New jail along river fouls nest

“It’s an ill bird that fouls its own nest” is an old proverb condemning anyone who damages their own interests, reputation or group. Terre Haute has made great strides in improving the community environment since our family moved here in the mid 1980’s. At that time, the city had such a foul odor that going near the river wasn’t even considered because one knew they would become ill. There were no street signs. I learned to navigate the city by buildings on corners and distance from one-way Ohio Boulevard. 

Slowly, visionary citizens came together who saw a better future for this historic town. Trees appeared. Art and historic markers enriched the area. The industries that had fouled the air left and volunteer groups called Riverscape, Trees Inc., Downtown Terre Haute, Art Spaces and others worked tirelessly and selflessly to bring the river and city back to life. They created a vision of a vibrant riverfront for everyone to recreate and rejuvenate. It seemed the county and city officials were on board with peeking into this bright, healthy new vision. 

 Trails were laid. Wetlands were restored. Perhaps those who had become accustomed to living among aged, dirty, broken, and tired for so long were finally glimpsing what could be possible, better, and beautiful. Things could be repaired, restored, improved, updated to create a healthy, lovely environment for everyone. Pride in community was being restored among the people.

But, wait. Some officials neglected their civic obligations. Conditions were ignored or put aside. Facilities were neglected. Warnings were overlooked. Special interests were given special favors without any consideration of the consequences that would confront them in the future. What seems sudden was in fact a long time in the making. They are faced with logistic and legal consequences that they would try to have us believe make them under a time constraint which now leaves them with no option but to once again “foul our nest” by trespassing on our historic waterfront with accommodations for those who have broken our laws.

Time and time again, better, cheaper, more reasonable options have been presented. Reason and logic seem to have no place at this table. The county which only a few months ago bought this land to support the goals of Riverscape for our community and who seemed to want to be a part of a better future for Terre Haute is now grasping at straws because their hands have been “slapped” for delaying and disregarding the deplorable situation that now exists. It is as if it was part of a plan that by not taking care of the current facilities, they might just get a new one. One wonders if they will in turn neglect the maintenance of the next facility. Should they be entrusted with a new one when they didn’t take care of the previous one?

Terre Haute is my “nest.” I am ever the optimist, but it is with fear and trepidation that I await the final determination for the future of our riverfront and subsequently our community. Nationwide our rivers are becoming destinations where people from not only all over the United States but foreign countries as well are going to learn our history, enjoy our natural wonders, to play and rehabilitate. Let us join with other cities who have created beautiful riverscapes not just up and down the Wabash but across the nation. 

 Please, let us revere our historic Wabash. It is the central theme of songs and story, a significant fixture in the history of our nation. Restore my faith in people to hold true to a vision and to believe in a better environment and community for everyone, and not just a quick fix for a small population of law breakers. 

You may not mind fouling your own nest, but unfortunately, when you foul your nest, you are fouling mine as well. And, it disgusts me.

— Emily Runion, Terre Haute

Disappointed with Y’s action 

People ask, “How could Catholic Church possibly get into the position of harming children?” The answer is: It’s a hierarchy. Anywhere you look at a hierarchy (military, educational institutions, financial institutions) there are ways to stall, blame someone else and avoid responsibility.

It looks like the YMCA board of Wabash Valley is using the same kind of trick. I am a stranger in Terre Haute but when I hear rumors of the “Y” boards of the past, something smells rotten. I have been involved with many nonprofit boards and this is the only one rumored to be 40 people. 

In my experience nonprofit board members take on the responsibility of raising money to keep the nonprofit afloat. This board seems to be trying to give that responsibility to those who use the facility, pay their dues, and are dependent on it for our health. I for one am considering moving out of state to a place where a public pool is part of a city’s pledge to its citizens.

I do not like being a political football.

— Mary Moloney, SP, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods

Elections don’t need religion

Regarding the letter praying for civility in the election, which is a noble goal: Would the Tribune give equal priority to a letter asking for, encouraging or imploring civility? 

The next thing we will hear from some is the election results were “divinely ordained.” I thought society got rid of that with the demise of monarchies. And there is not some angel sitting on your shoulder telling you what to do. That means engaging the brain. 

 Elections don’t need a religious trance.

— Bill Cain, Terre Haute