By KEVIN NEVERS
A column published in the Feb. 6 edition of the Chesterton Tribune, "Heroin addicts in the time it takes to say
yes," was the occasion of
comment Monday night at the meeting of the Chesterton Town Council.
Member Frank Sessa, D-2nd, concurred. "I commend him on writing the
article and bringing (the problem) out in the public," he said, then
noted that he didn't think Nevers intended to embarrass the community but
to alert it. "Facts are facts. . . . We've been burying our head in the
sand. . . . It's what's happening in our society today. . . . We can't
pretend it's not here."
Although President Rich Whitlow, R-1st, conceded that "we really don't
have answers to these questions," he suggested that "maybe it's time to
get everyone to the table."
Darnell--who remarked that she only recently heard of a party, attended by
the 15-year-old daughter of a friend, at which cocaine was being
used--strongly urged parents and concerned citizens to watch Traffic, a
film now in the theaters in which the intractable nature of the drug
problem is compellingly dramatized.
In other business the council revisited the issue, broached by Sessa at
the council's Jan. 22 meeting, of festival profits, all too many of which
end up in the pockets of out-of-towners. As Ray Carnes observed from the
floor, "Residents are really taking advantage of the bazaars. I don't
Carnes did make a suggestion, though. The Duneland Chamber of Commerce
ought to offer reduced rates for "kids and other outfits to set up their
(not-for-profit) businesses," he said. In any event, the festivals should
be made more "resident-friendly."
In fact, Sessa commented, the Chamber already does offer a reduced
rate--50 percent less than that charged the out-of-towners--yet it would
appear that service clubs have experienced something of a festival "burn-out." Or as he put it,
"It seems like we've become detached from
it. I know I have."
Member Bob Crone, R-3rd, agreed and remarked how difficult it's been
recently to recruit volunteers to service the not-for-profit food booths. "The problem is not that we
won't let them," he said. "The problem is
they don't want to."
Sessa said that he is currently trying to muster support among Duneland's
service groups and plans to visit each one of them in an effort to get
them out in the future.
Local disabled rights advocate Leonard Sullivan returned to the council
Monday with his thoughts on several issues.
For one, he said, the town--the owner of the old New York Central
passenger depot and the Duneland Chamber's new landlord--should give
serious thought to the construction of a wheelchair ramp at the entrance
to the building. "I think it's a wonderful building and it's picturesque."
Sullivan also urged the council to give some serious thought to the
proposed rehabilitation of Thomas Centennial Park and especially to the
critique of those rehabilitations recently offered by Marjorie Crawford,
who has suggested that the use of brick paving could prove hazardous to
the elderly and the disabled.
Finally, Sullivan reminded the council how Diane Lupke, a marketing
consultant contracted by the Main Street committee of the Duneland
Economic Development Company, has never gotten back to him with his
questions regarding the marketing of the town to the elderly and disabled.
That failure has irked him not the least because, as Sullivan argued, tax
money has been used at least partially to pay Lupke's fees. "You've got
to take all of the taxpayers into consideration."
For the Good of the Community
From the floor Cliff Fleming offered his congratulations to the
Chesterton High School Golden Gators for their fourth place finish at the
IHSAA State Finals in Indianapolis Saturday and in particular to Jenni
Anderson, who for the second consecutive year successfully defended her
state championship in the 50 Free and 100 Back. Anderson--who plans to
attend Auburn University--was also the winner of the IHSAA Mental Attitude
Award. Her performance and that of all of the Golden Gators are "a big
image enhance" for the Town of Chesterton.
Whitlow observed that Chesterton, Porter, and Burns Harbor must now prove
to the Boys and Girls Club of Porter County that it has the interest, the
desire, and the ability to establish a viable chapter in Duneland.
Crone, now serving as the president of the Duneland Chamber, announced the
move of the Chamber offices this weekend to their new home at the old New
York Central passenger depot across the street. The Chamber will be closed
Friday and Monday for the move. All correspondence should now be addressed
to 220 Broadway, Chesterton, IN 46304.