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The Daily Fix

The Daily Fix

Offering perspective on today's issues

13 hours ago Photos

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Tell your story Saturday to state Rep. Clonnen

While others are busy going about their daily lives, silently the Illinois' Department of Transportation ravages the farmers in eastern Will C…

13 hours ago

Where there's concealed carry, gun violence drops

I just heard on the news that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is going to spend millions to combat the NRA.

13 hours ago

Where there's concealed carry, gun violence drops

I just heard on the news that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is going to spend millions to combat the NRA.

With all the anti-gun, anti-concealed carry and anti-Second Amendment rhetoric the mainstream media keeps putting out, I don't ever recall them having any stories about all the killings and shootings they report on being done by members of the NRA or people having concealed carry permits. You would think that if this were the case they would be all over it in their reporting.

They always say arming honest citizens would lead to a huge increase in gun violence. Just the opposite is true. Everywhere concealed carry has been legalized, violent gun crime has decreased. This is a fact they ignore.

- Jim Marrant, Calumet City

13 hours ago

Forgiving more enduring than forgetting is reliable

It is easier said than done — to forgive and to forget — mainly because in our minds and in our hearts we reverse these two manipulative premises. To forgive — first — and forget — second — is a much harder option than to say you have forgotten — first — and then forgave.

Some of us are more forgiving than others. And some of us are more forgetful than others. In taking this into account, being more forgiving allows for a much greater chance of forgetting another’s transgressions.

However, being more forgetful does not allow for as much forgiving of another ‘s transgressions as usually required.

Yes, if you must bet on this moral dilemma we are all victims of at one time or another, forgiving is more enduring than forgetting is dependable.

- Sam Hunter Jr., East Chicago

13 hours ago

AARP's political bent is contrary to seniors' views

This is a response to the letter by AARP Indiana State Director June Lyle ("AARP Supports Obamacare," etc).

AARP is out of touch with many seniors today. Our issue with AARP is the overtly political direction the organization has taken, consistently supporting the liberal agenda.

AARP has never met a handout they didn’t support regardless of the consequences to taxpayers. Yes, this position does entice some seniors to join and financially support AARP and its partner organizations. Yes, the unaffordable care act is simply a handout to many, and to many others it is a new financial burden.

Most seniors advocate personal responsibility and support a limited and less intrusive government. This seems contrary to positions the AARP has taken. This is likely the reason the AARP has found it more difficult to enroll new dues-paying members.

- Byron Wilson, Wanatah

13 hours ago

Censoring talk of suicides doesn't prevent them

A mistake happened at Lake Central High School, and a stubborn administrator needs to change his stance, tone and perspective.

Principal Robin Tobias can do a great deal of good for himself, his students and his community with an apology and an about-face of his handling of the school’s tragic circumstance.

Tobias could have addressed students at the sit-in by acknowledging their grievance. It would have been a simple thing and would have avoided the need to arrest a student.

The ethical role of an educator is not to emphasize one’s own authority but to promote agency for students. Ignoring suicide is easier than regarding the actuality of mental depression. Suicides have become epidemic, and censoring discussion of suicide does not assist prevention.

Principal Tobias, please reconsider your stance and apologize to your community. It is the right thing to do.

- Scott Guffey, Michigan City

April 23, 2014 12:00 am

Putin understands strength, not sanctions

Recent stories say we should let the Ukraine stand alone. After Russia took the Crimea, Vladimir Putin said he would stop. He did not! This has happened before and ended in a world war.

If you show weakness to an aggressor, he will not stop and others will become more active.

We have many other hot spots in the world that are watching. Putin understands strength, not sanctions. We don't have to go to war to show strength. Strong actions now, no war later.

- Edward Merritt, Crown Point

April 23, 2014 12:00 am

Local politicians' actions louder than their words

I help senior citizens with medical bill problems. One senior citizen from the Miller Beach area of Gary told me she could not come to my office to get my help until she got two new tires. Two of her tires blew out because of the terrible potholes in her area of Gary. That caused me to realize something.

Local politicians’ actions speak louder than local politicians’ words. The local elected politicians say they care about senior citizens and working people. But then they don’t promptly fix the potholes in their jurisdictions.

If these local politicians really cared about senior citizens and working people, then they would realize how much money and time a senior citizen or working person loses because of pothole damage. The local politicians may say that they care, but their actions tell the public – especially the voters – they don’t really care.

