Short Takes: October 12, 2011

Written by Nicholas Serrano. Posted in Short Takes

Published on October 11, 2011 with No Comments


Northern Indiana Takes the Lead

The Electric Vehicle and Electric Charging Infrastructure Workshop is Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the IBEW, 7200 Mississippi St., Merrillville, from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The Purpose of this workshop will be to discuss Electric Vehicle Readiness, charging manufacturers, permitting processes, and next steps for coordination throughout Northern Indiana. Workshop Participants Include: Argonne National Laboratory; Azure Dynamics; Carbon Day Automotive; Eighty Twenty Power Corp.; Electric Motor Cars; Ford; General Motors; IBEW; Indiana Office of Energy Development; Ivy Tech; National Electrical Manufacturers Association (Nema); Navistar; NIPSCO; Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC); Partners for Clean Air; Plug-in Vehicle Solutions; Think North America; Toyota; U-Go Stations; U.S. Department of Energy and 350 Green. There is no Charge for workshop but pre-registration is required. Breakfast and lunch will be offered. For more information or to register, call South Shore Clean Cities 644-3690.

Velazquez Testifies for Union

Climbs Indiana Stage in Speech

Portage Mayor Olga Velazquez has testified in Indianapolis before the Indiana Senate Study Committee against “right to work” legislation. Being the mayor of a city such as Portage, a place that thousands of union members call home, Velazquez said it is her duty to speak out against this legislation and shed light on the faulty arguments and statistics employed by its proponents. “Proponents of Right to Work say you must limit union rights to have economic development. That is simply not true,” the mayor said. “We have, during the past few years, been able to attract major industry and new businesses to Portage and we are a strong ‘union city.’ Moreover, it has been shown that ‘right to work’ legislation disproportionally affects women, especially single mothers, that are compelled to work multiple jobs, because of the lowering of wages under this legislation, in order to maintain their families.” Velazquez is proud to have been one of the first mayors in Indiana to lead the fight against these attempts at making Indiana a ‘right to work’ state as well as the assault on Indiana’s middle class that has been seen in states throughout the Midwest, such as Wisconsin and Ohio. Under her leadership, Portage was one of the first cities in the state to pass a resolution against the legislature’s attempt to enact a ‘right to work’ law this past March. Velazquez has pledged to continue this fight for as long as those in the legislature continue their efforts to weaken the unions. “With so many families struggling to make ends meet, we should not make it worse by lowering their wages and silencing their voices and I will do whatever I can as Mayor of Portage to keep that from happening.”


Independent Cat Society

Black Cat Promotions

The Independent Cat Society is promoting the black cats and kittens in our shelter for the month of October. The “Black Pearls of the Shelter” promotion is offering one-third off the regular adoption fee of any black cat or kitten in our shelter. This adoption fee includes spay or neuter, current vaccines, flea treatment and nail clipping. We also include a free initial vet visit with one of our participating vets within one week of the adoption. But we also have many other wonderful cats and kittens looking for good homes at our standard adoption fee. Come out and meet these wonderful cats and make one or two of them your new forever friends. For more information, call 785-4936, Dorothy Ripperdan at 762-2791 or


Northwest Indiana Symphony

Presents Peter and the Wolf

Join the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and Music Director/Conductor Kirk Muspratt at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21 for “Prokoviev 5 & Peter and the Wolf” at The Auditorium within Bethel Church, 10202 Broadway, Crown Point. Bethel Church Pastor Steve DeWitt will provide the narration for Peter and the Wolf. This family-friendly evening is the perfect concert to share with children or grandchildren. In this all-Russian concert, follow in suspense as a young boy named Peter saves his friends from a menacing wolf, and rejoice as foreign sailors come to the aid of an over-worked laborer. Prokoviev’s resounding Symphony No. 5 will leave you breathless. Hear it for the first time or relive childhood memories. “Prokoviev expresses the richness of the human spirit through a cat, a duck, a bird and a boy.” Maestro Muspratt said. Tickets are $25-$65; student tickets are $10. This concert is sponsored by the Crown Point Community Foundation and Kay and William Depel. For more information, call the Symphony office at 836-0525 or visit the website at to order tickets for “Prokoviev 5 & Peter and the Wolf.”


Driver’s License art?


