Center searches for pets to give new life

December 31, 2011 in Community by Kenny Norman

Our furry friends always manage to get spoiled by Santa during the holidays, whether it’s with treats or toys. But what kind of gift can pets give to each other?
The Indianapolis Veterinary Emergency Center (IVEC) says blood is the answer. Pet owners are encouraged to bring their pets, both dogs and cats, to the 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic to help save the lives of other animals as part of its Canine & Feline Blood Donor Program.
“People don’t know that this is a need,” says Amy Waggoner, manager of IVEC’s animal blood bank. “More would be willing to participate if they knew they could help.”
It’s crucial for the clinic to keep an adequate blood supply year-round because it’s used for transfusions and surgeries, or to replenish an animal after losing a massive amount of blood. It also clears the blood of flea anemia and can help puppies survive the Parvovirus, which is often deadly.
“We ship around the country,” Waggoner notes. “Everything we draw goes out and then some.”
While the blood supply is transported nationwide, a high-rate of turnover also places a constant demand on IVEC to seek out new donors. At 8 years old, pets are no longer eligible to donate as “seniors,” as they could expect a longer recovery time.
Like humans, animals have different blood types. IVEC is looking primarily for universal donors, which for dogs includes most “bully breeds” (pit bulls, bulldogs and boxers), Waggoner explains.
Bigger breeds of dogs such as Great Danes and St. Bernards can help save the lives of four other animals with just one donation; smaller dogs can save two lives. Pets can donate from six to eight times a year.
During the screening process, all animals are tested for any potentially harmful diseases such as heartworm, anemia, feline AIDS and other blood-borne afflictions. Doctors complete a general health exam to make sure the animal is healthy enough to undergo the procedure, as well as a behavioral consult to make sure the pet is mentally sound.
“We look for any sign that drawing blood might be difficult on them or put them in distress,” Waggoner explains.
As an added benefit, IVEC’s unique program offers perks to clients whose pets donate blood. Donors are given free annual exams, yearly blood work and heartworm testing, as well as discounts on vaccinations, medicine and even emergency procedures.

What its worth

December 31, 2011 in What's It Worth? by Larry D. Cruse - Weichert, Realtors®- Tralee Properties

IN My Opinion: $140,00

Type of property: This home is a three-bedroom brick ranch with two full bathrooms, an unfinished basement and a two-car, detached garage. Age: Built in 1966. Location: Just west of Indianapolis, within the Avon Community School System. Square Footage: 2,744 SF. The main floor has 1,624 square feet and the basement contains another 1,120 square feet. Rooms: There are six rooms on the main level of the home and three rooms throughout the basement. The three bedrooms each have new hardwood floors. There also is a formal living room, as well as a huge kitchen with new cabinets, granite countertops, ceramic tile floors and stainless appliances. The house also has a formal dining room that would accommodate a large holiday party. The basement provides a lot of opportunity to expand the family space with two bonus rooms and the laundry room. Strengths: The home was built in 1966, but has very recently been completely remodeled. Some of the updating included a new high efficiency furnace and A/C, all-new hickory hardwood floors and carpeting, new fixtures in the bathroom and ceramic tile walls and a revamped kitchen from floor to ceiling.

