State budget fails abused children
I have read with great interest all of the news concerning the safety of children in Indiana. After spending 10 years working for the Healthy Families program for the Youth Service Bureau in our area, I can tell you all this is happening because our state leaders have destroyed the best prevention of child abuse in our state by ending the funding.
Common sense should tell all caring people that there is a reason why people abuse children – ignorance, anger, drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, and on and on. The Department of Child Services received money and nearly 800 new employees to fight abuse. These people go in after harm is done.
Programs such as Healthy Families worked with families, especially mothers, to give information, help with all facets of life, to prevent child abuse. Our state took away all funding for prevention.
The toll free hotline is a problem. If you saw abuse and tried to call for someone to help, wouldnt you be frustrated by being told to call a hotline in Indianapolis, then being questioned by a stranger who read a list of questions, many of which you could not answer? Reporting child abuse should not be so complicated and it should be local.
Republicans need to stop following the failed leadership in the Statehouse and do whats right. And those of you who voted for them should also think long and hard before you vote for them again.
CINDY GILTNER Portland
Bear cubs exploited for money
The unseasonably warm, beautiful weather may have dampened attendance at the Outdoor Sports, Lake and Cabin Show at the Coliseum March 17-19, but on the bright side it gave some quality nap time to the four two-month-old bear cubs that were being exploited for money.
These bears were born in captivity in Georgia and Ohio. Those from Georgia, their owner advised, were from someone who didnt want any more babies so they gave them away. Those from Ohio were someones pets, and apparently they didnt want them either. Where would they go after the show? The man wasnt sure.
How ironic that in February this very Hoosier bear guy, as he dubbed himself, was honored with a resolution in the Indiana Senate for always placing a high priority on bear safety education, bear habitat, and bear disposition and for always (making) this a part of their mission. That sure wasnt the impression I was left with at the Coliseum. I was left with the feeling this bear guy was just there with some surplus, captive-born babies that made him $10 per photo all day long.
Maybe Sen. John Waterman should care more about bringing attention to the real heroes of animal welfare and not glorifying the continued exploitation of animals for profit. Maybe he and other lawmakers should have paid some attention to moving House Bill 1288, which proposed to enhance the regulations that protect captive exotics in Indiana.
LORI GAGEN Albion
Partisanship destroying parties
On Jan. 9 a Gallup poll gave the results of a Party Identification in America survey. The result: Independent 40 percent, Democrat 31 percent and Republican 27 percent. One year after the Republicans won the House, they were right back at the bottom.
Many who left were tea party members who observed the debacle of the debt ceiling negotiations, in which the anti-tax fanatics who dominate the Republican leadership thwarted responsible progress. It dawned on the average tea party guy/gal that the Republican party had degenerated completely into the dog being wagged by its Libertarian tail – and they left.
Both parties lost in the poll because both are committed to 20th century ideologies that no longer work. The Democrats are committed to socialism; the Republicans are committed to capitalism. The 40 percent unrepresented in between are average Americans who see paralysis and dysfunctionality in the ideologically overpolarized two-party system that fights battles they do not care about.
There is no longer even a pretense to serving anyone but the elites of the respective parties. Both parties reflect the twisted morality of elites who care only to hold power. The Republican Party has replaced In God We Trust with In Trickle-Down We Trust. The Democrats have replaced In God We Trust with In Food Stamps We Trust. The American Dream for average Americans is on neither road map.
HANK ACHOR Fort Wayne