July 22, 2014

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Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor ~“Faith 4 Freedom” committee PDF Print
Monday, September 10, 2012 4:07 PM

We are writing this letter on behalf of our “Faith 4 Freedom” group in response to the article written by Mike Ford on Aug. 29 titled “Christians rally to protect their religious freedom.”
Ford’s article portrayed an unfair representation of the Health and Human Services Mandate and how it attacks our religious freedom and gave no concrete information as to what our group is all about, even though this information was given to him ahead of time. We are a non-partisan, multi-denominational, grassroots organization focused on prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom. We are not trying to push any political agenda or church doctrine onto others.
Mr. Ford attended part of our meeting, listening to our local members giving testimony and progress of our outreach. As our guest speaker, Chris Long, director of the Ohio Christian Alliance, came up to speak, Mr. Ford took a photo and left the building. He didn’t extend the courtesy to stay and listen to our guest speaker, much less report any information about our group. Only a couple quotes from Mr. Long were added in the article from a previous brief interview.
Ford’s article centered on the opinions of Joanne Brant, a law professor from Ohio Northern University, who supposedly specializes in how the law applies to religious freedom. Most disturbing was the highlighted quote by Brant that is not only false but entirely twists the conversation to insinuate that religious organizations are trying to take over all employer health care and push them to their own church doctrine. This quote displays her bias and/or lack of knowledge as to why numerous religious institutions object to the Dept. of Health and Human Services Mandate forcing virtually all employer health plans to provide 100-percent coverage with no co-pay for contraceptives, sterilizations, abortion-inducing drugs and any FDA-approved contraceptive methods, regardless of moral or religious objections. On family plans, minors will have these services available without parental consent. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act originally contained a religious-employer exemption for these services.
The article softens the language in the bill, stating “includes birth control.” Details involve more than what can be written in this letter. The most important detail in this is not a contraceptive issue. This is a religious freedom issue. It’s a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be FORCED by the government to provide coverage for contraception, abortion or sterilization, even if that violates their religious beliefs.
Brant stated, “In a secular society, all religious groups must live in Caesar’s world and under Caesar’s rules.” We don’t live in Caesar’s world. Caesar was a dictator. We live in the United States of America, a republic, which guarantees its citizens certain rights through our Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” America is great because America is free.
In the article, Brant’s shocking statement, “Just as a Muslim can’t claim religious freedom to engage in honor killing and expect to avoid murder charges, a religious person can’t violate a neutral, generally-applicable law with impunity,” most certainly needs to be addressed. Her comparison of Muslims being denied freedom to engage in honor killings without murder charges to religious institutions being denied their freedom to oppose paying for 100-percent abortion coverage which forces them to violate established religious beliefs is absolutely ludicrous.
We welcome an opportunity to educate you and the public about “Faith 4 Freedom.” Our next meeting is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday with details posted on our web site.
Lisa Rahrig
Tess Rahrig
Laura Wilson
Jane & Randy Hemker
Carol Brinkman
Dodie Seller
“Faith 4 Freedom” committee

Letter to the Editor ~ Coffey PDF Print
Saturday, September 08, 2012 12:28 AM

The World Suicide Prevention Day is on Sept. 10 and the National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 9-15. 
Do you know what to do or where to get timely treatment and follow-up care for those at risk or actively suicidal? Locally 1-800-567-HOPE(4673) connects to crisis specialists. 
The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties support the three county coalitions specifically targeting ways to prevent further suicides. GRASSP survivor groups meet in Allen and Auglaize counties to meet the needs of those grieving a suicide loss. 
In Lima, the 2012 Summit on Suicide Awareness and Prevention is slated for Sept. 18 and the 6th Annual Remembrance Walk will happen Sept. 29. There is help right here for each of us whether a worried friend, interested citizen, grieving parent or someone at risk.
It is extremely difficult to survive a loved one in a world content to ignore the tragedy unfolding before its eyes. Cultural attitudes and taboo coupled with the lack of awareness that suicide is a top 10 health threat fuel the increasing numbers. This is everybody’s problem. It is killing the young and old, friends and coworkers, skilled and unskilled — only the very young appear exempt. 
Educate yourself and get involved in prevention so that someone you know and love might keep living.

