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"My Town and Yours"

  "My Town and Yours"  Thoughts and  Observations of Mark Lange

Posts from June 2013


Congratulations Jerry
The City of Vincennes has announce the Spirit of 76 Award winner for this year.  It's Jerry Coonrad.  A lot of us will nod our heads in approval at the award.  Jerry is a deserving winner.  There will be a reception for Jerry at the Riverfront Pavillion after the 4th of July Parade next week.  While it makes sense that the Spirit of 76 Winner is announced just before the 4th of July and honored during the holiday, I wonder if the deserving winner gets a little lost in the activities surrounding one of our biggest family holidays.

There won't be a suggestion about where to move the award, just some wondering.  When you see Jerry in the parade or walking around before the fireworks give him a high five and tell him thanks for helping make Knox County a good place to live.  He deserves it.
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Topics: Human Interest
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Locations: Knox CountyVincennes
People: Jerry Coonrad


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When's the Last Time You Partied on Thursday Night?
First Vincennes Savings Bank and Best Way Trucking are bringing Texas singer Ray Wylie Hubbard to the Riverfront Pavillion tonight.  It's free.  The music will be fun.  Bring your chairs, but expect some dancing to go on.  And if you're into a brew, there will be a beer garden - and the Harmony is always just a few steps away.

When was the last time you partied on Thursday night?  College?  Maybe.  Or was it when a grand child had a birthday.  Both kinds of parites are fun - just different.

At all starts at six tonight.  Should be fun, but watch out for the semis parked all over the place.
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Locations: Texas
People: Ray Wylie Hubbard


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Refer to Yesterday's Blog
Too many times, spending by government organizations causes a group shaking of heads.  Not this week - at least in one case.  The allocation of maintenance money to take care of the Riverfront Pavillion in Vincennes should have been included in the original budget, but since it wasn't there needed to be an allocation added.  Good for the City.

We need to take care of our infrastructure before the cost of maintenance becomes so high, we just forget about that asset.  The pavillion has been a positive addition to our community and taking care of it is just as important as building it in the first place.
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Just a Couple of Points
Lots of community meetings last night in Knox County.  Here's my take:

     Vincennes City Council:     Thanks for a vote on first reading.  Now we know where everybody is on the council and we can begin explaining our personal stands on moving toward private trash hauling at a fee.  Remember there are two more votes.

     Knox County Solid Waste Baord:  A quiet board doing a lot of good with a little bit of money.  Thanks for continuing to attempt to collect from illegal dumpers.  Donating money for trash collection efforts is exactly right.  Good work!

     Knox County Parks Board:  My grand father always said:  "Fix the roof before replacing the carpet."  Wet carpet is still wet whether it is new carpet or old.  Listen to what Herb said.
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Locations: Knox County


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Wrong on This One
When I was working on WZDM for Ed Ballinger last week, I tried really hard to not mess it up.  I checked the weather forecast numerous times throughout each shift, knowing that the National Weather Service is all over this weather thing.  And when I left late Friday afternoon, I knew the weekend was going to be hot, but not much rain in the forecast.Once again, trust in someone else failed.  I have never driven through as heavy a rain as I drow through Friday night between the White River and St. Thomas.  then there was the downtpours in Vincennes Saturday.  I was out of town, but the radar, puddles in my yard, and a tramatized dog were all reminders that the forecast let me down.

Oh.  You didn't get a drop all weekend?  The forecast was perfect?  Your fields are dry enough for wheat harvest?  Never mind.  The forecast was perfect.  I shouldn't have worried.
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Topics: Weather
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So Close
Looks like the Vincennes Kiwanis Club did not get selected by Kiwanis International  for the $25 Thousand dollar playground equipment grant.  A nice Face Book promotion by Kiwanis International and a strong effort by the local Kiwanis club and its "friends".  Could we have used more playground equipment at Gregg Park?  You bet.  Will the winning club put their grant to good use somewhere else?  Of course.

