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This Week

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Excerpts from Evening Forum editorials

Saturday, May 20, 2017 12:01 am

Electoral College is here to stay

Birch Bayh has been trying to get rid of the Electoral College for 50 years, and some people claim victory is near.

When he was a senator, Bayh failed six times to get an EC-banning constitutional amendment through Congress. Then he turned to an idea for circumventing the college with the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Signing states agree to pledge their electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the popular vote — but only if an Electoral College majority make the same commitment.

So far, 10 states and the District of Columbia have passed the compact, totaling 165 electoral votes, almost two-thirds of a majority. That has proponents celebrating a near-victory.


Being nervous is not a crime

Relax. You have a right to be nervous. So says the Indiana Supreme Court. “There is no crime in rocking back and forth and wringing one's hands,” the court noted in the case of Pinner v. Indiana. Quoting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, it observed that “it is common for most people to exhibit signs of nervousness when confronted by a law enforcement officer whether or not the person is currently engaged in criminal activity.”

The case dealt with the question of whether public possession of a handgun is, by itself, justification for stopping and questioning someone.

The court said no, and it's a victory for both the Second and Fourth amendments.


Let's think about online pre-school

Indiana has shown itself to be creative when it comes to innovative education initiatives, to the great benefit of Hoosier students, parents and taxpayers. Efforts like charter schools and the voucher program give all students the opportunity for choice and a good education that only more affluent students have had in the past.

But education officials should be wary of becoming so enamored of innovation that they are willing to spend money on anything just because it's new. Such caution is warranted with the state's venture into online learning for pre-school students.

Even ordinary preschool education has its critics. Online preschool education adds a list of other concerns.


Officials' test on opioid crisis

When the opioid epidemic led to a frightening number of overdose deaths in some counties, Indiana officials showed they could rise above ideological misgivings and take action. First, they considered giving permission for a needle exchange program on a county-by-county basis. Then, they gave all counties the authority to decide on their own whether to adopt an exchange program.

Now officials from all levels of government will be tested further, because the opioid crisis has only gotten worse. Emergency room visits for non-fatal drug overdoses rose by nearly 60 percent in Indiana during a recent five-year period, to almost 3,000 visits statewide, according to a new report from the state Department of Health.


IU will study climate change

Indiana University announced an ambitious new initiative to better forecast and take on the impacts of climate change on Indiana's communities and businesses.

... Here's the good news for those on both sides of the debate: The university's new Environmental Resilience Institute will be founded on the notion of working on much-needed responses to changes that are indeed happening

“When we talk about this in terms of how it affects people, whether it's about the impact on their food or water, or whether their child will want to stay in Indiana after they grow up, I think those are universal themes,” said Ellen Ketterson, an IU scientist and professor of biology.”

— Indianapolis Star



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