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The Journal Gazette

Monday, February 26, 2018 1:00 am


Enchanting programs

Kudos to the Allen County Public Library for their recent program of baroque music played on early instruments. Stacy Staum does a terrific job of bringing in quality talent from all over. These monthly programs are free.

Kudos also to Trinity Episcopal Church for their recent free baroque concert.

And finally, hooray to the IPFW Music Department for their second annual Mardi Gras celebration. What a fun, raucous, entertaining evening – a great showcase of our student and faculty talent. They even gave out free beads and a slice of King Cake (a tradition on Fat Tuesday).

Lisbeth Scott

Fort Wayne

Lawmakers must act on state's smoking epidemic

Each February, in celebration of Heart Month, we are reminded of the impact that heart health has on each of us and efforts to decrease its burden on our community.

We know that one in five adult Hoosiers smokes cigarettes, but even more alarming is that a similar percentage of our high school students smoke. Nearly all adult smokers begin at younger than 26. The adverse consequences of tobacco use are indisputable. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. The epidemic in opioid abuse is well known, but deaths attributed to smoking are 10 times greater –highlighting an even greater epidemic.

As cardiovascular professionals, we are supportive of and thankful for the unanimous vote by Indiana House Public Health Committee members to pass House Bill 1380, which would have increased the smoking age to 21. We are extremely disappointed this bill could not be advanced. We know that the later our youth might choose to smoke, the fewer will actually do so. We believe any concerns regarding negative economic consequences are far outweighed by the beneficial longer-term reduction in health care costs. Additionally, a healthier state will serve as a more attractive place for commercial development and growth, the economic benefits of which will be distributed widely throughout our communities. We recognize the importance of individual choice but feel strongly that the choice of tobacco use should be one that is well informed of potential and anticipated consequences. Raising the smoking age would be an effective step in this regard, as would an increase in the tobacco tax.

As of 2018, five states – California, New Jersey, Oregon, Hawaii and Maine – have raised the tobacco age to 21, along with at least 285 localities, including New York City, Chicago, San Antonio, Boston, Cleveland and both Kansas Cities. 

We respectfully ask that our legislators take a lead role in promoting community health and protecting Hoosiers by advancing tobacco laws.

Dr. Mary Norine Walsh


Dr. Richard J. Kovacs


Dr. Raymond E. Dusman

Fort Wayne

Arm teachers, janitors

The airwaves are full of sympathy to the victims of the Parkland, Florida school shootings, as they should be. But we need more than sympathy to prevent the growing incidents of this type.

What we are hearing the most is 1) stiffer gun control 2) better school security and 3) more attention to pathological warning signs.

I agree with the latter two assessments, but the first one has not worked time and time again over the last 10 years or so, and is the first one to get the bulk of coverage by the media. The thing that has been the most effective during this time occurred in states that allow its citizens the license to carry firearms; there has been a reduction of about 4 percent of this type of violent crime.

If every janitor, teacher and school official had been carrying a small, concealed firearm in this Florida school, how many guns would this perpetrator have faced in the halls within one minute after he fired the first shot? And how many lives would have been saved? I think this should be a school requirement for all its hired personnel.

The school had one armed guard for nearly 3,000 students. That's sad.

Paul Jorg