Scott Tibbs
Printed in the Bloomington Herald-Times, 09-06-2002

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Intimidating behavior denounced

To the Editor:

Bloomington dubs itself a "Safe and Civil City", but the hearing at Bloomington North High School on Interstate 69 was neither. Highway opponents repeatedly shouted down highway supporters, and an IU law professor launched a profanity-laced tirade against an INDOT official.

Current IU official and former Monroe County Commissioner Kirk White was escorted from the building for his own safety after five highway opponents surrounded him and blocked his way back to his seat, according to the Evansville Courier. This is a disturbing example of the extremes to which some Leftists will go to in order to make their "point". This incident also represents a major local news story, and shows how things could easily get out of control when people allow their emotions to take over.

Yet the Herald-Times missed this story for a full week, with the incident only appearing in an article from the Associated Press wire. Even then, White's name was not mentioned. Why did the H-T ignore this event? Why did local residents have to go to the Indianapolis Star and the Evansville Courier for this story?

All current Monroe County and Bloomington elected officials must immediately, soundly, and without reservation denounce this inexcusable behavior and call for a more civil atmosphere. We need a political climate free from physical intimidation and attempts to silence free speech through mob rule.

The inexcusable behavior of highway opponents likely did more to get a new-terrain I-69 built than any five things done by pro-I-69 advocates.