Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

August 8, 2013

The importance of being local


Greensburg Daily News

---- — The importance of being local

Dear Editor:

I think that we can all do a better job at being local in our communities.

When I was asked what I wanted to do after college, I said I wanted to change the world. Being 18, I wasn’t really sure what “changing the world” would really look like, but I did know I wanted to help my fellow man overseas.

I had it stuck in my mind that the only way I could make an impact in the world was to leave the United States behind. However, I was proven wrong.

I attend the University of Indianapolis, a fine institution with the motto: “Education for Service.” Thanks to our motto, incorporated into at least one of my classes every semester is a service project. I’ve worked in multiple soup kitchens, food banks, homeless shelters, schools, churches, and nonprofits over the last three years. I started to believe I could make a difference in Indiana, but I could only find those “saving-the-world” opportunities in Indy.

Again, I was proven wrong. One of my professors introduced me to the concept of being local. Being local is not about just living in a specific area. Being local is making the conscious decision to support businesses owned by local people in the community, purchase food that grown or made nearby, and get involved with service projects that impact your neighbor’s life.

So here I am helping out a neighborhood next to my school, planting a community garden with my professor. As I was lending a hand, I started thinking how this community was similar to where I grew up. That’s when it hit me: I can be local back home, too.

Now here I am today, the intern of Main Street Greensburg. If you would have told me three years ago I would be coming back home to work for the community, I would have called your bluff. I was convinced that I could only make an impact in other parts of the world, the country, and the city. However, it dawned on me that you can make a big impact in your local community by just making the conscious decision of being local.

There are many opportunities for all of us Greensburg-ians to practice being local. First off, alternate hitting up the chained restaurants with the locally owned restaurants. Yes, you may be familiar with and know exactly what you want at a chained restaurant, but spending your money at a local restaurant keeps a majority of your dollar spent in the community. And who knows? Maybe you’ll find your new, favorite meal.

Second off, visit our Farmers’ Markets Fridays from 2 to 6 p.m. on the courthouse.

Yes, I’m a little bit biased since I work for the organization that puts this event on, but hear me out. When you buy something from one of the vendors at the Farmers’ Market, you can ask he or she questions about the product.

Try doing that at a supermarket. The food is generally fresher than if purchased at a supermarket. Most important of all, your dollar stays in the community! The Farmers’ Markets also now accepts SNAP Credits (food stamps) so no one is excluded from this community treasure.

Third, get involved! Join an organization. Volunteer at the animal shelter or the Bread of Life. Attend a gallery opening at Art on the Square, one of Main Street’s Second Fridays outdoor movies, or a festival downtown. Whatever you choose to do, you’re being local. Support your neighbors by shopping at their stores, eating at their restaurants, and volunteering side-by-side for organizations that benefit the community. Together, we can make an impact in our corner of the world by supporting our local businesses and charities. Don’t get me wrong, helping those in other parts of the country and world are very important, but don’t lose sight that you’re a member of this community.

Sincerely,

Jenn Meadows

Intern for Main Street Greensburg

Senior Communication/Pre-Theology Major at the University of Indianapolis

Deadbeats pull down U.S. society

Dear Editor:

As a young man, I was a Democrat, because my parents were working class Democrats.After I entered the newspaper business, on the advertising side, I gradually became a chamber-of-commerce Republican (my dad would never have forgiven me!).

Now, in my later years, I find myself once again sharing many sympathies with the Democrats, the Republicans having come under the spell of radical right-wingers and having moved away from being the party of business.

Nevertheless, I still harbor numerous Republican feelings. One of those is the undeniable fact that the country is going under due to handing out too much money to far too many people who have done nothing to earn it.

Much is made of the fact that the problem of illegal immigrants is caused by the fact that they will do “jobs that Americans won’t do.” This is no doubt true.

Being retired and at home in the afternoons, I sometimes find myself watching those courtroom “dramas” which have sprouted up all over the TV screen. This is, of course, the fault of my wife.

Be that as it may, I’m continually amazed at the countless numbers of people who are on the dole. Being “disabled” is now a career choice for the clever work avoiders with lawyers who specialize in just such ripping off of the government.

I once knew a woman, rather well in fact, who, when someone knocked at the door, would hurry to put on her neck brace, which was part of her “disability” scam. She worked it successfully for years while gullible taxpayers supported her comfortable lifestyle.