Remember that at election time.

- Woodrow Wilcox, Griffith

April 23, 2014 12:00 am

Have conversation with kids about smart choices

I would like to enlighten the community as to what Washington Township High School is doing to raise awareness of what might happen to students who make poor choices during prom weekend.

Our very active SADD group is having a smashed car placed near the school entrance to remind drivers about the perils of poor choices while behind the wheel. We are also having a casket placed in the atrium of the school to be a reminder of how fragile we are and about the ultimate price paid for the consequences of our poor choices.

The pinnacle of the week is a performance by a comedian, magician, hypnotist who will address the students and staff regarding how making poor choices in life can lead to unfortunate incidents.

Please have a conversation with your kids about making smart choices.

- Greg Simms, Valparaiso

April 23, 2014 12:00 am

Commuters should move back to Hammond

Years ago friends of mine left me here in Hammond and moved to Dyer, Munster, Schererville, St. John and beyond. Now some of them want me to help pay for building a South Shore track and providing service for them to ride to Chicago.

Within walking distance of my home, I have Pace bus service to downtown Chicago, a South Shore station, a first class grocery store, banks, restaurants, hospital, government office, legal and medical service, entertainment, a new charter school, parks and numerous other perks.

Maybe my friends should talk to the banker that gambled with them on that expensive home out there to finance their train service, or move back to Hammond. It's less expensive here and there are more services.

The region is just fine. Location, location, location.

- Malcolm P. Hunt, Hammond

April 22, 2014 12:00 am

Hear Notre Dame expert speak on conscience

Conscience is much in the news nowadays, as many religious organizations and businesses claim they cannot cooperate with new federal requirements to distribute drugs that may cause abortions.

But what is conscience? Where does it come from? And how seriously should we take it? These questions will be addressed by Gerry Bradley, a renowned Notre Dame law professor, at 1:15 p.m. May 4 at St. Paul Catholic Church in Valparaiso. All faiths are welcome. A light lunch will be provided.

Bradley has written, “Conscience is the human capacity by which each person judges what he or she truly ought to do. But how much respect for conscience can we expect in a society which increasingly denies that there can be a truth about what anyone should do?”

Has conscience become just a personal preference that must give way to government goals? Is there any way to bring back respect for everyone’s conscience? Let’s hear what Bradley has to say on May 4.

- Pat Tuttle, Valparaiso

April 22, 2014 12:00 am

Keep believing in happy endings, lest you be sad

Fairy tales and similar stories have long been the object of children’s dreams and their parent’s escape from adult life. Lately, however, people seem to think that these stories give off too many unrealistic expectations. This thinking causes many parents to be wary to allow their children to watch or read such stories.

While it is true that happy endings don’t just happen — you won’t jump into spontaneous song with the love of your life that you just met and run off together, or vanquish all enemies with love and kindness — that doesn't mean they are impossible.

In my experience, people who believe in their opportunity to obtain a happy ending are much happier than those who don’t, simply because they think they can be happy.

“We are what we believe we are.” —C. S. Lewis

- Bradley Pavey, Crown Point

April 22, 2014 12:00 am

Listen to good sermon, and admission is free

Words of wisdom versus money spent. Seen a good movie? How much did you spend? What did you get out of it? Attend a sporting event? How much did you spend? What did you get out of it? Visit a doctor? How much did you spend? What did you get out of it?

Put gas in your car? How far did that take you? What have you got left? House, teeth, arm, leg all need fixing? How much do you have is what it will cost.

Attend church. What you get out of it depends on the speaker, not the money, unless you go to First Christian Church, Valparaiso.

Rev. Dave Kovalow of St. John is a minister who speaks to people as adults in a language people can understand on a daily, weekly and yearly basis. Someone you should know, and the cost is nothing, unless you feel the need.

- George L. Bollhorst Sr., Hammond

April 22, 2014 12:00 am

Rooney should inspire annual eye exams

With the passing of Mickey Rooney, recall his appearance and the fact that he was married eight times.

Doesn't that suggest the importance of women getting annual eye exams?

- Herman Krueger, Valparaiso

April 20, 2014 12:00 am

Look at Ontario before shutting down power plants

Dennis Weiss, CEO of Kankakee Valley REMC, is right to be worried about electricity prices as the “war on coal” continues.

