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GOPís revival starts in Indiana

Sens. Tom Wyss and David Long must use their seniority and prestige to convince a majority of their colleagues in the House and Senate to make what look like tough decisions about the future of their party.

This country needs two strong political parties with clear views to give voters a chance to make choices. Indiana, while overwhelmingly Republican in the last election, clearly tried to send a message to the legislature concerning education. Some of the radical changes to our education system and structure obviously were not acceptable to the majority of voters.

I don’t know what their votes were on particular parts of these changes, but now the word on the street is that the governor and his legislature are simply going to ignore what voters said and just limit what the new superintendent can do.

Voters may have short memories sometimes – but not always, as this election showed.

Wyss and Long are too bright and fair not to see that their party is straying out of the mainstream, and Indiana has a large part of the blame (as well as Wisconsin) for making it seem OK to do so.

While my superficial self cheers the poor decisions that I think the Republicans are making nationally, my patriotic self knows that one party in power for too long is never a good thing and, right now, it seems that the Democrats will be in charge of the Senate and the presidency for some time. That is not healthy.

Wyss and Long must use their courage and influence to return their party to its former glory.


Standards dumb down kids

I voted Democratic for the first time to get rid of (Superintendent of Public Instruction) Tony Bennett.

Now it seems to me I should also have voted against Gov. Mike Pence as he seems to be against public education and for the “dumbed-down” Common Core.

There was a big rally last week in Indianapolis against Common Core, which was pretty much ignored here. They knew about it, as I called the newspapers and television stations.

PEGGY McENTIRE Columbia City

Statue would cheapen park

This is to ask Mayor Tom Henry to reconsider his interest in moving Gen. Anthony Wayne’s statue to the Courthouse Green. I offer a bit of history with regard to this site.

About a dozen years ago, an entity that I controlled bought the old First Federal building and parking lot with the intention of constructing a new office building there. The market for additional downtown office space was not great at the time, and when it was suggested that this property would make a great park, I became very interested. At great effort, and with the help of others, the entire block was eventually controlled.

The Redevelopment Commission, the Courthouse Preservation Trust, various donors and I worked hard to conceive and design a park that would visually enhance the newly renovated Courthouse, the Lincoln Tower and other adjacent buildings, as well as connect spatially with Freimann Square. Working with the city (Tom Cain) and an experienced design and landscape firm, we purposefully kept plantings low and did not provide space for any structures.

I have occasionally weighed in since against various proposals for such structures. My family and our foundation have contributed significantly to the endowment for maintenance of the Courthouse Green. We wish to add our voices to those who think the statue is fine where it is.

With some tree trimming/removal and good lighting, significant public funds can be saved, and Freimann Square can continue to show off the general. Again, we urge you not to pursue this move.