Great memories of Memorial Park
I was saddened to read Arthur Foulkes’ story of July 10 concerning the Board of Works’ approval to declare Memorial Park as “surplus property,” making it possible for economic development.
Over 50 years ago, when I was a kid, Memorial Park was always bustling with activity. It was managed during the summer months by Jim Sisson, a very popular history teacher at Gerstmeyer. In the evenings there was the men’s softball leagues attended by scores of individuals sitting on the tiers surrounding the field. Short’s popcorn stand off the southwest corner did big business. I especially remember the buttered popcorn which I garnished with celery salt.
During the day was the boy’s time. I played on a really awful team sponsored by Rovi’s Restaurant, located across from Nuke’s Drug Store on the corner of Third Avenue and Lafayette. Also on the team was Bill Hopton, Fred Nation, and “Blacky” Hart, among others. Fred’s mother, Frieda, called us Rovi’s “meatballs”. I don’t think we won a game.
The playground part of the park, which was larger than it is today due to Third Street being widened into a highway in the early 1960s, was also quite busy during the daytime. The tether ball tournaments were always popular.
And the park was used during the winter, too. When it was cold enough, the Fire Department would water down the outfield of the softball park, which would freeze and be used for ice skating. After the holidays, the city would pick up Christmas trees, bring them to the park and have a bonfire, which was attended by a huge crowd.
Of course this was all many years ago, and I’m relying strictly on my memory. My apologies to historian Mike McCormick for any glaring errors.
— Mel Brashear
Students making major test gains
Once again, Indiana’s children are continuing to rise to meet and exceed expectations. In 2009, the Indiana Department of Education set very high goals, including a target for 90 percent of students to pass both the English/Language Arts (E/LA) and Math sections of our Indiana Statewide Testing for Education Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) exam. Indiana students, and the teachers and administrators who work every day to teach our kids, are closer today than ever before to reaching that 90-percent goal.
For the third straight year, the percentage of students passing both E/LA and Math has increased, reaching 71 percent this year, up from 63 percent in 2009.
Indiana’s students have increased their scores in every subject area on the ISTEP+ exam. Consider these increases from 2009 to today: E/LA scores are up 8 percent; Math scores have increased 9 percent; Science results are 7 percent higher; and Social Studies scores are up 9 percent.
Our great teachers know students are capable of learning and achieving at high levels. This year’s scores reinforce that belief by showing meaningful increases among all student subgroups, with an average increase of 12 percent for every group since 2009. Since 2009, the number of our English language learners passing both the E/LA and Math portions of ISTEP+ has increased by 13 percent; our free and reduced lunch students by 12 percent; our black students by 11 percent; our special education students by 12 percent; and our Hispanic students by 12 percent. These gains mean Indiana is making progress toward closing persistent achievement gaps.
This ongoing, comprehensive improvement is an uncommon achievement when compared to the rest of the nation. Hoosier teachers, parents, and students should all be incredibly proud of this progress. It’s something everyone has worked very hard to achieve in such a short time. This year’s ISTEP+ results are even more proof that something great is happening in Indiana classrooms.
In a few short years, Indiana has transformed its education landscape — raising expectations, providing quality options, increasing local flexibility, focusing on student achievement, and recognizing excellence. If we remain committed to these principles and continue to put children first, Indiana’s educators will continue to help our students earn strong and steady gains in the years ahead.
— Dr. Tony Bennett
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Speaking up for accused doctor
Since 1996, Dr. Henry Davis has been treating my wife, who has suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis for 40 years (since age 28). She has followed him from his earlier practice here in Terre Haute, then to Indianapolis for a few years, and then back to Terre Haute. Although it was inconvenient to travel out of town for doctor visits, it was worth it, because he has taken such good care of her.
To quote my wife, “He is the most caring doctor. He really cares about his patients. He doesn’t want his patients to be in pain, if he can prevent it.” Dr. Davis has done a wonderful job in caring for my wife, and has made such a difference in her quality of life. She is devastated over what is happening to him.
