I was reminded of two things during and after the blizzard of 2012.
#1.) The Original Company Staff is a great bunch of hard working folks who love a challenge. They were out before the storm, stayed during it, and are working just as hard today. So does the city, county, and state.
#2.) People in our area are helpful. Got stuck? Five people stop to help. Need something? Somebody will go get if if they know you need it.
#3.) We don't really know how to drive in Snow in Southern Indiana and Illinois. (Woops - that's three lessons from the Blizzard of 2012.)
I'm not buying in to the Mayan End of the World thing today. Not that the world as we know it couldn't end today - The North Koreans could blow us up, a natural disaster could end it all, Jesus could return...(two bads and a good).
But from what I could tell the Mayan's never said the world would end today. They just quit filling out their calendar on this date. The Chief of Calendar's was probably just too busy to keep working on the dates past today and eventually forgot about the project all together.
He was probably enthralled with some new technology - like a wheel - and didn't do his job as efficiently.... Kind of like Facebook and the work place today.
About the toughest elected position is that of School Board Member. Talk about being close to the action. Parents, student, tax payers, teachers, administrators all know who their school board representatives are and they have no problem giving them an ear full since they are so available.
Bryan Thais and Melissa Turner will have an open house tonight to thank them for their service to the Vincennes Community Schools and if you've got a few minutes head out to the Administration Center between 5:30 and 7 and shake their hand. South Knox's Larry Holscher also has retired from his school board position. His reception was last week.
It's a tough job and there are no easy answers to all the challenges our schools face today. To take on those challenges with dwindling resources and rising problems within our society is really a comittment.
Thanks Larry. Thanks Melissa. Thanks Bryan. Great job!
The Knox County Parks Department has listened to the requests of users of the Camp Ground at Wabash Trails Park - can't spell it the way they spell it, but Mrs. Felton always said I didn't care to learn to spell.
Back to the County Parks.... With the installation of a Fiber Optic Internet connection through the park, campers will be able to stay connected while camping. They will be able to surf to web sites showing beautiful areas of America. They will be able to watch stars in the sky on their High Defination Monitors in their RV's - and TENTS too. The new fiber optic line will make video calls to relatives clearer.
Or they could go outside their air conditioned mobile homes and look at a very beautiful setting of the park, look up to the sky and see real stars while lounging next to a crackling fire, and they could take their grandkids on a week of camping they will always remember - AND have something for those kids to do when Gram and Kids get tired of each other.
The City of Vincennes has finally gotten enough court support to take bids to tear down the Executive Inn building and is moving ahead with the project, but officials better not waste a second. Follow the law, but make sure it is started as quickly as legally possible.
While the owners have the legal right to appeal, an appeal will just cost both sides money and the result will be the same. We will never walk through the doors and see the beautiful restuarant area, meet with family, friends, and business associates for a lunch at the buffet. We will never attend a reception or party in one of the meeting rooms.
Most of us never spent a night there, but a lot of visitors we know did. No more. Time to keep those good memories of when the Executive Inn was a beacon of growth for Vincennes as memories and time to erase the fact that the dark hull of the building remains as a current reminder of that fact that time passes.
Tomorrow (12/18) there will be another information session about the proposed new Vincennes City Pool. If constructed it won't be Rainbow Beach - either of them. It will be a state of the art water playground. Don't get too excited about "state of the art". The people behind the project have worked hard to kleep the price down. What they are proposing is a water playground that has been proven to attrack lots of people in lots of towns.
The meeting is 6:30 tomorrow evening at the library's Fortnightly building on Sixth Street. There's no "Must See TV" at that hour and if you are lucky enough to have (and know how to set it) a DVR you can record whatever you'll miss.
Attend the meeting and learn about the options. Remember this is a Vincennes CITY project and if you live within the city limits you will have a vote whether to build it or not. If you decide you are for the project you'll have to vote for it in May. If you decide you are against the project you'll have to vote for it in May.
Either way tomorrow night is another chance to become informed. See you there!
While there is a lot of pressure around our town to have a "White Christmas" for every day we don't have snow and ice and every day the city doesn't have to send out the Street Department in the wee hours to clear the streets, we may be saving enough money to maybe pave a few feet of city streets.
Do we need the paving? Just drive around town and your car will tell you loud and clear. Do we have the money for the paving now? Nope according to pretty much everyone at City Hall. Will another light Winter save us enough money for any actual paving? Probably not. It's kind of like when I was a kid and had nearly an extra dollar from my paper route. Didn't save it for anything. Spent it on a Suzy Q. It won't be a Suzy Q the city spends the extra money on (Hostess is gone you know), but I bet it won't be spent on paving.
Shop with a Cop in Knox County has completed another successful year and the police that participate have a lot of folks to thank including donars and the Head Start Program. While $170 per person seems a lot of money per child to a guy from a family that spends way below the national average on family Christmas gifts, often times the trip with the police is really a combined, "back to school", "holiday clothing", "grew out of my shoes and coat", "didn't get anything for my birthday" and more trip.