Here in Ontario, our government boasts our “phase-out of coal is the single largest climate change initiative in North America.” Ontario has reduced its use of coal for generating electricity from 25 percent of all power generated to now less than 2 percent.

This is one of the main reasons electricity rates are forecast to rise 42 percent over the next five years and our chief natural gas supplier just requested a 40 percent price hike. Had our coal stations remained online, things would have been very different.

Ontario now requires financial support from Alberta which did not close down its coal stations. Who will support the United States if you similarly damage your economy by getting rid of coal, your most important source of electricity?

- Tom Harris, International Climate Science Coalition, Ottawa, Ontario

April 20, 2014 12:00 am

Vote yes on Hebron school funding referendum

The signs at the Hebron town limits proclaim this to be the town with the "pioneering spirit." A quick Google search tells that "pioneering spirit" means a willingness to help others.

The children of this community need our help as the schools attempt to pass a referendum. This referendum isn't about a war on taxes; it's about fixing a broken funding formula.

It's about doing what is best for the children of our community: lowering class sizes, saving necessary classes and keeping a quality education of which this community can be proud.

If this community cannot come together for the children of this community, then we have lost sight of the heart of what matters.

Vote yes on May 6 for our schools and for our children.

- Erin Charpentier, Hebron

April 20, 2014 12:00 am

Join us to march, rally to support motherhood

On Oct. 10, 1955, Diana gave birth to a 7-pound, 6-ounce baby boy with a peanut-shaped head. She named him Dwight.

Now, 58 years later, (14 years after her demise) Dwight is recognizing her and all other deceased and living mothers once again with his Seventh Annual Mother’s Day Stop the Violence March & Rally. Mothers deserve the utmost recognition and admiration for their miraculous contribution to our existence.

The bond between a mother and her child is understandably the strongest. When that bond is severed, a mom has to be devastated beyond words.

On 10:30 a.m. on May 10, meet us in the parking lot of Christ Temple Church at 42nd and Broadway in Gary to participate in our seventh annual march & rally. Please come out and support motherhood.

We will march from the parking lot of Christ Temple Church at 11 a.m. to the Gleason Park Golf Course at 3400 Jefferson Street, where the rally will be held. Return transportation will be provided.

- Dwight Taylor, Gary

April 20, 2014 12:00 am

Trust members of military to defend themselves

On April 2, Spc. Ivan Lopez killed three soldiers and wounded 16 at Fort Hood military base. When confronted by military police, this Iraq war veteran took his own life. He was being treated for emotional problems.

This event brings back the memory of another Fort Hood tragedy in November 2009, when Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist and Islamic terrorist, murdered 13 soldiers and wounded 30 others. These terrible events have been discussed and attributed to the disturbed mental states of the shooters.

The ultimate cause, however, is quite different. These soldiers of Fort Hood, men and women, trained in the use and care of weapons, many experienced in combat, are not permitted to carry a gun on the base.

This tells them while we trust them to defend us and our country, they cannot defend themselves.

- Bess Brennan, Munster

April 20, 2014 12:00 am

James' list of negatives should have included him

Rich James' column was entitled, "Hoosier state defined by too many negatives." He should have put himself at the top of the list.

- Larry Petersen, Highland

April 20, 2014 12:00 am

Return to 1993 firearms laws for improved safety

Our present administration does not know how to handle military base shootings. This year, the gun-free zone brought us another shooting at Fort Hood.

What was learned from the 2009 Fort Hood shootings? Apparently nothing.

Gun-free zones on our military bases do not work. Such zones don’t work anywhere. Realistically, the wording for “gun-free zone” needs to be replaced with “sitting target zone.”

Return to prior 1993 laws. Let all military carry their sidearms. The only sure method to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

- Mark Leyva, Highland

April 20, 2014 12:00 am

Why spend so much to reinvent rail service?

Encouraging public transit use has merit, but U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky’s proposal overlooks less costly, existing alternatives.

The plan, ultimately, will be detrimental to growth and development in Lake County’s urban core.

Amtrak passenger service between Dyer and west Loop stations exists now. A commuter service component could begin without delay and unburden taxpayers from the high costs of myriad studies, approvals and labor required to build an entirely new line from Hammond, a plan that comes with a jaw-dropping price tag of $83,000 per estimated passenger.

Amtrak commuter service used to run from Valparaiso to the west Loop in the 1970s. Transit stops at Hobart and Whiting made it possible to serve broad areas of Lake and Porter counties. This existing infrastructure could very well lay the foundation for an environmentally sound, less costly alternative to the expansion plan to Valpo.

