Letters to the Editor, Feb.23, 2011

-A A +A

Good for Martinrea
The leadership of General Manager Shawn Adelsberger and the quality of the product produced by the employees of Martinrea Heavy Stamping led to the recent announcement regarding expansion of employment at their local plant.
As a result of this allegiance to excellence, Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration possessed the confidence in Martinrea and its management and employees to grant funds to expand metal stampings and assemblies for the next generation of Ford Escape.
This recent development is a wise pro-business partnership between industry and state government; moreover hopefully, there will be other similar positive transactions to follow for Shelby County.
With Martinrea setting the pace for expanding employment in Shelby County, hopefully, this will inspire other companies to do the same in this difficult, challenging, but recovering economic environment.
Congratulations to the Martinrea workforce for making a positive difference in our Shelby County community.
Gary L. Walls


Food checkout week
The cost of affordable food in America remains affordable. According to the USDA economic research service, American consumers spend, on average, just over 10 percent of their disposable income for food. That means the average household will have earned enough disposable income – that portion of income available for spending or saving – to pay for its annual food supply in about seven weeks.
America’s food supply is the most affordable as well as the safest in the world. We work much longer to pay for federal taxes than food. The Tax Foundation has reported that Americans must work about 99 days to pay their federal taxes.
Our farmers provide us with affordable food, and we have made money to spend on other things, which boosts our whole economy and quality of life.
Our local Farm Bureau board of directors and women’s committee will be promoting this week during Food Checkout Week. Each director is asked to donate non-perishable food items or give money to purchase more canned goods. Our local board buys $100 worth of 1-pound packages of ground beef, and all of this is donated to our local food pantry for needy families.
Katherine Tingle, co-chair
Shelby County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee

Too many chiefs
I just counted 19 different U.S. House and Senate committees – 10 in the House and 9 in the Senate – that can affect agricultural legislation. It is most likely the same for every segment of our economy. I now understand why it takes so long to get anything done in Congress: too many chiefs – way too many chiefs.
John Wills

Tragedy expands problem
Like many others, I heard the initial news reports of the shooting in Tucson with a sense of profound sadness and déjà vu. I recalled a number of similar tragedies including the one not long ago at Virginia Tech.
All too often the elements are the same: an alienated individual with a mental illness, the ready availability of weapons that can cause mass destruction, barriers to access to care, and societal rejection and stigmatization. I listened to the reports and once again heard the descriptors of the shooter: crazy, deranged, unbalanced, lunatic, mad man, delusional, paranoid, nut job, psycho, psychotic, creepy, among others. Each, whether by design or borne of a comfortable familiarity, serve to denigrate, distance, isolate, and separate persons with a mental illness from the rest of us.
Rather than drawing people to embrace such individuals and offer help and hope, the stigma that fertilizes such thoughts and words instead serves to exacerbate the individual’s isolation and illness. News reports appear to indicate that the young man who committed these heinous crimes was clearly in need of help and hope. It also appears that he was summarily ostracized and dismissed.
The stigmatization and isolation of persons with mental illnesses create barriers to treatment and heighten the probability that such tragic events will be repeated.  While the vitriolic political talk may be a contributing factor to a polluted, unhealthy atmosphere, the continued characterizations by the media and the general population of persons with mental illness is a match that ignites the mixture.
It is too bad we choose to perpetuate ignorance when such powerful channels can be used instead to educate the public. There is a place in our society for civil discourse, it is true.
There is at least as great a place for the thoughtful love and compassion that compels us to help all in need.
Howard F. Bracco, Ph.D.
President and CEO, Seven Counties Services, Inc.


To submit a letter

The Sentinel-News invites your opinions on any topic in letters to the editor, provided they are fewer than 250 words, are legible and are signed with contact information (names will be published). All letters wil be edited. Longer letters, thank-you letters and letters that must be retyped may be delayed. E-mail letters to sdoyle@sentinelnews.com. Or you may send by mail to Letters to the Editor, The Sentinel-News, P.O. Box 399, Shelbyville or by fax to (502) 633 2618.