The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging (AoA) recognizes May as Older Americans Month. This year’s theme is Working Together for Strong, Healthy and Supportive Communities. On the AoA website, under the Elders and Families tab, find a wealth of resources for and about America’s senior citizens. These include: a Housing guide, which describes the many living options available today to older American couples and singles; the Alzheimer’s Resource Room, with information about the disease, providing care and support to Alzheimer’s patients, and emergency readiness for older adults and caregivers; a Services for Seniors page, an overview of services provided through the Older Americans Act; and much more. In July of 1965, the Older Americans Act (OAA) paved the way for services for America’s senior citizens. One of the many services it helped to establish was statewide area agencies on aging. Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration website provides a directory to the 16 Indiana Area Agencies on Aging with maps, links to websites, and contact information for each area.
In October of last year, the U.S. Census Bureau issued a 2004 report on older workers in Indiana. One aspect it explored is the impact of retirement of the Baby Boom population (born from 1946 to 1964) on the total workforce. Much of this population subgroup has reached retirement age. How much of an economic impact can it make on different Indiana counties? Read about this in The Geographic Distribution and Characteristics of Older Workers in Indiana: 2004. You can also browse through the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features: Older Americans Month website for a quick nationwide view of statistics about the 65 and over population.
Administration on Aging: http://www.aoa.gov
Indiana Area Agencies on Aging: http://www.in.gov/fssa/da/2551.htm
The Geographic Distribution and Characteristics of Older Workers in Indiana: 2004 http://www.census.gov/prod/2007pubs/ledow07in.pdf
Facts for Features: Older Americans Month http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/011603.html
EVERY VOTE COUNTS
Remind your patrons! Be sure to head to the polls Tuesday to cast your vote in Indiana’s primary election. Take a look at the Census Bureau’s 2008 Elections page and Indiana in Focus: Census Bureau Pre-Primary Snapshot for a comparison of select population characteristics between Indiana’s voting age population and the rest of the United States.
The presidential primary candidate race isn’t the only one on the ballot. See the Indiana Secretary of State’s Candidate List to find out which races you can vote in. If you’re not sure which legislative districts you live in, use the Access Indiana Who’s Your Legislator? search tool to find your Indiana House, Indiana Senate, and U.S. House districts. Double-check your voter registration and find your polling place through the Secretary of State’s Voter Information Portal.
Indiana voters will be required to present a photo ID at their polling places in order to cast a vote. The Indiana Secretary of State issued a press release on the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding this law which can be viewed online. To help every eligible voter get a photo ID in time to cast a ballot, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will have extended hours on Monday, May 5 and Tuesday, May 6. To find your local BMV license branch and to find more information about the extended hours and ID requirements, please see the BMV License Branch Location and Hours website.
The ID requirement is designed to reduce the risk of voter fraud. If you feel that you experience fraudulent activities or accessibility limitations on election day, report your complaint to the your county election board or call the Toll-Free Election Fraud and Accessibility Grievance Line at 866-IN1-VOTE. This hotline will be staffed from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Election Day and from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM on regular business days. The Secretary of State provides forms for reporting grievances and contact information for county election boards at the Fraud and Accessibility Grievance webpage.
Candidate List: http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/pdfs/2008candidate/Abbrev_Candidate_List_022208.pdf
Who’s Your Legislator?: http://www.in.gov/apps/sos/legislator/search/
Voter Information Portal: http://www.indianavoters.com
Photo ID Press Release: http://www.in.gov/sos/press/2008/042808.html
Bureau of Motor Vehicles extended hours: http://www.in.gov/bmv/4664.htm
Fraud and Accessibility Grievances: http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/hava/grievanceline.html
LAST CALL FOR LAST FROST
Get your tomatoes ready – It’s almost time to plant. Most of Indiana falls in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s hardiness zone 5, which means that the lowest temperature during the winter was -15˚F on average for the years between 1974 and 1986. The hardiness zone map can be viewed at the National Arboretum’s website, along with a short list of plants that can be successfully grown in each hardiness zone. The National Climactic Data Center estimates the average last frost date for Indiana falls during the month of May (though there is a 10% chance of a frost after this time). See the NCDC Spring Freeze Occurrence map for a closer look at your part of the state.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips for making sure gardening is a safe, healthy experience for the whole family. Their Gardening Health and Safety Tips page suggests ways to protect yourself from heat-related incidents, bug bites, sunburn, and more. The Indiana State Chemist pesticide database provides safety and use information for hundreds of pesticide and herbicide products. Searches can be conducted by product name, pest/weed affected and active ingredient.
For information about protecting your lawn and garden from pests and disease, use the Purdue Extension Turfcast website and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Information for the Homeowner website. The Turfcast webpage shows risk levels for common lawn diseases and features a blog with suggestions for lawn treatments. The DNR website provides links to information about common home garden pests, such as Japanese Beetles and ticks.
Gardeners also want to be sure to protect beneficial pollinator species, such as bees. Learn how to keep bees from being inadvertently exposed to pesticides with Purdue Extension publication E-53. Find out more about the threats to Indiana’s bee population, as well as information about colony collapse disorder and beekeeping from DNR’s Apiary Division website.
USDA National Arboretum Hardiness Zone Map: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/
National Climactic Data Center Spring Freeze Occurrence Map: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/freezefrost/Spring32F.pdf
CDC Gardening Tips: http://www.cdc.gov/family/gardening/
Indiana State Chemist pesticide database: http://www.kellysolutions.com/in/pesticideindex.asp
Purdue Extension Turfcast: http://btny.agriculture.purdue.edu/turfcast/
DNR Information for the Homeowner: http://www.in.gov/dnr/entomolo/6155.htm
Purdue Extension publication E-53: http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publications/E-53.pdf
DNR Apiary Division: http://www.in.gov/dnr/entomolo/5632.htm
by Katharine Springer & Jesse Lewis