This Week's Facts:
EPA Tool Localizes Environmental Info
Here’s a feature from the Environmental Protection Agency that may be of interest to patrons. MyEnvironment gathers environmental information on a specific geographical area based on ZIP code. You can find out air quality indicators, your number on the UV Index, even current ozone conditions. The MyHealth section also details cancer risks, mortality and low birth weight measurements for the area. One useful part is MyCollaboration. In addition to providing contact information and widgets for your own website, it features an interactive map that lets you know what sort of environmental projects are going on in your area. Earth Day is coming up next month. If you want to volunteer but need some ideas, this is a great place to start!
Friday Facts Editorial Team:
On Sunday, March 14, Indiana observes Daylight Savings Time at 2 a.m. Remember to set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night before bed and “spring ahead.” Just in case you’ve forgotten what time zone you’re in, you can look at the map and find your corresponding county to determine your specific time zone. To find out what time it is at anywhere in Indiana or the U.S. at any time of day, you can visit the federal government’s Time.gov website. Read an article about the history of Daylight Savings Time on the NationalAtlas – Saving Time, Saving Energy website. Remind your patrons to adjust their clocks this weekend or they’ll be late!
In 2007, Lt. Governor Becky Skillman created the Hoosier Rising Star Award to acknowledge the contributions young Hoosiers have made in their communities. Presented annually, this award is given to outstanding young people who have influenced their communities with deeds and acts such as contributing to violence prevention, leadership, co-founding and creating chapters for the injustice in Darfur, and other social and economic injustices throughout Indiana and the world. Any student enrolled in grades K-12 during the 2009-10 school year who lives in Indiana is eligible for the award. Strong candidates for this award should exhibit strong leadership skills and have performed at least one significant volunteer opportunity during the school year. The application and supporting documents that nominate the student must be received by the Lt. Governor’s Office by March 31, 2010. For more information regarding eligibility and previous winners’ activities, visit the Hoosier Rising Star Award website.
As of 2008, 36.3 million Americans claimed Irish ancestry – eight times the number of people living in Ireland today. In order to honor these people and the contributions they’ve made to American society over the years, March has been proclaimed Irish-American Heritage Month. In 2010, the month has a dual purpose – it is also meant to honor the late Senator Edward Kennedy, a very prominent Irish-American.
While not everyone is aware of Irish-American Heritage Month, it is difficult to find someone who is not familiar with St Patrick’s Day! Celebrated on March 17, it is in honor of St Patrick, one of the patron saints of Ireland. St Patrick’s Day is celebrated with festivals and parades around the world.
St Patrick’s Day isn’t the only day of celebration in March for Hoosiers. With the Big Ten Tournament and March Madness, the people of Indiana have a lot to celebrate. Because of this, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials, is conducting Operation Pull Over. Lasting from March 6-22, this is a period of intense vehicular vigilance, including pullovers and sobriety tests. Honor your Irish ancestors and drive safely this month!
For more information about St Patrick’s Day and the Irish in America, you may be interested in Today in History from the Library of Congress. Additionally, America’s Library provides information on St Patrick’s Day celebrations throughout the country. Of course, for statistical data, visit the Census Bureau's Irish-American Heritage Month - Facts for Features.
Census Day, April 1st, is less than three weeks away. Most U.S. residents have received a letter reminding them to fill out the census questionnaire which will arrive in mailboxes next week. We will all fill them out according to what is true in our households as of Census Day 2010. This week, the Census Bureau released a special 2010 Census edition of its Facts for Features filled with interesting numerical data about this year’s census. Did you know 360 million questionnaires have been printed, weighing 11.6 million pounds collectively? As the press release states, “Printing the mail-out/mail-back questionnaires (those delivered by mail to residential addresses) required one printer using three printing presses, with one running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for seven months and the other two for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for about seven weeks.”
Most households should receive forms between March 15 and 17. Then, between March 22 and 24, they will receive reminder cards. As stated in 2010 Census by the Numbers, the form does not ask about citizenship or legal status, or for anyone’s Social Security number. For more information about importance of census, see Indiana’s 2010 Census website.
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