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Letters to the editor

A greater appreciation for teachers

As a retired teacher, I didn’t expect to be brought to tears by attending the Halloween parties at our grandson’s school, but I was.

As I watched the little costume parade, my mind began to take me to places I hadn’t expected. I began to focus more on the teachers walking with our little ones.

On their faces I saw that look, expressing the love and dedication for their students. It was then that I was again struck by the question, “When did these civil servants become Public Enemy No. 1?”

In these days of ill-conceived “school reform,” we have lost sight of so many important concepts. First and foremost in my mind was that the vast majority of people who choose to be educators are a unique breed, willing to take on enormous responsibility, all the while knowing that they will be open to review by the entire community.

The second concept was that schools are microcosms of their neighborhoods. That little school opened its holiday celebration to the community by planning to parade down the street where the whole neighborhood could watch and enjoy. That wise principal and staff understood that it does take a village to raise our children and the neighborhood school is the heart of that village.

On that day there were no tests, no evaluations, no standards or competitions. There was just celebration. Celebration not of a holiday with obscure roots, or of high test scores, but just a celebration of community. And that’s good.


Our students deserve better

Although not surprised by the ruling, the judgment to dismiss Glenda Ritz’s case sends a strong message to our state. The court’s decision has cleared the way for those who have shown the least amount of respect for our children to do whatever they please, regardless of voters’ choice.

We selected Ritz over Tony Bennett for the purpose of bringing common sense back to our school system. Our governor, Mike Pence, and his appointed board have shown nothing but disrespect to Ritz, teachers and the children of Indiana. This madness has got to stop.

Apparently, the message was not clear with voting Bennett out of office. We now must band together to remove them all so our children can have a fair chance at a sound education.

Republicans and Democrats came together to elect Ritz; we now must come together to stand with her. Our teachers/educators and children deserve more than what our government is giving them.


Ham operators descend on city

This weekend, thousands of dedicated community volunteers will arrive in Fort Wayne to increase their knowledge, share their experiences, buy new and used equipment and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow FCC-licensed radio amateurs from Indiana and surrounding states.

You can recognize them by their handheld radio on their belt and perhaps their vehicles, which might look like porcupines with myriad antennas that give them communications access to the city, county, country and world from their cars and trucks.

They all share a common bond of interest in the science of radio and technology. From 10 to 100 years old, from doctor to plumber to student, they all have tested for, and have been licensed as amateur radio operators – “hams,” as they are affectionately called.

But they are more than techies; they are patriots dedicated to serving their communities.

When severe weather enters the area and most people move to their basements or safe rooms, it’s the hams who are jumping in their vehicles going into the storms to transmit “ground truth” to the local Emergency Operations Command Centers and the National Weather Service; frequently, their direct observations by mobile radios are what trigger sirens that save lives. When disasters knock out cellphone towers, the electrical grid and Internet, it is the hams who respond quickly to set up communications when all else fails.

So if you see a few of them around this weekend to attend the Fort Wayne Hamfest and Computer Expo, say “Howdy – and thanks for what you do.” Better yet, come and find out yourself why ham radio today is as vibrant and active as ever, leading the way in discovering and using new digital technologies than might eventually be key to running your grandson’s iPhone. Who knows? You might just want to get licensed yourself.

To find out more about amateur radio, go to