It seems like we used to stop a little longer and do a little more for Good Friday than we do today. There are still programs, but not as many as even a few years ago. Even in the sectarian celebration of Easter there seems to be fewer referrals.
I hope we reconsider what's happened on both fronts. A bit more religion might be just what ails us and a few more Peeps couldn't really hurt - could they?
There are just over six weeks left before the May 7th Vincennes City Parks Referendum. For registered voters within the Vincennes City Limits, there will be a one issue special election that day. Vote "Yes" and you will be voting for the City to borrow about $3.8 Million dollars to be used to replace Gregg Park's Rainbow Beach Pool. Vote "No" and you will be voting for the City to be barred from borrowing the money to be used for the project.
Vote "Yes" and your taxes will rise because of the project and your community will get a new pool and family water park. Vote "No" and your taxes will not rise because the community will not get a new pool and family water park.
Early in the 70's Vincennes made the commitment for a "new" Rainbow Beach. It didn't include the sand of the old beach and cost a lot of money. The "new" Rainbow Beach served us well, but it is now done. 40+ years later we will be asked to do what many of you did four decades ago - look to the future and support a new pool. It won't be the same as the old pool and shouldn't be. It won't cost what the last pool cost - nothing does. And we'll be paying for it - we pay for everything the government does either for or against us so let's pay for something that will help our community.
You've got to give it to the Knox County Parks Department. The board, the Director, and citizens are on a roll of ideas. Whether it's another discussion of a lake, improvements at the parks, or even the idea of a Soap Box Derby at the county parks, the ideas are coming fast and furious.
A number of improvements and ideas have already been finished so we've got to believe they can pull off some of these too.
And with every improvement and completed project, the momentum will increase. The Knox County Parks have been too quiet for years. They are making some positive noise. We should support them.
It's come up again. The Knox County Park Board discussed the possibility - the dream of a recreation lake for Knox County. For decades a lake has been cussed and discussed in the county. Can we afford such a project? What good will it do for Knox County? Do we really need that expensive recreation?
That's what will come up again and that's too bad. Ask the citizens of Sullivan County about their lake. Ask Martin and Daviess County leaders about the value of West Boggs Lake. Both groups took the plunge as it were decades ago and now wouldn't do without the lakes.
Let's do it. Suck it up and just do it. This is a truly "you build it and they will come" project that the County Park Board will be remembered positively for if they do it.
The local community is always looking for slick marketing and slogans for describing our way of life. Positive descriptions of life in rural southern Indiana and Illinois aren't always easy to create. Most of our local tries have included the word "history" and focused on things that happened hundreds of years ago.
Yesterday we brought our only non-local grand child to Vincennes from his home in Chicago. He'll spend a few days with his grand parents and a few great days with his cousins-the same days. Kind of like the city mouse and the country mice in one of those children's books many of us read to our children.
His description of why he loves to come to Vincennes? "Vincennes is a great place to run around in and a great place to sit on the porch." That's it. He's coined a perfect marketing phrase for our community AND it doesn't include a hint of something in the past. He's all about today and tomorrow and never about yesterday.
That's how you grow. Work for today and look to the future. I bet the powers that be could get Caleb to sell them the rights to his phrase. Probably cost a pretty penny - really - a pretty penny. And add a Frosty, Mac and Cheese, and French Fries and the deal would be done. His mother wouldn't be happy about the items he will trade for the slogan - he doesn't get those things very often in Chicago, but she would be proud of his description of our area. She'd agree.
On the WZDM news today Vincennes Mayor Joe Yochum talked about the long drawn out Second Street project. The way it has been explained is that it's supposed to be a real re-construction of the street much like Sixth Street was done a number of years ago. It's not supposed to be a quick patch and repave job our city seems to do most of the time. There is even a rumor that the curbs will be replaced. Wow!
The project is moving at a snail's pace. It has spanned two city administrations (at least) and engineering firm after engineering firm. It's cost hundreds of thousands of dollars already and we've nothing to show for it.
The mayor assures us it will be finished under his watch. He seems like a trustworthy guy so when he said "...The Indiana Department of Transportation says complete one project before you ask for more money..." we're behind him.
Second Street needs a lot of work. There is money allocated for that project. The plan is to do the work right. And while that money might be reallocated and spread across town to take care of a lot of quick fixes, those fixes will not last as long as a job done right on Second Street. Sixth Street and Hart Street improvements of the last few years were done correctly. They are still good and will remain that way for a long time. Quick fixes like Veterans Drive a few years ago are not better than they were when "fixed". No curbs. No proper drainage. Not wide enough.
