2011-10-12 / Opinion

IN YOUR WORDS

“Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech or of the press.”

Supermarket steps up

Dear Editor:

Thanks Jerry’s Foodland for once again stepping up and supporting our Sandusky school athletes. By allowing the boys and girls Redskin Cross Country Team to have a fund raising car wash, at Jerry’s Foodland parking lot. This was a huge help as we are a club and must pay our own way to all events.

Coach Glenda Kirkbride

Coach Wayne B. Roberts

Food Pantry answers critic

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to the letter from a lady in Peck recently which criticized the Sanilac County Food Pantry, and their distributions in the Sanilac County area.

It is unfortunate that there are so many misconceptions about the volunteers who run the pantry and those who volunteer to help each month. I hope to clear up some of those misconceptions with this letter.

First, all of the people associated with the Sanilac County Food Pantry are volunteers. No one is paid to perform any of the tasks associated with the food distribution. Many of the volunteers are disabled or retired individuals. Some of the volunteers work at the distribution as a sort of payment-in-kind for being offered a box of food for their own household. They neither receive nor ask for any more than any other individual.

Secondly, many of the volunteers pick up food boxes for individuals who are unable to pick up their own box of food, and they deliver directly to their home. Reasons a person might not be able to pick up their own food are lack of transportation, illness, disability, etc. So when a person observes an individual “packing more than one or two boxes in their vehicle”, it is because they are doing others a huge favor and delivering to those who cannot pick up the food themselves. This is also a strictly volunteer activity, and is not reimbursed in any way.

Thirdly, volunteers are busy the entire time distribution is open to the public and so they get their food first and get it out of the way so they can serve others. Anyone who wishes to volunteer to help carry out food, sign in families, unload trucks, etc. is more than welcome to come volunteer. Then, you may get your box if you wish when others do. Many of our volunteers do not take anything for themselves and are simply there in service to others in need.

Finally, the Emergency Food Pantry has no control over what food or other items are contained in each truck. This food is distributed by the Flint Regional Food Bank is loaded and trucked to the Sanilac County location for our volunteers to unload and distribute. This food is donated and surplus, and can be anything from cereal to denture cleaner. The contents are totally random. Some items may be damaged or discontinued name brands or store brands, etc.

The Sanilac County Food Bank is charged $650 per semi load for the food and other items that are distributed for “free” to anyone who comes and says they need it, no questions asked. For many this food is the difference between having a meal and going hungry.

Remember, if you would like to help someone who needs a helping hand, donations are welcomed by the Sanilac County Food Pantry. You can speak with someone regarding donating by calling Dan Ferris at 810-877-5750 or Beverly Hruska at 810-378-5450. Also anyone wishing to volunteer their time, for any reason, is welcome. Volunteers can also call these numbers for more information or with questions.

It has been our pleasure to serve those in need in Sanilac County in the past, and we hope that with your help and support we can continue to do so during these difficult economic times.

Sanilac County Food Pantry
Dan Ferris of Peck
Beverly Hruski of Sandusky
Brenda Perry of Peck
Randy Dennison of Sandusky



Annual Light Up Their Lives program announced

Dear Editor:

Please join us at our 7th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. on the courthouse lawn. The tree lighting starts the holiday week-end with a celebration of the Lighted Christmas Implement Parade. The parade will again be Saturday evening.

Please consider purchasing a light for one of the trees in honor or memory of a loved one. Donations of $10 will purchase a clear light and $25 a colored light. We also have festively wrapped packages for a $100 donation.

A tree with red, white and blue lights will honor our country and all military personnel.

We are again having a special Children’s Tree. All youngsters attending can place a colorful bulb on the tree and can take one home as a keepsake.

Donations will be accepted for that tree also.

Music, hot chocolate and cookies will enhance the evening. Please join us!

Donations can be made to Light Up Their Lives and should be mailed by Nov. 15. A drop box will also be placed at Sandusky District Library and the gift store at McKenzie Health System. Please call Robyn at 648-9802 if you have questions.