GRASSP Support Group Facilitator
Valerie Coffey

Letter to the Editor ~Knebel PDF Print
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 1:26 PM

In regards to your article in Saturday’s paper about Delphos moving to a state wide radio system, I would like to add some insight, to the actual substance of the article itself and the statement by Mr. Berquist that the radios we received were free. The radios we received cost $280,000 and yes they have been setting on a shelf for at least a year because city council would not approve the $10,000 per year fee to put them to full function. Did the city of Delphos pay $280,000 for those radios? No but the tax payers did. Federally funded? The taxpayers also probably paid for those radios we may (or may not) communicate with in Cleveland and Indiana, more on this later.
I have no problem spending $280,000 on radios if we needed them, but we do not! We have a perfectly functional radio system for our police, fire and EMS. We can reach Lima and Van Wert consistently. If we need to communicate with Cleveland we have the phone system, which brings me to my second point. The system being forced upon us operates at a frequency of 800 megahertz. The reliable distance for radios at this frequency is about 5 miles. The technology for us to talk to Cleveland on this system relies 100% on the internet. I’m not even sure we would have consistent and reliable contact with Lima or Van Wert without it. If the phone system is down because of any catastrophic event, like the June 29 storm that hit Delphos, my guess is we will not have the internet either, which we did not. This would leave us to ourselves. I have not and will not support any part of this system.
Council has been led to believe that the $20 per month per radio to operate this system was going to drop to $5 per month, either way, right now our system only costs us the maintenance to operate the radios, and, we are in control. If we keep stretching our general fund, taxes will have to go up, but not with my vote.
Just as a side note. How do we get 16 trillion dollars in debt? Free radios!
Jim Knebel
Councilman 3rd Ward

Letter to the Editor ~Shobe PDF Print
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 11:52 AM

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  A Gold Ribbon in September stands for kids with cancer.  An opportunity is available to you to raise awareness and support for these special kids.
On Sept. 16, an event called CureSearch Walk is being held in Columbus to raise funds for an organization called CureSearch.  This is a nonprofit organization that funds life saving research through more than 200 children’s cancer centers such as Nationwide Children’s in Columbus, Toledo Children’s Hospital and St. Jude’s Hospital.  CureSearch is a research organization that is strictly dedicated to research of children’s cancers. Ninety-six percent of all money raised goes directly to research.
I will be attending the CureSearch Walk in Columbus on 9/16 in memory of my granddaughter, Alivia. She passed May 23, 2011, at the age of 3 from cancer. I have formed a team called Beanie’s Bunch.  Please visit www.curesearchwalk.org to register to walk or to donate. The Walk is at Bicentennial Park, 233 Civic Center Drive, Columbus.  Registration is noon to 1 p.m.  The Event is from 1-4 p.m. 
Also on this website are the dates of other walks in the area.
One of Alivia’s frequent statements to me was “I will help you.” In her memory, “I will help you” by raising money and raising awareness for the need to find cures for children’s cancers.
Betty Shobe

Letter to the Editor ~Wright PDF Print
Wednesday, August 08, 2012 12:22 PM

I was quite distressed to see an article in Sunday’s Lima News in which the head of the Up to the Challenge accused the city of theft. The city of Delphos has graciously supported our challenged community for nine-plus years now. They have provided the ball diamonds for the July 3rd tournament, the pool for the swim events, and lifesaving and support personnel when needed without concern about these costs.
Why would the city “steal” $1,000 worth of life saving equipment and pool toys?
According to the head of Up to the Challenge, the city has stored this equipment without incident for years prior. Why then would she try to take possession of the swim equipment a few days before an event where it was going to be used by many of the same challenged individuals who have used it before?
How can the swim equipment be considered “stolen?” It was used by the Up to the Challenge volunteers for the same individuals it has always been used for. What were the challenged individuals supposed to do when the Up to the Challenge swim event was cancelled? I’m grateful some families stepped up to host the event this year. And  thanks to the city for making accessible the safety equipment need for many  participate. The end result was my daughter was able to swim, her peers were able to use the equipment purchased for them and everyone had a good time.
It is my understanding the swim equipment will be available at future events for individuals with challenges. Isn’t that the original reason it was purchased?
I encourage someone from the news media to find out the answers to these questions.
Laura Wright


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