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Letters

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Letters to the editor

Nellum

Class basketball kills interest in tournament

What a disgrace! Once upon a time, say, 25 years ago, the Indiana boys basketball tournament was the toast of the town, if not the country. Seems about everyone, yes, everyone, followed the tourney. The brackets were printed on the back page of just about all of the newspapers in Indiana and local/state coverage was, well, even more than we now get with the NCAAs.

Now what do we have? Just about nothing, nada, zip – maybe a few lines here and there, but coverage is almost nonexistent. Why is that? The powers that be in the IHSAA, along with school administrators, decided to scrap the one-for-all tourney in favor of class tourneys so, as it was propagandized, the little schools would get a shot at being a champion. Forget little Milan in ’54. Let’s have class basketball and let more kids jump and shout, “We’re No. 1.”

So now we have the watered-down tourney(s) with four state champions and little or no interest from the media at any level and ignored by the public unless your kid is involved.

Kind of like the redistribution theme that’s going around, don’t you think? Sad, say I!

RICH POLK Fort Wayne

IPFW degree won’t carry much weight

First off, you don’t graduate from IPFW – you graduate from either Purdue or Indiana university, Fort Wayne campus. Your degree simply reads Purdue University or Indiana University.

I have read and heard several comments about Purdue University’s Fort Wayne campus thinking of splitting ties with Purdue’s main campus. If they are thinking of splitting from Purdue’s main campus for strictly financial reasons, I believe that Purdue’s main campus controls Fort Wayne’s purse strings.

However, if they are talking about a total split from either Purdue University or Indiana University, I feel that would be a terrible mistake. I am a graduate of Indiana University, Fort Wayne campus, School of Music. During my professional performing years, as well as seeking teaching opportunities outside of Indiana, more doors were opened due to my degree coming from Indiana University than any degree from, let’s say, Fort Wayne University, would have opened.

In the “real” world a degree from either Purdue University or Indiana University carries more weight in the eye of the beholder. An engineering degree from MIT carries a lot of weight out there in the world, just as a degree from Julliard, Berklee (Boston) or North Texas does.

The world is a lot bigger than Fort Wayne or even Indiana, period. I say leave it as is, split for financial reasons but leave the degrees as they are.

RAY BLOMBACH Fort Wayne

Senseless violence hits everywhere around city

My heart goes out to the family of Haley Nellum. This senseless violence has got to stop.

As the father of a college student coming home from work at the same time in the same area as this shooting/traffic accident took place, I struggle with safety concerns when I see this. Government’s first priority is to protect its citizens. All last year we were told not to worry about record homicides, as they were gang-related and not directed at ordinary citizens, as if that was really an answer.

Now this is a second time in less than a year where cars have raced down the street spraying bullets on this side of town. It is nice for the city to worry about ballparks, river development and bringing business to town, but will that matter if we cannot enjoy it for fear of our children’s lives?

MICHAEL WATKINS Fort Wayne

Award-worthy work on gangs, vets’ scam

Plaudits to The Journal Gazette and reporter Tim Harmon for the excellent articles regarding the war on gangs and drugs. They were interesting and informative and gave the average citizen an inside look at what the police and prosecutors are doing about this problem. It’s encouraging that they are taking this very seriously and working together.

Plaudits also go to WANE-TV and reporter Adam Weidner for the exposé of the scam regarding war vets. It’s a shame that some people would try to make money from another’s tragedy, but Weidner’s persistence got the attention of Indianapolis and Attorney General Greg Zoeller and, most importantly, moved these swindlers from our area.

I hope all involved in this will be recognized for their work by their respective national associations.

JEFF OLSEN New Haven

Special education aides too long neglected

There has been quite a bit of local news coverage regarding the change in state educational standards and that a majority of Fort Wayne Community School employees will be getting a pay raise. Unfortunately, the area which should have the most attention and an increase in compensation has been neglected.

Special education has made great strides in the last few decades in treating all students with dignity and providing the resources for success beyond the classroom. The professionals who make sacrifices to be in this field are not always treated with equal respect.

Many employees are subcontracted, which means taxes are not withheld. There is a limitation on the number of hours allowed to work, which in the big picture adversely affects our young people who do not receive a full day of instruction; their aides have to go home. Just like any full-time school teacher, paraprofessionals occasionally work through the lunch period (should they get a break at all). This half-hour cannot be paid.

I simply do not see the rationale behind regulating a part-time contract employee in the same manner as a salaried, full-time instructor. In all honesty, I am truly blessed the jobs exist for special education assistants, but it’s absolutely appalling that some individuals seem to hold the opinion these workers are “extra expenses.” The extraordinary children of our community should be awarded dedicated, passionate aides to meet whatever goals life has in store for them. An employee should not have to make a choice of doing what they love versus taking on a second or third job, different career altogether, because they can’t pay the bills.

PAUL J. FEDERSPIEL Fort Wayne

Gays’ triumph of force over reason

Why are Americans being forced to accept homosexual acts as being morally acceptable? Why has the U.S. Supreme Court accepted the validity of same-sex “marriage,” which was unheard of in the history of Western civilization? How has the gay rights movement so easily conquered America?

I believe that the answers to these questions lie in the dynamics of the rationalization of sexual misbehavior. The power of rationalization – the means by which someone transforms wrong into right – drives the gay rights movement and gives it its revolutionary feel. The homosexual cause moved naturally from a plea for tolerance to cultural conquest because the security of its rationalization requires universal acceptance. In other words, we all must say that the bad is good.

At stake in the rationalization of homosexual behavior is the notion that human beings are ordered to a purpose that is given by their nature. The understanding that things have an in-built purpose is being replaced by the idea that everything is subject to man’s will and power, which is considered to be without limits. The outcome of all of this has far-reaching consequences. Already America’s major institutions have been transformed – its courts, the schools, its military, its civic institutions and even its diplomacy. The further rationalization of homosexuality will mean the triumph of force over reason and undermine the very foundations of the American republic.

DAVE HELMKAMP Fort Wayne

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