News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 6, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Nov. 6, 2012

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Voting resources are lacking online in Vigo County

I recently went to the Vigo County official website looking for more information about early voting. I was sorely disappointed by how little I found. For instance, a simple search for “vote” using the site’s search tool garnered a list of council minutes from 2007. The “Voter Registration” page was last updated in 2004.

I am of the generation that uses the Internet as a primary source of information. I find this lack of helpfulness on the part of the county to be irresponsible and disheartening. At the very least, the site could have a page of links to the state of Indiana’s online election resources, League of Women Voters information, etc.

Perhaps voter turnout in our county is so low because we are not doing a very good job providing our residents the information they need. It is government’s duty to help its citizenry carry out the responsibilities of democracy. Shame on you, Vigo County, for overlooking such a crucial piece of the process.

— Christina Blust

Terre Haute

Let capitalism do its good work

From 1850 to 1889, capitalism freed mankind from cold log cabins, back-breaking work, disease without hope and travel only by horse or foot. Starting about 1890, politicians began to interfere with that process, usually to serve their ends or the ends of cronies.  

Now, after 123 years of public misunderstanding, even today’s victims blindly praise government intrusion. As an example, let me paraphrase remarks I heard a couple of days after Hurricane Sandy:

“I realized I did not have enough gas to make it home, so I stopped at town xyz. After being in line for two hours, while everyone was filling up, I finally bought the last few gallons. I had to spend the night at a motel, but, thanks to price-gouging laws, I only had to pay regular price for the gas.”

Under capitalism, the gas station owner would have been free to raise prices to serve his own selfish interest, likely as much as two or three dollars per gallon. At these prices, people would have bought only what they immediately needed, shortening lines and providing the best possible distribution of available supply.  

The high prices would also have made it worth the risk for gasoline trucks headed to nearby states to go to New Jersey, quickly normalizing supplies and prices region wide.

It demonstrates how far (down) we have come to know that, in today’s world, New Jersey law had to be suspended to allow stations to buy gasoline from outside the state.

— Ron Gore

Covington

A time to learn about hospice

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, a time to reach out to our community to raise awareness about the compassionate care that hospice provides. One of the most important messages to understand is that hospice care helps patients and families focus on living.

No one likes to think about death and dying, but it’s something everyone has to face eventually. There’s an incredible resource in our community that provides comfort, dignity and respect to all those coping with a serious or life-limiting illness. It’s Hospice of the Wabash Valley, which has served this community for 30 years.

The hospice team under the leadership of myself, Dr. Koduru and Dr. Stockrahm, provides expert medical care to keep patients comfortable and able to enjoy time with loved ones. The hospice team answers questions, offers advice on what to expect, and helps families with the duties of being a caregiver. The team also provides emotional and spiritual support for the entire family.

Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and by most insurance plans. And it is available to people of all ages with a terminal illness. Hospice care is provided in the home, assisted-living facilities and long-term care centers. The hospice staff and trained volunteers will ask what’s important and listen to what you say. They make your wishes a priority.

If you or a loved one is facing a serious or life-limiting illness, the time to find out more about hospice is right now.

— Koshy Oommen, M.D.

Chief Medical Director

Hospice of the Wabash Valley