Goshen News, Goshen, IN

May 7, 2014

LETTERS FOR MAY 7, 2014: Rogers’ decision is ethically questionable

Goshen News

---- — Rogers’ decision was ethically questionable

It’s been interesting to read the stories regarding Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers on a “peacekeeping mission” to “keep people from getting killed on my own time.” What?

Sheriff Rogers was not on his own time while wearing the Elkhart County Sheriff’s uniform on his personal mission. Mr. Rogers should have worn his everyday clothes. It was an unethical decision to wear the uniform. That uniform represents all the people of Elkhart County and it represents the authority given to him by the voters of Elkhart County, not the people of Nevada and their causes.

Cliven Bundy’s story regarding cattle grazing on public land in Nevada is questionable. Bundy’s claim that the family has been on the land since the 1870s is not true, according to a report in the Denver Post. ... The fact remains that Bundy has been illegally grazing cattle on public land that belongs to all of us. Ranchers pay a fee of $1.35 per head per month to graze on public land. Bundy has not paid fees since 1993 and owes $1 million in grazing fees. He decided not to pay the fees because the Bureau of Land Management restricted the period when cattle could graze in a certain area native to the endangered desert tortoise. Even the Nevada Cattleman’s Association does not endorse Bundy’s action.

According to the Washington Post, a protest camp was formed and a sign at the entrance reads “Militia sign in.” Did Sheriff Rogers, who took an oath to uphold the law in Indiana, while wearing his official Elkhart County uniform, join Mr. Bundy’s militia? Was he really on a “peacekeeping mission?” Wasn’t the sheriff supporting an illegal act?

All sarcasm aside, it appears that Mr. Bundy’s and Sheriff Rogers’ ability to make sound ethical decisions are questionable.

— Barbara Dolan


It’s Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this week is Children’s Mental Health Week. It is important to remember that mental health is part of overall health. It is also important to learn early symptoms of mental illness and seek help when it is needed. One in four adults experience mental health problems within any given year. One in 17 lives with conditions such as major depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. To that extent, one in five children experience mental health problems in any given year as well.

One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14 and three-quarters by age 24. Unfortunately, too often there are long delays — sometimes decades — between the time symptoms first appear and when people get treatment. Mental health impacts everyone. It’s important to remember that there is no health without mental health. Everyone should learn symptoms of mental illness and share with others.

Help end the silence and stigma around mental illness that discourages people from getting help. This month, make a difference in your community. To learn more regarding mental health, contact NaKaisha Tolbert-Banks, LCSW, LCAC at D.U.O. EmpowerMEnt Services or visit www.duogiggles.weebly.com.

— NaKaisha Tolbert-Banks