Sunday, November 30, 2008

International Center in Valparaiso

International center coming to Valpo

We know this family, and are proud of their efforts ... Go Davisons!

VALPARAISO | Duane Davison and a small group of volunteers worked off their Thanksgiving meals Friday by ripping out the flooring in a 128-year-old house just east of Morgan Boulevard along the north side of Lincolnway. (sorry for bad photo, NWI Times has the worst photos and tries to sell them online ... another case of totally misunderstanding online media)

Davison purchased the house at 309 E. Lincolnway a year and a half ago to fulfill his dream of opening an international center that will bring together Valparaiso University, the local community and international residents of the area.

Where others now see unfinished floors, piles of construction debris and exposed beams, Davison sees a variety of ethnic groups hosting cooking, language and dance classes. He also envisions being able to stop in on any given evening to find discussions on current events or a group of sports fans watching an international soccer game.

"Sports are another thing that brings people together internationally," Davison said.

The Valparaiso International Center is not slated to open its doors until early spring, but those who are curious can take a peek Friday through Sunday when the facility hosts a fair-trade craft fair. The fair runs 4-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Davison said the idea of the center stems from the eight and half years he spent travelling through 80 countries before settling down in Valparaiso with his wife, Frieda, and four children. He said he wants his children to have a more broad cultural experience than they otherwise may have in the area.

Unlike other cultural centers in the region that focus on one ethnic group, Davison said the VIC will be open to all. He hopes to have a different cultural group take over the center each month and offer their own unique experience.

He is excited about the downtown location, which is accessible by pedestrians and those relying on the local V-Line bus service.

"We want people to open up and have a dialogue with each other," Davison said.

Mortgage blog in NW Indiana

Yes, I'm also in the mortgage business. But, the expressed intent of this site is to feature other great bloggers in NW Indiana.

Northwest Indiana Mortgages

For those looking for our website, please check it out First Financial Trust Mortgage. For home mortgage loans in Indiana we focus on FHA mortgages and first time buyers.

As always call me at 219-762-7200 or email me at Northwest Indiana Mortgage Steve

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Indy tweetup - huge success today

Was able to meet some twitter friends, who are excited about ways that God is using online social media to connect missions, churches, and those of us interested in both

One project that I've considered is finding as many online social missions personalities as I can
A number of 'tweeps' showed up today for a 'tweetup' -- don't ask. LOL. We heard 'names' like...
...and a girl named Tabby who has a dog named Bruce.
...and a guy named Bruce who has a cat named Tabby. Go figure.
We discussed how Twitter, Facebook and other social-networking sites can help missions and global awareness in general.... eg. the recent Mumbai story... being reported minute by minute among tweeters onsite at the hotels under seige.
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving - We have overcome

No pun intended, Happy Thanksgiving. In this time of economic worry, I felt it important this morning to remember that we have overcome many obstacles along the way in our nation's history and we will overcome these as well. Now, before we take ourselves too serious, we've also been blessed by God and it's high time we take those blessings serious. No soapbox today though.

Thanks for our families, for our churches, for our communities. Thanks for the ability to speak freely and gather in whatever groups we choose. Thanks for our government leaders, although we may have voted different, their responsibilities are great and warrant our support. Thanks for Northwest Indiana, the Southshore of beaches and mills of jobs.

As we gather with friends and family today, remember those who are not as fortunate as you ... there are homeless in NW Indiana, there are hungry, there are families still suffering from the floods a few months ago, there are families unemployed or worried about being unemployed soon. Pause a moment, how can you help.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Have a vision for NW Indiana? Share it

Forum on The Future of Northwest Indiana

The Future of Northwest Indiana Forum is the first-ever region-wide public meeting to help plan and create a vision for the future of Lake, Porter and La Porte Counties.

The event will take place on Saturday, December 6 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza in Merrillville. Registration and continental breakfast begin at 8:00 am.

The forum will use mediated small-group conversations and keypad polling technology to garner instant ideas and feedback from participants. Input on local priorities including transportation, environmental and economic growth, land use, and how to ensure social equity within the region will be the central focus of this first-ever meeting to develop a vision for the region’s future.

The forum kicks off a long-term effort to develop the region’s first three-county, comprehensive, regional plan to address the changing face of the area by the year 2040.

This conversation is about you, your family, and your local community.


Traffic to Porter County Political Site

Our most successful site this year, for obvious reasons, was our political site here locally. What's been nice has been the traffic levels continuing after the election. Although I'd prefer to see subscribers growing (with 75-85 right now) and daily traffic between 50 and 120.

For December I'd like to set some goals for the site: 1) break 100 subscribers 2) average more than 100 visitors per day for entire month.
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This Week's Visits and Page Views
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Monday, November 24, 2008

24 Redemption and Jack Bauer to Obama

An fun question, what would Jack Bauer tell Barack Obama if such a fictional conversation were to take place?

