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Opinion

  • Indiana's long-term care system is out of balance. Studies confirm that most Hoosiers prefer to receive long-term care services and support in their home, or in a home-like setting, instead of a nursing homes. Yet according to our Division of Aging, Indiana is ranked 45th among all states in 2009 in the amount of dollars spent on long-term care services to support Hoosiers in the home or community.

  • District 78 Rep. Suzanne Crouch has co-authored a bill in the Indiana General Assembly to try to keep people out of nursing homes longer. This seems like a good idea because it is what most elderly people prefer and it should save the state money.

    In recent years several states have taken measures similar to the one proposed by Crouch.

    In 2005 Maryland had 400 disabled and 2,800 elderly people enrolled in a pilot program to allow them to live in their own homes instead of nursing homes.

  • As bets go, two $10 wagers that I could lose more weight than other dieters aren't substantial from a monetary standpoint. But losing is a blow to my pride and an indictment of my willpower.

    Technically, I haven't lost the two "Biggest Loser-type" contests inspired by the TV show. But it's looking that way.

  • Editor's Note: This column was provided by Purdue University's Extension Service. Columnist B. Rosie Lerner is a consumer horticulturalist. Here she answers two questions provided by Hoosier gardeners.

    I have two large pecan trees that have a problem. One tree is 75 feet tall with a 30-foot spread. The other is about half this size. Both trees were started with nuts. Both produce large quantities of nuts that do not mature.

  • "Edge of Darkness" marks the first time Mel Gibson has starred in a film for nearly eight years. It's a shame Mel waited this long, because he's still got it.

    Maybe you feel differently about him after all the controversy of the past few years. If his remarks or actions made you hate him, this film isn't going to bring you back on his side. If, like me, you ignore controversy and just watch a movie, then you'll get a nostalgic feeling while watching "Edge of Darkness" and you'll wish Mel never took a break.

  • We're not sure how much it amounted to, in terms of the salaries involved, paper and ink expended and so on, but if Indiana school systems are to absorb $297 million in funding cuts, a refund of the costs for developing the "Citizens Checklist" would be a good start.

  • I pounded out this column on Friday as the area was preparing for another round of snow. I won't mind the few inches that were forecast as long as it doesn't turn to ice like it did last Tuesday and moves us one step closer to spring.

  • Editor's Note: The Hoosier National Forest will celebrate its 75th anniversary Feb. 6. Over the next year, Teena Ligman, a public-affairs specialist for the forest, will share aspects of the history of the forest and land-restoration efforts in southern Indiana.

    Congress gave the president authority in 1891 to create forest reserves out of the public domain. Since public-domain lands existed almost entirely in the West, most of the early forest reserves were in the West.

  • Indiana Rep. David Wolkins made a strange suggestion recently.

    A friend of Wolkins who works in a landfill reportedly told the representative that the majority of waste that he sees in his line of work is tossed-out newspapers. Deciding that this was a problem that he could propose a fix to, Wolkins introduced legislation in House Bill 1355 that would tax newspapers for the newsprint they use.

    By doing this, he believes newspapers will use a greater amount of recycled content, which would reduce the number of old papers lying around in landfills.

  • January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime that affects 3.4 million victims a year. This year's theme is "Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It." The designation challenges the nation to fight this dangerous crime by learning more about it.

  • Do the collection of communities that make up Perry County have the government and school systems they want and need?

    Many residents would say "yes, we're happy with the way things are."

    That's a perfectly legitimate response. If it's the way the majority of residents feel, perhaps things should remain as they are.

    We have reason to believe, however, some people feel they aren't treated as well as others are, even though they make the same contributions through property and sales taxes.

  • It was a week or so before Christmas, while following a police officer buying clothes and toys for a young girl, that I passed a boy in the electronics section of Wal-Mart. The pre-teen, maybe 11 or 12 years old, wanted to buy a video game console of some type.

    I overhead his mom asking how he was going to pay for the purchase. The boy pulled out a small wad of bills and said he had saved his money.  

  • Poland was conquered by the Nazi juggernaut early in the second World War. After only five weeks of fierce fighting, the country capitulated.

    The German conquerors herded 450,000 Jewish inhabitants of Warsaw into a 16-block ghetto section of town where they were, in effect, imprisoned, unable to leave.

  • It seems that Hollywood is obsessed with the apocalypse these days.  Over the past year I've seen "Knowing," "Terminator: Salvation," "The Road," "Zombieland," "2012," and now "The Book of Eli."  

  • Individuals make New Year's resolutions on a wide range of topics, from shedding pounds and giving up cigarettes to saving more money for retirement and spending more time with loved ones.

  • My national television debut had me on pins and needles Dec. 29 as "Paranormal State" aired about the experiences of a local family.

    I was interviewed for the show back in October and other than the camera making me look chunkier than I thought I was, I was pleased overall.

    The show looked at the experiences of Bruce and Danielle Collins in their home between St. Meinrad and Bristow.

  • The U.S. census 2010 is on our doorstep and will be here in just a little over 60 days and it really matters to everyone in our community, our county, our state and our nation.

    Many people turn their noses up whenever the census is mentioned. But it is an extremely important part of life in America every 10 years.

    We are all part of a team and when a player doesn't do his or her part, everyone loses. The census is not something that came about during this century or the last.

  • Who knew Sherlock Holmes was so cool? If you're like me, then the idea that comes to mind when you hear the famous detective's name is that of a middle-aged man with a funny hat, a pipe and an uncanny ability to solve complicated crimes by simply paying close attention to every detail. That doesn't mean director Guy Ritchie's new version of Holmes is an unfaithful adaptation of the beloved Sir Arthur Conan Doyle creation.

  • Several years ago when one of our staff writers said she wanted to write an editorial on vandalism, she was jokingly asked, “Are you for it or against it?”

    Amazingly, an issue that should be as cut and dried as that one is now before the Indiana General Assembly - whether to prohibit texting while driving for all Indiana drivers.

  • A few weeks ago I wrote a column about thinking before speaking. It was rather tongue-in-cheek and made mention of mistaken assumptions about people, their ages and relationships.

    An e-mail arriving about the same time offered a similar example of why it’s important to think before acting and holding people accountable for wrongdoing.

    In a case shared by the author of the e-mail, pranksters had hindered a family’s ability to support itself.