Short Takes: March 7, 2012

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Published on March 08, 2012 with No Comments


Community Sustainability Recognized

Lt. Governor Becky Skillman announced three recipients of a pilot grant to study how to make communities friendly for residents of all ages. Communities for a Lifetime, a collaborative effort among state agencies, educational institutions and non-profit organizations, encourages cities and towns to welcome, value, and support the meaningful participation of people of all abilities across the entire lifespan. The winning communities who will receive $16,000 planning grants are Valparaiso, Huntington and Linton. “Communities for a Lifetime is truly a collaborative and innovative effort for Indiana,” said Skillman, who chairs the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. “For the first time communities are looking at their long-term sustainability and determining what solutions will ensure their residents are invested and thriving in their communities of choice for years to come.” Through a competitive process, three of the nine communities who submitted a letter of interest were selected to participate in this pilot program. Each will receive grants to complete a five-month planning process that will include determining the local need and walkability to food, medical care, and amenities. Other aspects will include setting safety standards, finding ways to locally promote intergenerational interactions and civic engagement, and maximizing independence for their residents. “This initiative puts Indiana at the leading edge of the growing age-friendly community movement,” said Dr. Phil Stafford, director of the Center on Aging and Community at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community. “We look forward to path-breaking work by these three communities.” For more information, visit .  developed an can you discount valacyclovir system guides.

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State Rep. Charlie Brown Oversees Public Health Legislation 

Senate Bill 15 (SB 15) calls for greater oversight by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the office of the secretary of Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) over services helping people with brain injuries and neurobehavioral rehabilitation programs. “Rehabilitation programs for those with brain injuries is something that Indiana has severely lacked in the past,” said State Rep. Charlie Brown. “The bill will create a committee whose entire focus will be set upon this issue.” The 15-member Brain Injury Treatment committee will assess the current services offered to those with brain injuries in the state, as well as determining how to implement new services and programs.  “Not only will the committee kick-start a state response to brain injury rehabilitation, they will also develop a license for such programs,” said Brown. The committee will also be charged with determining if Medicaid funds can be used to assist in opening the facilities.  Senate Bill 224 (SB 224) will require a written and oral report be submitted to the health finance commission from the emergency medical service commission, the division of fire and safety, and the ISDH. “This legislation will simply bring clarity to the way that emergency response personnel function,” said Brown. It will also include an outline for the method of determining which hospital an ambulance is to take a patient to, as well as a holistic review of the Indiana’s trauma care system. “SB 224 will bring accountability to emergency medical procedure,” said Brown. “It is my hope that these reports will reveal any flaws that may be hidden within the procedural system so that we can address them. “Both of these pieces of legislation will shed light on issues that have not been addressed or need greater clarification.” Both measures are expected to go to house-senate conference committees to reach a final agreement.  


Visclosky Makes Announcement

U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky announced a federal award by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to Valparaiso University.  The award will be used to fund the “U.S.–Japan Bilateral Workshop: The Tropical Tropopause Layer” under the direction of Professor Gary Morris. The funds will go toward participation in a research workshop between American and Japanese students and faculty, providing experience for students, and fostering international cooperation. President Mark A. Heckler of Valparaiso University said, “We are very pleased by the National Science Foundation’s support of this exciting international workshop that will spark continued collaboration and research around such critical topics as climate change and stratospheric chemistry. I commend Professor Gary Morris from Valparaiso University, and his fellow organizers in the United States and Japan, for conceiving of a workshop that not only gathers today’s experts, but also invites undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students to participate. The results will be immediate gains in our understanding from experienced scientists and future gains from the concurrent development and mentoring of the next-generation of atmospheric researchers.”  Visclosky said, “I commend the efforts of Valparaiso University’s faculty and staff to develop exceptional educational opportunities for their students. This program will provide invaluable experience for participating students and faculty, and is one more reason why Valparaiso University is regarded as an elite national university.” The award will be effective July 1 and totals $35,418. More information regarding the award will be available at the NSF award abstracts database at . 


