The Journal Gazette
Sunday, September 26, 2021 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

Resisters' recalcitrance lets COVID-19 linger

Since Patty Jones' letter (Sept. 12) was in response to a previous one, maybe we don't need another round in this fray. But I have to comment on some of the “factual” and “logical” statements she included. She seems to support vaccinations but doesn't say much in favor of masks. The gist of her letter was that neither should be mandated.

She asks: “How does someone's choice not to get vaccinated affect you in any way?” Such a person has essentially zero protection from the virus. If they can acquire it, they can spread it. If they can spread it, my 7-year-old granddaughter can get it from them and, with much less likelihood, so could I, despite my vaccination.

She asks: “Why would you harbor such hatred for those who choose otherwise?” I try to reserve hatred for a very small group of people. But I'm really tired of this virus and all the turmoil it has caused. So my question is, “Why wouldn't we all do as much as we can to bring it to a halt, rather than let it continue to run its course while we ignore the steps that have been proven to be effective?”

Finally, she asks a question which boggles the mind: “What would make you think that wearing a paper mask will keep any of us from exposure to these new variants?” For starters, let's consider that not all masks are paper, yet many varieties of both paper and cloth masks have been shown from the start to effectively prevent the wearer from spreading, and therefore the rest of us from contracting, the virus. A secondary, but important function of masks is to help prevent the wearer from becoming infected.

It is precisely this meandering between admitting the efficacy of vaccines and masks and the resistance to mandates limiting our personal choice that has allowed COVID-19 to steal yet another year from our precious lives.

Richard B. Hatch

Fort Wayne

Mandate vaccine for welfare recipients

With regard to mandating vaccines, wouldn't it make sense for President Joe Biden and those who make decisions on his behalf to focus first on the group of citizens over whom they have complete control? Why not mandate that those receiving government welfare benefits, including checks, food stamps (SNAP) and Medicaid benefits show proof of vaccination to receive their monthly benefits?

These are taxpayer-funded programs that require no oversight by private employers. Biden could then move on to those who are receiving the earned income credit on their tax returns (another welfare benefit written into the Internal Revenue Code).

These programs are all under the complete control of the government so should be fairly simple to administer. Prove you are vaccinated, or don't receive your monthly government benefit.

It would be interesting to know what percentage of this population is currently vaccinated. And does this segment of the population suffer from a higher percentage of comorbidities than the population at large? I realize that obtaining this information might appear to be an infringement on HIPAA laws, but this infringement does not seem to concern the Biden administration in the least.

Perhaps Biden should have been focused on this vulnerable part of our population from the moment he took office. And he doesn't need to strong-arm the private sector to make this happen.

Steve Jones

Fort Wayne

Flag display would tout city's successes

It is wonderful to see all the many improvements that are lifting Fort Wayne to a new stature. Every time we have returned “home,” it has been very impressive.

As a graduate of Indiana University, and working in graphic and theatrical arts, my focus is on items such as flags and their design, especially after viewing a TED talk on vexillology Even during the '50s and '60s, I was never aware of Fort Wayne's city flag.

Even now, in current YouTube clips made to show Fort Wayne's progress, photos with three flag poles for country, state and city show the city pole is vacant. A single pole will have country and state but still no city flag.

Look around, see if you can find a city flag.

A flag offers a central focal point to any endeavor. And the strides the city is making are stellar. There would be great benefits to a new strong design that would lend its graphics to many products to help advertise Fort Wayne far and wide.

I hope there are many others who would be interested in solving this problem for the city of Fort Wayne.

Jerry Hillyard

Reisterstown, Maryland

Driving restrictions can prove life-saving

In reference to the Furthermore “Study shows restrictions increases safety among newly licensed drivers (Sept. 4),” the first line reads “Your teenager isn't going to like this.”

Why would teenagers be unhappy: That they aren't allowed to be driving at midnight or with their friends until they have completed their 180-day probationary period?

The statistics given prove these probationary driving laws save lives. If your teenager is unhappy about their restrictions, then sit down with them and watch a mother recount how her daughter who had held her probationary license for eight days lost her life a few minutes before midnight (

Don't put your loved ones in this heart-wrenching position. Obey your driving restrictions.

Lois Levihn

Fort Wayne

Churchill prophecy applies in Afghanistan

The surrender of Afghanistan is fast departing the news cycle for many and various reasons. But before it fades completely, we need to try to remember the words of one one the world's great leaders and historians:

“We have suffered a total and unmitigated defeat... You will find that in a period of time which may be measured by years, but may be measured by months, (we)...will be engulfed in ...(another tragedy). We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude... We have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road... We have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium ... has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the (United States) Western democracies: 'Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.' And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” The words in parentheses' are mine.

The author was Winston Churchill and he was speaking about the Munich Agreement of 1938 in which western democracies surrendered the sovereign nation of Czechoslovakia to the threat of military invasion by the Nazis. One year later, to the day, the Nazis invaded Poland and began World War II.

The quote seems appropriate to Afghanistan.

Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.

Our government seems to have that problem.

Stephen Jahrsdoerfer

Fort Wayne

Redistricting pursuit unites 80th District

Redistricting the 80th state legislative District, served by Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, turned it from a compact district to one that looks like a gerrymandered sheep jumping, with the old district growing a tail, hind legs and a head. However, the wool was not pulled over our eyes on this district because the new boundary is that of the southern portion of Fort Wayne and Wayne Township, which includes the airport jutting out into Pleasant Township.

In the center of the 80th District runs a railroad corridor that connects Fort Wayne south to the state capital and north from the airport to downtown. A community of interest in public transit is working to develop high-speed passenger rail to Indianapolis and build a complete public transit system that runs on solar and wind energy. We need to preserve and develop this rail line for local and distant travel.

Envision an elevated system of transit safe above the climate-driven floods and viewing beautiful expanding forests. Feel the satisfaction of making way for human progress when transportation is much less a barrier to active citizenship and economic contributions. Hear the words of welcome to those seeking higher ground.

The voters of the 80th are positioned to be a catalyst for building our future, thanks to the campaigns for fair redistricting.

Howard Traxmor

Fort Wayne

Subscribe to our newsletters

* indicates required