You talk back -- sometimes nicely, sometimes not so nicely. Send your letters to Not all letters will be published, but all letters will be read. Obviously, views expressed in the letters below do not (always) reflect the opinion of NUVO's editorial team.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Letter to the Editor: City Leaders Call for Funding of the Marion County Transit Plan

Posted By on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 9:29 AM


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On November 8, nearly 60 percent of Marion County voters in Indiana supported the referendum for dedicated county income tax for improved public transit. A majority of voters supported it in 79 percent of precincts across Marion County as well. This investment promises the Indianapolis Public Transit Corporation (IndyGo) can deliver greater connectivity to jobs, educational opportunities and better healthcare for all Marion County residents.

The broad, bi-partisan support for improved transportation systems demonstrates that our communities are ready to invest in making our region more competitive, resilient and sustainable.
As the transit proposal has now been introduced to the City-County Council, we call on them to fully fund the Marion County Transit Plan that voters have approved so our city can benefit from improved transit as soon as possible.

A ‘yes’ vote for funding the Marion County Transit Plan is a vote for growth, and giving local workers and families a better opportunity to reach the middle class through education and employment. It’s a vote to bring new investment to struggling neighborhoods, and make our city even more appealing to new talent and business. It’s a vote to increase home and property values allowing our communities to thrive and grow.

The proposed Marion County Transit Plan expands high-frequency bus service on every route, every day with extended service hours to better connect people, employers and neighborhoods. The expanded system would put three times more residents and double the jobs within a five-minute walk of a frequent bus route, with weekend and crosstown service that creates shorter trips for the average rider.

Better service connects people and jobs, and creates self-sufficiency. By putting more options for employment, education, healthcare, groceries and other basic needs within reach, transit creates upward mobility and independence for those who rely on it most.

Expanded transit with more frequent service can empower people, give companies a competitive edge, even transform neighborhoods – but these benefits come with a budget. The referendum authorized by the City-County Council creates a dedicated revenue stream for transit. This allows for consistent funds to be used for transit improvements only. It is the step the City-County Council needs to take to keep Indianapolis and our region moving forward.

With the overwhelming approval of its constituents, we again urge the City-County Council to enact the dedicated funding stream and take Indianapolis to another level.

Michael Huber, President and CEO, Indy Chamber
Steve Sullivan, President and CEO, MIBOR REALTOR® Association
Orion Bell, President and CEO, CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions
Molly Chavers, Executive Director, IndyHub
Marlene Dotson, President and CEO, Indiana Latino Institute
Leigh Riley Evans, Executive Director, Mapleton Fall Creek Development Corporation
Tedd Grain, Deputy Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Kim Irwin, Executive Director, Indiana Citizens’ Alliance for Transit/Health by Design
Tim Maloney, State Policy Director, Hoosier Environmental Council
Michael McKillip, Executive Director, Midtown Indianapolis, Inc.
Nasser H. Paydar, Chancellor, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
Shoshanna Spector, Executive Director, Indianapolis Congregation Action Network
Josephine Rogers Smith, Executive Director- Martindale Brightwood Community
Eric Strickland, Executive Director, Riley Area Development Corporation
Paul Smith, President, Southeast Neighborhood Development
Joe Bowling, Director, East Washington Street Partnership – Englewood Community
Patrick Tamm, President and CEO, Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association
James Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, John H. Boner Neighborhood Center
Javier Barrera, Executive Director, Latino Youth Collective
Adairius Gardner, Director of Government Affairs, IU Health
Sarah Waddle, State Director, AARP Indiana
Margaret Banning, Executive Director, Irvington Development Organization
Tony Mason, President and CEO, Indianapolis Urban League
Michael Osborne, President, Near North Development Corporation

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Labor Sec. nominee Andrew Puzder is a bad choice

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 9:36 AM

Andrew Puzder speaking at the 2016 FreedomFest at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada. - PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE VIA FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr Creative Commons
  • Andrew Puzder speaking at the 2016 FreedomFest at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada.

