Why do we need convention center?

Having watched the news Friday morning and seeing that the council has postponed deciding the fate of 8th Street from Cherry to Wabash, I find it ironic that the mayor has now stated that the street needs to be closed to make the convention center viable. The question looms large now, why? 

There is a committee that used to have a prominent businessman on it who apparently helped get the idea that Terre Haute needed a convention center and then resigned. Now that person is in position to invest in developing this area and make a profit by doing so, but why does the street need to be closed to facilitate completion of this project?

The better question is why does Terre Haute need a convention center? We have the civic center that used to hold numerous events which now seems to only get used for ISU basketball games and maybe the annual Home Show. Why aren’t more events being held there? There have been several concerts, big truck shows, mud races, a rodeo, hosted the Hoosier Lottery, etc. but nothing lately. Why not? What makes the committee think that Terre Haute would attract anyone to the convention center when the civic center is simply across Cherry Street and nobody seems interested in using it? 

The civic center was designed and constructed to be utilized in whole or only part with plenty of capability to house as many people as the proposed convention center with room left over.

Not so very long ago, it seemed the city was in financial straits and needed an influx of revenue. This was the topic of discussion at several meetings concerning the funding of the new jail and the amount of tax increase needed to do so.

Several people expressed the benefit the city would receive from the tax increase was part of the “apparent need” for the tax increase to be as large as it was. Now it seems that the city has plenty of money to spend and we need a new convention center. 

How is this going to benefit the taxpayers of our community? Who is going to profit from the convention center? The promoters contend that it would bring more commerce to Terre Haute, but where are they going to spend their money?

There is little to no shopping in downtown Terre Haute and not much elsewhere in the area with the mall losing most of its stores. There are a few nice places to eat, but little to no nightlife exists for people to socialize and nowhere to dance, if they are so inclined. It seems strange that a previous mayor promoted developing the Center City project with offices and expensive apartments that was going to help Terre Haute and now it sits among a stagnant downtown that few people have a reason to visit.

If the city has the funds to develop a convention center, why doesn’t it try to improve the infrastructure? There are lots of places that could use the same improvements that are being put into first street and Margaret Avenue. Terre Haute needs something to draw people to the area more than what a convention center will or could provide. Something that provides activities and entertainment for families and adults alike. One movie theater and a mostly empty shopping mall are not the answer any more than a convention center would be.

— Tim Hammond, Terre Haute

Bump stock ban deserves praise

As you probably know, President Trump recently ordered the Justice Department to ban bump stocks.

There is no grandfathering, all bump stocks are to be turned in or destroyed. Lawsuits are sure to follow and I am quite sure that nearly all owners will comply.

Did you notice that not one word of praise was heard being directed toward the President for standing up to the evil NRA and banning these stocks, not one.

As liberal as this paper is, I was expecting at least a “good job Trump,” but no.

Now, if Hillary were in office ...

And I am supposed to believe that the media is unbiased and objective. Yeah.

— Mark Burns, Terre Haute