Why, then, are we spending so much to reinvent the rail?

- Thomas Markovich, Hammond

April 20, 2014 12:00 am

Coal is one of world's worst energy sources

Oppose “war on coal”? Is Kankakee Valley REMC serious? Must we become another China, protective breathing accessories becoming essential?

Coal is the filthiest carbon energy source we have. Mining: view Appalachia. Burning coal produces the most pollutants.

Elizabeth Kolbert and Richard Leakey’s books, both titled “The Sixth Extinction,” warn humans are likely the next extinction candidates minus drastic changes.

Comprehensive international scientific understandings available on the web at IPCC. Do people care so little for their children and progeny? We might have a decade to reverse things.

In a decade, Katrina, Irene, Sandy, plus Texas and California’s worst droughts in recorded history, ad nauseum, and adequately addressing these problems is delayed?

Green jobs provide three times the amount of and better paying jobs as carbon materials. Health improves. Even disbelieving in climate change, green energies are far superior.

- Gordon Wilder, Highland

April 20, 2014 12:00 am

Munster couple shouldn't have to fight state law

Kudos to the gay Munster couple who recently won a temporary restraining order to have their marriage recognized in Indiana.

It behooves me that in today’s society government has the right to dictate how an American citizen chooses to live their lives if that lifestyle isn’t harming another human being.

This Munster couple should be concentrating on the time they have left together as a family and not the bureaucracy of trying to get their union recognized.

Wake up, Indiana government leaders, and stop allowing the state to continue to be the backward state it is!

- Lisa A. Lopiccolo, Griffith

April 20, 2014 12:00 am

Re-elect Sheriff Buncich, a true professional

It's easy for the would-be sheriffs to point their fingers at Sheriff John Buncich, but remember he inherited a jail from Roy Dominquez that was compared to the hell hole of Calcutta. Dominquez was sued by inmates for the conditions. Taxpayers paid millions of dollars for his incompetence.

Buncich restored the jail to par and was praised by the U.S. federal monitors. Buncich replaced the medical staff with competent doctors and nurses.

Under Buncich, deputies are well trained and doing good police work covering Lake County. Ask any county or city law enforcement agency.

We need to re-elect Buncich for sheriff because he is a true professional in his field. Why fix something that is working?

- Steve Glusac, Crown Point

April 18, 2014 12:00 am

Buncich is cleaning up mess left by Dominguez

Why is everyone constantly pointing the finger or blaming Lake County Sheriff John Buncich for all of the problems in the Lake County Sheriff's department?

Former Sheriff Roy Dominguez caused a lot of the mess the current sheriff is trying to fix, but no one mentions any of that.

Is it because it's election year that the Democratic Party is looking for more control in Lake County?

I am sorry if I sound so mean, but I think Buncich is doing a great job, especially since he has been cleaning up Dominguez's mess.

Remember all of the contracts and such that were going on while Dominguez was sheriff. He made a bigger mess out of all of it, but no one wants to step up to the plate and mention it.

I think Buncich is more than qualified for his job. Remember the people voted him back into office for a reason.

With the elections coming up, people really need to sit back and think who they are voting for and who each candidate is and what they stand for.

- George O'Neill, Hobart

April 18, 2014 12:00 am

Dyer Councilwoman Astor is protective of tax money

The Dyer Republican Organization voted to endorse the three incumbent members of the Dyer Town Council, Debbie Astor, Jeff Dekker and Mary Tanis.

With Astor being the single candidate with opposition, support for her is important. She truly represents the citizens of Dyer.

Resourceful and competent, Debbie is protective of tax money spent by the Dyer Town Council.

The Dyer Republican Organization is asking for your vote for Debbie. She has proven her value to citizens and deserves our support.

- Ken Tanis, Dyer, Dyer Republican Organization member

April 18, 2014 12:00 am

Where will money for college athletes come from?

There is a movement afoot to professionalize college athletes, especially in sports which generate revenue — football and basketball. Where will the money come from?

Will it be subsidized by increased tuition from the student body at large, which is already struggling? Or will it come from higher ticket prices? Will spectators pay more to see mediocre quality in a college game when for a little more they can see top quality in a professional game?