NUVO accepts letters to the editor at

Andrew Puzder is no good to lead the Labor Department. This is a bad choice for working people.

This pick betrays the spirit of the Trump campaign and threatens to leave working people more vulnerable to abusive employers.

Puzder opposes raising the minimum wage and says workers don’t need overtime and should instead be happy with a “sense of accomplishment.”

Puzder has used his position and authority as a fast-food CEO to enrich himself at the expense of working people by violating labor law. One investigation found that more than half of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants reviewed weren’t paying workers what they were owed.

He refused to pay his managers the overtime they earned and said he’d like to replace human workers with machines, because machines “never take a vacation…there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex or race discrimination case.”

People who work at his restaurants make poverty wages while he made more money last year in one day than one of his full-time minimum wage workers makes in a year.

All of these reasons make Puzder unfit to run the agency tasked with protecting people at work.

Thank you,
Rick Royer
Avon, Ind.

Sponsored by AFL-CIO Washington, DC Copyright ©

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Letter to the Editor: Why I stand with Standing Rock

Posted By on Mon, Nov 21, 2016 at 3:57 PM

Scenes from the NoDakotaAccessIndy march last week - MARK A LEE
  • Mark A Lee
  • Scenes from the NoDakotaAccessIndy march last week

NUVO accepts letters to the editor at

On 11/ 15/16, I participated in a NoDakotaAccessIndy march in Indianapolis. The goal was to raise the public awareness of the atrocities being perpetrated against the peaceful non-armed, human, water protectors in North Dakota by the DAPL oil pipeline and the complete disregard of the laws and procedure of constitutional government of the U.S.

Also, we chose to take action against big bank who fund BILLIONS OF $$$ in the pipeline and the environmental horrors that come with their funding. The choice of the day was PNC and Chase. Chase, itself, leads the funding with $68-plus billion to companies that drill extreme oil and liquefied natural gas exports.

  • Mark A Lee

As I went into Chase to close my account, I was approached by a member of NUVO who respectfully asked me why I was there. At that moment, I gave a broad answer spoken from my mind.

I would like now, to answer from my heart.

I was there because I am a grandmother who stands in the middle of all who have gone before and all who come will come after ... my ancestors and my grandchildren.

I have European ancestors — immigrants. They moved on flatboats along the Ohio River, from Virginia to Kentucky. Some walked north into Illinois as pioneers; crossed the Mississippi after the Civil War and merged with my Indian ancestors, survivors of the European invasion from the beginning.

  • Mark A Lee

My European ancestors fought in every American war from the beginning.

My parents are now my ancestors. My father fought with courage, honor, and integrity clearly in the presence of danger in WWII. He received a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star. His parents and my yet-to-be mother spent the war on the homefront, giving my father a reason to come home.

And here I am, a strong people's legacy.

  • Mark A Lee

All my people have been connected to the land, physically, emotionally, spiritually. This remains true today.

The greatness of the U.S. remains in the people's connection to the land and to each other. The egotistical greed of the 1 percent destroys, not only the land, but also the people and the future of my grandchildren.

I stand because I am a grandmother and a strong people's legacy ... and my legacy goes on.



  • Mark A Lee

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Letter: Transit bill benefits business owners and employees

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 4:45 PM

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As a business owner, I am keenly aware of the need for a strong return on one's investment. Because of that, I am a strong supporter of the Marion County Transit Plan and will vote yes on Question 2 on Election Day. Our investment as a community into improving mass transit will improve the employment situation of our residents, grow our city's businesses, and because of those two things, boost our city's economy.

