We asked readers to share their Christmas wishes with us. Here's what they had to say.
Bring us good government in 2018
My wish for Northwest Indiana is for a lean and efficient government in Lake County. On Dec. 25, I would like to wake up knowing the county income tax was repealed and there would be a decrease in everyone's property taxes starting the first day of 2018.
It would also be great if our elected officials would change their mindset. They should be voting to reduce government footprint and costs instead of expanding programs and handing out raises to county employees when the taxpayers haven’t seen raises themselves.
For those who cheated their way to or in office, and those who used or even thought of using their positions for personal gain, I wish for them to offer their immediate resignations.
Maybe elected officials can play by the rules, and the FBI won’t have to raid the county building in 2018.
Sean Flahavin, Winfield
Bring us less NWI political corruption
My wish for Christmas is to be able to pick up my Times every day for one week and not see a report on another NWI politician, public employee or schoolteacher accused or indicted for violating the trust of the people who pay their salaries.
Also, can we start a pool to see who can guess how long it takes before prosecutors make a deal with our distinguished councilman from Merrillville — again?
Patrick McCarthy, Merrillville
Let more Lake County babies see first birthdays
Santa, I have one small Christmas wish: Would you please bring the promise of a first birthday to all babies born in Lake County?
Too many of our babies die before their first birthday. Absurd? No, it’s very real. Lake County babies die at a higher rate than babies in most other Indiana counties.
Santa, simple steps could remedy this dilemma: Could you give all pregnant mothers access to early prenatal care? Could you help us keep them healthy? Can you help us promote and support breastfeeding in our communities?
Many Lake County babies are unintentionally placed in an unsafe sleep environment. Please help everyone caring for infants to remember the ABCs of Infant Safe Sleep:
A.) All by myself
B.) On my Back
C.) In a safe Crib
The promise of a first birthday isn’t a big wish, is it? Our littlest Hoosiers are depending on us.
Mary Puntillo, Highland
Get us out of the emissions testing requirment
Why not take a portion of the Volkswagen emissions settlement money and install our own pollution monitoring device so Northwest Indiana vehicle owners can get out from the umbrella the federal government uses to calculate who has to be tested for vehicle emissions?
It would be a gift that gives forever.
Jeffery Jean, Kouts
Pleading for timely support payments
Our Christmas wish is that the moms (and dads) of Jasper County will always get their support checks from the Jasper County prosecutor's office on time.
We wish for health and stamina for their staff.
Landlords and mortgage holders do not accept excuses in lieu of payment. Being late with a house payment or rent triggers late fees, which have to be paid, leave less for the necessities and can cause an eviction.
How can you budget properly if you don't know when your next payment is coming? Our granddaughter has seen the proper, timely withdrawals on her ex's check stubs. Don't bother calling the Indianapolis number as it will only refer you back to the county prosecutor's office.
We're curious as to whom this office answers to. I'm dead sure our taxes are paying to run it.
Ray and Nancy Kanzler, Hammond
Seeking help for a disabled friend
My wish isn't for me. A friend of mine is in desperate need of housing. He is 62 and on Social Security disability. His needs are not great; a one bedroom, one bathroom is sufficient. Although a first floor or a limited number of stairs would be helpful.
He has a small dog, who also is disabled. The dog is house-trained, doesn't bark or shed.
My friend needs to be near his doctors in Munster and Highland, so a place in that area (Hammond, Schererville, Griffith) would be good. With a limited income, the most he could spend would be $750 per month, hopefully with some utilities included. Senior housing would work for him as well.
So with this letter, I humbly ask if there's anything you can do to help him find an apartment.
Wishing for a permanent home for the symphony
I’m a member of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and more than anything I want a permanent home for the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra. We’ve been gifting the Region with orchestral music of the highest quality for 75 years, and our educational outreach enriches the lives of hundreds of NWI children each year.
Most of us cried during this year's Holiday Pops at the Star Plaza. The people of NWI deserve to hear the most beautiful music in the world in a venue designed for it.
The orchestra needs a home, and the business community and our public institutions need to step up and make that happen.
Tracie Martin, Munster
Pining for enforced speed limits, neighborhood lighting
Kids around here get bused to and from school. Speed limits should be enforced during school hours on Sohl Avenue.
We also need better lighting in our alleys and neighborhoods and more police presence in our neighborhood.
Rebie Fuentes, Hammond
All I want is time with grandchildren
All I want for Christmas is to spend time with my children and grandchildren. We’ve had a rough seven years. A weekend away would be great.
Mary Lou Armato, Dyer
Cousin living with disability needs help
My Christmas wish is not for myself. It is for my cousin.
She is a wheelchair user and does not have a ramp to get in and out of her place. She's lives on a small disability pension. Her daughter lives with her and makes minimum wage.
The daughter's husband is on disability.
She has three grandchildren who live with her. They are on food stamps and Medicaid, so my wish is for that family to be provided a wonderful Christmas meal and a nice Christmas, plus my cousin to have a ramp she so badly needs. She cannot get in or out of her home except to go to a doctor. It takes quite a few people to get her out. So if there is a Christmas miracle out there, I'm asking that this family be provided one.
Thank you, and God bless!
Kathy Kaufman, Valparaiso
Let children with cancer live to be 90, not 9
My Christmas wish this year, and every year, is for there to be more awareness, funding and cures for childhood cancer, which is by far the No. 1 disease killer of our children.
I wish for cures so a child can live to be 90, not 9. I wish for cures so that when a parent hears, “Your child has cancer,” they will also hear, “but there is a cure.”
I wish the National Cancer Institute would allocate more than 4 percent of its budget for research specific to childhood cancers. I wish for less toxic cures so children can enjoy their childhood and not have to worry about chemo, their hair falling out and lifelong side effects from antiquated treatments.
I wish for all of America to make childhood cancer a priority.
Nicole Yarrow, Lowell
Hoping for childhood cancer cures, awareness
On Christmas, I wish every family battling childhood cancer is able to be as blessed as we have been. Our son is a 10-year survivor, and we know how little research, funding and awareness this important cause receives.
We know how little funding comes from the National Cancer Institute (less than 4 percent of their budget). We know how toxic and difficult treatment and effects of that treatment can be. We know how many families are not given the opportunity to keep their own precious child.
My wish is that a cure is found to bring hope and healing to so many who are walking the journey we once did.
Merry Christmas to all!
Kate Perschon, St. John