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The Journal Gazette

Monday, August 07, 2017 1:00 am

Letters

Benefits of gardening would do many people good

The article about a city resident, Julianne Harter, growing edible plants, vegetables and herbs in her yard rather than grass (July 23) was very inspiring.

I think the fact that the city has not forced her to stop is a very good thing. In fact, I think that the city should encourage this practice and promote it.

If people realized how much good can come to them by gardening, they might be more inclined.

Grass does nothing for anyone – unless you eat it.

Working soil, planting seeds and eating the things you grow is so fulfilling and should be something we are teaching our children.

Just think of all the land-owning, taxpaying citizens who would benefit from programs that teach them how to use their land to grow food.

What a great way to spend a spring day in a garden with your children planting veggies and those pumpkins for fall.

I live in the county and have a garden and also grow veggies around the yard (and grass, too). Anyone can do it. Strawberries, raspberries and about any veggie you can think of grow well in our soil – untreated, just basic dirt.

Get going, Fort Wayne, give people incentive and instruction on how to be gardeners, not just weed killers. Let's be on the forefront, not bringing up the rear.

Nancy Vinson

New Haven

'Single payer on display'

I followed the Charlie Gard case in Britain and cannot think other than this is single payer on display.

Your children under single payer may not be yours as you may think. The state would retain control. Basically, your children would be wards of the state. Also, this case could be your mother, father, grandparent or anyone you love deemed unworthy of care because of rationing. There would simply not be enough resources to care for your loved one. Some faceless, nameless bureaucratic panel will decide that for you.

Rick Weldy Fort Wayne

Congress can strengthen protections for voters

I'm writing to express my concerns about voting rights and how the problems we are facing on this issue might finally have a legislative fix now that the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2017 has been introduced.

In the Jim Crow era, African-Americans and other minorities were widely discriminated against in voting. Tactics for disenfranchisement included poll taxes, fewer voting stations allocated in black neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods, and violence against minority communities who attempted to vote. Progress for voting rights was made with the oversight provided by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In recent years, we have seen a return of some tactics used to discourage voter turnout. Voting rights advocates took a major blow when the Shelby County vs. Holder case essentially neutered the Voting Rights Act. Shelby County effectively invalidated language within the act that determined which states and localities had to clear changes to voting policies and laws with the U.S. attorney general or a federal court.

As a result of the case, discriminatory policies designed to discourage participation of minority communities in elections are being introduced across the country. The good news is that some in Congress have decided to stand up for voting rights by supporting the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2017.

This act is designed to amend the Voting Rights Act of 1965 through revision of the criteria for determining which states and localities are subject to the clearance requirement of the original Voting Rights Act, but with an updated language framework consistent with the ruling in Shelby County. This would effectively restore the ability of the federal government to ensure that states and localities aren't engaged in promoting discriminatory voting laws which disenfranchise potential voters, and would steer us back toward the intent of the Supreme Court's original ruling.

I believe it is critically important, as a humanist and a member of FreeThought Fort Wayne, Inc., that all eligible citizens have the ability to vote free from both government and societal interference, which is why I and my group wholeheartedly support the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2017, urge Congress to pass the bill and implore President Donald Trump to sign it into law.

Karen L. Mizner

Fort Wayne