At my six restaurants, I employ 250 people. Many of these employees rely on transit - or would like to be able to rely on transit. I support the Marion County Transit Plan because it would provide my employees with more consistent, dependable service to get to and from work in a reliable, convenient, and less expensive way.
There are several great dining areas in the city where parking spaces are at a premium. Increasing transit availability provides options for patrons who are hesitant to go to Broad Ripple, Mass Ave or Downtown because they don't want to deal with parking issues. One of my restaurants, Binkley's Kitchen & Bar enjoys a parking lot, but I still hear complaints from customers who can't find a parking place on a busy night. Our hospitality industry relies on people from all over central Indiana supporting our local restaurants. Transit will help make this happen.

Investing in transit is sure to provide a strong return for us. Please vote yes on Question 2.


Richard P. Lux, Jr
Lux Restaurants
Indianapolis, IN
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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Letter: Transit is good for the economy and community development

Posted By on Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 11:07 AM

The Julia M. Carson Transit Center, which opened in late June 2016, is the new primary bus hub for IndyGo. - PHOTO BY AMBER STEARNS
  • Photo by Amber Stearns
  • The Julia M. Carson Transit Center, which opened in late June 2016, is the new primary bus hub for IndyGo.

Editor's note: NUVO accepts letters to the editor at 

This year, we have a unique opportunity to support an effort that will further advance Indianapolis’ competitiveness through modern transit. IndyGo has released a five-year Marion County Transit Plan that brings all-day, frequent bus service to three times the population and to twice as many jobs as today’s system, cutting travel time and adding three new rapid transit routes.

The plan will transform our transit system and better serve our community. Those who rely on transit the most will see major gains in access – three times more residents in poverty will be within walking distance of frequent bus service, along with 10,000 more households that don’t own a car. Nearly 100,000 more minority residents will live within walking distance of high-frequency routes.

RELATED: Vote yes on Question 2, from IndyHub 

For communities across Indy, transit will become a realistic option for reaching employment and education. And extended hours will help riders get to work in industries like hospitality, healthcare and distribution where evening and weekend shifts are common. Our local economy will benefit and new opportunities will be created for growth.

Mass transit also helps revitalize struggling areas. The National Association of Realtors has stated that access to transit increases property values by as much as 35 percent. People are attracted to convenient, walkable neighborhoods, and businesses are drawn to areas with rapid transit service. Where abandoned homes, vacant storefronts and idle industrial sites now sit, transit can bring new development.

Transit plans are already adding momentum to residential and commercial investment in areas like Mapleton-Fall Creek and Englewood. The proposed Central@29 project will bring affordable and senior housing and retail development (built with local construction jobs) within walking distance of two planned rapid transit lines (Red and Purple) and frequent routes. This week Englewood Village proudly announced that in partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools and the City of Indianapolis, Purdue Polytechnic High School will be located at the Mallory Building along the Blue Line on East Washington Street. These and many other projects throughout our city will only be possible through a more adequate investment in our transit system.

Mass transit isn’t the only answer, but it is a major part of the solution to many of the problems we face. We must improve transit now, for a more competitive economy, employment, equitable development opportunities, and improved quality of life for all of our residents.

We represent communities that are already planning to invest in development near increased transit service all over the city, and we support the broader Marion County Transit Plan as a way to connect and empower our communities.

But empowerment takes action: Learn more and see upcoming public meetings, share your support with your City-County Councillor, and vote yes on Question 2 on November 8th.


Leigh Riley Evans, Chief Executive Officer – Mapleton Fall Creek Development Corporation
Margaret Banning, Executive Director, Irvington Development Organization
Chris Barnett, Executive Director – Lawrence Community Development Corporation
Joe Bowling, Director, East Washington Street Partnership – Englewood Community Development Corporation
John Franklin Hay, Executive Director - Near East Area Renewal
Michael Osborne, President – Near North Development Corporation
Eric Strickland, Executive Director – Riley Area Development Corporation
Josephine Rogers Smith, Executive Director- Martindale Brightwood Community Development Corporation
Paul Smith, President – Southeast Neighborhood Development, Inc.
James Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, John H. Boner Neighborhood Center
Phil Votaw, Executive Director – Westside Community Development Corporation
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Monday, October 3, 2016

Letter: Globally rare forest cut down for unremarkable plan

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 8:50 AM

Children gathered at the 9/29 meeting at the War Memorial - KATHERINE COPLEN
  • Katherine Coplen
  • Children gathered at the 9/29 meeting at the War Memorial
Editor's note: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) plans to cut down most of the old growth forest on the grounds of Crown Hill Cemetery. The Indiana Forest Alliance has mounted a campaign to stop the project by contacting legislators. Find out more here. 