The Vincennes Kiwanis has done and will continue to do a lot of good for our community AND they make great pancakes.  We can only hope Kiwanis International will have another round next year, because if they do the Vincennes Kiwanis and our community will go after it again.  And next time?  We'll get it done.
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More on the Wheel Tax
You've got to give it to Larry Holscher.  He believes the wheel tax will help Knox County and is willing to fight for it.  You've got to give it to the municipalities.  They are willing to listen to any option to get their roads fixed.  You've got to give it to folks like Elizabeth Ellis who point out that what is a small price to pay for better roads and bridges may be the straw that breaks the camels back of the working poor or folks on fixed incomes.

At least we are calling the Wheel Tax what it is - a TAX.  It's not a fee.  It's a tax.  It's not a budget augmentation.  It's a tax.  Here in our community we may not agree about the proposal, but we agree on what to call it - a Tax.

If I were a betting man - and I'm not, I would bet my lunch money - which I don't get, that the Wheel Tax won't pass.  And if it does pass, I bet many of the supporters will be voted out of office next time.
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Topics: Social Issues
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Locations: Knox County
People: Elizabeth EllisLarry Holscher


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Wooden Teeth
When members of the Historic Review Board suggest to an applicant they have just denied removal of chimneys from a truly historical property how to get around the denial we might as well disband the board.  Just do whatever you want and pay the small fine makes every other action by the Historic Review Baord is a waste.

Will people figure that option out?  Of course they will especially if board members tell them.
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Do We Need The Money? Sure.
The push for a Knox County Wheel Tax continues from the County Commissioners.  It's just a few bucks for most of us, but it' still a few bucks and those tend to add up when it comes to government.  Do we need the money to fix our roads and bridges?  Sure.  The lowering the weight limit on the much travelled Washington Avenue Bridge over Kelso Creek is the poster boy for the need.  The bridge is in so much need of repair that even Fire Trucks will have to stay off the bridge. 

The State of Indiana is delivering more street and bridge money with the new budget that begins next month.  Like the Vincennes Mayor and members of the County Council maybe we should wait on the Wheel Tax until we see how far the new state money goes.  The new money won't cover everything, but let's still wait.
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Locations: IndianaVincennes


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Negotiations Have Ended
The Temporary Life Partner and I took one of our five year old grand daughters on a five day trip to the beach at Lake Michigan this past week.  It was five days days of beach, food, family, fun, AND negotiations.  There is no one better at negotiations than a smart, verbal, five year old girl.  Nobody.  Her grand mother made it a match, but when the sand cleared the best negotiator was not the adult. 

I missed much of the national news while at the beach, but heard that the President and head of the Chinese government met to work out some issues.  If the U.S. would have had Anna on the team, the negotiations would have all gone our way.

Glad to be back.  Within a week I will be rested again.
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Topics: Hospitality_Recreation
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Locations: Michigan


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Like a Herd of Turtles
I was worried about having to pay a fee for something I don't use, but that worry may have been premature.  My wife and I have never used our big old Vincennes City Trash Tote.  It sits in the back yard never used.  When the City began talking about dropping the sticker system for a fee system, I worried about paying a fee for something I never use.  Shouldn't have worried.

It's been months and no decision.  It's been months and my worries haven't come true.  I may not even make it to the decision stage and the chances I will make it to the actual implementation of a fee based trash collection system are becoming slimmer each day.

Wasted worry.  But I am making the best of it.  My never used City Tote will make a great cooler for that big block party my neighbor Tom claims he is going to spearhead.  It's clean and will hold a lot of beverages and ice.
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Topics: Human Interest
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Locations: Vincennes City
People: Tom


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A Break
After a successful Double Festivial Weekend we get a little break this coming weekend.  The Red Skelton Paint the Town Red Festival was successful.  The Parade of Clowns might not have had as many clowns as some years, but the quality of slap stick bits, colorful costumes, and smiles was enough to make for a good parade.  The face painting, stage activities, and Pronto Pups all helped make the festival on Patrick Henry Square a big draw.

