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Community Journal

March 30, 2011

EDITORIALS

“If you mean by ‘rethink’ that U.S. energy policy should adapt and learn from the best available engineering and safety practices, then yes. If you mean panic, then no. “As President Obama has pointed out, nuclear power is an essential part of our (and other countries’) energy future given the need to address global climate disruption. Our biggest problem is NIMBYism (not in my backyard) that precludes safe, secure storage of waste. “We must be willing to store some of that waste in Ohio and share the burden, given that we all reap the benefits of abundant energy. And, we must not cut corners on safety and design costs, so that we minimize the chances of a Fukushima Daiichi-type incident.” D.P. “The U.S. Department of Energy reports, the last reactor built was the ‘River Bend’ plant in Louisiana. Its construction began in March of 1977. The last plant to begin commercial operation is the ‘Watts Bar’ plant in Tennessee, which came online in 1996. “As America’s population grows so does our need for inexpensive energy. How will we recharge or electric cars? Japan is the world’s largest importer of LNG (liquefied natural gas) and coal and the third largest net importer of oil. “The earthquake operators of the Fukushima Dai complex told safety regulators they failed to inspect 33 pieces of equipment including a motor and backup generator for the No. 1 reactor. “The argument of nuclear power or not has many issues to consider. The United States should rethink its nuclear power plans in light of the situation in Japan. If we were victims of a quake like the one in Japan how would we react? “God bless the Japanese people.

Finances dictate ‘no’ vote

Where are the worst potholes or roads in your community? What do you think of the way the U.S. has responded to the demonstrations in the Middle East, including Libya and Egypt? What should we have done differently? Every week The Community Journal asks readers a questions that they can reply to via e-mail. Send your answers to clermont@community press.com with “chatroom” in the subject line. C.M.

“Yes, I think the risk is far greater than the reward. While I don’t really like what burning coal does to the environment or the health risks to the coal miners it is still much safer than nuclear energy. “There are also hydro, solar and wind solutions that are not being used enough!” J.W. “Let us move ahead. Technology keeps changing and more precautions are being built into the plans. We need to get something going for energy instead of Washington just talking about it. “Where is the push for our abundance of natural gas? Why aren’t we drilling here? Oh no, let’s force car makers into electric car manufacturing so that China makes more money because they supply the batteries. “Why can’t we build the United States up through industry to be more self-sufficient?” C.A.S. “I think all of the security and safety precautions should be revisited. We should also take advantage of what they find through the investigations in Japan.” B.N. “No, I think with all the safety measures that have gone into planning before the plants are built that they are safe.” L.S.

About letters & columns We welcome your comments on editorials, columns, stories or other topics. Include your name, address, cell and home phone numbers so we may verify your letter or guest column. Letters may be no more than 200 words and columns must be 400 to 500 words. Please include a color headshot with guest columns. All submissions will be edited for length, accuracy and clarity.

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COLUMNS

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Next question

Please pray for them.”

LETTERS

Editor Theresa Herron | therron@communitypress.com | 248-7128

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Should the United States rethink its nuclear power program and plans because if the situation in Japan? Why or why not?

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Deadline is noon Friday. E-mail: clermont@ communitypress.com. Fax: 248-1938. U.S. mail: The Community Journal, 394 Wards Corner Road, Suite 170, Loveland, Ohio 45140. Letters, columns and articles submitted to The Community Journal may be published or distributed in print, electronic or other forms.

If the upcoming West Clermont school levy fails, the school board stated they would cut bus service within a two-mile radius, and sports will be “pay to play.” Obesity among all parts of the population, including young people, is a big health issue. Walking to and from school would be good for most kids who live within the two-mile limit, obese or not. Why should people who are already financially strapped pay for those few kids who play school sports, especially when most of those same kids spend a good deal of their non-sports time watching TV, on Facebook or playing video games? How about spending some of their time raising the funds themselves? Or get corporate sponsors. School sports are for a chosen few who are “good enough.” The parents of most kids who play sports are already paying all the fees. It won’t hurt any kids to spend more time being responsible for themselves. It will be a good thing. Most people don’t want to vote “no” for the levy. Finances dictate we must. Judy Carpenter Pierce Township

Enlighten us, please

In response to Marlene Kober: The GOP stands for Gouge Our People? Where have you been during Obama’s presidency? Where were you when the First Lady flew to Spain on an expensive trip with her daughter that taxpayers could not afford to pay for? Did the GOP gouge the people then? No, the Democrats did. The Democrats are the ones who cut their own throats and this is why we, the people, voted Republicans back into office to slow down the runaway train in D.C. Democrats had their chance to listen to the people and they blew it. Just as Republicans blow it. The Tea Party stands for The American’s Taliban? Shame on you, Ms. Kober. Where were you on 9-11-01? You must have had your head in the sand, because the Taliban forever changed this country by killing thousands of innocent people when they used our own planes and drove them into office buildings. What Americans has the Tea Party killed? When? Enlighten me. Judy Merz Eastgate

