News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Letters

June 7, 2014

Readers’ Forum: June 8, 2014

Can link to death really be denied?

Vigo County Coroner Dr. Susan Amos recently concluded that the death of Jeremy Salesman was not related to a severe beating he allegedly received at the hands (and feet) of Christopher Pine and James Shafer (Tribune-Star, June 5). Really?

Amos’ conclusion reportedly was based solely on the fact that Salesman died from an ischemic stroke rather than from a hemorrhagic stroke. Amos cannot see any connection between brain trauma resulting from being punched and kicked in the head and a subsequent ischemic stroke. Really?

Amos apparently has no difficulty believing that a young man simply suffered a stroke for no apparent reason. Heck, 37-year-old males regularly suffer lethal ischemic strokes. Really?

Dr. James Burke and colleagues have a slightly different point of view. In their 2013 study reported in the journal Neurology, the authors showed that traumatic brain injury increases the chance of an ischemic stroke by almost 60  percent in individuals less than 50 years old. Their study was based on a follow-up of 28 months. Salesman died a mere five months after an alleged attack, and he was well under the age of 50. Really!

I appreciate that proving a link between a beating and a stroke would be a difficult task in a court of law. But is it appropriate to deny that a link could exist?

— Jim Hughes, Terre Haute

Great support

Prairie Creek lost a church due to a fire in December 2013. The Prairie Creek First Baptist Church was a home to many in this area.

Prairie Creek Lions decided we needed to do something in a small way to help raise funds for the new church building. On May 17, a chili supper was put together by the Lions, friends and members of the church. We had no idea how many to plan for in our small community but we did it.

Prairie Creek Lions would like to thank the businesses who helped us: Baesler’s, Gathering Place, McDonald’s, Hardees, Save-A-Lot, all of Sullivan; Dollar Tree, Kroger Wabash, Kroger South, Pohlman’s Meats, Kmart, Big Lots, Lowe’s, Apple House, Wendy’s and First Financial Bank, all of Terre Haute; R&S Meats and County Line Florist of Farmersburg; and Prairie Creek General Store.

A special thank you to the ladies of the church who made delicious desserts and our Lions members and friends who prepared chili and helped serve. Also, a big thanks to all who attended.

— Barbara Mericle, president Prairie Creek Lions

Thanks for stirring great memories

How can we, the class of 1959 at Gerstmeyer, thank Frank Jozsa and Sharon (Berry) Joslin for documenting in the article, “We Remember,” our time and some of the people with which we spent that time — influential adults and classmates who became important in our lives then and even now linger in history?

Before I came to Gerstmeyer for my last two years, I had traveled across the United States and attended too many grade schools and high schools to remember — even commuting from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco by boat to attend class. When I arrived at Gerstmeyer, I instantly remembered from elementary school Darla (Hartzler) McCammon and eventually showed her a picture of us together at that time. We sang in a trio with Sue LaMaster, and we had memorable classes together with Susie Dewey and Dorothy English — memorable because Darla and I were both interested in singing and writing — alternating between receiving the award for the Clean Up, Fix Up, Paint Up contest.

Their article also brought back memories of receiving the Betty Crocker Award (and I laugh because I really don’t cook, bake or throw anything together) and both of us were part of the National Honor Society along with Sharon (Berry) Joslin. Eventually we also developed an interest in art.

Our many thanks for adroitly telescoping our memories and recognizing those who molded our futures.

— Sandra McKenzie, president Margaret Lefranc Art Foundation, Santa Fe, N.M.

Group appreciates volunteers, donors

Trees Inc. is a not-for-profit environmental organization that for almost 25 years has planted new trees along Terre Haute streets to improve our urban forest and make our city a more beautiful and comfortable place to live.  

About three years ago, Trees took on a new task. We are not only planting trees, we are also working to save the trees already here in our parks and local forests. Invasive species of plants, most especially Asian varieties of honeysuckle, oriental bittersweet, and multiflora rose, have overrun our forests and destroyed our native habitat. Everywhere that these plants grow, they grow aggressively and push out all native species of bushes and wildflowers.

When the native plants are gone, native animals that depend on them for food and/or shelter suffer greatly. If you have any invasive plants on your property, please eradicate them as soon as possible.

With the help of many groups and individuals in our community, Trees has begun to clear Dobbs Park of invasive species plants. Most of the help has come from students at Woodrow Wilson, Otter Creek, South Vigo, North Vigo, Indiana State University and Rose-Hulman. Also, we have had volunteers from Air Force ROTC, Kellogg’s employees, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and many individuals.

Over Memorial Day weekend, on a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning when these student volunteers could have been doing something else, 85 of them chose to come to Dobbs and clear more honeysuckle from the woods. Trees Inc. is most grateful to our wonderful volunteers, and we want the community to recognize their hard work and contribution to our environment.

Invasive plants are a serious problem in our area. Honeysuckle prevents the seeds of other plants from germinating in the soil so, therefore, seeds of existing trees cannot sprout and replace a mature tree when that tree dies. Oriental bittersweet is an aggressive vine that chokes large trees and topples them to the ground because of the weight of the vine. Multiflora rose has needle-sharp spines that are dangerous to wildlife and hikers.

If you would also like to help remove invasives in Dobbs Park or have questions about how to rid it on your property, please call Carissa Lovett at Dobbs Park Nature Center, 812-877-1095. We can work with individuals and groups of people from the age of 10 and older.