What would Jack Bauer tell Pres. Barack Obama

I asked on twitter, and then was encouraged to start an open thread: What would Jack Bauer tell Pres-elect Barack Obama about the world? (tonite being the 24 Redemption and all)
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Northwest Indiana Blogger Roundup

It's been a while since I've shown the best posts in Northwest Indiana, a feature I used to use a lot. So here goes, if you're looking for great writers in NW Indiana, start subscribing and commenting on these:

James Barath at My Mortgage Mortgage Blog is doing a nice job spotlighting important economic news each day. Sure he's a competitor for my own Mortgage Business, but I always appreciate a good writer.

Are you a member at NW Indiana ReConnect yet?

Another of my political sites Red County - Porter County Indiana, with some national exposure and debates thrown in. Today's post was a round up of NW Indiana political posts.

Ever asked: How do I set up google reader? Well I was asked and wrote the post, I'm sure revisions will be regular since regular readers love to tell me when I've written incorrectly.

Cigar smokin Dave Woodson, another mortgage professional here in NW Indiana, on integrity a huge need in this industry.

Jonathon Thomas, with four blogs to his name already, is posting better photos than any of the rest of us in NW Indiana.

As always you have to check out Dan's posts at Prayeramedic, 390days, and NWI Connect. Oh I almost forgot Tyranny Watch.

Yes, I post somewhere between 50-75 posts a week, on 30 different sites. But that sounds a lot wilder than it is, since I cross post similar material and re-post links to terrific writers like these above. Again, if you aren't using RSS reader, get in the groove, you're working way too hard to follow some great Chicago Southshore writers.

Northwest Indiana Politics - Join the debate

If you are a regular reader, then we'd like to encourage you to add us to your RSS reader. If you aren't but love politics, please stop in often

First, let me thank all our regular readers, can't say that I know how many of you there are, but we do now feature close to 100 RSS subscribers. If you read here often, then add our RSS feed to your readers. Here's the RSS link to make it easy. If you need an easy step by step tutorial on how to set up a google reader, go to First time setting up Google Reader.
Thanks again for making us the most active political blog in Northern Indiana, and last week's #4 most active blog in the state on Blog Net News!
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Northwest Indiana LakeNET

Just found this site today, the blogging links are extremely weak so most of the "5,000+" links are pretty weak old version web 1.0 sites from chamber lists. They do host not for profit websites, mainly due to their funding coming from State grant.

My humble opinion is that the board needs some web 2.0 talent, some people that actually engage in social media. The site is pretty but not all that useful yet.
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LakeNET is a community website and database devoted to "All Things, Lake and Porter County, Indiana". The LakeNET website contains over 5,000+ links to websites containing valuable information about Lake and Porter County, Northwest Indiana, the Calumet Region, the state of Indiana and more.

LakeNET was made possible, in 1996, by a grant from Access Indiana, an initiative of the Governor's office in cooperation with the Indiana Department Of Education.

In 2004, LakeNET purchased a new server, created a new database which allowed our members to update their own websites and allowed us to expand our website greatly. In 2007, we received a grant from the Legacy Foundation to make improvements to our site, including adding Joomla! software to manage our content and a web re-design, which was posted on July 1, 2008.

LakeNET does not have a yearly budget.  We rely on grants and business sponsorships to pay for our hosting.

Board of Directors 2008-2009

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Do you Squidoo? Northwest Indiana

I set this one up many months ago, do you squidoo? I'd like to hear from people who have had some success
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Welcome to Northwest Indiana


I've tried to list as many helpful links and resources as possible, starting of course with our master list of close to 100 local bloggers

Bloggers in Northwest Indiana Spotlight 

Northwest Indiana Stuff

1 - I can do better
2 - Jury's out
3 - Pretty darn good
4 - Splendiferous
5 - Awesometastic
(by 1 person)  
Your rating:
1 - I can do better
2 - Jury's out
3 - Pretty darn good
4 - Splendiferous
5 - Awesometastic

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Porter County Neighborlink

Just plain citizens helping other citizens out, that's a great model and we're glad to give them some link love.

NeighborLink Now

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Well, it's official! We have finally launched NeighborLink Porter County and what a blessing it has been already!

Larry and I had been searching for a way to help those in our community. We weren't sure how to connect those with needs with those who could volunteer to meet the needs. We knew what we wanted to do, we just didn't know how we were going to do it. We went to our Pastor and shared our ideas with him. He knew of an organization in Fort Wayne that was doing exactly what we were describing. We met with the leaders there and they agreed to allow us to model NeighborLink Porter County after them. So on October 11th, we officially launched NeighborLink Porter County.
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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Michael Crichton Passes Away

The next book I will be reading ... Micheal Crichton questions the entire Global Warming Theory. I can't wait to dig in.

