Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

April 23, 2014

Two steps forward, one step back

In 1969, Time Magazine wrote about a river on fire. It was the story of Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River that had burned frequently since the turn of the century. Fires were caused by industries’ oily sludge that floated on the river. Started by sparks from passing tugboats, the fires became commonplace, even accepted. Although many of the earlier fires were more damaging, causing loss of both life and resources, it was the smaller fire of 1969, which burned for only 20 minutes, that actually caught national attention because a photographer happened by at the right time. This public awareness came on the heels of the publication of Rachel Carson’s milestone book, “Silent Spring,” that helped to launch the environmental movement. The book documented detrimental effects of pesticides, especially DDT, on the environment and, particularly, on birds. Carson said DDT had been found to cause thinner eggshells and resulted in reproductive problems and death of bald eagle chicks, taking our national symbol to the edge of extinction. She accused the chemical industry of falsifying facts about the chemicals, and chastised public officials for accepting industry claims uncritically. The public concern with pesticides was raised by Carson’s book, and it facilitated the U.S. ban of the toxic chemical DDT in 1972. See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.

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  • Mental illness prevalent challenge for Indiana youth Terre Haute native Tommy John understands all too well how the pain of depression can lead a talented entertainer like Robin Williams to commit suicide. Like Williams, John achieved national fame, posting 288 victories as a major league baseball pitcher. But one opponent was too strong to overcome: his son's mental illness.

    August 20, 2014

  • PE is essential in child development Of course, I loved physical education in school. Not only was PE a welcome break to a day of sitting at a desk absorbing our teachers’ wisdom — and fun time with friends — but it was also a setting where we could learn about our fast-changing bodies through movement.

    August 20, 2014

  • The tires, they are a changing A few weeks ago I was part of a small group that was tasked with designing an hourlong class teaching people how to do something. We chose to teach new drivers how to change a car tire. One of my teammates got his 16-year-old daughter and two of her friends to take our training, and their comments after the fact got me to thinking about changing flat tires and changing times.

    August 20, 2014

  • Craft brewers, vintners return sprits to Indiana State Fair Brad Hawkins felt right at home hawking his beer at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week.

    August 20, 2014

  • Household waste, hazardous, toxic and dangerous Once a year the Household Hazardous Waste Collection or Tox-Away Day rolls around for Zionsville residents, and it’s coming up from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Zionsville Town Hall, 1100 W. Oak.

    August 13, 2014

  • Kill grubs, plant fall garden in August If you had a problem with grub damage in your lawn last year, now is the time to start applying treatments.

    August 13, 2014

  • A day without recess is a day without joy Youngest started school last week, which isn’t really newsworthy, but what we learned the first day of class kind of is. Our elementary school has embraced an initiative called TEAM30 or something like that. The idea is to make kids exercise every day. In order to work an extra 30 minutes of exercise into an already full school day, something had to go. It was recess.

    August 13, 2014

  • Public safety workers close ranks around gay, lesbian colleagues Jason Miller has spent 15 years in a job he loves. He’s an emergency medical technician working two jobs as a first-responder, and he’s training to become a firefighter in Kokomo. Miller loves the reward of helping others, he said, and the camaraderie among people whose inclination is to run toward danger. For police, firefighters and EMTs, he said, backing each other up is “second nature.”

    August 13, 2014

  • Colleagues of indicted sheriff feel the glare of distrust Last Tuesday didn’t go the way Daviess County Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit thought it would. He was in Indianapolis in the morning in his role as president of the Indiana Sheriffs' Association, to listen to a speech by U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett about his high-profile crackdown on public corruption.

    August 6, 2014

  • Simple tips for packing healthy school lunches It’s time for the kiddos to go back to school, and you’re committed to packing their lunches this year. For those who haven’t packed lunches before or are getting tired of the same old stuff, it may seem a bit daunting to think about planning yet another meal each day.

    August 6, 2014

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