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Tokheim closure hurts 10 years later

For some, today’s date will be a happy one, as it will be either their birthday or anniversary. For hundreds or thousands of others, it’s the dreaded tax day, April 15.

This year, April 15 means something else to me as well as a few hundred other people out there. This year is the 10th anniversary of Tokheim Corp. closing its doors after almost 100 years in business. I had almost 31 years in there myself. Not a week goes by that I don’t think about it or have it come up in a conversation. If it hadn’t bit the dust, I would still be there finishing out my working years and getting ready for retirement. Unfortunately for me and quite a few others, that didn’t happen.

Hello to my dear friends and foes from Tokheim. I miss you and I miss Tokheim as well.


BAE protest about culture of killing

The issue about the drone protest at BAE Systems isn’t whether the local plant makes parts for drones – though I understand the employees’ concerns – but that BAE plants elsewhere, and other companies as well, do make parts for drones that kill innocent people, legally.

One sign an employee held up said “we protect those who protect us.” And who would that be? And protect us from what? Do you have more to fear from the pen of the president cutting your Social Security and Medicare, or a child in Pakistan jumping rope killed by an American drone? From a banker taking your home, or an insurgent in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan?

As I write this, a headline blares another murder in Fort Wayne, and leaders hold forums and form committees to find answers why. My point is, America is a country that profits from killing and not just monetarily but psychologically as well. If we want to make a dent in the violence that stains the American character, we need to look at our values and ourselves.


Explore libraries’ bounty this week

I heard someone ask the other day, “Are libraries still relevant with the advent of the Internet and e-books?” For those who haven’t stopped by their libraries in a while, take some time this week during National Library Week to experience the vast array of services, programs and resources there.

With 42 million annual visits to our state’s libraries, Hoosiers of all ages are able to enjoy traditional books, e-books, computer classes, DVDs and CDs. Visitors research, read, share, learn, attend quality programs and use information for lifelong learning and leisure pursuits.

A large number of visitors ask library staffs to help them learn how to use their e-reading devices, how to operate computers, how to better develop resumes and how to apply for jobs online. Untold thousands flock to the library to ask about all types of software or to receive assistance in completing e-government forms.

Libraries further the convictions of our forefathers that a society flourishes when people have access to information. With resources that serve business owners and entrepreneurs as well as the home-schooled and people with special needs, libraries are uniquely positioned to serve as vital community centers where people connect with others, get help from information professionals, and discover new worlds.

SUSAN AKERS Executive director, Indiana Library Federation

Tritt’s national anthem a travesty

I listened to the opening of the NCAA championship game Monday night. Travis Tritt did the worst butcher job on the national anthem I can ever recall hearing. It seems that the people chosen to sing the anthem have not heard of the federal legislation that clearly states there is only one version: to wit, the original. Even worse, the audience applauded this travesty (or might have been indicating they were happy that horrible rendition was over).

Variations that these folks use are an insult to the country, to the anthem itself, to Francis Scott Key, the composer, and to the military folks who present the colors at sporting events.

I would like to propose a challenge to the commissioners of each sport: Screen the singers and make sure they know the authorized, original version and will not be tempted to improvise this important song.


Pastor can forgo guns if he likes

Rev. Kevin Boyd’s lengthy rant in the April 6 Journal Gazette against the ownership of guns referred to Luke’s version of Jesus’ arrest, in which one of the disciples drew a sword and Jesus bluntly said, “Stop! No more of this!” Yes, he did say that. And we know how that turned out, don’t we?

For me and my loved ones, I would rather provide whatever protection I can. If the reverend is not comfortable with a weapon, he by all means should not have one.