Letters to the Editor

Officials right to reject housing plan

This is in reply to the "Not in my Backyard" letter from a few days ago about the residents of the Sandy Heights neighborhood objecting to the Mariposa Springs development. I am one of those residents and here are a few of my thoughts.

First, we were upset that BWI never really conducted a good survey of the neighborhood. The first I heard of it was when an article appeared in the N&T that the planning and zoning committee passed an ordinance allowing it to happen. Talking to a number of neighbors, no one knew anything about it. Nothing. According to BWI, no one was opposed to it. We live in a quiet neighborhood and the Optimist Club has always been well-maintained. It is definitely not an eyesore. This is shown by the response that was later received once the purpose for the land was eventually shown and the neighborhood became aware of it.

Second, as far as BWI having a "successful track record," it was shown that in Indianapolis they have a development that has been poorly run and is overrun with crime. No, I did not see "the vision" of that project "revitalizing and maintaining a playground for neighborhood children."

Third, there are plenty of places that would be more appropriate. Just drive 10th Street from Main out to Allison Lane. Examples: The empty Clark County Auction (huge empty parking lot), the empty You A Carryouta, the empty drugstore at Plank and 10th, Gateway Plaza, even the empty Kroger and License Branch. There are plenty of places that would be much more suitable than a single family neighborhood.

Finally, I applaud the people in our local governing bodies for listening, realizing what BWI had done, and reversing their decision. Far from being "wishy-washy," I find them being responsible and caring. Am I worried that this project "will be given to another community"? No. I am just thankful that our community leaders stepped up and did the right thing.

— Bruce Williams


Jeff hospitality extolled

We want to thank the City of Jeffersonville for the arrangements and hospitality for the recent SPAAMFAA (“Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Motorized Fire Apparatus in America”) convention. People from all over the U.S. and Canada were here, and several of them brought fire trucks to show at the Radisson lot for three days and at the riverfront on Saturday, July 20.

Everyone loved the wharf and the other facilities. The Indianapolis chapter of SPAAMFAA organized and hosted the event, and the Vintage Fire Museum was very pleased to be involved. Thank you.

— The Vintage Fire Museum and Safety Education Center

(Curtis Peters, board chair)


Integrity in short supply

I freely admit to being a political junkie. I recorded the coverage of the Robert Mueller’s Congressional testimony and watched the entire five hours. What struck me most about this exercise in political theater was the blatant hypocrisy of it all.

The Democrats, well-rehearsed, questioned Mueller for hours in hopes of eliciting a response so devastating as to convince the American people that this duly elected president should be impeached. What the Democrats got instead was a star witness that seemed tentative, bumbling, and unfamiliar with his own report. Personally, I felt bad for Mueller. I believe him to be a man of integrity. But after watching his performance, I no longer believe that he wrote the report, or that he had much control over its investigation and preparation. I now question whether this was just another politically tainted investigation (like the one into Hillary Clinton’s emails) given that the Mueller panel of lawyers were all Democrats, all Hillary campaign donors, with a good number of Trump haters among their ranks.

The Mueller report found no collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign. This included no collusion regarding the hacking of the DNC’s server, nor was there any coordination between his campaign and WikiLeaks. However, during the questioning, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) asked Mueller if statements such as the one from then-candidate Trump saying, “I love WikiLeaks” were problematic.

Mueller responded that, “Problematic is an understatement, in terms of what it displays, in terms of giving some hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal activity,” Adam Schiff (D-CA), head of the Intelligence Committee who never misses an opportunity to slam Trump, joined Mueller in his condemnation over WikiLeaks.

Well, I cannot totally disagree with either of them. It is something Trump should not have said. But condemning Trump alone for this is the height of hypocrisy, and here’s why!

Suppose your neighbor robs a butcher shop and brings the steaks over to your house. You know exactly where they came from, but you grill them up for you and your family and enjoy eating them anyway. Not only are you guilty of receiving stolen property, but you knowingly profited from the theft.

Every media outlet in this country, print, on-air, and online, gleefully licked their chops as they revealed each new batch of stolen emails from WikiLeaks. Every talking head in the business was giddy with excitement each time another embarrassing tidbit was revealed.

Not one single columnist or commentator stepped up and showed courage by saying, “These emails are stolen property. They are private communications that have been illegally obtained and, as a legitimate journalist, I cannot, in good faith, reveal their content or comment on them in any way.” None of our so called “guardians of democracy” showed one ounce of integrity.

Yes, Trump was wrong to praise WikiLeaks. But the media and politicians were just as wrong. There is enough blame to go around for the whole sorry bunch. Let’s just be fair about it.

For more than two years our national media has slammed Trump without mercy for this supposed Russian collusion. He has been called a liar, a thief who stole the election, a traitor to his country, a threat to our democracy, and the devil incarnate, to name just a few. Highly paid columnists and news commentators (earning many times more than the average American) have abandoned any pretense of neutrality and gleefully fed their readers and viewers a steady diet of Russian collusion as though the story had already been proven true.

According to the New York Times, their own publication, along with the Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC have combined to produce more than 8,500 news stories on Trump and Russian collusion. Axios (an online news outlet), states that more than 533,000 web articles have been created on the subject, in turn eliciting more than 245 million interactions (shares, likes, comments, tweets, etc.) on social media. It seems that Donald Trump and the Russian collusion story have been very good for the news business.

Now that we know that the accusations against Trump really are false, I keep thinking that surely someone in the media will eventually step up and apologize to the American people. After all, they collectively propagated the biggest fallacy of our time: A lie of such immense proportions that has only served to further divide the American people. It is no surprise that according to a recent poll from Axios, a whopping 72 percent of the American people believe that "traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading."

And what about Donald Trump? Will anyone, anywhere ever speak up and say, “Mr. President, we got it wrong. I for one am very sorry”?

You have never heard it. You have never read it. And you will never hear it or read it. Stepping up and admitting a wrong would require integrity. And that my friends, is a quality in very short supply these days.

— Bethony Barker