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Tuesday, January 17 2012

Disaster Resistant Community(DRC) is hosting the Evansville Earthquake Hazards Maps presentation.


I am inviting you to attendthe upcoming first public look at the new earthquake hazards maps of the Evansville-Henderson metro area. Please pass this invitation on to those you know who will be interested.


On Tuesday, February 7,from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm, new earth quake hazards maps of the Evansville area will be unveiled to the public.  The event will take place at the SouthernIndiana Career & Technology Center, located at 1901 Lynch Road in Evansville, Ind.  The programis Free and open to the public.


There will be a special appearance by “Eliza Bryan”, who lived in New Madrid from 1780 until 1866.  She survived the 1811–1812 New Madridearthquakes and left detailed accounts of her experiences.  Eliza Bryan will share her recollections ofthe Mississippi River running backwards and upheavals of the earth’ssurface during those earthquakes. Phyllis Steckel, an earthquake geologist from Washington, Mo., will portray Eliza Bryan.


The Evansville AreaEarthquake Hazards Mapping Project is funded by the U.S. Geological Survey’sNational Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. The Southwest Indiana Disaster Resistant Community Corporation; Purdue University; the Center for Earthquake Research and Information at the University of Memphis; the U.S. Geological Survey; and the state geologic surveys of Indiana and Kentucky are project leaders. The Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium and CUSEC State Geologists are also involved.


To register go to: - please note this is for the "evening presentation" and list the names ofthose who will be attending.

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 17 2011
Donations Accepted At All Old National Bank Locations


Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel announces that a special fund has been set up to accept donations toward relief efforts in Evansville’s Japanese Sister City, Tochigi City, in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Donations to the “Tochigi City Relief Fund” can be accepted at any Old National Bank location.

Sister City - Tochigi City Japan Guests at ClearcrestThe extent of damage in Tochigi City is still being assessed. Any funds collected above and beyond what is needed for recovery efforts in Tochigi City will be donated to a national relief organization, such as the Japanese Red Cross Society, as may be deemed appropriate by Tochigi City officials.

The City of Evansville has had an official Sister City relationship with Tochigi City since July 19, 1999. Tochigi was chosen to be Evansville’s Japanese Sister City because of similarities between the two communities such as population, active industrial base, location on a river, climate, and reputation as a great place to raise a family. Through numerous visits over the past 12 years, the bonds between our communities have grown strong. Business relationships have expanded. Educational and cultural exchanges have flourished. Acquaintances have turned into friendships.

Read more here.


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, February 17 2010

— As international efforts continue to heal, feed and shelter victims of the earthquake that killed more than 200,000 Haitians and displaced millions more, an Evansville couple are helping supply clean drinking water.

Five days after the Jan. 12 earthquake struck, Joe and Jenny Smith flew from St. Louis to work with Potters For Peace, an organization that teaches locals to make, assemble and distribute inexpensive ceramic filters that provide families with safe drinking water now and for years to come.

Even before the earthquake, illnesses and death from dirty water plagued Haiti, one of the world's poorest countries.

The situation is critical now and will become worse, the Smiths said. A volunteer physician told them, "For all we can do for these people now, they'll still die if they don't have clean water."

The couple recently returned after three weeks working in Haiti and the Dominican Republic with Potters For Peace, a nonprofit organization based in Brisbee, Ariz.

Joe Smith took leave from Oakland City University, where he has taught ceramics for 31 years. He spent his time outside Santiago, Dominican Republic, working 13-hour days with local potters in an established ceramic filter operation to expand operations and increase production.

Jenny Smith, a former international aid worker who most recently operated an art gallery in Evansville, moved into a massive tent city in Jacmel, Haiti. She helped distribute the clay filters made 150 miles away at the factory in Santiago where her husband was working.

Since the quake, an estimated 2,000 clay water filters have gotten to Haitians, more are waiting to be shipped and the Santiago operation has double production, promising an increased flow of filters moving into Haiti in the future, said Jenny Smith.

Raising funds

The couple plan to return this summer to help set up one or two new local operations to make clay purification systems in Haiti. While they're home, they'll work to raise money for the factories, estimated to cost about $60,000 each.

That's nothing compared to what it will take to build water systems for the cities, suburbs and villages that eventually will rise from Haiti's rubble. The ceramic filters do offer an immediate solution for families.

The filter, developed in Guatemala in the early 1980s, looks something like an oversized terra cotta flower pot without drain holes. It's made from clay mixed with prescribed amounts of sawdust, rice husks or other suitable combustible materials available locally.

When fired, the combustible material burns out, leaving a porous vessel that allows water to pass through while filtering out particles. A coating of colloidal silver painted on the inside kills bacteria.

How effective are they? The filters "effectively eliminate 99.88 percent of most waterborne disease agents," according to Potters For Peace's Web site,

Fitted with a plastic lid, the fired clay unit slips like an oversized coffee filter into a large manufactured plastic storage bucket equipped with a spigot at the bottom. Each can hold several gallons of water, which filters through at a rate of up to 21/2 quarts per hour.

"If you fill it up at night, by the morning you'll have enough water ready for a family," Jenny Smith said. "We used one in Haiti, in the tent camp and we never got sick. As a matter of fact, I thought the water tasted better than what we drink (from the tap) here in Evansville."

Depending on the region and local resources, the entire unit costs between $15 and $25, and replacement filters typically run between $4 and $6, according to Potters For Peace.

The Smiths first worked with Potters For Peace in 1999, when the organization helped set up ceramic filter operations in Managua, Nicaragua, as that city struggled to recover from Hurricane Mitch.

Since then, the organization has helped set up operations throughout Central America and in areas around the world lacking clean water.

The factories often are open-air structures consisting of mixing areas, clay presses (using concrete molds and hand-pumped hydraulic truck jacks), drying racks and kilns.

Locals own and operate them as businesses, providing not only clean water, but also employment for the potters and others needed to make and distribute them.

Jenny Smith said she's heard stories about looting in neighborhoods and violence at food distribution points, "but I never felt endangered and I never saw any violence," she said. "I think about how the Haitians I saw helped us and helped each other."

She doesn't blame starving people for being angry.

"There were warehouses full of water and food and it was not being distributed, and there were a lot of communities not getting what they needed," she said.

"I found it very frustrating. Once, when I held a child, I remember thinking, 'This child may not be living in two weeks.'"


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, January 17 2010

EVANSVILLE - Many people are opening their hearts and wallets to help those in need in Haiti, but the FBI wants everyone to be careful who they give their money to.  Officials said past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted scams.

The FBI provided this list of things to look for before making a donation:

• Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages.

• Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.

• Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by utilizing various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group's existence and its nonprofit status rather than following a purported link to the site.

• Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.

• Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the
donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.

• Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.

Officials ask that anyone who gets such an e-mail or may have been a victim of this kind of scam to notify the Internet Crime Compliant Center at

The IC3 is a joint effort between the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance to report and alert authorities of online scams.


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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