Tuberculosis remains a threat
On Jan. 29 , The Journal Gazette ran an article citing the fact that there were 16 cases of tuberculosis reported in Allen County in 2012. This was four times as many as the year before.
The directors of the World Health Organization and of the Global Fund recently said the threat of tuberculosis is today worldwide.
Many Americans think TB is a disease of the past. However, TB remains the second-leading infectious disease killer in the world, claiming 1.4 million lives each year. In many places around the globe, it is becoming even more dangerous because of drug resistance. Drug-resistant TB can take more than two years to treat and is extremely expensive. There are even untreatable strains emerging.
The WHO estimates there will be an additional 2 million cases of drug-resistant TB by 2015, and right now only 10 percent of these cases are being treated.
Outbreaks continue to occur throughout the U.S.
That’s too bad, you might say, but what can I do about all these dire statistics? Actually, there are two things you can do:
1. Write or call Rep. Marlin Stutzman and ask him to co-sponsor the resolution by Rep. Eliot L. Engel that commends the progress of the U.S. Anti- Tuberculosis Programs.
2. Write or call your senators and state legislators and tell them that they cannot ignore this emerging threat to global, national and local health.
LUCY CLARKE Fort Wayne
Amendment would abridge rights
Those who subscribe to Indiana senators’ or representatives’ newsletters notice how they talk about jobs, education, budgets, etc. What they are not telling you about is their efforts to protect concentrated animal feeding operations and CFOs (smaller versions of CAFOs).
They want to add an amendment to the state constitution to guarantee Hoosiers the right to hunt, fish and farm, which sounds good, except for the wording that suggests that no law shall be passed to prevent anyone who wants to start a CAFO or CFO from doing so.
Other bills will prevent any community from passing ordinances to regulate existing CAFOs/CFOs and protect them from lawsuits and any liability should the meat, milk or eggs they donate to charities contain deadly bacteria and excuse them should any particulate matter blow onto your property when they are spraying, spreading or trucking during agricultural operations.
It seems our legislature is trying to protect the animal agriculture industry at the expense of us citizens. The citizens of a county should be able to decide what they will or will not allow, and the state should not be able to decide what regulations are best for each county. We should never give up that right to big animal agriculture operations.
For more detailed information on what we can do to stop this, contact H4HAA@Yahoo.com.
HAROLD R. WILSON Founder, Hoosiers for Humane Animal Agriculture Lanesville
Non-public schools better bargain
The front page article (Expansion of vouchers faces scrutiny in Senate, March 21) continues The Journal Gazette’s editorial bias against the Indiana voucher program.
The article states that $37 million in state-paid vouchers has gone to private schools to fund the education of 9,300 students. If this is correct, the cost amounts to about $4,000 per student, which is the best bargain in town when compared to the cost to fund these same children in public schools.
So these children are getting a substantially better education for a substantially lower cost to the state. What’s the problem with this?
The last time I checked, the FWCS system employed more than 1,000 non-teaching employees. If you want to personally witness the FWCS cost problem, tour their central office and observe all the needless administrative overhead milling about. Why does the system need public relations employees, lobbyists in Indianapolis, and layer upon layer of overhead? If about a third to a half of these non-teaching employees were dismissed, many of the district’s financial problems would be alleviated. This could easily be done by giving more administrative authority to the principals of the schools.
In the final analysis, the private schools are doing a better job at a lower cost. In the business world, the obvious strategy would be to allow the customers (parents) to make their choice, and then right size the public school systems to be more competitive.
WILLIAM DOTTERWEICH Fort Wayne