Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Norton Scientific: White learns his fate

The saga of ousted Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White continues Thursday, when he is sentenced on six felony counts, including voter fraud, perjury and theft.

White is hoping the judge will reduce his charges to misdemeanors, which apparently would allow White to resume office – at least for now.

But White has shown no remorse and accepted no responsibility for his actions. In fact, after his conviction, White went on the offensive and accused Gov. Mitch Daniels of listing a false residency. Given White's behavior, it seems doubtful any judge would be inclined to lessen the charges against him.

Water rate increase

The Fort Wayne City Council is likely to make a decision on Fort Wayne City Utilities' proposed water rate increase on Tuesday.

At the request of several council members, City Utilities leaders revised their proposal to increase water rates by 40 percent over three years rather than two. The Fort Wayne Board of Public Works approved the revised proposal last week.

If the rate increase is approved, utility customers will see their bills increase each year from 2013 to 2015, but the increases will be slightly smaller.

Council members seem to accept that the increase is needed to keep up with maintenance demands for water pipes but wanted the Henry administration to soften the blow for city residents already dealing with a difficult economy.

The revised proposal helps address those concerns.

U.S. and Canada

Roy B. Norton, the consul general of Canada, will be speaking at IPFW on Thursday.

Norton, who is based in Detroit and represents Canada in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky, will discuss the two countries' long-standing mutually beneficial relationship and history.

The U.S. shares the world's longest border with Canada and can also boast of the largest two-way trading relationship.

Film discussions

Cinema Center will host two films on current issues on Sunday.

Jonathan Walker, a Fort Wayne physician and regional administrator for the Northeast Indiana Chapter of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan, is sponsor of "The Healthcare Movie." It will be shown at noon Sunday.

The documentary is an account of Tommy Douglas' effort to establish a national health care system in Canada. It is narrated by Douglas' grandson, actor Kiefer Sutherland.

A discussion on health care will follow the free film.

At 4:15 p.m. Sunday, a newly established group of public education advocates will sponsor "Waiting for Superman," a critique of the American educational system as seen through the eyes of students hoping to be selected for admission to urban charter schools. A repeat showing is set for 4 p.m. Monday at Cinema Center.

On March 4 and 5, the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education will sponsor a free showing of "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman," a counter view in defense of public education directed by a teacher-filmmaker.

Discussion sessions will follow each film. For more information on the local education group, go towww.neifpe.blogspot.com.

Omnibus speaker

Award-winning journalist Michele Norris will speak Monday as part of the IPFW Omnibus Lecture Series.

The host of NPR's "All Things Considered," Norris is also the author of "The Grace of Silence: A Memoir." It was named one of the best books of 2010 by The Christian Science Monitor.

Free tickets can be picked up at the Larson Ticket Office in IPFW's Athletics Center between 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. today.

They also ran

What do these men have in common?

DeWitt Clinton, Rufus King, William H. Crawford, Lewis Cass, Winfield Scott, John C. Fremont, John C. Breckinridge, Horatio Seymour, Samuel J. Tilden, Winfield S. Hancock, James G. Blaine, Alton B. Parker, Charles E. Hughes and James M. Cox

They all ran for president on a major party ticket, and all lost. Generally, Americans have made good choices.

You could argue, for example, that Seymour would have been better than Ulysses Grant, Tilden than Rutherford B. Hayes and Cox than Warren G. Harding.

But history changes the further you get from the events. So today being Presidents Day (actually, Washington's birthday holiday, the third Monday in February), take a moment to think not so much how lucky the country has been as how well the system has worked more often than not.

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