vital to Hoosiers
who love wildlife
We Hoosiers don’t often think about having a direct connection between Indiana and Alaska, but right now there is an opportunity for us to speak for wildlife that rely on both Indiana and Alaska for their migratory way of life.
We can make a difference for wildfowl species that migrate through Indiana by commenting on Bureau of Land Management options to manage the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska as it is opened for gas and oil drilling.
The reserve, totaling more than 22 million acres (about the size of Indiana) is known as “Alaska’s Duck Factory” because tens of thousands of ducks and geese, as well as millions of shorebirds and songbirds, nest there before migrating through the lower 48 states and down the Mississippi Flyway each fall.
These migratory species use the wetlands of Indiana, including Grand Kankakee Marsh, Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area and the Wabash River as resting stops on their way south.
Hoosiers are connected to the reserve through those migrating wildfowl, shorebirds and songbirds. Indiana’s waterfowl hunters and birders especially own a stake in the decisions made about the reserve because so many of the kinds of birds they seek nest there.
Input from Hoosiers is needed to ensure the best management plan is put in place.
I urge Hoosiers to voice their opinions on how the reserve should be managed. Tell the Bureau of Land Management to adopt Alternative B as the best management plan for the reserve. Alternative B will protect the especially productive wildlife areas from oil and gas leasing while also allowing for responsible future oil and gas development.
You may make your opinion known online through the Indiana Wildlife Federation’s website: www.indianawildlife.org/IN_AKconnection.htm. The deadline to comment is June 1.
— Barbara Simpson
Indiana Wildlife Federation
sell out Woodgate
I teach American History at Indiana State University, but I want to thank the three Vigo County Commissioners (Judy Anderson, Mike Cioli and Paul Mason) for giving me a lesson in real American politics — in how politics as usual works in Vigo County.
As a concerned homeowner in Woodgate Subdivision, I recently attended a Vigo County Commissioners meeting along with 50-plus neighbors (300 others signed our petition) to voice our outrage over the new building phases of Cobblestone Crossing, owned by Southern Indiana Investments and developed by Thompson-Thrift. Originally we in Woodgate and related subdivisions were lulled into complacency by the promises of the developer that apartments would only appear up closer to U.S. 41, while along the developed subdivisions (all zoned R1 at that time) only single-story condos and single-family homes would be built — homes that we would be proud to own, we were told. Between 2004 and 2008, the Vigo County Commissioners approved zoning changes to R2M, allowing for two-story apartments. This was done while the developer continued to feed residents the old line about condos and single-family, “high-end” homes.
I live on the property line, and like many of my neighbors will have two-story apartments overlooking my backyard only 25 feet from my easement. If you drive through the subdivision you will see how absolutely ridiculous this is. Did the commissioners know what they were doing to one of the most well-respected neighborhoods in Terre Haute? Here is the key point, I think they knew full well what they were doing, and they knew that by the time the residents grew concerned that legally it would be too late to do anything.
The central issue that concerns all Vigo County residents is that according to Vigo County’s interpretation of Indiana law, all the notification of a requested zoning change that area planning need do boils down to a sign on the property and a 1-inch ad in the paper run for one day. ONE DAY. Most counties in Indiana require certified letters sent to impacted home owners, often two or three plots back from the requested rezoning. In Vigo County we get zip. No letters at all — nothing.
Even if citizens wanted to stay vigilant to defend the integrity of their property values and their neighborhood, the system is rigged against them. The rezoning sailed through because nobody knew. And when we finally learned the truth and voiced our extreme displeasure, all we got from Mr. Wright, the commissioners’ legal counsel, was a curt statement that the commissioners’ hands were tied. In effect — get a lawyer and fight it. So the commissioners we counted on, who are sworn to protect our property values, could legally just say, sorry, nothing we can do; and we did not even get that level of sympathy at the meeting.
