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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, July 05, 2017 1:00 am

Letters

Science makes parties fun

While Americans stand in awe of the grand displays of chemistry – that is, fireworks – bursting over their hometown on the Fourth of July, Pew Research Center reports that only 67 percent of us think science has had a positive effect on society.

In fact, science makes our Independence Day celebrations possible.

In addition to keeping your backyard pool bacteria-free, chlorine compounds are responsible for strengthening a firework's color, and in some cases provide oxygen for the firework's combustion. And before making fireworks that burst a bright white color, titanium dioxide played a role keeping your family safe from sunburn. The compound is a natural UV blocker found in most sunscreens.

It's important to know that even when it's not immediately apparent, science is all around us. As we enjoy our Independence Day swimming in clean water, avoiding sunburns and watching chemical reactions light up the night sky, let's take a moment to tip our Uncle Sam top hats to science.

Joseph Perrone

Chief science officer

Center for Accountability in Science

Doublespeak is rampant among congressional staffs

I called Sen. Todd Young's office on June 28 to ask the senator's position on the Republican health care bill. I was told the senator hasn't taken a position on that proposed legislation.

That's the legislation that would gut Indiana's HIP 2.0, the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. Yes, I know that Republicans, including our current governor, mislead us on this fact, but HIP 2.0 is, in fact, Obamacare and under it more than a quarter million additional Hoosiers obtained decent health care coverage.

I was told that Sen. Young had not yet formed an opinion on the Republican bill. That's the doublespeak that is no less damaging than how that was used in George Orwell's “1984.” What Young's office really meant was that the senator had decided not to take a public position at this time since, apparently, a constituent such as me did not need to know it. Ask yourself: If you've been paying even a little attention to this issue, do you have an opinion? I expressed my disbelief to the staffer with whom I was speaking and also expressed my opinion that he should not support legislation that would hurt so many Hoosiers, including most Indiana nursing homes residents who are covered by Medicaid.

Finally, I asked Young's and Rep. Jim Banks' offices where I might have a chance to see and hear my elected representatives over the upcoming congressional Fourth of July recess. I was told that there weren't any public events scheduled yet. Yet? The break was just a week away. More doublespeak. What's really meant is that no public event is scheduled because they do not want to hear of the public disapproval of the Republican Congress, which has focused on ways to hurt regular people and enrich rich people, rather than issues that would benefit all Americans.

Orwell would certainly recognize what I'm being told by my elected representatives.

David Kolhoff

Fort Wayne 

Kids come before downtown

I read in the newspaper daily about each and every idea someone comes up with to beautify the downtown area. There seems to be no end to it. I also understand the “Legacy” money has certain guidelines and responsibilities.

We as adults also have certain responsibilities. We have the responsibility to keep our children warm, fed, dry and safe from harm.

Our children are our legacy and our future. Our children will become adults in later years who will remember walking on roads in the dark, cold, rain and trying to watch for cars. They will remember their school years (don't you?).

Which would you have them remember? That the city officials were more interested in prettying up downtown? Or that our city officials did the right thing and put school buses back on the road? You have all summer to get it together.

Which will it be, gentlemen – will you stand up and do the right thing to protect our legacy, our children, or stick your heads in the sand and continue to put our children in harm's way? The ball is in your court.

JOAN PARKISON

Fort Wayne