Hoosiers Celebrate Statewide Initiative

Indiana Governor Mitchell E. Daniels, in conjunction with the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, has proclaimed the month of March as Disability Awareness Month. This year’s campaign theme, “Celebrating Community,” is a call for all members of our communities to join forces and engage in conversations to explore the opportunities that exist to advance the quality of life for each of its members. For more than two decades, the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities has spearheaded Disability Awareness Month by partnering with a sponsor on a statewide grassroots awareness campaign and creating theme-specific materials, distributed free of charge. Materials include posters, bookmarks, stickers and activity-planning packets that assist individuals in planning events in local communities. This year’s campaign, co-sponsored by Duke Energy, depicts a typical community, where a cross-section of people with and without disabilities, representing various ages and ethnic backgrounds are gathered.  “It is essential we recognize that the force behind a vibrant community is community spirit. Our vision is to ignite that spirit and keep the flame burning to enable communities to reach new heights,” said Suellen Jackson-Boner, executive director of the Governor’s Council. “By engaging all citizens in a meaningful dialogue, building strong ties between the public and private sector, and creating opportunities to work toward shared common goals in developing communities, we can all play a part in creating communities for a lifetime for citizens of all ages and ethnicities, with and without disabilities.” In 2011, the campaign, “Cultivate Inclusion,” directly reached almost 72,000 people through grassroots efforts, special events and educational programming. Nearly 4,000 people were involved in over 2,100 hours of planning those activities. To learn more about March Disability Awareness Month, please visit www.indianadisabilityawareness.org. For more information about the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, visit . 


Still Time For Exhibitors To Register

The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County continues to accept online exhibitor and vendor registrations from Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties and beyond to participate in the 2012 Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration on April 21. There is still time for participants to enjoy the maximum advertising benefits of the event. The largest free environmental event in Northwest Indiana, the Earth Day Celebration annually draws more than 4,000 attendees who are concerned about the environment and interested in connecting with exhibitors and vendors to learn how they can become greener in their everyday lives. Exhibitors sought include organizations and businesses that can provide environmental awareness and products to attendees that will inspire them to become more environmentally-conscious. Held outdoors over the last six years, this year’s celebration will be held inside the Porter County Expo Center in Valparaiso. Exhibitors will have the opportunity to set up the day before the event, which was not an option when the celebration was outdoors. The district also seeks Earth Day event co-sponsors. The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County is an agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life through education and waste reduction services. For more information, call Donna at 465-3819 or visit www.itmeanstheworld.org. online canadian pharmacy store! cost at walmart . online drugstore, zoloft for sale online.

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Gain Knowledge and Lead Tours

Taltree Arboretum and Gardens will host two volunteer orientation sessions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 17 and 24 in the Taltree Railway Garden Depot. Anyone is welcome to attend the free sessions, which will cover general information about Taltree, a tour of grounds and gardens, plant collections information, and safety procedures. Volunteer opportunities include events/outreach, office help, Taltree store assistant, eradicators and pest patrollers, gardening and grounds maintenance. Attendees should bring a lunch and be prepared to walk the trails. Taltree is also accepting new members to the docent program, which is scheduled to begin in April. Anyone with an interest in becoming more knowledgeable about the environment can become a docent. Docent training is set for 9 a.m. to noon on March 29, April 5, 19, and 26 in the Taltree classroom, 71 N. 500 West, Valparaiso. Docents act as knowledgeable guides for visitors, including leading tours and hikes for senior citizens and school children, promoting the arboretum’s mission at events, and discussing featured exhibits and curriculum. To become a docent, individuals must engage in a program of study and trainings. The program includes education on the gardens and natural areas of Taltree. Once the initial program is completed, docents will shadow hikes and tours, allowing them to increase and share their knowledge. As a member of the arboretum, docents receive invitations to special activities at the arboretum and visit a variety of arboreta and gardens. This year, a trip to the Frederic Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park/Morton Arboretum is planned. For more information about volunteer orientation or the docent program, call Anna Mroz, volunteer coordinator, at 742-2778 or email at amroz@taltree.org.



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