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Short Takes – July 11, 2012

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on July 10, 2012 with No Comments

JULY IS PARK AND RECREATION MONTH
Lake County Parks reminder
Since 1985, America has celebrated July as the nation’s official Park and Recreation Month.  We, too, at the Lake County Parks and Recreation Department, recognize the month as a reminder of the values parks and recreation bring to the community. We know people of all ages benefit from spending time outdoors or participating in recreational activities – and sometimes it’s the simple things that create the best memories.  We also know that American children have changed how they spend their playtime and, as a result, their relationship to nature and the outdoors. Today’s digital era, compounded by loss of green space, has left kids plugged in and tuned out to nature, opting instead for time online or with a cell phone. But, did you know that studies indicate that participation in outdoor activities in natural settings has been shown to increase self-esteem, decrease Attention-Deficit Disorder symptoms, and contribute to early learning and emotional and physical development in children?  Take the kids outside.  What a simple idea. Here’s food for thought.  What would happen if you changed your dinner location from the family kitchen to your favorite park site or even the back yard?  The kids will probably think of it as an adventure.  And really, when was the last time you had a picnic just for the fun of it?  Give it a try.  For more information, visit the Lake County Parks at .

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Midwest Living magazine feature
Two Porter County businesses are featured in the August edition of Midwest Living:  The Rolling Stonebaker in Beverly Shores and Tonya’s Patisserie in Chesterton. The Rolling Stonebaker is one of 14 Midwest food trucks featured in an article called “Best street eats.” The magazine writes, “Wood-fired pizzas served from a vintage Studebaker fire truck satisfy hungry diners near the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Our fave? The ‘Choke-and-‘Shroom Pizza.” Tonya’s Patisserie is included in an article titled “Quick beach trip.” The magazine writes, “Before you spend a day along the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, fuel up at a tiny cafe that’s hard to find but worth the search. Tonya’s Patisserie hides inside a two-story home…Follow the scent of fresh-baked bread inside, and you’ll find a cozy dining room with a shabby-chic feel. Opened in 2009, the restaurant has a handwritten menu that changes weekly and offers sweet potato ravioli with brown butter apples and fried green tomatoes on ciabatta drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Desserts include sweetly decorated cupcakes and big gooey cinnamon rolls that are worth the calories–and the hunt.” Lorelei Weimer, Indiana Dunes Tourism executive director, said the tourism bureau encourages the 3 million people who visit the dunes each year to explore the communities of Porter County and discover great food — like The Rolling Stonebaker and Tonya’s Patisserie — as well as great attractions, shopping and lodging. Earlier this year, Midwest Living’s “Best of the Midwest Travel” publication highlighted Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast in Valparaiso, Bistro 157 in Valparaiso, the Indiana Dunes, Octave Grill, Bartlett’s Gourmet Grill and Tavern in Beverly Shores, and DunesWalk Inn in Chesterton.

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Volunteers part of National River Cleanup
Local citizens are banding together to tackle litter in Deep River as part of National River Cleanup. Northwest Indiana Outdoors LTD will conduct a river cleanup with the help of multiple volunteers on Saturday, July 28.  “Northwest Indiana Outdoors LTD is dedicated to protecting Deep River because a healthy community starts with a healthy river. Clean and healthy rivers provide everything from clean drinking water to recreation opportunities to fish and wildlife habitat,” said Joe R. Kalocinski, director/organizer for Northwest Indiana Outdoors LTD. American Rivers’ National River Cleanup is a series of nationwide community-based river and stream cleanups.  This popular annual event raises public awareness about the need for healthy rivers and is great opportunity for civic engagement. Northwest Indiana Outdoors LTD will be participating along with tens of thousands of volunteers taking part in hundreds of cleanups across the country to remove trash from local waterways. “Northwest Indiana Outdoors LTD is committed to keeping Deep River clean so we can protect and restore it for us – and future generations. Participating in a river clean-up is one way that citizens can do their part for the river we all love,” said Joe R Kalocinski. The July 28th Deep River cleanup will start at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers are to meet in the main parking lot of Deep River County Park (on 73rd Avenue).  For more information or to sign up, visit northwestindianaoutdoors.org.  Sponsors are also needed to donate items for this event.  For more information on river cleanups happening throughout the watershed, around the state or across the country, visit . Northwest Indiana Outdoors LTD is a not-for-profit club dedicated to getting people outdoors, offering a wide range of activities from hiking, backpacking and camping to snowshoeing. American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. For more information, visit or .

