Friday, May 30, 2008

Jon Costas is the Right Choice

It looks like Hoosier Access has been blasting Costas a lot lately. This calls to set the record straight. Jon Costas not only leads in endorsements of state elected officials, state legislators and local mayors, but he also leads in endorsements of Republican party leaders. Why would all of these people back Costas is Zoeller is supposedly so "experienced?" Here is what your very own leaders have said:

“It is important that the citizens of Indiana have a true conservative in the Attorney General’s office working for them,” State Representative Eric Turner (R-Cicero) said. “Jon has done Christian relief work across the globe and helped found a crisis pregnancy center in Porter County. Jon Costas has a long history of putting his conservative beliefs into action.”
“Jon Costas is the conservative Republican leader Indiana needs at its next Attorney General,” State Representative Woody Burton (R-Whiteland) said. “Jon embodies our conservative principles and family values.”

So who is backing Jon Costas? Click this image to enlarge it, so that you can get a good look!



190 New Jobs Coming to Indiana

I saw this over at endiana.com:

ELKHART, Ind. (May 29, 2008) - Governor Mitch Daniels joined executives from consumer products manufacturer KIK Custom Products today to announce the company's plans to consolidate some of its contract manufacturing of personal care and household products in Elkhart, expand its operations here and create approximately 190 new jobs by the end of 2009.

The maker of brand name personal care and household products for global companies such as Johnson & Johnson, L'Oreal, Proctor & Gamble, and Unilever, is expected to invest more than $7 million to build and equip three new production lines, three new gashouses and a new compounding operation at the company's existing 1.2 million square-foot facility.

"We continue to outrun all of our Midwestern competitors for new job-creating investments from great companies like KIK Custom Products, but we can't let up for a minute. We must continue to look for and land new opportunities to further strengthen and develop Indiana's economy," said Daniels.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Methodist Hospital Seeks Better ER Care in NWI

According to the NWI Times:
"Methodist hospital officials on Wednesday once again pushed for the facility to be named a trauma center for Northwest Indiana.

The Gary area, in the heart of heavy industry, at the crossroads of major transportation routes and with pockets of violent crime, is the logical choice for a trauma center site, they said....

...
This region is the only area in the state not covered by a certified trauma center. Most trauma patients are stabilized at local hospitals and transferred to Chicago trauma centers.

Already this year, 40 area residents were treated for gunshot wounds, including a 1-year-old, said Michael McGee, The Methodist Hospitals chief of emergency services.

"
One person every five days is shot," McGee said."

The problem is with funding. Congress hasn't appropriated enough money, so the state of Indiana is left to fend for itself. Seferino Farias, chief of trauma surgery at the Methodist hospitals, said that trauma patients "expect more but pay the least." And this is why trauma centers are being forced to close down all over Indiana. Read the article for more information.

New Windows 7

The new Windows 7, which will be the next release (post-Vista), is supposed to incorporate touch screen technology, possibly making the mouse obsolete. Check out this video for a short demonstration of Windows 7:



From the Associated Press:

'Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates framed the new feature as an evolution away from the mouse.

"Today almost all the interaction is keyboard-mouse," Gates said. "Over years to come, the role of speech, vision, ink—all of those—will be huge."

The software company's top two executives defended its last operating system, Vista, while acknowledging missteps. Gates said he has never been 100 percent satisfied with any Microsoft product, and that the company prides itself on fixing shortcomings in later versions.

"Vista has given more opportunity to exercise our culture than some products," he deadpanned.'

One day things could look like the below video, where multiple devices communicate via a complex network that follows you wherever you go....



NWI Blogosphere Update

First things first: NWI Reviews is hosting a NWI Blog Carnival next week! Head on over and submit an article! To see what has already been submitted in the NWI Blogosphere, click here.

New elections are possible in Israel! It appears that leadership is gearing up for this. Also, did you know that NASA recently landed on Mars? Be sure to read about it at Dalton's Briefs.

CPM Graphic ads (which pay you for impressions) perform much better than CPC ads (which pay you for clicks). Christopher Hedges broke the news that Chitika Now Offers CPM Graphic Ads.

