News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 11, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Aug. 11, 2013

The Tribune-Star

---- — Pulling together to save the Rex

The article in the Tribune-Star about the Terre Haute Rex on Aug. 9, 2013, was of great interest to Rex baseball fans around the area due to a “glimmer of hope” to retain the team. I have been attending Rex games since the inaugural season and have missed very few home games since the start. The Terre Haute Rex have definitely filled a void for Terre Haute, as the people in Terre Haute and surrounding communities are very intimate about baseball and the team needs to be retained by whatever means necessary.

Brian Dorsett, Casey DeGroote and Ronnie Prettyman, along with all the staff members, have done an outstanding job of managing the Terre Haute Rex over the past four years. Obviously there is a large amount of work necessary to develop and maintain the team, but the ground work has been completed.

Therefore we, the Terre Haute community, need to work together and provide the necessary support to retain “our” team.

In the Terre Haute Rex article found in the Aug. 9 Tribune-Star, there are some possibilities mentioned regarding new ownership, which gives the Rex fans a glimmer of hope for future seasons. It’s understandable that the ISU Foundation no longer wants to retain the team due to a lack of profit. However, there is money to be made with the team if the owners would provide refreshments and merchandise instead of contracting it out. Yes, that does require more personnel and coordination, but that’s a huge portion of the franchise’s profit.  

It’s exciting that Brian Dorsett is researching the possibility of acquiring the team, but what if the public also had the opportunity to invest in the team? As many sports fans know, there are teams such as the Green Bay Packers which are publicly owned. What if bonds or shares of stock were sold to the public for an opportunity to become a team owner? The fan base in Terre Haute and the surrounding communities is very solid and the fans are very appreciative and proud of what the Rex team has accomplished over the past four seasons. We need to pull together as a community, research all possible options and retain “our” Terre Haute Rex baseball team.

— Mack Adams

Terre Haute

Vote smarter to solve problems

Two topics:

Topic 1 — Education in the state of Indiana. Mitch Daniels and Tony Bennett set education back nearly 100 years. This appeared to be common knowledge indicated by the number of votes that Glenda Ritz won by over Mr. Bennett. The sad part is then, the same voters, turned around and voted in Mike Pence as governor.

Mr. Pence stated many times that, if elected, he planned to follow the guidelines put in place by Mitch Daniels concerning education in this state. Mike Pence also campaigned with and for Tony Bennett. Then to top off this fiasco, Mr. Daniels was appointed to one of our biggest colleges as the person in charge of education. (Just coincidence that Mr. Daniels was picked by the board he appointed while governor.)

Our students need to be a positive in our society when they leave high school for the last time. We as voters cannot be afraid to spend the time and money to achieve this goal. If we do not, we will have to spend more time and money later down the road. History has proven this time and time again. Fix it now or pay more to fix it later.

Topic 2 — Oil and Gas Prices. We, the public, were told by “Big Oil” that if we let them explore and recover more crude oil, the price would be cheaper at the pump. Now they are telling us that the cost of exploring and recovering oil in these remote places is what’s driving the cost up. The oil companies are now complaining about their last quarter earnings. They didn’t complain when they were receiving record high earnings quarter after quarter.

Indiana has approximately 57 billion tons of coal in reserve. It would take more than 100 years to recover all this coal just in our state alone. All our politicians and hopefully the people of Indiana want is to make sure it is clean when we use it.

Clean coal technology has been around for 50 years or more. We could be making diesel fuel and gasoline out of coal easily if we could all get on the same page. (Not to mention the jobs it would create.)

I’m not sure that is what the big oil companies like to hear. But it is a fact. I understand that the Germans are making a good grade of diesel fuel out of coal right now for less than $2 a gallon. They made a lot of their fuel during World War II out of coal. That was more than 70 years ago.

We can solve most of these situations at the polling booth. We just have to vote smarter.

— Dane Strahle

IBEW, Local 725

Terre Haute

Academies again had great support

All three of our academies are now complete and were very successful. We had over 425 local children attend our academies.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our sponsors for their generous financial gifts and support. Several children would not have been able to attend if it was not for their assistance in helping pay the fees for them. Several businesses also donated their services and time to help defer the cost that it takes to make Junior Police Academy so successful. This was the 13th year for our program, and it continues to grow every year because of their continued support.

Our 2013 sponsors were: Vigo County Sheriff’s Office, Terre Haute City Police, West Terre Haute Police, Indiana State University Police, Indiana State Police Bomb Squad, Vigo County School Corp., Union Hospital, Duke Energy, Pepsi, Breakfast Optimist Club, Noon Optimist Club, Fraternal Order of Police 85, Idle Creek Golf Course, Indiana-American Water, VFW Post 972, Walmart, Vigo County Parks Department, ISU Video Production, Tracy Ford-Video Editor, Photographer Bob Poynter, The Trophy Shop, B&B Foods, Graphic FX, Ivy Tech Criminal Justice Department, Dairy Queen-Plaza North, Little Cee’s Pizza, Pizza City, Olive Garden Restaurants, Baesler’s, Mic’s Pics, American Welding & Gas and Brett Eastburn-No Boundaries Inc.