It wasn't long after I came to Vincennes that I met Bob and Teeter Tresslar. Bob the businessman and Teeter housewife. They were of course way more than that to their close friends. Married 69 years, raised nine children, and did tons of things in our neighborhood and town.
Teeter's funeral is today and they'll say all the nice things that should be said about her.
But this entry is about her visitation. What a noisy, laughter filled, community get together. There were certainly some sad faces I'm sure, but the 47 - count them 47 Tresslars milling about were really celebrating their Teeter. And that's what she would have wanted.
When the national company where we "park" this web site lost service yesterday for awhile our visitors could not get to our pages. While many of us still marvel at how this all works, it has still become part of our lives.
A lot of people were concerned that they couldn't get what they wanted when they wanted it because of the downtime. It was fixed quickly and we were back up an running before ten yesterday morning.
Thanks to all of you who depend on us for radio, print, and digital information and entertainment. We take our responsibility seriously and are working to make our infrastructure more dependable every day.
I think that's what that new little box with the flashing lights is doing in the corner of my office. Some sort of additional backup system is what they've said. I wonder if it is something more though? Could "they" be spying on me? Could it be a secret device to...
I've got to quit watching those spy movies on television.
Lindel Hume has had it with politics. The 70 year old State Senator will wrap up about four decades of statemanship after this term. He says the politics not the tough issues we all face are what got him.
I don't know Hume personally, but every time I've spoken to him, wrote him, or heard him speak he was way more than a politician. He was a gentleman that seemed unable to speak out of both corners of his mouth. He didn't seem to have a bad word for anyone. His representation wasn't a personal ego trip, but quiet moves toward real solutions.
That doesn't mean I believe he was a pushover. I bet he wasn't. Just a gentleman we should all be proud represents us.
The meeting of the City Council's Service Committee is this Wednesday at 6 pm and the topic is the long discussed trash collection problem. Of course its not a collection problem but a cost and a bright shiny object problem. The shiny object - that cool one armed bandit lifting trash toes and dumping them into the big one person trash truck the city leased for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cost issue - nobody in city government thought that "citizens" wouldn't cheat by putting un stickered trash into the closed totes.
Now they have to fix the problem and talking about it meeting after meeting eventually has to come to a head and this wednesday is the night. Get out and make you stand know. We're already paying our tax money for that cool truck which does pick up trash faster from totes that help the eliminate a lot of litter. But since we'll end up paying more you might as well get your two cents in.
It may have been in the twenties yesterday morning, but there was a general buzz out in the country. A perfect day to spray wheat. A perfect day to haul corn. A perfect day to check fields and equipment. And today? Even better. With temperatures in the 60's, clocks set on Daylight "Savings", and rain predicted, the smiles will be even wider out in the country - our country.
Watch for the equipment in the next couple of weeks because the early planters are chomping at the bit to get out there. Feel the local economy perk up. Watch as we do our part to feed the world.
It isn't officially spring, but in our country it is.
Maybe its just me but have the Knox County Commission and Knox County Council been working together since the beginning of the year? It seems like there is less emotion and confrontation and more planning and communication.
Let's hope it continues because that's what we need. It's tough enough for the Commissioners to supervise the day to day activities of the county without being treated like an enemy of the county. It's hard as a County Council member to balance the multiple real and perceived needs of citizens, the various county offices, and projects with limited resources when people are whining to you month after month.
The Urban Enterprise Association Board has voted up to $9,000 for enterprise development within the urban zone. With its approval Marones Restaurant may reopen. There is a whole group of people who would love to see another restaurant, but that's not what is good about the vote.
It seems like it's been a long time since the Enterprise Board voted to actually spend money on a new enterprise - not just residences and infrastructure in need of repair.
Andrew Chuang has the food-service-grind experience and if he actually does make it on his own as a young independant restaurant owner it will mainly be based on the food that comes out of the kitchen and the service he and his employees offer - and to a vote from the Urban Enterpise folks who are rightfully making an investment in the project.
Dig Deeper by Mark Lange,posted Mar 12 2013 6:08AM
The Bicknell City Council was informed last night that it could use $64,000 in Cable Franchise income for the General Fund budget crisis. How many meetings have they bickered about the budget when all they would have had to do is their home work and figure out if all the money they have in separate funds are in the correct fund?
It's kind of like when the Pizza Man comes and you have to dig under the couch cushions for the money...Oh you haven't had to do that?
Well, anyway, let's hope they look at each and every fund and figure out where the money should actually be and how it can or can't be spent.
You REALLY haven't ever had to dig for change? Anywhere?
Can you imagine the money Congress could come up with by digging under the couch cushions of the Federal Budget.