If we have any more 80+ degree days like we did on Saturday (and we will), many of you will likely be running your air-conditioning for extended periods of time. Aaron over at EnergySaving offered some tips to cut down cooling costs that you should check out.

Dan's pastor, Steve Szoke, passed away on Tuesday afternoon, after a long battle with cancer. He thanks everyone for their prayers and support.

If you haven't heard, Porter County Politics was recently ranked in the top ten for political sites in Indiana (number eight)!

Stuck in traffic this morning? A fatal accident involving a passenger vehicle and a semitrailer early Thursday morning jammed traffic on Interstate 80/94 well into the morning commute. Did you hear about the tragic house fire in Gary? Chris Hedges writes about this morning's urban peril.

Looking for an update on the Cantrell trial and the exposed corruption in Lake County? Head over to South Shore Progressive to learn more, and also to learn about who may or may not be the next governor of Indiana.

Did you know that Scott Martin has spurned hometown Valparaiso once again for a bigger, higher-profile school? The Valparaiso High School grad and Purdue transfer has chosen Notre Dame. Find out more at Northwest Indiana Basketball.

Feel that you should have been included in this update? Write to nwiconnect@gmail.com and let us know. Participating in discussion on the site is a plus for being included ;) Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cantrell on Trial

According to the NWI Times:

"Several teachers are on the jury that will decide whether longtime East Chicago political insider Robert Cantrell, a former educator and coach, committed federal fraud.... Cantrell is charged with 11 counts of tax evasion, honest services deprivation and health insurance fraud for allegedly taking kickbacks from a contractor of North Township, where Cantrell formerly worked.

Despite the friendly and upbeat demeanor of the officials in the trial, government prosecutors could be preparing to shed light on some long-hidden secrets of Lake County.

Court records say jurors could hear about the inner workings of the North Township trustee’s office, Cantrell’s possible involvement with absentee ballots and testimony from a longtime friend who is a "person of interest" in a 1992 waterfront killing.

Stretches of the trial are expected to focus on Cantrell’s family, including his son John, a defense attorney who was granted immunity from prosecution, and Cantrell’s daughter Julie, who is a Lake Superior Court judge, records say.

Robert Cantrell was the subject of federal investigation for several years before he was indicted last year. Some observers say he is one of the most influential political insiders in Lake County, while others say his clout has waned in recent years....

...Much of the case centers on a Cantrell associate named Nancy Fromm, who owns Addiction and Family Care of Hammond and admits paying Cantrell money in exchange for government contracts.

Cantrell was the director of North Township's East Chicago relief office, and received a "finder’s fee" whenever the township hired Fromm’s company for employee counseling jobs, Fromm has said."

The Post Tribune and South Shore Progresive also have great articles on the issue.

Legislative Leaders Endorse Costas for AG

Dozens of Republican legislators, including the highest ranking Republicans in the Indiana General Assembly, Senate President Pro Tem David Long and House Republican Leader Brian Bosma, endorsed Jon Costas today to be Indiana’s next Attorney General.

“As an attorney focusing on elder law and an elected official, Jon is highly qualified to serve as Indiana's consumer protection watchdog,” House Republican Leader Brian Bosma said. “Protecting the rights and consumer interests of Hoosiers is a critical issue, and I very much look forward to working with Jon Costas as a partner in this
effort.”

“Jon Costas has the experience, judgment and leadership abilities required of Indiana’s next Attorney General,” Long said. “As an attorney, Jon has handled complex litigation, and as Mayor he’s built an impressive record of accomplishment. I know he will bring that same level of dedication and commitment to the people of Indiana as Attorney General.”

The legislators join a growing list of Republican leaders backing Costas. Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, Secretary of State Todd Rokita, State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, State Auditor Tim Berry, and 19 Indiana Mayors previously endorsed Costas.

