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Published On 7/8/2022
Dear County Commissioners:

The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County recommends that we do not increase setbacks for solar development.
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Published On 6/14/2022
Group recounts Lincoln School history; seeks public’s help in gathering information
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Published On 1/25/2022
New article about local League members Myra Dunn Abbot and Maria Reynolds-Weir
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Published On 8/28/2021
Coverage of the Dr. Mary Holloway Wilhite historical marker dedication on August 25, 2021
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Published On 7/31/2021
Descendants retrace pioneering woman physician’s steps
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Published On 7/30/2021
Envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate” challenges the League of Women Voters
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Published On 7/28/2021
"Envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate” challenges the League of Women Voters
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Published On 8/26/2020
We commemorated Women's Equality Day by launching two special projects.
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Published On 5/29/2020
The LWV of the US issued a statement in reference to the murder of George Floyd
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Columns

Published On 10/1/2022
Rarely does an exchange on social media measure up, but League Climate Team member John Smilie’s posts usually educate, prompt thoughtful discussion, and aim toward the common good. His recent post was worthy of a wider audience so we’ve brought the conversation here.
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Published On 9/24/2022
Tom Nichols, staff writer for The Atlantic, penned the piece we at the League should have thought of: “The Joy of Voting.” This leads to the question, have you noticed self-satisfaction when you vote? Or joy?
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Published On 9/17/2022
If you follow regional news, you may have read that nearly 1,1000 Indianapolis households faced eviction when their property owners failed to pay $1.9 million in water bills. In a settlement that came in three weeks before the residents would have to move, JPC Affordable Housing Foundation agreed to sell the rental units and leave Indiana.
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Published On 9/10/2022
As with anything that is single-use or easily disposed of, like fast fashion, we should be skeptical, not only of the industry but our own demand for convenience. The most eco-friendly trash still releases carbon and requires resources to compost or recycle. We might be bamboozling ourselves if we think one product is the perfect replacement for another.
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Published On 9/3/2022
Who deserves the right to go down into the Grand Canyon?
Isn’t everyone entitled?
We are providing a solution to a need.
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Published On 8/27/2022
This will be an unusual column, in the first person at parts, to reflect upon what traveling this year has taught this writer about our democracy.
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Published On 8/20/2022
What do wine, cheese, and women’s equality have in common? A) August 26, B) democracy, C) the League of Women Voters, or D) all of the above.
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Published On 8/6/2022
Last week members of the community gathered to watch Nausicaa, Staging the Oceans’ Biodiversity, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County and Wabash College. The film presents the creation of Europe’s largest aquarium tank, in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.
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Published On 7/30/2022
Every person in the world needs and wants clean water. Most of us think of this as a universal human right: without water every living creature dies. Here in Indiana, safe urban and rural drinking water have been the norm — with some notable exceptions.
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Published On 7/23/2022
Through the words of residents, scientists, and the mayor of a small Oregon town ravaged by wildfire, “Built to Burn” helps viewers understand more about wildfires, their causes, consequences and possible mitigation. It’s a complex scenario.
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Published On 7/16/2022
Who do you talk to on a typical day? Depending on your job and your personality, you might go through the day without talking to anyone you don’t know well. You should, though. Conversations with acquaintances and strangers have benefits for you individually, and for our community.
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Published On 7/9/2022
In the opening scenes of the documentary “Kiss the Ground,” actor Woody Harrelson says he’s “given up” on climate change solutions. As he narrates this, we are shown all too familiar scenes of belching factory pipes, oil refineries, and melting glaciers. As one climate disaster after another hits the news, he says he feels despair. Harrison is not alone.
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Published On 6/25/2022
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Green Issues film series, co-sponsored by Montgomery County League of Women Voters and Wabash College Library, return this summer with four engaging documentaries about issues affecting our natural world.
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Published On 6/18/2022
On Saturday, everyone reading this column is invited to our Carnegie Musueum in downtown Crawfordsville from 1-4 p.m. to celebrate nothing less than the natural world. To top it off, visitors will be treated to one of the great products and delights of our natural world — ice cream! This event is part of a summer-long museum program tied to the Indiana Humanities One State/One Story program. If you have the chance, read the beautiful little book World of Wonders (which is available at our Crawfordsville Public Library) that serves as the centering One Story for Indiana this summer.
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Published On 6/4/2022
On the economy, there’s good news, and there’s bad news.
