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Letters

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     Bird world Samaritanhas lessons for humansI have always loved birds, and when I read in the paper that Fort Wayne was one of Indiana’s five bird towns, I thought I should share my most favorite bird story.
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     Duff’s backgroundwill serve FWCS wellAs executive director of the Fort Wayne Education Association for 22 years, I regularly attended Fort Wayne Community Schools school board meetings.
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Letters

YMCA programs help strengthen bonds between fathers, children

On Sunday, the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne joins the nation in celebrating Father’s Day and recognizing the effect fathers and adult male role models make in children’s lives. Nationally, one out of three children lives in a home without their biological father, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And societal factors such as unemployment, work-life balance or a lack of resources can affect a father’s ability to seek support in strengthening their parenting skills and more fully engaging in the lives of their children. The Y remains dedicated to providing resources and opportunities for fathers to further involve themselves in the well-being and development of their children.

Studies show that children with close relationships with their fathers and other adult male role models have more self-confidence and exhibit less depression, perform better academically and engage in significantly less drug and alcohol use.

There are a variety of programs at the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne that foster understanding and companionship between children and their fathers – and moms – such as Family Camp, Father/Son weekend, community arts programs, parent/child gymnastics, parent/child swim classes, family field trips, pool parties and more.

To learn more about programs and activities available at your local YMCA call 422-6488, e-mail hereforyou@ymca.org or visit fwymca.org.

NICOLE LIDDELL YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne

Home sales continue to languish; federal inaction worsens problem

For years I’ve thought the realty business is really an impediment to the home-sales industry in the U.S. This is a free-market country, yet I see obvious collusion evident in the realty industry.

I dare you to call any real estate office in the area and find a price for services that varies from the standard 6 percent fee charged. Why is there no free market evident in this business model? Six percent is quite a steep price for something that, if the rules were closely reviewed and eased by the government, could be trimmed to help the struggling housing market.

Why can’t the federal government streamline this process to kick-start home sales, making it easier for private parties to buy and sell property without the weight of the agencies involved on their shoulders? Could we not regulate fees and subsidize sales costs and advertising if we really wanted to move this market?

I have my local home for sale on FSBO.com, but driving traffic outside the established quasi-monopoly is a struggle and seemingly unnecessary if a real interest in helping the economy grow, rather than propping up the realty industry, existed.

MATT COLLINS Fort Wayne

Reinstitute marriage penalty for same-sex couples

The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act soon.

Recently several news outlets have published stories concerning the tax savings that married same-sex couples will enjoy if DOMA is ruled unconstitutional. Such discussion misses the mark by a wide margin as did the arguments presented to the Supreme Court.

The case the court heard involved an extraordinarily wealthy woman who sought to avoid paying federal tax on a large amount she had inherited from her female companion. Her argument was essentially that she should not have to pay taxes on an inheritance simply because she was the same sex as her spouse.

Tax law is written to encourage behavior that has a positive effect on society and discourage behavior that has a negative effect. When two people cohabitate there is only one stove, one refrigerator, one dwelling, etc. to purchase. This diminishes demand and consequently has a negative economic effect on society as a whole. This is why, until 2001, there was a “marriage penalty” in our tax code. This penalty applied until children were born. At that point, the marriage penalty was overwhelmed by the additional deductions parenthood afforded. As we are about to sanction cohabitational relationships that cannot naturally provide the benefit of children, we should reinstitute the marriage penalty to help offset the societal cost of same-sex marital cohabitation.

I trust that same-sex marriage advocates will not object as I believe their efforts are not inspired solely by a desire to fleece even more from the public coffers.

MIKE MOFFITT Wolcottville

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