I don’t usually respond to things I read in the paper, but unfortunately this is not the first time I have heard the comment about “those” people from others who are supposed to be community leaders. I am referring to article about the “cat” problem and some of the county board members contributions.
I guess when I think of community leaders, I think of those people who are elected to serve the “greater” good as opposed to their own “personal interest.” Some of “those” people you are referring to just happen to be what we call the “working poor”. They may well be college educated and working in your community to help fix problems that have become a part of the community, some of which have been caused by people who place themselves and their own “agenda’s” above anyone else.
Others may fall into that “category” because they have been dealt circumstances beyond their control, such as a family illness and some just “choose” to live and work in Carroll County, where the higher paying jobs with “benefits” such as health insurance, just don’t exist, and some of “those” people want to raise their families in small communities to protect them from all negative influences often found larger cities. Regardless, “those” people are all around us and they are citizens of our community. They may be just hard working citizens who haven’t been as fortunate as others, after all someone has to get their hands dirty.
Ironically, I just received a letter about “civility” in our country and how the “lack of civility” can contribute to attitudes and beliefs which can be destructive to communities, including apathy and denial about issues such as poverty and how to change it. I wish there was no such thing as poverty and families could “afford” the basic items that everyone deserves, but unfortunately that is not always the case.
I guess I thought that being a “civil servant” meant that you were “hired” to represent our community, and everyone in it.
My concern is that when comments like this are made in public meetings (and they have been made several times over the past few months), what kind of example does this set for our youth, and where is our so called “leaders” civility?
To me being a “civil” servant or a community leader is knowing when you should and shouldn’t express “your” opinions about the people you are supposed to be serving.
Supports Illinois’ Tax Increase
I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to Governor Quinn, State Senator Mike Jacobs and our previous State Representative Mike Boland to have the foresight and strength to take a stand and take the bull by the horns and try to make Illinois once again a viable state that will once again be a state that businesses, industry and residents will want to come to.
I have never watched the T.V. program, “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader.” I sometimes wonder if many of our Republican Representatives ever passed the fifth grade. Their dribble on taxes, health care and fiscal responsibility astounds me. Is it that they are just that greedy and impassionate for their fellow man that adds to their lack of common sense?
State Senator Bivins and Representative Jim Sacia, and many news organizations keep putting out the false information, such as a family of four with an income of $40,000 will pay $800.00 more because of the 2% increase in the state income tax and will now pay $2,000.00. That is a falsehood. When you file your taxes you do not pay on the gross income, there are deductions for dependants, and other deductions you may claim and you pay on the net income. It makes you wonder if any of these people ever filed a tax return.
There are many reasons why Representative Sacia and Senator Bivins won’t move to one of the neighboring states. They don’t want to pay the higher income tax, higher real estate taxes, and I am sure they do not want to pay income taxes on their lucrative retirement pensions from the government they receive. I believe Illinois is alone in providing this benefit.
Lest we should forget, while the nation in the 1990’s was prospering, our Republican leaders were leading us into the hole. Among other things, they were building prisons and then refusing to fund or open them. Edgar proposed the Thomson prison. Ryan built it. Governor Rod Blagojevich inherited a 5 to 7 billion dollar deficit. Do I need to say more?
Gerald L Bork
Carroll County Democrats
Mt. Carroll, IL
Main Street Art Guild
Dear Members of our Communities:
I wrote a letter a couple months ago inviting past members of the Artist’s Cooperative of Savanna (ACS) and the general public to attend a meet and greet of the future of our organization, now to be known as the Main Street Art Guild (MSAG) and I wanted to take a moment to thank those individuals who contacted me or braved the cold and snow on December 12, and to express my understanding for those who could not. The conversation that took place that day was everything that we had hoped for and with the energy that was present, I know that the future looks very bright from here.
Let me briefly explain the efforts and vision that the newly elected board of directors has in store, not only for our group, but for the benefit of other organizations and businesses as well, as there may be some misunderstandings about what exactly is going on and so that we’re all on the same page.