Thank you to Rural King for donating our gloves and to an anonymous donor for a generous contribution to the meal we served. But most of all, we want to thank our many volunteers.

— Carissa Lovett, naturalist, Dobbs Park Nature Center

— Jane Morse, chair of Invasive Species Committee, Trees Inc.

Emission rules will cost us jobs

The EPA announced yet another round of proposed regulations for CO2 emissions.

Indiana Utilities have already invested hundreds of millions of dollars to operate in a cleaner, more responsible manner, and they have made great progress. Between 1986 and 2011 there was an 81 percent drop in nitrogen oxide, an 85 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide, and a 28 percent reduction in carbon emissions, while electric generation increased 62 percent.

The EPA regulations for existing plants, released last week, require carbon emissions to be reduced by 30 percent by 2030. These regulations are designed to stop the use of low-cost, coal-powered electricity, even though EPA admits it won’t make a significant impact in global CO2 emissions. It is a leadership stance to encourage the rest of the world to join us in lowering CO2 emissions at a potentially huge cost impact to Hoosiers.

Over 80 percent of Hoosier electricity is generated by coal and it helps us stay below the national average electricity rate. Hoosiers pay an average of 8per kWh compared to 13per kWh Californians pay and less than 1 percent of California’s electricity is from coal. Plus, California has the second highest rate of CO2 emissions in the country.

Another example is Germany, which implemented “Energiewende,” a new set of policies to adopt wind and solar energy. Now Germany has the highest average electricity rates in the world. Power for industry in Germany now costs about twice as much as it does in the United States. Germany’s Minister of Economics and Energy warned that without reforms, Germany will face a “dramatic deindustrialization.”

Coal-powered generation keeps our electricity rates low and attracts good jobs from large manufacturers. Gov. Pence, and Sens. Coats and Donnelly agree EPA carbon regulations could be devastating to Indiana. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Manufacturers Association agree that these regulations will have a significant negative impact on the U.S. economy. Right now, we need jobs not more regulations.

— Suzanne Jaworowski, Fishers

We all can have impact on climate

I am delighted that EPA has finally moved to abate the disastrous impacts of climate change by regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. But, given the adverse reaction from the coal industry, the agency should have issued parallel regulations on emissions from meat industry operations.

Each state could then determine its own optimal strategy for curbing greenhouse gases.

A 2006 U.N. report estimated that meat production accounts for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gases. A 2009 article in the respected World Watch magazine suggested that the contribution may be closer to 50 percent.

The meat industry generates carbon dioxide by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to confine, feed, transport and slaughter animals. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

In the meantime, each of us can reduce the devastating effects of climate change every time we eat. Our local supermarket offers a rich variety of plant-based lunch meats, hotdogs, veggie burgers and dairy product alternatives, as well as ample selection of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts. Product lists, easy recipes, and transition tips are readily available online.

— Tommy Caton, Terre Haute

Good opportunity for understanding

I would like to thank the Terre Haute Exchange Club and a local church for allowing Pastor Usama Dakdok to speak at those venues about the dangers posed to a free society by the intolerance of Islam and its adherents.  

Pastor Dakdok, born and educated in Egypt, studying Islamic law, has produced an eminently usable and accurate translation of the Koran for the use of Christians in the English speaking world. Less this knowledge, American Christians are distinctly disadvantaged in truthful discussions and relationships with Muslims.   

Pastor Dakdok discussed many verses of the Koran, using the historical and linguistic contexts in which they were written, explaining the effects upon our society if Islam is given free rein in America.  

He discussed recent developments in the news reflecting the growing negative influence of Islam, Muslims in our government and Muslim groups worldwide. Identifying the mass kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls, forced conversions to Islam and the violent treatment of women and children under Islamic rule, he correlated them to verses from the Koran, showing these events’ consistency with the doctrines of Jihad and Sharia. He also reminded us, in the Muslim world, slavery is still rampant, consistent with Koran teachings.

Again, I thank these two groups for making available an educational opportunity for Terre Haute residents.

— Edward R. Kesler, West Terre Haute

Good steps, but doubt remains

It is refreshing to hear that the Republican leadership in Indiana has finally recognized the need for Hoosiers to have some sort of health care coverage that is affordable. However, like columnist Brian Howey, I still harbor my doubts that their solution will be any better, since they did lead us into two unfunded wars and extensive de-regulation that resulted in unprecedented bailouts to avoid an international financial catastrophe. This has resulted in a change in the way business is done in America with 1 percent of the population in charge of 40 percent of the nation’s wealth and jobs leaving America for good to go to foreign countries, along with the money of the wealthy seeking domiciles to avoid taxes.

I remember that the political party in power in Indiana fiercely fought the concept of helping to provide health care to those in need that they now seem to embrace. They fought the concept tooth and nail without an offered alternative and without success many, many times.

The House Republicans in Washington have acted like spoiled children throwing a temper-tantrum attempting to shut down the government. I thank God that their hearts have softened toward those in need, but a good old-fashioned spanking sometimes has that effect on bull-headed childishness, doesn’t it?

What remains to be seen is if this is just an attempt to avoid political suicide by offering a quid-pro-quo to get votes at election time for a presidential candidate or if they are sincerely attempting to be contrite. From the programming still coming out of their media sources I will have an extremely hard time accepting that it is the latter and not the former.

Time will tell if they are wearing their hearts on their sleeves or if it is still in the wallets in their back pockets where it has been all along.

— John Garner, Terre Haute

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    March 12, 2010

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