DNR has gone too far with SS request
Some months ago I visited a local bait and tackle shop to purchase my 2007 Indiana sport recreation license — my hunting and fishing license. I was surprised and annoyed when they asked me for my Social Security number.
Now why would the Indiana Department of Natural Resources need my Social Security number? Russ Howard, in his weekly article for the Tribune-Star, often advises us to give our Social Security number only to our employer and the IRS.
I am disappointed in the hunters and anglers that they have given in to this unnecessary demand. Hunters, of all people, are aware of government encroachment on our rights. Why are they acting like a bunch of spineless, weak-willed jellyfish on this important issue?
The United States does not have a national identification card. We are not Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. This should be discussed in depth, in a national debate, before we decide whether or not to hand over this irretrievable freedom. And yet we are losing this area of freedom in small but distinct increments.
The terrorists have succeeded in creating fear, and in so doing, Americans are succumbing to terror by losing some of their long-cherished rights. Do you actually believe that the terrorists are coming out to Indiana to hunt (perhaps staking out Stuckey’s), and will purchase a hunting license? A terrorist won’t buy a license and most Indiana hunters are a long way from fitting the profile of a terrorist.
What we see here is a larger trend wherein the hunters and anglers of Indiana are losing their rights of privacy to what appears to be a growing police state. The DNR, whose designated purpose is to contribute to conservation and enforcement of game laws, is in the position of facilitating the loss of these rights due to the bogus fear that terrorists will come out to Indiana to hunt and fish.
Each year I have purchased a license and even a duck stamp, although I haven’t hunted ducks in years. I thought I was supporting a good cause. This year I’m not buying either. The DNR just lost my support and money. I would like to suggest that other outdoorsmen do the same.
— Jack Summerfield
Oh brother! This is the chance of a lifetime
On Monday, Jan. 14, after the Chargers tamed the Colts and the Giants unsaddled the Cowboys, two color photos of two brothers, Peyton and Eli, appeared at the top of the NY Times front page. One Manning hangs his head lugubriously in defeat while the other raises clenched fists triumphantly.
If Eli leads the Giants to a Super Bowl win, the brothers will have the unique distinction of back-to-back victories and immortality in the Guinness Book of World Records.
For the fun of it, let us turn back the calendar to the birth of the two boys and imagine an inordinately ambitious father, not unlike the renowned Richard Williams determined from the gitgo to raise tennis champs. Daddy Manning boldly brags not one but two of his sons will be NFL champs.
Worse yet! To buttress his boast, the cockiest guy in the world decides to hotfoot it to Vegas and bet $100 on his hunch. Vegas, of course, will cover any gamble it has a reasonable chance of winning.
Fast forward to an Eli/Giants win in the Super Bowl, Feb. 3, and there would not be enough cash, gold, silver and diamonds combined to pay off the wager at odds of at least a quadrillion to one.
Kinda gives you an idea of how unlikely such a Super Bowl scenario might be.
If a lucky bro really does win the Super Ring, Daddy Manning may not be the richest man on earth in dollars but surely the richest in spirit for a brief shining moment.
Guess who I’ll be rootin’ for!
— Saul Rosenthal
Coming together for a local food co-op
The summer I moved to Terre Haute was the first season of the Downtown Farmer’s Market at the corner of Ninth and Cherry. I was thrilled to see this new addition to the city’s local economy, and have participated every year since, watching it grow and bring in new farmers each season.
I love shopping the market because I can meet the farmers who grow the food for my family and I can see my money keeping local farmers and businesses afloat. When the market is over for the season, though, I’m back to the supermarkets, looking through bins for organic veggies shipped in from California, with little to no local produce or other goods in sight.
Many folks in town are like me, and they want more. In fact, many of us have come together to create a business that will serve these needs. We are working on creating a store that supplies organic foods, and as much of it as possible from local providers like the farmers who work the Downtown Farmer’s Market. We want a wide variety of bulk dry goods, fair trade coffees, teas, chocolates, and local meats, dairy and eggs. We want a store which is open year-round, and open to everyone. We want to have the option to purchase equity in the store and become member-owners, giving us a stake in the way the business is run and enjoying various benefits of member-ownership.
We are organizing to make this co-op market a reality because we want a store where the money we spend stays in the local area rather than going into a stockholder’s pocket somewhere in NYC. We want to create a local food distribution network, so that prospective small farmers have incentive to begin farming in Vigo and surrounding counties, because they know there is a market available for their goods. We want food that we are confident is safe to eat, because we know who raised it and how it was processed before arriving at our table. And, maybe most of all, we want a store that becomes one of the centers of community activity and engagement — a store whose mission is to help improve the city.
If you want any or all of these things, then join us at the first community meeting for planning the Terre Foods Cooperative Market on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m., at the Vigo County Main Library. We will come together to discuss what we want in a local co-op for Terre Haute, ask and answer questions, discuss our vision, and have opportunities to offer support and volunteer time to make our co-op a reality.
And door prizes, don’t forget the door prizes! Please join us on the 24th, and be a part of it all. Visit
www.terrefoods.org for more information and to get on the e-mail list.
