Kudos to Sen. Joe Donnelly
It is reassuring to know that there are some in Congress who believe in compromise and working together.
Tribune-Star columnist Mark Bennett’s front-page piece on Oct. 17 pointed out the important role assumed by Sen. Joe Donnelly within the struggles over the debt crisis. As Bennett quoted in his article, Donnelly said, “What gets things done is the relationship you have to work together to make our nation stronger. And you had 14 people in a room who trusted one another, who knew they could trust each other’s word, and who knew that their only goals were to try and make this nation stronger.”
He pointed out that “It was negotiations where a number of people had different positions. Nobody got 100 percent of what they wanted, but the goal was to make sure our nation was protected.”
We are fortunate to have a senator representing Indiana with a desire to find solutions and not just be a “grandstander.”
Donnelly’s middle ground approach helped to avoid an international crisis. Where was Sen. Coats?
— Martha Cornelius
Telling the story of climate change
Thank you for giving such prominence to the study from the University of Hawaii on global warming (Oct. 10). I have talked about global warming for at least 20 years. It’s been so evident to me, not only from what I’ve observed here but from what I’ve read about what’s happening worldwide, and from what information I’ve gotten from radio and TV.
I won’t be around in 2047, but for those who will it’s time to realize the future looks bleak if we can’t reduce greenhouse gases.
— Robert L. Carter
Don’t overlook 13th and Hulman for aquatic center
I never learned to swim, and as a kid in the early 1950’s I nearly drowned. Like water and oil, I didn’t mix well either.
But now I find myself writing about the new VCSC pool and its placement. Perhaps Voorhees Park would make a beautiful setting for the pools, except for one major factor — the location of Voorhees Park itself.
Simply put, it’s the traffic congestion in that whole area. Voorhees Park would be sandwiched between accident-prone Third Street (U.S. 41) and single-lane Indiana 63. There are many homes along that Indiana 63 route, plus the federal prison. Add to that the rear exit from the Honey Creek Mall onto Indiana 63. I may enter the mall at the front, but sometimes I’ll leave by the rear exit to evade the heavier traffic out front. Many people do the same thing.
I can only imagine, with the inner-city school meets and perhaps statewide competitions, the school vans and buses traversing that area (especially on a weekend). A last comment on the park: I love trees far more than swimming pools, so how many trees might be lost to renovate that area?
In summation, there is only one spot in the whole city where the pools should go, and I drive by that area several times a week. This area was also mentioned on a list of sites considered, (T-S, Sept. 30), and that site is the old coke plant at 13th and Hulman. That is one massive piece of ground, and not a tree in sight. Four wide-open lanes, all the way from Poplar to Springhill, and no houses on the west side of 13th from Hulman to Lockport.
Easy enough access to the site for all the schools, and without the entanglement of the southwest side. I know they were figuring out how far each school had to travel to Voorhees Park — something like three to seven miles. Wow. All that way! It’s in the city, folks. Where else would we put the pools? Say, didn’t Abe Lincoln walk seven miles to the library?
With the 13th and Hulman ground, you are starting from scratch, a blank canvas. That area can be made beautiful, with trees planted around the perimeter. Tons of room for roadways and parking lots to accommodate different sizes and types of vehicles.
In the center, create a park-like setting with an enclosed concession for the patrons attending meets. Provide the usual fare: soft drinks, hot dogs, popcorn, prime rib, (medium rare with a nice glass of Cab). Hey, this is my idea, and I’m near the end of the trail.
But all seriousness aside, folks (Steve Allen’s line), I don’t recall “hearing or reading how many pools are going to be installed. I’ll assume no more than three, not less than two Olympic-sized pools. Whatever the number, install an extra pool for the general public on the far southside of the property. This should also include an adjacent wading pool for the children. I still can’t swim, but I’m a very proficient at wading, so I will volunteer my services as lifeguard. I just don’t think the public should use the students’ pools. I have other ideas, but I will end it here.
Am I over budget? If so, I will pick up the shortfall (when I win the lottery).
— Michael Mareena
Is discrimination a demeaning act?
While letter writer Herschel Chait expressed thoughts that are tangentially related to my contention that House Joint Resolution 06 (proposed Indiana constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage) is an immoral law because it segregates, demeans and degrades a distinct populations of humans, his arguments do not refute my contention.
Being a gay or lesbian American is not illegal. For our state government to make a law that denies this population the right to marry is blatantly discriminatory. Mr. Chait asks how we are to know whether a discriminatory act such as this reaches the level of “demeaning” or “degrading.” That question can be easily answered by asking the group being discriminated against. Does Mr. Chait seriously believe that establishing a law that directly discriminates against a group of law-abiding citizens based on their sexual identity is not degrading and demeaning to them?
In his suggestion to take some insight from the U.S. Supreme Court about justifiable limitations to individual rights for the greater good, he fails to acknowledge the most recent stance by the Supreme Court on the unconstitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act which the court struck down based on its blatant discriminatory nature against gays who marry in states where it is legal.
His letter also stated that the proposed constitutional amendment would not deprive gays and lesbians the right to marry. I am fairly certain that the amendment’s proposed wording, “Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana,“ does indeed deny them the right to legally marry in Indiana. Perhaps he based his assertion on the supposition that gays and lesbians could marry under the proposed constitutional amendment as long as they married a partner of the opposite sex. Given the sexual preferences of gays and lesbians I’m fairly certain that is not what they would choose.
