Pharos-Tribune

July 28, 2013

PUBLIC FORUM: Letters from Sunday, July 28, 2013


Pharos-Tribune

---- — West Market resident wanting flowers, tooI live on 24 West and I go into town almost every day. Why don't we have a beautiful entrance into our city, too?Burlington Avenue has flowers, on the east end it's always nice to invite people into our city. Michigan Avenue has flowers, but from Market Street Bridge west there's nothing. The people on West Market are painting and fixing up by request, but no flowers. The flowers do help the city so much — so where's ours? The west city limits goes past 24 and 35 intersection and when there is help needed there is no limit in asking Zip Thru, McDonalds West, D&R Fruit Market, B&K West, Westside Resturant, and Cole Hardwood and others for donations. Oh yes, if Mr. Cole wasn't so generous, where would some of you be? Let's see if we can get some flowers on the west side of town and keep 24 West mowed.Thanks so much.Jean EdwardLogansport

Medicare change causes concernI am one of 400,000 Americans with irreversible kidney failure. I am a dialysis patient in Crown Point, where many of my clinic mates are in the group of the 85 percent of patients with kidney failure who rely on Medicare's end stage renal disease (ESRD) benefit for life-sustaining dialysis care.As a citizen of northwest Indiana and a person who relies on dialysis to stay alive, I am writing to express my concern over the recent proposal from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that would cut Medicare's end-stage renal disease (ESRD) benefit by 9.4 percent and the potential effects that cut would have on my dialysis care. Specifically, I am writing to urge you to intervene with CMS to ensure that this "proposed rule" — when it does become law — is reasonable and protects my access to quality care. I am most concerned that additional deep cuts by CMS could affect my access to dialysis treatments. Cuts could also affect my ability to receive the appropriate type of treatment that works best for me. Limiting choice and availability of treatment options will not only inconvenience me, but may also affect my ability to be employed, stay out of the hospital, and live an active life. Further, I am concerned that my access will be reduced to crucial staff such as nurses, social workers and dietitians. Finally, if local facilities close or consolidate as a result of Medicare cutbacks that are too deep, my fellow patients and I will undoubtedly feel the effect. These cuts threaten to close smaller rural clinics and this would undoubtedly affect my clinic in Crown Point. We take dialysis 3 times a week for 4 hours a day, so having a clinic that is close to home is imperative. Please remember we have no choice; you submit to dialysis or you die.My personal story is that I am an ESRD patient that suffers from polycystic kidney disease (PKD). I have lost several members of my family to PKD, including my father. In the clinic where I take dialysis, most of the people are brought in by ambulance, some are amputees, and most have canes or a walker. Many are confined to nursing homes. I am your advocate for the state of Indiana, for the National Kidney Foundation, an ambassador for the Dialysis Patient Citizens, and an Ambassador for the PKD Foundation. I speak on behalf of my clinic mates, who are too sick and unable to speak for themselves. These cuts affect the very least of us.I urge you to ask CMS to revise its proposed rule to ensure that funding levels are adequate enough to cover the cost of providing the life-sustaining treatments and maintain access to quality dialysis care. I urge your readers to do the same. Here is a link to an online petition where people can protest: https://www.change.org/petitions/center-for-medicaid-and-medicare-services-cms-withdraw-the-proposed-cuts-to-dialysis-centers-and-esrd-patientsJames W. Myers IIIAdvocate for the National Kidney Foundation

We should appreciate, protect Wabash RiverBoating down the Wabash River near Lafayette on July 16, I witnessed firsthand the broad, winding river’s scenic beauty, but also got a lesson in the environmental challenges the river faces when two Asian carp hurled themselves out of the water and landed in our boat.The Wabash is Indiana’s iconic river and inspiration for our state song, yet in recent years two species of invasive Asian carp have infested portions of it. These voracious non-native fish consume nutrients in the water, disrupting the food chain and threatening the native fish enjoyed by Hoosier anglers and sportsmen. At the sound of outboard motors, groups of Asian carp will jump out of the water and can injure boaters. The invasion of Asian carp into U.S. waterways and the risk they pose to the Great Lakes sportfishing industry has provoked consternation and litigation among our neighboring states; and as Indiana’s attorney general, I want to make sure the Wabash will be protected from further spread of this aquatic nuisance.Fortunately we have allies in this effort. First is John Goss, director of the federal government’s Asian carp control efforts. John is a native Hoosier and former director of the Department of Natural Resources, and he accompanied me in a friend’s Zodiac inflatable boat during part of our river tour and inspection down the Wabash. John Goss educated me and people we met in river communities along the way about new approaches being explored to curb the carp population.In communities along the Wabash, local residents have banded together to preserve the river. In Peru, we met with Mayor Jim Walker and members of the Wabash River Heritage Corridor Commission, who support programs that celebrate the natural resource of the river. After observing by boat most of a 334-mile stretch of the Wabash before its confluence with the Ohio River, I came away with a new appreciation for maintaining the river’s ecosystem, water quality and heritage, a deeper admiration for those volunteers whose stewardship helps keep the river free of litter and pollution, and a determination to do what I can to help our state control Asian carp. We in Indiana truly are blessed that such a scenic natural waterway flows through our state, and I encourage all Hoosiers to visit the Wabash by boat, canoe or from the riverbank so they can appreciate why we must protect and preserve it.Greg ZoellerIndiana Attorney General