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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, June 02, 2019 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

Country is taking dangerous step back

I am afraid for our country's future. Recently, a wave of extreme abortion bans have flooded the news, and I fear that we are about to go off the deep end.

There's no denying that these efforts are for possible challenges to Roe vs. Wade and ultimately to restrict access to abortion and other forms of reproductive health care. I am terrified of being pushed back into an era where women were unable to access safe abortion procedures and the implications this will have in our community.

I understand Fort Wayne is a deeply religious and often-conservative city, and that reproductive health care and abortion access can be inflammatory. Yet, I also know our community is too compassionate to agree with laws that force women to carry pregnancies that are unwanted, dangerous or traumatic. More than 70% of Americans support upholding Roe v. Wade, and Fort Wayne has often been considered a microcosm of the Midwest and, ultimately, the United States. This gives me hope that other members of the community share my concerns and will also take action.

Nikole Sanders

Fort Wayne

Doctor leaves; care for patients remains

I have recently informed my patients and their families that I will be leaving the Lutheran Medical Group after June 30. I am not retiring, and I earnestly hope to continue to practice in the Fort Wayne area. But I am embroiled in a contract dispute with my employer arising out of its directive that I stop rounding on hospital patients.

For more than 20 years, I have built a relationship of trust and confidence with my patients based on the continuity of care from the clinic to the hospital. I find that I cannot continue to practice in a setting that undermines that relationship.

This has been a most difficult decision, and I am fighting in court to be able to continue to practice in Fort Wayne.

No matter how things turn out, I wish to thank my patients and their families for entrusting me with your care. It has been the greatest honor and joy of my professional life.

Dr. Kent Farnsworth

Fort Wayne

Metric conversion can start with you

On May 20, World Metrology Day (the anniversary of an international metric agreement), the metric system underwent a change that redefined its base units in terms of universal constants, reaching an unprecedented level of precision. It is also more universal, easier to understand and easier to use. Despite this, the United States is one of the last few countries that doesn't use the metric system officially. So why don't we?

We don't use it here because the English system was preferred by Congress when it established the United States' official system in 1790. There have been attempts to metricate (make metric official) in the U.S. as early as the country's founding and as recently as 2015. Many of them have led to progress (food packages are required to be labeled with both systems and federal agencies use metric almost completely), but there are a lot of things that are still done with the English system, such as speed limit signs. These larger-scale attempts usually fail because of their cost.

While it could be costly and difficult to make the United States fully metric, there are less costly solutions to the same problems. Further, it doesn't cost anything to start where it matters the most, with the individual. By thinking and working with metric units, people become more acclimatized to the world's system. Everyday people learning to understand Celsius, kilometers and kilograms would help bring the United States to the rest of the world.

Aidan M. Redmond

Fort Wayne

Mobilized youth can bring change

If you've ever paid attention to voting demographics or read about the turnout of any major election, then you have probably noticed that for the past few decades the youth vote has been abysmally low. It averages around 20% of all eligible young adult voters. However, that doesn't mean that you should disregard youth.

The 2018 midterms showed a 10% increase in the youth vote, effectively swinging the election and flipping the House. People, young adults included, seem to forget the power and chance for change that a young person possesses, and the effect they've had throughout history.

Even now, you can see nationwide and worldwide marches and protests organized by young adults. Young adults have been an integral part of the fight against climate change, indigenous water rights, the March for Our Lives, civil rights, and on and on.

Youth can enact change both inside and outside the polls. But no matter the change young adults bring, they are still looked down upon and discouraged. Why should they go to vote if they are being told that their voice doesn't matter, that they couldn't know much since they're so young? As history shows, their voice does matter.

Young adults can enact the change they want, and that includes in voting. What else could they do if that ever-increasing demographic all went to the polls? Youth have a voice, a need for change and the vote to bring it.

Genevieve Bougher

Fort Wayne

Letter misrepresented Harvard aid plans

As I prepare to travel to Harvard University's graduation, I am reminded of the May 3 letter by Bruce Cynar, who opined that “perhaps [Harvard] should foot the student loan and take on the risk, rather than the U.S. government.” I realize it is not the job of The Journal Gazette to fact check letters to the editor, however, it is irresponsible to print letters that have blatant and obvious misstatements and errors. It takes little effort to research financial aid programs of colleges, and I believe the record should be set straight.

Fact: 100% of Harvard graduates can graduate debt-free.

Fact: 20% of Harvard students' families pay nothing.

Fact: More than 50% of Harvard students receive scholarship aid.

Fact: Families pay an average of $12,000 annually to attend Harvard.

Fact: Families with annual incomes of less than $65,000 receive a $2,000 start-up grant to help cover move-in costs and other expenses incurred in making the transition to college.

The Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, started in 2005, has awarded more than $2 billion in grant aid to undergraduates with $191 million budgeted for 2018. This year, 43,330 high school students applied to be one of the 1,950 stu-dents in the Harvard class of 2023.

The generous need-based, not merit-based, financial aid program makes a Harvard degree cost the same or less for 90% of American families than their in-state public university. This means anyone who wants to attend Harvard can afford to and the U.S. government is not footing the bill. The U.S. government is making money off Harvard with the endowment tax. This tax hurts students who need financial aid from the college. The government is not making loans to students to go to Harvard. The government is taking money away from students who will attend Harvard.

While I am correcting Cynar's misstatements, tuition and fees are $51,925 a year for a total over four years of $207,700, not $195,796 as he stated. Also as a side note, Harvard's graduation rate is 98%, of whom 86% graduate in four years.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion; just make sure said opinion is based on the truth before sharing it and making it your own.

Anita Richert

New Haven

BSU offers variety in theater majors

Chirp, chirp! cries Charlie Cardinal, the mascot of Ball State University, along with 22,000 attending students. These chirps not only signify their school spirit, but they signify a welcoming to the school, something every aspiring actor, director, or producer should listen for.

Ball State University offers so much for their students, to the point that it seems like a performing arts school you would find on the East or West coast. At Ball State you select specific majors to obtain the level of skill and focus that is needed to pursue a serious career. They offer: acting, design and technology, directing and stage management, musical theater, production, theater, theater creation and theater education. This doesn't include the two minors they offer in theater and technical theater.

My advice to any aspiring actor, director, dancer or some other performing artist is to take a look at Ball State; they can do some amazing things.

Anthony James Hayes

Fort Wayne