Bureau of Motor Vehicle Request

Hoosiers with drivers’ licenses expiring in 2012 should plan to renew early according to Scott Waddell, Commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Next year, a record 2.2 million driver’s licenses expire, compared with 330,000 in 2010 and 260,000 in 2011.To date, nearly 190,000 customers have renewed driver’s licenses early to avoid potential lines at the license branches. Indiana law allows Hoosiers to renew a driver’s license up to one year before expiration.” We are strongly encouraging customers to renew driver’s licenses early either online or by visiting a license branch,” commented Waddell. “Over half of all drivers’ licenses expire next year and we are concerned about the possibility of longer lines in 2012. While we are making plans to handle the increased volume, the best way to avoid the crowds in 2012 is to renew your driver’s license in 2011.” Drivers cannot renew online if they need to update personal information, including name and address, are older than 70 or have six points or more on their licenses. A complete list of the restrictions is on the website. Customers are advised that Tuesdays and Saturdays are the busiest days at most license branches. To encourage people to renew early, the BMV has been sending courtesy reminder birthday cards and emails to customers with the following messages. Many driver’s licenses may be renewed online at without visiting license branch. If your driver’s license expires in 2012, you can renew it the day after your birthday in 2011 and the new expiration date will still be 2018. Waddell reminded drivers that the BMV now prints and mails all driver’s licenses from a central processing facility whether the renewal is completed online or at a license branch.

contaminant removal

Focus of PUC Water Institute Lecture

Pharmaceutical contaminant removal will be discussed at 11 a.m., on Tuesday, Oct. 25, as part of Purdue University Calumet’s Water Institute lecture series. Presenter Jorg E. Drewes, Colorado School of Mines associate director, will present and compare technologies used in removing pharmaceutical contaminants from water bodies. The lecture will be in Room 123 of Purdue Calumet’s Powers Computer Education Building. Admission is free. The lecture is part of The Water Institute Series: Discussions on the Frontier of Water Technology and Research Innovations. “This seminar series is aimed at transferring cutting edge scientific knowledge about water technology and emerging contaminants to a diverse audience comprised of the technical community and the general public,” Purdue Calumet Water Institute Director, Professor and Interim Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering George Nnanna said. The Purdue Calumet Water Institute is an interdisciplinary, academic research arm of the university, at which researchers evaluate and develop advanced water technologies in response to public water infrastructure, environmental and economic development-related challenges of regional, national and global significance. The Water Institute and Department of Mechanical Engineering are sponsoring the lecture series. To learn more, call 989-8411, or visit the Water Institute on line at Remaining scheduled lectures, all beginning at 11 a.m. in Room 123 of the Powers Computer Education Building, are: Friday, Nov. 11 – The development of sustainable catalytic processes for removing oxyanions from drinking water, University of Illinois Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Charles Werth; and Thursday, Dec. 1 – Membrane Technology, Johns Hopkins University Geography and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Kai Loon Chen


Offers a Glimpse of the Field

“Problems in Public Relations,” a senior-level course offered at Purdue University Calumet, allows students to take what they’ve learned and apply it to the “real world” as an experiential learning requirement to graduation. These college students walked into the class as students and by mid-December, they will walk out as professionals after running their own non-profit consulting firm, Starting Point Solutions. As with any successful organization, good leadership is a key to success. Starting Point Solutions recently elected Lane Lareau as their CEO to guide them to their promised land. He is a senior at PUC with experience in the public relations field. Having written for the PUC Chronicle newspaper, interned with the school and worked as media assistant at Bethel Church, he continuously practices his craft. He has written press releases, coordinated events, written scripts and worked to partner with media outlets. Lareau founded 714 Gathering, a non-profit organization in March 2010. He plans to take what he’s learned from managing his organization and applying it to his CEO position at SPS. He plans to continue the current structure of the SPS board and use what has made the organization thrive and improve. For the past 22 years, under the guidance of Thomas Roach, Ph.D, Purdue Calumet student consulting firms just like this one have served organizations such as American Steel, Munster Police Department, U.S. Cable, the City of Hammond, Showboat, United Way, B.P. Amoco, Graycor Inc., Prompt Ambulance Service, the City of Portage, People’s Bank, NIPSCO, and many others. Organizations interested in obtaining a communication audit may call Chantel Embers, marketing chairman at 427-8638.

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