- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The (Bloomington) Herald-Times. October 26, 2016

Our Opinion: Amendment on hunting, fishing is unnecessary.

Does Indiana really need to add the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife into the state constitution?

No, it does not.

But some lawmakers, following the lead of the National Rifle Association, have gotten this public question to the Nov. 8 ballot:

“Shall the Constitution of the State of Indiana be amended by adding Section 39 to Article 1 to provide that the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife shall be forever preserved for the public good, subject only to laws prescribed by the General Assembly and rules prescribed by virtue of the authority of the General Assembly to: (1) promote wildlife conservation and management; and (2) preserve the future of hunting and fishing?”

Those who want voters to pick “yes” for this question say this change will forever enshrine hunting, fishing and harvesting wildlife as a valued part of Indiana’s heritage. Here’s what they’re missing:

With or without this amendment, those things will remain a valued part of the state’s heritage.

So will the right to play basketball, grow tomatoes and sweet corn, and race cars or bicycles.

The state constitution needn’t be amended to protect those latter three. And it needn’t be amended to protect the first three, either. If it is, the process will trivialize the state’s most important core protections such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

It’s almost impossible to see a political majority in this state or pretty much anywhere that would truly threaten the opportunity of people to hunt, fish or harvest wildlife. And that’s as it should be. Hoosiers should have that right, as the right to shoot a 15-foot jump shot.

But this takes the issue one step further, makes it into an unnecessary political statement and truly degrades the sanctity of what should be the state’s most treasured governmental document.

State Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington, nailed these points when he said, “There’s never going to be a situation where the General Assembly decides people can’t hunt or fish.” He decried “changing the constitution into a political bumper sticker.”

He’s correct.

In addition, fish and wildlife management has long been the purview of professionals with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Commission. While it’s generally accepted the amendment would not change that, it does appear to be a step toward allowing for legal questions should one of those organizations attempt to place limits on either part of “Indiana’s heritage.”

The right to hunt and fish in Indiana is alive and well, and does not need the additional protection of a constitutional amendment. Voters should reject this overreach.

___

The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette. October 27, 2016

Senate hopefuls struggle with ethics issues.

For “what appeared to be four job-hunting trips,” the Indianapolis Star reported, Evan Bayh spent $3,000 in taxpayer funds when he traveled to New York from Washington several times during 2010, his last year in the Senate.

The trips, Bayh’s campaign said, included media appearances and meetings related to the senator’s role on the Senate Banking Committee.

In November 2010, Bayh flew into New York at public expense to appear on Sean Hannity’s radio show, spent $519 on room charges at the Regency hotel in Manhattan, then met with executives from three companies the following day. One of those companies was Apollo Global Management, which hired him two months later.

That doesn’t mean Bayh broke congressional rules.

Similarly, there is no evidence to suggest that U.S. Rep. Todd Young, Bayh’s opponent in this year’s U.S. Senate race, knowingly did anything wrong when he accepted $94,000 in illegal campaign contributions during his 2012 congressional race. Young’s campaign committee agreed to settle the matter with the Federal Elections Commission by paying almost $22,000 in fines. A Young campaign spokesperson told WTHR-TV recently that the matter was “an unintentional compliance problem.”

And then there is U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman (who was beaten by Young in the Republican senatorial primary this spring), who has spent more than $300,000 on flights, vehicles, meals and hotels since he took office in 2010, and paid his wife’s brother-in-law $170,000 to work as his campaign’s finance manager. Though he conceded no wrongdoing, Stutzman repaid his campaign more than $2,000 after it was revealed that he and his family had gone on what his wife’s Facebook page described as a “family vacation” in California.

During his time in office, the Star reported, Stutzman stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and spent more than $24,000 at the Capitol Hill Club, an exclusive Republican hangout.

Stutzman, who declined to run for re-election in order to take on Young, is apparently being scrutinized by U.S. House Committee on Ethics. The Journal Gazette’s Brian Francisco reported that it’s not yet clear why the committee has decided to consider investigating Stutzman, but an announcement is expected by the end of November.

Whatever might come of that, it seems fair to wonder why three of this year’s candidates for the state’s highest federal office - all of whom profess to have the highest motives for pursuing public service - allowed such eyebrow-raising situations to develop. Proper management of public and campaign funds seems like the bottom rung of the political ethics ladder. If our leaders have trouble with that aspect of the job, what happens when they are confronted with subtler ethics dilemmas?

___

Kokomo Tribune. October 27, 2016

Keep sick kids home.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its first Weekly FluView Report of flu season last week. It found influenza activity across the U.S. to be low the week ending Oct. 8.

Because reports of flu in Indiana are sporadic and relatively light for this time of year, it’s a good time to get vaccinated - the CDC warns flu activity often rises in October.

Everyone 6 months and older should get a yearly flu vaccine. School-age children are at a high risk for contracting the flu. Ample supplies for influenza vaccine are available.

But remember, if a family member falls ill with flu-like symptoms, keep him or her at home for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone.

No athletic event is too important. No job is so imperative.

As a parent, you have a responsibility to this community to isolate a sick child from others.

Ensure your family washes their hands often with soap and water. And implore them to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

Flu season in recent years has peaked in January or February. Why, then, should people get flu shots?

The answer, the experts say, is that in a very few cases, the flu can be a very big deal. It can be deadly. Influenza kills between 3,000 and 49,000 Americans every year.

And the only way to protect yourself from becoming one of those victims is to take the vaccine.

Thus, the advice from the experts is straightforward: Get a vaccination.

What will happen if people ignore that advice? Medical experts say the answer is simple: A lot more people will die.

The flu is no fun. But if we all use common sense, we’ll get through it with the least amount of pain possible.

___

(Logansport) Pharos-Tribune. October 28, 2016

Students need guidance on social media use.

It wasn’t so long ago that the secret communications between students came in the form of passing notes in class. Young love was professed, crushes were expressed and the holding of hands was arranged.

It was all very innocent, but the clandestine nature of passing notes provided a little thrill and even a little romance.

Today, the passing of notes happens along the electronic highways and byways of texting and social media. No longer are there boxes to check “Yes” or “No.” Instead there are conversations that would make adults blush, along with photos and videos.

Our children are living in an entirely different world than you grew up in. And it’s one that you probably aren’t prepared to help them navigate.

Fortunately for students in Madison County, new programs at local elementary and middle schools exist to help them realize the dangers and consequences of using texts and social media.

And they really do need it.

Twenty percent of teenagers ages 13 to 19 have transmitted nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves, primarily to boyfriends or girlfriends or others they were looking to “hook up” with, according to the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

Child experts here in Madison County say that sexting has become such a big issue, it’s reached a “boiling point.”

These programs in our schools are absolutely necessary to remind children that the person they’re sending photos to may not be their significant other or even friend forever. To make sure they know that sharing nude or semi-nude photos could violate the law. And, perhaps most importantly, to give them a safe space among other students of their gender to talk about these issues openly, frankly and without judgment.

A few parents have opted their children out of the program, as is their right.

But it seems every parent should want their children to have the information they need to have healthy relationships, stay out of jail and avoid situations that could endanger their lives.

___

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide