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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, March 11, 2018 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

Transformative energy is already evident

The Electric Works development project has a wide ranging impact on thousands of businesses in Fort Wayne and surrounding communities.

For more than 30 years, the Anthony Wayne Business Exchangehas been promoting economic development through new business development and consulting with new, growing and mature business owners. This project has inspired an energy that will ignite new business growth from entrepreneurs yet to be realized.

Our staff and associates wholeheartedly support the combined efforts of all the visionary people who will bring this project to life.

Dennis E. Spitler

President, Anthony Wayne Business Exchange

Fort Wayne

Community support carries projects along

I am in full support of Electric Works and have been since the initial concept. Of all the projects going right now, it's the one that excites me the most because of the potential cool factor and transformation it will have on the surrounding areas and neighborhoods, as well as our city's quality of life and business climate.

When I served on the board of Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana, we had insight into the many projects happening right now. We had many discussions about these projects. I've always believed it's going to take a mix of private and public funding to get these projects going. There are obvious risks, and that scares many people. Some of these projects have high potential for reward; others may not be profitable from a private business perspective but will contribute to Fort Wayne's quality of life and ability to attract talent and new business.

From the studies I've read and conversations I've had with leaders and stakeholders, Electric Works offers both. It will restore a blighted eyesore on a major corridor; it will also offer retailers, schools, start-ups, and real estate developers the opportunity to make money and/or improve lives. There will forever be a debate on City Council (and among the public) whether public funds should be used to support or incentivize private business, which will inevitably slow the progress of these projects, but it's a necessary discussion.

There will be naysayers about this and pretty much any other project in Fort Wayne. My hope, along with that of the vast majority of people I associate with, is that the city and project leaders will reach funding solutions without hamstringing future generations. In addition, it's imperative these projects are seen to completion. Once the projects are completed, the community will hopefully support the associated businesses and programs.

It's difficult for many people to imagine all these projects being finished and to understand the incredibly positive effect they'll have on our community, and often those will be the loudest voices speaking out in opposition. But just as many, if not more, of us believe they will get done, are excited to watch them progress and are willing to provide help whenever and however we can.

Jake Pickett

Fort Wayne

Published thank you will have to do

A very sincere thank you to the gentleman, his wife and two children who had prepaid for my dinner at Hall's Restaurant on Bluffton Road Feb. 24.

I did not know what had transpired until my server informed me long after they had left.

My big regret is that I did not recognize this family and personally thank them.


Fort Wayne

Rights, responsibilities imbalanced on guns

Sen. Todd Young was quoted in a Feb. 23 editorial as saying we need to address mental health issues but do not need more gun control. Given we have an issue with mentally unstable individuals legally obtaining firearms, I adamantly disagree with him.

I am a supporter of the Second Amendment. Our nation's founders recognized the need for good men to be armed to constrain evil and embedded this right in our Constitution. However, every right comes with an equal degree of responsibility.

Possession of a firearm is only a right for those willing to abide by this responsibility. It is the duty of our society to determine the requirements of responsible gun ownership. Our current laws and their enforcement are failing to meet an acceptable standard.

Arguments against gun control center on one primary thesis: gun control does not stop all violence. This opposes the general principles of why civil society forms laws in the first place. We do not have laws because everyone will follow them. We have laws because they prevent or deter people from behaving in a manner that negatively affects the quality of life of other people. Gun control does not need to solve all violence to be effective, but only needs to reduce its occurrence.

Good government is founded upon the principle of bringing balance to competing interests. Liberals must respect the rights of responsible gun owners. Conservatives must respect the right to be protected from gun violence. We need to shake off the tired dogmas that lead us to an impasse and engage in a sober discussion of how we reduce gun violence while upholding the rights of gun owners.

Travis A. Buell

Fort Wayne

Teacher vs. gunman is armed with fear

As a proud army veteran (an infantry-trained grunt) and one who has been actively involved with Fort Wayne Community Schools for 48 years, I would like to weigh in on the suggestion by our chief elected official that we should arm teachers to keep our schools safe.

I served on the staffs of eight different schools and I cannot think of one person with whom I worked who would be capable of coming to school “locked and loaded” to keep us all safe.

Of all those educators, the one I would trust the least would be me – and I was probably the only person in most of those buildings who actually had weapons training. I can't speak to the experience of being in a war zone with bullets flying, but even in training I can remember the absolute chaos – the noise, confusion and, yes, fear. Putting me in a position of being involved in an active firefight against any weapon, let alone an automatic one, has to be the result of political leaders, particularly the delusionary one in the White House, watching too much television. I can't imagine anyone being so far removed from reality as to suggest such a ridiculous strategy to protect young people in a culture that celebrates violence regularly.

I would challenge any rational political leaders (I am sure there are some out there) to seek truth from the experts/researchers in mental health, education, sociology, law enforcement and even the military, then make rational decisions on the many and varied steps that will be needed to stop all this nonsense. But I am guessing those steps will be a bit politically dangerous, so I am not going to hold my breath.

Are we ever going to consider using knowledge and reason to determine our social policies? If we do, I am sure that knowledge and reason would never consider arming school teachers.

Ron Flickinger

Fort Wayne