What about smaller schools like, say, Valparaiso University? How much will you pay to see a Valpo University football game? Enough to sustain their football program? Or will this mean the death of small college sports? Will it mean the death of women sports? And on and on.

The NCAA needs to put Hillary Smith on the case and come up with some solutions. Pronto.

- Ron Henson, Portage

April 18, 2014 12:00 am

AARP supports Obamacare for patients' benefit

Larry Evans, of Lansing, is simply wrong when he asserts financial interests drove AARP’s decision to support the Affordable Care Act (“Insurance is useless, so paying fines is cheaper”).

The fact is, AARP’s priorities during the health care debate were based on many years of listening to the needs and concerns of our members and other older Americans. That is why we fought successfully to limit insurers from charging much higher premiums because of age; to prohibit the denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions; to close the doughnut hole in prescription drug coverage under Medicare; and to improve coverage for critical preventive services.

The Affordable Care Act was supported by many respected organizations, including the American Medical Association.

Evans rightly points out that the benefits of the Affordable Care Act don’t yet reach some of the lowest income Americans. That’s why AARP is urging Indiana to expand Medicaid.

- June Lyle, AARP Indiana state director

April 17, 2014 12:00 am

Congressmen used Bibles when sworn into office

This is a response to the letter by Mike Donelson, of Valparaiso ("Politicians are to uphold Constitution, not the Bible").

Our Founding Fathers were Bible-reading Christians. The Constitutional Convention opened in prayer, and I would like to remind all senators and congressmen when they were sworn into office they placed their hands on the Bible to uphold the Constitution. The Constitution is saturated with Biblical and Christian imperatives.

Keep your secular religious views to yourself and out of public policy. Oh, I forgot. You used that line on Christians.

- Robert C. DeLuca, Lansing

April 17, 2014 12:00 am

Buncich's record shows he should be re-elected

Good government in Lake County does not just happen. The voters of Lake County have their responsibility. We all want experienced, honest, qualified candidates with integrity to serve as our elected officials.

Fortunately, Sheriff John Buncich has all of those attributes. He guided Lake County out of the first federal takeover of the Lake County Jail, which had cost the taxpayers of Lake County millions of dollars per year for 20 years during his eight-year term during the period 1995 to 2002.

Buncich is prudent with our tax dollars while he goes about his daily task of being a good cop. He is tough on gangs, illegal drugs, domestic abuse and all crime in general, and his record proves it. At the same time, he is deeply committed to protecting the elderly senior citizen and the very young and vulnerable of our society, and his record proves that too.

Buncich has earned a second term as the sheriff of Lake County. Please cast your vote on May 6.

- Thomas Sepiol, Crown Point

April 17, 2014 12:00 am

I'm tired of stereotypical racism from anyone

The March 31 letter, "Living in the Past," is how some social parasites justify their lack of adjusting to current society.

The racial whine feeds on the Caucasian guilt trip that is prevalent in today's society. You don't see this behavior from Catholics to Italians because of their persecution. This is just a convenient way to mask their inability to change.

I too am tired of stereotypical racism, black as well as white.

It's time to progress forward, not be stunted by the past. Time to grow up and grow out of this paranoid justification.

- Bill Dugan, Whiting

April 17, 2014 12:00 am

Judge Vasquez is strict, firm, no-nonsense

Kim Calabrese's March 19 letter referred to Judge Salvador Vasquez's rulings in two separate cases. I have known Judge Vasquez since he was a deputy prosecutor and I was a rookie detective. We came to know each other and became friends.

He was a very strict deputy prosecutor and sometimes we did not agree but his decisions were always fair and just, never personal.

I do not know why he decided to give out the sentences he did concerning the length of times that has Calabrese questioning his decision. But I can assure you there was a valid unbiased reason he came to the decisions he did.

Vasquez, I can assure you, took into consideration all the facts and variables allowed by law to base his decision fairly and justly.

Lake County is fortunate to have such an honorable, experienced and even tough man as Salvador Vasquez to sit on the bench. He is strict, firm and no-nonsense, that I assure you.

- Roger P. Smith, Valparaiso

April 16, 2014 12:00 am

Is speed limit outdated for many busy roads?

Is discretionary driving good driving? A number of large busy roads have a 35 mph speed limit. During rush hour traffic you're lucky to go 30 mph on these roads, let alone the time it takes to get through a traffic light with backed up traffic. When traffic is moving freely, the usual speed on some major roads can run 45 to 50 mph.

