News From Terre Haute, Indiana


April 26, 2014

Readers’ Forum: April 27, 2014

A great year at North High School

As the 2013-14 academic year is nearing completion, now is an opportunity to reflect on a successful school year and the many accomplishments of Terre Haute North Vigo students.

Our Link Crew leaders, consisting of upperclassmen, welcomed the Class of 2017 with activities prior to the first day of school. They assist freshman in making a successful transition to the high school environment. North is fortunate to have caring staff and students contributing their time to this worthwhile endeavor.

The football team provided much excitement with their record-breaking season. They were regional champs, and advanced to semistate play. Students in the African American Club hosted the unveiling of a long-awaited mural, depicting prominent figures of influence. This remarkable artwork can be found near other murals in the foreign language hallway. For those in attendance it was truly an inspirational evening.

Our 2014 Polaris Award recipients continue the tradition of service to others. This year’s outstanding alumni include the Honorable Duke Bennett, mayor of Terre Haute, Lisa Coleman Paulsen, president and CEO of Entertainment Industry Foundation, who is involved in philanthropic fundraising, primarily for cancer research, and Craig McKee, local attorney and U.S. Magistrate.

Several of our students participated in the Sister City exchange program with Tajimi, Japan. They, along with Superintendent Tanoos, had an opportunity to visit Tajimi this spring.

We congratulate our seniors as they prepare for graduation and life beyond Terre Haute North.

— Jeanne Conley, Assistant Principal North Vigo High School

But what about political graffiti?

If a property owner spray-painted a political sign on his house (“Obama sux”, for example), would that be considered graffiti and could he be forced to remove it?

— Mark Burns, Terre Haute

Experience most important factor

Superior Court Division 2 is much more than just a family court — although one would never know that by the letters to the editor of those supporting Lucky Reddy.

Superior Court 2 conducts jury trials and bench trials in cases involving personal injuries, contract disputes, mental health involuntary commitments, defective products and medical malpractice cases, just to name a few of the types of cases Judge Adler presides over or hears.

Superior Court 2 is the only court in Vigo County that does not dispose of criminal cases. While the other courts have civil jurisdiction many of the civil trials have to be postponed, often multiple times, due to those courts being required to advance criminal cases when the defendant requests a speedy trial.

The types of cases assigned to each of Vigo County’s six superior courts is determined by a majority vote of those six judges. When Judge Adler assumed the Superior Court 2 bench, he had been the Vigo County prosecutor for many years. For purposes of the public having confidence in the judiciary, it made common sense for him not to conduct criminal trials of those persons he may well have previously prosecuted on some other charge.

No guarantee exists that Judge Adler’s successor will not be assigned criminal cases.

Given the fact that the judge of Superior Court 2 must be familiar with so much more of the law than simply the rules of family law, it is imperative that the person who succeeds Judge Adler has more than just experience with family law.

John Kesler II is the only candidate with experience to step into Judge Adler’s shoes. He has the knowledge and experience to assume the full array of the many various types of cases assigned to Superior Court 2, now as well as possible criminal jurisdiction in the future.

I support John Kesler II for judge of Superior Court 2, not because he is a male but because he has the experience to perform the duties of the office.

While serving as one of three lawyers elected by the lawyers of Indiana to the Indiana Supreme Court Nominating Commission, I consistently voted to nominate women lawyers to the governor for appointment to the Indiana Supreme Court. I did so because they were experienced and qualified. They just also happened to be women.  

— James O. McDonald, Terre Haute

Unique experience and qualifications

I saw an ad in your publication about the coming election for Superior Court 2 judge and wish to express my thoughts about it. Lakshmi “Lucky” Reddy is being challenged on her experience by people who have not taken the time to look at her unique experience and qualifications.

I wonder how many attorneys in this town, other than Lucky Reddy, graduated from a top school like Vanderbilt University. I wonder how many other attorneys in this town, other than Lucky Reddy, graduated with honors from a great school like Indiana University School of Law. And I wonder how many other attorneys, other than Lucky Reddy, have a retired Indiana Supreme Court Justice speaking about their intellect.

I personally heard retired Indiana Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. commend Lucky Reddy as a skilled legal scholar and for her persuasive abilities. And I know that she has been practicing law now for 16 years. I believe these are qualifications that set Lucky Reddy apart as a candidate for the Vigo County Superior Court when we vote on May 6.

I was fortunate to meet Lucky Reddy many years ago and know her to be a person of high moral standards. She and her husband, Dr. Venkat Reddy, selected Terre Haute as their home many years ago. Their children were born here, and the family has chosen to remain here. They are honorable and contributing members of our community. The Reddy family always steps forward to help when there is a need. They have a deep commitment to make this a better place to live.

I believe that Lucky is running because of her deep belief that her talent and skills in the area of family law will be of particular value to families — and particularly children — who may find themselves in the unfortunate position of a family dispute. I know for a fact that Lucky Reddy will always put children first.

Although Lucky Reddy is almost 10 years younger than me, I feel deep respect for her because her intellect is so great. Her approach to life is fresh and fair and she has a special gift of making every life she touches better. I tell you from my heart that Lucky Reddy is the most honorable and fair person we could ever select to serve as a Judge. I think we will be lucky to have Lucky Reddy in such an important position — because she is a fair person to everyone she ever meets.

