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Letters to the editor, January 15

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Updated: February 16, 2013 6:01AM



Visclosky should change
town hall meeting formats

I applaud U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, for conducting 21 town hall meetings across Northwest Indiana.

But his format over the past several years has become pat and stale. I come to the forums anticipating lively interaction between involved citizens and their U.S. House representative, but I always leave dissatisfied.

I urge him to shorten his monologue on Washington, D.C., doings and his response to questions submitted on index cards. Rather than telling constituents what he wants them to hear, I urge him to listen to what’s on their minds from the get-go, through unvetted oral questions.

As for content, I don’t want to hear his regrets about a dysfunctional Congress. Instead, I want to know what he will do with his 28 years’ seniority there to make the place work.

We need congressional leaders who will make a serious, sober and comprehensive plan to address our serious and sober financial problems.

Brian Williams

Valparaiso

Modern farming methods
need more state regulation

Seventy years ago, meat, milk and egg production started to industrialize, forcing farmers to go along or go under.

Farms transformed into concentrated animal feeding operations or CFOs, smaller versions of CAFOs, where animals were removed from the barnyard and crowded into large buildings.

It is past the point where it was safe for us, good for the environment and where the animals were allowed to live as God intended.

These farms are governed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, not the Indiana Department of Agriculture, because of the potential environmental hazards. IDEM has rules and regulations governing the approval of these farms. However, it does not regulate location, air quality, disposal of dead animals, increased traffic and insects or the devaluation of neighboring properties, which can be as much at 50 percent.

To keep the animals alive and profitable in those buildings, the farmers administer the same antibiotics doctors give us, which is creating a significant risk to public health due to the bacteria developing resistance to those antibiotics. To learn more, Internet search CAFO+impact.

The state seems to be ignoring these problems because when Senate Bill 113, to impose a three-year moratorium on CAFOs in order to study the health issues, was introduced for the 2011 session, it died in committee, as did Senate Bill 556, to make CAFOs responsible for any environmental damage they might cause.

These bills have not been reintroduced.

A growing movement is emerging to question the practices of industrial animal agriculture and the lack of governmental involvement in regulating these operations.

H.R. Wilson

Hoosiers for Humane Animal Agriculture

Lanesville, IN



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