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Friday, July 22, 2011

Backpack Attack

Kiwanis members Nancy Ferdon, Terry Beagle, Store Manager Duane Johnson, Jan Jackley, Tom Beagle, Carol Reddish and Bill Reddish(not pictured) line up with donations to the Back Pack Attack.  Five carts full of school supplies, amounting to over $400, were purchased by Kiwanians at Walgreen Drugs.  Each year, Walgreens helps by making items available at an affordable price.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Immigation Attorney

Recently speaking to Kiwanians was attorney, Angela Adams from Lewis & Kappes, Indianapolis Professional Corporation. Carol Landes, program chairman, introduced the young, vivacious attorney. She spoke about a very controversial subject; immigration. From her information we learned that the immigration laws are “broken” and something needs to be done. The federal government fails constantly to pass reform laws. This lack causes problems for individuals as well as businesses needing to employ immigrants. Nothing is as simple as it sounds…and many say…enter the US legally or go back and come back the right way. The catch 22 is that if someone has entered illegally and then goes back to reenter, they cannot return for 10 years (there are also a few exceptions to this law but even those require 5 years to requalify).

Marrying a US citizen does not fix the problem if they have entered without inspection (or legally) and if they go back to country of origin, once again, they cannot return for 10 years. A possible exception is to earn a waiver for extreme hardship (only if married to a US citizen) but with the backlog of cases; this is not a good answer either.

Permanent status is granted with a green card (which is not green at all). Only a limited number are issued per country and to enter our country on a Tourist Visa is difficult because it is hard to get and the wait is long.

Many people think the simple solution to the problem is to round up all illegals and deport them. This too, is stymied by law and a deportation back log. The answer to the problem is not at all simple and due to antiquated laws, it seems evident that much needs to be changed.

Greenfield Fire Department

Greenfield Fire Chief Jim Roberts spoke to Kiwanis at a recent meeting. Beginning with a little personal history, Roberts told that he served as a volunteer fireman before joining the force. He had always been interested in firefighting and served for 18 years before being appointed Fire Chief. Becoming Chief was one of his life goals and he is enjoying the position. He oversees two stations, the downtown location as well as the newer station on New Road. The stations have two ambulances plus reserve vehicles, a tanker and a ladder truck in the downtown location, rescue trucks plus other fire engines. When questioned about need for a ladder truck when Greenfield does not have high rise buildings, he explained that what Greenfield has are “wide buildings” that they need the capability to reach over the top to apply water to fires.

There are 46 career fire fighters, EMTs and Paramedics associated with the department. Constant training is part of the job. There are 28 Volunteer staff members and they participate in 24 hours of training per month to stay active and are paid a small monthly stipend. Firemen serve 24 hour shifts with 13 members per shift serving.

Approximately 3,000 runs per year are made with 80% of them being ambulance runs. Each run consists of an ambulance and fire rescue vehicle to ensure that the patient is treated as quickly as possible. A question about Life Line answered that the fire or police department makes the call about when they should be called and where they should land, depending on the circumstance.

The Greenfield area covers 52 square miles of Greenfield and Center Township and serves basically all of Hancock County on a mutual aid agreement.

Besides fire and emergency runs, the department does 700-800 Commercial inspections per year to make sure fire codes are met. They also do Fire Safety education for schools and pre-schools and homes for elderly.

A cadet program in conjunction with the high school provides training in fire fighting to students. Four former cadets are presently serving as Volunteer firemen.

An additional duty is checking and maintaining apparatus and equipment. Most meals are cooked on site and each shift handles duties differently.

Present goals include finding and purchasing land to build a third station.

Indiana State Parks

Ginger Murphy, Assistant Director for Stewardship for the Indiana State Parks and Reservoirs, spoke to Kiwanis about Indiana’s state parks. On 32 properties the system covers 171,123 acres and hosts 15.8 million visitors a year. They maintain 2,080 buildings, 600 miles of trails, and 61,000 acres of hunting land. They also have 31,000 acres of lakes, 73 boat ramps, and 17 marinas. There are 14 year-round interpretive centers with 631 inn rooms and 7,797 campsites and 149 cabins. There are 17,000 picnic tables, 174 picnic shelters, 163 playgrounds. All of this is staffed by 348 full-time staff and is paid for with entrance/rental fees and a per capita cost to Hoosiers annually of only $1.89. Indiana is fortunate to have one of the best park systems in the country.

Ginger handles education for Indiana school children and helps with resource management. She told that she came from Kentucky and originally thought “Indiana was just a long cornfield” but was surprised and pleased with the diversity and variety of our state and parks.

Ginger gave a questionnaire on “How Much Do You Know About Indiana’s State Parks and Reservoirs?” It was discovered that not enough was known since the top score was 12 of 32 possible. After hearing about the 32 properties, the group is more knowledgeable and many plan to visit parks new to them.

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Greenfield Kiwanians perform service projects to help people and organizations. We also perform service projects to raise funds to support Riley Children's Hospital and many local charities.