You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Letters
    Indiana’s historic year reason to be grateful In America’s first Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789, George Washington expressed thanks for “the peaceable and
  • EPA proposal threatens energy, economic futures
    Indiana's environment is cleaner than it's been in our lifetimes. But such substantial progress here and in other parts of the country is not enough for the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Ruling elite yet again subverts public's will
    It didn't take them long to figure out a way to get around our “no” vote on the referendum, did it? They are going to appoint a committee, just like Gov.

Letters to the editor

Stutzmanís gun stance not adding to violence

This letter is in response to Deborah Williams’ letter to the editor titled “Stutzman not with public on guns” (April 1). I would like her to name one initiative or forum that Stutzman created that keeps guns more accessible to “the individuals creating the violence in our city.” I work in Fort Wayne and see firsthand where most of the violence is occurring, and believe me, the criminals murdering others are not concerned with new laws, let alone the ones currently on the books.

I have no idea where Williams is getting the “91 percent of Americans want stricter background checks” number that she is throwing out there, but it is indicative of someone who lives in a world of CNN, CNBC and other liberal/progressive stations and websites catering to the uninformed.

Stutzman is a man whose job is to represent the people who put him in office. If he is not representing the majority, not minority, of said people, then he will be voted out. Ask Dick Lugar how that works out. I believe he is with the public on guns, just not your public, Deborah.


Legislators value public schools? Slap in the face

Dear legislators: I recently received a flier from my state representative that says “our budget prioritizes public education.” I am a public school teacher. When I read your statement, it felt like a slap in my face. To me, it seems like your prioritizing means dismantling the system.

My biggest question to you is this: Why do the legislators dislike public school teachers so much? I chose to be a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. It appears to me that we are viewed as lazy, overpaid babysitters. That is far from the truth.

Here is another question: When a child is released from a charter or private school after the school has received state money for the child, why doesn’t the money follow the child? If a child is using a state-funded voucher to attend a school, he or she should not be allowed to be released from that school.

When is the last time our great legislators actually visited a public school classroom? I welcome any of them to come to my classroom and see the miracles I do each and every day. Maybe then they will see how public education should be prioritized.


Take it from a veteran; unusual pizzas not new

New ideas are seldom new. While I appreciate the efforts of young bucks in the pizza business, i.e., Ben Nighswander and Matt Rogers, the assertion that Wolfgang Puck started the trend in “non-traditional” pizza toppings in 1982 leaves this old bull snorting. Referring to the March 27 article “Topping traditional toppings” by Jaclyn Youhana, they need a lesson in local pizza history.

My parents, Caroline and Lexy Demetroff, established their first pizzeria, Alexander’s, at East State and Beacon in 1956. Back then, even so-called “traditional” toppings were new to Fort Wayne, as was pizza itself. Over the next 50 years and after more than a dozen pizzerias, my family has made and marketed many “non-traditional” pies to our adventurous customers. To mention only a few: shrimp cocktail, all-American cheeseburger, dill pickle, seafood and lobster, ham and yam, and corned beef and cabbage.

These odd pizzas may have been made years before I thought of them, but hearing young people claim that nothing unusual or creative came to Midwest pizza prior to 2004 leaves me hotter than my Atomic Fireball Pizza (habanero sauce and three hot pepper varieties)!


Wind farm developerís plan raises questions

I read the April 2 guest editorial “Wells County wind farm breathes life into area,” written by the development manager for Apex Wind Energy in Charlottesville, Va.

The article states that $336 million would be invested in their Wells County wind turbine electric power project. How much of this “investment” would be federal (taxpayer) stimulus money? Supposedly this would generate $17.1 million in property taxes over the next 25 years. How do they know what the tax structure/needs will be in that time frame? Or the projected tax savings to businesses and farmers? Even the projected wages to be received by “about 10 full time jobs” is a joke!

Wind turbines in other areas have proven to be noisy, ugly and of questionable efficiency. In California, where they have existed for years, hundreds are being shut down because of lack of power storage facilities; extremely high maintenance costs; and the fact that power is being provided by more efficient methods.