— Girija Kunapareddy, Terre Haute

Candidate strong community asset

My family and I will support Lakshmi (Lucky) Reddy for Vigo County judge in 2014. I want to explain briefly why we believe Lakshmi is the best choice for our community.

Lakshmi is family conscientious. She understands how important family is to our community. In the courtroom, this dedication does not waver. Our community needs what is “right” for the family. She has proven her skills, knowledge and abilities in making sound decisions that helped unite strong family structures. Lakshmi herself is a very caring and loving mother of three wonderful boys.

Lakshmi’s character fits what a good judge needs. She has always done a great job at helping others see both sides and understand the consequences prior to a decision. Her caring heart, honesty and integrity make Lakshmi perfect for the values needed for a good judge. I have always known that I can count on Lakshmi.

My hope is you will join my family in supporting Lakshmi (Lucky) Reddy for Vigo County judge in May. She is an asset to our community.

— Stacey Thacker, Terre Haute

Strong support for ‘family’ man

I am writing this letter on behalf of John A. Kesler II for Vigo County Superior Court, Division 2. As a well-educated female in education who believes strongly in women’s rights, I feel that it is important to remember to focus on the credentials of each candidate.

John A. Kesler has more than 35 years of experience as a lawyer. He has handled several different kinds of cases through his years. While I am sure Lakshmi Reddy may be a nice lady, I do not think she has put in her time to be judge. She really has no experience compared to Kesler. For example, John has handled 464 divorce cases as of May 2013, while Lakshmi has only handled 16 in the Vigo superior courts.

I have always felt strongly about my right to vote. I have never missed an opportunity to exercise that right. It is very easy to look up candidates and notice that Lakshmi Reddy has never once voted (not once) in a primary election. She has also not voted in every general election. I feel that my grandparents, friends and family members have fought too hard for this right not to be utilized.    

John A. Kesler II has been very supportive in our youth sports community over the years. He has sponsored several teams at West Terre Haute Little League, West Vigo Community Center, Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club, Vigo County Youth Soccer Association, Terre Haute Miss Softball America, Riley Recreation League and the Farrington Grove Tiger Trot. He has also committed his time to working with young children in those leagues as well, having coached several basketball, softball and baseball teams. John Kesler has always been seen out and about and donating to several organizations over the years.

John A. Kesler II believes in family. In my eyes, this may be one of the most important things to him. John just so happens to be my father. I can maybe count on one hand the amount of events he has missed in my life. Now that I have children, he comes to absolutely everything my children have, even dance recitals, just to see his princess.

At the age of 30, I decided to train and compete in a mini marathon. My dad was not only standing at the finish line with the biggest smile on his face, but he positioned himself every three miles to cheer me on. I cannot begin to tell you what that meant to me. When the going got tough he was there coaching me on to do my best. I had my best time that race and I am convinced it was from the extra motivation from my father. No matter the age of his children or where life my take us, we know that we will always have his love and support.

I am hopeful that you will join me in supporting John A. Kesler II this May in the primary election and cast your vote for a very well-prepared, experienced, community and family man.

— Ashley Kesler-Luken, Terre Haute

Monday Holocaust Remembrance Day

During the late 1930s and the early 1940s the Nazi German regime terminated over 9 million people, the majority of which were Jews. Many in the world and particularly in neighboring countries suspected atrocities were being committed but chose to remain silent, and look away. Jews were blamed for various hardships and were thought to be less than human; therefore, terminating their lives was considered appropriate, necessary and justified.

Those with physical or mental handicaps were likewise thought to be a burden, inconvenient and not worthy of the chance to live. This dark period of history has become known as the Holocaust.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” said George Santayana.

Since 1973, this country has permitted the termination of more than 56 million lives, more than six times the human slaughter recorded under Nazi rule. This selective genocide is warranted by choosing to determine that these victims were a hardship and less than human therefore terminating their lives is considered appropriate, necessary and justified. A portion of these lives are handicapped and likewise thought to be a burden, inconvenient and not worth of a chance to live.

Many call it a “right” or “choice.” In fact, this dark period in our nation’s legacy is the new Holocaust.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” said Edmund Burke.

— Douglas Elia, Terre Haute

In our universe, we aren’t alone

It has been said the Kepler space telescope’s recent detection of another Earth-sized planet could mean that life may abound in other parts of the universe.

Given the quadrillion numbers of planets, stars and galaxies throughout the universe, the issue is not whether there “could be” but the reality is that we as a species are not alone. It’s not a matter of if, but when, mankind will finally come to this realization.

The pretense for this point of “could mean” assertion is that this discovered planet might possess liquid water, which in the thinking of contemporary science is the underlying composite essential for life in the universe.

The fallacy of this thinking is that there could be, and most certainly are, other unknown life forms, such as silicon or pure energy, which do not need liquid water to live and thrive, unlike the composition of carbon-based life forms here on Earth.

The human species has always fashioned itself as something special, and central to the universe going back to the days 500 years ago when mankind believed the sun and stars revolved around the Earth.

In the true context of this planet as a small orb against the black backdrop of space, to even suggest or question that this insignificant marble-like planet called Earth is the only possessor of life throughout the universe’s boundless infinity is absurdly laughable.   

— Earl Beal, Terre Haute

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    March 12, 2010