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Published On 5/28/2022
“I was expecting to hear stories of isolation, alienation, tokenism, loneliness. I’m really troubled by the number of stories about threats to personal safety and the sense of not being safe in town or on the campus,” said one man in the back of the audience. An hour into the show, the stage manager came out to explain that the cast would use improvisation to “playback” the audience’s reactions because the “Where is our Beloved Community?” included such intense real-life experiences from Wabash and Crawfordsville’s minority residents.
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Published On 5/21/2022
We Americans tend to think our democracy is exceptional, it’s a bulwark, it’s resilient, and perhaps indestructible. But a democracy is an enormous institution based on human interdependence. Like any healthy relationship, its internal strength increases when it works hard at maintaining its core values. It’s more likely to thrives when it shares company with like-minded friends. For this reason, we might benefit by checking in on our democracy. How well is it holding up to the stress test it’s undergoing in a period of polarization, trauma after the pandemic, and the erosion of democracy world-wide.
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Published On 5/14/2022
While sniffing about for story ideas recently, this writer dug up a gem on the Montgomery County website, a listing names of famous natives.
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Published On 5/7/2022
Tied to a board and put on a human back, laid in a box, locked in a parked car, left to run the docks with a warning “to stay away from the water!”- these were just a few childcare solutions of the past. Long a need for the working class, most actual care of children was a luxury for the well-off.
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Published On 4/30/2022
The May primary is here and if national and local trends predict anything, too few people eligible to vote will go to the polls, especially to the primaries in non-Presidential election years.
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Published On 4/23/2022
Polls are open in Montgomery County for early voting, and once again it’s time to educate ourselves about voting in the primaries and choosing among the candidates.
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Published On 4/16/2022
Everyone wants to belong, and after two years of the pandemic, HUE (Humans United for Equality) plans to bring together the community with the Celebration of Unity after a two-year hiatus.
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Published On 4/9/2022
On one of those rare, warm and sunny afternoons in mid-March a small group of people stood in a circle peering intently down at the ground. At the center of the group was Marian Rodriguez-Soto. She was kneeling beside some simple tools and pouring water onto lumps of soil from two different locations into two different sieves set on top of clear cups. Marian was demonstrating how to do a simple “slump test” designed to determine how well soil can absorb water. Healthy soil will absorb water quickly leaving the water in the cup quite clear. The healthy soil itself will have texture something like a brownie. In contrast, over-tilled soil runs right through the sieve indicating weakened soil structure that can readily be blown by the wind or suffer excess run-off from heavy rains such as the more frequent and heavier rains the Midwest is now getting.
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Published On 4/2/2022
Do you remember being in school and lamenting that history is so boring? While we were all looking for it to come to life, for someone to rediscover a local hero, uncover an untold story, or answer a nagging question, local historians have always been indulging their curiosity.
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Published On 3/26/2022
Who says a science fair project can’t change the world? When middle-schooler Holly Thorpe tested carbon dioxide fumes in Miami-Dade school buses, she found the rates were ten times higher than the EPA recommends, far higher than OSHA allows for work sites. Air pollution reduces test scores, slows cognition, creates nausea and headaches, as well as increases cancer and asthma. The evidence makes it hard for school districts to look away. In February 2021, the Miami-Dade school district became one of many around the nation committing to zero-emissions bus fleets.
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Published On 3/19/2022
It’s 6 a.m., your shift starts in an hour, and your one-year-old has a fever. You scroll through your contacts wondering who can watch your baby. Why, you wonder, is life never smooth, never calm? You’ll ponder that question again that night when your childcare provider calls to say she’s closing her home daycare in a few weeks. Now you have the added stress of finding a new provider.
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Published On 3/12/2022
Since 2020, a number of columnists and pundits have been saying democracy is under siege in the US. Perhaps it is, or maybe this generation is learning for itself the reality of US self-governance. Our democracy is a wild, delightful, developing experiment, and it’s messy. It’s not just a democracy (one person, one vote by popular rule). It’s also a republic, where representatives mitigate the will of the “public,” aka the “vulgar” and “common” masses. Don’t shoot the messenger, that’s part of the etymology of the word.
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Published On 3/5/2022
What if Bobby Knight’s 1988 words to Connie Chung — “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it” — had been uttered in 2018? Would they have killed his career and his legacy? Those words provide a lens into misconceptions about rape. It is not often violent. It has little to do with sexual pleasure, and everything to do with power or control, and it happens far too often, more often than is reported.
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Published On 2/26/2022
The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 might be something of a miracle even with the dynamism of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the energy of Rev. Ralph Abernathy and the Southern Leadership Conference. Making law out of the dream, required...wait for it, lobbyists.