Our wish this blessed season is good health, love of family and friends and for all to have peace and prosperity in 2012!

Light Up Their Lives Tree Lighting Committee

This community event is being sponsored by McKenzie Health System Auxiliary, Sandusky Community Hearts, Thumb’s Up for Kids and the Christmas Lighted Parade.

Light Up Their Lives Committee
Robyn Gorringe, Madelyon
Parrish, Marge Maher, Kate Hill,
Roberta McBride, Diane Reinke,
Joyce Hagan



Reader challenges “facts”

Dear Editor:

First, thanks for Carol Seifferlein’s article on September 7 about the federal money that comes into our county. It supplied some facts, without judgment. Given the need for cuts in government spending, it seemed important to have facts showing how our county might be affected by cuts.

Second, thanks for printing both of Ray Denison’s letters. He did what I hoped others would do – use the facts relevant to Sanilac County as a base for a position, in his case the “super-rich” tax and on not messing with social security.

Third, thanks to the two gentlemen who responded so passionately to Mr. Denison’s first letter.

However, over the last year and half I have become suspect of “facts” that sound “too good to be true”. I don’t listen to the political pundits on cable TV and radio as often as I used to. I got tired of being angry when they talked at me in slogans that sounded great, but too often turned out not to be true. There were a few facts in the two letters that bothered me. It’s taken me a while to track down what I believe are more accurate statements. But it was better than being angry, or confused.

As to Warren Buffet owing over a billion dollars in unpaid taxes. (Mr. Buffet is the billionaire in favor of higher taxes for the super-rich.) The taxes were not “owed” by Mr. Buffet personally, but by his company Berkshire Hathaway. In 2002, the IRS informed the company that it would not accept specific deductions, totaling $16.3 million, taken on the company’s 1989, 1990 and 1991 tax returns. Berkshire Hathaway challenged the IRS, eventually taking the case to federal court. Just recently, the judge – who was appointed to the court by Ronald Reagan - found Berkshire Hathaway could take the deductions. Even if he hadn’t, I’m not sure it’s wrong to challenge the IRS.

As to the super-rich tax on incomes of $250,000 and more “hitting” families and the average small business owner. First, the tax would not be on someone’s salary or the number you write in at the beginning of your tax form. It would be on the number on the last page of the form, after you’ve taken your deductions and credits. I’m assuming any family making $250,000 has the means of figuring out every deduction and credit and tax shelter available to them. If its taxable income is $250,000 that family must be bringing home a lot more.

Second, a “small business”, generally, means there are no more than 100 employees. That includes a self-employed individual running a lawn service, to a billionaire who incorporates. It’s hard to find an average income that applies to every small business, since there are so many different types of them in all kinds of situations. I found the $250,000 “average income for small business owners” used in one letter, as an average for a corporation involved in utilities, manufacturing, mining and management services, not necessarily the “backbone” of our economy.

The median income in Sanilac County for an individual is $19,402, or $38,190 for a household. 17% of our population is below the poverty level. Most of us are not affected by this tax.

The proposed tax hikes on the superrich would be the same as the tax rates in the 1990s, with a rate of from 33-36%, affecting 2.6% of all taxpayers. The plan appears to include tax incentives for those creating jobs. This fight is over keeping the “Bush tax cuts” from 2003, which didn’t keep people employed or create new jobs during the last 8 years. The bottom line for me is I don’t know why the super-rich need my help in this fight.

As to 47% of Americans not paying any federal income tax. The basis for that number apparently is a report by a tax policy study group. It was commenting on a unique tax situation in 2009. Incomes were low that year because of the recession and there were temporary tax cuts for low and middle income Americans. As to the wasteful federal spending on the Port Sanilac to Lexington bike path, take that up with our Congresswoman who has proudly claimed her role in obtaining those funds for our county since 2010.

Mae Bolda

Forester Twp.

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