Letters to the editor - Oct. 2, 2013

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Senator Higdon is wrong
I read, with some interest, Senator Jimmy Higdon's comments on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It seems to me that he promotes a myth about this program. The abuse that he mentions (and frets over) is primarily anecdotal. The USDA claims that SNAP has one of the lowest rates of fraud and abuse in all federal programs. Is he wanting to create what my Marion County-born wife calls, a "straw man?" It seems the senator wants us to believe that there's a huge problem with a federal program, and that, thanks to his vigilance, our tax dollars are being protected. My God, my good fellow, the majority of SNAP recipients are children! The speck in the eye of this program's abuse stands in contrast to the boulder of congressional blindness to the unemployment problem in this country. That, Senator Higdon, is a substantiated fact.
So please use your political muscle to alleviate the problem of unemployment in Kentucky, and stop the effort to weaken one of the more successful nutrician programs we have in this country. Extend the 2009 Recovery Act. Stop the cuts to the safety net we have constructed. Do it for the kids.
Art Baltes

Support the Marching Knights
I, as a fifth-year parent of two band members and an active member of the Marion County Band Boosters, would like for the community of Marion County to know that for the 2013 marching season, these students have won two major awards. On Sept. 7, they were “Grand Champions” at the Russell High Invitationa, and on Sept. 21, the Marching Knights finished third overall, first in class 4A and best guard in 4A at the Taylor County Invitational.
On Sept. 28, in addition to marching in the Ham Days parade, they were “Reserve Grand Champion” at Warren Central High Dragon Classic.
It would be nice if the band could receive the recognition that they deserve from the community. These hard-working, young people put a lot of countless hours of effort and sacrifice in order to make their community proud.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to come and watch the awesome Marion County Marching Knights at our own competition, “Knight Fest,” on Oct. 12 at MCHS.
I, for one would like a little more support for our high school band. They deserve it.
Lisa Nally Baize

United Way chapter?
Much like the Marines, we are looking for a few good people. If we could only peak the interest of two or three people in Marion County, we are off to a good start. Looking at a map of Kentucky, http://uwky.org/luw.html, the United Way is set up to help people in need in communities both large and small. Just a few counties are absent, and we want to make sure no one misses out. In Kentucky alone, there are 22 United Way chapters ranging from just one county to as many as seven.
Honestly, if you have an interest to establish a local United Way in Marion County, we will do the bulk of the work in getting you started. And we don't stop there. Our network across the state and nation is available to help every day with most any problem you can imagine. We don't leave you to fend for yourselves; we are a team.
The best thing about a local chapter is the money you raise in your community stays in your community, plus more coming in from places you would never think of. Local decisions are made by local people on concerns for your hometown community. You decide how to spend the money raised on ongoing agencies, or possibly for a community natural disaster.
If you are interested in being a part of a pilot program in Marion County to establish a local chapter, please let us know. Contact us at director@unitedwaynelsoncounty.org or give us a call at (502) 348-1891. United Way has been extremely successful in helping people in need in communities all across the country and is truly an asset to your county.
We look forward to hearing from you soon,
Kenny Fogle
United Way of Nelson County

Inspiration at the Pokey Pig 5K
At every Ham Days there are things that go unseen or heard. This year, I got to witness one of the greatest inspirations of my life. Every year, I follow the Pokey Pig 5K and I think I’m going to try that next year. Last year, my youngest daughter ran and challenged me to this year’s run. Due to some medical stuff, I couldn’t prepare the way I thought I should. This year, my daughter, daughter-in-law and granddaughter ran making me a very proud man. I could think of all the reasons I didn’t even try and it all made sense until I got to the gravel portion of the park. Then, my excuses seemed pretty lame.
I had been following an older gentleman and teenage boy I would say were grandpa and grandson, just guessing, at the back of the run. They passed a lady and a small boy where you turn from KY 49 onto Chester Payne Drive. The little boy appeared to be about four or five years old and had to stop and take a break and get a drink of water. Afterwards, they proceeded on with the course.
About 200 or 300 yards into the gravel portion of the run is where things changed for me greatly. There was a lady in a wheelchair struggling greatly with this portion of the run. Up to this point, I had not seen this lady the entire trip, which means she must have been doing pretty well. She was accompanied by two little girls, I would guess eight and 10 years old, and a man. There were several times she would hit rocks and change the direction of her chair but she would regroup and move on. This was difficult to watch as I wanted to help, but it became very clear this was about more than a 5K. She repeatedly gave high fives to the little girls and would have to stop and shake her arms. I know they must have been killing her.
A group of very fit young men were coming back through the course as I am sure they finished and were running it again. I have seen that several times throughout the years. One of the men stopped to give her a hug then proceeded on to catch the group. The smile on his face was much bigger than before he stopped. Once she reached the blacktop of Fairground Road she gave the girls and gentleman another high five. Then the rest of the race the girls and man had their hands full keeping up with her.
I just want to say “thank you” to this lady for being an inspiration to me not just for running, but for the human spirit. There were so many times she could have quit or got help, but she finished under her own power. In my opinion, she could not have been a greater role model for those girls. She definitely was for me.
Robbie Turner