News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 19, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Aug. 19, 2012


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Positive elements to canopy project

I am writing this letter in response to your two articles on Aug. 7 and Aug. 8 announcing the canopy installations for some of the Vigo County schools.

First of all, I would like to say that I am in support of the project, and I know many parents who are also in favor of it. I want to commend the corporation for the consideration in meeting this need for the students. I hope that our community members look very closely at the positive impacts these canopies will provide for our children and our community.

Your two articles proved the positive student and parental feedback on the project. I feel those who are not actively involved in the day-to-day operations of our local schools are unable to understand this need.

The cost of the canopies is $78,000 for 13 schools. I respectfully ask that our community does not focus solely on this. It seems a huge amount. However, when the past canopy estimates are minimally computed and compared, the difference between the two costs are $14,000 per canopy versus $6,000. When considering the costs incurred based upon each canopy cost of $14,000, the total cost of 13 canopies are $182,000.

A good point to note is the cost of this proposed project will not exceed $78,000, which means the Vigo County School Corp. will not be responsible for anything beyond this amount. Furthermore, there is no doubt these canopies will be durable, because they will be constructed by professionals.

There are many benefits that will result from this project. The foremost benefit is the students will be safer and it will be more convenient for them in all types of weather. These entryways are not just being seen as a need for the children by the administrators; parents and students alike have determined this need and have already been attempting to meet it.

Currently, some canopies have been provided by the Parent-Teacher Organization. For instance, Deming Elementary School’s PTO has spent at least $200 in the past few years purchasing canopies to protect the children from poor weather conditions.

Many items within schools are replaced constantly, but items such as the outdoor American flags and canopies are among those that fall to the wayside. However, these things make an indirect impact on our students’ well-being and performance which results in a more comfortable learning environment. These items also demonstrate an architectural value as well by promoting a healthy interest and appreciation in fine arts for our current and future generational residents of Terre Haute. The community input and participation adds the historical value to our community.

Another impressive element of this project involves the emphasis of the use of sustainable materials. Mr. Piker expressed to me that the company’s first goal is to seek out those materials which can be salvaged from landfills, demolition sites, etc.

Lastly, this project most certainly includes local businesses and organizations tied to the city of Terre Haute. BSA Lifestructures, Freitag Weinhardt, and American Structurepoint are all businesses that have some type of connection to Terre Haute.

In addition, the Vigo County Educational Foundation supports the project, as well. Not to mention the fact that Matthew Won Piker, owner of the Majeur Won, is a result of the fine education Vigo County has rendered worldwide.

Both the Vigo County School Corp. and Majeur Won have expressed their deepest desires for community feedback. If anyone has questions about the canopy structures, I urge citizens to contact Majeur Won with them at I emailed them with some in-depth and lengthy questions, and I received a rapid and thorough response back from Mr. Piker within 45 minutes.

I know I am not alone when I say I appreciate the genuine concern and passion for the well-being of our local children that the corporation exhibits.

Thanks, Mr. Tanoos.

— Tamera W. Rhodes

Former Deming Star and parent of Deming Stars

Terre Haute

Great admiration for accused doctor

This letter is in support of a fine doctor, my rheumatologist, Dr. Henry Davis. I have been a patient of Dr. Davis for many years and I hold him in high regard for his medical and caring treatment of my serious joint problems.

My admiration for Dr. Henry Davis as a physician is shared by so many of his patients.

— Helga G. Phillips

Terre Haute

Thanks for info on Seelyville church

Thank you to Brian Boyce for the interesting and enlightening article concerning the possible closing of Holy Rosary Church in Seelyville, which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star on Monday, Aug. 6. Also, thanks to the Tribune-Star for publishing the article. The article shed some light on rules for closing a church but it also gave reasons for keeping a church open.

I am one of the nine children of John and Anna Butwin referred to in the article and naturally I am greatly concerned about this situation. Thank you for publishing the article and please continue to keep the public informed.

— Helen M. (Butwin) Meunier


Bringing an end to bullying in schools

In the United States, bullying in our schools is pervasive. For many people, the devastating effect can be harmful throughout their lives.

Mohandas Gandhi, in his struggle to free India from the imperialism of the British Empire, began each day with a prayer: “I will do injustice to no one today, but I will not stand by idly while injustice is done to anyone.”

Let us challenge administrators, teachers and staff to teach the wisdom of Gandhi.

Let us challenge students that their words and actions be the message of Gandhi.

With Mahatma Gandhi’s indomitable courage and the unshakable resolve of the Indian people, British imperialism came to an end in India. With the same commitment and perseverance, the scourge of bullying will come to an end in American schools.

