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Thursday, January 18, 2018

  • Actor, playwright, odd jobber and more
    Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:00 AM
    I’ve known this fellow probably since he was born (a grandson of one of the fellows I graduated with from WHS), and talked to him briefly on occasion, seen him in several plays and musicals, but only recently have really gotten to know him. Certainly seems like a great kiddo!
    A few months ago, he contacted me to ask if I had any ideas of something Montgomery County Historyish that he could make into a play. A bit obscure, perhaps, something like the Crawfordsville Monster, yet he felt (and I agreed) that had been written about too much already and would be rather hard to portray on a stage. We discussed a couple of other ideas and he chose the one I liked, too. The Poor Farm, dating back to 1840ish, has many tales of woe, wielding and wile. Gave him some information and off he went. In fact, this boy is good, he got me involved, too. Now, who’d have thunk I’d become a playwright? What fun, but mainly due to this great mentor. Hope you all will come and watch Down on the Farm when it gets casted and performed! 
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  • Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:00 AM
    Important elections will occur in 2018. Hoosiers will elect one member to the U.S. Senate, nine members to United State Congress, 25 of 50 state Senate seats, and 100 state House seats. Locally Montgomery County voters will be electing County Commissioner District 2, County Council Districts 1,2,3,4, County Prosecuting Attorney, Assessor, Auditor, Treasurer, and Sheriff. Crawfordsville voters will be electing Crawfordsville Mayor, Clerk-Treasurer, & seven members of Common Council.
    Voting brings Americans together—it is the one time all are equal. But in order to vote, one must be registered. Are you REGISTERED to Vote? Is everyone in your family registered? What about your neighbors, co-workers, and friends?
    The LWV of Greater Lafayette held a Workshop January 14 on Voter Registration for interested citizens and organizations from a number of counties to help educate all on legal requirements, understanding the registration form, and identifying problems that can arise.
    Requirements to register in Indiana are that the individual: be a United States citizen, be18 years old by day of General Election--November 6, 2018, a resident of the state of Indiana for at least 30 days before the election, and not currently in prison after conviction of a crime. Students who will turn 18 before November 6 can vote in the May Primary!
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  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018 4:00 AM
    Word has it that after a few years of real struggles MUFFY – Montgomery United Fund For You – is rebounding.
    Big time.
    As in BIG TIME!
    There’s no official word out of MUFFY yet – and a phone call to the offices ended with a very straight-faced answer neither confirming nor denying that the 2017 drive may indeed top last year’s total.
    So, could be I’ve got this dead wrong. But I’m hoping I don’t.
    You see, it wasn’t too long ago that even getting in the same neighborhood as last year $400K+ amount looked like a long shot. A really, really long shot. 
    Enter new executive director Terry Armstrong and associate director Kara Edie. Those two are the driving forces behind turning around what could have been described as a sinking ship.
    Sinking ship? It’s not too big a stretch.
    It’s been 10 years since MUFFY last topped the half-million dollar mark in its annual fund drive. Since then, drive results at best fluctuated between $420K to $450K, and just five years ago dropped as low as $382K.
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  • Monday, January 15, 2018 4:00 AM
    Ron Keedy
    ** Wile E. Coyote has been chasing the roadrunner since September 16, 1949. In 69 years he still hasn’t caught him. However, a couple of quiet Waveland evenings erupted into howling this week, but it wasn’t a wild party on East Green Street. Apparently, a pack of coyotes decided to tour the town. The sub-zero temperatures have driven them deep in the woods and valleys to survive the cold. The trade off was very little game for food. When the temps jumped into the 50s the coyotes were ready to dine on about anything available; outside garbage, pet food and unattended pets!
    Coyotes are persistent and are bolder than they used to be. I’ve heard at least three packs this week (I live next door to Shades State Park); to the north in the Shades, to the west at Lake Waveland and to the south towards town. The beautiful haunting sound of their calls is a way of locating each other and for locating other packs. It can be un-nerving if you’re not expecting it. As one Waveland resident put it, “I could hear them over the TV sound; like they were right outside my window!” They probably were.