The Republican legislators who have already endorsed Jon Costas are:

Senators:
Edward Charbonneau (Valparaiso)
Luke Kenley (Noblesville)
David Long (Fort Wayne)
James Merritt (Indianapolis)
Marvin Riegsecker (Goshen)
R. Michael Young (Indianapolis)
Beverly Gard (Greenfield)
Robert Jackman (Milroy)
Greg Walker (Columbus)

Representatives:
Bruce Borders (Jasonville)
Brian Bosma (Indianapolis)
Lawrence Buell (Indianapolis)
Woody Burton (Whiteland)
Bill Davis (Portland)
Tom Dermody (LaPorte)
Jon Elrod (Indianapolis)
William Friend (Macy)
Tim Harris (Marion)
Phillip Hinkle (Indianapolis)
Eric Koch (Bedford)
Don Lehe (Brookston)
Michael Murphy (Indianapolis)
Cindy Noe (Indianapolis)
Michael Ripley (Monroe)
Ed Soliday (Valparaiso)
Jerry Torr (Carmel)
Eric Turner (Cicero)
Jackie Walorski (Lakeville)

Costas is currently the Mayor of Valparaiso, serving in his second term. Visit the campaign website at www.joncostas2008.com to learn more or to pledge your support.



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Horses Cheaper Than Cars... And Maybe Even Safer

Kevin Tracy posted an article earlier entitled Could My Next Car Be A Horse? The article says,

"...I sat down at the computer and did a quick search on the cost of owning a horse. Roughly $4,000 a year - which is almost $2,000 a year LESS than I put on the annual total of my monthly car payments. But that $4,000 accounts for everything the horse needs... the Chevy Impala is costing me about $7,800 a year to operate. A horse would be just $4,000... Call me crazy, call me old fashioned, or just call me cheap... but outrageous gas prices have forced me to give this seemingly ludicrous idea consideration. If there are any horse owners out there, please feel free to share your knowledge."

Well Kevin, I'd like to call your attention to this NWI Times article:

"FREETOWN, Ind. - Authorities say two riders were injured when a pickup truck hit their horses from behind on Indiana 135 in Jackson County.

Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Dustin Steward says the driver fell asleep while driving northbound on Indiana 135 about 1 p.m. Monday and struck the horses.

One rider's horse fell on him while the other was knocked off his horse, The Republic of Columbus reported. Both were treated at a hospital and released.

The horses reportedly did not suffer any major injuries."

Not only did the riders live through it, but the horses were unharmed. Maybe horseback isn't such a bad idea after all.... ;)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Eminent Domain?!?

As seen on Hoosiers For Fair Taxation:

THIS IS A MUST READ, BUT DO IT ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.

As many of you know, a Speedway Redevelopment Commission decided to use eminent domain to force home owners and businesses out of Speedway, so they can put in 2 'turn-abouts' and then invite other businesses to set up shop near the track. A group called "SPEED" (protestors and remonstrators) are objecting. Please read the following and you'll see how backdoor politics works with favoritism, nepotism, and all in the family connections, and sounds very familiar to school boards' relationship to contractors. This is being reported by the local paper "The Speedway Navigator" this week. It should be on as many blogs as possible.

Read more at SpeedWayNavigator.net.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Porter County Politics Ranks High


For the first time Porter County Politics ranked in the top ten for political sites in Indiana. (number eight actually)


Links from Hoosier Pundit and Hoosier Access this week during the Jon Costas v Greg Zoeller Attorney General race have lifted us on the list. NW Indiana bloggers Blue County in Red State and Christopher Hedges have been on the list before, but this is the first time for us.
Thanks for all the support and links and comments, this Northwest Indiana blogging group is getting pretty diverse and interesting.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Jon Costas Attorney General Video Series

To see the whole series Jon Costas 2008 or go straight to Jon's Journal Blog

Leadership:

Benefit This Saturday in NWI

Looking for something to do this Saturday in NWI? Steve Szoke, a Region pastor, recently went into hospice and is continuing to struggle with end-stage rectal cancer. The benefit is to help offset medical expenses for him and the family. Steve is only 32 years old, is married and has a seven-year-old daughter. Please come and support Steve!

