Notes from your friendly, neighborhood publisher.
MUNCIE, INDIANA (OPINION) - Greetings. I hope everyone out there is staying warm. The weather has gotten really cold, and heating bills are going to go up steeply. This has got me thinking - wouldn't it be great if civilization was so advanced that basic necessities - like heating and food - were free?
To some this might sound like a radical idea, but perhaps in the future robotic automation or technology in general might be able to make basics like heating and cooling cheap enough to be free for everyone. Imagine what would be possible if these were no longer worries for people and they could concentrate on other things.
As humans moved from being hunters and gatherers and used domestication of animals and farming to survive, they begin to have a lot more time on their hands. And this helped mankind stumble forward. Would the same happen if some of the same burdens of the modern world were taken away? Would we get lazier or advance even more quickly?
Notes from your Friendly, Neighborhood Publisher
Photo Credit: Rod Crossland - Owner of Wishbone Gifts, Inc.
MUNCIE, INDIANA (OPINION) - Next week, on Monday, December 9, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. the Indiana Department of Education will have a public meeting at Northside Middle School Auditorium (2400 W Bethel Ave, Muncie, IN 47304). This meeting concerns the Petition for Waiver under Indiana Code 20-27-13-7 made by Muncie Community Schools to the Indiana Department of Education.
Basically, the MCS board is asking for a waiver to cease and desist with public transportation for getting students to school immediately rather than having to wait three year as required by the state. The public's opinion on this will be heard by officials at the state level as they consider the waiver request. Their primary concern is the safety of the children.
The last few public gatherings concerning the MCS board have been rather large events, with many parents and students attending - more than in previous months. The fact they're not always full is a shame in some ways, but it's also good to see more citizens finally becoming involved in the process. Education is so important. The children are literally our future.
By Rex Bell
I’m no stranger to advice. Like most people, I’ve received a good bit of it in my lifetime, sometimes solicited and sometimes not. And like most people, I’ve also given it in both manners. I suppose that also like most people, I’ve rejected some good advice and accepted some bad advice along the way.
In my younger days, I’d have to say that life was usually easier, even if it wasn’t always as much fun, when I took the good advice, but the lessons learned from taking the bad advice seemed to stay with me a little longer. It also seemed to make a difference if I considered who gave me the advice in the first place. Most of the advice my parents gave me could have been considered sound, but looking back, much of the advice I took from my old buddy Stinky Wilmont resulted in one of those not so enjoyable life lessons.
By Laura Finley & Joseph Schroer
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) youth are among the most vulnerable to bullying and harassment, both in and out of schools. The Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) conducts a biennial National School Climate Survey in which they measure how frequently bullying of LGBT students occurs in schools and the responses to it.
The 2011 survey includes responses from 8,584 students between the ages of 13 and 20. Students were from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and from 3,224 unique school districts. Results indicated that eight out of 10 LGBT students (81.9 percent) experienced harassment at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation, three-fifths (63.5 percent) felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation and nearly a third (29.8 percent) skipped a day of school in the past month because of safety concerns.
Further, the majority of students in this study who were harassed or assaulted (60.4 percent) did not report it because they believed nothing would change or that the situation might worsen. Of those who did report, 36.7 percent said school officials did nothing. This finding reinforces research that has continually shown that many teachers and administrators do little to counteract homophobic attitudes, including studies in 2003 and in 2010.
As the sun sets in Muncie, Indiana, I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone in Delaware County a Happy Thanksgiving - aka Turkey Day. I got to spend some time with friends and family today, which was nice. I wish I had more time to spend with them, but there's so much to do.
On the drive home, I started thinking about all the things I'm thankful for in my own life. While some days are hectic and stressful as I try to create a team that will help me achieve my dream of offering Muncie, Indiana a choice when it comes to news and information, I have a lot to be thankful for in my life. .
I don't want to take too much time with this as I know a lot of others are watching football, eating leftovers, taking naps and more. Still, as publisher of Muncie Free Press, I think it's important to publicly give my thanks for all the good in my life. In many ways, I am truly blessed.