— Robyn Morton
Choice key part of school reforms
Low achievement scores are more than mere statistics to parents and taxpayers — they are a frustrating reality. We really shouldn’t be surprised to learn of rising pessimism among Hoosiers about the performance of Indiana schools, as announced on Jan. 9 by the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP) at Indiana University.
Parents and taxpayers are becoming increasingly discontent with a broken education system — one that perpetually demands greater financial support without producing a return on investment. Students are not leaving schools prepared to meet the demands of college or higher-paying jobs, and our current system gives parents little power to act until it is too late for their children. The status quo is no longer acceptable.
The day before the release of CEEP’s survey, Education Week released their annual Quality Counts report on the nation’s schools — a report in which Indiana scored a disappointing C-minus in K-12 achievement. Arguably, the most important finding was the massive 22-point achievement gap in fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade math for lower-income and minority students.
Hoosier parents and taxpayers have good reasons to demand more of our public schools. The state poured a great deal of new money into the system in the last two decades and raised both standards and accountability — good steps, to be sure. Nonetheless, progress in the form of student achievement has been slow, and parents still have few choices.
Unfortunately, IU’s CEEP study took only a passing glance at school choice. However, a 2007 statewide public opinion survey found that a staggering 85 percent of Indiana residents favor giving parents the ability to choose the best school for their children, whether public or private.
Seventy-two percent of Indiana parents support allowing public funding to follow a child if a parent decides to move their child from a public to a private school. Among lower-income and minority families, for whom the achievement gap is a real crisis in their schools, support exceeds 80 percent.
At the end of the day, all of the efforts and resources aimed at education should be about providing the best possible education for our children. Demanding and providing for quality schools — whether public or private — and empowering parents with new educational choices should be a reform priority.
— Jeff Brantley
Executive Director of School Choice Indiana
Burke won’t let community heal
Mayor Bennett has been sworn in and the time to heal has begun … or so we thought. Once again, former Mayor Burke has decided to open the wound and drag the citizens of Terre Haute through yet another appeal.
He claims “It’s extremely important for our community to move forward” — yet he continues to take us to the past.
Since Burke has lost the election, the recount and a Hatch Act appeal, he has been a role model for negativity. He may spout a few statements that the Tribune-Star would like to call “words of wisdom”, but his actions at the end of his term have been negative.
In an article concerning the transition meeting, he felt the need to mention “an extremely unprofessional phone call” from Bennett’s attorney Chou il-Lee to city attorney Kendall Boyd. Both Lee and Boyd said it was nonconfrontational. Boyd said he didn’t interpret the conversation in a negative way. Burke should have consulted with Boyd before releasing a negative statement.
Burke chose to open the transition meeting with negative remarks stating “anything similar to what occurred Dec. 21 [the phone call] would end the meeting”. Not a very positive way to start a “smooth transition.”
In discussing the city budget with Bennett, his “and guess what? He’s [Bennett] going to have to increase his budget” reply was unprofessional.
Burke’s legacy? Negativity and not allowing the citizens of Terre Haute, whom he claims to care so much about, have what they want: closure.
Mayor Bennett wants “all the ugly part to go away.”
Former Mayor Burke is the one “tempted to rekindle the confusion, rancor and ill will that has permeated this community for the past two months.”
Terre Haute wants to heal, but former Mayor Burke keeps picking at the scab.
— Cheryl Wright
County councils suited to fill roles
During the 2007 session of the Indiana General Assembly, legislation was approved that created a new Capital Review Board in each county. This new layer of government is unnecessary and creates 184 new elected county officials. Why create another layer of local government and 184 more elected officials when an existing county elected fiscal body (county council) could perform this function?
If the General Assembly and the governor want a local body to approve rates and capital projects, it should abolish the Capital Review Board and simply allow the county council to act as the body that approves the overall levy increases. While everyone on the Capital Review Board will be elected, taxpayers may find themselves not being able to vote for a majority of the members on the board. The board will be appointed by various fiscal bodies in the county except for three guaranteed countywide elected people, specifically, the county auditor and the two new county elected officials.
County councils in 89 of the 92 counties are already set up so that everyone votes for a majority of the members on the county council, three at large members and one district member. The county councils in Marion, St. Joseph and Lake Counties are different and their circumstances will need to be addressed, but the same principle should apply.
Under current law, the appointments on the Capital Review Board change every year between school corporations, cities and towns. Six of the nine members are appointed by elected bodies. Not everyone in the county can vote for members in every city, town or school corporation. No matter what city, town, school corporation, township or library.
— By David Bottorff
Association of Indiana Counties
Lord’s angels made impact on family
My cousin, Clint Walters, was a resident of Harborside Nursing Home. I spent the last three days and nights of his life there with his mother, his sister and my mother. I have had many family members as nursing home residents but have never encountered a staff as I did at Harborside Nursing Home and with Vista Care Hospice. They were absolutely amazing. They acted as if they loved Clint as much as his own family did and treated him with such respect and dignity.
