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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, September 08, 2019 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

Partners help ensure brighter future for kids

When our members become teens, club membership can diminish as sports, extracurricular activities and other interests consume afterschool time.

However, there are still many at-risk teens who can benefit from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne.

At our new facility, we are fortunate to have an entire floor devoted to teens (the William and Bonnie Hefner Teen Center) with learning centers, a dance room, a fitness center (sponsored by Planet Fitness) and technology room (sponsored by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Pacers Foundation and NBA2K) to engage at risk teens in new ways.

The first-floor Do-it-Best Partnership Room is another tool to develop hard skills to prepare our older members for careers in the building trades and other STEM-related (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs.

This week, with financial assistance from the AEP Foundation (presented by Indiana Michigan Power), the NIPSCO Foundation, a community grant from GM Fort Wayne Assembly/UAW 2209 and curriculum planning, donations and volunteer time from the Northeast Indiana Building Trades, Northeast Indiana Contractors Alliance, Ivy Tech and the Fort Wayne Community Schools Career Academy, learning begins on Project Blueprint/Building Futures for Future Builders; a weekly year-long building trades learning experience for hundreds of our members.

We wish to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to our community, our partnerships, our volunteers, donors and staff who are willing to wrap their arms around our most vulnerable youth to create better futures through specific programs such as this one.

Project Blueprint/Building Futures for Future Builders is the first of many new programs being developed, with the help of so many, to ensure that our kids become productive citizens in the years ahead.

Without our partners, we would be lost. And so would our children.

Joe Jordan

President and CEO

 Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne

Hatred taints Trump coverage

I am disappointed in The Journal Gazette for articles you publish in your Sunday newspaper. I am especially disgusted about an Aug. 4 column by Michael Gerson (“A searing indictment of us all”).

It seems to me that Gerson's whole motive was to stir up hate and discontent.

What purpose did his column have in describing a lynching that happened almost 200 years ago? Is he trying to turn people against our president, who had nothing to do with the lynching? Why do he and the newspaper hate President Donald Trump so much?

The Journal Gazette should be publishing all the good things he is doing for our country instead of this garbage.

Mary Patterson

Fort Wayne

Renaissance stirs pride, love

I tend to move around quite a bit as a result of my work. So far, I've had the fortune to spend three wonderful years here in the Fort.

As an associate conductor for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, I find inspiration from all around, such as music, art, people and places. Of all the cities I have lived, I have never been so moved and inspired as I have been in the summer of 2019 by Fort Wayne. The month of August was truly historic for our city. I was fortunate to attend most of the opening weekend of Promenade Park, and my heart filled with joy seeing families rally together in what feels like a new epicenter for our community. I commend our community leaders in their vision for this wonderful addition to Fort Wayne.

I've had recent guests from Portland, Oregon, and Asheville, North Carolina – two very “hip” yet different cities. Both of these folks couldn't believe how much Fort Wayne had to offer. They were both blown away by the food scene downtown. It seemed that our diverse and dedicated arts offerings also had a deeply positive impact on their impression of our city. The new park was the icing on the cake for these folks. I'm proud that our city can make such an impression on visitors and reshape their expectations of the Rust Belt.

On The Landing, I'm also opening my blinds every morning to what feels like an urban phoenix, rising from the dust of concrete. Seeing such beautiful, important and historic parts of Fort Wayne being given new life and purpose is defying expectations. Working from home, I'm seeing constant foot traffic, mostly to the new park (again, bravo), with those passing by stopping and gazing at The Landing with smiles and renewed pride for Fort Wayne.

During my offseason, I have found the city to be my muse. I have never been prouder to call somewhere my home. All my love, Fort Wayne.

Caleb Young

Fort Wayne

Planet among endangered

I have spent the past 14 summers finding and raising monarchs from egg to butterfly in an attempt to help this species continue flying around on this earth.

I try to educate as many people as I can who will listen to me ramble about their life cycle and migration habits. So to hear how our leader – and I use that term lightly – discuss gutting the Endangered Species Act and opening up places currently protected because endangered species live in those spaces really angers me.

It took so long to have our government finally take action to save species from disappearing. The bald eagle and California condor come to mind as the most commonly talked-about comeback stories. To think our leaders could care less what is happening to this world related to losing animals is mind-boggling. Are they that callous and just don't care? Do they really want to find a way to put a few bucks in their pockets and the pockets of their rich buddies who will benefit from these changes? How can any human being just not care about anything but the bottom line?

The largest, most important forest – the Amazon – is on fire right now. Our world depends upon the Amazon, and if we don't do something to stop it from burning up and going away, so many other animals will disappear – some we may not have even discovered yet. I don't want to live in a world that won't be taken care of by human stewards fighting for the lives of so many species. No amount of money could ever make me ignore the planet and everything that lives on it.

Wake up, people, and do the right thing. Contact your congresspersons and local policymakers to let them know what they are doing is not OK. If the Amazon goes, our air quality goes all around the planet and that will not only affect the animals. It will affect humans. We all need to do a better job of protecting this planet and everything that lives on it.

Laurie Butts

Columbia City