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Saturday, October 21, 2017
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  • Thursday, October 19, 2017 4:00 AM
    United Nations Day will be celebrated Oct. 24, commemorating the 72nd Anniversary of the ratification of the UN Charter in 1945. The purposes of the United Nations, as set forth in the Charter, are to “maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these ends.”
    The League of Women Voters of the United States, throughout its 98 year history, has included international relations in its program and has been committed to international cooperation as an essential path to world peace.
    The official League position on the United Nations states in part:
    “The League of Women Voters of the United States supports a strong, effective United Nations and endorses the full and active participation of the United States in the UN system. The League supports UN efforts to:
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  • Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:00 AM
    “I just want to say—you know—can we all get along? Can we, can we get along?” Many of you might remember this quote from Rodney King in the aftermath rioting in Los Angeles in 1992.
    In the 25 years since this was said, we seem to be farther apart than ever. The explosion of social media is a real factor in the keeping us from discussing important issues with civility and dignity. In his latest book, “POLARIZED! The Case for Civility in the Time of Trump: An experiment in social discourse,” Jeff Rasley looks at social media (specifically Facebook) as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can be used as a tool for meaningful discussion. On the other, it can be a divisive forum promoting prejudice and division.
    Rasley, an author, attorney and social activist, looked at the causes and effects of this polarization at a recent Lunch with the League program sponsored by the League of Women Voters. He also offered a “modest proposal” for the treatment and symptoms of this toxicity.
    Some of today’s scholars are looking at this divisiveness as resembling mental illness. Camille Paglia refers to it as “post election stress disorder.” Anger is a driving force in much of the alleged discussion of issues. As Rebecca Solnit points out: politicians and the media are engaged in an unholy alliance of “trafficking in outrage dividing the political world into heroes and villains, giving us this day our daily rage.” Have we really gotten that far apart?
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  • Thursday, October 05, 2017 4:00 AM
    The League of Women Voters again had a booth at the 2017 Harvest Hoopla Saturday. The League provided a “Civics Literacy Quiz” and distributed copies of FOCUS on Montgomery County and the 2017 Government Directory. Dozens of men, women and children took the quiz and did very well.
    Check out the quiz—can you correctly answer all the questions?
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  • Thursday, September 28, 2017 4:00 AM
    “Crawfordsville Community Advocacy: Working Together for Change” was a workshop provided for more than two dozen Montgomery County leaders from a wide range of community organizations interested in making our community livable for all.
    Organized by Jennie Todd, Research Association Indiana University Institute on Disability and Community, and assisted by Matt Norris, the workshop was another benefit of the League of Women Voters winning the “Advocates for Livability Community Award” in May.
    Todd provided an introduction to community livability with a brief look at comprehensive planning and the role of an advocate. She noted the many local achievements in Crawfordsville since the original extensive five day Livability Training held in 2013.
    The core components in “Livable for All” include Housing, Health and Support Services, Education, Employment, Civic Engagement, Mobility, Recreation, and Social and Cultural opportunities. Sidewalks and crosswalks, transportation, affordable and accessible housing, access to health care and recreation, economic vitality, access to good and services, and opportunities for connection are all key.
    Livability has benefits for residents, employees, visitors, property values, business activity as well as public health and safety. Our “work” should help create good places in which to grow up and grow old…livable lifetime communities.
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  • Thursday, September 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    Sunday marked the 230th anniversary of the day on which the members of the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787 in Philadelphia. September 17 is now celebrated throughout the United States as Constitution Day. 
    Constitution Day has an interesting history. In 1939, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst advocated, through his chain of newspapers, for a day to celebrate U.S. Citizenship. In 1940, Congress designated the third Sunday in May as “I am an American Day.” In 1952, President Truman moved the holiday to September 17 and changed the name to “Citizenship Day.” Thirteen years ago in 2004, Congress renamed the holiday “Constitution Day.”
    The 2004 law mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on September 17, or on an adjacent day should the 17th fall on a weekend.
    The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County encourages voters to gain a better understanding of our Constitution and the rights it affords us. It is essential for Americans to remember the key ideals such as responsive government, individual liberties and the separation of powers, especially an independent judicial branch. It is our responsibility to teach those lessons to future generations, and also to ensure our leaders are actively protecting the basic civil liberties American have fought to obtain.
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  • Thursday, September 14, 2017 4:00 AM
    One in four adults and one in five children suffer from a treatable mental health issue and over 50 percent of those living with a mental health condition never ask for help due to stigma, lack of information, cost, or lack of health care insurance coverage.
    These facts clearly demonstrate the serious need we have for resources that are able to treat these health issues. This was the basis for discussion at a recent Lunch with the League program sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The program was led by Karen Martoglio, Executive Director of Mental Health of America of Putnam County (MHAPC), who summed up the work her organization does in three words: Advocate, Educate and Collaborate.
