Town of Highland Community

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A Note About Our Economy

I am going to deviate from what I normally post here. It’s time to share a bit about what’s happening within our current economy. This is big-scale talk, but it will affect each and every one of us so it’s something we all need to be discussing and acting on. I want to tell you about Dave Ramsey and his proposed solution; something completely different from what President Bush is proposing.

Now, before I share with you the wisdom of Dave Ramsey, if you’re not already aware let me tell you a bit about who this guy is. Dave is an American financial writer and radio show host. He has perfected a program on how to get out of debt for good, for the individual and families out there. He tells people how to do this on his radio show and in his book. He is smart. He is right. And I did not copy and paste this from anywhere. If there’s anyone’s advice that I’m going to heed in this time of economic crisis it will be from this man. Read what he has to say, read more on his site if you want to (I actually recommend it.. it’s not a gimmick) and of all things, take the action that he recommends.

These are the actions and words that should be followed. This is what we should be doing. Don’t send along all the reactionary emails where people are telling you to pull all of your money out of banks to buy gold, silver and diamonds. Your money is safe. You don’t need a shotgun unless you’re going out into the middle of nowhere to hunt deer. If you are the one taking those kinds of actions, you’re the one contributing to the collapse of the economy and are of the most naive kind out there.

Be smart. Pass along the information that’s worth something and that will actually help; then do something about it.

Dave’s Thoughts About the Economy

Over the past month, we’ve witnessed the largest bankruptcy in history, the stock market dropping like a rock, and the talking heads on TV freaking out that the world is coming to an end. I’m here to tell you the truth—we’re going to make it. We’re going to be fine. Take a chill pill.

This month I’ve compiled some of the most-asked questions I’ve gotten recently from you:

Are we okay, Dave?

Definitely. Remember Enron and WorldCom in the recent years? We survived that. But much worse than all this was the financial crisis of the ’80s – S&L collapse and 1,000 bank failures in 2 years. We’re nowhere near this type of thing; that was probably 50 to 100 times worse than all of this.

What does all of this come back to?

Greedy banks financing homes to broke people. It all seemed to work okay in their minds when the economy was booming, but when the economy slowed a little bit broke people quit paying on their subprime mortgages. DUH. No wonder they went out of business. Stupid decisions.

Is there anything we can do to fix this bailout mess?

YES! Here’s a quick summary: Companies that had billions in subprime loans were feeling the effects of their stupid decision to make those loans in the first place, and practically gave them away for pennies on the dollar. But since no one wants these loans, and they’ve had to mark them down to market value, it has frozen the market. If we temporarily change the rule that forces companies to do that, that will free the market up.

This is an absolutely huge deal, and it involves everyone getting in touch with their congressperson before we spend hundreds of billions of dollars that we don’t need to! Learn more

Will the collapse of businesses and banks going to affect me?

No, not unless you work there. Thousands of stock brokers on Wall Street have lost their jobs in the past few weeks, but that happens in other industries across the country in good and bad times. This time it just happened in NYC where all the national news media is so they made a big deal of it.

If I have 401(k) money in a Merrill Lynch or AIG trading account, should I move the money elsewhere?

No. Your money isn’t with them; your 401(k) money is in the stocks. These big companies are just managers (unless you directly own stock in their company). The only thing that may be an issue is if they crash later, you may have some customer service issues, but your money is still safe. This is a good reminder to not have all of your money in one stock—that’s stupid. Always spread out your money in various growth stock mutual funds.

With these acquisitions, will my 401(k) account and entire portfolio with Merrill Lynch be lost?

No. They just own the company Merrill Lynch. Look at it this way—if I owned 6 rental properties and hired a management company that eventually failed, I would still own the properties; I just wouldn’t have a manager. Your broker doesn’t have title to your stuff. Your 401(k) is not a company asset; that’s the beauty of it.

Should I sell my US stocks to buy gold and foreign stocks?

Absolutely not! Why would you think foreign stocks are any better than US stocks? Again, diversify your money in good growth stock mutual funds instead.

