Friday, November 28, 2008

Sarah Palin Turkey Pardoning Video

I wonder why no one moved her to the left a little bit. Daily Kos's comments got a little annoying. It's not as gory as I heard it was. Not very graphic at all. I really don't see the big deal here. . . .

I-65, Borman interchange open to traffic

Motorists had an extra reason to be thankful on Thanksgiving Day, with the early reopening of a 1.5-mile stretch of Interstate 65 and two newly built bridges passing over Interstate 80/94.

Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Transportation reported the ramp closures, traffic restrictions and detours were removed at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday. Access between I-65 and the Indiana Toll Road also is now fully open.

Officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation said earlier in the month that the changes were expected to take place in early to mid-December.

The closures began in March to reconstruct the I-65 bridges over the Borman Expressway and the ramps at the interchange. New features include a flyover ramp from westbound I-80/94 to southbound I-65, new entrance and exit ramp configurations at Ridge Road and wider entrances at the ramps with higher traffic volumes, including the eastbound Borman to southbound I-65 and northbound I-65 to the westbound Borman.

INDOT reported the improvements should result in less merging of traffic and improved traffic flow. Minor lane restrictions on I-65, the Borman and the interchange ramps will occur during shoulder work, INDOT officials said, but the interchange will remain open.

From The Times. . . .

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Forum on The Future of Northwest Indiana

The Future of Northwest Indiana Forum is the first-ever region-wide public meeting to help plan and create a vision for the future of Lake, Porter and La Porte Counties.

The event will take place on Saturday, December 6 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville. Registration and continental breakfast begin at 8:00 am.

The forum will use mediated small-group conversations and keypad polling technology to garner instant ideas and feedback from participants. Input on local priorities including transportation, environmental and economic growth, land use, and how to ensure social equity within the region will be the central focus of this first-ever meeting to develop a vision for the region’s future.

The forum kicks off a long-term effort to develop the region’s first three-county, comprehensive, regional plan to address the changing face of the area by the year 2040.

This conversation is about you, your family, and your local community.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Snow In NWI

Well we have our first snowfall of the year on this fine 18th of November, just nine days before Thanksgiving. Up north where I am didn't get anything, but Kouts and further south east has a foot or so! The Post Tribune reports that "Lake-effect snow and icy roads caused several vehicle crashes on Interstate 94 in Porter and LaPorte counties on Monday night. . . . Police said the interstate was like "a solid sheet of ice" from Portage to Michigan City. Troopers could travel only around 10 mph." Pretty crazy!

Why is it that everyone in the Region forgets how to drive during the first snowfall of every year? We do this annually!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Man Cured From AIDS!

A bone marrow transplant may have saved a man's life from AIDS. The Associated Press reports:

An American man who suffered from AIDS appears to have been cured of the disease 20 months after receiving a targeted bone marrow transplant normally used to fight leukemia, his doctors said.

While researchers — and the doctors themselves — caution that the case might be no more than a fluke, others say it may inspire a greater interest in gene therapy to fight the disease that claims 2 million lives each year. The virus has infected 33 million people worldwide.

Dr. Gero Huetter said Wedneday his 42-year-old patient, an American living in Berlin who was not identified, had been infected with the AIDS virus for more than a decade. But 20 months after undergoing a transplant of genetically selected bone marrow, he no longer shows signs of carrying the virus.

"We waited every day for a bad reading," Huetter said.

It has not come. Researchers at Berlin's Charite hospital and medical school say tests on his bone marrow, blood and other organ tissues have all been clean.

However, Dr. Andrew Badley, director of the HIV and immunology research lab at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said those tests have probably not been extensive enough.

"A lot more scrutiny from a lot of different biological samples would be required to say it's not present," Badley said.

This isn't the first time marrow transplants have been attempted for treating AIDS or HIV infection. In 1999, an article in the journal Medical Hypotheses reviewed the results of 32 attempts reported between 1982 and 1996. In two cases, HIV was apparently eradicated, the review reported.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Honoring Veterans in NWI

C.P. celebrates Veterans Day with beer, breakfast
NWI Times

While one Crown Point business toasts veterans with free beer, a Crown Point church will honor military personnel and their families with breakfast.