MSAG does not plan to reside in any physical location, like the gallery in Savanna provided previously, therefore there will be no overhead costs to try and meet. We have, instead, traveled throughout the Carroll County area to find many locations to display the work of our members. Those locations include the Market Street Commons (formerly the Kraft building in Mount Carroll), The National Bank (in Mount Carroll), First Savanna Savings Bank, Milledgeville Bank, Chadwick Public Library, The Exchange Bank (Lanark), Mount Carroll Banking Center, Mount Carroll Public Library, Thomson Public Library, and the list keeps growing. These venues will rotate on a quarterly basis in conjunction with the public receptions that we have planned for the year.
Finalization of our new brochures and membership materials will be available within the next couple of weeks at any of those locations, highlighting the quarterly public receptions, as well as our Second Sunday Lecture/Demonstrations, occurring on a monthly basis, the first to be held February 13 from 11-4pm.
Our group also has future plans to show the area that art is not merely wielding a paint brush, by hosting and promoting a monthly, local open mic, “Five Minutes of Fame on Market and Main”, inclusive to musicians, poets and any artist who has something to share; writer’s workshops; a weekly, Saturday “Student Art Lab” that will be offered and encompass all age groups; and a tentative, county-wide mural project. These events are scheduled to begin by mid-March.
All public receptions, each featuring a local artist, will be held at Market Street Commons, where MSAG has acquired a mailing address, 320 North Main Street, Suite 120, and informational phone number, 800-244-9594 ext. 5. This location, which suffered great fire damage and has been restored, is sponsored by the local CDC, serves as Carroll County’s Welcome Center and is now open to the public, already hosting and promoting our local, talented artisans, an effort which our organization has always encouraged.
Our first scheduled public reception will be held the first Saturday, February 5, from 5-8pm, Refreshments will be served, but more than that, we would like this to be another chance for those interested in bolstering all of our communities’ appeal to come and take part in the conversation. To take the pressure off any one artist for this first event, I will also be sharing some of my new work that has recently encouraged me to pursue a business of my own.
Through creating avenues of creative interest, for youth and adults alike, our organization wishes to build bridges into a brighter future for Carroll County. The only way that the arts can impact the world is through participation of the artisans themselves and the patrons who support their efforts. I look forward to seeing many familiar faces and to meeting new friends. Please contact me personally with any questions that you may have. Be well. See you Saturday, the 5th.
Peace and Love,
Heather A. Houzenga, President
Main Street Art Guild
The Money is There--The Political Will is Not
We have the world’s largest economy; nobody disputes that. We have the world’s largest military, and nobody disputes that, either. Unfortunately, we probably have the world’s weakest politicians as well, which explains why our nation’s deficit is the world’s largest deficit. Unfortunately, we have only ourselves to blame. As a nation, we are too gullible and too easily mislead. Perhaps we have national Alzheimer’s Disease.
For whatever reason, the lessons from the Great Depression of the 30’s were forgotten and Glass-Steagall was repealed in 1999. This law [called the Banking Act of 1933] had kept investment banks distinct from commercial banks. The banking lobby worked long and hard to get this accomplished, so they could gamble, with your money, of course. It was set up as “Heads, they win; tales, we lose.” And lose we did. Who got bailed out? It wasn’t John and Jane Q. Public.
Where did all the trillions of dollars go? Did someone just open up a big boiler and shovel all the money into it to be burned? Or, did it mysteriously find its way into somebody’s pockets? My guess is the latter. Did they earn it? If so, what benefit to society was there? Do they deserve it? What good did they do, that would entitle them to keep it?
Perhaps they bought the best politicians money could buy. A well-funded lobby obviously is a good investment. It can buy you tax loopholes, subsidies, one-sided trade agreements, guaranteed contracts, cheap labor, you name it! After all their write-offs and dodges, what money is left will only be taxed at the 15% rate, while their secretary, say, with an unemployed husband and three kids, will pay at the 23% rate. It seems secretaries haven’t found out the wisdom of hiring a lobbyist or, possibly, they can’’t afford to.
So, when politicians tell you there is not enough money in the public treasury for good schools; for care for mental health; for programs to lift people out of poverty; to address the problems in our society, they’re telling only half the truth. They omit to tell you that the treasury is bare, because they gave all their friends, not including you, a break.
They neglect to mention that when they plunged the country into another undeclared war to be fought by the children of the poor and middle class, they had no intention of paying for it. And they had no intention of reminding you that when they repealed Glass-Steagall, it was like taking off the lock to the treasury and throwing it away.