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Published On 2/19/2022
Disclosure: I try to keep my persona out of most League columns, but as an educator for the past eighteen years, I cannot.
Like most educators, I have stories of students chronically absent students who present with clear signs of neglect and abuse - wearing the same dirty clothes, turtling into shells, telling a teacher “I’m not sure I can go on,” having a parent interfere and speak in place of their high schoolers. The parents refuse services; the student complies. A team of guidance counselors, administrators and teachers convenes and is flummoxed about how to proceed. When the administrator to whom I report brought up HB 1134 last week, each story, each student flashed before me.
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Published On 2/12/2022
The League of Black Women is not in the Marvel-verse, but you will marvel. These women helped save the world through poetry, advocacy, ministry, activism, and flight. One even escaped the atmosphere.
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Published On 1/29/2022
“Buildings can teach us if we pay attention,” Ray Wilson told a room of pastors and church leaders in early December. He described crawling onto the roof of his church building to check a radar system they use to keep raccoons from burrowing into the roof of their building. Nelson’s church had discovered the problem during the energy audit to begin working with Energy Stewards, a program to help faith communities reduce energy consumption and improve creation care. The rascally mammals had created a large hole and the building was leaking heat.
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Published On 1/22/2022
“Everybody has business they need to unload and spill,” said Erika Frazier. For her, it’s grief, the end of her marriage, the stress of being her parents’ caregivers, and the worry she wasn’t present for her two children during all those events. When Frazier’s mom died last October, she helped prepare the body for burial. Before that final act of love, Frazier had been running a kind of one-family nursing home for decades. When her dad died in 1996, her mother shut down. Frazier began mothering for her mother along with her children.
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Published On 1/15/2022
Now is always a good time to join the League of Women Voters. If you are like me, you’ve waited, maybe because of young kids, a career, school, a bevy of commitments to your church or other community organization. I want to say that after two years of involvement, it’s worth the small amount of time to participate.
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Published On 1/8/2022
“Imagine a combat vet in his small town where there’s low crime and a high military population. He should fit into the community, but he’s unhomed. He has a disability and complex trauma.” Ted Brinegar, founder of Foxhole Homes, began explaining his objectives by focusing on the challenges that result in homelessness. Brinegar, who has decades of experience working with active duty and retired military vets, founded his non-profit in 2015 with the primary goal of providing sustainable housing and community for vets.
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Published On 1/1/2022
When the street department announced it would put a four-way stop just around the corner from Dari-Licious at Oak and Market streets, a Facebook acquaintance lamented that he’d not attended city meetings. He wasn’t enthused about the change to traffic there. When the county divided over wind farms, those who opposed them attended more meetings and made their voices louder than supporters. Whether it’s traffic flow or how we’ll power our community, local politics affect our daily lives far more than national politics does. Speaking up and trusting our leaders to find working compromises matters.
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Published On 12/25/2021
Though Indiana means “Land of the Indians,” most residents aren’t Native Americans. We don’t call ourselves Indians or Indianaians. Rather we are Hoosiers, a muddied moniker, apropos of our state’s muddier history when it comes to its Native people. How did the Land of the Indians come to have only far less than one percent of its peoples with Native American ancestry? How are so few tribes established in Indiana at present?
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Published On 12/18/2021
“When do you open your Christmas presents?”
When David Sedaris asks in an essay about international Saint Nicholas traditions, he links when families open gifts with how many gifts they give and get. Some families prioritize other traditions- meals and church services, for instance- trending towards restraint in gifting.
“It’s nothing I’d want for myself, but I suppose it’s fine for those who prefer food and family to things of real value,” he jests.
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Published On 12/11/2021
“A good man is hard to find,” wrote Flannery O’Connor. The League of Women voters would reword this: A good human is hard to find, especially one who wants to run for office and serve the public. And, in recent weeks Mayor Barton has put out a call for public servants.
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Published On 12/4/2021
The carbon monoxide detector screeched again. The monitor screen read above four hundred parts per million (PPM) so she opened the backdoor. As she ran upstairs to grab an industrial fan, she shouted to her mother-in-law, “Don’t worry, I’m going to circulate air. I will figure out why this keeps happening.”
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Published On 11/27/2021
Before the Indiana legislative branch received census data to redraw districts for the next decade, this League of Women Voters member sat down with Senator Phil Boots to discuss how to empower voters with more competitive district maps.