Mr. Chait challenged the legitimacy of my use of Dr. Martin Luther King’s eloquent argument about the immorality of all discriminatory laws in his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Mr. Chait asserted that that some clergymen in Dr. King’s own Southern Baptist denomination have spoken out against performing gay marriages. In fact Dr. King did not always agree with clergymen in his own denomination. He wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in response to a published public statement condemning his protest activities that was itself written by eight clergymen — one of which was a Southern Baptist. Dr. King’s religious affiliation was not the sole basis of his fight for human rights. Universal ethical principles of human rights for all mankind were Dr. King’s guiding principles.
Additionally, Mr. Chait seemed to infer that just because he could not find any initiatives advocating for gay marriage rights by the United Nations, I may not be justified in arguing the issue of equal marriage rights for gays in the United States. This logic fails on the basis of irrelevance: because another institution lacks a specific focus on gay marriage rights has no bearing on the struggle of U.S. citizens for equal rights for all Americans.
Finally, while I agree with Mr. Chait that this forum (letters to the editor) may not be the best approach for discussing the complexity of this issue, I must state that it certainly is an appropriate forum. In fact, all viable venues for debating this human rights issue are appropriate. And I thank the Tribune-Star for allocating print space to facilitate this public dialogue.
— Prof. William J. Wilhelm
Indiana State University
Appreciation for contribution
The First Free Will Baptist Church would again like to thank Bob Baesler and his bakery staff for all their generosity and hard work in hosting our second annual “Deserts for Dinner” fundraiser. The event was very successful and we thank all those throughout the Wabash Valley for their donations and contributions assisting us to move closer to our goal in building our new church.
Terre Haute is blessed to have Mr. Baesler, who is rich in good works, generous and ready to share what God has blessed him with.
— Elder C. Dwayne Malone
First Free Will Baptist Church
Extravaganza fun, inexpensive
OK, Mrs. Thomas, I give up. I do not understand why you have to come to Terre Haute every two to three days a week. The price of gas would make me buy all I need from Terre Haute on one day and then support my own hometown.
I do agree that some places during the August Scheid Diesel Extravaganza were busier than others, but a lot of restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, drug and grocery stores, and lots of retail stores, all made extra money. Lots of these people never get to shop at a mall, Kmart, Walmart, Kohl’s, etc. So you could come to Terre Haute on Thursday and then again on Monday. That is only three days. There is very little to do in Terre Haute that most people can afford, so when we get a chance to do something, we do it. We do not even go to movies anymore because it is so expensive.
I am also married, have three children, one stepson, 19 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Unfortunately, they all work or live too far away to see very often. My brothers (two) and sister also live quite away from me. So I do not see them often either. I hope yours are closer. U.S. 41 is always busy and in order for me to go anywhere, I have to use that road. It can be scary, not just when Scheid Diesel comes to town, but all the time.
I will not drive to Brazil for the fireworks on July 4 because of the gas money and traffic. I would love to, but cannot afford to do that.
I am not judging you, just saying let Terre Haute do their thing and Brazil do theirs. I bet 90 percent of the people in Brazil hate the fireworks, too, because they are so late and most people have to work the next day. I am sure 90 percent of Terre Haute does not hate Scheid Diesel or 20,000 people would not attend. So we should just let it go and enjoy our lives.
If you want to talk to me, I would love to meet you some day for lunch. We all need friends. I will wait for you answer. Of course, on a day you are in Terre Haute.
— Rita Hawkins
Cemetery vandals show no respect
I have a few relatives buried in a certain cemetery in Sullivan County.
Every six months or so, I drive to the cemetery in order to pay my respects.
Upon my last visit, I discovered that a relative’s marker had been knocked off of its foundation. I also noticed that two nearby markers were likewise molested, one weighing 800 pounds, I would estimate.
This marker had reposed there without incident since 1939; I never knew the deceased personally. As the marker wasn’t very big (that granite is heavy, I tell you!), I made plans to reset it with a friend’s help.
This involved two trips to the cemetery, one for prep work and another for the actual setting. I took care of the prep work myself.
When the big day arrived, we discovered that the markers had been reset.
To those responsible for the management of the cemetery, I wish to thank you, thank you and thank you again. The marker was reset on a new foundation and looks professional.
Again, thank you.
To those who molested these markers, you are the scum of the earth. You are a piece of human garbage. You are a degenerate. You are a waste of the air that you breathe and the food that you eat. You are as useless as blown fuse.
Had I done something like that, I would have suffered the strap for it. I was taught that you try not to walk over the body in a grave unless you need to (mowing, flower work). I still practice that.
If the cemetery got behind on its mowing obligations, we mowed the graves.
I used to smoke; I never threw one out into the cemetery. I field stripped it instead.
You, apparently, were taught nothing about respect for the dead.
I hope you enjoyed carrying out your vandalism. May your conscience haunt you the rest of your life.
— Mark Burns
Two-party system is failing America
As we watched our over-paid, millionaire, career politicians driving our country into the ground, I think one thing is obvious. If they continue this into eventually defaulting our country, they should be all arrested, tried for treason and dealt with accordingly.
One thing is for sure, the two-party government system is a complete failure. The proof is in the pudding. It’s time for real change.