One of the most successful events of the year in and around Knox County is the Ag Day Supper. If you missed it last night, you were one of the few. $1 Pork Burger suppers. Booths of farm related businesses - and ours from the radio stations. Activities for young children. And tons of people you haven't talked with for some time - maybe even since last Ag Day Supper.
The March 20th Vincennes hearing on a new telephone Area Code could be interesting - if you like to watch paint dry. We are running out of numbers in the 812 Area Code and need to either divide Southern Indiana into two areas making one get a new Area Code while keeping the 812 Area Code in the other area. The other option? Overlaying a new Area Code into Southern Indiana. What that would mean is everyone with an 812 Area Code now would keep it and new phone numbers would have the new Area Code. Your neighbor may have a different Area Code as you have.
Why do we care? Most of us just press a button that dials a "name" programmed in our phone or we just say "Call Home" and the phone is so smart it calls home without us punching any number. So really an overlayed Area Code would mean almost nothing to most of us.
With all the important things going on, that hearing is probably pretty low on the priority list. Also, March 20th is a Wednesday and there is probably a great repeat of Pawn Stars on TV that night.
Recently I had to take care of the required registration Indiana State Registration of the company that owns this web site. You do it online at the Secretary of State's web site. It takes less than two minutes and costs seven dollars - they take credit cards too. Easy, fast, cheap, and from the government. Kind of unique. You sign off on the little online form with your email. Easy, fast, cheap, SIMPLE, and from the government.
Yesterday I got a letter - paper, postage, the whole old fashioned letter experience from the - yep - Indiana Secretary of State telling me this would be my last letter - paper, postage, the old fashioned letter experience from the Indiana Secretary of State and that I needed to register for email communications to come in the future.
Wait. Didn't I just give them my email address? Didn't they already HAVE my email address? They did, but... It gets better.
Not only did I have to register my email on a email they already have - I had to call them on the telephone to register my email that they already have that could have been done on my email they already have.
Of course you know the rest of the story... Busy - I must not be the only business they sent the letters to. Ring Ring Ring - thennnn the hated phone tree another wait and to add insult to injury - the world's worst - I mean WORST - must ever. Why not have Gomer Pyle sing Back Home Again in Indiana on the Indiana State Web Site?
When a real person - Vicky - got on the line she - I kid you not took my information down by hand for input into their system later.
And I thought the Indiana Secretary of State's office was better than the average government office... At least I didn't have to go to "MyBMV" web site...
If we thought the mandated across the board budget cuts were not going to affect us out here in the country, we thought wrong. With the announcement that 4,000 civilian workers will be layed off one day a week at Crane the cuts have come home.
There are other cuts that are being made including cuts in the Indiana National Guard - also lay offs, but the Crane cuts will be felt locally first. According to federal sources $35 Million dollars will be saved by cutting the hours at Crane.
How will that affect our towns? We'll all feel it. Will it ruin our local economy? Nope. We've had economic hits in the past - coal mine closings, droughts, factories closing, and while it has been rough, we have pulled up our boot straps and kept going.
Do we need the Federal Budget cuts? You bet. Do we need these specific cuts? Don't know. Do we want the cuts locally? Of course not. (Someone else needs to take the hit. Someone from somewhere else of course.) Is there some worry that the work these layed off workers do is important to our overall national security and safety? We hope so, but one of the problems with across the board cuts is that vital activities may also be cut.
Will this get fixed? Depends if our elected officials can actually get over their differences and work together. Now THAT will be an important day.
If you think we talk too much about the current and expected repairs on the Vincennes Levee, I suggest you take a walk along the Levee - especially when the river is high. Think about that dirty water, mud, and whatever else is in there not only in most of our basements, but in the hospital, Vincennes University, many retail stores, chuches, and most of the historic sites.
If you think most of town is above the river, take a look at the heights of various parts of town on Google Earth and compare them with the level of the river also available on Google Earth. Add ten to twenty feet to that number and compare the heights.
If there's one thing most of us need in Vincennes is the Levee.
The news that funding to move forword on Clark's Crossing is really positive for Vincennes. Now the abandoned school buildings on Sixth Street near downtown will see changes. Local developers will turn the old Administration Building into Senior Housing, tear down the old high school and later middle school and turn that area into parking, green space, and maybe even some single family housing units. And Adams Coliseum? It will get a facelift and remain a community structure under the management of the Vincennes Education Foundation.
The project still has a number of hurdles to clear, but leasing of the new apartments is expected by January 2015 - just about the time my fellow workers think it should be my time to retire.
While most of us worry about too much governmental "input" into our lives, the high cost of taxes, and the general waste in government, when the money comes back to a good project for our community we can live with it. In fact we can be very happy.