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Published On 11/20/2021
Imagine there’s enough affordable daycare for all ages. It’s easier right now through March 2022, if we give it a try. Thanks to pandemic era funding, both parents and providers can find scholarships and grants regardless of income.
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Published On 11/13/2021
New jobs. Millions saved in energy costs. Cleaner communities. A smoother transition to electric vehicles. That’s why the REV Midwest Agreement is great news for all of us.
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Published On 11/6/2021
Meet ALICE — she needs help with childcare.

She’s Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed or she was employed until the pandemic shutdown. She’s heard the headlines about people who need to get back to work, but for her to go back to do so, she’ll need child care, something affordable, maybe with flexible hours, depending who hired her.
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Published On 10/30/2021
Question: how is zoning affecting Crawfordsville’s housing and diversity?
All good columns begin with a question, and one on Crawfordsville’s growth, as it intersects with our housing shortage, population growth, and diversity. Mayor Barton has noted in interviews and on podcasts that Montgomery County and Crawfordsville have a housing shortage in spite of our stagnant population growth.
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Published On 10/23/2021
In the spring of 2018, crowds gathered around the Montgomery County courthouse in downtown Crawfordsville to see a 22-year effort come to fruition. On May 17, an enormous crane lifted the 86-foot, four-sided, restored clock tower with its five-foot clock faces into place atop the historic building. It had been nearly 80 years since a clock tower tower had crowned the courthouse.
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Published On 10/16/2021
Our Montgomery County Administrator Tom Klein is quick to remind citizens that the new Montgomery County Government Center (currently under construction) is not simply a “courthouse annex” designed to store the overflow of records. To understand this important distinction that accompanies the relocation of many county departments, let’s take a quick glance at county government’s function.
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Published On 10/9/2021
Eviction is humiliating, frightening, and stigma-bearing. Sometimes, it’s a slow process of utilities shut off by authorities, belongings shoveled onto the street for all to see, hastily renting
storage that a person may not be able to pay for, having those belongings auctioned off as a lot. Sometimes, it means a parent divides her children, sending some to live with this or that
relative. The personal experience ripples to children, family, and beyond. It’s why eviction-prevention became a rallying point during the shutdown.
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Published On 10/2/2021
Is it possible to help too much? When it comes to shelter and other basic needs, the question is worth wrestling with. Stacey Doty, who is Crawfordsville Housing Authority’s director, has borne witness to the need both in Montgomery County and Parke County, where she previously served.
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Published On 9/25/2021
Who are you going to call if your road needs a sign or a bridge seems to need an inspection? Where can you find court forms asking for a settlement with your landlord? Where are child support numbers? Which government- city or county- in charge of these services? We may not know because county government is complex and more collaborative than most of us realize.
For this reason, County Administrator Tom Klein presented County Government 101 to the Chamber of Commerce and the public on Monday, Sept. 13th. The League of Women Voters cosponsored the forum where Klein mapped the many departments of county government.
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Published On 9/18/2021
The League of Women Voters in Montgomery County concluded a housing study in 2017. Their data affirmed the call for more options for seniors, options that focus on affordability, dignity, and capacity for all stages of aging.
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Published On 9/11/2021
What a surprise, locals might have thought when the Census Bureau confirmed in August that there is a shortage of housing units in Crawfordsville.
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Published On 9/4/2021
In August, Indiana’s legislature received the US Census data, which green lighted the drawing of the district maps for the next decade. Maps will be drawn for national, state, and county voting districts.
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Published On 8/28/2021
For the ninety-five years between the 15th Amendment and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, it seemed reasonable and right to many Americans to enact “poll taxes, literacy tests, and other bureaucratic obstacles” (ourdocuments.gov) to prevent Black, Native and other races from voting.
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Published On 8/21/2021
Historical markers. It’s easy to pass them by without stopping to read the words that unassumingly anchor our city to its story. On the corner of Wabash and Grant, where the colonnade for Wabash College stands reads one of the city’s newest markers: “Dr. Mary Holloway Wilhite..."
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Published On 8/14/2021
Wendell Berry wrote 'The Hidden Wound' in the year of Dr. King’s assassination, when another piece of the shrapnel, buried in us
all, broke to the surface.
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Published On 8/4/2021
On Aug. 18, 1920, the ratification of the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote. Not all women, though, because the history of voting rights is not equal to voting access. Nevertheless, it was a start and had a context of its own, a context that rhymes with the present.
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Published On 7/19/2021
What is the simplest, most patriotic act one can do for their nation? Vote. Voting is the central act of self-governance, and it should be accessible to all citizens.
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