Short Takes

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized


Published on September 22, 2010 with No Comments

Seek new AmeriCorps members
AmeriCorps is an opportunity to make a big difference in your life and in the lives of those around you. It is a chance to apply your skills and ideals toward helping others and meeting critical needs in Porter and Lake Counties. As an AmeriCorps member, you will gain new skills and experiences. You will also find the tremendous satisfaction that comes from helping others. Our AmeriCorps members address critical needs in Northwest Indiana. Some AmeriCorps members tutor disadvantaged, struggling and at risk youth.

Some may help facilitate the development of service-learning projects, or help youth make career choices as an Encore Advisor. Some may help facilitate after-school programs, or help teach life skills to youth and adults. During the term of service, full-time (1700 hour) members and part-time (900) hour members receive a modest living allowance. In addition to the living allowance, all members who fully complete their term of service receive a Segal Education Award. The education award can be used pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans. Further, members with qualifying student loans are eligible for student loan deferment during their term of service. Full-time members also receive health insurance and child care if eligible. For more information, contact Deb Townsend, program director for the United Way of Porter County, at 464-3583.

Offers assistance to homeowners
Valparaiso homeowners who are low-income, elderly or disabled and who would benefit from repairs or renovations to their homes are encouraged to apply for assistance from Rebuilding Together-Valparaiso. Hundreds of volunteers will work on a wide variety of home repair and revitalization projects during Rebuilding Together-Valparaiso’s 22nd annual Work Day, taking place April 16, 2011. Those eligible for assistance must own and live in the home being worked on, meet federal low-income guidelines or be disabled or elderly. “We know the dramatic difference that the helping hands of Rebuilding Together volunteers make in our neighbors’ quality of life,” Jeffrey Lamb, president of Rebuilding Together-Valparaiso and a local Thrivent Financial consultant, said. “We have a tremendous need for caring and compassionate people who can donate time and resources to help struggling families continue to be able to live in their homes in safety, warmth and comfort.” Rebuilding Together is the nation’s largest volunteer organization preserving and revitalizing low-income homes and communities. Since 1990, Rebuilding Together-Valparaiso, formerly known as Christmas in April, has brought volunteers together throughout the community to help approximately 300 elderly, disabled and low-income homeowners. For more information or to receive an application, visit Valparaiso City Hall, 166 Lincolnway, or visit Those who do not have access to a computer and who cannot leave home to get an application can have one mailed to their home by calling 548-4827. Applications should be turned in by Oct. 31 to Rebuilding Together-Valparaiso, 166 Lincolnway in Valparaiso. For more information, call 800-473-4229.

Healthy Business
The Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the free luncheon entitled “Healthy Woman, Healthy Business: Strive for Optimal Health.” The event is sponsored by Porter Health System and Healthy Woman, a Porter Health System Resource, and will take place on Thursday, Oct. 7 at Hawthorne Community Center, 500 Ackerman Drive in Porter. Registration and networking is at 11:30 a.m. with lunch and a presentation at noon. This free luncheon is ideal for area businesswomen who wish to build relationships, network with one another, and are interested in having optimal health in both their professional and personal lives. The speaker of the Healthy Woman, Healthy Business luncheon is Dr. Sujittra Niyakorn, who joined Westchester Medical Group in March 2010 as a Family Practice physician. The caterer, offering healthy options in coordination with the luncheon, is Good to Go by Lucrezia, the new Italian deli in downtown Chesterton. This luncheon is free to attend, however, registration is required. For more information or to RSVP, contact Tiffany Bley at 926-5513, or at ealhtyHea

To Host Open House
The Internal Revenue Service office in Merrillville will host a special open house on Saturday, Sept. 25 to help taxpayers – especially veterans and people with disabilities – solve tax problems and respond to IRS notices. The Merrillville IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center, located at 233 E. 84th Dr., will be open from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., and IRS staff will be available on-site or by telephone to help taxpayers work through issues and leave with solutions. The Merrillville IRS office will be equipped to handle issues involving notices and payments, return preparation, audits and a variety of other issues. Taxpayers requiring special services, such as interpretation for the deaf or hard of hearing, should check local listings and call the local IRS Office/Taxpayer Assistance Center ahead of time to schedule an appointment. For more information, call 736-4378 or visit

Sheriff’s Department
Law enforcement has always been aware that residential neighborhoods are popular targets for criminal opportunists who prey on the unprepared. Most people are unwilling to create a fortress-like atmosphere in their homes even though it may prevent crime because no one wants to feel that they must live in an armed camp. Police officers have counseled residents for years on ways to benignly “harden the target” of their homes through traditional methods of making the property look occupied. We know that burglars generally try to avoid human contact when committing their crimes. If they believe that someone is home they tend to move on to a different location. Even when homeowners try their best to fool the criminal, very often the bad guys will “test” to see if someone is actually at home. The criminal will knock on the door to see if someone answers. If the resident opens it the thief will have prepared a “plausible” story for why they are there such as looking for a person or address. If there is no answer they will likely force open the door and quickly look for valuables. Law enforcement agencies will never have sufficient manpower to saturate patrols in neighborhoods. We have always relied on citizen reports of suspicious activity to guide us toward problem areas. Through the use of a new neighborhood watch paradigm called “Look Out For Each Other” we in public safety hope to capitalize on the power of neighbors to alert emergency services whatever the need. “Look Out For Each Other” gives everyone an equal benefit and responsibility in neighborhood vigilance. Since there are no titles or specific duties conferred on individuals there is no schedule or work load to be distributed among participants. With the exception of sparsely populated rural areas most homes are arranged so that in a general sense, neighbors are positioned on either side, across the street and behind that house with varying degrees of visibility. For more information, visit, or call 477-3000.

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