Editor’s Colum: World Civility Day, the health of the river, and why we leave town

You never know where your words will go. Recent columns about “being civil” made their way to Indiana, where the daily Times of Northwest Indiana has

Niki Turner
initiated a Community Civility Counts campaign in partnership with the Gary, Ind., Chamber of Commerce.
I received an email from the Times editor about World Civility Day, set for April 13 this year.
If you want to learn more, or to get involved, you might visit their Facebook page, @civilitycounts.com.
In addition, last week’s story about Otis the courthouse ghost was retweeted by the Legal History and Rare Books Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries.
You never know where your words will go, which should give us all cause to stop and think before we speak. Or tweet.

Water is, quite possibly, our most precious and valuable resource. Look at any disaster preparation site and you’ll be instructed to squirrel away gallons upon gallons of potable water. Besides breathable air, drinkable water is the second most important substance for maintaining human life. That’s why the subject of water pollution, in whatever form, should give us all cause for concern.
The White River is experiencing an algae infection that affects the health of the river we all rely on in one way or another. We all need to work together to eradicate that infection. When our water is at stake it’s not a matter of pointing fingers or casting blame, it’s a matter of choosing life and the greater good. What’s your relationship with the health of our river? Is there something you can do (or stop doing) that might mitigate the problem? It might be something as simple as choosing to buy environmentally-friendly cleaning products. For others it may involve setting aside personal preference and recreational advantage. Unlike most of our political divisions, this situation doesn’t discriminate about economic status or privilege. The health of the river affects everyone, for better or worse.

We’re conducting another non-scientific online poll. We’re leaving the poll up for another week before we reveal the results. If you haven’t taken the poll, it’s just two questions. Question 1 asks you to rank the reasons you go out of town from 1 to 7, and question 2 just gives your ZIP code.
Why do we care? Because economic “leakage” is damaging to our local economy, and perhaps, if we can identify the “why” we can start to pinpoint possible solutions.

I had to chuckle at a comment made at a meeting this week about the improbability of an agency operating without raising their fees since 2005. What business doesn’t raise their rates for a decade? Well, the Herald Times. Our newspaper advertising rates and subscription fees have been the same for more than 10 years. Not that we’re planning on raising rates, but just so y’all are aware.

April is anniversary month here in the office. Happy anniversary to Doc and Debbie Watson this week, Bobby and Wendy Gutierrez last week and happy 27th to my husband Pat this Saturday.