The system is rigged so affected citizens will be blindsided, so that no protests could be mounted until it is too late. The system is fixed so that the developers and monied interests get their way. They can deceive affected homeowners. It is way past time for Vigo County Commissioners to stop doing the absolute minimum in following the law, and start doing the ethical and proper thing (to, in effect, do their duty) and to decently notify affected property holders regarding zoning changes that may impact their property value. The county commissioners failed to do their duty and they have jimmied the system so that it will continue to favor the developers and the fat-cats of Terre Haute who back them.
Well, congratulations, commissioners, you have not only succeeded in taking a professor to school on the old-boy politics of Vigo County — how the system really works, but you have succeeded in accelerating the decline of one of the nicest subdivisions in Vigo County. Once would-be homebuyers view those apartment monstrosities (even from across the street), property won’t move, and values will decline. You have succeeded in hastening the decay of a jewel in south Terre Haute. You have also succeeded in waking up a lot of citizens.
Let me end by encouraging Republican candidates for county commissioners out there. Yes, this liberal, Birkenstock-wearing, Democratic professor will campaign hard for a Republican who can pledge to right the ship in Vigo County and begin to change the system toward protecting property rights of the average home owner and not just the money of the top 1 percent. Do the commissioners care about the millions in lost property value in Woodgate and Viscaya subdivisions? No, the millions they care about are those loans to the developers of Cobblestone. The commissioners and their policy do not serve the common citizen, and if you believe it does, then I have some property I would like to sell you. It will have a wonderful view of two-story apartments in a once-grand subdivision. Wake up, Vigo County, because your subdivision may be next and you will not know it before the bulldozers start moving.
— Dan Clark
equalizes for all
With our president’s and the NAACP’s recent announcements of support for same-sex marriage equality, many “compassionate conservatives” have chimed in with their dissenting views. Those dissenting views seem to be in the minority now that over half of Americans now support marriage equality.
Most surprising to me is the amount of passion they feel for this particular issue that they consider “sinful.” It seems many of them have devoted their existance to the prevention of marriage equality. The massive amounts of money being donated to these anti-gay marriage campaigns is staggering.
But why gay marriage? It certainly isn’t the only “sin” their religion allegedly condemns. But it is the one they have laser-point focus on. The Bible is even clearer on issues like divorce, infidelity and adultery. Over half of marriages end in divorce. Isn’t that a major threat to the institution?
Perhaps many of these marriages would have lasted had they focused more on their own marriages and not someone else’s. Yet to my knowledge, not one group is dedicating money or resources to any state to constitutionally ban divorce. Many states have no-fault divorce laws, and people like Britney Spears can get legally married and legally divorced in only 55 hours with little outcry from religious leaders. Some states allow first cousins to legally marry.
Rush Limbaugh stated that President Obama has now waged war on traditional marriage with his endorsement of same-sex marriages. He failed to mention that he has been married a whopping four times. I think if anyone is showing disrespect for a sacred religious institution, it would be him.
And of course the ever-so-righteous Bristol Palin weighed in to give her opinion. Doesn’t the Bible prohibit out-of-wedlock sex? Perhaps we should outlaw her behavior with a constitutional amendment. Seems logical if they are going to ban marriage equality for gays and lesbians based on Christian principles.
Newt Gingrich famously went after President Clinton for his relationship with an intern, while secretly having an affair at the same time, eventually divorcing his then wife and marrying his mistress. How is it that these people have become the champions of traditional marriage? And why is the Republican Party, of “limited government intrusion” and “personal freedom,” saying that the government should decide who can and cannot marry?
The hypocrisy, inconsistency and selective preaching is absurd.
Until they show the same passion for outlawing the many other “sins” their religion condemns, I will chalk up their intense opposition to same-sex marriage as simple bigotry and homophobia. Why is equality such a hard concept for so many to understand?
— Ryan Foote
compromise on taxes
After the primary defeat of Republican Richard Lugar, for whom I wrote several letters of support, I understand that there are a great many people who are excited at the prospect of Richard Mourdock bringing his brand of “no compromise” politics to Washington, D.C.
I recall that Richard Mourdock wants to eliminate the tax on capital gains, dividends and inheritance. No compromises on this campaign promise!
