News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 21, 2013

READERS' FORUM: July 21, 2013

The Tribune-Star

---- — Still studying pool proposal

Like most concerned citizens, I am following the swimming pool proposal. I am mostly interested in a fair presentation of the facts placed on a level playing field.

At this time, I am not sure if the new pool idea is good or not. Too many unanswered questions remain. One thing I am aware of, there is an organized campaign to flood the news media with letters advocating the new pool, using phrases like “How the swimming program helped make positive changes in my life,” etc. One example was printed in the Opinion section of the July 15  paper by Eli Stuhlmacher of Trafalgar, Ind. I am sure you will read more.

Another thing that concerns me is how and if the average student will ever get to use this new pool and how the average kid will find transportation to this new pool. Yes, some students have cars and some have parents with the spare time and money to take their kids or pay for cab fare. I would say the majority do not.

I had been working on a letter on this subject, when I read one from Gary S. Izo in last Sunday’s Readers’ Forum. Mr. Izo expressed my thoughts almost to the word.

Not having all the facts yet, this sounds like a small elitist group with would-be “coming of age” swimmers, or others, perhaps having contracting or constructions aspirations. Like Ms. Myers stated in her letter, “A misuse of taxpayer money”, July 5, we spend $10,800 per student on education and now propose to spend $17,000 per swimmer. Sounds to me like blatant favoritism so for.

While I’m at it, it really irritates me to hear that they are moving the North vs. South football game away from our Memorial Stadium. I played there and we looked forward to it with great anticipation. If money is a problem, I’m sure the VCSC, City and ISU could work something out. The North vs. South game at the Stadium is and should remain a tradition here in Terre Haute, “A Level Above.”

— William P. Thiel

Terre Haute

Institute can help Indiana improve our education

During the 2013 Indiana General Assembly, I was proud to co-sponsor legislation creating the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute, which began its inaugural class July 17 on the Indiana State University campus.

Created with bipartisan support from my colleagues in the House and Senate, it is a two-year experience that is designed to address the professional needs of principals with an emphasis on student success.

Housed at the university’s Bayh College of Education, the institute’s ultimate goal is to improve schools. The institute will increase a principal’s capacity to address the current needs of their school, such as teacher evaluation models, student performance, community involvement, and the shaping a strong school culture.

It is truly powerful when leaders, who share the same issues and concerns, can meet face-to-face and share their stories. That’s why the participating principals will be guided by mentors, who are established and respected educators in their communities. The diverse experience of the mentors at various leadership levels will help their mentees process and incorporate information learned at the institute into meaningful and usable knowledge that they can put to use at their schools and with their students.

The mentors also will play a key role in guiding small group activities and discussions with the participating principals. Working in small groups, the principals will focus on developing and implementing personal and school improvement plans, facilitating action research projects at each school, refining school improvement plans, and building a network of other principals to gain support during and beyond the institute experience.

I’m pleased that one of the 11 mentors, selected through a collaborative effort between Indiana State University and the Indiana Association of School Principals, is from Western Indiana. Clay Community Schools Assistant Superintendent Timothy Rayle, Ph.D., will provide his expertise throughout the two-year experience.

To participate, principals must have the support of their superintendent and school corporation. Nominating a principal implies the superintendent and school board think the principal has the potential to improve their school, are supportive of positive change in the school and will allow data collection to occur, the very data collection that ultimately will help improve the school.  

The institute is currently accepting applications for its 2014 class, which will begin next summer. To learn more, or to apply, please visit

Today’s economic climate has showed us that more than ever, we must make sure our children are equipped with the educational tools and resources they need to thrive. The same is true for our teachers and school administrators who have made education their life’s mission. I fully expect that the institute will help improve schools and have a direct impact on our children’s achievement and success.

— State Rep. Clyde Kersey

Indiana House of


D-Terre Haute

Here’s a plan to make things right

Here’s an idea to pay off the national debt. Put Air Force One on concrete blocks. Weld shut any place you can get fuel into the engine. Dig a deep moat around the White House and fill it with foul water, alligators are optional. Food in and trash out only. Bring all of our military and their equipment home. Yes, all equipment, we paid for it and we want it back. Station troops to seal the borders. Anyone can leave but, lots of cash is required to get back in. That includes the politicians on fact-finding trips (better known as free vacations to get away from the wife, husband and whatever you call this latest fad.)