Most of the day I catch myself going with traffic rather than watching my speed. I'd rather watch for other vehicles, and go with the flow of traffic, than watch my speed.

Often a driver doing the speed limit in busy traffic can obstruct the free flow of traffic. That can be a hazard by causing people to move into passing traffic.

I try to watch my speed, but most people, most of the time, go well over the speed limit. Is it us, is it a speed trap, or is the speed limit on some major roads outdated for today's traffic on these busy roads?

- Barry L. Emigh, Merrillville

April 16, 2014 12:00 am

Soliday's actions protected Indiana manufacturers

On behalf of the Indiana Manufacturers Association, I express our appreciation for Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, and his efforts during the 2014 Indiana General Assembly to successfully remove tax provisions harmful to Hoosier manufacturers organized as C corporations.

Soliday is chairman of the House Roads and Transportation Committee. In February, his committee considered Senate Bill 176, which, at the time, proposed to partially fund mass transit projects in six central Indiana counties by allowing those counties to impose — for the first time in Indiana — a tax on the income or employee count of C corporations.

The manufacturing community throughout Indiana strenuously objected to the proposed county corporate tax as bad economic policy. Fortunately, Soliday took action and the harmful tax provisions were removed from the bill in his committee with bipartisan support.

- Patrick J. Kiely, president & chief executive officer, Indiana Manufacturers Association

April 16, 2014 12:00 am

Jackson might get out in time for Illiana dedication

Looks like Jesse Jackson Jr. might be out of jail in time to dedicate the new Illiana Toll Road and Peotone airport.

Gary Mayor Kary Freeman-Wilson really struck out by voting for the toll road. Better get the "For Sale" signs out for Chicago/Gary International Airport because who in their right mind would invest in the surrounding area now?

- Michael Moniak, Lowell

April 16, 2014 12:00 am

Mocha Madness at VHS deprecated no one

Recently, I performed in Valparaiso High School's Mocha Madness. We worked extremely hard on all of our games, learning the art of improvisation.

It upsets me to see that Jack Given, in a recent letter to the editor, has reduced all of our dedication to a critique he might not even be justified to write.

Upon review of the publicly available YouTube videos, I failed to find a single sketch in which we focused on deprecating someone. As a freshman member of this fantastic cast, this was by far one of the best things I have ever chosen to participate in. Not a single person in the cast is rude, condescending or contemptuous.

With all due respect to Given, perhaps next time he should actually attend one of our performances. I'm sure he'll enjoy it.

- Angela Harrington, Valparaiso

April 15, 2014 12:00 am

Fort Hood story deserved more prominent play

It is hard for me to express my outrage at your April 3 edition. The front page headline is about the Gary schools, also a large article with three pics about local golf course, and an article with big block head line about a school brawl.

There nested on the bottom right is a little article about the Fort Hood shootings. This exemplifies the problems with our society when a golf course or a brawl takes precedence over a tragedy such as what happened at Fort Hood for the second time.

My son was in the Army and had just left Fort Hood prior to the first shooting, and this second one hits deep. The fact that your paper seems to take it so lightly is sacrileges to me and I am sure to others.

Maybe your editor should take a long hard look at themselves since they think the “frostbit fairways” is a bigger more important story than dead and wounded soldiers!

- Ed Soltys, Whiting

April 15, 2014 12:00 am

Take people to train, not other way around

In The Times and on WJOB, there have been cost estimates of anywhere between $250 million and $1 billion discussed for this (South Shore Line expansion) project. That is a staggering amount of money, considering the cost overruns usually associated with any government project.

Maybe U.S. Rep. Visclosky and the other backers of this project should consider other alternatives. For example, instead of taking the train to the few people in the southern areas, why not encourage them to move to areas where the train is already operating?

With that amount of money, many areas of Hammond, East Chicago and especially Gary would see benefits. That outlay of dollars would bring improvements to the infrastructure, housing stock and public services of these older urban areas.

Helping the inner cities is something The Times has proposed quite often. I hope Hammond's Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. will hang tough with his objections.

Buses anyone?

- Glenn Dodge, Whiting

April 15, 2014 12:00 am

United States should leave other nations alone

We the people would like to know just when our government and president is going to start looking out and doing for us and stop worrying so much of what has been going on in other countries.