That meant the world to us. They took such wonderful care of him and provided all of us with meals the entire three days until his death on Jan. 5. We never had to leave Clint’s side. I think the staffs of Vista Care and Harborside were made from the same mold. Words could never express the gratitude we feel towards these individuals. They are truly a blessing to every life and the families that they touch.
You can tell it is not just a job to them. They are the Lord’s angels in their professions. During a time when your heart is aching, you’re watching someone you love die and you are so tired you don’t know what to do with yourself one of these caretakers comes in with a smile and a hug and compassion beyond belief. Wow. What a precious gift they give from their heart.
To all who helped with Clint and his family I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I pray that God showers you with abundant blessings. All of you deserve it.
— Penny Counterman
Regional staff earns round of thanks
I would like to commend Terre Haute Regional Hospital on their staff from the ER to the floor of 4 East. My mother had Alzheimer’s and many other problems with her health. They were kind compassionate and never tiring in their care for her until she passed away a week ago.
I just wanted to say a big thank you to them for all their help in my mother’s final days.
— Elizabeth Asay
DNR has gone too far with SS request
READERS’ FORUM: June 18, 2013
• Beware those who follow Ayn Rand
• Poor excuse for gas price hikes
The Obama Debate: Is he a liar or incompetent?
I read the letters on the opinion page daily and I find an unusual silence from your liberal progressive contributors lately. Could it be because they don’t have anything to expound upon? Well, maybe I can give them some material.
A Fathers Day Tribute: Transition — from child to father
Transition seems like a big word to use as his story unfolds. Transition was probably never used in conjunction with speech, his speech, but it demonstrates his life, as it does in many lives lived in his generation.
READERS' FORUM: June 16, 2013
Horrible crime cries out for stern justice
Confused about groups’ merger
Global warming fraud exposed
The Obama Debate: President has served us well
I have not heard a positive thing by those in this area about this president since his 2008 election and 2009 inauguration. Why this manifestation, I just can’t understand.
READERS' FORUM: June 15, 2013
America needs another hero
READERS' FORUM: June 14, 2013
Mott statements contradict history
Display the flag
READERS' FORUM: June 13, 2013
Bad odor from gas prices
Build personal library
Morning after? No worries
READERS' FORUM: June 12, 2013
Like it or not, change coming
READERS’ FORUM: June 11, 2013
• Great support for local cause
• Another idea on housing issue
READERS’ FORUM: June 10, 2013
• What is the cost of our austerity?
• Vintage campers to gather at rally
• Seek a healthy food alternative
Readers’ Forum: June 9, 2013
• Taking time to help the world
• Reform by politics will not improve education
• Questions from a wondering mind
FLASHPOINT: Storm chasers must heed warnings, remember why we chase storms
The tragic death of noted weather researcher and former Discovery Channel storm chaser Tim Samaras has shaken all of us in the meteorological community.
READERS' FORUM: June 7, 2013
Thanks to those who helped VYFL
READERS' FORUM: June 6, 2013
Unions need to educate public
Can it really happen here?
READERS’ FORUM: June 5, 2013
• Steamed by rise in gasoline prices
• Time to look into voucher results
• Troubling precedent
READERS’ FORUM: June 4, 2013
• What can lead us into peace?
• What’s with John McCain in Syria?
• Slams and damns all part of process
• This cannot stand
READERS’ FORUM: June 3, 2013
• Appreciation for clean-up helpers
• Great help for food program
• Boston does not need sarcasm
FLASHPOINT: Humane Society does not merit IRS targeting either
Rep. Blaine Leutkemeyer is right that the IRS should not target any charitable organization solely on the basis of its ideology. Yet that’s exactly what he’s asking the IRS to do in his factually unfounded attacks on The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal welfare organization and one that has the highest marks from the top charity watchdog organizations.
- READERS' FORUM: June 2, 2013
READERS' FORUM: June 1, 2013
• Pot use getting little attention
• Beware of thieves initiating scams
• Good start for new program
READERS' FORUM: May 31, 2013
History of service is labor of love
READERS' FORUM: May 30, 2013
World No Tobacco Day set for Friday
READERS' FORUM: May 29, 2013
Caring, concern from Dixie Bee
A painful change in phone dialing
READERS’ FORUM: May 28, 2013
• Missed chance for a hardliner’s proclamation
Readers’ Forum: May 27, 2013
Thanks for help honoring teachers
READERS’ FORUM: May 26, 2013
• Be suspicious of climate alarmists
• IRS abuses have a long history
• Lawsuit seeks fairness in Indiana’s alcohol laws
• Greed not good reason to change state alcohol laws
• Outraged over Deming proposal
• Why Americans must fight Islam
FLASHPOINT: A crisis at the NLRB
Most people in Indiana don’t even know what the National Labor Relations Board is. Well, why should they?
FLASHPOINT: Legislative session reflected Hoosier priorities
The 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly came to an end just a few weeks ago with the final passage of our state’s next two-year budget.
- READERS' FORUM: May 23, 2013
- More Letters Headlines
- READERS’ FORUM: June 18, 2013