Worst of all, these same self-serving politicians, a.k.a. corporate puppets, are not about to remind you that:
They have the ability to get back every last dime that was lost in the big financial melt down.
They have the ability to close every tax loophole.
They have the ability to end every corporate subsidy.
They have the ability to correct every lopsided trade agreement.
They have the ability to solve the problems of hunger, homelessness, lack of health care, and inadequate educational opportunities.
The money is there! What is lacking is the political will to get the job done, and that is our fault.
We can no longer look at politics as a sport and each root for our team. We can no longer tolerate sound bytes for sound debate. And definitely, we can no longer allow ourselves to be distracted by the so-called “cultural wars” over abortion and gay marriage, while Capitol Hill robs us to pay the wealthy. If we “want our country back,” we’re going to have to work for it. Ditch the conspiracies theories. Ignore the half-truths and down-right lies spewed by wealthy t.v. personalities. Constantly write and call our Representatives.
We have to be correctly informed, civil, and firm. The money is there; it’s the political will that is lacking.
Arthur Donart, Ph.D.
What about them?
I felt as a board member of the Humane Society of Carroll County that I would like to put some minds at ease. More than once, the “57 unaltered cats” in a farmer’s barn in rural Mt. Carroll has been brought up in the newspapers. This situation is under the Humane Society of Carroll County’s watchful & caring eyes. Thanks to the generous contributions from our communities, via donations from raffles, craft shows, the fair etc., it has been reported at our January 2011 board meeting that 30 of these cats have been spayed and/or neutered by us. We are also on top of another situation where approximately 20 feral & domestic cats reside and are producing unchecked. A family living on a secluded country road in our county, seems to be the releasing or dumping grounds for irresponsible adults to “drop off” their unwanted cats. We are also providing monies to help get these cats fixed, so far, we have been able to spay and/or neuter 5 of these.
The Humane Society of Carroll County has been a 501C3 organization since 2002 and has provided food and care for feral cat colonies, food for needy family’s pets, plus the financial assistance provided for having countless cats and dogs altered.
I wrote this because I don’t want our community to think that we don’t care, we do, and one way or another, things do get done.
Humane Society of Carroll County
Warning! Vaccines Can Harm You!
It’s amazing how few people know about the dangers of vaccines. Little wonder. Almost daily we are fed propaganda from the media, or our doctors, many of whom have fallen victim themselves to myths constantly cranked out by the pharmaceutical industry. For instance:
Vaccination myth #1. “Vaccines are completely safe.” Fact: The FDA’s Adverse Effects Reporting System (VAERS) receives about 11,000 reports annually of serious adverse reactions, with about one percent (over a hundred cases) resulting in death. When they were first introduced in the 1900’s, doctors soon found vaccines had serious side effects. (Back then there wasn’t a vaccine lobby to cover things up.)
The problem with vaccines has always been comprised purity. Despite their seemingly prestigious status, pharmaceutical companies have failed miserably when it comes to safety. Since the 1990’s, dozens of vaccine labs have been closed by the FDA due to contamination. The main problem stems from viruses being grown in animal cells, thought to be the ideal medium. Even though it is impossible to isolate a virus culture from toxins also present, scientists seem little concerned and millions of contaminated vaccines have been given to the public through the years.
According to researcher, Dr. Cass Ingram, millions of Americans are currently infected with the simian (monkey) virus, especially people born from 1955 to 1964. Over a hundred million contaminated polio shots were given to Americans during the polio scare era and though the medical establishment knew that the shots contained monkey viruses and other toxins that very likely would cause cancer, they did nothing to warn the public, and right on schedule, cancer and many other diseases increased dramatically in the 70’s and 80’s.
Vaccination myth #2. “Vaccines are very effective.” Fact: A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report stated that disease outbreaks (measles for instance) have occurred in schools in all parts of the country even though 98% of their students had been vaccinated. Some years ago the Phillipines experienced their worst smallpox epidemic ever after 8 million people received shots. The death rate quadrupled as a result.
Vaccination myth #3. “Vaccinations are based on sound theory and practice.” Fact: While clinical evidence does show vaccines do stimulate antibody production in a person, it is not clear that such antibody production constitutes immunity. For example, agamma globulin-anemic children are incapable of producing antibodies, yet they recover from infectious diseases almost as quickly as other children. A Minnesota state epidemiology study revealed that vaccinated children are five times more likely to contract meningitis than unvaccinated children.