Obama has send aid to half these countries since becoming president. Our country could be doing a lot better than what it is. We have lost our men and women over people who have fought their wars for thousands of years. And for what? So we can send them aid and govern their country.

Why can't we just leave the Middle East alone, Syria and Russia as well, and start thinking about our homeland? Someone needs to start thinking and doing what is going to help us all, rather than doing the things that are going to start our next war.

- Bernie Begolke, Valparaiso

April 14, 2014 12:00 am

I am living proof Obamacare is working

I found your April 2 editorial cartoon extremely offensive. It showed President Barack Obama in front of a clock and implying that Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) is not working. And I am proof Obamacare is working!

For years I had to pay more than double what I am paying now, and it came out of my pocket, as none of my employers had an insurance plan for their employees.

The new Obamacare plan covers many preventative care tests, i.e. mammograms, blood tests, bone density scans, etc. The objective is to keep people healthy before something turns into a major medical issue which would cost many thousands of dollars more in the long run.

So keep your Republican views to a minimum, or at least print both sides of the story.

- Carol Banjura, Dyer

April 14, 2014 12:00 am

Squabbling among Republicans isn't inflighting

Was there ever a time where the media did not sensationalize things to sell papers? Or at least a time when they got the story correct?

A recent headline on an editorial refers to infighting within the GOP. Wrong! One candidate filed a silly complaint against another. It's only “infighting” if the media calls it that.

It amazes me that in the same short period of time, one elected officials office gets raided by the feds and another one complains about a Facebook page, and that’s the one that gets the editorial headline.

I have one question for the media. Are you reporting news or making it?

- Eldon Strong, Lake County Council, 7th District, Crown Point

April 14, 2014 12:00 am

Democracy requires participation to function well

Democracy is not a spectator sport. Maintaining and progressively advancing its fruits and rewards must be aggressively partisan if its legacy is to be passed on to future generations.

By engaging actively in politics for the last 12 years, I have realized what an apathetic citizen I have been.

Popular polls by sometimes wide margins favor certain actions by our legislators.

Opinions are like belly buttons — everyone has one — and the system is not perfect, but please don't let ideology and partisan thoughts discount the will of the people. 

Occupy/99ers will meet 6:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. April 23 in the information room at the Chesterton library to discuss all aspects of how we can get our leverage back and tell our legislators we want to control our destiny by a big turn out at the polls.

Tale of the tape this week is who or what is ALEC. 

- Joseph Jimenez, Chesterton

April 14, 2014 12:00 am

Let Sosa go to bat for Cubs organization again

It was great news to read that Barry Bonds was gonna be back into the fold with the San Francisco Giants. This in conjunction with Mark McGwire being brought on board to be hitting instructor for the St. Louis Cardinals shows growth.

Why don't the Chicago Cubs follow suit and bring Sammy Sosa back into the Cubs organization? The hypocrites of Major League Baseball didn't ban steroids during the heyday of the explosion of home runs; they turned away and just laughed all the way to the bank.

Ditto for fans who used to trip over their feet to kiss Sammy Sosa's behind, but Sosa had two strikes against him when arrived to the majors. Hope his dark skin and thick English accent aren't holding him back!

-- Ricardo (Streetwise) Moreno, East Chicago

April 13, 2014 12:00 am

Put economic development money into roads

It’s incredible how politicians can jump on and spend the proceeds from the new Lake County income tax!

$3.2 million of the new county income tax the cities will receive could have gone to fix local infrastructure needs. The extension of the South Shore won’t even start being built for six years, yet our tax dollars will go to this project and not fix our roads.

I left Illinois and moved to Indiana years ago because their taxes were too high, and here we go. With big promises come big taxes.

Many of my co-workers live in Illinois, and all they talk about after driving to work is how bad our roads are! How will the northern and eastern part of Lake County benefit from this project?

Their roads are in the worst shape and could put that tax money to better use right now.

-- Greg Serbon, Merrillville

April 13, 2014 12:00 am

Add paragraph to lease for landlord's protection

Homeowners beware. Do you have rental property? Do you have a bonafide lease? Does your tenant owe you delinquent rent? Do you have damage to your property? Will your lease stand up in court? Can your local authorities act on your behalf? Sorry, the answer is no to all of the above.

What authority does your county and state have to abolish your rights as a homeowner?

After many losses incurred by a renter, we must abide by regulations set by the county. In giving a 60-day notice that new rent will not be honored, or a five-day notice for removal from premises, a homeowner must go one step further.

