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Ravings of a Mass Media Madman

Ravings of a Mass Media Madman
Posts from November 2013


A True Triumph of the Human Spirit
No matter what’s going on locally, certain events always force us to put our petty squabbles away for a few minutes to take a step back and put things into perspective.
 
This weekend’s storms have been the biggest topic in the news this week -- and for good reason. There’s something that makes humanity feel very vulnerable when nature’s forces strike. Maybe it’s just knowing there’s nothing we can do except hunker down, wait it out and prepare for what’s on the other side. It’s a complete loss of control over our lives. Maybe it also reminds us that we aren’t really in control to begin with. Either way, we as humans know there’s nothing we can do to stop this kind of thing from happening and that scares us.

But there are two sides to this story. Despite the carnage and helplessness natural disaster brings, we always see the resiliency of the human spirit in its wake. Family, neighbors and friends jump into action. The community comes together and all of the sudden clearly defined lines are a little more blurred. The “that’s mine and only mine” attitude becomes “I can offer help.” People make time they otherwise can’t find to help out their fellow man.
 
That’s exemplified by Westport Auto, Helping His Hands Disaster Relief Ministry, The Knox County Emergency Management Agency, The Lincoln High School Random Acts of Kindness Club and too many other local businesses and organizations to count.  We should all take a moment and say a special thanks to the people working to help those affected by the storms.

A special mention goes out to the KC EMA. If you haven’t signed up for the Code Red Alerts, you should. It’s free and you can sign up for alerts at:http://http://www.knoxcounty.in.gov/departments/public-safety/emergency-management/65/codered
 
John Streeter told our Ed Ballinger there was 18 minutes of warning between when the National Weather Service’s issuance of the tornado warning and the EMA reporting the first sighting. When the NWS issues a warning or watch, the Code Red message goes out via text or phone call. That could be the difference in life and death. It’s a great tool Streeter and Company has given to Knox County Residents.


On a personal note, my thoughts and prayers are with those affected. My prayer is that everything falls into place correctly and they can get back to “as normal as possible” quickly.
No matter what’s going on locally, certain events always force us to put our petty squabbles away for a few minutes to take a step back and put things into perspective.

 
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For It's One, Two, Three Strikes -- You're Out

Editor's Note: The Opinions Expressed in the following blog entry do not necessarily
reflect the views and opinions of The Original Company and its employees.

For background information read the news story at http://www.originalcompany.com/2013/11/13/River-Bluff-Road-work-a-bone-of-contention-for-Cou/17751567  

Exhausting. Childish. Contentious. Ridiculous.
    
     That's not a description of last night's Knox County Council meeting -- but it could be. No, the afore mentioned buzzwords are more of a historical account of the relationship between the Council and Knox County Commissioners.
     Throughout the history of Knox County (and well before my time here) it's been well documented the two bodies can't get along. If it's not one trying to strong-arm the other, it's one complaining about how bad the other is. It goes on and on....
 
     This River Road business reeks. It stinks to high heaven with the smell of day old fish.
 
     County Council member Randy Crismore said it best. Essentially his words were it doesn't matter if everyone's ok with it and the land owners paid for it, it still gives off the appearance of wrongdoing and that's an issue.
    
     Listen to this voice cut from Commissioner Larry Holscher.
 
    
 
     He freely admits the pavement went down on River Road before a contract was signed because they "didn't have time to have (a public) meeting advertised." That's a problem because the only way the county can use their equipment to work on a private road is under an agreement that road becomes a county road before the work starts. The commissioners would have had to have a public meeting before acquiring property. Strike 1.
 
     County Council President Steve Thais said he hadn't seen a contract at all but simply a memorandum of understanding signed only by the County Auditor. All three commissioners have to sign a contract in order for it to be legal. Commissioner's Attorney Dale Webster said a contract could be written on a napkin and it could still be a legal document according to the state, but it has to be signed by the commissioners. If what Thais says is true, that's strike 2.
 
     Commissioner Donnie Halter said since the work has been done, two lots on River Bluff Road have been bought by high profile people who have intentions of putting expensive homes there. Great. That's awesome; more tax dollars for the county to work with. The commissioners will also be deeded some land behind the county highway garage as payment for the labor and equipment usage. Awesome lets expand the highway department, get them a little more elbow room. They need it. But why not bring this stuff to the council beforehand and get it approved before moving forward? With all of the benefit the commissioners claim to be getting from this, chances are the council would have had no problem signing off on this. Why go behind their backs? Strike 3. You’re out.
 
     The worst part is that the commissioners seem to feel like they don't have to answer to anyone about it. It's this attitude of "we're the executive body, we make the decisions and you should just blindly throw money at us." Well, no. The reason the state of Indiana has two governing bodies for both cities and counties are to create a system of checks and balances.
 
     Elected officials on any level of government should have to answer to the people who elected them: especially on a local level. It's an issue when Halter was refusing to answer the questions of David Shelton, a former commissioners candidate and Knox County Housing Authority official Linda Painter when they bring up legitimate points. It's an issue when Holscher gets backed into a corner and comes back with the playground retort "what about Kurt Coonrod?" (Seriously? You really want to go there? Didn't we fire him?)
 
     The commissioners have to do what they think is best for the people of Knox County. But this doesn't seem to be helping anyone in Knox County except the politicians who tried to make it happen behind the scenes. It's a childish power grab to try and make a point and the county council has every right to make sure this was done legally and by the book.
 
Jason Tiller is a Staff Reporter for The Original Company. He enjoys coyote hunting and taking naps. He excels at the latter.

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