The Salute to Viet Nam Veterans at the Indiana Military Museum was also a success.  There was some focus lost by the T-Ball players down at Cub League when the helicopter would fly over the ball fields, but over all it was well produced.

Seeing Viet Nam Vet shirts and hats at the Parade of Clowns and clowns at the Military Mesuem was neat.

This weekend?  As far as I can tell - Festival Free - except for Rollek Frollek Saturday at the Riverfront Pavillion.  Looks like some serious yard work coming up.
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Is There a Suprise Here?
The national news reports the NSA and other so-called secret US agencies have been sifting through our cell numbers and calling patterns and in some cases even transcribing our calls (with court orders for that they say).  Is there a surprise here?  With the invention of fast computers that can scan billions of transacations in a second the technology became available, accurate, and cheap and our government has taken advantage of that.

Have you ever looked at a picture of the Chinese or other country's facilities in Washington, DC?  Look at the antennas all over the place.  Those people are certainly scanning the airwaves looking for something and have been doing that for decades.  So is our government.

Right now for me, the chance of finding possible threats to us in those numbers and calls is more important than me knowing that my government could know my wife sent me a text yesterday about something I forgot to do - as usual.  There's nothing to hide in my phone records.  Have at them.  Want my emails?  Oh.  The government already has them?  Oh.  Hope they don't take all that money that's going to be placed into my account from that widow in Nigeria.  That's MY money Uncle Sam!  Mine.
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Topics: Politics
Locations: Washington, Dc


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Still Nothing - For Business People
Business People:  If you had somebody wanting to spend $300 at your business and you were out of that product but your affiliate about 8 miles away had that product would you make sure you got that product from the affiliate so you could sell it?

Of course you would.  That's the difference between a business and an agency.  Still no rolls of stamps at the Vincennes Post Office.  A number of readers have made a number of good suggestions.  Postage purchased from a web site is too slow.  Emailing everything is still not possible, but it IS looking easier every day.  Patience is a virtue and maybe I'm just being tested.

Get the stamps before I go postal - please...
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Topics: Business_Finance
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At Least Have the Stampskeeping stamps on
I cannot even figure out how the US Postal Service can GET a letter from my house in Vincennes to someone's house in San Diego in a day or two - much less do it for just 46 cents, but that's the business they are in and they somehow have it all figured out.  There are some other basic things they cannot seem to figure out.  That would be inventory control for one.  The US Postal Service has had to take on additional projects to help pay for that 46 cent letter miracle, like helping us fill out the page after page of a Passport Application and selling Disney themed items, but shouldn't they work really hard to have the old fashioned Flag STAMPS in stock?

For nearly the last week, the Vincennes Post Office has not had rolls of 46 cent stamps.  Isn't that the centerpiece of what they do there?  Or do they want me to not use those old fashion stamps?  Those rolled stamps - now with a number of Flag depictions are what I love to use.  This is The United States of American and we should display our flag - stamps included.

The ladies and genetlemen at the Vincennes Post Office are helpful, but over worked.  But they've got to get rolls of stamps even if it IS more work to plan ahead.
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Locations: San Diego


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Wow - So Big There are Two of Them
We have so many things going on Vincennes, that there are two special events this weekend.  The Red Skelton Festival starts tomorrow night for its four day run.  The bathtub races kick off the festival that will end with a full day of activities on Saturday including the Parade of Clowns in Downtown Vincennes.

Take all the Red Skelton activities and add the two day Salute to Viet Nam Veterans at the Indiana Military Museum on Saturday and Sunday and you've got another huge weekend.  Could they spread out the events?  Sure, but I'm thinking this many be a good thing.  Two similar out of town groups will be drawn to Vincennes for the two events.  And while all won't participate in both, there will be enough cross over to make each event better.

In addition, that might give us the next weekend to work in the yard.
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