Many of us are lucky enough to be able to have those kinds of trips throughout the year. Many are not and the Shop with a Cop program helps - a lot.
If you see a local officer thank him or her. They don't have to do this every year, but they do.
There are only a few people who are recognized by just their first name. In Knox County one of those is Jimmy - Jimmy Parish for you readers out of the area in Internet Land. Jimmy has been the people's elected official for 38 years and he's hanging up his hat at the end of the month.
To me personally and it seems like to all I talk to, Jimmy has been a great listener. But he took it the next step and tried to figure out a solution.
Nice job Jimmy! We'll miss you in local government.
I used to be pretty hip when it came to new technology - not so much any more. While I was a killer with a bag phone - remember those - cost a fortune and weighed about as much as a small child, but you could call from your car if you could get a signal, I'm now pretty much out of the technology loop now.
Texting? Can do it if the person sends me a text first so all I have to do is respond.
Tweeting? Can't even do a Wolf Whistle much less tweet.
4-Square? Oh that's not even relevant anymore? Sorry...
Facebook? I'm there, but sometimes press the wrong choice and "like" something I don't REALLY like and then the Facebook computer tells EVERYONE it thinks is like me ("Out of Touch" would be my Facebook computer category) that I "Like" that mistaken click. So if you ever get a Facebook post that I "Like" something, it's probably just an ad. And for my newly "friended" person in Peru - sorry I was just trying to log out. I'm sure you are really nice, but I'm not your friend and really can't - and won't - be able to comment on your life.
Vincennes elected and appointed officials continue looking for a way to pay for trash collection. The new "One Armed Trash Bandit" seems to work well along most streets. It's fast, it saves money they say, and does a clean job of the whole process. But because many of us abuse the system and sneak in unstickered trash into the bins we call will pay and I'm afraid we will pay no matter how much trash we use.
At our house we have never used the new tote system - never. But I bet we'll be paying for something we don't use shortly.
At our business we pay three times the property tax rate when compaired to homes, but the city won't pick up our trash whether it's stickered or not. We also pay a ton of money each month for private trash collection.
Has anyone in the discussion raised the question of picking up business trash and charge businesses some sort of rate? Business is already paying more property taxes and getting fewer services, but might be part of the solution - especially small businesses like insurance offices or hair places. Has anyone in the discussion raised the question about people who don't use the system at all? Why should they pay?
I know... You don't use the Fire Department (most of the time), but it's there if you need it. Maybe we should charge for fire runs...
Now there is discussion that the Downtown Vincennes Christmas Stroll needs to be a bit later in the "Holiday Shopping Season". The discussion centers around Shop Small Saturday - the Saturday after Thanksgiving - a very successful promotion spearheaded by American Express. It's kind of like Grandparents Day spearheaded by Hallmark, but that's for another day.
The downtown merchants want your opinion about moving the event. Let them know as you shop downtown.
I for one am for anything that gets the "Holiday Shopping Season" after Thanksgiving. Anything!
Have you had a chance to check out the German American Plaza in Downtown Vincennes? When German American bought the property at 3rd and Busseron the building had outlived its usefullness and while they could have paved the whole thing, they didn't and the result is very nice. The block at the corner of 6th and Vigo - owned by Good Samaritan Hospital is also coming along as a great green space. While holding the block for future expansion, GSH could have left it as it was, but they didn't and now a couple of years after planting grass and trees, the place looks great.
There are still holes and they will not likely be filled with buildings to match the old structures now in use downtown. But whole says we have to have a downtown that looked just like it did in the 40's. We don't dress like they did in the 40's. We don't drive cars made like they did in the 40's.
Maybe the downtown will have a bigger draw with some more green space...
Guess what? The State of Indiana has run out of money to finish I-69. No big news here. That's been an admission since at least AFTER the election. Guess what? The State of Indiana has asked private sources to give them suggestions on how to plan, build, and pay for the last of the highway. Guess what? Private business will come back and say: "We can finish AND pay for it if you trade us the first part of the road for finishing the last part and we'll then own it all." Guess what? You're going to pay a toll to save the time they've been promising you for decades.
You know what they say: "Time is Money." And the completion of I-69 will take time and cost money.
You know what they say: "Time is Money". And the completion of I-69 will cost us all in tolls to save some time on the way to Indy.
Even with the weather predicted to get cooler today, it seems a long way away from Winter until you take time to tour our two best parks - Gregg and Wabash Trails (I know I should learn to spell it in Indian, but I can't seem to spell English very well much less Indian.).
Take the Christmas Light tour though each park. The more involved is the County Parks display at Wabash Trails, but the Vincennes City Park's Gregg Park display is really coming along and has its own more calm feel.
Now we need about two inches of snow on the ground to make both displays perfect!