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  • Monday, January 15, 2018 4:00 AM
    Earlier this week, the Republican Caucus announced our agenda for the 2018 legislative session.
    Over the next two months, we will work to fight the drug epidemic, improve workforce development, support Indiana schools, reform civil forfeiture laws, and allow Sunday alcohol sales.
    To accomplish these goals, the following bills have been filed:
    Senate Bill 221 would prevent opioid abuse by phasing in a requirement for doctors to check INSPECT, the state’s prescription-monitoring service, when prescribing opioids to a patient.
    Senate Bill 50 would expand financial aid for job-training programs.
    Senate Bill 172 would require high schools to offer computer science courses.
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  • Saturday, January 13, 2018 4:00 AM
    I have just finished reading Alexandra Horovitz’s marvelous new bestseller Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Know and Smell. The book is mostly about the incredible sense of smell our canine companions have and how as humans we often overlook this sense (we always overlook our noses). In one chapter she describes a sight-seeing tour that’s really more of a sniff-smelling excursion. The guide takes you through the streets of New York City and points your shnozz to all the wonderful (and not so wonderful) urban aromas—from sausage to sewage, from sourdough to subways.
    That book reminded me of a medical issue I have. I mentioned it several years ago in a column about growing old. I have pretty much lost my sense of smell. And it has gotten worse. Many people wrote me and said I had a serious medical issue. Medical advice from friends usually stinks. Not that I would know what stinks.
    There had been several indicators of this problem. When Mary Ellen, Brett and I used to sit in the living room watching the evening news, our dog was always at our feet. All of a sudden, both my son and my wife would start waving their hands in front of their noses. (The first time it happened, I figured I was blocking their view of the screen.)
    “You didn’t smell that?” they’d shout.
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  • She's a workaholic and he's workified too
    Thursday, January 11, 2018 4:00 AM
    Know this week’s couple pretty well. In fact, known her since we were tiny tots and he for more than five decades. Guess ya’ could say we go back quite a ways.
    The gal and I went through our years together at Waveland, in band, choir, worked on the yearbook and most of the time, were pretty good friends.
    He was in all of the intellectual clubs, ran track and was a basketball player at Crawfordsville. One of his fondest memories of that sport reflected back to 6th grade when his St. Bernard’s team won the city tourney. Also, one high school game, when he guarded Rick Mount who remained scoreless . . . for the 37 seconds he guarded Rick!
    My lady this week has one fault that can be a plus, or minus. She’s a workaholic! Her first job was mowing her gpa’s yard for a quarter. Add grading papers for two teachers at a penny apiece, delivering newspapers, typing for several in town, babysitting, waiting tables at Shades State Park and helping her dad at his side job, you can see that statement is true as these began and continued from about 5th grade on, and tallying multiple jobs continued throughout her life (librarying, volunteering, teaching) as it does today. 
    Scouts were important for both for several years, as was church. Oddly, they both went to the same church but never really got to know each other until their senior year when they had a “going out into the world,” type class together. She had noticed his brown and white checked hat though and he thought her smile was contagious.
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  • Thursday, January 11, 2018 4:00 AM
    “In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” This well-known quote from Benjamin Franklin set the tone for a compelling and poignant presentation at a recent League of Women Voters “Lunch With the League” presentation by Cheryl Furhmann, facilitator with Dawn to Dusk Bereavement Services.
    We all have to deal with the grief in one form or another when anyone close to us dies. Grief is a very normal and expected response to the loss of someone and we need to know that there is no right way or wrong way to grieve. Each of us is unique as is the way we deal with death, yet most people share common experiences. As Cheryl put is, grief has many faces: sadness, anger, fear, fatigue, headaches, lack of focus, not feeling ourselves and so on. Grief can make us literally sick, yet it is not a diagnosed illness. Medicare, Medicaid or most insurance policies do not cover it. We’re more often than not left to deal with it ourselves. That’s why Dawn to Dusk Bereavement Services is such a valuable resource in our community.