NUVO accepts letters to the editor at 

On September 29, I went to the Indiana War Memorial where the Veterans Administration (VA) presented their new 100 year plan, a phased approach installing a columbarium in the north woods portion of Crown Hill Cemetery. The particular spot they chose is a forest remnant, once part of the great Eastern Deciduous Forest that covered the Midwest.

This forest remnant is truly a relic of natural change since the Wisconsin glacier which retreated 18-20,000 years ago. Of course the plant life isn't that old but the undisturbed soils and the natural forest we see today is rooted in that ancient past. The post-glacial Spruce Conifer forest was here in central Indiana. That early ice age forest gave way to other types of forests that evolved (including hot and dry pine associations) in concert with the changing climate.

More recently in the last 300-500 years we have the forest community today with elm, ash, oak, hickory, beech and maple. We know the forest type sequences from pollen analysis done by scientists in the 1940s from early peat bogs, which were created by glacial events. These natural bogs were destroyed —- one was at the base of the southwest portion of the kame (glacial deposit) where Crown Hill is situated. There was also bog in Broad Ripple —- Bacon Swamp and one near Southport.

Most of the original forests in the county were cleared by 1865 according to agricultural reports. To have forested remnants in the county today is rare. Other notable forest remnants in Indianapolis: Woollens Garden Nature Preserve, Eagles Crest Woods Nature Preserve, Holliday Park and Raymond Park. The Crown Hill remnant forest was on private land and it was not considered a community asset when it sold to the VA and their vision didn't include the forest.

The VA stated several times they did everything right and went through the environmental process. However, that process isn't primarily to save, restore, and manage a community's natural resources. It is also a process to permit development. The NEPA process generated a "found no significant impact" (FONSI) to natural resources or wildlife. The report did mention three wetlands but stated the VA planned to avoid, minimize or mitigate as a measure. The VA hasn't mentioned the wetlands and IDEM has not received any notice. The FONSI also stated that the VA would follow DNR recommendations to minimize impacts. A concerned veteran asked the VA official Thursday, "Has the VA walked the site with DNR?" The answer was yes. But upon checking with DNR, I found no site visit was asked for and no further contact has been made. The VA official made no mention of following DNR recommendations dated 1-2014.
I'm puzzled why the VA couldn't have asked Crown Hill to sell them the highly disturbed wooded parcel to the far west end of the woods. This area was previously cleared, has no wetlands, and has no large timber. That portion is infested with non-native trees and shrubs. Instead their plan is now both unremarkable and typical. It appears the VA is clearly entrenched. It has invested over three years of planning and over $800,000 so far, and it appears that no amount of discussion will change the plans. Bulldozers are scheduled to start during this holiday season, despite the fact this forest type is listed as state significant and globally rare in the Natural Heritage Database maintained by the Indiana State Division of Nature Preserves. What a loss for Marion County.

Don Miller
Professional Land Steward

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Letter: Vote yes on Question 2 to pass Transit Plan

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 9:28 AM

The Julia M. Carson Transit Center, which opened in late June 2016, is the new primary bus hub for IndyGo. - PHOTO BY AMBER STEARNS
  • Photo by Amber Stearns
  • The Julia M. Carson Transit Center, which opened in late June 2016, is the new primary bus hub for IndyGo.

