Rensselaer Adventures

This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The annual Limelight exhibit

Every year in late winter the Fendig Gallery hosts an exhibit of art works by students that are getting services from Cooperative School Services and, more recently, adults from CDC Resources. This year, unfortunately, the exhibit takes some effort to see due to a resignation; the Fendig Gallery is currently open only on Tuesdays from noon to four (though it might be open at other times by appointment).

 The drawing of birds is from a student at Benton Central Middle School. Benton Central seemed to have a large number of items, and the students from the classes came over to Rensselaer to see their pictures in the exhibit.
 If you do not know what Cooperative School Services is, read this post.

The picture below was done by one of the consumers at CDC Resources.
 There were several prints from students at West Central.
 Perhaps the most impressive piece in the exhibit is this drawing of the Titanic. Trying to read the tag on the original photograph leads me to believe it was done by someone at KV.

The show only runs until March 13. I hope a few people will be able to stop in and see it. The weather will almost certainly be much better next Tuesday--even in the afternoon the roads were full of ice and were treacherous.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

County meetings March 2, 2015

The Commissioners met on Monday morning for a long and routine meeting. There was a public hearing concerning a request by a resident for the county to vacate some right-of-ways in Union Township. I am not sure where exactly the site is. Some neighbors had no problem with it (partly because they would be getting some of the abandoned right-of-way), but a couple did. The issue was continued to the April 6 meeting.

The Coroner gave a brief report. He would like a generator for the Fase Center and the Sheriff's Annex near DeMotte, but because of the differences in wiring that the two buildings have, a fairly expensive piece of equipment would be needed. The water for both buildings is provided by a pump in the Fase Center. He would also like to have defibrillator equipment at both the Fase Center and the Senior Center in Remington.

The Commissioners approved a motion to transfer 132.8 acres of land to the Airport Authority, an issue that has been a subject in many meetings during the past six months.

Brian Overstreet reported that some people from Purdue would lead a training session for county officials on March 30 at the Fairgrounds that will discuss how to conduct a meeting, with explanations of parliamentary procedures. Sheriff Risner reported that progress continued on working toward putting communication equipment on a tower. The tower that they are interested in has been extended and is now 299 feet tall. There is some interest from the state to use it for their 800 Mhz communication equipment. He received approval to hire a replacement for a full-time matron at the jail who cooks. Finally, the county discussion of volunteer policy has led him to inquire about insurance for the Sheriff Reserves (there are ten of them and they are all volunteer) to provide income if they are injured while volunteering for the sheriff's department.

After a short recess, the meeting resumed with the usual matters of contracts, appointment, requests for reimbursement for meetings, etc. The Commissioners updated descriptions of Animal Control positions and discussed bids for mowing, approving a couple. At the end, citizen Tom Mattis had concerns about land-use issues. There seemed to be two issues that were bothering him. The first was that procedures and rules were not followed in making zoning changes and granting variances, and the second was that even when people did not get a requested zoning change or a variance, they would ignore the rejection and proceed as if they had the change.

In the afternoon the Drainage Board met. They had two main items on the agenda. The first was the drainage plan for the proposed Rensselaer Fire Station. The plan here is to construct a detention pond and use the dirt for fill in areas of the property that need to be built up. The pond will be similar to the one across the highway in Countryside. It will be maintain a ten-foot deep pool, and have five feet above the outlet pipe that will detain runoff from heavy rain. That runoff will then feed into the recently improved Ziegler tile through a six-inch pipe. The discussion took a long time, and at one point the attorney for the Board reminded members that their goal was to make sure that provisions were made to correct any changes resulting from construction, not to solve pre-existing problems.

The other item was from White County. The industrial area that is being developed between Wolcott and Remington drains westward into Jasper County. There is an existing system of three ponds and a lift station that was put in place about 30 years ago but it has not been maintained. The County wants to clean this up and start using the lift station again to pump water. They had an agreement with Jasper County that they would only pump after notifying a long-retired commissioner. They would like to replace that with an automated system that will have a sensor on the railroad bridge. It would only allow pumping into the ditch that leads to Carpenter Creek if the water level is below a cut-off level. They are trying to design the system to handle rains up to a 25-year event. In case of a heavier rain, the excess will flood farmer fields as it does now.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Odds and Ends

The snow and cold have kept me indoors more than I want to be so I have not had much to write about lately. I have used some of the time to work on my taxes. I noticed that this year the Jasper County tax is under 3%--it is 2.964%. We are still second highest in the state (Pulaski remains the highest) but I counted 15 other counties that were between 2 and 3%. There is something psychologically satisfying about being under 3%.

SJC will have exams this week because next week will be their spring break. It would be nice if their spring break coincided with some spring-like weather. I am very ready for an outbreak of spring weather.

Fair Oaks Farms has been posting interesting pictures and news on Facebook lately. The Crop Education Center building has its skeleton up. I still have not heard what will be in this building. There have been several posts and many pictures about the club house at the Pork Education Center, which is nearing completion. It will be featured on an episode of the Redwood Kings on the Animal Planet cable network. The Pork Education Center is scheduled for completion in March. There is also a video announcing a marketing plan for Fair Life, the reconstructed milk that Coca Cola will be marketing for Fair Life, a sister company to Fair Oaks Farms.

Ayda's had some pictures of the work they are doing in the old Hoover House building, converting part of it to a restaurant. (When I talked to one of them a few weeks ago, I was told that most of the work is finished and that the restaurant will only occupy part of the space.)

The Fendig Gallery has limited hours due to a resignation of the person who tended the gallery. They should be open on Tuesdays from noon until 4:00. The annual Limelight exhibit is currently on display.

People keep telling my that I am a little crazy for riding a bike in the winter. If you really want to know what crazy biking is, take a look at this video. It is in a whole different league than anything I can do on a bike.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Twelve Angry Jurors

The Carnegie Players presented Twelve Angry Jurors on Friday and Saturday night. Despite the name, only about three of the jurors seemed to be angry in the play. Attending the play and the dinner beforehand was an enjoyable way to spend the evening.

The play was held in the First Presbyterian Church. Since the entire play is set in a jury room, there is no need for elaborate sets.

 The play is an adaptation of the play Twelve Angry Men, first written as a television play in the 1950s and then made into a successful motion picture. The play begins with a jury in a homicide case entering the jury room to begin deliberations. Initially eleven vote "guilty" and one "not guilty", and you can probably guess what happens from there. I did. The Rensselaer production had quite a bit of humor in it--I am not sure if that was put in locally or not.

Before the play people could enjoy a delicious dinner catered by Devons and served by people connected to the Carnegie Players. The wait staff was dressed like the wait staff of an expensive restaurant--it was fun to watch them. The dinner was served in the activities room of the Presbyterian Church, and the light was low so I did not even attempt to take a picture. Below is a picture of the same room earlier in the week when it was the site of the Lenten Luncheon.
When we left the play on Saturday, the snow had begun falling and the cars where covered in white. The snow continued through the night, perhaps with some periods with no snow, and this morning there were three to five inches of light snow on the ground. I suspect that the people who plow the roads were waiting for it to stop before they start clearing it. Below is a picture of SR 114 (Cullen Street) this morning.

The old saying is that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. The first part is correct this year. We will get more precipitation on Tuesday, perhaps as rain, and there is more cold in the forecast this week. It has been a very cold winter. The ice cover on the Great Lakes, when I checked this morning, was 88.8%. Only the cores of Lakes Michigan and Ontario had large sections of open water. Perhaps later this week it will top 90%/