I know nothing of how his record-keeping is, but we will never believe Dr. Davis is guilty of any wrongdoing, other than maybe caring too much about the pain of his patients. Your article about Dr. Davis says the Indiana Attorney General’s office filed a petition for summary suspension of his license in which they claimed, among many other things, that “patient self-report appears to be the only criteria for continuation of narcotic prescriptions.”
How else does a doctor know about a patient’s pain level other than asking the patient? Any time I have gone to a doctor about pain, they ask me, “on a scale of 1 to 10, how much pain do you have?” The doctor doesn’t have a pain meter to measure your level of pain.
I feel sure Dr. Davis has prescribed a lot of narcotic pain medicine. He has a lot of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, which is a very painful and debilitating disease. He treats a large number of Medicare and Medicaid patients, and therefore he files a lot of claims, which has brought him under the scrutiny of the Indiana Attorney General’s office. In March, when Dr. Davis’ office was searched, my wife and I happened to be in another doctor’s office in the Providence Medical Center. We were in the waiting room, and all of a sudden about a dozen police officers and an assistant attorney general came marching through the waiting room of the other doctor to gain access to Dr. Davis’ office.
In addition to the assistant attorney general, there were Indiana State Police, Vigo County Sheriff deputies and City of Terre Haute police officers. They all had their vests on. It made me think of the Gestapo coming in. They apparently had informed the media to be on hand for their big production, for Channel 10 had a photographer on hand.
Dr. Davis has no way of controlling how his patients use the medication he prescribes. If a patient lies to the doctor about their pain level, gets a prescription, then goes out and sells the narcotic, is the doctor responsible? What about personal responsibility? What about the pharmacist who filled the prescription? Are they responsible for the patient’s actions?
According to your article, the petition concluded with “if allowed to continue to practice as a licensed physician [Davis] represents a clear and immediate danger to the public health and safety.” We believe just the opposite. If Dr. Davis is not allowed to continue his practice, hundreds of his patients are going to suffer. My wife went through many years of suffering before finding Dr. Davis, and we just hope and pray that Dr. Davis’ license will not be revoked.
We hope that many of his other patients will speak up on his behalf.
— Bob Kirkman
Group appreciates community’s help
What wonderful support we get from the Wabash Valley community. The Wabash Valley Breast Cancer Survivors, Inc. wishes to express our utmost gratitude for the support for our recent “Paint the Town Pink” carnation sale and donations we have received through the year.
First, we want to thank the oncologists and WTHI for sponsoring the television ads and WTWO for their advertisements of the sale. Also, we thank the Salvation Army for the use of their facilities for three days, the 15 sites that allowed us to sell at their locations, the sites that handed out our fliers and AAA for boxes with dividers. The multitude of people who bought our flowers or made great donations, and the many volunteers who helped us with the event in any capacity, made our sale very successful. Special thanks go to Angela Cripe and Bob and Laura Bartlett for all their hard work. We couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone.
Another thank-you goes to Sherwin-Williams for the paint donated for the pink ribbon we paint at Sixth and Wabash, to the Rose-Hulman girls basketball team and their coach, Jon Prevo, for the special treatment and donation we receive from them, and to some women at Rose-Hulman for their donation and volunteering to help make items for our pink bags.
All of our money stays in the Wabash Valley, and we are all volunteers. We pay for mammograms for uninsured and underinsured women. We have free new wigs at Hope, Hux, Providence and Regional Cancer Centers. We make pink, soft, heart-shaped pillows for women to place under the arm after a mastectomy, soft seat-belt strap covers for the affected side, bags for the drainage tubes that women must wear home from the hospital, and pink satin pillowcases for when the hair is lost due to chemotherapy. These are placed in a pink bag with some helpful literature and are handed out by the surgeons and oncologists.
Our mission is to decrease the impact of breast cancer and increase breast cancer awareness. Breast cancer is still the number one cancer diagnosed in women. We want to ensure through information and peer support that no woman has to face breast cancer alone.