This flyer is also available online at Shine 89.7's website. Click on the flyer to enlarge it for printing and viewing. If you still can't see it, email us at nwiconnect@gmail.com for a *.pdf version, viewable in Adobe Acrobat.



Region man owns skull guiding Indiana Jones film

From the NWI Times:

"CHESTERTON | In 1968, while stationed in Panama with the U.S. Air Force, Bill Homann stumbled onto a magazine article about British adventurer F.A. Mitchell-Hedges and a mysterious crystal skull found among the Mayan ruins of Central America.

Forty years later, Homann, a Crown Point business owner and Chesterton resident, places that same crystal skull on a Lazy Susan covered in black velvet on the coffee table of his rural home....

...As the fourth installment of the "Indiana Jones" film franchise, which bases its story on crystal skull mythology, begins to hit theaters today and Friday, Homann, a modern-day adventurer with an eighth-degree black belt in karate, has seen increasing interest in the Mitchell-Hedges piece.

Homann was featured Sunday in the two-hour documentary, "Mystery of the Crystal Skulls," on the SciFi Channel.

"It’s never dull around the crystal skull," Homann says.

The LaPorte native -- who owns Homann Karate Do with his son, Brett, in Crown Point -- became caretaker of the world’s most famous crystal skull after Anna Mitchell-Hedges, the adopted daughter of F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, died last year.

Homann met Anna Mitchell-Hedges in 1981 through a Chicago friend. The two became so close that Homann cared for her at his home during the final years of her life. She entrusted the skull to him shortly before her April 11, 2007, death, which also was Homann’s birthday.

"She was my teacher," he said. "My best friend."

Carved out of a single piece of clear quartz, the life-sized skull features smoothly contoured cheekbones and a detachable jaw that sets perfectly into the cranium. It is so scientifically accurate that a face of a young Mesoamerican woman can be reconstructed from it. But how it was made and by whom remains a mystery."

I (Dan, the prayeramedic) have actually seen this skull and I remember meeting Anna Mitchell-Hedges several years ago when I was a student at Homann Karate Do. I formerly trained in Karate with Bret and occasionally with his father, Bill. It's pretty neat that the basis of the final Indiana Jones movie is a crystal skull that happens to reside in Northwest Indiana!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Race Relations in Northwest Indiana

Jerry Davich wrote a great article in his column today entitled 'New book could stir the racial pot.' He followed it up with a blog post entitled What whites want to know about blacks but are afraid to ask. The buzz is coming from a new book with the same title as his blog post written by Gary attorney John H. Davis. Jerry Davich writes:

"...[The book] asks provocative questions like: Do blacks really prefer watermelon to other fruit? Are blacks naturally loud, lazy, untidy, and athletic? And, can all blacks dance? Still, I found the 111-page book interesting, insightful, and informative. As Davis told me when I met with him at Gary legal office, "I simply want to put this out on the table for public discourse. And what better forum to do this than in cyberspace, and on this blog, I noted, where readers can post their true feelings and opinions without face to face awkwardness or fearful confrontations."

In a comment to his blog post I applauded him for encouraging discussion on race relations in Northwest Indiana. And discuss we shall....

It's no secret that Route 30 and 93rd Avenue seem to be unspoken segregation lines in Lake County, particularly between Main/Taft/Cleveland and I-65. North of Route 30 is mostly black, and just south of Route 30 is fairly diverse. But once you cross 93rd Avenue into Crown Point, the landscape is predominantly white. Go further south into Lowell, and a child might stare and point at a black person ("Look at that mom! He's a little far south of 30!"). Of course there are exceptions, and this doesn't mean that white people south of Route 30 are racist. I'm just pointing out some unspoken boundaries.

When my wife and I purchased our duplex home in Merrillville, some of our white friends and family warned us that our property value would plummet when "they" started moving in. Of course "they" are black people. The owners of the other half of our duplex are a very nice black family. We hang out on the back patio, drink beer together, talk about movies, split costs to maintain the landscaping, and even play board games with their eight-year-old daughter. My neighborhood contains black, white, Asian, and Hispanic families -- young and old. I really enjoy the diversity.

