Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

February 26, 2014

Severe winter can have positives

The past decade or so has given us a series of mild winters. Until Jan. 3 of this year, the last time temperatures were below zero, as reported in Indianapolis, was Feb. 10, 2011. From Jan. 2 to Jan. 8, lows for six of seven nights were in the single digits or below zero, with a low of minus 15 on Jan. 6. From Jan. 21 through Jan. 29, nine consecutive lows were in the single digits or below, and the same happened for nine of 10 days from Feb. 6 to Feb. 15. Additionally, we’ve had a record snowfall for December through February, and February isn’t over. At some point this winter, three of the Great Lakes — Erie, Huron and Superior — have completely frozen over. (Or as close to completely as we usually see: More than 95 percent of each lake’s respective surface area was frozen.) The total Great Lakes ice cover has reached more than 85 percent, well above the average maximum of 40 percent. This type of winter presents many difficulties. Driving has often been hazardous. Heating bills have been high. Parents have had to pay for extra day care or stay home from work, losing income, when schools are closed. Municipal budgets have been stretched due to the extra snow removal expense. And besides, it’s just been cold. There are some positives, particularly when we’re talking about horticulture and agriculture. The past decade or so has seen the introduction of many invasive species to Indiana and the Midwest. Many of these species have spread rapidly. They have never experienced weather such as we’re having this winter. They have never had to endure temperatures in the double digits below zero, or multiple days where the highs never rose above single digits. See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.

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  • Teach children to contribute as well as receive I receive a lot of emails and phone calls from parents facing difficulty in their parenting. Often parents ask, “What do I need to give my child? What do I need to do for my child?” While there are many moments we as parents need to give or do something, sometimes the answer lies in expecting from our children.

    July 23, 2014

  • Momma wasn't a sissy My mom was on a medical downslide for the last 20 years of her life, and I always wondered how she managed to keep going. She always said she was probably already dead but just too stubborn to lie down.

    July 23, 2014

  • They've been known to pick a song or two Someone I know — I don't even remember who — used to have a "You may be a Redneck if ..." daily calendar. One day it read: You may be a Redneck if your mother has a Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt.

    July 23, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens urgency of lawmaker’s mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January. The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying in-state tuition to attend state colleges and universities.

    July 23, 2014

  • Exercise helps body resist injury I hurt myself last week. It’s a good one too. Low back, below the belt, all the way across. Hurt. When I get hurt, I am instantly grateful for the strength training and body care I do every week and the knowledge I’ve gain from moving my body regularly.

    July 23, 2014

  • A bee, or not to be It’s weird that while working in my garden I am always looking for insect damage as a positive sign. I spotted lots of torn leaves on my Dutchman’s Pipevine and was pleased. The vine is a larval food source — caterpillar food — for the Pipevine Swallowtail, one of Indiana’s many swallowtail butterflies.

    July 16, 2014

  • Basements aren’t just for tornadoes anymore The Lutheran church ladies are back in town at Beef & Boards performing “A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement.” The show runs through Aug. 17.

    July 16, 2014

  • Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.

    July 16, 2014

  • Extension Service celebrates turning 100 On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the federal Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service as a nonformal educational program designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. In recognition of 2014 being the centennial year of the Extension Service, Purdue Extension – Boone County will commemorate the milestone with activities and displays at this year’s Boone County Fair.

    July 16, 2014

  • Vacation workout can be simple, convenient It’s vacation time, so many of my customers are requesting workouts they can do while on vacation to stay in shape. The tricky part is 1.) knowing what kind of equipment they will have, and 2.) if it’s too complicated, they won’t do it. So I like to keep it as simple as possible to minimize both of those barriers.

    July 9, 2014

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