I understand that a few days ago many billionaires were made in one day when Facebook went public on Nasdaq. Most if not all of these billionaires will pay only the 15 percent federal income tax rates on capital gains. But there is one who WILL NOT PAY ANY TAXES.
Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has decided to renounce his citizenship in America and to make Singapore his home to keep from paying these outrageous taxes that Richard Mourdock wants to eliminate on his billions of worth that he made in one day from the public offering of Facebook stock.
Isn’t that special?
Of course, the top tax rate for those who are lucky enough to still have a job and to still work for a living and receive wages in America is around 36 to 38 percent. Heaven forbid that somebody should start a class war and demand that these “fair weather citizens” like Eduardo Saverin should have to pay taxes in the same percentages as the Americans who use Facebook and who made him a billionaire.
Class wars are terrible things. Luckily, Eduardo Saverin is safe in Singapore and there IS no class war there. Apparently, in Singapore, the rich have already won.
— John Garner
Sweet lessons on
Our 14-year-old son participated in “Lemonade Day” on May 19 and was awarded the opportunity to set up his stand at Baesler’s Market in Terre Haute. He, like all young participants, worked hard in preparation for this big day and learned a number of valuable lessons about turning an entrepreneurial dream into a small-business reality.
As the “caring adults” and investors standing behind him, we are grateful for the time and efforts of everyone who supported this unique and worthwhile project. We are especially grateful for the generous support and encouragement shown our son by Bob Baesler and his family, the Baesler employees and patrons. They all demonstrated the very essence of community and made us proud to call ourselves Terre Hauteans.
We also want to thank Ms. Courtney Richey for her enthusiasm and willingness to answer our son’s questions in the weeks leading up to Lemonade Day. She showed the same exuberance about this communitywide event as the three-hundred-and-some children and youth who put a new spin on this age-old tradition. We are certain there are many others whose names we do not know and without whom this day would not have been made possible. We hope Lemonade Day becomes a yearly celebration of youth and ingenuity in and around Terre Haute.
— John and Libby Ray
slavery and Islam
Many African Americans in the United States have renounced Christianity and embraced Islam, in protest against the enslavement of their ancestors by white Christians in America when slavery was legal in America. This is ironic because Islam supports slavery. The enslavement of Africans under Islam is not only a historical fact, but is something that continues today, in some parts of Africa, and some Islamic countries, since Sharia (Islamic Law) supports slavery.
Historically, Islam has enslaved members of all races.
• The enslavement of Black Africans by Islam is described in the book “Islam's Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora” by Ronald Segal
• The enslavement of white Christians from Europe by Islam is described in the book “Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1550-1800” by Robert C. Davis
• The enslavement of Hindus by Islam is described in the book “Muslim slave system in Medieval India” by K.S.Lal
The enslavement of Jews in Islam started from the time of the Prophet of Islam. All unarmed adult male members (about 800 in number) of the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza, who had surrendered, were beheaded and their women and children were sold into slavery in Medina by Muslims in 627 A.D., in the presence of the Prophet of Islam. The Prophet of Islam made no attempt to stop these killings of unarmed Jewish men and the enslavement of the women and children of the Jews.
In fact, Islam has sustained slavery for 1,400 years, since Sharia (Islamic Law) supports slavery.
— Ramachandra B. Abhyankar
READERS' FORUM: May 19, 2013
• Flawed reasoning on gun checks
• A hint of things yet to come?
• Are the ‘makers’ doing the ‘taking’?
• The ‘Obamination’ is finally revealed
• Pondering effects of Obamacare
• Fantasizing on the ‘Apocalypse’
• Another view of Hinduism
• Great experience for HCMS students
FLASHPOINT: A legislative session of missed opportunities
Given the nature of politicians, grand claims of accomplishments and overblown rhetoric about “historic” efforts are to be expected at the close of any legislative session.
READERS' FORUM: May 17, 2013
Hinduism doesn’t deserve ridicule — Shefali Purohit, Terre Haute
Readers' Forum: May 16, 2013
Moving Deming folks sounds ‘nuts’
Readers' Forum: May 15, 2013
Participants rise to the challenge: I would like to write a letter congratulating all the Wabash Valley Roadrunners that competed in the One America Indianapolis Mini Marathon.