Hangovers: What really works

December 31, 2011 in Living by Wendell Fowler

Your parched mouth tastes like 1,000 reeking camels walked through, the sound of air molecules drifting past exceed your pain-level threshold and rusty nails were driven into your throbbing skull as you slept. Sound familiar? Americans lean on juice, coffee or the notorious ‘hair of the dog’ to return their temple back to normal. Every culture has its cure: The Irish suggest getting buried to the neck with moist river sand, and the Polish drink pickle juice. Ancient Assyrians consumed a tasty mixture of ground birds’ beaks and myrrh. American Indians recommend eating almonds before drinking, and an African prevention suggests eating a spoonful of peanut butter. Peanuts and almonds have different ratios of unsaturated to saturated fat, so in order to see if either of them works, they try both. Not eating assures a whopper of a hangover and trashes your stomach and digestion process. Pepto and a barf bag please! Then there are buttery fried eggs, hash browns and burnt toast that slow absorption of alcohol into the system, so the temple has more time to fight off the harmful effects of that fourth bacon-martini. There is some relief to be had in an old-fashioned, greasy-spoon breakfast. Eggs have an enzyme that helps the liver fight off acetaldehyde, a powerful toxin more toxic than the alcohol itself. Note that eating a meal high in saturated fat causes alcohol effects to peak earlier and last longer than diets high in polyunsaturated fat. (The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.) There are also vitamins, fresh ginger and prickly pear cactus supplements, but what really works? No doubt the simplest, most effective cure from the physiological effects of a hangover is not to drink in the first place, but that’s not going to happen, eh? Because alcohol is a diuretic, a lot of a hangover is dehydration. Alcohol, a toxin, sends liquid directly to the bladder, which doesn’t give alcohol any time to get absorbed into the system and your rate of urination increases. Dehydration causes fluids in the brain to be less plentiful. Try Pedialyte liquid or Pops. It’s high in electrolytes, which help replenish what the kidneys have excreted during imbibing. Pedia Pops can be found on your pharmacy shelves. A brisk morning walk will rid your beleaguered temple of toxins and increase circulation, which gets blood and oxygen to your starved, remorseful, throbbing brain. Another “morning-after” remedy is to ingest probiotics. Good-digestion-promoting acidophilus helps restore the flora balance in your stomach. The “friendly” bacteria can be found in supplements, yogurt and Kiefer, a creamy, drinkable liquid found in most grocery stores. These bacteria detoxify acetaldehyde, a digestive byproduct of alcohol that is a major cause of hangovers. Nibble on food throughout the night and chase each alcoholic drink with a glass of plain water. Before you go to bed or pass out, chase some Advil or aspirin with 16 ounces of water or suck on a Pedialite Pop. “Ring out the old, ring out the new. Ring out the false and ring in the true.” -Alfred Lord Tennyson. Happy Healthy New Year everyone!

3…2…1, soup’s on!

December 31, 2011 in Recipes by Clint Smith

This week’s recipe is a little deceptive—the ingredients are sparse, and the execution is woefully simple. But that doesn’t mean the result is underwhelming.
Let’s briefly talk about the fennel. Latin for “little hay,” sweet fennel was prized by the Greeks, who gave it the nickname “marathon” as a tribute recalling the location of a victory over the Persians. Moreover, the feathery-topped vegetables were a symbol of success. Fennel is often erroneously described as anise (because of its aroma) and dill (certainly because of the fronds’ appearance). In Italy, raw pieces of fennel are customarily served at the end of a meal as a plate-cleanser.
Not to be outdone, the crab element adds a top-notch touch of seafood flair. You don’t need much—just enough to add to the existing sweetness from the fennel, wine and the tomato. When you purchase your crab, make sure you give the meaty pieces of crustacean a thorough inspection, picking through and discarding any leftover bits of shell.
In our next installment, it will be a new year; and I hope this dish—like the Greeks’ symbol of fennel—serves as a sign of a culinary success in 2012. Happy New Year, dear reader.


Serves 3-4
As needed, olive oil
¼ white onion, small chop
1 fennel bulb, cored, thin slice (stalks and fronds reserved for garnishing)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup white wine
1, 14-½-ounce can of diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup chicken (or vegetable) stock
½ tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
8 ounces crabmeat
To taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper
As needed, toasted rustic breadd

1. In a medium saucepan, heat small amount of oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook to translucent and just beginning to caramelize. Add fennel; cook until it begins to become translucent. Add garlic, sweat but don’t burn. Add in some extra oil and sprinkle in flour; use a wooden spoon to stir and create a paste (this is called a roux, and will give some body to the finished broth). Add wine and allow to reduce slightly. Pour in tomatoes and juice; lower heat and allow to simmer and reduce. Add stock and reduce for several minutes.

2. Remove soup from heat and stir in parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chop some of the reserved fennel fronds, and use them as garnish at service. Spoon in a generous portion of crabmeat for each serving. Complement dishes with toasted bread.

Torry's top ten random thoughts while recovering from Christmas Cookie Coma

December 31, 2011 in Torry's Top Ten by Torry Stiles

10. Sitting at the grown-ups table is not always as cool as it seemed 40 years ago.

9. If you have to build shelves to stack your yard decorations, then you’ve probably gone too far.

8. While I appreciate the stores that were open on Christmas morning, I can’t help but notice that few of the clerks really want to be there.

7. The value of Scotch Tape is wholly overrated. Duck, masking or electrical tape will get ’er done. If all else fails, just whip out the aluminum foil and go retro.

6. Nobody waters the tree after Christmas morning.

5. Other people’s kids have runnier noses than your own.

4. Nobody in my house eats candy canes, but at 75 percent off after Christmas, we buy them by the case.

3. Every December—while putting away the Christmas stuff—we discover the previous year’s Christmas stuff we had bought at the after-Christmas sales and stored. There are often several boxes of candy canes.