    Cheryl is a Certified Thanatologist, a person who studies death and the psychological and social aspects of the grieving process. She explained how grief is much more than an emotional response. It can stress us both mentally and physically. It will often strain relationships, alter behavior and cause financial hardship. The old adage “time heals all wounds” simply does not apply. As Cheryl put it, time only masks the real source of our pain. We might manage to delay or repress it until is appears in some other form but it will never disappear. Only by facing it will we ever be able to feel better.
    As mentioned before, each of us is unique in the way we cope with grief. Many of you have heard of the Kübler-Ross 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Cheryl brought up that Kübler-Ross somewhat regrets the term “stages” and the linearity often implied in terms of her research. All or more of the emotions she describes can affect people and in no particular order. The important thing to keep in mind is to know when you should seek help.
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  • Wednesday, January 10, 2018 4:00 AM
    2018 is finally here and the start of new beginnings and many New Year’s resolutions. I would like to encourage you to consider enrolling in 4-H as part of your new beginnings. The 4-H program has many positive experiences and opportunities for youth to discover their passions and build/enhance life skills. 
    One of the opportunities 4-H presents to youth is the chance to learn and enhance their leadership, communication, and teamwork life skills through the Teens As Teachers workshop. This workshop is for youth currently in grades 9-12 (do not have to be in 4-H to participate but highly encouraged) and will occur April 13-15th at Bradford Woods in Martinsville, IN. Teams will consist of 3-5 youth (cost is $100 per team) and they will select from one of the following tracks to spend the weekend learning the tools and resources necessary to come back to their county and teach at various events and opportunities. The tracks are:
    • Biotechnology: Learn how to train, create, and implement a “Science Behind Agriculture” program in your community.
    • Automated Animal Biosecurity: Do you like animals? Do you enjoy science Youth will learn how to teach about animal biosecurity through hands-on “maker” and robotics activities designed for youth learning using creativity and self-discovery.
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  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018 4:00 AM
    The new year brings new events with Purdue Extension’s Ag and Natural Resources program. 
    Energy Efficiency for Farms and Rural Businesses
    What: Workshop to help you learn about energy audits, local incentive programs, and solar energy and how these can help you increase energy efficiency and save money at your farm or business.
    When: January 22nd, 2018 from 10AM-2PM
    Where: Donnelley Room, Crawfordsville Public Library
    Cost: $10 registration fee, includes lunch and payable at the door
    What Now? Estate Planning and Building Your Financial Safety Net
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  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018 4:00 AM
    January is officially National Mentoring Month with the 17th being International Mentoring Day. The Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP) of the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau would like to take this time to thank all or our current mentoring volunteers who are sharing their time and support with a Montgomery County youth. A popular quote says it best: “To the world you may only be one person, but to one person you are the world.” 
    The goals of National Mentoring Month are to raise awareness of mentoring, promote growth of mentoring in all forms, to recruit new mentors, and to advocate for federal and state mentoring support. This year, the National Mentoring Month’s slogan is “In Real Life”. They are focusing on real life benefits of mentoring to young people as well as the life changing stories shared by the mentors themselves. Every day, mentors help our youth face the challenges of growing into adulthood. They share their time, knowledge, experience, and best of all, act as a positive role model for our children. They are helping to shape young lives in an effort to prepare them for a bright future.
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  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018 4:00 AM
    Dear President Trump.
    I’d like to begin by thanking you for your service. I’m sure the job is not an easy one and I appreciate that you stepped up to take it on.