I don’t mind paying taxes, but I do burn every April when I’m reminded that for millions of deadbeats, “tax refund time” is simply their annual and expected windfall. On these court shows, people always promise to pay for their used car or whatever, when they “get their tax money.” The most awful part is that many of these people getting thousands of dollars in “tax refunds” never paid any taxes to start with. It’s impossible to get a “refund” of something not paid to begin with, but it’s possible under government double-talk and sleight-of-hand.

In an earlier and more sensible era, many folks worked at jobs they didn’t particularly like – it was called “earning a living.” Now millions expect the government to support them, cradle to grave. And, to our shame, the government does so. Of course, that “government money” is actually money obtained from legitimate taxpayers such as yourself.

And, to step on some local toes, I believe if one were to canvass the people who line up for free groceries at churches, pantries and so forth, one would find that they are the same people, same families, generation after generation. They’ll never change as long as the free stuff keeps coming. Why should they?

I must include here a mention of the woman who once wrote a bitter letter of complaint to the local newspaper. In it she whined that every year she could remember they had always gotten a turkey with their Thanksgiving food basket. This year they only got a chicken! Apparently ruined their big family celebration.

Do-gooders and bleeding hearts tell us, “But these people have never been raised or trained to have a work ethic.” Possibly, if sadly, so.

It would be entirely proper to call upon these burdens-on-society to be conscience-stricken, but they have no conscience. A conscience is another quality they didn’t get along with a work ethic.

I firmly believe hunger would be a powerful incentive to find some sort of useful work, even if it was the “kind of work Americans won’t do.” Note the use of the word “won’t,” not “can’t.”

Best regards to those who can work and who do so.

Norm Voiles

Rushville

P.S. I draw Social Security and am a strong believer in the program, but even it is long past due for updating and reworking to make it viable down the road.

Library offers thanks for successful Summer Reading Program

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Children’s Room of the Greensburg Decatur County Public Library, I would like to publicly thank the many generous sponsors of the annual Summer Reading program. Without their support it would be very difficult to have a program that kids and families enjoy and more importantly, a program that keeps kids motivated to read all summer long. Studies show that children who read during the summer are better prepared for school when it resumes in the fall. That is the ultimate goal of the Summer Reading Program, to make sure that children have the necessary tools to succeed in school and life.

This year 1,809 children and adults participated in the “Dig Into Reading” Summer Reading Program! Over 1,000 new books were given away to children as well as ride coupons for the Decatur County 4-H Fair and food coupons from many local restaurants. Kids who read were also treated to a free pool party at Allen Memorial swimming pool. Drawings for prizes like Dr. Dre Beats Headphones, a Kindle Fire, gift cards, King’s Island tickets and $50 savings bonds donated by local banks, were also held.

Besides reading, kids were able to participate in many fun programs. They made crafts, learned how to make their own book trailers, decorated cupcakes, made dart art, played a Life-size version of the game Candy Land, attended the “Unofficial Hunger Games Survival Course”, attended story time programs and so much more! Other fun events throughout the summer like “Silly Safari’s Animal Show” with Coyote Chris, Family Time Entertainment’s, “The Water Show”, “ Leonardo’s Family Rock and Roll” Show, and “Aesop’s Fable” story telling program from Minnetrista Theater were enjoyed as well. In all, over 2,500 people attended programs at the Greensburg/Decatur Co. Public Library this summer!

Of course, everything that makes the summer reading program so exciting and fun for kids takes money and sponsorship. Many businesses and organizations in Decatur County willingly came forward with money and donations. I would like to thank all of the following sponsors:

Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, Wal-Mart, Decatur County Community Foundation, The Friends of the Library, Tri-Kappa, Psi Iota Xi, Watkins Cleaning, Inc., Delta Theta Tau, Knights of St. John, The Optimist Club of Greensburg, Decatur County Shrine Club, Kiwanis Club, Greensburg Lion’s Club, Decatur County YMCA, Hampton Inn and Suites, Just Loafin’, Davis and Daughters’ Car Wash, The Fine Grind, First Federal Savings and Loan, Napoleon State Bank, Old National Bank, Greensburg and Westport Dairy Queen, Arby’s, Papa John’s Pizza, Little Caesars’, Wendy’s, Pizzalicious, and Luehr’s Ideal Rides.

The residents of Decatur County are very lucky to live in such a generous community. We hope to see you soon at the Greensburg/Decatur County Public Library!

Sincerely,

Jill Pratt

Children’s Librarian