January 3, 2014

Thorns and Roses, Jan. 3, 2014


---- — Stirring up skaters

The Pharos-Tribune extends this Rose to leaders of the Peru skate park project:

It’s easy to complain that “kids these days” spend too much time on their computers, tablets or smartphones. It’s another thing entirely to build a safe place for those children and teens to get active outside the house. But that’s just what a team of volunteers in Peru are doing.

Steve Anderson and others are gathering donations to build a 14,000-square-foot skate park on land donated by the Peru Parks Department. They’ve already gotten $7,000 in monetary donations and another $46,000 in in-kind pledges of businesses offering labor and services.

Anderson said he wanted to build a skate park open to kids with skateboards, bicycles, roller blades and scooters because of what he’s seen his 13-year-old son doing. The boy has been skating for six years, Anderson said, and wanted someplace in town to practice.

We applaud the project and its aim to help kids get active doing something they enjoy.

Ready, aim, train

The Pharos-Tribune extends this Rose to the team launching a military simulation airsoft squad:

Airsoft battles sound like teenage play to many ears. But for Zach Funk and others leading the newest squad of the 14th Light Infantry Division, a military-style competitive airsoft group, it’s serious business.

The team trains mimicking the rigor and precision of the U.S. Army to help recruits learn to think on their feet and make good choices under pressure. The leaders pour hundreds of dollars into gear they use in the training exercises and in the competitions, where teams may spend eight hours or several days locked in battle.

Funk says it’s not about the competition, though. Instead, he focuses on fostering growth in the recruits, most of whom are men. The team also attracts military veterans recently returning from deployment.

Strengthening people’s character and building a deeply needed support network for returning veterans are worthy goals for north-central Indiana. We wish Funk and his teammates the best in their efforts to recruit more participants.

Taking up the torch

The Pharos-Tribune extends this Rose to newly appointed Indiana Veterans’ Home Superintendent Linda Sharp:

When we heard a Logansport native would be taking the helm of Lafayette’s Indiana Veterans’ Home, we couldn’t have been prouder. The facility is home to about 240 veterans whose medical needs require constant care, and it’s where Army reservist Linda Sharp started out as a charge nurse in 2010.

Sharp got a standing ovation from staff and residents when they learned the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs had appointed her to fill the spot that hasn’t had a permanent official since March 2012.

The former combat medic starts in her new position as superintendent of the veterans’ home on Jan. 12.

Kudos to Sharp and her family for accepting the responsibility for caring for the home’s veterans.