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    After observing another Veterans Day go by, I was happy to see how this holiday has positively progressed over time. A lot of TV commercials had messages honoring our vets.


Stances on public schools should guide your votes

Recent illumination of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ and Superintendent Tony Bennett’s motivation for educational “reform” and control should also raise significant concerns about other politicians in Indiana continuing to push the same agenda, such as A-F grading systems, curriculum control, high-stakes testing, minimizing training for professional educators and turning over public dollars for private schools.

Censorship, manipulation and dishonesty appear to be characteristics of these “reform” politicians whose financial backing comes from special interest groups desiring to dismantle public education for privatization perks.

Unfortunately, many of Daniels’/Bennett’s kindred politicians continue to undermine Glenda Ritz and the Indiana voters who conclusively objected to the direction Bennett and the Indiana Department of Education were heading. Recent educational initiatives by Ritz to place Indiana on a truly progressive path, backed by legitimate educational research, have been stifled by several board members and legislators.

Currently the bully pulpit reigns. It is time to expose these obstructionists and vote them out. Find out where your representatives stand for the sake of our public schools.


Monarch butterflies in alarming decline

I live in rural Columbia City, north of the city itself. I have 8 acres to enjoy all of the wildlife in this area.

I raise monarch butterflies all summer. Their numbers are dishearteningly low this year.

The first summer, 2008, I found and reared more than 100 monarch caterpillars. I was able to find enough of their only food source, milkweed, everywhere This year I have only found seven caterpillars to date, and two of the caterpillars died from a parasitic wasp.

The monarch food source has dwindled to next to nothing in this area. Most of the milkweed is gone – mowed, sprayed and just not growing.

I want the county to stop mowing the plants down on rural roadways and the farmers to stop spraying and allow the milkweed to grow on the edges of their fields, but no one seems to be interested in helping me increase the monarch numbers.

The monarch can be used as a barometer for the overall health of Earth, and the future does not look too bright. At the rate they are going they could be gone forever in just 15 to 20 years. That means your grandchildren’s children may never know what these butterflies look like.

For additional information you can go to Please help me help the monarch butterfly increase in number so we can watch them for many more years to come.

LAURIE BUTTS Columbia City

Law yet to catch up with divorcing gays

Think about divorce before saying I do.

You need to have the conversation before jumping on the lesbian wedding bandwagon. Why, you might ask? For your own protection.

So why would I recommend lesbians have the serious talk? There are no laws governing divorced gay couples. Couples must come to many agreements, like how to divide all the stock investments and the current home. This is a really big deal. It could happen to you.

As my long-time friends rush off to get hitched in states that recognize same-sex marriage, let me again ask a favor. Have that serious talk and put it down in writing. It just may give you piece of mind as you say those two little words.

I hope your married life fulfills all your hopes and dreams.