    Mental Health America (previously known as National Mental Health Association whose origins are from the National Committee for Mental Hygiene) was founded in 1909. The symbolic bell in its logo is based on a bell that was cast in 1953 from the shackles and chains that were used to constrain mentally ill people in asylums throughout the country. This horrible treatment has long ago ceased but, unfortunately, the stigmas related to mental disorders still remains in the minds of too many people.
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  • Thursday, September 07, 2017 4:00 AM
    “Crawfordsville Community Advocacy: Working for Change” will be a free workshop opportunity to be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Monday, September 25 in Whitlock Hall of St. John’s Episcopal Church, 212 S. Green Street. The workshop is being provided at no cost to participants by Indiana University’s Insti-tute on Disability and Communities and will be funded by Indiana State Department of Health. 
    This workshop is another benefit of the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County winning the Advocates for Livable Communities award at the Communities for Livability Summit held in early May at Fort Benjamin Harrison Conference Center.
    The workshop is an event for citizens interested in working for change benefitting all ages and abilities in Crawfordsville and Montgomery County. This will involve one day of interactive learning and discus-sions to position participants as more effective advocates while becoming familiar with Crawfordsville community planning around healthy lifestyles.
    A free light breakfast and lunch catered by Allen’s Country Kitchen will be provided.
    This workshop will be an opportunity for older adults, people with disabilities and other interested citi-zens to work together, taking action to improve the livability of Crawfordsville.
    Why should you attend this training?
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  • Thursday, August 31, 2017 4:00 AM
    "Meet the Market Day" will be featured 9a.m. - noon at the new Pike Place Saturday, September 2 in conjunction with Saturday Farmers' Market on Pike Street.
    Sponsored by the City of Crawfordsville, Advocates for Livable Communities, Crawfordsville Main Street, and the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, three hours of activities will be provided as kick off to "Pike Place" which will be fully developed in 2018 with funds from the Stellar Grant.
    At 9 a.m. there will be ribbon-cutting for the official opening of "Saturday Space at Pike Place."
    Helen Hudson will provide 'Tour the Farmers' Market at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. showing people how to shop for the freshest ingredients in central Indiana showing both foods and vendors.
    Public is invited then to join Lali Hess in a live cooking demonstration and learn how to turn these ingredients into delicious nutritious dishes.
    Note: attendees to Hudson tour and Hess demonstration will receive $5 or $10 Money Market gift certificate to spend at Farmers' Market participating vendors. 
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  • Thursday, August 24, 2017 4:00 AM
    Saturday will mark the 97th Anniversary of ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote. This achievement on Aug. 26, 1920 was a result of a 72-year effort by visionary and courageous women who lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied and organized demonstrations in support of suffrage for women.
    The fight for woman suffrage had its roots in the 1848 “Declaration of Sentiments” drawn up at the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York. Early suffrage leaders—Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Myra Bradwell, Zerelda Wallace (stepmother of Lew Wallace) and many more—worked tirelessly for women’s suffrage during the latter half of 19th century. Dr. Mary Holloway Wilhite of Crawfordsville chaired the organizing committee for Woman’s Suffrage Association of Montgomery County.
    In 1890, Wyoming became the first state permitting suffrage for women. By 1900, Utah, Colorado and Idaho also allowed women to vote. Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive (Bull Moose) Party in 1912 became the first national political party to have a plank supporting women’s suffrage.
    In 1900, Susan B. Anthony handed the leadership of the National American Woman’s Suffrage Association over to Carrie Chapman Catt, who was a talented and interesting individual. Raised in Iowa, Catt was the only woman in her Iowa Agricultural College (now Iowa State) class from which she graduated in three years as the top student. In 1883, she became one of the first women in the nation appointed superintendent of a public school system. Catt was an outstanding speaker and strategist with organizational skills and political savvy.
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  • Thursday, August 17, 2017 4:00 AM
    “Promoting Civic Pride and Competency in Our Schools” was the program presented by Collin K. Gruver, Director of Civic Education Programs for the Indiana Bar Foundation, at a recent League of Women Voters Lunch with the League program. The Indiana Bar Foundation has sponsored the “We the People” program in Indiana for a number of years.
    The We the People program promotes civic competence and responsibility among upper elementary, middle and high school students. We the People printed textbooks and enhanced e-books contain interactive strategies and relevant content, making teaching and learning exciting for both students and teachers.
    Studies have shown that students who have participated in We the People programs are much more likely to: participate in civic life, work collectively rather than individually to improve their community, respect the rule of law, follow and critically consume current events, enjoy talking about government and politics, vote in presidential and local elections, serve on a jury, and be tolerant of those with differing political views.
