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Letters to the editor

Test must be done by certified scientist

House Bill 1480 has been introduced to remove the requirement for soil sampling for onsite sewage system site evaluations to be conducted by a state-certified soil scientist.

I am absolutely opposed to HB 1480. I believe that allowing a person who is not an Indiana registered soil scientist to conduct onsite soil investigations would be detrimental.

The Indiana Registry of Soil Scientists is in place to protect both homeowners and the environment.

The homeowner is protected by being assured that the registered soil scientist conducting an onsite soil investigation has the knowledge and experience to properly identify soil characteristics. With the soil properly identified and described, an appropriate onsite septic system can be utilized.

With a system appropriate to the soils on a home’s lot, septic system failure is less likely to occur and a homeowner will not have sewage in his yard.

The environment is protected with a septic system appropriate to the soils on a home lot as well. With a properly working onsite septic system, sewage is neither leaking onto the surface of the ground nor being discharged into a stream or creek.

With a non-IRSS person conducting an onsite soil investigation, there is no assurance that the investigation will be conducted properly or correctly.

If soil is improperly described and a septic system fails because of it, a homeowner has a grievous disaster in his or yard.


Long lends needed maturity to GOP

The editorial (“Smart second looks,” Jan. 29) failed to recognize Sen. David Long’s efforts to put the GOP cat herds in their proper cages. He has halted many conservative social proposals and has tempered hateful tea party attitudes so prevalent in recent sessions.

GOP senators are reconsidering the marriage amendment, with Long wisely awaiting a Supreme Court ruling while counseling others not to file controversial bills. Sen. Dennis Kruse has wisely pledged not to hear bills to limit Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz’s authority in a vindictive majority-rule effort.

Unfortunately, the House finds conservative tea party efforts thriving. Several bills filed seek to limit the superintendent’s power. One proposal gives welfare officials power to define school truancy related to work programs, and the new voucher proposal by the governor seeks to remove nearly all income and attendance limits to state voucher subsidies in a windfall for the rich. The tea party governor emerges?

Campaign ads in October hailed Richard Mourdock’s and Pence’s tea party links, which helped drop Pence’s lead and helped secure Joe Donnelly’s and Ritz’s victories. After February 2012, Pence disappeared from both tea party and Rep. Paul Ryan’s GOP leadership rallies, shunning both venues. Now the tea party governor wants to pick a fight with his wildly lavish voucher proposal when charters are failing all over the state. True colors?

Long seems to have learned the consequences of hate-filled conservative action and its effect on the 2014 campaign. He matures the GOP and makes Fort Wayne proud.


Doerffler family does area proud

As I read the front page on Feb.3, it was so inspiring to read such a positive article about the Doerffler brothers’ parallel careers to the Harbaughs’.

So often the papers are filled with depressing news, such as crime, violence, murders, etc. It is a joy to read about good solid citizens in our community who are making a difference, particularly with the younger generation where lives can be influenced by positive mentors such as these coaches.

My hat’s off to this fine family; we in Fort Wayne are justifiably proud of your accomplishments.


Women in combat seems un-American

I was surprised and irritated by the news announcing that women were going to be permitted to serve in combat. I recall during World War II that universal military training was commonly carried out by the Axis powers.

In the circles in which I moved, this practice was decried as deplorable and degrading. It was the kind of thing our enemies would do. However, it wasn’t long until universal training became part of the USA’s military practice. Axis powers were also reported to have women in the military – on the front lines, no less.

I was shocked to read, according to Time magazine, that the last congressional restrictions ended in the early 1990s: “Women have been flying combat missions for 20 years, and the Navy recently began allowing them to serve aboard submarines.”

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is reported to have stated that the plan is to open up smaller combat units – including infantry, armor and special operations – by 2016 unless the military convinces him otherwise. This is even more horrendous than universal training in my book.

Time continues, “A generation ago, many believed the nation would never accept its daughters regularly coming home as casualties of war. Today 2 of 3 Americans polled supported the change.”

This country that we tout as being a leader in human rights and protection of women and minorities is gradually stooping to adopt the practices and attitudes of our former adversaries.

What’s next – and where does it stop?

ERNEST G. BARR North Manchester

Immigration policy is maddening

No wonder illegal immigrants are coming across our borders in record numbers. Heck, if you are lucky and persistent enough to get here, now you can obtain a driver’s license. How ridiculous is that?

Why wouldn’t they want to try to come here? The border patrol stops them (some of them), the rest get through and are rewarded by getting a driver’s license and can now drive on the roads that they don’t even pay taxes on. Plus, they are eroding our economy. What a great deal for them.

Are we becoming a nation of idiots? I don’t get it!