News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 31, 2013

READERS' FORUM : July 31, 2013


---- —

Good ideas from pool meeting

I was very proud to stand with swimming friends on Monday night during the special School Board meeting. Over 300 people, all in one room and parts of the lobby, in support of continuing the sport of swimming in Terre Haute for years to come.

Several great ideas were brought up. The most intriguing that I heard was the County Council with the help of economic development funds building the facility. More facts should come out on this, and it may be the best solution for all concerned.

The schools would still be able to use the pool as would all members of the community. I can see both the county and the school corporation coming together to build a state-of-the-art aquatic park. For the past 15 years I’ve worked in the Indianapolis area and have seen growth. One reason why I have never just given up and moved there is because, as goofy as we may be, I’m proud to be a Hautean and from Vigo County. I’ve seen a dump transformed into the best cross-country course known, and I feel the same could happen with this project.

We are without a doubt the finest town. We were called “Sin City” once, but in reality we have a saint. Where else can say that? Without sounding redundant, “If you build it, they will come.”

As a member of the Terre Haute Torpedoes masters and graduate of VCSC along with more than my fair share of taxpaying, I look forward to this. This may just be the thing that keeps me here and swimming for many years to come.

— Wesleigh Walker

Terre Haute

Nursing home gave great care

The family of James Baker, who went home to Heaven in May, would like to thank the staff at Springhill Village for the wonderful care and love they gave him. He spent the last 15 years of his life in a nursing home; first at Harborside, along with his wife Betty who died in 2005; then at Holly Hills in Brazil, due to the flood of 2008; and finally coming back to Terre Haute at Springhill Village in 2009.

We owe a debt of gratitude to everyone from the nursing staff, aides, housekeeping, maintenance, laundry, kitchen (for all those toasted cheese sandwiches), activity department and administration. Each and every one always showed him respect as they faithfully cared for his daily needs. You all became part of our family which was expressed through your grief and tears the day he died. Thanks to all of you for loving our father, grandfather, great-grandfather and us.

— Jackie Silver

and Kim LaVallie and the entire family of James Baker

Terre Haute

Vigo jury did the right thing

The July 24 T-S had an article by Lisa Trigg about Lance Barbee’s not guilty verdict, even after Mr. Barbee admitted to possessing a gun while being a class-B felon (from a conviction in 1998).

This jury could have said, the facts say he broke the law therefore he is guilty. But Indiana’s Bill of Rights (section 19) gives the jury the right to judge the law and the facts. So the jury can decide the law is unconstitutional, which it was in this case because you can’t lose your Second Amendment rights (Indiana’s section 32) once you are off probation. (Note: While on probation one does not usually get a jury trial.)

The jury could also have decided the law did not fit in this case. Either way, they had the right to do what they did, and I commend them for consideration beyond the facts.

The story noted that Mr. Barbee has yet to await trial for possession of pot. Let’s hope a jury on that matter will find that so-called crime a silly matter.

For over 100 years, juries were told by every judge of their right to judge the law. Then big corporations got mad. People on strike were found not guilty even though they broke the law. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that this was still a right (even in states that don’t have it in their constitutions) but courts no longer had to tell jurors of this right. So, over the last 120 years this right to judge laws has faded away from jury memories.  

This right to judge the law gave us freedom of speech (see Zenger 1735) and freedom of religion (William Penn in England 1670). It is this power that keeps states from invading our rights and liberties. See Fully Informed Jury Association website,

— Ed Gluck, president


(Nationally Organized

Bill of Rights Group)

Terre Haute

‘Watch’ key word for citizen patrols

Let’s say you are working the “neighborhood watch” — “watch” is your key work. You report unusual behavior by someone. The police order you to wait in your car for a police car to arrive. You are to obey orders and wait in your car. You did your job, you reported the problem.

You do not have the authority to confront the person. When you do not obey orders, you get into trouble. Plain and simple.

Mr. Zimmerman did not obey orders. What a terrible, horrible mess he made, and a 17-year-old is dead because he would not obey orders. They were both doing wrong.

If I was on the jury, I would charge Mr. Zimmerman with second-degree manslaughter. His actions caused a death. Just like if a drunken driver had an accident and killed someone.

What a terrible, terrible tragedy. But there is no excuse for people going nuts in the streets either.

That is another example of disobeying the law.

My heart aches for the young man’s parents.

— Roberta George

Terre Haute