary. The CECI also employs a staff of 16, six of whom earn more than $100,000 each.

Pence has further pursued his anti-public school agenda through the GOP-dominated state legislature. Its current budget gives schools their lowest funding for the last generation in a year not in recession. Rep. Rhonda Rhoads voted for this budget.

Then, from the already underfunded money allocated for public schools, the GOP took money to pay for a greatly-expanded voucher program for additional students already in private schools, costing Indiana taxpayers and the public schools $15.8 million. Rhonda Rhoads voted for vouchers originally and then for their expansion.

The GOP also continues in its enthusiasm for charter schools, whose students take with them money from the public schools. These charters are for-profit, corporate-operated schools whose performances, on average, are no better than, if as good as, those of public schools. One of Bennett's scandals was that he raised the grade of a charter school whose owner was a contributor to his campaign.

The Republicans continue to work against teacher unions, which provide the only voice for those who actually teach our kids. The Republican legislature has worked to lower standards for teacher licensing, compromising the education, training and professionalism of those who teach our children.

Rhonda Rhoads has been a consistent and loyal supporter of the GOP's assault on the public schools even to the point of using tax dollars for corporate and private school funding.

Charles Allen
Corydon, Ind.
October 08, 2014

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Habitat appreciates all for making dreams happen for homeowners


The generosity and concern of the Harrison County community is well documented. Their support of various causes and fundraising events throughout the year speaks for itself.

Habitat for Humanity of Harrison County recently completed our 11th home. We could not fulfill our mission without the continuing involvement of the numerous (more than 100) volunteers and organizations who helped make the "dream" of the current homeowners come true. Habitat's continuing gratitude to all of those who participated is difficult to express. Few, if any of them, expect acknowledgment for their work.

Habitat returns their dedication by making every effort to use our resources locally. We buy from local contractors and merchants. We generate tax-producing assets in the communities where we build. We strengthen our community by bringing our churches, civic groups and individuals together in an effort to offer a "hand up" to qualified residents of the county.

While we try to thank each of the participants individually, we sometimes miss a few.

This letter is one way Habitat can publicly extend our sincere thanks to each of you who helped hammer nails, hang drywall, pull electrical wiring, paint, provide materials and expertise, lay shingles and provide meals for workers, all tasks required to complete the project. You know who you are.

We will begin our 2015 house in the near future. Another deserving family will provide many hours of sweat equity to qualify to purchase their "dream." We hope to see our consistently dependable volunteers in the spring. We look forward to welcoming new volunteer individuals and groups, as well.

Don Gossman, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Harrison County Inc.
October 08, 2014

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Artisan Center plans anniversary celebration


Three years ago, Harrison County Arts! opened the doors of the Artisan Center in historic downtown Corydon. Thanks to a grant from the Harrison County Community Foundation and the support and hard work of local artists, businesses and art patrons, the Artisan Center has become a venue for local and regional artists. It is our hope to become a destination to further celebrate the rich artistic culture of our region.

The after-school art program students have exhibited their works in painting, photography, ceramics and other media at the Artisan Center. Exhibits of regional, local and historic artists have been hosted throughout the years.

For the past several years, volunteers from the Artisan Center have painted sets for the Hayswood Theatre productions. The Artisan Center is a facility that currently provides adult art classes and participates in community events such as the wine walks, "sip and strokes" and World on the Square.

The center opens weekends, Friday and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with frequently-changing exhibits and artist challenges, as well as a source of unique gifts.

In celebration of its anniversary, the Artisan Center invites the community to visit us on Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for artist demonstrations, refreshments and fun. Demonstrations will include the Bicentennial Quilt embroiders, pottery and crafts. There will also be face painting and an art activity for the kids.

Give us the opportunity to thank you for your support of the arts and offer us your suggestions for furthering the arts in the future in person or contact us at www.artisan-center.com or call us at 812-738-2123.

Karen Cable
Elizabeth, Ind.
October 01, 2014

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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 • 1-812-738-2211 • email