    Let me also add that I voted for you. To be honest, I didn’t see that I had much choice. Despite my good friend Ed’s urging, I simply could not bring myself to vote for Hillary Clinton. Besides, I really liked the idea that a man with a business and not a political background would serve in the White House. I believe I’m like an awful lot of Americans who have had it up to my eyeballs with self-serving politicians and lobbyists. I don’t believe we have many problems that term limits and common sense wouldn’t solve, but like most of those Americans, I hold almost no hope for either anytime soon.
    Sir, I write you today because after a year I see an awful lot of good things happening. The economy is strong. Some say it’s because of your predecessor. Others say it’s a vote of confidence in you. I don’t care. I’m an owner of a small business and whatever helps us pay decent wages, hire more people and serve our customers is all good in my book.
    Besides the economy, there are other bright points. You got NATO countries to pony up so the U.S. is not shouldering the entire financial burden of our alliance. Neither presidents Bush nor Obama were able to do that. You’ve gotten tough on terrorism and the military experts say we are better for that. I believe them, and I thank you.
    But, and you knew there had to be a but coming, right . . . I’m concerned about some other things.
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  • Monday, January 8, 2018 4:00 AM
    There is no doubt that antibiotics have saved millions of lives. But, is it all good news? I hope our readers have been noting the increasing number of news stories related to problems with the overuse of antibiotics and the development of resistant bacteria. We have known this was coming since Alexander Fleming (the discoverer of penicillin) warned of it in his Nobel Prize speech in 1945, but it has now reached a tipping point. Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer of the United Kingdom, has equated the critical health threat of antibiotic resistance to the risk of terrorism. 
    Each year in the United States two million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and 23,000 die. The CDC published an excellent report in 2013 on the threat that can be downloaded here: The primary cause of resistant bacteria is the overuse of antibiotics, both in medicine and agribusiness. This is also complicated by the fact that very few new antibiotics are being developed – there’s no profit in drugs that will become quickly ineffective as bacteria become resistant.
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  • Saturday, January 6, 2018 4:00 AM
    The Indiana General Assembly reconvened for the 2018 legislative session Wednesday, Jan. 3.
    My colleagues and I met at 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Chamber, where we began discussing issues affecting our communities and state.
    This year, we will address the opioid epidemic, workforce development and Indiana’s alcohol laws, among many other topics.
    I am ready to get to work on these and other issues in the coming weeks.
    To stay up to date on what is happening in the Statehouse, you can stream session meetings and committee hearings online by clicking here.
    If you have any questions about the legislative session or issues facing Indiana, contact me by email at or by phone at 800-382-9467.

    Winter Weather Safety
    In the last month, Indiana has experienced inches of snow and subzero temperatures.
    The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) developed a severe weather preparedness fact sheet to help families understand how to prepare for winter storms and extreme cold temperatures.
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  • Friday, January 5, 2018 4:00 AM
    I'm not tech savvy, so when I received the Echo my brother-in-law Tom sent me for Christmas, I was hesitant to open the box. This gadget works like the computer that Captain Kirk talked to on Star Trek. You can pose a question (Who was the 13th president?), request a song or ask it to call someone. Your wish is her command. 
    The person selling these kinds of products always claims something like "It's so easy to use. Just plug it in." This is never true, although I got my new desk lamp working in under an hour. 
    When using the Echo, you must begin your command with her name, Alexa. I learned the hard way the importance of being precise when addressing her. A few days after I thought I had mastered my new toy, I said, “Alexa, play today’s phone messages.” When she successfully completed the task, I said, “Alexa, now play yesterday’s,” which resulted in her playing the Beatles’ 1962 hit. Then I said, “Alexie, stop the music.” “Alexie, shut up!” “Alexie, play something else.” Nothing worked. Finally, I ripped the plug out of the wall, realizing I would have to reset the darn thing. Unlike Paul McCartney’s, my troubles did not seem so far away. I was going to have to pester my son again to reload all the apps necessary to make the Echo work.
    I was saying Alexie instead of Alexa. The lady in the cylinder is very particular about this kind of thing, like when I mistakenly call my wife Shirley instead of Mary Ellen. 
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