Vaccination myth #4. “Get your flu shot because influenza kills up to 40,000 Americans each year.” Fact: Simply not so, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In 2002, 753 died of the flu; In 2001, 267 died of the flu; In 2000, 2,175 died of the flu; In 1999, 1,685 died of the flu. The numbers for more recent years are not dramatically different. But more importantly, Dr. Frudenberg and other researchers believe that mercury and aluminum in flu shots and many childhood and Rho Gam shots affect the brain causing attention deficiency in the young and Alzheimer’s in the elderly.
To sum it up, we Americans have glibly place our trust in the medical profession, and why not? It portrays itself as the righteous savior. But it is neither righteous nor trustworthy. Rather than teach their patients about a healthy lifestyle: proper nutrition, vitamin supplements, the dangers of fast foods, etc., all of which predetermine our immune system’s ability to ward off viral attacks, doctors are swayed by pharmaceutical salesmen hawking the latest high-cost drugs that never heal, but only mask symptoms.
It is not an exaggeration to say that vaccinations of contaminated secretions, rife with aggressive viruses, have been the greatest cause of death, suffering and despair in America in modern history. This is the vile legacy left by the medical/pharmaceutical industry which at one time may have had good intentions, but now apparently has only one issue in mind: profits.
Footnote: If you are a young parent concerned about controversial baby shots or the numerous vaccines your child must have to attend school, be advised that though vaccinations are mandated in the State of Illinois, you can claim a religious exemption. Simply send a letter to school each year stating “Vaccinations are against my religion, so please do not vaccinate my child.” Nothing more is necessary, no letter from a pastor or organization. (This writer confirmed this carefully with the health department at Springfield in October, 2010.) For proof of contaminated polio shots, read Dr. Mary’s Monkey by Edward T. Haslan, available on the internet or by phone: 312-337-0747.
By Jim Sacia, State Representative, 89th District
The outrage persists and many of you remain very upset with the way the process was manipulated in order to ram through the huge tax hike of last week.
Others of you feel this was good for Illinois. You tell me it will relieve much pressure on providers, help education, reduce the debt – whoa just one minute. First of all, how it happened – the 11th hour of the 11th day – no open committee preparation and waiving the numerous posting requirements so it would go straight to the Floor without the long established democratic process of significant debate. Passing it ten legislative days after all vetoed bills had been addressed and still calling it veto session. Not even close! This is not the process. Especially when, by my count, 26 members of the general assembly’s 177 members will not have to answer to voters as they are retired, defeated, or are running for Chicago aldermanic seats or other Chicago City positions during the upcoming February elections.
My good friend and recently retired State Representative Bill Black (R-Danville), often commented he didn’t take himself seriously but he took the process very serious. This “extended veto” session would truly have gotten to Bill’s health. For that reason I’m glad he had retired early. Oh how I miss his eloquence. Had he still been here, those on the ramming end of what was shoved through would have felt the sting of his wrath. I will say it again as I said in my article of last week – You, the citizens of Illinois, were disenfranchised. We miss you Bill.
Back to my point, to those of you rejoicing - Illinois ranks 47th in the nation in job growth. We have one of the ten highest unemployment rates in the nation and the highest unemployment rate in Illinois since 1984. Why would we continue to drive employers out of the state?
Quoting from my good friends at the Illinois Policy Institute in an article of January 11, 2011, “Illinois has lost taxpayers to each of its bordering states since 1995. Overall, the state has seen a net loss of almost 1 million people, and IRS data suggest these people have taken with them a thirteen-year total of almost $23 billion.”
Here is the ultimate insult beyond ramming the huge tax hike through in other than our regular session. Not only was it not tied to cutting spending, the plan has a goal not to increase spending more than two percent or $800 million per year over the next four years. That is nuts. Also, after four years, we will reduce your taxes from the 66% increase you’ve read about to 33%. Sure we will! If you believe that, I have a bridge for sale and you are smoking something far better than me.
As always, you can reach me, Sally or Barb at 815/232-0774 or e-mail us at email@example.com. You can also visit my website at www.jimsacia.com. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.