"You don’t have to attend every argument to which you are invited."
That is great advice from an unknown author that you can apply to pretty much any situation. I remind myself that often. In fact, most of the time, my personal opinion doesn't matter anyway.
With that said, Gov. Mike Pence issued a press release today regarding an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal about Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). It appears many politicians are now scrambling to clarify the intent of the bill. Its timing and motives are questionable.
While some officials are staying out of the conflict, many are jumping right into the fight, wanting to know the implications of the freedom restoration act on businesses and employees.
Meanwhile, immediate outlash included big plans being put on hold indefinitely as a result of the legislation -- future events of Indianapolis-based NCAA and business expansion of Angie’s List, which had sought an $18.5 million incentive package from Indianapolis to add 1,000 jobs over five years. It's a serious issue.
Excerpts from the Pence article can be found below. The full version, which will appear in Tuesday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal, can be found here.
“I want to make clear to Hoosiers and every American that despite what critics and many in the national media have asserted, the law is not a 'license to discriminate,' either in Indiana or elsewhere.”
“I abhor discrimination. I believe in the Golden Rule that you should 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn’t eat there anymore.”
“As governor of Indiana, if I were presented a bill that legalized discrimination against any person or group, I would veto it. Indiana’s new law contains no reference to sexual orientation. It simply mirrors federal law that President Bill Clinton signed in 1993.”
“Some express concern that Indiana’s RFRA law would lead to discrimination, but RFRA only provides a mechanism to address claims, not a license for private parties to deny services. Even a claim involving private individuals under RFRA must show that one’s religious beliefs were 'substantially burdened' and not in service to a broader government interest—which preventing discrimination certainly is. The government has the explicit power under the law to step in and defend such interests.”
“The hospitality and character of Hoosiers are synonymous with everything that is good about America. Faith and religion are important values to millions of Indiana residents. With the passage of this legislation, Indiana will continue to be a place that respects the beliefs of every person in our state.”
Spring break time always reminds me of the several acquaintances I've had through the years who would often return from their vacations and say, “Lucy, you really need to travel.”
In reality, we all know I’m a homebody. I've never had the urge to go farther than a few hours away for more than a day or two.
A couple weeks ago, another reporter was covering the same event and randomly announced that other staff at her workplace were planning to travel somewhere for spring break. I replied that it’s been awhile since I’ve gone on a spring break trip. Then she elaborated, saying one staff member was going to Florida and another was heading on a cruise.
Just as soon as I said it’d been awhile, I mentally corrected myself: I haven’t ever been on that type of trip. I’ve been to San Diego and Daytona Beach before, but that was offseason and just a side stop for me.
My family would occasionally travel to visit relatives for a couple nights, but that was the extent any break from school I had while growing up. Indiana State University, where my dad worked, and Vigo County Schools weren’t on the same schedule - maybe that had something to do with it. I'm sure having five children also factored in reasoning for my parents to decide againgst any recreational trips by the time I was in the picture.
Then, as a single mother with two young children of my own, I never could budget for a trip much farther away than Indianapolis. When they were little, I worked for years at a local hospital which allowed employees to cash out their vacation time rather than take time off, and I always took advantage of that offer.
In any case, if I were to travel now, I’d opt to go visit Civil War battlefields and museums and not the beach. Nonetheless, it's nice to hear about everyone elses surf and sand adventures.
Since the week wrapped up with a big rally for public education -- and many protestors yesterday, at the Vigo County Public Library crackerbarrell event, boasted that they're "a product of Vigo County Schools" -- I thought it'd be a good idea to make a slideshow featuring all of the schools I attended in Terre Haute.
I don't have to go far to travel down memory lane. In fact, I still reside close to the home where I grew up located on Crawford Street, near Brown Avenue. The house I live in now is located in the same school district for DeVaney Elementary, Woodrow Wilson and Terre Haute South Vigo Schools, which I attended.
It probably took about a half-hour to make my rounds and snap the photos today. For aging structures, the buildings all seem to remain in good shape. My slideshow includes photos of Thornton Elementary School (now a church) and University School (where I was briefly a student,) now The School of Education building at Indiana State University. The slideshow also includes college buildings at Indiana State University specific to my major and minor and a picture of a virtual graduate school webpage for Indiana Wesleyan University (in Marion,) since I participated in the online business program from my Vigo County residence.
Finally, I'd have to say my favorite school of all of them is Woodrow Wilson. I like the architectural style better than all the other schools and I also have many positive memories from attending the school for seventh, eighth and ninth grades.
I wonder why breastfeeding in public is often shunned. It's unfortunate that this stigma exists today, leaving many expectant mothers unsure if breastfeeding is the right choice.
A Facebook friend has openly shared her personal stuggle with the issue. She says that photos she's posted of herself while breastfeeding her baby have been reported several times as offensive. I’m not sure why something beneficial to mother and infant is considered offensive to some people.
My advice to expectant mothers is to breastfeed your infant, whether you do it one day or three years. Just do it.
I breastfed both of my children when they were babies, for six months. That was well before social media, but I'm sure I would have posted a picture by the time I had my second one, given the chance.
With my firstborn, I was very reserved about where I would breastfeed and always sought a private area. By the time I was pregnant with my second, that changed. I had taken Emily to storytime at the library and noticed a woman breastfeeding her infant right there in 1998 -- Sitting on the floor surrounded by around 50 others during storytime! I was simply impressed by that act and knew immediately that I would not hide out every single time when it came time to breastfeed my next baby.
Indiana is one of 46 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands which have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location. The Affordable Care Act includes a provision for working mothers who need to express milk on the job.
Indiana Central News is two-weeks-old today -- I’d describe it as a homecoming, of sorts.
By now, everyone should know I take great pride in my work. I’m enjoying this venture tremendously. No matter which city I’ve reported on in the past few years, it always became my “territory.” Now, it truly is -- and always has been -- my territory, because I'm covering more news from my hometown.
I realize I should have started this website sooner. Reflecting on some of the Terre Haute news I’ve covered in the past two weeks, it’s a unique feeling to see it all happen so close to my own home. Remember, that is something I seldom got the pleasure of doing before, as I always worked at outside newspapers.
So far, my subscribers are based in Sullivan and Terre Haute. I won’t let any of them down. My intention is to cover what I can, with the funds provided. Ironically, the news in Terre Haute has been a stones throw from my home, so distance hasn’t posed an obstacle here. Even had it occurred during the recent snow storm, I could have walked to Poplar Street the other day to cover the police action shooting, as I have countless times throughout my lifetime growing up in that neighborhood.
I've looked back at those shooting scene pictures, because I know that particular spot so well. Where the officers are pictured standing, is right where my brothers, sisters and I would cut through on our bikes to get to Meadows Shopping Center on a regular basis in the 1970s and 80s, even as far back as when I was in kindergarten. The memories of this Terre Haute neighborhood are reminders that I am, indeed, emotionally tied to this place. In short, that is why credible news is so important to every community. You identify with its people and places.
I’d like to get more Sullivan County and Vigo County subscribers, so I can attend all the meetings I covered while I was a reporter at NewsBarb and more. I’m basically unemployed and putting 100 percent into ICN. Meanwhile, I'll do what I can.
If you live in the Terre Haute and Sullivan areas, I can guarantee you won’t regret spending $4 per month on a subscription. I realize there are other news sources -- and I am not competing with any of them -- I merely want to offer the readers an alternative news source. Initially, my intention is to cover Terre Haute City Council meetings and county council meetings for both Vigo and Sullivan Counties as a start. I also will cover breaking news as it happens. You can subscribe by going to the ICN main page and following the instructions.
Thank you for your support.