What they’re saying: Knable on the HIV outbreak, and a slew of GOP candidate links at Facebook.


As the weeks go past in route to May’s primary election, I’m providing periodic candidate statements of substance, mostly unretouched, as lifted from social media and news reports. Familiar gems such as “yard signs win elections, not people” and “donate to my campaign first, and maybe I’ll have something of merit to say much, much later” will be omitted. That’s because it is my aim to determine whether our declared candidates have anything to say at all, and I’ll quote all candidates, from any and all parties, whether or not they’re in a contested race. Just promising change and new ideas without divulging them won’t cut the mustard, aspirants.

Several Republican candidates have hoisted Facebook campaign pages during the past few weeks.

Dale Bagshaw for City Council District 3 … with a much appreciated photo of the candidate shoveling snow from his sidewalk.

Ross Heinz for City Council (4th district) … “As a candidate, Ross stands for responsible spending, local business, and community initiative.” He should have added: “And making my opponent familiar with the Interwebz.”

Danita Burks. City Council New Albany District 5 … it’s polls, not poles, and I wouldn’t point this out had Mrs. Burks not previously sought a school board seat (and lost).

Larry Belcher for 6th District City Council Seat … with a slogan: “What matters to New Albany, matters to me and my neighbors.”

Nick Vaughn (6th district Republican) provides his platform at his web site, with sub sections on renter/landlord registrations, a better business climate and communications: Nick Vaughn’s Vision Outline for New Albany.

As citizens we should always be looking to the long term improvement of our city which is why renter/landlord registration is the first step toward transitioning more renters into homeowners; by putting down roots people have a stake in our shared success.

At-large council candidate and physician Al Knable (R) continues to openly make sense, and to articulate, in writing, for attribution. Taking into consideration the whole of New Albany’s stunted political history, this continues to amaze … and please.

On the regional HIV outbreak:

If you knew your neighbor was cooking meth and you saw his house on fire would you call for help or let it burn?

Most of us would call 911, even if not to save the neighbor then to protect our own property from being next.

As a physician running for public office, I feel compelled to speak out on the subject of the recent HIV outbreak occurring in Indiana.

I’m old enough to have practiced medicine during the initial HIV/AIDS epidemic.

During residency, we had weekly AIDS clinic at IU. Not HIV clinic, AIDS clinic-because we had no effective treatment. Perhaps as a society the anti-viral meds we have today make it easy to forget how horrible this disease was and can be. I can’t forget because I witnessed too many suffer horrendously. I saw too many people die. Not just drug users, people from all walks of life, gay and straight alike.

Yes, people too often make choices that put them at risk. But as a physician it is not my job to judge but rather to diagnosis and treat when necessary, prevent when I can.

We have an HIV outbreak in our state. Too close for comfort. Let’s contain it before it spreads!

I support targeted, short-term needle exchange programs as an effective way of curtailing such crises. Studies by the AMA and the WHO back this policy up.

We’re not all going to agree on the moral reasoning but I think we can find common pragmatic ground. Clean needles are cheap, anti-viral medications to treat HIV are very expensive. The more positive cases of HIV there are in a community, the faster and wider it will spread. The healthier a user is, the more likely they are to seek long term drug cessation programs.

Let’s put the fire out first! We can educate people about not playing with matches later.