The Latest Thumbs

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Thumbs up: Refresh the parks

People for Urban Progress (PUP), a nonprofit organization

located in Fountain Square's Murphy Building, works on projects associated with

public transit, environmental awareness and urban design. Their latest effort

concerns creating shelters for neighborhood parks using recycled roofing from

the RCA Dome. PUP is trying to raise money for this idea through the Pepsi

Refresh Project. If enough people vote for their project in May, PUP will get

$250,000 for shelter construction. To learn more about PUP, go to www.peopleup.org. To vote, go to

www.refresheverything.com/pup.

Thumbs up: Words work

As many as 70 percent of jail inmates struggle with reading,

but those that receive adult literacy instruction are less likely to find

themselves back in jail once they are released and have a better chance of

finding work. So it's good news that Indy Reads, the nonprofit volunteer

organization that trains tutors to help adults improve their literacy skills,

has received a $24,000 Community Crime Prevention Grant from the city to assign

tutors to work with jail inmates for the next year. If you would like to be a

volunteer tutor call 317-275-4040 or go to www.indyreads.org.

Thumbs down: End of an era

Ernie Pyle was a legendary journalist, whose dispatches from

the front during World War II captured the lives and deaths of combat soldiers.

Pyle himself was killed in action just before the war's end. Pyle's boyhood

home in Dana, Indiana has been a state historic site since 1976, but it is

being closed by the Dept. of Natural Resources due to low attendance. Beside

being in an out-of-the-way location, it seems the Pyle house was whipsawed by

its claim to two equally fading forms of fame: history and journalism.

Thumbs up: Vote for more trees

Here's an easy way to get more trees for Indiana. The

Odwalla Plant a Tree Program enables a person to vote at www.odwalla.com/plantatree for the

state in which he or she wants trees to be planted. Each vote nets $1 for the

voter's state parks to use for tree planting. You can only vote once, so tell

your friends. A total of $200,000 is available for 49 states. Voting starts May

25.

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