What practical lessons should small business owners learn from these bank difficulties?

When you have no cash, you freakin’ go broke. You must keep some cash on hand, no matter what kind of business you have. Give yourself some wiggle room where you can take a hit and still be standing.

Remain calm, America. We’re in a slow time, but just pay your bills and you’re going to be fine.


Find out more about Dave Ramsey:

Don’t forward something just because someone told you to do so in your email. Pass it along because you’ve done your research, it’s truthful and you also believe in it.

Flood Practical Information

Don’t forget to scroll down and read what Sherry Croach wrote below this post about her experience in the flood! Have a voice and share your story today! Submit it to the site like Sherry did by sending an email:

Absolutely amazing aerial photos from all over The Region.

Up-to-Date Recovery Information
State of Indiana’s Emergency Communication
State of Indiana’s Department of Homeland Security
FEMA: Emergency Recovery Help

The Town of Munster held a community meeting last night to continue coordinating relief efforts. The following provides information about volunteering, donations, and what we can all do to help. Please pass these relief services along to those who may not be able to access email.

Jessica Degiulio, from the Town of Munster, is coordinating many of the town’s efforts. She has asked our PTO President, Kim Temores, to filter information to her. Kim can be reached at via phone 219-746-3738 or email

If you have gathered large donations, or corporate donations, please call Kim Temores, who will pass this information along to the town. There is a large warehouse at 9430C Calumet Avenue that has been designated for storage. Many people have worked tirelessly to secure these needed donations from companies like P&G, Cabela’s, Kimberly Clark and more. At some point, we will be able to thank you all properly. Your efforts have been amazing.

Volunteer Home Base
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church : 8601 Harrison Avenue, Munster
St. Paul’s Church is now organizing all volunteers. The town has asked that residents register to be a volunteer before going to volunteer sites. This has been done for safety reasons. In order to register, please visit the Town Hall or St. Paul’s Church. Volunteer forms can be found at

Cash Donations
A fund has been set up under the name of Munster Civic Foundation Flood Relief. Cash donations are being accepted at People’s Bank located at 9204 Columbia, Munster. 219-853-7500.

Wicker Park
Food and other supplies are available at Wicker Park.

Salvation Army
8225 Columbia Avenue, Munster
Cleaning supplies and other necessities are available at the Salvation Army.
Donations are being accepted.

Westminster Presbyterian Church
8955 Columbia Avenue, Munster
Residents needing clothing or other supplies can find help at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Donations of clothing, non-perishable food items and gift cards are being accepted. They are also taking donations of clothes and toiletries. They especially need soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, towels, feminine hygiene products, razors, etc.

School Supplies
Dyer United Methodist Church, 2016 Church Street, Dyer : 219-865-8947
Families who need school supplies and backpacks.
Donations are being accepted.

Homecoming Dresses and Suits
Many Munster High School students lost their Homecoming clothing for the event planned for this weekend. If anyone has dresses or suites to donate, they can contact Kim Temores: 219-746-3738. If you know of a business that might be willing to donate these items, please contact Kim.

Rental Properties Needed
The Town of Munster is looking for rental properties available for immediate use. Please contact Frank Mrvan, our North Township Trustee. 219-932-2530 or visit

Clean-up Supplies Needed
Garbage bags, rakes, gloves, shovels, fans. All are needed as the clean-up begins. If you know of a corporation who may be willing to donate these items, please contact Kim Temores.

The Town of Munster is working to arrange daycare for those families who need help during clean-up. They are currently looking for a location. More information will be coming soon.

Don’t forget to read what Sherry Croach wrote below this post about her experience in the flood! It’s great to see something from other members of the community. What’s your story? Submit it to the site like Sherry did by sending an email:

Highland Resident Reports on Flooding

I’d like to introduce you to Highland resident, Sherry Croach. She has been sending me flood photos from Highland over the past few days and wants to share with you her experiences around The Region, some photos and a little report from the personal side of things. Please feel free to leave comments here on the blog or send them in via email.

