Performers just want fair shake

The piece titled, “Congressional Bill Could Cost Radio Industry Billions, “ appearing on April 1 leads with the assumption that the Performance Rights Act (which the article referred to as a “performance fee bill”) is designed to hurt radio. It is not. The bill will ensure that performers are compensated for their work, while not unfairly burdening radio.

As the president of the Terre Haute Federation of Musicians (Local 25 of the American Federation of Musicians), I know just how much local artists are hurt when others use their work without compensating them. Most performers are not famous, just hard-working people trying to scrape together a living doing what they love. Commercial radio argues that they pay for content already, in the form of songwriter royalties. Radio should pay songwriters. But that is only half of the product. The performance is what breathes life into a song and is the reason that radio plays them.

We love radio and want radio to thrive. That is why the bill only asks that small radio stations pay minimal, yearly fees. But performers deserve to be properly compensated for their work, just like working people everywhere. It is only fair.

— John W. Penry, Terre Haute

Spending the issue, not just taxation

Much of the media and editorial response to the Tea Party protests of late focus on the taxation issue. While the original Boston Tea Party was focused on the issue of taxation, the modern version has a much broader agenda. It is unfortunate the Tea Party name draws focus on the taxation and some people do not look beyond that.

These protests are not a cry to eliminate taxes. They are first and foremost advocating a reduction of government spending. The administration is attempting to spend their way out of the recession. Unfortunately, it takes time for government intervention in the economy to show any impact. When most of the government bailout funds are spent in 2010, the economy will already be on its way to recovery.

This government spending is creating huge increases in the deficit. This is a burden our children and grandchildren will have to carry and it may crush them. We also run a real risk of the stagflation of the Carter era with these policies and the government printing presses running non stop. The economy will return to growth without all this government intervention.

One lesson of the past 100 years is that government regulation is required in the free market. There are protections only the government is in a position to guarantee. However, one lesson of the past 70 years is that economic recovery comes not from the government increasing spending, but in reducing taxes and letting taxpayers, both individual and corporate, increase their spending.

— Dwayne Owens, Terre Haute

Thanks for help during, after fire

On Friday, April 17, my sister’s house in Sandford caught on fire. We would like to say thank you to all the firemen that were on the scene. They went above and beyond the call of duty for her.

Thankfully no one was injured but my sister was so distraught that it gave concern to the fireman. They were concerned about her well-being and also putting out the fire. One fireman stood by my side while I reported the fire to the insurance and while I entered the house to see if anything was salvageable. Nothing — she lost everything.

Another fireman came back after everyone was gone just to check and thankfully he did because the fire truck had to return. So once again thank you to the Sandford Volunteer Fire Department, New Goshen, Shepardsville and Sugar Creek, and anyone else if I missed one. You all are a very fine group of gentlemen.

Also thank you to the neighbor, Brad Welker, for reporting the fire, calling our dad and then taking Peanut (the dog) in his care until my sister gets settled else where.

May God bless all of you.

— Connie Leclercq and Sherri Plant, West Terre Haute

Let’s focus on the Christian message

I think perhaps the question Mr. Douglas Elia needs to be asking is what kind of Christian church does he belong to?

When I have attended church, I left with messages such as “love thy neighbor as thyself,” and “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

I may not agree with you, Douglas, but I love you anyway, and I’m proud of you for expressing who you are and what you believe in. Isn’t it wonderful to live in a country where we are free to be who we are?

— Sarah Freeze , Terre Haute

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