By Indiana Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane
The issues slowing the rollout of the health care law are inexcusable. The upheaval over locked out websites and dropped coverage, compounded by the hundreds of Hoosiers who gathered to demand Medicaid expansion at the Statehouse last week do however, serve to frame one underlying fact: Hoosiers simply want access to health care choices.
While website concerns can be righted and previous plans can be kept, some obstacles blocking Hoosiers from access to care are more difficult to dislodge. Chief among those obstructions: the governor and his calculated decision to deny as many as 400,000 Hoosiers a shot at health insurance. Make no mistake, his decision to reduce choices imposes costs on every Hoosier, not just the uninsured.
The governor’s decision to reject Medicaid expansion limits struggling Hoosiers to two choices for medical services: the emergency room or nothing. The state’s current Medicaid coverage only extends to those making 24 percent or less of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), or about $3,600. However, tax credits to offset the cost of health insurance plans on the state’s health care Marketplace don’t kick in until 100 percent of FPL. What message does the governor’s decision to block expansion send to the 182,000 Hoosiers earning too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to purchase coverage on the Marketplace?
Gunman, Tornados and Suspicious Packages, Oh My!
Misinformation was the big news of the night last Friday. I wrote a quick piece on Facebook after the #BSUGunman incident to gather my notes, but I want to use this week's column to go over some of those points and expand on them..
The following is an update BSU Alerts sent out to quite a few students and faculty Friday evening.
Update 5:08 p.m.: Media reports of a hostage situation are inaccurate. Please continue to remain in a safe location and avoid the area.
Anyone catch which media were reporting inaccurately? When MFP reported military choppers in the sky, we were called out by a couple people for spreading misinformation. We had someone on the ground in the midst of what was happening and he knew enough to talk to the local first responders to get the facts.
FREE PRESS REPORT
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA (OPINION) - Governor Mike Pence penned the following op-ed regarding his vision for education in Indiana recently.
Indiana’s students and schools have made great progress in recent years. According to the latest scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Indiana is improvingat the second-fastest rate of any state in the country. We owe this progress to the hard work of our students, teachers, and the parents and school reformers everywhere who have insisted that we hold ourselves to high standards.
To continue this momentum, in the last legislative session we increased funding for schools, created new performance funding for teachers who get results in the classroom, and extended high-quality school options to more children.
I am especially proud that Indiana is taking the lead in making career and vocational education a priority in every high school in our state. At this moment, 11 Regional Works Councils made up of educators and business leaders are working to design new career and vocational curriculums that are relevant to the jobs in their communities. The legislation that established this effort and our new Career Council passed the General Assembly unanimously.
Senator Donnelly Sponsors “Keep the Affordable Care Act Promise Act”
FREE PRESS REPORT
WASHINGTON, DC - Senator Joe Donnelly this afternoon announced his support for the Keep the Affordable Care Act Promise Act (S. 1642), legislation that would allow Americans who like their current health care plans to keep them.
“I have said from the beginning that this healthcare law is not perfect, which is why I’ve repeatedly worked to improve it,” said Donnelly. “The problems with the website and canceled plans are unacceptable. That is why I am sponsoring legislation that would allow individuals to keep their current health plans.
“There are too many on the left who say that we shouldn’t change anything and too many on the right who say we should just repeal the entire bill. I’d rather work in a bipartisan way to improve the law so it works better for Hoosier families.”
By Brian Howey
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – With the constitutional marriage amendment looming just over the horizon, the Indiana Republican Party is hardly one happy family living in a big tent.
Multiple sources are telling me that a distinct majority of the Indiana Republican Central Committee opposes HJR-6, the resolution that would place the marriage constitutional question on the November 2014 ballot. That amendment would make marriage between “one man and one woman.” But the second sentence - – “Provides that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized” – essentially would make civil unions impossible.
There’s this pesky 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that reads: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”