NUVO accepts letters to the editor at 

Every day, the organization I work for, IndyHub, works hard to be a resource and advocate for 20- and 30-somethings in our city. Our own research, conducted on a biennial basis, supports what many of us know to be true in our daily lives — public transportation is the priority our city needs to address.
The reasons for this go beyond the obvious — or perhaps expected. Yes, college graduates today are choosing cities based on the life they envision for themselves and they expect these cities to have strong mass transit systems to move around. Looking ahead, many teens are delaying or forgoing altogether getting their driver's license. But we're also adamant about one point: Whether or not we see ourselves using daily public transportation, we know many of our neighbors are dependent upon it to get to work, school and the grocery store. And the people we rely on rely on IndyGo — our healthcare workers, hospitality professionals, childcare providers. The list continues.

Today's transit network is not enough to meet the needs of our city, and investing in it is essential to Indy's growth and sustainability. It's about the city we envision for ourselves, and those who will inherit Indianapolis. This November, vote yes on Question 2 to pass the Marion County Transit Plan.

Karissa Hulse
Director of Programs and Community Partnerships, IndyHub
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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Letter: Cutting down forest is a dishonor to life past and present

Posted By on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 at 1:30 PM

  • Indiana Forest Alliance

Editor's note: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) plans to cut down most of the old growth forest on the grounds of Crown Hill Cemetery. The Indiana Forest Alliance has mounted a campaign to stop the project by contacting legislators. Find out more here.

NUVO accepts letters to the editor at 

An Open Letter to My Local and State Representatives: 

It has come to my attention that a monument is to be erected in honor of the veterans of the United States military at the North Woods of Crown Hill Cemetery. This sounds like wonderful sentiment and true to the design of Indianapolis. The Visit Indy website states, “Indianapolis devotes more acreage than any other U.S. city to honoring our nation’s fallen, and is second only to Washington, DC, in the number of war memorials...”

As a veteran and native of Indianapolis I am proud of this fact. What I am not proud of is the lack of care and attention to our nature and natural resources in Indianapolis and Indiana at large. The sacrifice of some of Indianapolis’ most precious old-growth forest for this project is an absurdity.
I question the immediate need of yet another monument in Indianapolis. Especially one that puts at risk the already fragile and mistreated ecosystem of my beloved city.

More importantly, a project with such a large price tag when so many veterans go without adequate medical support and care (20 veterans commit suicide per day, VA finding July 2016). My understanding is that a proper public announcement was not made prior to the initiation of this project. I call that the Environmental Assessment be re-published and a public hearing and comment period be held on this proposed cemetery. The project as it is proposed today is a dishonor to veterans, past and present, and to all life in Indianapolis.


Paul Humes (SSGT, Indiana ANG)
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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Letter: Let's preserve the old growth forest at Crown Hill

Posted By on Sun, Sep 11, 2016 at 10:28 AM

  • Indiana Forest Alliance
Crown Hill Woods is old growth forest in inner city Indianapolis. A plan of the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs plans to develop 14.75 acres in Crown Hill Cemetery's "North Woods" along West 42nd Street. The plan is part of the National Urban Initiatives program for the NCA to improve access to burial services for veterans.

This plan includes building “columbaria” to house urns for the remains of up to 28,000 veterans, a network of paved roads, an information building, power lines and drainage pipes — all within the 14.75 acres. When these structures are completed, they will eventually convert this tract of forest into manicured lawns, concrete and pavement.

Indianapolis will say goodbye to a treasure that no other urban community in North America has. In 2013, Crown Hill Cemetery showcased these woods in its coffee-table book, Crown Hill: History, Spirit, Sanctuary.

“Just as the inscriptions on the grave markers are a reminder of, and tribute to, our forbearers, the woods are a legacy of the past, linking generations...These woods are special...At least forty-seven species of trees grow here ...Among the largest and oldest are burr oaks. Some in the woods measure more than fifteen feet around and are likely several hundred years old ... Trees at Crown Hill preserve the gene pool of early Indiana and so connect the past with the present ...”