Now before you think I'm tooting my own horn and bragging about how non-racist I am, I must tell the other side of the story. I've always had friends of all races growing up, and it never bothered me much. Then I joined the Army. When I went through basic combat training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina; I stayed in the barracks: a small room where 120+ privates of all walks of life live together for thirteen of the most stressful and challenging weeks of our lives. Basic training has a tendency to put a lot of people in a bad mood, and when you put a bunch of tired, angry men together in a cramped space, we fight.

The Army has been writing waivers for all sorts of criminals and convicts so that they can enter the Army, and unfortunately I found that a lot of my fellow soldiers aren't very upstanding citizens. I had things stolen from me in basic training. Of course the first time someone reports that to a drill sergeant, he tears everyones' wall lockers apart and throws your stuff all over the place, calling it a "shake-down." Then you have about 20 minutes to clean up an hour's worth of damages, and it had better be immaculate. So you learn to handle things on your own, without getting upper leadership involved unless it's absolutely necessary (which is part of why the Army is so efficient). A lot of problems I had in basic training were with black soldiers, and I began to resent several of them. It was hard not to lump all black soldiers together when holding stereotypes about them. But by the grace of God I graduated basic training and left all of that behind. Today I am friends with many black people.

There is a story of which I am not proud. Our barracks were divided into two sides, with about 60 people per side. Each side had its own set of washers and dryers, and you didn't touch the other sides'. A black guy from the other side got mad at a white guy on our side, and decided to piss in his shoe. He then placed that shoe in our dryer for over an hour. Needless to say, it fumigated our entire area with piss. When you come back to the barracks after a long day of training and punishment, you don't have the patience for this sort of thing. Without giving any real incriminating details, a group of both black and white soldiers from our side of the barracks (I never said I was involved) grabbed this guy and left him out in the rain in the middle of winter (it was maybe 35 degrees outside). The group was supposed to grab his bedsheets and carry him out like that, but they ended up dropping him on his head from the top bunk. To make matters worse, one of the soldiers decided to wear a white sheet on his head so that the soldier would not recognize him, and a black soldier shouted, "you're getting it now N____!" No one thought of the implications of those two things until later.

Since by this time all of us soldiers were good at working together as a team, when he hit the puddle outside and ran to the drill sergeant, everyone denied that anything had happened. The fire guards (who are up all night) adamantly maintained he simply fell out of his bed and took off running. Everyone was fast asleep in their bunks, his bed had been remade as though nothing had happened -- and this guy looked crazy. Unfortunately he began having nightmares about the KKK and ended up getting 'recycled' (held back in a portion of training) because he literally was afraid to go to sleep at night. He honestly went crazy.

Now this was not entirely a racially motivated thing, both black and white soldiers were involved in this, and the black soldier shouted the N word. But things got out of hand, and the white soldier wore a sheet, and.... I share this only to demonstrate that it became easy to stereotype, and to share a moment of which I am not particularly proud.

Now why would I share all of that? Because I'd be willing to bet that we all have a story when it comes to race relations. Almost everyone can recall a time when they said, thought or did something directed towards another race that they are not proud of today. True reconciliation and dialog doesn't happen by ignoring our faults and the past, it only comes when we confess it and move forward. Blaise Pascal, a famous mathematician, once said:

“He devotes all his attention to hiding his faults both from others and from himself, and he cannot endure either that others should point them out to him, or that they should see them. . . .

We ought not to be angry at their knowing our faults and despising us; it is but right that they should know us for what we are and should despise us, if we are contemptible. . . . For is it not true that we hate truth and those who tell it [to] us, and that we like them to be deceived in our favour? . . . Human life is thus only a perpetual illusion; men deceive and flatter each other. No one speaks of us in our presence as he does of us in our absence. Human society is founded on mutual deceit. . . .

Man is, then, only disguise, falsehood, and hypocrisy, both in himself and in regard to others. He does not wish any one to tell him the truth; he avoids telling it to others, and all these dispositions, so removed from justice and reason, have a natural root in his heart.”