2. Mice will eat stored plastic ornaments before they’ll attempt to nibble on cheap, stale candy canes.

1. Puppies will eat anything, including cases of cheap, stale candy canes.

We can – and will – survive in 2012

December 31, 2011 in Opinion by Sherri Coner-Eastburn

For many years, New Year’s Eve was my favorite time of the year. Some of that love was attached directly to wearing a new dress, enjoying a nice dinner and attending a loud party surrounded by great music and lots of laughter.
But the majority of my love for New Year’s Eve began to roll around in my chest shortly after 11 p.m. I quietly watched as the world prepared for the stroke of midnight. It often started with plastic glasses being placed on tables, along with bottles of champagne. You could feel the energy in the room changing with the minutes on the clock. By 11:45 p.m., those who had strayed a bit from their loved ones began to search the room, scan the crowd and couple up again before that big moment at midnight.
By the time the actual count began, I had tears in my eyes and stars in my chest. 10, 9, 8, 7… I looked around me, wondering what people were hoping for in the New Year. Was it a new job? Maybe a committed love? A child? A brand-new 12-month span of all new chapters? By the time midnight finally arrived, balloons were dropped and people were kissing, hugging, smiling.
Each year, wherever I celebrated, I watched the New Year stop in at just the right moment, pull people together, make them focus, hold on tight to each other and wish again for something new and better. Many times, that magic at midnight overflowed and led complete strangers to kiss and hug and wish each other well. It thrilled me to see people drop their guards, kick down their walls and simply enjoy an awesome moment with everyone else within arm’s length.
This New Year’s Eve, I would guess that many of us look forward to economic change, opportunities for new jobs and new chances to either hold on to what we have or get back what we lost. We learned a lot this year about hard times and how we discover that our needs aren’t really quite as many as we might have initially believed them to be. We just had the needs confused for a while with the wants.
But in 2012, millions of us will step forward knowing we can and will survive. And we will be better human beings with much more commendable priorities because of the struggles we have faced.
In a few days, I will spend some quiet time hoping that by next New Year’s Eve, I will want to buy a new dress and dance all night. I will hope to want to make fun plans and greet a whole new year of fresh starts. But until then, I will greet 2012 with a bowl of popcorn in my lap and a cute movie on the TV. New Year’s Eve doesn’t always have to be loud and crowded to be magical.

Reader's View

December 31, 2011 in Opinion, Uncategorized by Submission For The Southside Times

Warm wishes for new year

Dear Editor,
Connect2Help has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Since January 2011, we have served more than 350,000 people through calls, e-mails and private searches on our Web site ( Our staff feels truly honored knowing that the work we are doing is touching and changing the lives of so many people in our community.
From education, food, safe and affordable housing to family economic security and mental and physical well-being for all, the comprehensive services of Connect2Help 2-1-1 are an ever-expanding, always-available resource for those in need in our community. I’m personally thankful that, even in struggling economic times, Connect2Help continues to grow stronger and is poised to continue to do so.
As we go into the holidays, I sincerely wish you all the best and that you have a very happy New Year!
Warm regards,
Lynn M. Engel, president and CEO


Money discovered by state should go to K-12 education

Dear Editor,
State auditors have discovered $320 million in funds the state didn’t know it had. Gov. Mitch Daniels reacted to the found money by saying that “Christmas came early.”
All Hoosiers—parents, teachers, and community members—hope, in that spirit, state policymakers use this money to provide a gift of opportunity for the 1 million children enrolled in Indiana’s public schools whose educations have suffered over the past two years because of budget cuts made by the state.
Considering that more than $640 million in cuts have been made to K-12 public education over the past two years, providing this $320 million to schools would go a long way toward restoring cuts in instructional programs that would positively impact all Hoosier students. In the spirit of the holidays, this money could help the children of our state by restoring lost dollars to their schools.
Nate Schnellenberger, president
Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA)

Political upsets and upstarts dominate front-page headlines

December 31, 2011 in Opinion by Submission For The Southside Times

A chronological look at what we believe were the major political stories in 2011, as covered by The Southside Times.

