Friday, December 29, 2017 1:00 am
A checklist to help address all vets' concerns
The Journal Gazette's Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 issues had editorial pieces about and by Rep. Jim Banks and his promise to champion veterans issues. Both pieces seem to indicate he has kept his promise. In my estimation, as a disabled vet since 1970, he hasn't scratched the surface.
I would give the community a more expanded list of issues in no particular order: employment/training, education, Agent Orange, Camp Lejeune water contamination, geriatric and extended care, caregiver support, suicide prevention (which must be greatly expanded from hotlines – if a human connection isn't established and maintained, phone numbers are mostly useless), PTSD, VA health care, Vets Choice (a hideous joke on the country), specialty courts, housing and homelessness, addictions, the Americans with Disabilities Act and its application toward vets, women's vet issues, life insurance, burial, and, finally, the ease with which vets can gain access to their benefits and the almost complete lack of genuine advocacy to obtaining those benefits.
I would hope if Banks and other representatives are genuinely behind and supportive of vets, this could be a sort of checklist instead of many of these being actively or passively swept under the national rug.
Credit union giving back
Camp Red Cedar recently had the privilege to be a partner agency for 3Rivers Federal Credit Union's 3Rivers Gives Back campaign. The campaign raised money for three local non-profits, including Camp Red Cedar, which received $19,000. That amount can go a long way to benefiting those we serve – children with disabilities attending summer camp and/or participating in therapeutic horseback riding. We are so deeply grateful for the generosity of 3Rivers and for the kindness of their staff and customers – such a great financial institution giving back to the local community.
Director, Camp Red Cedar
NIPSCO refusing to face renewable-energy reality
NIPSCO's case for increased gas rates is opposed by citizens and customers who know natural gas is a fossil fuel only good as a bridge away from coal to renewable energy because it pollutes our atmosphere with carbon dioxide, causing catastrophic climate change. The imperative that we rid the economy of fossil fuels when corporations such as NIPSCO are profiting from their continued use and corrupt politicians are arrogantly saying climate change is not a real threat begs the question, how can we stop this mad dash to extinction?
NIPSCO President Violet Sistovaris offers vapid assurances of “low-cost” gas in her Journal Gazette column, “Investing in Indiana's future (Dec. 18).” She does not mention the disastrous implications of shale gas with respect to fracking or carbon pollution. Sistovaris improperly suggests this is sustainable and recklessly speculates that $800 million in infrastructure investment to exploit the fracked gas for international trade will benefit Indiana and NIPSCO customers.
Raising the basic monthly service charge from $11 to $19.50 is unfair to small users such as low- and moderate-income customers who don't have the means to get off NIPSCO's wild investment strategy. Given the environmental emergency, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission should make NIPSCO stand up to its name “Public Service” and set the rates to favor the fast transition to renewable energy. NIPSCO should be developing hydrogen gas infrastructure and rebating higher rates to put natural gas out of business by 2050.