ENVIRONMENTAL PLATE
Supports land conservation efforts
The Indiana Heritage Trust has launched a new marketing campaign aimed at building awareness and increasing sales of the environmental license plate that supports Department of Natural Resources (DNR) land conservation efforts. This new campaign and its accompanying artwork playfully position the plate as the “Protector of Indiana’s Environment” and details what types of conservation efforts in Indiana benefit from plate sales. It also introduces a new tagline: When you renew, choose blue. The Playful Protector campaign comes on the heels of the Environmental Plate’s 20th anniversary. As the original specialty plate of the state, sales have helped protect more than 56,000 acres in Indiana, including such notable areas as Eagle Marsh in Fort Wayne and Kankakee Sands in Morocco. Indiana Heritage Trust marketing manager Jeanine Bobenmoyer said, “Our goal with this new campaign is to reignite the image of the environmental plate, captivate our target audiences with the successes of the past 20 years, and drive new plate holders. The face of the little boy in the campaign artwork shows a sweet youthfulness and represents the many generations of future Hoosiers who will benefit from the land, waters and wildlife we are able to conserve because of each plate sale.” The environmental plate costs $40, which includes a $15 processing fee for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The remaining $25 goes directly to protection of Indiana’s land, waters and wildlife. For more information about the environmental plate, visit .

AVOID ACCIDENTAL FIRES
Proper handling and disposal of fireworks, cigarettes crucial
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security and Indiana State Police are reminding Hoosiers that proper disposal of cigarettes and safe handling of fireworks is critical to avoid accidentally starting a fire. “Two-thirds of Indiana’s counties have issued burn bans and numerous jurisdictions have placed restrictions on the use of fireworks because dry conditions are very favorable for fire,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “Hoosiers are ultimately responsible for knowing what local fireworks restrictions are in place and are liable for any damage or injuries caused by the use of fireworks or improperly discarded lit cigarettes.” Throwing anything burning out of a moving vehicle is illegal and can result in a fine of up to $10,000. When tossed from a building or a moving car, cigarettes remain warm enough to quickly spark a blaze in dry grass or other vegetation. Launching fireworks from the side of a road or off a building is also illegal. Fireworks may only be legally discharged from private property with the permission of the owner, or from public areas specifically designated for launching fireworks.  With low humidity and dry, windy conditions, small fires can quickly grow into large ones. If smoke from a nearby grass fire is inhibiting visibility on roadways, pull over and stop. Driving through these conditions is extremely dangerous as visibility can be diminished to almost zero and breathing may become difficult.  Hoosiers are encouraged to report any unattended fires to 911 immediately. The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, a division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, has compiled a list of jurisdictions with known fireworks restrictions and burn bans. These lists are available at dhs.in.gov under “Topics of the Day.” For more information about fireworks safety tips and laws, visit overnight delivery. dapoxetine tablets india co real warfare 2: northern crusades. 120 mg without a prescription online .

SELECTED NATION’S BEST AGAIN
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Proclaiming the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) as the "best in the nation," Governor Mitch Daniels recently announced that the agency has earned its third International Customer Service Award from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) in the past five years. "The Indiana BMV has gone from being the worst to the best over the past seven years thanks to the hard work and dedication of employees from South Bend to Evansville and Terre Haute to Richmond. They have created a culture of customer service that is second to none," said Daniels. "The BMV’s remarkable transformation benefits everyone." In the most recent customer survey, the BMV’s satisfaction rating was 95.9 percent. Statewide, average branch visit times are consistently under 15 minutes.  At the central office, titles that once took four to six weeks to process are now completed in three days. Similar improvements in service can be noted in all BMV activities. The AAMVA Customer Service Award is presented annually to an agency that has demonstrated exceptional service based on overall performance or a specific program.  The Indiana BMV first received the award in 2008 and then again in 2010. R. Scott Waddell, BMV Commissioner, explained that the agency is continuing to explore ways to further improve customer service and control operating costs at the same time.  He cited the "Customer Choices" initiative that has created more convenient ways for customers to do business with the BMV and for many customers, eliminated the need to visit a license branch.  To date in 2012, over 70 percent of all registration/plate renewals are being completed online, by mail or by phone.  Using the new online renewal option, 30 percent of driver’s licenses are being renewed through the zyban next day delivery website. The Indiana BMV completes over 13 million transactions each year including the registration of 7.2 million vehicles and watercraft.  The agency also licenses and maintains the records of over 4.6 million drivers. Almost 4 million customers annually visit the BMV’s 138 license branches, and the website has 4.8 million visitors each year.

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