Rensselaer Adventures

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The beginning of the end

The end of coal at SJC is almost here. On Monday installation of the gas pipeline that will allow SJC to use natural gas for heating began. The first step is to connect the sections of the pipe and that was being done under the little tent visible in the picture below.
 My purple asters have finally begun to bloom. They are one of the last flowers of the fall--they mark the beginning of the end of nice weather.
 On a different note, here is the answer to a question I had: why did NIPSCO install one very tall pole at the Melville substation? There is now an antenna on the top and NIPSCO can monitor the electrical usage of Rensselaer in real time.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Oktoberfest and Elvis

The weather was ideal for the annual Oktoberfest celebration last weekend. A band from Indianapolis, the Meister Winds, played German music at the start of the evening.
 The court house is much more visible from the street because two trees were removed a couple months ago.

WLFI was taking video and interviewing for their 10 o'clock broadcast. They also have more photos, as does Visit Rensselaer.
 As the twilight began deepening and the crowds began growing, I left for a second event, the Elvis concert that was a fund raiser for CDC Resources. The performer, Kurt Lechner, was one of the musicians on the free stage at this years Jasper County Fair, but I was not able to get out the night he was performing. He is a performer and enjoys working the crowd.
A couple notes from surrounding towns. Wolcott has been having extensive changes made to their streets and sidewalks and the Wolcott Facebook page has been documenting them. The Morocco post office has a new front. And the old Stuckey's gas station on the intersection of I65 and US 231 has been demolished. A week ago I drove past and all the trees had been cut down and were still smoldering, so I suspected that the end was near for the long-abandoned building.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Finishing the highway

I was wrong in my last post to suppose that the DOT was finished with Grace Street. Yesterday work began on the westbound lane.
When the trucks were there, progress was fast. By noon work was almost finished.
There has been a lot of pavement sealing in Rensselaer lately. For the past few days parts of the parking lot at the College Mall have been taped off so they can be sealed.

I missed the Homecoming parade due to another commitment. Looking at the floats at the high school today, I thought the senior class had the best one. Where did they get the coffin?
 The Van Rensselaer Street is being prepared for Oktoberfest.
I believe that one of the items around that court house that will be fixed in this round of repairs is the retaining wall. There are spots in it that are in bad shape.
The ash trees are beginning to turn. I think fall would be my favorite season if it were not that it ushers in winter.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fixing the highway

On Tuesday afternoon I crossed SR 114 on Melville and noticed that the pavement was being ripped up. This morning I thought I would go see how work was progressing. I was very surprised to see that the work was apparently finished. The eastbound lane was resurfaced and nothing had been done to the westbound lane.
Perhaps because the garbage trucks are loaded as they head east, the eastbound lanes were in worse shape than the westbound lanes? It seems to me to be a strange way to fix a road.

Note the bit of fall color in one of the trees.

This coming weekend will be another busy weekend. On Friday the high school has its homecoming game, and on Thursday we will enjoy the annual homecoming parade. On Saturday Main Street presents Oktoberfest, which maybe should be called Septemberfest. This year there will be no admission charge, though a donation is requested. The Meister Winds from Indianapolis will start the music with German tunes and the local band McGuffin will close out the evening. CDC Resources will have a fundraising concert at eMbers. It will feature Elvis tribute performer Kurt Lechner. The music starts at 7:00 and the doors open at 6:00. There are also food events at the Knights of Columbus and at Brushwood Methodist Church on Saturday.

Speaking of CDC Resources, I was part of a tour last week at CDC Resources that looked at the work done in their sheltered workshop. One contract that they have is with Emerson Electric in Monticello. CDC makes wooden shipping boxes that are used for ball bearings. Some of these are used in oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, so when drilling slowed or stopped after the BP spill, demand for bearings dropped and boxes were not needed.--what was happening in the Gulf was affecting people in northwest Indiana. Another contract is with Rockland Flooring west of Monon. Rockland makes floors for truck trailers, and when the machine turns out a floor that is not quite level, they use little wooden wedges to fix it. CDC produces thousands of these wedges a week. A final contract that is current is for National Gypsum. The local plant is the only National Gypsum plant that produces the tape rolls. Most of them are packed by machine, but there is one size box that the machine does not fill properly. They are filled at the CDC workshop.