Vote ‘yes’ May 3

I know everyone is tired of hearing of schools and their money woes. West Clermont board of education has fallen victim to massive state cuts. Why are they being portrayed as the villain? If you have been watching the news, you would see that the May 3 levy is in place to cover these state cuts. Despite the state monies that are lost, the district has still managed to cut $1.8 million a year in spending on top of what they have lost from the state. They have been doing more with less for the past five years. The governor of the state of Ohio has forced this on them. The owner of a $100,000 home would see a tax increase of $242 or about $20 per month. We can save our schools and our kids. We can’t save the whole state, but we can start here at home. If the levy doesn’t pass, how many kids will suffer? All of them. We can help them. Just vote “yes” for West Clermont May 3. Let our state leaders know that we are paying attention to what they are doing to our educational funds. Angie Tucker Union Township

Injury leads to better understanding So far this year, I felt as if I was an Everybody Counts participant learning what a senior with health issues goes through daily. It started three days before Christmas when I fell in the snow. I sprained my wrist, cracked a tiny bone in my hand and reinjured my left knee and thigh muscle. My hand required a splint. I didn’t realize how much I used my left hand until I had to answer phones or drive with one hand. Putting on a sweater or coat created problems, especially when Velcro on the splint attached itself to the coat lining. When a co-worker saw me come to work one cold day with my coat barely draped around my shoulders, she gave me a poncho to wear instead. And, forget tying my snow boots. I also couldn’t lift anything over five pounds or kneel. When I subbed at our information table at a neighborhood Kroger, I relied on one of our bus drivers for transportation. As he routinely does with seniors, Driver Ron Potraffke helped me on the bus, buckled my seat belt, assisted me off, and carried our agency sign, easel and my tote bag. While riding the bus, I struck up a conversation with a veteran

named Robert. He goes to a treatment clinic three days a week. He has no other transportation except Clermont Senior Services. Sharon That gave me Brumagem a jolt. I grumbled being Community about inconvenienced Press guest by my injuries, columnist yet circumstances for many seniors like Robert are permanent. They rely upon CSS drivers/ buses to get to and from doctor appointments, medical treatments and hospitals while coping with health issues that are far more than an inconvenience. After Robert was dropped off at the clinic, I asked Ron what it is like driving a bus for CSS. He said most passengers have a positive attitude and consider the agency and its services a blessing. I also found friendships are made and rediscovered while seniors ride buses. “Some seniors who have lost touch with former co-workers or classmates meet up again on the bus,” Ron said. “Others, who ride to and from lifelong learning cen-

My experiences definitely were enlightening about what others deal with every day. ters, start socializing outside centers.” Driver Steve Hess picked me up from Kroger. He expressed his commitment to seniors, saying being a CSS driver is the one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable jobs he has ever had. “It’s nice going home at the end of the day knowing I have made a difference in a senior’s life.” Drivers are not the only ones making a difference. This year’s frigid winter took a toll on many heating systems. For several weeks the intake department daily answered calls from frantic seniors without heat. When we had problems with our furnace, my co-workers offered us space heaters. You better believe my understanding increased the next time a senior called worried about losing heat and whether or not pipes would freeze. My experiences definitely were enlightening about what others deal with every day. Sharon Brumagem writes Town Crier and is communications assistant for Clermont Senior Services.

United Way helps with EITC initiative United Way of Greater Cincinnati is supporting families by helping them determine whether they can claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), as well as receive free help preparing their tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that 20 percent of eligible taxpayers fail to claim the credit, which could put as much as $5,666 into the pockets of a family with three or more children, $5,036 for a family with two children, $3,050 for a family with one child, or up to $457 for a worker with no children. If you worked in 2010, you

and your family may be eligible to claim the EITC. Eligible families earned b e t w e e n $48,362 (married filing jointly, with a family of Lucy Crane more than three Community children) and (single Press guest $13,460 with no chilcolumnist dren). Receive help at Clermont County Community Services, 3003 Hospital Drive, Batavia, by appointment only,

Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 735-8807 This is just one of more than 30 free tax preparation sites in surrounding counties where United Way is teaming up with community partners. Each tax prep site offers trained tax prep volunteers who will assist taxpayers in preparing their tax forms and determining whether filers are eligible for the EITC. Those interested in the service should bring the following to their tax prep site: • Valid picture I.D. • Social Security cards for all individuals listed on the return.

• A copy of last year’s tax return is helpful, but not required. • Form 8332 for non-custodial parent claiming child. • All income statements: Forms W-2, 1098, 1099, Social Security, Unemployment, or other benefits statements, self-employment records and any documents showing taxes withheld. • Child/dependent care provider’s tax number, if applicable. • Student loan interest/college tuition expenses paid. • Proof of account at financial institution for direct debit or deposit (i.e. canceled/ voided

A publication of

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Community Journal Editor . .Theresa L. Herron therron@communitypress.com . . . . . . . .248-7128

check or bank statement). • Additional documentation to claim possible tax credits, such as first-time homebuyer credit. To learn if you’re eligible or to find opening dates and times for other sites, or for a list of partners, visit www.makeworkpay.com or call United Way 211 (dial 2-1-1). Lucy Crane is the EITC regional coordinator and United Way director, Community Impact.

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Office hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday | See page A2 for additional contact information. 248-8600 | 394 Wards Corner Road, Loveland, Ohio 45140 | e-mail clermont@communitypress.com | Web site: www.communitypress.com

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