Beech Grove Mayor resigns
At the first city council meeting of the New Year, Beech Grove Mayor Joe Wright announced he was resigning so he could devote his full attention to his private business pursuits. “I want to extend my deepest appreciation to all of the members of the Beech Grove City Council who were instrumental in helping us reach our mutual goal of establishing a better, brighter Beech Grove,” he wrote in a letter to councilors.
Under Wright’s leadership, significant development was undertaken in Beech Grove, including the formation of the Beech Grove Redevelopment Commission, the revitalization of Emerson Avenue, infrastructure improvements to Park Grove, South Grove and Sarah T. Bolton Park.

Dilk sworn in as
Beech Grove mayor
Terry Dilk was sworn in as Beech Grove mayor Jan. 25, having been selected by a caucus of Republican precinct committeepersons to serve the remainder of Joe Wright’s term. In remarks during the ceremony, Dilk described the tone he set for his administration as “humbled, proud and excited.” He also said his first act will be to move his office to City Hall on Main Street. He committed to keeping public safety the top priority of local government and to building and strengthening community partnerships.

Greenwood: The
State  of the City
In February, Greenwood Mayor Charles Henderson presented the State of the City address, stressing the city is in a good position. Because of the services performed by the police and fire departments, he noted, citizens can feel safe and secure on the streets, in the parks and in their homes. Community amenities are well used. “I am tickled by the activity on the sled hills. I am excited seeing people use amenities the city has provided,” said Henderson.

Mayor Dilk names chief of staff-communications director
In a move designed to streamline office operations and save taxpayers $124,000, Mayor Terry Dilk named Joey Fox as Beech Grove’s first Mayor’s Chief of Staff and Communications Director. Dilk consulted with key leaders before making the appointment.

Trestruth runs for
Mayor of Southport
In March, Jesse Trestruth announced his candidacy for mayor of the Southport, indicating he would run on the Republican ticket in the May 3 primary. “It is my desire to lead an administration that is open to our citizens and respectful to all,” Trestruth said in a news release. “I believe in fiscal responsibility and want to operate an administration with the highest ethical standards.

Mayor Henderson
fires police chief
In a mid-March news conference, Greenwood Mayor Charlie Henderson announced the firing of Police Chief Joe Pitcher and the resignation of Assistant Chief David Mertz, who was then demoted to his prior position as lieutenant.
The circumstances leading up to the decision revolve around three incidents in connection with Pitcher’s handling of an internal investigation into an incident involving police officer Nick Dine. Dine allegedly violated several department rules and regulations and handled himself in an unprofessional manner, including refusing to take blood-alcohol tests. Afterward, officers were ordered to take Dine to Chief Pitcher’s home.

Greenwood mayoral
candidates square off
Three Republican candidates for mayor of Greenwood faced off in a public forum sponsored by the Greenwood Public Library and the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce in late April. Speaking to a standing-room only crowd, Mark Myers, Robert Dine and Charles Henderson disagreed in some of their positions on a variety of hot-button issues, including the interchange at I-65 and Worthville Road, the status of the city pool project and the need for a new pool, and revitalization of Old Town Greenwood. Myers would go on to win the primary.

Beech Grove candidates
polar opposites
One candidate for mayor of Beech Grove said a change is needed in the way the city is run. The other believed change already has happened and the city is moving in the correct direction. The only major point where Republican Mayor Terry Dilk and Democratic challenger Dennis Buckley agreed during a joint appearance before the Beech Grove Chamber of Commerce in October was in job creation, where both candidates said a major effort is needed. Otherwise, the candidates painted different pictures of the state of the city when they spoke to an Oct. 13 meeting of the Beech Grove Chamber of Commerce.

Voters pick Myers to
lead Greenwood
He’s been a reserve deputy sheriff, safety adviser and coroner. And now Mark Myers will add mayor of Greenwood to his résumé following his election in November. As the winner of a three-way race to replace four-term Mayor Charles Henderson, Myers becomes the first new mayor in Greenwood in 16 years.
Myers got 4,166 votes, or 62 percent, almost double the votes received by Independent David Payne, who got 33 percent of the votes, and considerably more than Libertarian Jeff Spoonamore, who received only 5 percent of the votes.

Voters agree change
needed in Beech Grove
During the race for mayor of Beech Grove, the incumbent, Republican Mayor Terry Dilk, insisted the city was moving in the right direction. His challenger, Democrat Dennis Buckley, insisted, however, that change is needed in the way the city is run. Voters overwhelmingly sided with Buckley on Election Day, as he soundly defeated Dilk with 61 percent of the votes.
Buckley, who began his career with the Beech Grove Fire Department in 1980, garnered 2,113 votes compared to 1,341 for Dilk.

