Friday, February 18, 2011

Walking with the Lt. Governor: An Important Message to Hoosiers!



Whew!  What a week this has been.  I totally concur with Miss Leah's assessment of the week (except my birthday is not for two more months.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEAH!) over at Beyer Beware.  On Wednesday, I started my time in the van with a trip to the Big Town so Tink could have her expander checked out.  Yep, She has some orthodontia going on to correct a crooked jaw and some upper front teeth seems to have an aversion to coming in straight and in an acceptable line.  Down there, checked, and then back to school, a 50 mile round trip.

Once I dropped her off, I scooted on back to the house to get ready for my trip to the REALLY Big Town and a round table meeting with our Lt. Governor Becky Skillman.  How cool is that?  I'm up at the top of the picture, apparently thinking I was a whole lot taller that I am.  I even had pretty good heels on!  Dang!  She met with around 30 bloggers from the state to talk about what we are passionate about in our posts.  AG was well represented with Leah, Jeannette, Beth, Sherry, and I there.  Mommies with special needs children, a knack for saving money, a passion for health and fitness, and a desire to tell their own stories also attended.

I shared one of my concerns with the Lt. Governor, and I want to share it with you as well.  Many areas in Indiana DO NOT have access to high speed internet OR sustainable/dependable cell phone coverage.  Having access to high speed internet is very important to farmers from a marketing and learning aspect. Even more important on my radar is having cell phone coverage.  There are several parts of our farm ground that do not have cell phone coverage, and this is a serious safety issue.  This fall, we had many fires spring up because of the dry weather and high winds.  It is extremely stressful to see smoke outside your window, call your husband on his cell phone to check on him, and NOT be able to contact him.  We are talking potential loss of crops, machinery, and life, and it scares the bejesus out of me!

There is something we can do, though.  We have to SQUEAK!!!!  The Lt. Governor set up the Indiana Office of Technology.  According to the data this office has, 92% of Indiana has access to high speed internet.  I'm not sure how your connection is, but I know of several families still on dial-up!  We need to let this office know of areas and/or residents that do not have this access.  Here is what her Deputy Secretary sent to me:

Below is the link to the questionnaire. Once you are on the page, click “Indiana Broadband Service Questionnaire.” The page will also give you some info about this five year project. The Federal Government is releasing their first report on the initial findings from all states including Indiana. 



Now we have a way to be heard, but I would like for everyone to go one more step for me, for all of us out in rural areas and even some small towns who do not have dependable cell phone service.  PLEASE also let our Lt. Governor know that this issue is serious and important.  We have to SQUEAK even more loudly on this issue.  Contact your legislators and move on up the ladder so we can keep our homes and our families safe.  

I don't usually get so serious on here, but I truly believe if we give our voices to this message, it WILL be heard.  We don't usually like squeaky wheels on the farm, but this is the one exception.  
I'm off to send e-mails, write a letter to the editor, and visit the the questionnaire to let my voice be heard on this issue.  I hope you will help me spread the news to the people who read your blog.  Thanks!


9 comments:

  1. Great post Lana. Definitely important issues.

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  2. Nice post and great that you are so involved in these important issues.

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  3. Be that squeaky wheel, Lana... Tell them your concerns and keep telling them --over and over..... They'll fix it for you!!!!

    Neat that you got to meet with the Lt. Gov... SUPER!!!!

    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  4. I was so glad you brought that up -- I learned something. Where I live in the suburbs, cell and internet service is more of a convenience (well, and a work necessity). But you brought up some legitimate safety concerns. Lt. Gov. Skillman seemed to really hear that.

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  5. Lana, how wonderful that you are so passionate about such an important issue. I complain with my sporadic cell service in my condo (in the flight path of Port Columbus - at least that is the excuse) but that complaining is due to inconvenience and not the serious concerns you have. You SHOULD fight for both the cell service and the internet access. If I was in IN I would join your fight. I know it is the same in West Virginia on the cell service as it was non-existent on my parents farm. I wonder if it is the same for Ohio farmers. HMMMMMM

    Thanks also for you thoughts when visiting me at A CREATIVE SPIRIT. I appreciate your info on getting off meds. I just pray that day comes sooner than later.

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  6. I don't know about Indiana, but our state is broke. We have a huge budget deficit, and there's no way we can make sure everyone has everything everyone wants. Something has to give. And someone has to pay for it. I hope you get your better coverage and high speed internet, but I hope your state has a surplus in their budget in order to provide it. Maybe you need to be asking private individuals to band together for the money and put up your own cell tower. The government can't provide anything for anyone unless it takes money away from someone else.

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  7. Indiana still works within a budget, but it is tightening quickly. The Lt. Governor has this goal of total interenet access as one of her priorities because she also oversees the ag part of our state.

    You are right that we also need to petition the companies that provide these services, but we want everyone who thinks there is no problem that there still is one, and it's not always a matter of convenience. It can be a life or death matter.

    You may learn more about our Governor Daniels in the near future. Rumor has it he is "considering" a run for the 2012 Presidential office. That would be interesting!

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  8. It was a good meeting. I think you made valid points that our state needs to not worry about running until we can walk. Cell phone service might be a tad bit more important than internet. After all if there is an emergency we may not have time to run home and email 911!

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  9. I wanted to thank you for coming to the Statehouse. This is the first time I’ve done a roundtable like this, but I’m glad I did. If ever I need a group of advisers, I certainly have a group of knowledgeable, clever and creative women to call upon.

    Lana – I appreciated your question and the opportunity to talk about community and rural development, something that I am passionate about. Thank you for spreading the word about questionnaire. Identifying the pockets of the state without Internet coverage is the first step. I appreciate all that you do to help move Indiana forward!

    Becky Skillman

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