Clearly, the Veterans Administration must provide reasonable access to burial options and services for veterans and their families. But many veterans and non-veterans of our community feel that this obligation can and should be met without eliminating this rare forest, containing trees that were growing here before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.

Before any decision is made that affects this old growth forest, alternatives must be examined and considered, publicly. And the public must be provided a sincere chance for input on this taxpayer financed project and the examination of alternatives.

Anyone who wants to stop this tragedy needs to contact our U.S. Senators, Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats, Congressman André Carson and/or Congresswoman Susan Brooks. Ask them to take action requesting that the National Cemetery Administration provide a public hearing on this project and a reasonable public comment period. These 14.75 acres of old growth hardwood forest are an irreplaceable treasure that should continue to exist right here in the middle of our city.

Zach Adamson
City-County Councilor, District 17

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The overwhelming irony of natural destruction in the name of veterans

Posted By on Wed, Sep 7, 2016 at 3:22 PM

A long-range view of the virgin tree grove inside Crown Hill Cemetery. - INDIANA FOREST ALLIANCE
  • Indiana Forest Alliance
  • A long-range view of the virgin tree grove inside Crown Hill Cemetery.
As a veteran, and the widow of a combat veteran, I reject the columbarium cemetery at Crown Hill as currently proposed. Certainly the Veterans Administration has a need, and chose the premier cemetery in Indianapolis to inter and honor those who served, as it is a privilege accorded by a grateful nation.

But as a Navy and Marine Corps veteran (1973-89) I am disappointed in this thoughtless destruction of the forest—the beautiful parts of my homeland I hoped to protect, among those other things such as free speech and equal protection under the law—in the most decent country on earth.

The VA plans to build ten columbaria, 28,100 niches for cremated remains in ten phases in the next 100 years. Crown Hill has sold them the most beautiful 14.75 forested acres near 42nd St. for $875,000—around $60,000 per acre, a totally patriotic price (yes, that’s sarcasm).
A view from inside the tree grove. - INDIANA FOREST ALLIANCE
  • Indiana Forest Alliance
  • A view from inside the tree grove.
Our tax dollars also went to an Environmental Assessment in which contractors characterized the property as a “relatively large old-growth forest” situated in “some of the largest contiguous acreages of greenspace surrounded by a fully developed urban environment in the state of Indiana and possibly the Midwest.”

All of this, as the VA project description noted, to provide “enhanced service” in a “contemplative site [which] will be nestled into the woods for privacy and serenity.”

Then they go on to describe the administration building, flagpoles, wetland drainage systems, road loop for funeral cortege and parking. These woods, some 300- and 500-year-old white and burr oaks, will be eviscerated for hardscape. Our ashes will be put in thousands of niches in the outer walls of warehouse-like structures. The overwhelming irony of destroying our natural heritage—that which we served our country to protect—rankles me profoundly.

Apparently Crown Hill did not offer the open acreage due east on Clarendon and 42nd, where veterans’ families might memorialize their loved ones in a perimeter of tree plantings as the Europeans have done. Instead, both agencies, Crown Hill and the VA, refused to look at alternatives and have cynically pursued decisions at every turn that disrespected nature, disrespected the community and disrespected veterans.

So many combat veterans, such as my late husband, Col. Robert McInteer, lived their lives amid much death and devastation, and caused it, too. So many agreed on the day of our retirements: we’re done with devastation.

My late husband’s remains are now in our family plot at Crown Hill beneath a tree planted by my grandmother. Rows of crosses for our Civil War and WWI dead stand silently, rank and file, across the open meadow. The trees stand aside as sentinels. Let’s let them be.

—Mary Bookwalter
Former Major, U.S. Marine Corps

A view from inside the tree grove. - INDIANA FOREST ALLIANCE
  • Indiana Forest Alliance
  • A view from inside the tree grove.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Prevent child abuse and neglect in Indiana

Posted By on Sun, Aug 21, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Sixty-six. That's the number of children cited in Indiana's recent child
fatality report who died from abuse and neglect in a one-year period. That's
66 children who are no longer with us. That's 66 Hoosier children too many.