Will Apex Energy or any other reliable entity guarantee to cover the cost of removal of the ugly eyesores when it becomes necessary?


Letís step up and lead the way out of violence

I agree with Katharine M. Scatena in her letter to the editor April 4: “We need to understand how criminal behavior begins” if we want to stop it. While peace rallies are a good way to cry out to stop the violence, those who have been raised in violent environments and have witnessed their friends’ murders are caught up in a cycle of fear, rage and revenge that is difficult to escape.

When I look around Fort Wayne today, it’s business as usual. Where are the personal interest stories? Where are the psychologist and sociologist interviews suggesting what can be done by parents, teachers, mentors, coaches and community members? Where are the yard signs, bumper stickers, fund raisers, “safe zones,” social media and TV program interruptions in response to the murders? We spend more on political candidates.

Reporters, community activists and those who are close to people caught up in this cycle need to step in and step up with frank conversations, outreach and alternative activities and to help people build support systems that don’t reward violence or threaten ostracization; we need to understand first, then lead the way out.


Criticism of chancellor hiring process unfair

I write today in response to an April 3 article titled “Wartell’s suit alleges gender led to job loss.” Do not mistake this letter as a negative response to Dr. Wartell’s service to IPFW while chancellor. My concern is with comments by Wartell’s attorney, Mark Ulmschneider, relating to Dr. Carwein and the chancellor search, which are in my opinion inflammatory cheap shots and simply wrong.

He has impugned the integrity of numerous faculty members, including myself; the administration of IPFW, Purdue University and Indiana University; and members of the Chancellor Search Committee.

Our group spent many hours in meetings, reading resumes and interviewing candidates for the chancellor’s position. At no time was there a mention of selection by gender. Throughout the process, the only criteria put forward was to collectively identify the best available candidate to lead IPFW.

As to Ulmschneider’s inference about Dr. Carwein not knowing how to deal with a Division I school, I would ask what experience Dr. Wartell had when IPFW became Division I.

Our campus has undergone serious changes this year. IPFW is trying to move forward. It’s time Dr. Wartell did the same.

STAN DAVIS Professor of accounting, IPFW

New school standards big step in obesity fight

The recent article “Why is Allen County so unhealthy? Choice” (March 21) highlighted where Allen County ranked in comparison with its neighbors and the rest of the state in terms of health. I was struck most by the 33 percent obesity rate.

As a retired general and member of Mission: Readiness, I’m concerned about obesity for national security reasons. It’s the leading medical disqualifier for military service, with one in four young Americans – almost 6 million 17- to 24-year-olds – too overweight to join the military.

Fortunately, there is something we can do. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is updating guidelines for what types of foods are sold in schools. Updated guidelines that reflect the latest nutrition science will ensure that children have access to healthier foods.

Unfortunately, previous efforts to update standards for healthier foods were compromised by food industry lobbyists. As a result, schools around the nation can now count the tomato sauce on a slice of pizza as a serving of vegetables.

We need to keep these guidelines free of food industry interference. Our children deserve nothing less.

NORMAN R. SEIP Retired lieutenant general, senior mentor, U.S. Air Force Alexandria, Va.

Childís future not based on number of parents

In response to Dave Bergeron’s March 31 letter “Fatherless homes produce ‘thug culture’ ”: I have to disagree in part with your view as a single parent who raised two great sons. And although I had financial help from their fathers – they probably had it better than most – I am proud of the fact that my boys live with what is right and what is wrong.

I have seen single parents without financial support raise their children to be better than most kids. I have seen children from two-parent households that had larger issues in their behavior than ones raised in one-parent homes.

Parents need to quit being distracted with their own lives or feeling that after the age of 9 or 10, their children are self-sufficient. Teach them the core values and give them structure. And if it takes a village or friends or community, so be it. It does not necessarily take a two-parent household, usually just one good one.