This review is from: Amazon Books
"Michael Crichton has always used the latent but, in his view, underappreciated dangers associated with scientific advancement as a theme in his books (microbiology in The Andromeda Strain, genetic engineering in Jurassic park, and so on).

In State of Fear he reverses field and uses the incorrectly perceived threats of environmental disaster as the underlying impetus for a novel. In Crichton's view, the whole global warming argument is false. His view is that environmentalism has degenerated into a quasi religious system devoid of scientific veracity. Thus, the proponents of the global warming hysteria are pushing faith over fact, many of them have lost their moorings and the inevitable result is a grand conspiracy.

At the heart of this conspiracy is Nick Drake, head of a radical environmentalist group. Outraged that a significant source of funding has been closed by the donors getting Drakes science debunked by a MIT professor, drakes sets out on a murderous course that is designed to both do away with his detractors and enemies while concomitantly creating a profound state of fear about global warming among the public.

As is generally the case with Crichton, an avalanche of scientific data is imparted in Crichton's usual informative yet entertaining manner. Many will debate the validity of Crichton's "science" as regards the issue of global warming. As Crichton so deftly displays in this novel, this issue has become more political than scientific in many ways and there's no reason this novel won't be analyzed in that light.

The story has all the traditional strengths and weaknesses of a Crichton novel. Crichton is an accomplished technician and that comes through in this novel. It can justifiably be called a page turner. However, the methodology of using characters to do the education creates a scenario wherein the characters become somewhat robotic and predictable, not truly fully fleshed out human beings.

However, that's quibbling. This is a very fine novel. I suspect one's enjoyment will be colored to a great degree with how strongly one leans to or away from Crichton's premise. That aside, this ranks as one of his better works."

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Rebuild the Republican Party

Some aggressive and bold moves this week to start the process of learning from our mistakes and structural problems ... learning from the Obama and Ron Paul movements ... and rebuilding the party. Well worth reading the entire platform.
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The Plan for the Future

As Republicans, we face a choice.

Either we can spend the next several months -- or years -- trying to figure out what just happened, excusing our defeat away as a temporary blip or the result of a poor environment, and waiting for Barack Obama to trip up. Or we can refuse to take this defeat lying down, and start building the future of our party now.

2008 made one thing clear: if allowed to go unchecked, the Democrats' structural advantages, including their use of the Internet, their more than 2-to-1 advantage with young voters, their discovery of a better grassroots model -- will be as big a threat to the future of the GOP as the toxic political environment we have faced the last few years.

Endorse the plan and urge the candidates for RNC Chairman to adopt these principles

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama Citizenship Questions

Dan at Tyranny watch has run a series on this legal case, does it matter anymore now that he's won the election? Subscribe to Tyranny Watch's feed for daily updates on this issue.

  1. Supreme Court demands Obama eligibility validation documents The United States Supreme Court will not halt the tabulation of the 2008 presidential election results as requested by Philip J. Berg. Berg wanted the count stopped…
  2. Berg appeals to Supreme Court in case challenging Obama’s citizenship Philip Berg has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to…
  3. Philip Berg filed in Supreme Court Yesterday for an Injunction to Stay Presidential Election Pending Writ of Certiorari regarding Obama who is “NOT” qualified to be President of the United States (Press Release - 10/30/08 - Contact information and pdf of…
  4. Hawaii Verifies Obama’s Birth Certificate The state’s Department of Health director on Friday released a…
  5. And the rumors about Obama’s citizenship… UPDATE: May be true. . . . This is the…

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Predict the electoral college result

I posted a request for people to predict Electoral Results, on FriendFeed, if you get a chance weigh in here or there.

I predict: a tie!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Valparaiso Church - Apologizes

For letting church get in the way of Christ
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Valparaiso Nazarene Church

VNC Apologizes

Studies have shown that most "un-churched" people do not have a great problem with Jesus Christ. Their problem is with the church. They may want an opportunity to investigate the claims of Christ and consider if they are relevant for their own lives. They hesitate because they have little use for His church. The 21st century church has been perceived in a mostly negative manner. The church can cry out that it is not true, that our behavior has been misjudged, but in reality it is no longer important if this is true or not. If the perception exists, then the damage is done. Maybe the wisest thing the church of today can do is to look their communities in the eye and apologize.

Worship Center Topics

Nov. 1/2 - Sorry for Our Hypocrisies
Nov. 8/9 - Sorry for Our Mistreatment of Homosexuals
Nov. 15/16 - Sorry for Our Judgmental Spirit

The Venue Topics

Nov. 2 - Sorry for The Hidden Agendas
Nov. 9 - Sorry for How We have Engaged in Politics
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