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Letters to the editor

Kids an afterthought in education tug of war

The discussion rages on in this state about how awful the public school system is and how some of these private/charter schools are the answer. Which has survived, the charter/private school or the public school?

As I have stated before, I, my husband, son, grandchildren, family and friends are all products of the public school system and are all well-adjusted human beings contributing to the human race.

Which of these schools are closing their doors, and which ones are staying open with limited resources? Your public schools. There are many, many fine parochial schools in our town, and if your children are lucky enough to attend one, excellent! I am speaking of the charter schools that pop up overnight, claiming to be the answer to your prayers, and close up about as soon as they opened.

I watch commercials on TV every day for schools of higher education that are in strip malls and wherever else they can squeeze one in. One of their ad persons claims that his parents wanted him to go to college because an education will stick “witch” you.

Who are the ones suffering? Your kids. They are little pawns in this game, and who ultimately wins or loses? I sure want it to be our kids, as they are going to run this world when all of the rest of us are distant memories.


Donít judge a person by criminal record

This letter is being written due to frustration that I have grown to have over how a person who has a criminal background is re-judged by society as being a bad person without even knowing who that person really is. This built-up realization is primarily focused on those who search for jobs and in their past have had an incident occur in which they were either found guilty by a jury or, for the most part, they ended up pleading guilty out of fear.

Some will say: “If you would not have done anything wrong, you would not have to worry about it” and it is simple as that. It is easy as well to have the feeling that it would never happen to me. Please believe me – anyone can get into trouble. Not one of us is exempt from the possibility.

I realize there are many bad people who have criminal histories and who may never stop. But at the same time there are many bad people who do not have a criminal history – yet. I know there are many people who carry a history of some type, whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, and this includes a lot of decent, caring, hard-working people who are or could be vital to society.

Those who assume that a person with a felony is even worse then a person with a misdemeanor are simply naïve as to how charges are made against a person. Some misdemeanors may actually be worse then a felony depending on what happened in an incident or through plea bargaining. It is extremely complicated.

There is no way to know a person unless you see them face to face, hear their story and then form an opinion, not a judgment. If a person shows himself to be sincere and has worked diligently at trying to build himself back up after making a mistake, please consider giving that person a second chance and let them prove they are worth it.


Sample the wonders of Indian music

Fort Wayne can get a taste of Indian music, thanks to collaboration between IPFW’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and Shruti. Shruti is a group of Summit City residents of Indian/Southeast Asian origin who are eager to share music and art from India with others.

The first event hosted by the collaboration, titled “Maestros in concert: Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma (Santoor) with Ustad Zakir Hussain (Tabla),” on April 14 had full attendance.

The second event, “Samillan, a confluence of North and South Indian Flute Music by Shashank Subramanyam and Rakesh Chaurasia,” will be at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 at the IPFW Rhinehart Music Center – Auer Performance Hall. The concert is free for IPFW students.

Subramanyam is a child prodigy and renowned exponent of the bamboo flute from India. He is trained in South Indian or Carnatic classical music and has collaborated with John McLaughlin, Paco De Lucia, The New Jungle Orchestra, Mikkel Nordso, Merlyn Mazur and a host of North Indian musicians. He was nominated for a Grammy in 2009.

Chaurasia is the nephew and child prodigy of world renowned flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia. He plays North Indian or Hindustani classical music.

Come and enjoy the musical feast by the maestros. For more information about Shruthi, go to For tickets, contact the IPFW Box Office at 260-481-6555.


Slavery still an issue for both US, world

The best estimates today are that worldwide there are 27 million men, women and children in slavery – sexual and labor. It’s easy to think that such practices are mostly in foreign or Third World countries. It’s easy to assume slavery was officially over with the Civil War. Both assumptions are wrong.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of Portland, Ore., recently reported that hundreds of American children are being sex trafficked in that city. According to the report, they believe the majority go unreported.

Trafficking is in nearly every big city in the U.S., including Indianapolis. Trafficking skyrockets when a city has a huge event such as the Super Bowl.

I am thankful that this horrific problem is beginning to gain some attention. If the public is more aware, perhaps more can be rescued. Thankfully, many churches and organizations such as International Justice Mission are serving as modern-day abolitionists. They are working to rescue and to establish safe houses to provide shelter and safety. Much more needs to be done. We need more Harriet Tubmans to lead the way.


Care comes through in paving project

As vice president of the North Highland Neighborhood Association, I would like to say thank you to the city and the Board of Public Works for the excellent job of milling and repaving the streets within the neighborhood.

Other than a big problem for me parking in front of my home, the work was far less painful than I thought. The asphalt company did the project with nothing but the residents in mind. City crews working alongside the contractor kept my neighborhood safe and clean. It made me feel good about the city and how both the contractor and city crews worked together to keep traffic and parking problems to a minimum.

I have long been a critic of the city and the way it approaches the work done in and around neighborhoods, but in my neighborhood the contractor and the city worked together to make my neighborhood better. The project had all of the hallmarks of being directed by a city and contractor that cared about my neighborhood and were working toward keeping the problems down as they posted signs about parking long before the actual work started. The crews from the contractor and the crews from the city kept the street clean with little or no debris left after the project had been completed.

So I really need to say thank you to the City of Fort Wayne and Mayor Tom Henry for caring about the North Highlands Neighborhood and the residents.


Letís move on to bigger issues

In regard to all the discussion over the statue, who cares? It’s a statue. If it costs money to move, it’s simple – don’t move it. As a taxpaying citizen of this decent city, my life will not be remotely changed if you leave it where it currently is.

We have bigger issues, like how poorly our TinCaps are playing this season.


Political education lacking in Iraq

Escalating violence in Iraq has induced the government in Baghdad to ask for U.S. aid (i.e., advisers and armed drones). Anyone supporting a military solution to violence in Iraq should remember that al-Qaida developed a presence there in the chaos after our invasion. Our military “solutions” helped create the problems that plague Iraq.

Drones are the new panacea of American foreign policy, but they are poor ambassadors for democracy. We can waste billions more of our money in Iraq or we can send an adviser to explain that democracy is more than tyranny of the majority.

Minority groups in Iraq (and elsewhere) will remain violent if they are denied representative participation in democratic government. It would be grossly irresponsible to send weapons to people who need political education and economic assistance.