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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 2:52 pm

Letters

Additions to downtown not aesthetically pleasing


The Jan. 22 Perspective section had the editorial "Living room: Residential options on the rise downtown." In looking at the accompanying photo of the Anthony Wayne condominiums and the artist’s rendering of the proposed Cityscape Flats near Parkview Field, I sensed something missing.

There is nothing decorative or ornamental about those buildings. Except for a depiction of Gen. Anthony Wayne on the façade of his namesake structure, all is stark and linear and flat planes. Are the days of the artisans who made buildings intricate and pleasing gone for good? I realize cost is a factor, but a strictly functional design is that, strictly functional. The History Center building, the Courthouse and others built decades ago still attract the eye and feature sculpture and flourishes that keep them interesting.

The observation, "We shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us," is attributed to Winston Churchill. Are we shaping the buildings we want to live among tomorrow and 100 years from now?

CHERYL MATHEWS

Fort Wayne 


Purdue explains process behind report’s release


(An open letter to The Journal Gazette and the (Lafayette) Journal & Courier:)

Thank you for your requests for the Trimble report, first  received by Purdue on Feb. 3. Thus far, yours are the first and only such requests for this report received from any third party not acting on behalf of Michael Wartell.

Other than Wartell and his counsel, Purdue’s own legal counsel and public records officer, and the three Purdue trustees who made the decision on Wartell’s original complaint in 2012, your reporters will be the first to see this report. Purdue will be providing a copy very soon in the course of processing its outstanding public records requests.

Such is the care with which Purdue has abided by the terms of the confidential process that the university and Wartell agreed to in 2011. Throughout, Purdue strongly believed that the report was protected by attorney/client privilege. Now that Indiana courts have said otherwise, Purdue will provide the report in accordance with its public records practices. But those practices start with the receipt of an actual document request. No one other than Wartell and lawyers acting on his behalf had ever made such a request until you did.

While we respect the court decisions, we continue to believe that every institution must be able to rely on confidential processes like this when conducting sensitive internal investigations – a point reiterated by two of our sister state universities and by the world’s largest association of in-house counsel in briefs filed with the Indiana Supreme Court in support of Purdue’s position. These processes must be designed to safeguard the confidences of all those involved. This was Purdue’s sole motive in defending the privileged nature of the report. 

The report will be redacted for advisory and deliberative material, consistent with a practice commonly followed under the public records law to preserve the quality of internal decision-making processes. But our continuing to stand on principle should not be construed, as some media outlets have assumed, as a desire to hide anything. In fact, Purdue long ago made delivery of a complete, un-redacted report to Wartell and would certainly have no objection to your requesting such an un-redacted copy directly from him. No matter which version you read, perhaps you will reconsider with a fresh perspective any earlier speculation about the report’s content.

STEVEN R. SCHULTZ

Purdue University legal counsel


Letter writer shows what’s wrong with Catholic Church


There are a million things going on in this world Lorraine Schaefer (Feb. 9) could have been stewing about for the last couple of weeks: ISIS, two feet of snow and more. But she fixated on a woman who was fired for wanting to have a baby. The Catholic Church abhors any kind of contraception, but considers a procedure that brings a new life into the world to be not only a sin but a sin bad enough to cast a woman out of her job.

I think most people who read about her rejoiced when she won her lawsuit. Old men deciding how women have babies: It’s no wonder the church is losing members by the thousands. Welcome to the 21st century.

ROGER BLANSIT

Fremont