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Jewish group commended for inviting sympathetic speaker

I attended the lecture by Israeli-American Miko Peled at the Allen County Public Library on Sept. 19. As a long-time follower of events in the Middle East, I can say it is rare to hear a version of history as it relates to Israel/Palestine that is sympathetic to the Palestinians.

Peled comes from a family whose roots run deep in Israel. He served in the Israeli Army as a commander but later became disillusioned. This disillusionment led to peace activism. Based on the above, it is clear that Peled’s narrative came from first-hand experience.

His lecture upset some members of the Fort Wayne Jewish community in attendance. They later wrote a letter to the editor (“Hate-filled talk on Mideast peace riddled with unacceptable inaccuracies,” Oct. 6) asserting that Peled’s lecture included “gross distortions” and “outright lies.” It did not cite one example.

Please be the judge yourself and view that lecture in its entirety on YouTube. Better yet, read Peled’s book, “The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.” I applaud the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace for having the courage to bring Peled to Fort Wayne.


Conspiracy theory canít explain vote on Pondís replacement

When I read Ric Runestad’s take on the recent Republican caucus to replace Phyllis Pond (“Allen County GOP rigs vote to replace Pond,” Oct. 11), I couldn’t tell if I was reading the newspaper or watching “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.”

Runestad put forth a theory that Allen County Republican Party Chairman Steve Shine padded the ranks of precinct committee chairs to elect Casey Cox to the 85th District seat in the Indiana House of Representatives, filling a vacancy left by Pond’s death.

This was disappointing to me, as I always enjoy being invited to a good conspiracy and had apparently been left out of this one. The man in the black trenchcoat walked right by me when he was apparently supposed to grab me by the collar and growl “Vote for Casey” in my ear.

Perhaps this in itself was a conspiracy. Maybe the six other people who ran for the seat were, in the words of Lee Harvey Oswald, “patsies” there to perpetuate the illusion of a legitimate contest. Was the same true of the nearly 40 percent who did NOT vote for Cox?

Or was this just another indication that caucus voters in Allen County continue to make good choices? Good choices like the ones they made when they overwhelmingly said no to Runestad for Republican Party chairman in 2011 and to the candidate he backed for the same seat in 2013.


Responsible county residents lined up for Tox-Away Day

While Tox-Away Day didn’t begin until 9 a.m. Sept. 7, cars from all corners of Allen County began to approach the gate an hour earlier. Many participants were sipping coffee and reading the paper while patiently waiting to properly dispose of their household hazardous waste such as cleaners, pesticides and antifreeze.

On behalf of the Allen County Solid Waste Management District, I’d like to thank participants, volunteers and my staff for a successful event. I’m proud to share the following 2013 collection statistics: Household hazardous waste, 50,965 pounds; household batteries, 2,065 pounds; car batteries, 3,030 pounds; and automotive fluids, 3,203 pounds.

This was our second largest Tox-Away Day event in 21 years, with 1,447 vehicles registered. A significant factor was the location, at 3301 Wayne Trace.

The challenges of household hazardous waste need to be responsibly addressed. The district wishes to share its appreciation for all who are protecting Allen County’s health and environment.

ANTHONY BURRUS Director, Allen County Solid Waste Management District