Have you ever wondered what those big engineering firms from Indianapolis know that we don't know here in Knox County? Are their skills at filling out state and federal forms so special that we have no one around here that could and would do it for less? Have we shopped around?
Have you ever wondered what those big law firms from Indianapolis know that we don't know here in Knox County? Why do they have to be "Bond Consultants"? What do they know about borrowing money that we don't know here in Knox County?
Maybe they just have more suck with the Legislature and state departments... Probably not "maybe".
Citizens in the North Knox School District and within the Vincennes City limits will have a chance to have their opinions counted on two important issues. The North Knox School Board has chosen to build a new Gym and associated space at the High School, but because there were enough signatures against the project, a Petition Campaign will get underway shortly. Folks within the district will get to sign petitions either for or against the project and whoever gets the most qualified signatures will have their way. If more people sign for the building project, then it will happen. If more people sign against the building project it won't happen - at least for a while.
Citizens of the City of Vincennes will have a chance to actually vote at the polls in May with one simple question on the ballot: Do you want a new Rainbow Beach Pool (and the taxes that go with it)? Vote "Yes" and the Vincennes City Parks Board will build a new pool. Vote "No" and they won't be able to borrow the money to get it done.
There is a lot of talk around the county about both questions. And if you qualifiy for one or the other, make sure you let your feelings be known where it counts - on the petitions or at the polls.
The City of Bicknell is in a real money bind just like a lot of us. The month is about over, there are bills to pay and no money in the check book. It's just that the Bicknell City check book is short $300,000.00. And just like a lot of households the Bicknell City Council chose to borrow the money from another fund, get through this week's crisis, and tell the Mayor to "fix the problem" by next meeting.
The mayor for his part said he thought the problem would go away when Bicknell gets its Tax Anticipation funds. That's kind of like having Dad tell Mom to "fix" the finances and Mom charging the bills on a credit card knowing full well it can't be paid off. It "fixes" everything for a short time. What happens at the next Bicknell City Council meeting will be a real test of leadership for that town.
The City Council must approve cuts and adjustments and the mayor must put them into place.
Now if we could get the Federal Government to even consider doing that, well then we would have REALLY accomplished something!
The Black Towwnship Trustee in Posey has decided to offer emergency assistance to her citizens only if they pass a drug test prior to receiving the services. Lindsay Suits says 30% of the tests have come back positive in the first three weeks of the program. She says anyone who tests positive can reapply for assistance if they participate in substance abuse treatment.
In my opinion, there are two positives about the process. The first is giving assistance to people who are clean. The second is offering assistance to people who GET clean. Lindsay says her office will consider helping pay for the substance abuse programs, but nobody has agreed to get help since she started the testing.
Will someone sue over the requirements? You bet. Will they win? Hope not. Seven states already require welfare applicants to have drug screenings so maybe the process in Posey County will stand. Hope so.
Seeing the house fire early this morning on Emison Avenue in Vincennes brought up some discussion in the past about the cost and amount of fire equipment we have parked at the fire stations. Each fire truck costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and that's without the cost of the firefighters and maintenance it takes to make the trucks useful.
Temperatures were in the 20's, water was everywhere, and the ladders, big sprayers, and multiple hoses (and the men required to make them useful) were all focused on saving what they could of a family's - well... a family's ... everything and keeping the fire from spreading to the homes on either side.
As they sat in police cars, safe and warm, the family that minutes before were asleep, watched and they knew there wouldn't be much left but what they had on their backs and could grab. It won't be a good situation, but the Red Cross and other agencies will help like they always do.
It's not just the firefighters, its the planners (the City Council), and its the payers (Us - the Taxpayers), and all the folks that will help after the fact that make Vincennes a good place to live.
Many folks around here agree that Mayor Joe Yochum is a good sport. He does the work of the city all day and then does the hard work in off hours. Last night his appearance at the Power Team Program in Vincennes was an example of the hard work. Let's figure he attended to real city business for at least eight hours - probably started at 7 am at the Breakfast Band Wagon and went from there and at 7 pm he was at First Church of God to lie on a bed of nails and have a cement block broken while it was placed on his chest. You can see the stunt here at WZDM.com. Just click on the "BLOG" tab near the top of the home page and then pick "Aaron's VBlog".
You know, I've got this all wrong. The tough work for Mayor Yochum isn't getting blocks of cement broken on his chest while his back is poked with a bed of nails, it's listening to people like me nag about the pot holes, lack of curbs, and bla bla bla.... The whole bed of nails and cement blocks are the fun part. Enjoy Joe!
