Thursday, March 24, 2016 10:00 pm
Letters to the editor
Burmese need cultural center
Fort Wayne is home to one of the largest Burmese populations in the United States, yet there is no Burmese cultural center here. Such a facility would help them adapt to a foreign culture, could supply classes and meeting rooms, and provide recreational opportunities for the younger Burmese. Businesses and residents in areas with larger numbers of Burmese residents have, and are continuing to, experience vandalism often performed by bored, frustrated young Burmese.
Surely the city has an available structure on the south side of town (where many of the Burmese live) that could be used for such a purpose. It would help the Burmese and reduce the ill will toward them that has developed in some Fort Wayne residents.
Trump’s telling behavior
During President Barack Obama’s 2009 address to the joint session of Congress detailing his health care plans, Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina heckled the president by shouting, "You lie."
As president and based on the way he has handled hecklers in his rallies, can we expect Donald Trump to have a representative removed with a command to "Get ’em outta here," or will he ask another representative to punch him in the face and he will pay their legal fees?
Keeping in mind that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, what should the American citizens expect?
Growth ‘road map’ essential
If we are on "The Road to One Million," where is the road map?
Based on the March 16 article that mentions a referendum to increase the sales tax by 1 percent to fund the Regional Cities Project, some of the road paving includes previously unannounced higher taxes. A search of the winning proposal yielded no use of the term "tax increase." It does mention that all 11 counties have a county economic development income tax, which most use to fund economic development and infrastructure. The Allen County rate is tied for the highest at 0.4 percent. A 1 percent increase would more than triple this category of sales tax.
A good road map would address people, places and things. "Places" is covered by the Regional Cities proposal, but the proposal is only a starting place for a comprehensive story and community engagement that articulates a distinctive vision for the future that includes a "unique collection of qualities and characteristics – visual, cultural, social, and environmental – that provide meaning to a location" ("The Distinctive City," Edward T. McMahon, April 4, 2012). For "people," the March 2015 report "Young Adult Migration: 2007–2009 to 2010–2012" suggests that our target national audience is 27 percent foreign born with fast-growing cities receiving up to 40 percent foreign-born new residents. College towns are among the fastest-growing small urban areas. Bloomington and Lafayette are Indiana examples. I have heard no discussion or strategy of how our future city will be attractive to these specific groups or how the current discussion of IPFW management supports increased messaging of Fort Wayne as a "college town." "Things" are investments in the community to accomplish the weave of social and cultural aspects to achieve the population outcomes – it could include new taxes, but not just for construction. A good example would be actions to engage the arts community.
Until a comprehensive road map is available, I oppose any increased taxes for the Regional Cities project.
Looking up in Huntington
A recent front-page story about a major Huntington employer leaving town failed to tell the complete story.
For example, the day before it was revealed that jobs would leave town, another one of Huntington’s major employers announced expansion plans. The good news about hundreds of new jobs went largely unnoticed. Also, since the downturn in 2008, Huntington has redeveloped more than 2 million square feet of vacant industrial property. Numerous businesses have expanded, and several new businesses have moved to town in recent years. Companies constantly move into and out of northeast Indiana, and adapting to an ever-changing business environment is a strength in Huntington.
Are we disappointed about losing jobs? Of course. But Huntington’s business-friendly environment, combined with our resiliency and optimism, has served the community well in the past, and I feel very good about our future.
Huntington City Council, District One
A confusing column
Although I am a Ted Cruz supporter, I was prepared to be upset reading Christer Watson’s "Uncurious Trump uniquely unqualified for White House" (March 15t). Upset wouldn’t be the word once I read the column. I’m not sure what the word would be. I’m not sure what Watson wrote. Anyone?