Once again, I want to personally thank you for all your support and want you to realize how much of a difference you make in these children’s lives by helping our cause.

— Sean Trevarthan, deputy

Vigo County Sheriff’s Office

Pooling our local resources

There has been a great deal of information from various sources regarding plans for a new school corporation aquatics center to replace the swimming pools at the Vigo County high schools. My purpose is not to debate that need. Certainly the pools at North, South and West Vigo high schools are approaching the end of their useful lives. The question is what is the best solution?

Several solutions have been hashed and rehashed. It appears we are left with a dedicated Vigo County School Corp. (VCSC) Aquatics Center or a Vigo County Aquatics Center that the school corporation rents when necessary.    

The VCSC plan offers many opportunities for the development of competitive swimming. Little is said, though, about the thousands of students who will not use the facility. Today, each student is required to take a PE class that includes a swimming section. Any plan that does not renovate the existing pools will mean that as citizens, we will no longer expect the VCSC to make sure the young residents of Vigo County will leave high school knowing how to swim.  

Advocates of the VCSC plan say that swim classes will be available. However, transportation will not. So there will be “learn-to-swim programs” just like what are offered today at any number of pool facilities. Is it worth the bother? Is there a loss of focus on the average student in all this?

Only about half the high schools in the United States have dedicated pools. It wasn’t that long ago there was furor in the news because the VCSC was going to cut hours of employees, decrease field trips and sports transportation. Now $9M for a pool facility does not raise financial issues? Is this the best way to spend the limited resources of the community?

The VCSC plan is certainly more fully developed than that of Vigo County. The county plan is also only getting started. On the face of things, it would seem to give the VCSC all that it needs and more. The City of Terre Haute used to operate many pools. It is down to the one at Deming Park and it too is developing maintenance issues and is approaching the end of its life. The county plan would appear to meet many other needs of the community.

Much of the information already presented is based on the development of a site in a larger city, situated farther south that has a longer swimming season. It is worth looking into, though. Given our climate, we might need an all-indoor site or some portion of it with an indoor/outdoor variable configuration. Certainly the proposal needs work. It has enough interesting points, though, that further study is probably warranted.  

Is this a decision that needs to be made quickly? Perhaps we need to take the time to thoroughly explore all the options rather than simply go with one that is ready to proceed. Maybe it is time for Vigo County and the Vigo County School Corp. to pool their resources when it comes to a new pool.    

— Dwayne Owens

Terre Haute

Closing minds to creationism

To all who wonder, and especially to the President of Ball State University:

The account of creation in the Bible is scientific, not religious only. The truth is couched in terms of the knowledge of that time. Yes, God told Moses but He told him in terms that were known in that day, and Moses dictated to his scribes what to write in terms that he knew.

Today, scientific terms have gone beyond the limits of the common man but can still be understood by ordinary folks if one looks in the right place. The programs of “Reasons to Believe,” by Dr. Hugh Ross, astronomer, most clearly relate the terms used in the Bible to modern-day astrophysics, mostly in terms we can understand, He is not a young earth biblist. He has written many books and composed many DVDs on the subject from the Big Bang on, forward and backward. If the societies that pride themselves on separation of church and state and science would just open their minds enough to review all his material, they might see where they could be wrong.

Dr. Ross is online, on TV once a week on the church channel and every Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. The series this week is on the journey toward creation, and now is playing parts of the DVD on the subject. He also has a good book titled “The Fingerprint of God,” both of which explain why the creation of earth had to be “just right,” perfectly fine-tuned for life to have taken place. It also will show you that the farther back in time the scientific experts see into time and creation, more accept that this had to be an orchestrated plan, not an accidental happening.

The Bible’s focus is on a creator God, but is also a book of accurate science, accurate history and accurate accounts of how God guided mankind through all of it, not fanciful tales to take the place of old gods of the weak and fearful world of mankind through the ages.

But it seems to me that the societies that deny a creator God most often point to young earth creationists, whom I don’t totally disagree with. But I think science of today is more correct in its timelines and that young earth creationists are more for the accounting of the history of some life on earth and certainly true in their idea of no evolution processes of Darwin’s theories.

So the Ball State president has declared her choice of theories to be the only right and accurate one and the only one that will be presented on “her” university campus … a closed-minded institution that won’t consider other theoretical accounts as having to do with science, thereby closing the minds of inquisitive scholars forever.

As the old saying goes, my way or the highway, huh?

She and others with like attitudes are so wrong to deny scholars access to think for themselves with scientific comparisons.

— Margaret J. Jaeger

Terre Haute