No dollars leave this country. None, nada, nyet, verboten. If we can’t trade for needed items, then make our own. We have done it before and we are quite able to do it again. Another thought, no work, no food. Even those with their hands out are required to work. If nothing else, pump water to keep the moat full.

Freeze all government employee hiring until the number of employees equals the total employment of the last time we had a balanced budget.  Which was during the Clinton years with a Republican Congress. A new law for the legislative branch, executive branch and the judicial branch, they don’t get paid until we have a yearly surplus budget.

Why not? The lousy system we have now doesn’t work.

— Sam Wallace

Casey, Ill.

The question of law and morality

If the law presumes to be the highest embodiment of morality, how is it that four Supreme Court dissenters would deny two people in love the same rights and pursuit of happiness they themselves enjoy?

They may believe some behavior is “against God’s law.” But other Christians are less certain about reading God’s mind or sticking to Scripture, which, by the way, required death by stoning for male cohabitation (see Leviticus). Female homosexuals seem excepted from execution. But if the Supreme Court dissenters had been five, then females as well as males would be denied equal rights.

Now let us consider the ire of Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent that would use “homosexual sodomy” as a club by which to beat down his opponents. It is the weapon of choice not only by conservative Catholics but other Christian fundamentalists, as well as many fundamentalists of other faiths.

Let me say to Justice Scalia, the other dissenters and fundamentalists of all faiths who see homosexuality as an “abomination” (as in the Old and New Testament), that surveys by the Kinsey Institute show sodomy not unusual among heterosexuals, married as well as unmarried.

On the other hand, all male gays do not practice sodomy. There are other methods of expressing love physically or platonically. The late Ann Landers pointed that out to young people when she received a letter from an adolescent girl asking about submitting to sex with an insistent boyfriend. Ms. Landers, quite aware of raging hormones and sex among the young, as well as the millions of unwanted pregnancies, unwanted abortions, or unwanted and unloved babies, advised against promiscuous intercourse among adolescents and in favor of the use of the hand.

Justice Scalia is no celibate when it comes to sex (he has nine children) and he is entitled to his opinion about sexual proprieties, but as a jurist he should not be entitled to deprive others of equal rights under the law because their preferences differ from his.

As a conservative, concerned about the over-reaching power of the state, he should spare us his moralistic preachments on sexual behavior and decry any legislation or judicial rulings that prevent equal marital rights based on the sexual orientation of two consenting and loving adults.

“The love that dare not speak its name” is a phrase from a poem by Lord Alfred Douglas called “Two Loves” (1894). Douglas was the young lover of Oscar Wilde. In the trial and conviction of Wilde for “gross indecency,” it was mentioned as a euphemism for homosexuality.

In 1895 Wilde was sentenced to two years at hard labor in a primitive prison (by today’s standards) for the “love that dare not speak its name.” It broke his spirit until he was finally released. Crippled psychologically from the rigors of prison life and physically by an illness contracted while in prison, he soon died. The victory was for bigotry in a Victorian Age of prudery and hypocrisy. The loss to the literary world was immeasurable.

Wilde was only 46 when he died in 1900. As dramatist, poet and author of fictional and non-fictional works, Wilde belongs in the pantheon of literary geniuses. His legacy of literary brilliance will endure as long as there are humans to appreciate such singular gifts.

Inspired by his prison nightmare, the “Ballad of Reading Gaol” stands among the greatest poetic works of the 19th or any other century. His long poem was certainly the greatest ballad written in the 19th century.

Wilde’s social legacy was significant as well as his literacy legacy. His scurrilous punishment and tragic fate became a cause celebre against the bigoted treatment of gays and a pivot toward the long and hard struggle for gay rights over a century that followed.

Such a cry from the depth of so many hearts for justice and equality seems to have been lost on Justice Scalia and those of similar persuasion.

Wilde’s great prison poem, as well as his prose writings, were also salient factors toward prison reform, especially toward the treatment of children.

By the way, Wilde remained a Catholic.

— Saul Rosenthal

Terre Haute

Only the elite are unhappy over hire

On July 10 an Associated Press article was published titled “Ball State under scrutiny for hiring professor,” which generates questions like who is scrutinizing? The prof in question wrote a book on intelligent design, which is a red flag infraction in the academic community.

