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The Journal Gazette

Monday, September 11, 2017 1:00 am


Tax caps, vouchers leave schools hamstrung

On Aug. 24, Larry Wheeler wrote a letter about his niece walking from White Swan Plaza to Northrop High School. I am in total agreement with him. Safety of students should be the major priority.

Capping property taxes directly affected the transportation budget for school corporations. Our legislature should re-evaluate this issue. If capping taxes is to benefit the taxpayer, then all taxes should be capped.

However, look beyond the Fort Wayne Community Schools Board to the amount of money given to private schools through the voucher program. In 2016, it was estimated FWCS lost $19 million. Most of the private schools are religious based. The lost money cannot be recovered. This money would benefit the students of FWCS. East Allen County Schools has the same issue.

Several of the private religious schools receive voucher money for half of the students enrolled.

The private schools are not accountable for the use of voucher money. Nor are their board meetings mandated to be open to the public.

Jeanne D. Sheridan

Fort Wayne

Miners' tale foretells our possible fate

In my opinion, the most compelling story told during the past presidential campaign was voiced by a handful of coal miners from West Virginia. They reminded the nation of the vital role they played and continue to play in powering American industry.

Their narrative is that miners are the victims of the failure of unions and local and state legislators to defend their interests versus the mine owners; OSHA and EPA restrictions that resulted in industry downsizing and automation; and environmental and national trade policies that affected industry profits. The miners who are still on the job have to breathe the sooty air, drink tainted water and raise their families in a dismal environment, all the while fearful of the elimination of their jobs.

The miners' story made no mention of the mountain tops they have scalped, the deforested mountainsides, the toxic slurry pits and the ubiquitous coal dust that surrounds them. A sign of their desperation is their support for Donald Trump. Good luck there, as Trump belies his campaign oratory of solidarity by seeking the defunding of the Appalachian Relief Commission, an agency formed in 1965 that was designed to provide federal assistance to improve the quality of life in the Appalachian region.

Why I consider the miners' story to be compelling is that all of us Americans are plodding down the same path as the miners. Daily we mine and exploit our planet's finite resources to provide fuel for the engine of our economy, our voracious consumerism. What resources we can't appropriate domestically we exploit or expropriate from other countries through trade concessions, disrupting them politically or, if all else fails, by military incursion. At the same time we poison the air, water and soil that are fundamental to our life. The miners made us consider that we, too, might end up in the same desperate situation they are in if we made the same choice. We only heightened our anxiety and accelerated our demise.

Chester Baran

Fort Wayne


CHEERS to officer Jason Snyder who, even though he was off duty and traveling with his family no less, stopped to assist me in my recent auto accident. He was so compassionate and helpful. He called the police department and even stayed at the scene till the uniformed officer arrived. He was truly a blessing, and I can't thank him enough for all he did. The police do not get enough credit for everything they do to help our community. 

Rita Hanke

Fort Wayne