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The Journal Gazette

Friday, July 07, 2017 1:00 am


Informed Fort Wayners excited to see progress

I'll bet that not a single one of you people who are complaining about riverfront development bothered to come to any of the three public forums that were held when the project was announced more than two years ago.

If you had, you would have learned all about the plans for the water (why the water is blue in the illustrations), have been able to vote on the different proposals (which attractions you would like to see), have seen the timeline for the different phases, etc.

But, no. You couldn't be bothered to participate, and now you want to complain about things you are not even informed about. Just like you did with Headwaters Park, Parkview Field, and anything else the city does that you don't happen to want.

Well, a lot of us do want to see this city grow and prosper, retain businesses and attract new ones, and have an improved quality of life in general. It's exactly this kind of vision that will keep your kids and grandkids from growing up, finding a job in another city and moving away.

So, go on and sit in your La-Z-Boys and watch the grass grow. The rest of us will be moving into the future – with or without you.

Ron Chandler

Fort Wayne

Rolland's influence lingers for friends, Fort Wayne

I lost a good friend last week. Associates and admirers will speak of his civic contributions and dynamic leadership. Ian Rolland deserves all of those accolades. But I remember a man of humility and integrity.

I worked for Ian for 13 years, primarily in the areas of philanthropy and community relations. We worked together on many projects, from arts to social issues. I will not forget the stress and the complexities of the desegregation lawsuit against Fort Wayne Community Schools, one of the most far-reaching and important legacies Ian left. The students of Fort Wayne were the beneficiaries.

The last time I spoke with Ian was this spring when we enjoyed a long telephone conversation. We shared a birthday and a love for life. I send my personal condolences to Mimi and his children. I send my prayers to a man who greatly influenced my life.

Ladonna Huntley James

New Bern, North Carolina

Intrusion on public schools limits vouchers' usefulness

School vouchers have their place but are not for everyone.

Ten percent are too rich to need them or qualify. Ten percent are too poor to use vouchers even if they had them. Twenty percent are too old to have school-age children and another 20 percent are too young.

Ten percent are the right age but have no children.

Twenty percent are satisfied with public schools. That leaves 10 percent who want to use vouchers.

The percentages are approximate, but you get the idea.

The biggest problem I have with vouchers is that the money comes out of what public schools get. School buildings do not get smaller. They still need the same numbers of maintenance and administrative staff. They still need the same number of classes and teachers.

The voucher money should come from a separate pot in the budget, not from money meant for public schools.

If pre-kindergarten classes are added, public schools will need even more money.

Pre-K is a great idea and should be open to all children, not just low-income families.

Originally known as preschool, pre-k has been available in Fort Wayne for decades. Our first was at Crescent Avenue United Methodist Church.

One at First Presbyterian soon followed. That's where I took my child, mainly to give her caretakers, both older than 70, a break. Two days a week at age 3, three days a week at age 4, then public schools.

Online pre-k can be valuable for information but lacks the social interaction. It's certainly better than nothing.

Schools receiving vouchers at any level are not properly accountable. Too many are run as a business – for the owners, not the children.

I would have no problems with vouchers if schools met proper standards and public schools were not shortchanged.


Fort Wayne