READERS' FORUM: May 14, 2013
ISTEP failure exposes flaws
Community hasn’t changed its spirit
Egregious threat to nation’s defense
READERS' FORUM: May 13, 2013
• Women’s group criticizes Bucshon
• Let’s hope this doesn’t come true
• Many get thanks for fest success
READERS' FORUM: May 12, 2013
Vigo Youth Football, entering 45th year, seeks new support
Media ignoring important case on abortions
Proud to be old-fashioned
Guns in school? What’s next?
Promoting hate not a ‘brave’ act
FLASHPOINT: Again in 2013 General Assembly, middle class generally ignored
Last year, the people of Indiana entrusted the Republican Party with some of their most precious possessions.
Readers’ Forum: May 11, 2013
I just wanted to express my disappointment at the lack of response shown by President Obama after the Boston Marathon bombings.
Readers' Forum: May 10, 2013
CANDLES event plants new seed: On April 26, CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center hosted an event called “Sowing Seeds of Peace: A Celebration of Spring” at the Apple House. Our purpose was to introduce people to our concept of forgiveness as a seed for peace.
READERS’ FORUM: May 6, 2013
• Money drives our newfound ‘needs’
• Guns not the only dangerous objects
Readers’ Forum; May 5, 2013
Thankful for Pyle museum: I was happy to see the announcement of the Ernie Pyle Museum’s summer season opening, and I was reminded of how fortunate we all are to have such a museum close by.
FLASHPOINT: Lessons from the legacy media — get it right, first
Enough mistakes and maybe we’ll learn: When in doubt, leave it out.
FLASHPOINT: Hoosiers got steady hand in recent session
As the General Assembly began its work last November, as Speaker of the House, I pledged a renewed spirit of bipartisanship with legislators working together to solve our state’s most pressing challenges. As this year’s legislative session concludes, representatives from throughout the state — Republican and Democrat — have joined together to address those issues at the forefront of Hoosier minds: maintaining our state’s fiscal integrity, spurring job creation and expanding education opportunities for every Hoosier family.
READERS' FORUM: May 3, 2013
Deep gratitude during tragic time
READERS’ FORUM: May 2, 2013
• Terre Haute takes care of their own
• Postal contract causes concern
• Food price rise not appreciated
READERS' FORUM: May 1, 2013
Great support for Clay Habitat
READERS’ FORUM: April 30, 2013
• Gujarat attack was provoked
• Proud honor for THN student
READERS’ FORUM: April 29, 2013
• Avoid language of extremism
Readers' Forum: April 28, 2013
Another debacle for landowners: The integrity of our city and county officials continues to erode with an Issue that has come up on the east side of the city behind the Sycamore Terrace apartments.
FLASHPOINT: Time has arrived for overhaul of TV news
Former FCC Chairman Alfred Sikes gave an address in 1992 in which he claimed television news was too superficial and too focused on visuals.
Readers’ Forum: April 25, 2013
• Common Core: A simple choice
• Club again launches St. Ann’s fundraiser
READERS’ FORUM: April 24, 2013
• Good service was noticed
READERS’ FORUM: April 23, 2013
• Another great season at THN
• We’ve discarded our own privacy
READERS’ FORUM: April 22, 2013
Chickens should not be banned from residences
A challenge to Islamist dogma
FLASHPOINT: Fiscal cliff, Obamacare have already raised taxes enough
Our history is rich with stories of people who have immigrated to the United States for a chance at the American Dream. The American Dream, in its truest form, is the opportunity to achieve success by working hard and playing by the rules; to make it on your own and to say, “I earned this.”
Readers’ Forum: April 21, 2013
Vouchers need continued support: Indiana’s school voucher program is working and we hope area legislators will continue to support improvements to this important initiative. Here’s why.
READERS’ FORUM: April 20, 2013
• Harrop column lacked research, requires response
• Perplexed by gas price fluctuations
Readers' Forum: April 19, 2013
Why won’t our pols talk to us?
- More Letters Headlines
- READERS' FORUM: May 19, 2013