The Knox County League of Women Voters have really ramped up their programs and you don't have to be a member or a woman to attend. Tonight from 7 to 8 all three Knox County public school superintendents will appear at the Fortnightly Club on 6th Street to discuss their individual and combined goals and challenges.
If you can give up the time, you'll learn a lot. If you've got an opinion or idea you'll have your chance to get your opinion or question before all three educators.
Thank goodness the school powers in Knox County didn't wimp out and delay school for a couple of hours this morning because the temperature is generally in the single digits. It's tough out there and if we're going to educate our kids about subjects AND life, sometimes they will just have to layer it up, put on an ugly, but warm hat and get out there.
This is where you insert the part about "up hill both ways...."
I was in St. Louis this past weekend when it was announced that Stan Musial had died at 92. The Cardinals stadium was just down the street and a crowd of people started going to the Musial statue near the stadium and continued coming - dropping off flowers and other items.
Many of the people who came never saw him play a game. They were too young. But they came anyway. Almost all never met the man personally. But they came anyway. It wasn't just about sports. It was also about a legacy of greatness. Stan WAS the Man in St. Louis.
What about our town? Who would cause such an outpouring? What would make us congregate in positive remberance of a life gone?
With all the flu-like sickness around our town right now, we are more aware of a lot of things: Keep visits down at the hospital, wash your hands a lot, wipe down your computer key board and eat better - whatever THAT means.
Thanks to all the health care providers who have been working through this. We should also take a moment to salute all the school custodians, teachers, aids, and administrators who have had to add "clean up specialist" to their already long job descriptions. Lots of kids are getting sick at school right now and they generally don't have the ability to "feel it coming" on like many adults can. Kids sometimes panic. They generally "don't make it" and that's where those additional duties come in.
Next time you see an educator thank them for the extra clean up work, but skip the hand shake.
I wonder if the young man who is alleged to have shot his ex-girlfriend's father in a fit of rage last night in Fort Branch had too easy access to a gun?
I wonder if the young man who is alleged to have shot his ex-girlfriend's father in a fit of rage last night had a licensed gun? I wonder if it was HIS gun or if it was just lying around? I wonder if he could have passed a full back ground check to get a gun if such a check was required under all circumstances?
I wonder what the family of the man killed in a fit of rage thinks about the whole gun control issue this morning?
Give Vincennes City Parks Director Steve Beamon some credit. He is out there every chance he gets telling the story of a new Rainbow Beach Pool. Yesterday's appearance before the Knox County Library Board was just one in dozens of speaking engagements he has been invited to, invited himself to, or just shown up at to promote the proposed pool.
Right now the old Rainbow Beach is closed and will remain closed. It has served us well, but has out lived its useful life. A new pool has been designed, but there isn't money in the budget to build it. It will take a bond issue - borrowing money paid back with taxes. Current state law requires local citizens vote for tax increases. The vote is May 7th. Registered voters within the Vincennes city limits will vote Yes or No on the project.
Back to Steve. If he has his way, we will vote with all the facts. Steve has done a remarkable job with a small budget during his tenure as Parks Director and his campaign to inform the public about the pool has - and will be just what it needs to be. Professional and informative.
Look at the material posted at the library. Listen to Steve when he comes to your organization. Invite Steve to speak. He will get you all the facts. You'll then be able to decide how you vote on May 7th.
At last night's Bicknell City Council meeting it was reported that the community would run out of general fund money at the end of this month - and that's with the latest tax draw already taken and eleven more months to go in 2013. You have to wonder if the City of Bicknell got its money's worth by hiring an expensive big time financial consultant from Indianapolis last year to help get that city out of its financial woes.
Maybe the City Council and Mayor couldn't or wouldn't make the hard decisions required to get back on a firm financial foundation, but whatever the case the next couple of weeks will be extremely important for the citizens of Bicknell. The City Council will meet on January 28th to discuss more ways to get out of debt.
Bicknell residents should report their ideas to City Hall. While it looks bleak right now, the smart money is that Bicknell will be out of its financial binds before the Federal Government, but that's another (huge) issue for another day.
Last Friday night at Alice Arena the crowd was big. Many of the young kids were doing what kids do - and that's not pay much attention to the game, but they were having a great time. Parents and fans were focused on the game - and some visiting with their neighbors in the stands. The pep section and pep band were in top form. The pop corn was crisp and salty - even if it wasn't made fast enough. And the players and coaches gave it their all.
It was just like the Old Days - including the PA system. We may have a well lit comfortable gym, but the PA system is a throw-back to the old old days - the BAD old days. Let's spend money fixing the PA - not another video board.
