News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 5, 2013

Readers’ Forum; May 5, 2013


TERRE HAUTE — Thankful for

Pyle museum

I was happy to see the announcement of the Ernie Pyle Museum’s summer season opening, and I was reminded of how fortunate we all are to have such a museum close by.

Having visited the museum recently, I can say that we should all feel indebted to the volunteers who saved this museum from its near demise a few years ago. If you have never have heard of this native son who was so beloved by America’s World War II soldiers and their anxious families at home, you should make a trip to Dana. If you’re familiar with his name, but you’ve never visited the museum, you should make a trip to Dana.

If you have children or grandchildren to whom you want to pass on an appreciation of our Hoosier heritage, you should make a trip to Dana. It is a fine museum, worthy of taking the time to see.

— Libby Ray

Terre Haute

What about laws

that are repealed?

I consider CNHI statehouse correspondent Maureen Hayden one of the best additions to your newspaper in a long time. She writes very well and shows little bias on most issues.

My particular comment is a request for an expansion on the number of bills passed through the legislature. She stated that “almost 300 pieces of legislation” were passed. What I did not see in her article was the number of bills that were revoked from prior years.

Now, 300 pieces may not seem to be excessive, but over a time frame of 40 or 50 years it adds up. We always tout the “success” of our legislature in passing bills but rarely if ever anything regarding lessening the boot of government on the people.

I recall that early in this session there was a fair amount of talk regarding cleaning up the Indiana Criminal Code but since that was published I have seen virtually nothing that reported on this issue. Maybe we could see some articles that discuss how our representatives are reducing the tangle of law that snares all of us in the web of bigger and bigger government.

— Raymond E. Broshar

Terre Haute

Time for Valley to beware

of scam artists

It’s that time of year that the Home Builders Association of Greater Terre Haute would like to remind the public to be aware of the scam artists who like to prey on vulnerable people — especially those who have been hit after a weather-related crisis — for home damage repairs. These “storm scammers” travel from state to state and disappear as quickly as they appear after receiving several hundreds and at times thousands of dollars up front.

The state of Indiana recently passed House Bill 1237 to help provide implications for contractors who perform exterior work on a home where the owner will be using part or all of the proceeds of an insurance claim to cover the work. The legislation:

• Provides that the contractor cannot advertise, offer or promise to pay or rebate any part of an insurance deductible to induce (entice) a person to enter into a home improvement contract or otherwise purchase goods or services.

• Allows the contractor to be paid for emergency repairs.

• Allows the homeowner to cancel the contract with the contractor within three days of receiving written notice from the insurance company that part or all of the contract will not be covered.

• Requires contractors who do not have a prior business relationship with the consumer to have a presence in Indiana (either have an office, an attorney or be registered to do business at the Secretary of State’s Office).

• Contractors must put specific language included in the legislation in their contracts.

Penalties for violating the rules fall under the Deceptive Act and were effective July 1, 2012.

Here are also a few warning signs to prevent you or a loved one from being taken advantage of:

• If you are asked to pay in cash or 100 percent up-front before the work is even started.

• If you are told a written contract or permit isn’t necessary. (A professional remodeler should always provide you with a written contract that clearly explains the work to be completed, along with the price and payment policy. If it seems too low, it probably is for the wrong reason.)

n If the homeowner is asked to pull the permit themselves. (If the contractor doesn’t pull the permit for their job, it’s a good indication that they can’t perform work in our community and aren’t registered and bonded with the City of Terre Haute. And permits are required for all work performed. This ensures that the work performed is in compliance with applicable building codes and standards, and is inspected by the proper authority.)

• Told a “special low price” is good only if you sign the contract today.

• If a contractor has no references to check. (A professional contractor will be happy to provide you with references from former customers and suppliers. In fact, most encourage it.)

• If you can’t verify the name, address or phone number of the contractor. (A professional remodeler is a part of your community and should be happy to provide you with their contact information.)

• Many reputable contractors are members of professional organizations such as the Home Builders Association and Chamber of Commerce. Membership indicates professionalism and commitment to the industry and community in which they do business.

You can verify if a contractor is registered and bonded with the City of Terre Haute by calling the City Building Inspector’s office at 812-232-5823. However, contractors do not have to be registered to work in the county. Therefore, it is extremely important that you protect yourselves with the above criteria before choosing your contractor.

You can find professional contractors at the HBA website at or by calling our office at 812-234-5736.

— Marsha L. Doan

Executive Officer

HBA of Greater

Terre Haute, Inc.

Agree on some,

not on others

This letter will probably shock and awe my local GOP adversaries, and at the same time draw their ire. The shock and awe segment will come from the fact that I totally agree with the GOP Congress on the subject of immigration. The Boston bombings are only one of the many reasons we must limit the number of people who come here legally or illegally.

Any type of amnesty or a quick path to citizenship will only compound the problems we already have in terms of unemployment, education, welfare and health care even if a legal citizen agrees to sponsor an immigrant, eventually he or she will end up or welfare and Medicaid.

I disagree however that more border security is necessary to stop those who come here illegally. We must crack down on employees who hire illegal immigrants. They come here for work. Take away the work and they have no incentive to come here. Statistics have shown that when our unemployment rate was around 9 percent, fewer people came across our borders.

The ire segment will come from my total opposition to Pence’s tax cuts for the wealthy. The GOP majority put on a dog and pony show, indicating they would oppose using the surplus for tax cuts, instead of funding education or rebuild our infrastructure. But they caved in, or they never intended to oppose the tax cuts.

As an article in the April 24 edition of the T-S reported, $500 million in new tax cuts are in the GOP’s final budget. The bulk of the tax cuts go to corporations and eliminating the estate tax. The taxpayers will get the least of the three categories of tax cuts.

I want to close by answering the questions of the residents of Newport and Terre Haute. No. 1, why would their city build a new million-dollar sewage plant when they already have one? No. 2, why are the people of Terre Haute asked to pay for water and sewage services for those outside city limits and my questions is why are more tax cuts for the wealthy being given that take away more funds needed to fund education and rebuilding our infrastructure and basic government services?

The answer to all three is you keep electing the same people who do the above.

— Ron Hastings


Wonderful event

hosted by Candles

Sowing Seeds of Peace. This was the theme of the unique event last Friday evening at the Apple House, hosted by the Candles Holocaust Museum.

When we arrived at 7:30 p.m., the Apple House was already crowded with people enjoying the wine tasting from nine vendors impressively hosted by Bourbon & Canal, information tables on spring planting, conversation and great music from the band “15th and Hulman.” The other business groups who helped host also deserve acknowledgment: The Copper Bar, Complete Outdoor, Gurman, WTWO and WAWV, Clabber Girl, Large Ink, Midwest Printing, and Simple to Elegant.

Eva Kor gave an exceptionally moving, humorous and touching account of her profound work on coming to a place of forgiveness in the face of the worst trauma that has afflicted our greater humanity in hundreds of years. She is sharing this story around the world and we are so fortunate to have her here with us. Kiel Majewski, the executive director of the museum, added his own words of wisdom and connection.

Perhaps I missed the coverage in the paper, but I thought I should share my own perspectives above. This was an exceptional community event, well supported and well attended, and is part of what makes me proud, after over 20 years of residence here, to say that I live in Terre Haute.

Again, I would like to extend my appreciation to all those who contributed to the Seeds for Peace event and to the continued contribution of Eva Kor, the staff and the board of the Candles Holocaust Museum.

— Jean L. Kristeller

Terre Haute