News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Pete Chalos

March 29, 2006

Pete Chalos: Your vote counts in numerous and hidden ways

Where does real power reside in American politics? In concept, it resides in the hands of the people. The voters decide who gets elected and who gets the boot.

Often, the opportunity to boot someone out of office doesn’t come along soon enough to prevent one officeholder from making decisions that will negatively influence our city, state or nation for years to come. Thankfully, the way our government is split into three branches provides us with the recourse of electing another party into the legislature when the executive branch is running amok. The legislative branch can act as a check to the executive branch or vice versa. This system of checks and balances assures voters that we will have an opportunity to enact a change within a relatively short time span.

Representatives come up for election every two years, while state senators come up for election every four years. Governors come up for election every four years and U.S. senators come up for election every six years. This staggered system works well most of the time. Once in awhile, a party with an agenda gets ahold of two or three branches and forces their will upon the people for a period of time but the political pendulum inevitably swings back.

Unfortunately, checks, balances and term limits don’t apply to every facet of our government. Of the three branches of government, the judicial branch is often touted as the only branch with lifetime appointments. Once someone is appointed to the Supreme Court, they can stay in for life. However, this system of lifetime appointment isn’t limited to the Supreme Court or the judicial branch. It also takes place at the federal, state and local levels more than the average citizen may be aware.

There are a great number of boards and regulatory commissions throughout federal, state and city governments to which members are appointed by mayors, governors and presidents. Some of these appointments are lifetime positions. Some of them carry a great deal of authority. Those appointed to these boards and commissions effect policy for years and years without ever answering to the people because they don’t come up for election.

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Pete Chalos
  • Pete Chalos: Fluoridation removal should be on local agenda Last year, 11 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee unions, representing over 7,000 environmental and public health professionals, called for a moratorium on drinking water fluoridation programs across the country. I wrote a two-part commentary exploring the evidence that inspired the letter these professionals sent to the U.S. Congress.

    May 31, 2006

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: Traditional family unit has served America well Much has been said concerning the institution of marriage this past few years. Elements of our society have been trying their best to redefine marriage. Every American tradition associated with raising a family has been questioned by some group or another. Some feel the rules concerning marriage and family have changed because our society has taken progressive leaps beyond any society the world has ever known. Others feel we are losing touch with the time-tested wisdom of our fathers and the tradition this great nation was founded upon.

    May 24, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: Never too soon to pay attention to 2008 election The next presidential election is already a hot topic of discussion in the press and we aren’t even close to the election year yet. Everyone is interested in finding out which candidate will have an edge come 2008.

    May 17, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: Community needs leadership from best and brightest What does it take to win an election? Last week, we saw the climax of months of hard work and well-organized campaigning. Some candidates had been preparing to run for several months or even a few years. Spouses, children, family, friends and colleagues had been organizing, recruiting and promoting before most voters were even aware an election was coming up. It takes a lot of time and effort and a great deal of commitment to win an election.

    May 9, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: A community must invest in itself to improve itself This month, the Terre Haute City Council voted in favor of the proposed tax increment finance (TIF) district on Indiana 46, passing it 6-3. Council members Jim Chalos, Rich Dunkin, Chuck Miles, Todd Nation, Shelva Warner and Cliff Lambert voted for the resolution.

    This evening, the Vigo County Redevelopment Commission is going to conduct a public hearing concerning the details of the resolution, outlining the specifics. Upon their confirmation, the resolution will go back to the Terre Haute City Council for adoption on May 11.

    April 26, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: In Iraq, we must get job done, then get out You can call it what you want to call it but what is happening right now in the country of Iraq is a civil war. Fancy words like “insurgency” aren’t fooling anyone. You’ve got two sides fighting over the fate of a country. That is a civil war.

    April 12, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: America must maintain high standards of immigration My father John Chalos arrived from Greece at Ellis Island in 1910 for the purpose of working in Seattle. He ended up losing his ticket while the train was stopped in Terre Haute.

    April 5, 2006 1 Photo

  • Pete Chalos: Your vote counts in numerous and hidden ways

    March 29, 2006

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: State has moved too quickly on Major Moves initiative The reason the government builds fire stations, roads, sidewalks and parks is to accommodate the general public. No single private citizen can afford to build all of these facilities on his own so we all chip in and pay taxes. As a result, we all end up benefiting from the use of the facilities. Government facilities are built for the public and they belong to the public. That’s the basic premise of a tax-supported Democratic society. Government by the people and for the people.

    March 22, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: City’s leaders, citizens must be willing to support progress We live in an extremely competitive society. From early childhood, we are taught the difference between winning and losing. In some families, more time is spent learning the difference between winning and losing than the difference between right and wrong.

    March 15, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: The future of elderly care in America This past month, my family and I have been reviewing all available options for the future care of me and my wife Ulla. At 78 years old, I am finding that I can no longer take care of myself and my wife the way I once could. In truth, it’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to do so on my own, but learning to accept and admit it has been a difficult process.

    March 8, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: China poised to become next big economic, military power “If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition onto the target zone on China’s territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons. … If the Americans are determined to interfere, we will be determined to respond. … We Chinese will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian. Of course, the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese.”

    This statement was made a few months ago to members of the press by General Zhu Chenghu of the People’s Liberation Army, also a professor at China’s National Defense University, concerning U.S. opposition to China’s threats to invade Taiwan.

    March 1, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: Women’s basketball flourishing in the Valley This month, the ISU women’s basketball team recorded its 18th straight win. The victory also marked the milestone 100th career win for ISU women’s head coach Jim Wiedie. He and Edith Godleski are the only two women’s basketball coaches to achieve that mark in ISU history. Local golf enthusiasts may remember Edith from her impressive record in local golf tournaments.

    February 22, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: Lack of opportunity raises concerns for future Over the years, I have been invited to speak to numerous service groups, church groups and political organizations within the community of Terre Haute. After sharing a few of my own thoughts and ideas, I always take the opportunity to answer questions from the crowd. I look forward to these question and answer sessions. In fact, it’s my favorite part of the meeting.

    February 15, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: Diligent oversight of utilities an important mission At the end of January, ExxonMobil Corp. revealed record-breaking profits, the highest quarterly profits ever reported by a public company in the history of America. Exxon’s annual profit was $36.13 billion. That’s a 42 percent rise since last year.

    February 8, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: Major Moves plan could be major disaster for Indiana The governor is at it again. First, he closed down license branches in rural areas, forcing many Indiana citizens to take a day off from work and drive long distances in order to get anything done concerning their license or picture identification (which he made a requirement for voter registration). Then he established an Inspector General to act as his own personal prosecutor (along with a staff of lawyers in every Indiana county). Then he crammed his plan for daylight-saving time down our throats.

    January 31, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: Use baseball classic to unite us, not further divide us No sound is more exciting than the crack of a baseball bat hitting the ball. It’s quite an experience to watch your favorite team score that winning run in the bottom of the ninth or pull off a double-play to ensure their victory. The crowd roars and stands to its feet.

    January 11, 2006 1 Photo

  • TSchalos Pete Chalos: This nation needs purpose, trusted leaders to show the way Just like individuals, nations need goals. In the 29th chapter of the book of Proverbs it is written, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” In the absence of a unified sense of purpose, progress is replaced with unrest. Like any nation, America needs a national vision, a national direction and national goals.

    January 9, 2006 1 Photo

  • Don’t get duped, be skeptical and ask smart questions

    December 30, 2005

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