Check out our website at www.wvbreastcancersurvivors.com for information about our organization.
We truly appreciate everything that is done for our organization. Please accept our heart-felt thanks for anything you did to help make our carnation sale or our program such a success.
— Coral Cochran and members of the Wabash Valley Breast Cancer Survivors, Inc.
Obesity requires a different approach
Regarding the July 6 column titled “Diet Secret no Secret at All” by Chris Davies:
What the author fails to understand is that obesity is a disorder of fat regulation that is largely governed by hormones such as insulin. A large proportion of the population has difficulty tolerating carbohydrates. In fact, there is substantial metabolic variation among individuals and eating programs that work for some will cause significant weight gain in others.
I’m curious what evidence the author has for the assertion that the “best way to lose weight boils down to portion control and expending more calories than you consume.” At worst, this is false. At best, he is merely restating what it means to become obese. The issue is “Why do some people eat too much or move too little?” For many, carbohydrates cause a rapid rise in blood sugar that is offset by an insulin spike and a corresponding rapid drop in blood sugar that leads to significant hunger or more sedentary behavior.
I recommend readers refer to Gary Taubes’ “Why We Get Fat” for a look at the actual science that has been conducted on obesity. He makes the point that the advice to “eat less and move more” is exactly the advice you’d give to someone to tell them how to increase their appetite. This isn’t a strategy that will work for most people in the long run. But regardless of the article’s dismissive comments regarding low-carbohydrate diets such as Atkins, the reality is that randomized and controlled experiments (as well as clinical experience) show they are beneficial in reducing obesity and improving lipid tests.
Let’s stop making people feel that they could someday be lean if not for their lack of willpower with regard to food choices or exercise. Instead, let’s educate them on the issues of fat regulation.
— Mike Anas
Being thankful for health-care reform
Americans should pause for a moment and give thanks that the United States Supreme Court has ruled legal The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). If Americans re-elect Barack Obama president, the people of our country will be able to take advantage of the law’s many benefits, and in coming years we will also be able to improve some of its features.
Let’s think back to where America’s health care was at the end of the Bush administration in 2008. We were the only fully developed industrialized country in the world not to guarantee by law that our citizens had access to health insurance at a reasonable cost. Because our primitive system of health insurance left nearly 50 million people uninsured, more than 44,000 Americans a year were estimated to die from lack of health insurance. (Another 600,000 to a million people were going bankrupt annually from medical problems.)
The death statistic translates into more fatalities than a 9/11 catastrophe a month. In other words, if the law’s opponents have their way and destroy the Affordable Care Act, they will be bringing back to our nation more death and destruction every month than Osama bin Laden did when he succeeded in hijacking and crashing airplanes that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon.
And causing unnecessary deaths was just one of the catastrophes our 2008 system of private health insurance was inflicting upon our population. Americans spent more per capita — much more — than other countries with similar economic conditions: Since most of the new law has not been implemented, Americans now have an average per-capita medical cost of $7,400 a year. No other country pays more than $6,000 a year — most, like Germany and Great Britain, pay about half as much per capita for health care as we do. If we were enjoying better health care, it could be argued that the extra cost was worth it, but although top quality health care is available in the U.S., as a whole our nation ranks poorly as compared to European countries as well as Asian nations like Taiwan and Japan.
Estimates of America’s overall national health statistics, including life expectancy, have ranked our country 30th or worse among the nations, or approximately equal to Costa Rica in Central America. Furthermore, because Americans pay so much more than other countries for health insurance and health care, our manufactured products are more expensive to export while the shrinking American dollar is being eaten up by the rat hole of exorbitant medical expense.
The issue of personal freedom is often brought up as a reason to repeal Obamacare. Ask yourself this: what greater freedom is there than for men or women to be free to change jobs without endangering their lives or health or that of their children? The Affordable Care Act guarantees Americans access to health insurance even if they have a “pre-existing” condition or if their spouse or a dependent child has a health issue. How many people do you know who would like to leave their job and move on to start their own business or work at a higher-paying job but can’t because they are trapped in jobs that offer health insurance coverage they would not be able to access otherwise because they have pre-existing medical conditions? The people most affected by this are citizens over 40. These individuals are more likely to have acquired medical conditions that insurance companies will refuse to cover.