The sounds of Christmas flowed out of Gregg Park this morning as rain fell, temperatures continued to rise toward the 60's, and the snow melted about as fast as possible. But the weather forecast on WZDM says it looks like we'll be back to the dull look and feel of Winter in our town shortly. At least there is a window of opportunity to get those decorations still up put away before the weather turns cold on Sunday.
Looks like it's the first job on Saturday. Might have to take it easy the rest of the day.
We are now just days away from the opening of bids for the tearing down of the Executive Inn building and we all need to cross our collective fingers and hope the current owner does not appeal and delay what needs - must be done again. Everyone now- Cross..
I don't usually go to Lincoln High School on a Tuesday evening, but did last night and was once again pleased with the use of the building. Alice Arena has three major areas. Each gym was full of students participating in after school activities and when one area emptied, there was another group of students, coaches, parents, and hangers-on taking over the space. Even the rooms off the gym were busy.
And when you went out in the hallway the sound of music from the music suite spilled into the hall and voices leaked from Ader Auditorium.
Public School Supporters have always said it's not just about book learning - It's about life learning. It's about community and that was proved once again last night.
When Karla Smith and Barb Toole are sworn in tonight as the newest members of the Vincennes Community School Board, they join a long line of folks who have directed the local public school system. Every term has different ups and downs. Every school board member has a different impact.
There is nothing in the elected arena closer to the success of a community than being elected to a local school board. Thanks for just being willing to take it all on and good luck ladies. It will be an eye-opening experience. It will be a difficult project. It will be extremely satisfying.
The Vincennes City Fire Fighters continue their record of service this weekend with a trip to New York. As we reported on WZDM, a group of local firemen will travel to the Bronx section of New York City to help with Hurricaine Sandy relief. They will help with repairs to a fire station and then work on repairs for some New York City Fire Fighters' homes damaged in last years storm. They funded the trip with local donations.
While the local fire department staff changes, the commitment to service remains the same at the fire houses from year to year. I'm a relatively new resident of Vincennes - living here "only" about 40 years, but as long as I've been around firemen have been going above and beyond their jobs to help others.
In these "all about me" times they are another reason why the Vincennes area remains a pretty darn good place to live. Thanks guys!
The City of Vincennes is awaiting bids to tear down the Executive Inn. Hopefully there will be no more foolish legal moves by the owners and the project will get done.
But that's not the end of it. Look around town and you'll see building after building that needs to go. The City Inspector's Office has asked for support of City Council in removing dangerous buildings. Keep at it folks. Every month there are more that need to be condemned.
Let's focus next on the old "Northside Pharmacy" building on Washington Avenue at the railroad tracks. Add to it the former office supply building next to it. The first building has been in terrible condition for years, windows are out and dangerously leaning toward the sidewalk. The sounds of birds and various other animals in the structure bring to mind any rat infestation movie scene you can remember. And now the office supply building has lost its roof -collapsed under the weight of ice and snow.
The other three buildings on the block are well maintained and the clearing of the two listed above would only help the neighborhood.
While many of us are still digging out, one of the benefits of the heavy snow was that there was a lot of neighborly interaction. Whether it was the guy with a big truck pulling us out of a drifted alley (Thanks Bill Cleveland) or the guy digging out an old guy who lives alone out past Fritchton (Thanks Bill Celveland) there was a lot of help to go around. And while there were tons of others who helped, it is interesting that Bill Cleveland came up a number of times.
It's been a few days since I've made a post, but I have an excuse. Sick. What everyone else seems to be having, but since I am a complete wimp when it comes to sickness, I was really down and out. Four days of travelling between bed and bathroom. Four days of wishing I even wanted those great Christmas goodies we had packed in. Four days of trade Advil for Asprin and repeating. Four days of watching daytime television.
That was the worst. Daytime television is everything that makes America what it is today. Worried and on edge. I DID learn about fifty ways to make myself thinner, more desirable, a better cleaner-upper, and a much better eater. Too bad my four days of little or no eating did NOT cause even a small drop on the scale (must be broken), Too bad my four days of being sick caused the Temporary Life Partner to stay away from me. So much for desirable. Too bad I didn't use enough bleach when cleaning up after myself. Too bad I didn't even feel like eating after I had learned so much.
The best thing though was a chance to learn that I can actually buy slippers you can put in the microwave to make your foot sweat. The worst thing I learned from four days sick at home watching daytime television: Rikki Lake actually still HAS a television program.
Another item on my bucket list. I can't wait to get tickets. 2013 is going to be a GREAT year!