Is it the AP, or maybe the general public (who could not care less), or possibly the faculty lounge elite. It would appear the latter is the most offended and is the group protecting us from this dastardly offense, plus the ones who are so heavily invested in their Darwinist Theory of physical and life origins.

The article also states “Ball State does not support teaching intelligent design in science classes,” which certainly discourages students with differing views to speak out. So sit down, shut up and agree if you expect a good grade.

This is another example of reasons to totally revamp or to discard Life Science departments in higher education institutions, as teaching has turned from educating to singular idealism-indoctrination.

A solution is to direct your student to a targeted school or trade school, and thus save tens of thousands of dollars while avoiding educators who appear to be pursuing an agenda rather than the truth. However, this will allow the life science psychologists to continue awarding accolades and awards among themselves.

Congratulations Ball State on this hire.

— Bill Jaeger

Terre Haute

Trial should not have occurred

Let’s say someone has you pinned down and is beating on your head. You have a pistol and a license to carry it. What would you do? If you say you wouldn’t use that pistol, you’re either a liar or a fool. No in between.

That’s all George Zimmerman did. How or why he was ever put on trial is beyond me. Now, he’ll have to look over his shoulder for the rest of his life.

How would you like to be in his position? For those of you who believe he is guilty, I hope you are in that position someday.

— Michael T. Lawson

Marshall, Ill.

Sen. Coats’ claims ignore the past

I agree with Sen. Coats about losing faith in government because of scandals, but my memory seems to be better. Clinton, Reagan and even Nixon and the countless senators who occupy a spot on this list have also contributed to the loss of faith in government. Why would you just stop at the current administration if you were really concerned about the citizens’ loss of faith?

You said they have every reason to under the current administration. Do you feel the citizens did not have a reason to with any other scandal? Sen. Coats, do you believe the people’s loss of faith just started? I thought the Flashpoint had been mislabeled after reading the first paragraph. Considering you were first elected into the Senate in 1981, why would you say this is the fault of one administration?

Would the solution to the “growing trust deficit” be both sides getting something done in Washington? I encourage everyone to look up Sen. Coats voting record to see how well he hears the people and how well he hears the GOP. Is this what we can expect from you in the future, voting to fix the “growing trust deficit”?

You also had a comment about “most Hoosiers being skeptical”. Which ones? Both parties, one or the other? Who did you talk to? Which actions are they skeptical of? What are they for or against? It’s almost like these two paragraphs had no reason to open this Flashpoint.

I agree with most of what the senator said but border security, but I need more information on what you see is the best solution. Some countries ideas of border security is shoot to kill, so whatever Congress comes up with will be an improvement over what other countries offer.

— Mike Travelstead

Terre Haute

Help needed at ministry

Covenant Cooperative Ministry has launched a search for an assistant director. As founder of the ministry, I announced the need today. The ministry has grown exponentially during 11 years of service to the community.

I was recently diagnosed with cancer (leukemia) and developed symptoms over the last few years. I wondered why I was always so tired at the end of the day. I thought the work was too stressful. But the fatigue increased and stamina decreased and I had to cut back my hours at the ministry.

After receiving the diagnosis, learning of the treatment plan and realizing the chemo medication is so costly ($10,000/mo), I began to pray that God would send someone to whom I could pass the mantle of ministry when the time comes.

I could choose to give up now, close the ministry and just stay home and worry about my health. But I’d rather keep the ministry alive. Our services are vital to the community and I want to continue serving God and his people for as long as I can. I have spent the last 11 years caring for strangers in the community. These are the poorest of the poor, the neediest of our neighbors, all of whom are part of God’s family, even if they may not yet know their heavenly Father.

I foresee an unpredictable schedule of doctor visits, lab testing and treatment for the next few months. I ask people to forgive me if it seems I am not there for you or if I have let you down in any way. God willing, the ministry and I will thrive and I will return to full time very soon.

Many people do not realize that the ministry operates with one or two volunteers. The ministry is currently in need of volunteers and funds for First Days Back to School Program and Summer Fan Project. CCM is accepting resumes for the assistant director, which may be mailed to 122 S. 101⁄2 Street, Terre Haute, IN 47807.

— Rose Aycock

Executive Director


Cooperative Ministry

Terre Haute