Chesterton Tribune

Column on heroin topic at Chesterton council meeting

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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.

Festival Profits

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 know why."

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.



Posted February, 2001