Do you have a story to share about the flood of 2008? Please send an email to Kim:

Click the image below to see all of the photos that Sherry has submitted.

Oh boy, where do I start? I know – the weekend of September 13th – it all started with all this rain and it just wouldn’t quit. By Sunday night, my husband, Paul, and I knew we just might not make it to work as we were hearing about flooding going on in Northwest Indiana, us living in Highland and how bad it was in Munster.

Before even attempting to leave the house Monday morning, I called the non-emergency Highland Police Department number to find out what roads MIGHT be open – Uh, Kennedy Avenue, no; Cline Avenue, no; Calumet Avenue – definitely no. Indianapolis Blvd. – just northbound. Okay, thanks and sorry to bother you. The person I talked to said if I didn’t have to go out on the roads, don’t. Oh, 45th to Kennedy - they’re getting ready to close that now. Not the news I wanted to hear. We both stayed home as there was “no way out” of Highland at that point. We felt stranded.

We decided about 10 a.m. to go check out the Little Calumet River on Kennedy Avenue – oh my!! We could not believe our eyes. First, the river was really high – higher than I’ve ever seen it. The new retaining wall was holding, thankfully and only about 2-3 feet left before the water would reach the top. You could still walk on the bridge but not all the way over. The parking lots over by Wendy’s, Cracker Barrel, the hotels – you could no longer see. It was one big, gigantic lake. We had heard Saturday night they evacuated the hotels. Quite a few people were checking out the river and couldn’t believe their eyes. And they were pumping water into the river from the expressway.

We kept going back about every 2 hours on Monday and it just kept looking worse. I just could not believe what I was seeing and then watching the news and seeing overhead shots – wow!!!!! And me loving to take pictures, had to take my camera and even some video to send to relatives, friends.

September 16, 2008 - We made it to work on Tuesday – through a roundabout way for me as the only road still open was Indianapolis Blvd. But the commute coming home in all this mess was not fun. I work in downtown Chicago and just getting from the South Shore Train station in East Chicago back to Highland took over an hour – what is supposed to only take on average 10 minutes. Tried to go to Cline Avenue south; nope they closed it again. Got on Cline Avenue north – came back to Michigan Avenue and spent a half hour trying to get to Kennedy Avenue. Yahoo – we’re on our way south – got to 173rd, turned left to go to Indianapolis Blvd. – oh boy, traffic backed up there too – another 20 minutes spent sitting around and inching along. Indianapolis Blvd. moved quite quickly and finally got home.

Paul and I decided to go check out the bridge and what we saw from the distance when walking from Plaza Lanes bowling alley was unbelievable. They now had more dirt up – they actually put a dirt barricade over the whole width of the bridge on the south side. I looked at Paul and said, “This is not going to be good”!!!! It was awful. The water had risen probably another foot, maybe more/less – yet not reaching the top of the NEW retaining wall – that was a lifesaver wall they just finished. Water was starting to “slap” over the bridge – but not much – but also creeping on in the southern corner. We saw sand baggers working again today filling up the sandbags as fast as they could.

We did run into 2 ladies in a car and the one mentioned she made 25 quarts of soup for the sand baggers and they ate all but 1 quart. Town of Highland came together once again. The Town of Highland workers were busting butt to get the dirt back and forth and making sure to keep everyone safe.

Wednesday – September 17th: As we’re walking towards the bridge/river once again, we were wondering if the water had gone down. As we got closer a guy was standing on the dirt barricade just looking over all the mess – I did take a picture as I think it shows just what people are seeing and how they react. Geesh – again, the water had come up even more on Kennedy and they were putting more blocks/dirts on the north edge of the bridge. Workers still out there and they were still pumping water from the expressway. This is like so unbelievable. We decided to stand up on the dirt barricade and it was so sad to still see the Wendy’s, other businesses and parking lots all under water. The retaining wall was holding and it looked like less than a foot to go before hitting the top, maybe a little more. They added another pipe to pump water into the river and it was really high. The workers were still on the north end of the bridge and we saw quite a bit of water on the north end.