For our nation to return to the system of health insurance we had at the end of George W. Bush’s presidency is simply a foolish option. Instead, people of all political persuasions should band together for the good of our nation as a whole and vote to elect representatives and senators who will work to save and even improve the many excellent changes the Affordable Care Act is bringing to our country.
Let’s not be satisfied with political figures who in hopes of gaining a momentary political advantage would return our country to the health insurance system that sent so many Americans to early graves.
— Steve Kash
Disrespect is often deserved
Mr. Ronn Mott wrote an interesting letter, posted June 30 in the Trib-Star and it was correct and to the point about showing respect to the Office (formerly dignified) of the United States President.
I’ve never met Mr. Mott, but I’ve heard that he is a nice guy and a true American. He has the correct belief on how this office should be respected. However, this country has not had a president worthy of complete respect since Harry Truman and or perhaps Ronald Reagan.
Looking back, let’s use Bill Clinton and how he disgraced that office with his perverted sexual habits and the unnecessary exposure to the term “oral sex,” to say nothing about his lying repeatedly about his tryst. Stop and consider the millions of children who were confronted with this term at much too early an age. How does a parent attempt to answer or explain oral sex to a young child and further attempt to explain that just because the president does it, it’s not at all acceptable.
Then along comes Barack Obama, with statements like, “I have now been in 57 states. I think I have one left to go.” Or “I bowled a 129. It’s like it was the Special Olympics or something.” “I’ve made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.” Or, back in 2007, when he declared that “The United States is no longer a Christian nation.” Add to that the question, how and why did Mr. and Mrs. Obama give up their license to practice law? Michelle in 1993 and Barack in 2008. It’s also common knowledge that Obama cannot put two sentences together without the use of a TelePrompTer. I’ve watched many of his futile attempts and it’s embarrassing.
And what about him playing the race card, again and again, this last time with his African American’s for Obama. Can you imagine the liberal outcry if Mitt Romney called for a Caucasians for Romney?
I’m not going into my heartfelt beliefs about Obama’s true feelings and his plans for this country. I’ve stated them several times already, when this newspaper chose to print them, in short, “the man hates this country and intends to destroy it” (my opinion).
In Mr. Mott’s letter, he notes that during an address to Congress, a representative from South Carolina yelled at the president, calling him a liar. My opinion on that is that the representative knew that the president was lying and was overcome with patriot rage and felt it was his duty to rebuke him. I agree and am proud of that representative for speaking out.
If more Americans had the guts to speak out, this would be a much greater country. When it comes to government many people refrain from speaking out against or voicing an opinion, because of the fear of reprisal.
I have friends that continually caution me about speaking out and or writing my opinions about this government and this president.
Does anyone ever take the time to seriously reflect back over these past several years and really study just what has caused the majority of Americans to disrespect our government and the Office of the President?
(Please do not attempt to tell me that the majority of Americans do not feel this way. They do.)
In closing, I have read and re-read the definition of respect and after this writing. I’m sure that Mr. Mott, along with a few others will put me in the malcontents group. However, I’m not sorry about stating my opinions. I am sorry that the need is there and if I’m labeled a ,malcontent, I’ll wear the label with patriotic pride.
I am sorry that our United States government, from the top down, may be on the verge of total collapse and all from within.
— William P. Thiel
Thanks for exposing O’Reilly propaganda
In response to the recent letter from Peter Ciancone:
Thank you ever so much for the letter published in Wednesday’s Tribune-Star titled “False info used to support claim.”
We need more people like you who will speak out and expose people like Bill O’Reilly for what they are — propaganda peddlers for personal profit with no regard for those who may be harmed in the process.
Keep up the good work.
— Dorothy Larimer