Novel project gives kids a chance to shine

December 30, 2011 in Front Page News by Sherri Coner-Eastburn

Beulah Par, 13, shrugged and smiled shyly. Because she created a highly detailed science fiction plot, she wrote 60,000 more words than she was required to write for a language arts assignment.
“It gives me a chance to create my own world,” Par said of the assignment.
To see Par tap into this kind of creativity is exactly why this national writing project is so important, said Leslie McDougal, Par’s language arts teacher at Perry Meridian Middle School.
Seventh and eighth grade students participate each year in this assignment, which is affiliated with the recently concluded National Novel Writing Month.
Students create their own characters, dialogue, storylines, plot and conflict. The only guideline is the minimum word count.
“They are thrilled to work like a real author with choices and ownership of their work,” McDougal said. “This lets them be free as a creative individual and a writer.”
Creative freedom led eighth grade student, Mac Roberts, 14, to write “a parody about two people trapped in a Wal-mart with Hitler. And the employees all turn into robots,” Roberts said with a grin.
Like Par and Roberts, Erica Irish, 12, and Jessica Mattox, 14, tackled the writing assignment with smiles on their faces.
“This is my dream assignment,” said Mattox who quickly identified herself as an aspiring author. “I am way over my word limit.”
Another longtime writer, Irish said she appreciates the creative freedom. “Your imagination isn’t smothered at all.”
“You’re kind of like God when you write a story,” Mattox said. “You can make anything happen. And the characters start to become real people. They are like my children or split personalities.”
Each year, many students “take the assignment and run with it,” said Erin Yocum, seventh grade Language Arts Teacher at Perry Meridian Middle School. But this creative writing exercise is also an opportunity to reach students who perhaps had no idea they had a talent or an interest in writing.
Seventh grader, Travis Ashley, 12, confessed that he wasn’t exactly excited about the assignment. But that was before he created a novel about a couple of high school guys who both wanted the opportunity to play varsity football.
“I thought it would be really hard to write,” Ashley said. “But then I realized how fast 100 would go by.”
“We see kids who should have been writing all along,” McDougal said. “The first time we did this assignment, I was blown away. I’ve learned the kids are all more talented that I would ever guess they were.”
This intensive month-long writing experience offers students an appreciation for words and telling stories they create. Confidence and self-esteem are developed along the way. “The pride they have in themselves is one of the best parts of the process,” McDougal said.
“It’s their time to shine and be recognized,” Yocum said.

Catholic School having a super month

December 30, 2011 in Front Page News by Kenny Norman

Ask students at Saints Francis and Clare Catholic School how December is going and they’d probably answer, “Super!” That’s because teachers have presented lessons and activities incorporating the upcoming Super Bowl.
Earlier this month, for example, groups of students trekked from the school’s campus at 5901 Olive Branch Road, Greenwood, to Lucas Oil Stadium for a project-based learning unit inspired by Indy’s upcoming Super Bowl. They toured the stadium, visiting the press box, walking on the playing field and examining the goal posts, and getting a close-up look at the quarterback suite. Visiting downtown Indianapolis and Lucas Oil stadium is serving as the entry event to their project-based learning unit.
“Having the Super Bowl in their home city may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these students,” said Principal Betty Popp. “I want them to be able to take in all the excitement surrounding the festivities.”
The approach to this learning-based field trip begins with asking each grade level a Super Bowl-related question that requires them to work together. For example, kindergartners were asked, “How do professional athletes use their time, talent and treasure to benefit their communities?” Third graders were asked, “How is measurement used in the Super Bowl and in our daily lives?” And middle school kids were asked, “How can we learn from the persuasive marketing techniques of the Super Bowl commercials to create our own commercials to promote social justice?”
Angie Gilliland, the school’s director of communications and marketing, says students are solving problems on a real-world level. Project-based learning means the students analyze real-world events with questions that form a basis for a project the students will complete and present to a live audience.
In that regard, award-winning commercial producers visited the school right before Christmas break to share their secrets with middle school students. The producers will be prepping the students for filming their own commercials and experts will host a Q&A session.
“The question and answer session will lend to the research by the students as part of their project-based learning,” said Gilliland. “The middle school students will be filming their own commercials for social justice, using advertising techniques similar to those used in Super Bowl commercials.”
The school will host a “Big Game Bonanza” for school and parish families at the end of January to showcase the students’ projects and air commercials for parents and peers just before the Super Bowl. Students also will enjoy additional days out of school the Friday and Monday surrounding the Super Bowl.