The report details how some of these children died. Many at the hands of
their own parents. Many who suffered heartbreaking and prolonged injuries
and unspeakable pain. And many, 50 percent, were under one year of age.

These were little ones, dependent solely on those around them to care for
them, and to keep them safe, whose cries and needs were met with abuse
and/or neglect.

Child abuse and neglect is not singular to one community — it's in every
community. It's in every corner of our state, from the smallest burgs to the
biggest metropolitan areas of Indiana. It crosses racial categories,
geographies, nationalities, political-party affiliations, and economic

And it's something we can prevent.

Every one of us can do something to combat abuse and neglect before it
happens - before another child becomes a number in Indiana's next
child-fatality report.

As a Board Member with the Kids First Trust Fund, I challenge every reader
to do something in 2016 to help protect a child from abuse or neglect.

If you see something, say something. Abuse thrives off of silence —
children need your voice. If you see or suspect a child is at risk of abuse
or neglect, call (800) 800-5556. You could save a life, and possibly restore
a family that is in crisis.

Get involved. Almost all abuse and neglect cases reveal stressors - such as
loss of a job, low income, a single parent feeling overwhelmed, or social
isolation - that put families in crisis. Be a listening ear for a neighbor,
friend or relative. Be aware of your community's resources, such as
employment services, food banks, and childcare programs. Refer parents in
need to these resources. You can also volunteer with a child abuse
prevention organization, or even become a foster parent.

Invest in child abuse prevention. Purchasing a Kids First license plate is a
simple, yet very worthwhile way to promote child abuse prevention everywhere
you drive, and 100 percent of all license plates sales goes to support child
abuse and neglect prevention programs throughout the state of Indiana. You
can also make a donation to the Kids First Trust Fund at, or call 317.232.0465 for more information.

Whatever you do, do something in 2016. You have 66 reasons to get started.

Together, we can prevent child abuse and neglect.


Candes Shelton, Board Chair
Kids First Trust Fund
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Monday, August 8, 2016

On November 8, 2016, will Hoosiers vote?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 1:19 PM

This old ballot box was used in Selje, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS VIA THOMAS BJØRKAN
  • Wikimedia Commons via Thomas Bjørkan
  • This old ballot box was used in Selje, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway.

Editor's note: This letter was penned by Sean Gorman, the Democratic candidate for State Senate in District 36. Submit your Letter to the Editors at 

In 2014, Indiana was dead last in the nation in turnout of eligible voters. That year, only 28% of Hoosiers eligible to vote bothered to cast a ballot. The reasons are complicated and varied, but voter ID laws, polling location hours, and a belief among many that the system is rigged to only offer choices representing the very establishment they are disillusioned with certainly contributes to low voter turnout.

If you might not vote for any of the above reasons, I urge you to investigate your options for candidates who support changes that would improve our process of selecting representation in Indiana.
Ask candidates if they support: Same day voter registration, removing party affiliation identifiers from the election ballot, relaxing voter ID laws, increasing opportunities for third party and independent candidates’ ballot placement, longer polling hours, and increasing opportunities for early and absentee voting, in addition to campaign finance reform. These types of process improvements would not only positively impact voter engagement, but would also improve the quality of the candidates we get to choose from when we show up to vote, which in turn would improve voter turnout.

RELATED: Are you registered to vote? Check here. 

Not voting is essentially affirming your support for continued voter suppression. If enough voters demand it, even when there are only establishment candidates to choose from, we can make changes. We can affect change even under a system that favors the status quo. This year, we will have higher turnout than in 2014 due to the Presidential election, but the down ballot races are also important and impact our future enormously. Will Indiana rank last in voter turnout again?

Please vote!
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