I hope that Blaise Pascal is wrong.

I'd love to hear your story, or your thoughts -- or both.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

NWI Blogosphere Update

We plan on doing these updates regularly, keeping you informed about what is going on in the Northwest Indiana blogosphere.

Steve over at Dalton's Briefs is talking about the new elections that are being called for in Israel, and about how Israel is finally talking with Syria (and peace talks at that).

Dan over at prayeramedic shared an ironic story about how a wing and a prayer literally resulted in a safe landing for two New Zealand pilots, and his wife Tiffany recently shared how recycling is a form of Biblical stewardship for the earth.

Blue County in a Red State wrote about the Kernan aide taking the "Blue Ribbon Commission" to the woodshed, and trash talking Mitch to boot.

Christopher Hedges is encouraging Indiana University alumni to vote online in this year's Board of Trustees election, and he's keeping you informed about the American Idol Top Two Duel between David Cook and David Archuleta.

Aaron at EnergySaving offered some home energy savings tips that only cost $100.

Jaymi the Flip Flop Mamma has been a busy girl lately.

Jerry Davich recently reflected on an article concerning people's theories surrounding blue-tinted gulls, and how that tells us more about people than birds.

If you're feeling lost in the NWI blogosphere, Porter County Politics recently published a handy list of Northwest Indiana blogs with a short explanation of each.

Northwest Indiana Real Estate recently pointed out that home building is picking up nationwide, contrary to what you may have heard.

And finally, Tyranny Watch sent out some kudos to Google for upholding the first amendment and refusing to remove all Islamist videos from YouTube.

Think you should have been included in this update? Get involved in discussions at NWI Connect and you may just find yourself being added to the author list!

Conservative Legislators Endorse Costas

Conservative legislators from across the state endorsed Jon Costas today for Indiana Attorney General.

“It is important that the citizens of Indiana have a true conservative in the Attorney General’s office working for them,” State Representative Eric Turner (R-Cicero) said. “Jon has done Christian relief work across the globe and helped found a crisis pregnancy center in Porter County. Jon Costas has a long history of putting his conservative beliefs into action.”
“Jon Costas is the conservative Republican leader Indiana needs at its next Attorney General,” State Representative Woody Burton (R-Whiteland) said. “Jon embodies our conservative principles and family values.”

Along with Representatives Turner and Burton, Costas was endorsed by State Senator Greg Walker of Columbus, State Senator Mike Young of Indianapolis, State Representative Bill Davis of Portland, and State Representative Jackie Walorski of Lakeville.
Costas is currently the Mayor of Valparaiso, serving in his second term.
Pledge your support for Jon at the State Convention by clicking here! http://www.joncostas2008.com/delegates/supporter-signup

For more information, visit www.joncostas2008.com

Daniels visits Indiana soldiers in Middle East

From the NWI Times:

Gov. Mitch Daniels concluded a two-day tour of Iraq on Tuesday after visiting with Hoosier soldiers there and learning about missions in which they are taking part.

Daniels arrived in Iraq on Monday and spent the day in briefings with officials as well as Hoosier troops from across the state.

"There's no part of this assignment as governor that I take more seriously than the work of the Indiana National Guard," Daniels told members of the 76th Infantry Brigade early Tuesday. "I'm here as a surrogate for 6 million people who would tell you if they had the chance how much they appreciate you."

Indiana currently has the largest deployment of National Guard members in the Middle East. There are 4,133 Indiana National Guard members serving in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. About 3,400 of them are members of the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which deployed in March.

It marked the largest single deployment of Indiana National Guard troops since World War II.

Daniels told reporters during a teleconference from Kuwait later Tuesday that he put in for the trip, which was organized by the Department of Defense, before the 76th was deployed. Daniels and Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons traveled together.

"Knowing we were going to have so many folks out there, I just felt it was going to be important to come out, bring words of support, and also check on them, their well-being," Daniels said....

... Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, there have been 15,076 deployments of Indiana National Guard soldiers. The number is for deployments, so someone who is on their third tour would be counted three times. Most of the deployments have been overseas.