Thumbs Up/Down for Monday, April 28, 2014
Thumbs up to the Charles Tallman Archives and Research Center. The Rock County Historical Society has opened a great resource center at 430 N. Jackson St., next to the Lincoln Tallman House museum. Many of the archives, including photos, newspaper articles and other documents, were housed in the cramped Wilson King Stone House nearby. The new climate-controlled center offers a reading room, Wi-Fi access and volunteer staffers to help those doing genealogy or researching county history. It’s no surprise that visitors, phone and email inquiries are rising rapidly. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and from noon to 3 p.m. Fridays or by appointment. For information, call 608-752-5891 or visit rchs.us.
Thumbs up to an Evansville community garden. The only disappointing aspect of this idea appears to be that it won’t bear fruit—or vegetables—until next year. Credit the city, a St. John’s Lutheran Church community service committee, the Lions Club and the Evansville Farmers Market for teaming up on the idea. The city parks board has approved use of an acre in West Side Park. The garden might be used to benefit the local food pantry and as a place for day care children to tend plants and learn how things grow. A steering committee that will help craft rules has formed, and organizers hope to sign up people for plots over next winter. Interested Evansville residents should contact retired teacher Butch Beedle at email@example.com.
Thumbs down to inadequate rental insurance. Sometimes, the misfortune of one family can serve as a lesson for others. Take Sarah and Chad Hessian and their two children. Though the Janesville couple had renters insurance, the amount was far from adequate. A fire April 10 in the garage of the home they rented at 1516 Manor Drive destroyed their minivan and the garage and left many other belongings unsalvageable because of water and smoke damage. With the place uninhabitable, they couldn’t reclaim their security deposit and stop paying rent until all belongings were out. Sarah, who’s expecting a third child, told Gazette reporter Nick Crow that the family would get $30,000 from their insurance but estimated the value of their belongings at $110,000. Renters insurance can be reasonably priced. While it’s vital to have some coverage, it’s a good idea to increase coverage as you acquire more possessions through the years. The Hessians, unfortunately, are learning this the hard way.
Thumbs up Whitewater’s Community Clothes Closet. The closet offers free, gently used clothing to those in need. Art and Eva Hughes started it 13 years ago at United Methodist Church, and it moved to the Congregational United Church of Christ when space became a problem. This is prom season, and as The Gazette reported Thursday, the closet teamed up with Whitewater High School’s National Honors Society to collect formal wear and sponsor a Prom Possible event last week to make the dream of attending prom more affordable for some students. Organizations at UW-Whitewater also got involved, and community volunteers donated alterations. The two churches work together on the closet, which also accepts household items and toys in good condition. It’s open the first and third Saturdays of each month from the third weekend in August through the first Saturday in June. Click on gazettextra.com/clothescloset for more information. To help or donate, email Kay Robers at firstname.lastname@example.org.