I tried a different way for my long commute home (but finding out not as long as others were traveling). Tried to go Michigan Avenue to Indianapolis Blvd. but some people feel they want to get through the red light and just basically sit in the middle of the road blocking everyone’s way – 2 left arrows and I gave up – turned around and went back to Michigan to get to Kennedy Avenue. I decided to take this route to 169th Street to Cline Avenue – oh boy!!!!! Not the best move as traffic was backed up – bumper to bumper. To find out, streetlights were out so it was nothing but stop/go traffic. I couldn’t believe that the golf course behind Kmart was completely flooded – man made lake – only saw tops of trees. Kind of scary when seeing all this water coming in all around you, wondering where will it all go.

Thursday – September 18th. I don’t know yet what we might see. I only hope the water starts going down soon before we get anymore rain. Commute home – I’m hoping to keep it under a half hour as I went to the Hammond South Shore Train Station and will again take a different route home. Only time will tell and I’m keeping my fingers crossed the expressways are opened up soon to help alleviate the traffic problems.

One thing I do want to mention, the workers from Town of Highland were really busting butt to get things done and to keep our Town safe. I saw neighbors going to help neighbors, hearing how people were going to sandbag. The same thing happened after the tornado came through - neighbors coming together with neighbors to help each other out to clean up the mess. I’m glad I live in Highland and am proud to be a part of it.

-Sherry Croach, Highland Resident

Images of Highland, Munster, Hammond Flooding from September of 2008


To see an entire gallery of contributed photos and also photos that I took you can click on the FLOODING image above.

Below are a few of the better photos, be sure to click on them to see larger images.

2008-09-14_KennedyAve004 2008-09-14_KennedyAve005 2008-09-14_KennedyAve006 2008-09-14_KennedyAve007 2008-09-14_KennedyAve008 2008-09-14_KennedyAve009 2008-09-14_KennedyAve003 DSC_0654 DSC_0665 DSC_0671 flood-91508-IMG_4713 flood-91508-IMG_4728

Special thanks to Sherry Croach a Highland, IN resident who lives a few blocks from the Kennedy Ave / Borman site for submitting photos.

Photos and Video Needed: Sunday, September 13, 2008 Flooding

Normally I’d have photos and/or video of the flooding that’s going on in Highland, Hammond, Munster and other local areas. I’ve been taking on water into my basement and crawlspace so I’ve been unable to go out to get this news for you. Taking care of things at home, so I’ve been somewhat in the dark here.

If you or anyone that you know has photos or video that you’d like to contribute to this site, please email them to me:

Here’s what I know.

Sunday, September 13, 2008: 9:25pm
The levee at Kennedy Ave has broken
80/94 is closed from Calumet Ave to Cline Ave
North/south travel on most primary and main roads is shut down including: Calumet Ave, Indianapolis Blvd, Kennedy Ave and Cline Ave.

Mandatory Evacuations
North of 1-94 to the River
North of Broadmoor from Calumet to Greenwood
Calumet to Jackson north of School Street, north of River Drive
From Beech to Hawthorne north of Fairway
White Oak to Hawthorne; North of Fairway
SUGGESTED EVACUATION area is North of Broadmoor from Calumet to Manor, north of Ridgeway from Beech to Calumet.
MAP: Munster’s evacuation laid out on a map the town has provided.

Live Media
Indiana Department of Transportation traffic cams of northwest Indiana interstates:

Kennedy Avenue on September 14, 2008 at 3:23pm

Kennedy Avenue on September 14, 2008 at 8:14pm


For additional information please tune into 1230 AM to listen to WJOB. You can find out information about school closings, road closures and additional information that I’m helping to provide to you by way of them as well.

Update 11:40pm

Click this photo for more photos of the flooding that were taken in the afternoon of September 14, 2008 along Kennedy Avenue on the Highland and Hammond border at the 80/94 interstate ramps.