    Indiana is one of the nation’s leading states in school participation in We the People. There are large clusters of schools involved throughout north, central, east, and southern Indiana but almost none in west central Indiana.
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  • Thursday, August 10, 2017 4:00 AM
    When Cary Fowler recognized that the world’s food crops were losing diversity at an alarming rate, he thought he would work on that project for about six months. Thirty years later Fowler is still vigorously works to inform and educate the world’s citizens, urging all countries and their citizens to preserve crop diversity for the future.
    The organization Fowler founded, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, has a mandate from the United Nations to do this. In the course of this career, Fowler and others, working with the Norwegian government, created and built the world’s most comprehensive seed bank, the Global Seed Vault at Svalbard, located on a Norwegian archipelago north of the Arctic Circle. The Vault opened in 2008.
    Sandra McLeod’s film “Seeds of Time” documents Fowler’s work, demonstrating how vital global-wide seed saving is for the well being of humanity in coming decades.
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  • Thursday, August 03, 2017 4:00 AM
    The League of Women Voters celebrates on Aug. 6 the 200th Birthday of Zerelda G. Wallace, stepmother of Lew Wallace. Zerelda became a key leader in both state and national suffrage associations, and her life was dynamic, resourceful, and inspirational. A 200th Birthday Cake in honor of Zerelda will be shared at the Lunch with the League on Monday.
    Born Aug. 6, 1817, Zerelda Gray Sanders was the oldest of five daughters of Dr. John Sanders and Polly Gray Sanders. Growing up in Kentucky and Indianapolis, she benefited from her father’s belief that girls should receive the same education as boys. He encouraged her to read his books and included her in conversations with his friends.
    At age 19, Zerelda fell in love with David Wallace, a widower 18 years her senior and the father of three small boys. They were married Dec. 25, 1836, and David brought Zerelda by carriage to meet for the first time his three boys. Years later, the middle son Lew used Zerelda as the model for the beloved mother in his novel Ben Hur. David and Zerelda had six additional children, three of whom survived.
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  • Thursday, July 27, 2017 4:00 AM
    Trees were the topic of two presentations at Monday’s Green Issues film series, co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Wabash College Library.
    The “Trees in Trouble” film documented how Cincinnati has responded to the imminent tree crisis caused by invasive insects such as the emerald ash borer.
    First found near Detroit in 2002, emerald ash borers have now infested trees in 35 states.
    This emerald ash borer has caused the greatest loss to forests since chestnut blight, Dutch elm disease, and hemlock woolly adelgid.
    Global trading was identified as the most significant cause as the tiny green beetle known as the emerald ash borer has arrived to United States through shipping from Asia and has no natural enemy in the US.
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  • Thursday, July 20, 2017 4:00 AM
    Indiana Citizens are encouraged to confirm your Voter Registration! County Clerks throughout Indiana are in the process of cleaning out their voter registration rolls of people who are inactive and have not cast ballots since 2014.
    If you have moved or have not cast ballot since 2014, you can confirm whether or not you are in the system by going indianavoters.com. Click on “Confirm Voter Registration.” First you must identify your county—so scroll down to Montgomery. Then you will type in last name, first name, and date of birth. If you are in the voter registration roll, a “Verified” check will appear.
    If you are not “verified”, Indiana offers you the ability to submit your voter registration on line. Specifically, this online voter registration application allows you to apply to register to vote in Indiana, change your name on your voter registration record, or change the address on you voter registration record.
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  • Thursday, July 13, 2017 4:00 AM
    The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County and the Wabash College Library’s Film Department are once again joining forces to offer a Green Issues Summer Movie Series. Documentary films on a range of environmentally-related subjects are offered every couple of weeks, on varying nights of the week, at 7 p.m. A brief discussion period follows each film, and light refreshments are always provided. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own cup or mug, in order to reduce waste. Screenings take place in Korb Classroom in Wabash’s Fine Arts Center, which is located on South Grant Ave. They are free of charge and open to the public.
    To date in the series, two food-related films, Cowspiracy and Wastecooking, have been screened. In Cowspiracy, Filmmaker Kip Andersen was concerned with a seeming lack of attention paid – both from the general public and from environmental groups – to environmental concerns surrounding the animal agriculture industry. Andersen’s film focused on his attempts to locate individuals and groups who are working to raise awareness of the issues – including deforestation, water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and transportation costs – which are related to animal agriculture, particularly the production of beef. While many environmental groups identified their major concerns as greenhouse gas emissions due to transportation and deforestation or environmental impacts of ‘mega projects’ such as mining, pipelines and dams, few noted the impact of animal agriculture. Andersen set out to identify the actual costs of this less-often-cited industry and to raise awareness of those issues. The film also addressed a variety of related issues, such as increased meat consumption in the USA, use of public lands for grazing, farm subsidies and costs associated with dairy farming. 
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