Thumbs Up/Down for Monday, June 30, 2014

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Thumbs up to Maria Gorces. A 2010 graduate of Evansville High School, Gorces lives in Florida. She reached out to The Gazette after reading that heroin is ravaging many lives in Rock County. Gorces has been there. She resides in a long-term recovery apartment in West Palm Beach. Come November, she will celebrate three years of sobriety. She wanted to share her story in hopes it might inspire others to seek treatment. Now 22, Gorces started drinking and smoking marijuana at age 14. She became addicted to a prescription drug at age 15. By 16, she was using heroin. She lied and stole as it consumed her life. A phone conversation with a man at a treatment center changed her life. Because Rock County has no residential treatment center, she entered one in Florida. She wants users to have faith that they, too, can escape the all-consuming cycle of addiction. “I want people to know there is hope,” she told columnist Anna Marie Lux. “There is always hope.”

Thumbs up to JPAC’s Encore class. The Janesville Performing Arts Center is teaming with the Janesville Senior Center to offer senior citizens chances to dabble in theater. The new Encore performance class is introducing some seniors to theater while helping others revisit talents used long ago. “It gives them an opportunity to experience the theater and use their minds and imaginations, which is very important to keep their brain cells working,” instructor Ron Brown told reporter Shelly Birkelo. The Monday morning classes continue through July 28, when seniors will perform a theatrical revue at 7 p.m. at JPAC, 408 S. Main St.

Thumbs down to storm-chasing contractors. Storms devastated parts of southern Wisconsin this month. Unscrupulous contractors soon followed. Such companies often employ out-of-state workers and move from town to town quickly. They pressure homeowners for down payments and might do poor work or disappear with the cash. A new state law is designed to reduce such problems. Among provisions, it bans contractors from negotiating with insurers on behalf of homeowners. Contractors also cannot pay insurance deductibles for homeowners. Sandy Chalmers of the state’s consumer-protection agency advises people to never let such contractors into your home. Instead, research and hire local companies based on referrals from friends or neighbors. Ask the company if subcontractors will be doing the work. Be wary of such arrangements. For information or to file a complaint, contact the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection at 800-422-7128, email datcphotline@wisconsin.gov.

Thumbs up to “building community” at the library. Hedberg Public Library is promoting a sense of community by showcasing talents of Janesville residents. Among the educational events have been “Gardening Wherever You Are” and sessions on canning and cake decorating. In the June issue of Park Place News, Library Director Bryan McCormick explained how the sessions nurture relationships between people, places and organizations. “By connecting people in our community with those who have similar interests or skills, we begin to create relationships that allow us to work together for the common good. We become friendlier and more accommodating to each other. These shared interests often help us to overcome our differences, come up with new ideas, programs and activities—even solve problems or issues that may be facing the community. It also helps to create a warmer, friendly atmosphere.” McCormick promises more such events. We look forward to the announcements.

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