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Letters to the editor

Daniels’ education emails no surprise

The recent disclosure by an AP investigation concerning former Gov. Daniels’ efforts to censor certain books for use by Indiana high schools, and to cleanse Indiana college education programs of similar so-called left-wing propaganda, should come as no surprise to Indiana citizens.

As a masterful politician, he surrounded himself with key staffers that served as lightning rods to carry out his ultra-conservative agenda while carefully grooming his public persona as a folksy and reasonable middle-ground presidential aspirant.

It would, in my opinion, be an act of educational malpractice to rely solely on Howard Zinn’s book, “A People’s History of the United States,” for a high school or college course in U.S. history.

However, I wonder how many of our Indiana teachers have used it along with other more traditional history textbooks and resources? Doing so would offer their students a treasure trove of opportunity for rich discussion, writing, debate and the development of critical-thinking skills (or, in one word, learning).

Unfortunately, Mr. Daniels and his former Minister of Propaganda, Mr. Bennett, and Mr. Daniels’ successor, Gov. Mike Pence, were and still are only interested in having our students memorize a lily-white version of dates and military victories to be regurgitated on a standardized Indiana test.

Current and future students of Purdue University, an institution of incalculable value to all Hoosiers and people around the globe, deserve to be wary.


Stutzman farm vote puts families at risk

Mr. Stutzman strutted around crowing about the farm bill. He saved his family farm their subsidies but put at risk hundreds of his constituents who rely on the food stamp program to feed their families healthy meals.

I was in that situation after my father died to help put food on my mother’s table. Healthy food was not what we could afford. I never thought I would be in a position to ask for help but was glad the assistance was there.

Stutzman apparently doesn’t understand the reality of working families’ everyday concerns about how they are going to feed their families. He was elected to legislate, not politicize every issue. I hope northeast Indiana wakes up before the next election cycle.


Zimmerman uproar not based on facts

Would the angst displayed over the Zimmerman verdict be the same without NBC having edited/messed with the 911 tapes, the changes made to photos of Zimmerman’s features covering up his injuries, or the president inserting himself into the case (“Trayvon would look like my son ...”)?

This case was decided a long time ago by the media who wanted Zimmerman (half-white, half-Hispanic and a registered Democrat) to be seen as a crazy, white, racist conservative. In the meantime, we rarely if ever see or hear about racially motivated crime when other races are attacked. It just doesn’t fit the social narrative our nation seems to crave.

Now our justice system is called into question. Many will now try to change law and rules of law as a result to create “fairness.”


Vibrant city rises to its challenges

To some of us, the city of Fort Wayne is a huge kaleidoscope of communities, each a different shape, color or texture, but when mingled and reflected, they create a beautiful design.

The essentials of our beautiful city are groups of people; neighborhood and quadrant associations, community bands, choirs and clubs; schools, churches, universities, libraries and parks.

Fort Wayne holds honors as Most Livable City, All American City, Tree City USA (for 23 years in a row) and Most Digital City, is ranked second nationally for 311 services, and has received a governor’s award for cart recycling, international renown for downtown development, and highest water and air quality awards.

This is not to say that we never have a problem. We have homegrown gangs to challenge us, rivers that flood and potholes to disdain. The nasty emerald ash borer has decimated our urban forest.

There are too many guns in careless hands and too few police officers. We need many more high-paying jobs. We must have more firefighters, and our tax base has shrunk. This is a problem; we need more money to support our quality of life.

But here is the magic of our city. We solve our own problems. We study, debate, decide merit; we lobby our City Council members. We support our city, our leaders and our fellow citizens. We require a safe healthy city; we deem it worth our time, effort and money.

Firefighter and police officer candidates are in the interview process. Tree cutting has increased; planting will begin in autumn. Additional roadwork is in the bid process, and new recycling efforts are under way. There will be money for necessary and important projects.

So, please, go brag, then say “thank you” to those who would risk their popularity at the polls to keep us secure.

CAROLYN DEVOE chairwoman, Southwest Area Partnership

Ditto on fireworks: Noise is no blast

I want to applaud Kathi Weiss’s well-written letter questioning the use of home fireworks (“Home fireworks frenzy of benefit to no one,” July 12).

Being jarred awake multiple times every night for a week had me lying in bed wondering how much the fireworks lobby paid to get the laws passed allowing this.

Politicians, are you listening? Would-be politicians? There are lots of dog owners, policemen, veterans, voters of all kinds who don’t really appreciate bombs going off near and over their houses.