On behalf of all property owners, please add a new paragraph to the lease to protect the homeowner.

The new statement would read:

"I, John Doe, do hereby swear that I will uphold the contents of this lease, and I will voluntarily move from said property when the lease has expired, or at such time that I have violated the lease or have caused damage to the property".

-- Bruce A. Ross, Lansing

April 13, 2014 12:00 am

Battles' diatribe on women's rights was just sad

James Battles, of Lakes of the Four Seasons, must be experiencing a lot of personal tragedy in order to write such a hate-filled letter, "Why should men determine what rights women have?"

Battles belittles men as a gender and also expresses his disdain for anyone who abides by religious beliefs to justify the killing of the unborn.

I couldn't help but see his letter as a cry for help. To express such hatred and disdain for manhood, and religion, Battles must have a lot of inner pain in that he feels the need to lash out in this manner.

I usually enjoy reading the letters to the editor, but Battles' diatribe was just plain sad. I hope he finds the help he needs.

-- Steve Howard, Schaumburg

April 13, 2014 12:00 am

Does anyone sell bobbleheads of Supreme Court?

Well the U.S. Supreme Court has just sold the USA to the very wealthy. It was hard to buy the presidency prior to their recent ruling, but now it's an easy buy.

The middle class was in trouble. Now we become lower middle class, and the poor will be poorer if possible.

Does anyone sell bobbleheads of the Supreme Court?

Wake up, Americans. Read the paper, listen or watch the news, get involved or watch your country be sold to the highest bidder.

-- J. Lincoln Piscione, Hobart

April 13, 2014 12:00 am

Reduce your carbon footprint, save money too

After all this freakish weather, even the most entrenched global warming hoaxer is starting to accept the reality that our weather continues changing for the worse. Rising insurance rates, taxes to pay for more wildfires, tornadoes and Hurricane Sandys. So what can we do?

An average carbon footprint is automotive 51 percent, heating/cooling 20 percent, appliances 12 percent, lighting 6 percent, water heating 6 percent, refrigeration 4 percent. That’s 99 percent.

Here are the low-hanging fruit. Buy a hybrid car — no idling, double the miles per gallon, and triple the resale. Is your 80 percent efficient furnace 20 years old? Get one at 95 percent and a tax credit and cut your heating bill by 15 percent to 20 percent. Have attic insulation less than 18 inches? Get more blown in and save even more. Fluorescent or LED Lighting bulbs and nightlights are an easy, cost-saving fix.

Reduce your carbon footprint and save money in the process.

-- S. Robert Schwartz, Valparaiso

April 13, 2014 12:00 am

Krueger's assertions are easily turned against him

In response to Herman Krueger, a number of questions come to mind. To say the only reason same sex couples want to get married is for tax benefits begs the question: Is that the only reason you married your wife?

Was she nothing more than a tax write off? Are heterosexuals just mercenary and looking for a tax break? No? Then why would it be different for same sex couples?

I am a heterosexual single adult. Why should I support your "lifestyle" with my tax dollars? See how that works?

As to Krueger's remark about children of same-sex couples needing psychological counseling, there is no evidence to support his assertions. The only suffering they experience is at the hands of close-minded judgmental people.

Children need love and caring, and it doesn't matter where it comes from.

- Jacqueline Ruark, Merrillville

April 13, 2014 12:00 am

This is slowest, worst economic recovery ever

How is our nation's economy doing? The truth is that this is the slowest and worst recovery from a recession ever.

-- Dan Heggi, Griffith

April 13, 2014 12:00 am

It will be hard to recover from liberals' tenure

First you need to know some facts. This Congress has passed laws, but the knothead who is the Senate's majority leader will not allow any of them to come up for a vote.

We need to shake up Congress, especially on the Senate side, so bills will not get put on the shelf but put up for votes.

You seem to forget President Barack Obama's party had control of both houses for two years. What did they get done? The health care bill, better known as the "you make me sick bill."

Here is my deal. Vote Republican and see if we finally get some job bills or we finally get the Keystone pipeline, or maybe we will get some leadership that will stand up to the Putins or Iranians and someone who is proud of our country instead of ashamed and always telling the world how bad we have been.

Liberals should never be elected to any political post. They have taken this country so far downhill it will be hard to recover.

-- Bill Dunham, Valparaiso

April 13, 2014 12:00 am
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