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Letters to the editor


Congress’ entitlements are costing us all

No one receives more tax dollars for entitlements than Congress.

Should we cut funds for health care or ask Congress to pay for their own unlimited health care?

Should we reduce food stamps for the poor or tell Congress to pay for their two private gyms?

Do we cut Social Security or have Congress pay their own airfare and limo service?

Do we cut Social Security cost of living increases or eliminate pay raises for Congress?

Should we raise the retirement age or have Congress pay their own retirement benefits?

Do we keep matching funds or have people pay for their own political campaigns?

After more than $5 billion a year for government, we have a Congress that doesn’t work with leaders demanding the poorest Americans pay for their failure. To reduce government spending on entitlements, start with Congress.


Police have own rules regarding smoking

I have this strange habit of pointing things out but then feeling helpless when nothing can be done about what I see.

Power should not bring on arrogance. This is especially true when I see laws and procedures not being following by those who run our city.

For example, we all have heard those who desire that we don’t smoke in bars. Police officers smoke in their city-owned cars all the time.

This may be minor, but where do we draw the line?

These are the same police who arrest us. They have laws and we have laws. Chief Rusty York needs to clean his house.

TOM COOK Fort Wayne

Freedom Riders exhibit an inspiring display

Thanks to Amanda Martin and Charles Shepard of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art for allowing our community to benefit from the “Freedom Riders and Bus Boycotters: Threads of a Story” art exhibit by Charlotta Janssen. The exhibit touched many hearts; it also reminded and informed multiple generations of the huge price so many others paid for the privilege of being able to use any public transport, sit down in any restaurant and be served, and for all children to receive an education alongside any other child, regardless of color.

We were there on the first day of the exhibit to meet Janssen and Janet Braun-Reinitz, the first Freedom Rider Janssen painted. We were also there on the last day of the exhibit when Chief Condra Ridley led more than 50 members of the community in singing the Freedom Songs together – the songs that served as the Freedom Riders’ voice and their source of strength and solidarity.

On the final day of the exhibit Janssen was also present through a Skype connection, greeting visitors individually, sharing more stories of the Freedom Riders she has met and leading songs. Without the vision of Shepard and Martin and evidence of their belief that art is a community asset and benefits everyone, none of these wonderful experiences would have happened in our city.


Debt outstrips guns as threat to children

The greatest threat to our nation, our children and grandchildren is not guns and the Second Amendment. The greatest threat we face is our debt and uncontrolled spending. The leadership in Washington is dragging us from one crisis to another, leading from behind and dividing us deeply.

We face a dismal future, mired with a debt so huge that it will sap the strength from future generations.

Kicking the can down the road solves nothing. We must stop wasting time and address this real and serious threat while we still can. If we do not, markets at some point will do it for us with a crisis bigger than the last with effects that will last for generations.


SACS fails its mission to protect children

I am a parent of a Southwest Allen County Schools student. I recently read about new “strong security measures” at SACS schools.

It is already policy that you have to pass a background check to volunteer at school. I would like to know how exactly requiring parents who have already passed the background check to notify the school 24 hours in advance of their visit will make our children safer?

To quote the story from WANE-TV: “While other school districts are looking into arming staff members with concealed weapons, Southwest Allen County Schools will not consider the idea.” “We’re not interested in training teachers or school personnel, in handing them weapons,” Superintendent Steve Yager said.

It is disappointing and extremely terrifying to see this is their position. What do you think the odds are that this new “security measure” would have prevented the incident in Connecticut? I can assure you that none of the criminals who commit these heinous acts will take the time to call in advance to let you know they’re coming.

The main reason we moved to this area was for the great schools, their safety and the opportunity it provides our children. I am now thinking that may not have been the best decision if you are “not interested” in taking every possible precaution when it comes to protecting our children.


Butler’s Susie helped set precedent on deer care

I wish to add some perspective to the flap about the Indiana couple who took in an injured fawn and nursed it back to health and nearly faced criminal charges.

If saving a deer is a crime, hundreds of residents of Butler should have been prosecuted decades ago.

In the 1970s, a fawn wandering around town was adopted by folks who would coax her into their yards, and she gradually became accustomed to being in the presence of humans. Next thing you know, she had a pretty regular routine of making the rounds to visit friends.

The local city government even made her “adoption” semi-official by posting signs at each end of town on U.S. 6, warning drivers to slow down and watch out for Susie the Deer.

Doesn’t it take an official act of government to put signs up in the highway right-of-way? Like an ordinance passed by City Council? Why didn’t the DNR or state highway department order the city to take those signs down?

I suggest those in high office take a step back and consider a greater good. I suggest a legal precedent has been set, and the DNR, the governor, and anybody else trying to work this out in their heads should consider the example set by those fine folks, not to mention Susie herself, and that this precedent be formally codified in some fashion.

Susie has long since gone to deer heaven after a long and productive life as more than just a pet, but a member of the Butler family.

Have we learned from her example?


Alcohol sales expansion not in Hoosiers’ interest

After being denied numerous times, supporters of alcohol expansion in Indiana are again pushing for carryout sales on Sunday and cold beer sales in gas stations. Though it is said to be a grassroots effort, this campaign is just a way for national chains to dominate the market at the expense of Indiana’s long-standing public policy as well as liquor store owners and employees.

An economic study by Ball State professor Michael Hicks illustrates that 25 percent of Indiana-owned and -operated package liquor stores would go out of business if Sunday alcohol sales were expanded.

Not only would 2,000 owners and employees be out of work, but Indiana communities would lose millions of tax dollars from lost income, sales tax and property taxes.

We only have to look at the small handful of states that have deregulated to see what would happen in Indiana. Consumers would face higher prices and fewer choices of both location and product.

For the sake of consumers and the liquor store market, Indiana must reject those who want to deregulate the sale of alcohol by expanding Sunday sales to include carryout and allowing gas stations to sell cold beer.

GARY GARDNER Belmont Beverage

Make statue centerpiece of reimagined Green

The Courthouse Green is a useless jumble. It is worth more to the mowing company than the community. Sort of pretty it is, but not useful at all.

Instead, to showcase our glorious Courthouse, the Green should be open and paved, decorated with plaza cafes, planters, benches, ornamental 1900s lighting and – smack in the middle – the statue of Mad Anthony Wayne high on a plinth with surrounding steps where lovers, tourists and businesspeople could meet, relax and admire. Sell Mad Anthony beer in the cafes.

Great cities put their heroic figures out where everyone can see, front and center, elevated and proud.

Given that the Green is the center of Fort Wayne, that is the right place. And, if the statue needs to be repaired, then repair it. That’s no excuse as to where to place it.

And, while Mayor Tom Henry is doing that, he might also find space for Engine 765, another of our great monuments. The massive steam engine should be an attraction to bring thousands to Fort Wayne each year, but it is all but unknown to the community. Put it on the North River property and bring those tourist dollars to town as we celebrate our transportation heritage.

Oh, and finish Headwaters Park, in the process. Hire Eric Kuhne instead of spending $500,000 on another time-wasting study and use that money to repair and move Mad Anthony.

Both projects qualify and deserve the use of Legacy Funds. Both are certainly more transformative than a roundabout at Ewing and Superior streets.

JIM SACK Fort Wayne