News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 25, 2013

READERS' FORUM: June 25, 2013

The Tribune-Star

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Pools not the best place for our money

I have concerns regarding the Vigo County School Corp. proposed pool project.

As a taxpaying resident, the newspaper article stimulated some thoughts.

I fully realize this is being paid for by a bond issue; however, Vigo county taxpaying citizens will be footing the bill and this money could be spent in better ways, so there is an opportunity cost.

If you have the obvious needs of updating the schools’ heating systems, cooling systems, repairing plumbing and replacing inefficient windows, why would a luxury like a natatorium be given first priority?

I would recommend asking any faculty member other than a coach how the money could better serve our students. How many students would benefit anyway? Is this a case of funds from the many being used to benefit the few?

While I appreciate the opportunity a pool facility would give a limited number of students, there are sports offered in other American high schools which are not offered here and this does not appear to be a hardship. Some examples are bicycling, bodybuilding, hockey, lacrosse, polo, rodeo, roller hockey, rowing, rugby, squash and ultimate Frisbee. I assume many of these are cost prohibitive as perhaps swimming has become.

Why would the taxpaying citizens be forced to subsidize a facility for the Terre Haute Torpedoes?

If the pool is in a central location and not in the schools, does this mean the end of swimming in the physical education classes? This would make the pools used only by a privileged few and not the majority of the students.

While I appreciate the swim coaches’ opinion, if every other faculty member were asked to deliver their optimal situation to deliver their instruction or perform their duty, wouldn’t the wish list bear an expense of hundreds of millions of dollars? Funding is on the decline, and we must first fund needs as opposed to wants.

I really feel that school corporations need to move away from sports-centric myopia and get back to preparing the majority of students for success in life.

We have to stop asking the question: How can we be more competitive in sports?

And start asking the question: How can we better prepare the majority of our students to succeed in life?

Obviously, I am opposed to the project and if we have to fill in the pools, so be it. Money is tight and these funds would be better used to fix the heating, cooling, plumbing, windows and security in our schools rather than add to our tax burden for a luxury.

— Michael Kuckewich

Terre Haute

Demand answers for high gas prices

On June 6, my wife and I began a vacation trip to Nebraska, after paying $4.25/gallon as we left the city. As we crossed the Indiana/Illinois line, we noticed that the price was $3.59/gallon. Then, as we drove into St. Louis, the price dropped to $3.35/gallon, 90 cents a gallon cheaper than in Terre Haute.

As we crossed into Kansas and arrived in Nebraska, we kept track of the gas prices, and they ranged from $3.59 to $3.69/gallon, 56-66 cents cheaper than in Terre Haute.

So, why is gas so expensive in Terre Haute? I contend that we will never know the answer, because those who control gas prices will never tell us. How many times have you read a newspaper article in which a representative from any oil company breaks down the cost for a gallon of gas, telling us who is making how much profit from the time crude oil makes it way to the pump?

The Indianapolis Star reported that the Indiana Attorney General has received more than 80 complaints so far on price gouging. I wonder why? I issue a challenge to any representative from any oil company to write a truthful report on the current cost breakdown for a gallon of gas in Indiana, and specifically in Terre Haute. Who is making what profit?

Will anyone step up to the plate and give us this information? I doubt it.

— Ron Martin

Terre Haute