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Someone else has less
Written by Nancy Spencer   
Saturday, November 23, 2013 9:00 PM

Where has the year gone?

It’s already November and we’ve had our first snowfall.

To many people’s surprise, we’ve already had a Christmas story in the paper.

I’m sure with the economy, the Delphos Community Christmas Project will need every bit of time they have to pull together a nice holiday for those who need a little boost. It’s tough out there and every penny will count.

It will be that way for many of us, I fear. Most of us are fortunate and have jobs. It may not be the one we want or need but a job none the less.

And here comes the quandry: What place will Thanksgiving have this year?

 
Longing for Lotus Leaf
Written by Nancy Spencer   
Sunday, November 17, 2013 12:00 AM

Whew! Sometimes, it’s hard to keep up with things.

Just as I was getting into full Thanksgiving mode, we learned Lotus injured her knee and may have to have surgery next week and the family won’t be able to come home for Thanksgiving.

Big - fat - bummer!

I haven’t seen my husband’s sister, her husband or Lotus since they were home for Thanksgiving three years ago. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone and catching up and, especially, decorating the tree with Lotus. My husband and I have it all planned out. We’ll go from Thanksgiving to Christmas in a few short hours.

I am hoping to share the stories behind some of my ornaments and drink hot chocolate and eat pumpkin pie and just have auntie time and make some memories.

My other nieces and nephews are grown and scattered and some have children of their own.

 
Letter to the Editor
Written by Staff Reports   
Friday, November 15, 2013 9:55 PM

DEAR EDITOR:

The Allen County Council on Aging, Inc., Senior Citizens Association of Bluffton, Inc., Senior Citizens Services, Inc., and Delphos Senior Citizens, Inc. thank the voters of Allen County for the passage of an elderly service replacement levy. The passage of this levy insures the above four agencies can continue to provide vital services to all Allen County’s senior residents.

These agencies working together provide a multitude of services. As this segment of our population grows, the demand for services to meet their needs increases.

On behalf of these agencies, boards, staffs and participants, we thank the Allen County Commissioners and voters for their continuing support of services that benefit Allen County’s elderly.

Sincerely,

Diane Bishop, Executive Director

Allen County Council on Aging

Betsy Winget, Executive Director

Senior Citizens Services, Inc.

Joyce Hale, Director

Delphos Senior Citizens, Inc.

Tonya Meyer, Director

Senior Citizens Association, Inc., of Bluffton

 
Letter to the Editor
Written by Staff Reports   
Friday, November 15, 2013 9:55 PM

DEAR EDITOR:

City of Delphos Citizens:

It has come to our attention that the dispatching of our police, fire and EMS is being considered by the Council as non-essential to the operation of the city. The cost of three dispatchers, their benefits and insurance supposedly could help balance the budget. As a former dispatcher, I hope the citizens of this community realize what this, in essence, means to their safety and well being.

One: If your home catches on fire and your 9-1-1 call is dispatched, do you want to risk having a delay calling out our fire department should there be an event or crisis in Lima where your call will be coming from to our fire department? Likewise, do you want having a heart attack, accident or life-threatening emergency with one of your family to be held for even seconds because there is no longer anyone in our city’s police department to page out a squad?

Two: How is it that this can take place? Were we told, beyond saying that cuts would have to be further made if the levy didn’t pass but nothing about the disbanding of our dispatch department was ever stated beyond getting no replacement for those police officers retiring? Will the cost of doing away with these officers and dispatchers really warrant the savings supposedly reflected versus the problems created by doing without them? Why are these the only options given to us because as former dispatchers, we have seen what can and does happen when you have to rely on a larger entity that is NOT familiar with your streets and roads in paging out police or fire or EMS.

Three: I would like to know who among you would be allowed to run up a water bill the way the company in the industrial park ran up a $400,000 bill? Why were they allowed to get away with this with no stopping them? That should never have happened and now you as taxpayers are going to lose because you didn’t vote for the levy or so we are told but wait, was this the plan all along? How can this be when you the taxpayers weren’t made aware of the full ramifications of not voting for this levy? Interesting, isn’t it, that the fact that it was to be the employed and not the retirees who are on limited income already who would have to pay for the levy? Time to ask our council men who’s idea this was and why as a community we will seriously lose if this taking away of our dispatch center is implemented????

Retired Dispatchers

Mary Grothause

Karen Wiechart

Mary Lou Wrocklage

 
Strengthening Social Security for generations to come
Written by Sherrod Brown   
Friday, November 15, 2013 9:52 PM

As a grandfather of two, with one more grandchild on the way, I appreciate what a wonderful gift it is when grandparents can spend more time with their grandchildren by living longer and healthier lives – which happened, in part, because we, as a nation, invested in Social Security.

Today, almost 63 million Americans receive Social Security benefits. And in Ohio, that number is nearly two million. Yet, just as we as grandparents are there for our families, we need to make sure that Social Security is there both now and for future generations. In fact, preserving and expanding social security is a moral issue.

Here’s why this is a moral issue. For nearly two-thirds of seniors, Social Security provides more than half of their cash income. For more than one-third of seniors, Social Security provides more than 90 percent of their income. And for one-quarter of seniors, Social Security is the sole source of income. Think of that. After working hard all their lives, one out of four seniors would be destitute, having no income, without Social Security.

Unsurprisingly, Social Security helps to lift approximately 600,000 Ohioans out of poverty. In fact, if we didn’t have Social Security, Ohio’s poverty rate for seniors over age 65 would be 48 percent. Because of Social Security, Ohio’s poverty rate for this group of seniors is 8 percent. The result is that seniors are able to live happier and healthier lives providing them with the time and opportunity to spend more time with their families.

Yet, Social Security is under attack by those who wrongly think it adds to the federal deficit and want to cuts benefits under the false premise of deficit reduction.

Even though Social Security is operating at a surplus and is funded separately from the rest of the government, these are the same politicians who want to give extra tax cuts to the wealthiest two percent of Americans and tax breaks for big corporations while using every budget impasse as an opportunity to “reform entitlements.”

What this reform entails is always the same: cutting Americans’ hard-earned, Social Security benefits. Naysayers say that the program is unsustainable. But I don’t hear the same thing about the Department of Defense or tax loopholes for hedge fund managers.

Here’s a general rule of thumb. When people tell you that they want to “save” social security by cutting the benefits of the people that have paid into the program, it’s a pretty good indicator of their intentions.

What they don’t tell you is that we can not only strengthen social security, but also extend its life, by making sure that middle class Americans and wealthy Americans pay into social security at the same rate.

That’s why I’m co-sponsoring the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013. This legislation would do a number of things to improve Social Security and ensure its solvency.

First, it would change the Social Security benefit formula so that all beneficiaries will get an extra $60-70 a month. Too many seniors have to pick and choose which bills they can afford to pay each month. This extra money would help make sure they don’t have to choose between paying the heating bill or rent.

Second, it provides a cost of living adjustment or COLA that actually reflects the rising costs seniors face. The current formula used to calculate COLAs for Social Security recipients actually measures the costs of younger, employed individuals—and simply does not reflect a retiree’s true expenses, which can include high prescription drug bills.

Finally, this legislation would ask the wealthiest Americans to contribute to Social Security the same percentage that working- and middle-class Americans do. This will extend Social Security’s surplus an additional 16 years, from 2033 through 2049.

For millions of seniors, Social Security has meant food on the table and a roof over their head. And for our nation, Social Security has meant a lower poverty rate. Because of Social Security, more seniors are able to enjoy life and spend time with the families. That’s why I’m proud to support this legislation to strengthen and expand Social Security so that it can be there for generations to come.

 
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