News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 16, 2013

READERS' FORUM: July 16, 2013

The Tribune-Star

---- — Swim center will enhance community

As a taxpaying resident and parent with a child in the Vigo County School Corp., I would like to respond to Mr. Kuckewich’s letter of June 25, 2013, regarding the proposed pool project.

First, I would like to commend the Vigo County School Board and Mr. Tanoos for their vision and planning as they consider the merits of a new swim center. I am grateful that we have leaders who are not only good stewards of our tax dollars, but committed to doing what is right for our community.

It is clear to those who have studied all sides of the issue that a swim center for Vigo County students is not a luxury, but an indispensable component of a well-rounded education. The aged pools at North, South and West Vigo high schools are crumbling and there must be somewhere other than the small pool at our local Family Y for students to learn to swim. Learning to swim is an essential part of education and cannot be completely eliminated from our schools. One cannot compare swimming to polo or squash or ultimate Frisbee, as Mr. Kuckewich did. Teaching swimming is crucial for the safety of our children.

Accidental drowning is the second leading cause of death in children under 14 years of age and we need to do provide every opportunity to teach children to swim. A new swim center will allow for greater opportunities for swim classes at younger ages. In addition, swim classes could be offered as a summer class to high school students who do not know how to swim. Other high schools in the state take this approach to swimming as a way to offer swim class outside of the academic school day.

Also, the new swim center will allow for educational, therapeutic and recreational opportunities for everyone in our community. This is not a project for the few or for the elite. It is a forward-leaning project that raises the quality of life in Vigo County and the quality of education in Vigo County schools.

Having a quality swim center is critical for us to remain one of top school corporations in the state. No other high school in the state the size of North or South is without a swimming pool. Let’s not compromise the quality of our schools. Building a new swim center shows not a “sports-centric myopia,” but a commitment to excellence.

This commitment to excellence, not just in the quality of our high school swim teams (which consistently produce some of the top athletes in the state) but excellence in education and excellence in community life is why the school board should approve a bond issue for a new swim center.

— Pam Kerr

Terre Haute

Declare freedom from meat

What ever happened to the good old days when the worst things we had to fear on the Fourth of July were traffic jams and wayward fireworks?

According to the Department of Agriculture’s Meat & Poultry Hotline, this year’s top threat is food poisoning by nasty E. coli and Salmonella bugs lurking in hamburgers and hot dogs at millions of backyard barbecues. The Hotline’s advice is to grill them longer and hotter. Of course, they don’t bother to mention that the high-temperature grilling that kills the bugs also forms lots of cancer-causing compounds.

Luckily, a bunch of enterprising U.S. food manufacturers and processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a great variety of healthful, delicious, and  convenient, veggie burgers and soy dogs. These delicious plant-based foods don’t harbor nasty pathogens or cancer-causing compounds. They don’t even carry cholesterol, saturated fats, drugs or pesticides. And they are waiting for us in the frozen food section of our supermarket.

Summer holidays offer a great opportunity to declare our independence from the meat industry and to share wholesome veggie burgers and soy dogs with our family and friends.

— Tommy Caton

Terre Haute