People have long shown their appreciation for others with what they have available to them. In the case of Crown Brewery, what its owners have to offer is beer.

That's why from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday the brewery, 211 S. East St. will unveil its new beer the Special Force Ale, and provide a free beer to all veterans.

"It's our way of saying 'Thank you,'" said Adam Grape, the brewery's marketing director. "It's what we can offer, but it's not much for what they've done."

Graper said the idea of a beer to honor those in the military had been floating around for a while, but only recently came to fruition. He said the beer is smooth and light, and its drinkers don't have to be beer lovers to enjoy it. The Special Force Ale will be one of the brewery's three "year-round" beers on tap, alongside three seasonal beers.

One street away, First United Methodist Church, 352 S. Main St., is combining its celebrations of Veterans Day and Thanksgiving with a project so large Pastor Mark Wilkins said it has taken on a life of its own.

The church has spent the last six months contacting the families of local military personnel to invite them to a breakfast Nov. 16. Wilkins said the church is not only honoring veterans, but saying thank you to the families of active service personnel.

"We want to say thank you for the lonely nights and the nights they've stayed awake wondering if their loved ones are OK," he said.

The church will have a service at 9 and again at 11 a.m. with a private breakfast receptions for the families in between.

Wilkins said the families who are participating have been shocked that they are being recognized too.

"They're gratified someone recognizes the sacrifice they make everyday," he said.

The city of Crown Point will have a Veterans Day ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday on the east side of the old courthouse with the American Legion and the VFW. The city also will remember troops who are overseas during the holidays with a ceremony at 6 p.m. Nov. 15 to light the tank at Goldsborough and Main streets.

Local veterans from the American Legion and VFW also are invited to a Veterans Day program at 9 a.m. Nov. 14 at St. Mary Catholic Community School, 405 E. Joliet St.

I'm definitely going to go claim my free beer ;)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

70% of voters show up at the polls in Lake County

It was very neat to see the large turnout at the polls on November 4, 2008. The NWI Times points out:

That exceeds the 55 percent turnout for the 2004 George Bush-John Kerry race or the 56 percent turnout for the Bush-Al Gore race.

"This election is obviously seismic," said James McCann, a professor of political science at Purdue University.

The number of voters had declined -- with few exceptions -- from 1960 to 2000 and were on a mild upswing until Tuesday's spike at the polls, McCann said. . . .

Perhaps just as precedent setting, Lake County elections officials managed to collect and tally all 214,023 ballots -- nearly 70,000 more than in the spring primary -- with much less trouble than in the spring primary when the delay of voting results made the county the butt of criticism across the nation.

I certainly noticed a much greater voter turnout at my polling station in Merrillville! Very encouraging to see more people becoming involved in politics! Now we'll see if it was genuine "change" in 2012 or if it was motivated by something else. . . .

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Predictions Versus Actual

Well the media has been saying it all along: Obama is the next president. I know the blogosphere was filled with election predictions, each favoring their particular candidate. I kept my prediction silent merely because I was just playing around with the RealClearPolitics Electoral Map Tool. I decided that I might as well post my prediction and the actual final results (or what we have so far).

My prediction:

Actual results (this far):

I wasn't far off. Not that it matters, but is there any word yet on Missouri or North Carolina? Congrats to Obama!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Conservative Black Republican Speaks Out Against Obama and Racist Stupidity

I saw this on Twitter, hat tip to @redstarvip. This is a young black man (who is a McCain supporter) who explains why he is not voting for Obama, and why his people are continually allowing themselves to be duped for a lie. Very interesting and great. It's 10 minutes long, and it gets really good right about at the halfway point. Check it out!

He says a lot of things that need to be articulated, but any white person who says them will be labeled a racist. Be sure to watch.

Voter Issues Rampant

I waited in line about two hours in Merrillville this morning, a sign of record voter turnout. I called the election hotline since a lady was electioneering for a school board candidate directly in front of the entryway (Federal law prohibits this within 50 feet from the entrance to the polls). I doubt they'll follow up on it, though. What is your voting experience?