— Bill Youman

Terre Haute

Put a target on those fast vehicles

A news item appearing in the 8-15-12 issue alluded to an individual driving his automobile at speeds of 119 mph.

For some reason, I couldn’t shake 119 mph from my mind that morning.

119 mph — 119 mph — 119 miles per hour!

Then it hit me.

The highest legal speed in this country is 70 (maybe 80 in some places) mph.

Over the years, high-speed driving and police chases have cost uncounted lives, injuries and property damage.

Not only that, I began to suspect that the carbon footprint of a gasoline engine operating at such high speeds would rise dramatically.

I checked with Al Gore and my suspicions were confirmed (it nearly doubles, he told me).

Finally, the fuel consumption of such engines soars, resulting in greater demand for foreign oil, along with higher gasoline prices.

With all this knowledge, I ask you, in the name of Pete, how the ownership of such powerful motor vehicles can be justified.

It can’t, so I am now calling upon Congress to ban the manufacture and sale of any automobile capable of exceeding 80 mph.

Furthermore, owners of likewise older cars would be required to have installed, at their own expense, permanent and undefeatable speed limiters on their vehicle(s).

Those who can’t afford to do so will have their cars seized from them, without compensation, courtesy of the EPA.

Those who refuse to comply will spend 10 years turning big rocks into little rocks at some bighouse.

It is high time that we come to our collective senses and restore some sanity to our highways and byways by banning these death-dealing and unneeded automobiles from our society.

Since there is no right to own an automobile, this should be a snap.

— Mark Burns

Terre Haute

Gun rights are not about hunting

In response to the recent letter by Shirley Thomas:

I am not a Chuck Norris fan, nor do I subscribe to the NRA newsletters, but I do know our right to bear arms was not intended for us to be able to hunt game or have sport. It was specifically designed for “We the people” to be able to defend ourselves from a tyrannical government.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but it’s true. If you outlaw guns then only outlaws (and crazy people) will have guns. One of the first things Hitler did was to outlaw and confiscate firearms from the civilians. You shouldn’t wonder why.

Your views sound passive and liberal, but that’s OK, that’s what makes the world go around and I thank God we all still have our freedom to express our opinions.

— Stanley R. Hamm Sr.

Terre Haute

Still some good people out there

 I don’t remember your names but my wife and I would sincerely like to thank the individuals who were first on the scene and came to the aid of my wife at her auto accident on Aug. 6 at the Rea Park entrance and South Seventh Street. Your thoughtfulness, kindness and caring made her feel safe and secure in a very difficult situation.

We would also like to thank the emergency response people, THPD officers and the staff of the Regional Hospital ER, all of these people’s foremost concerns were the safety and well-being of my wife.

Again, thanks to all,

— Sharon and Ernie Horrall

Terre Haute

Would real Saul please stand up

OK, what did you do with the real Saul Rosenthal?

The last three letters that the Tribune has published from a man claiming to be Saul Rosenthal have been succinct, lacked any kind of name-calling, quickly made a cogent point, and supported the opinion with documented references.

What did you do with our real Saul?

— Jerry Arnold

Terre Haute

Ryan choice merited more news coverage

When I began to read the Sunday, Aug. 12 Tribune-Star I expected to see coverage of Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his runningmate. The big story was about “Torpedo Aims for Gold.” Swimmer Evan Austin, a contender in the Paralympics Games in London, has a great story. Being a local hero who has overcome difficult odds, he is inspiring to read about.  

However, we have an extremely important election coming up, and the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan news rated a little mention on page 4.

I thought Monday’s TribStar might provide some more news about the VP pick, and there it was at the bottom of the front page. Maureen Dowd —  I’m sorry, Maureen Hayden, Indiana Statehouse Bureau Chief —  weighed in with a snarky column beginning with comments about Paul Ryan’s great hair. She went on to cite a recent poll that found voters viewed President Obama as being “more caring” than Mitt Romney and a Pew survey showing Obama’s personal favorability rating at 50 percent. The point being that great hair doesn’t add up to likability. Hey, what’s not to like about Big Daddy-O, who’s the distributor-in-chief of all those government goodies and keeps promising more.

There are excuses to be made for the coverage of the Paul Ryan pick, I’m sure. The story of a local Paralympics star deserves attention,  the paper focuses on local news, the Ryan selection was made on Saturday — no time to give it front-page coverage on Sunday, people saw the news on TV, etc.  

Maureen Hayden, of course, is a regular contributor. It does seem that the TribStar might have given more coverage to the selection of Paul Ryan. This could be the election of a lifetime, and it seems the TribStar is downplaying an important part of the process.

— Judith Francis

Terre Haute