I received a concerning email on Monday from Russ Simpson, facilitator for the Carroll County Leadership Roundtable. The letter was addressed to the 2013 Roundtable alumni; it said “I am sad to inform you that we won’t be facilitating a 2014 Roundtable. Although many potential registrants have come forward in recent days, only a couple are willing to submit the necessary documents and make the commitment to participate. We have moved down the calendar far enough now that it’s very difficult to plan for a retreat plus begin the monthly sessions with timeliness.”
The key question is what went wrong; why couldn’t we get enough participants signed up for 2014? During 2013 we had nine interested people who spent a day every month learning issues and opportunities in the seven communities and surrounding entities of Carroll County. We prepared for the Roundtable by reading some chapters in books about leadership and taking notes on subjects that pertained to our everyday lives. Russ Simpson from Jo-Carroll Energy / Northwest Illinois Business Resource Center and Tim Hood from Highland Community College facilitated the sessions that not only covered the Carroll County issues, but led the attendees down a path of self-review on how we interacted with people, how we led people, and even how we understood those people that we followed. A year later we are different people, far more knowledgeable of ourselves and our leadership capabilities. And we have developed a large network of resources that we’re comfortable contacting and working with as we try to resolve local economic issues.
Improving our leadership capabilities and becoming intimately familiar with county-wide issues can help all of us more effectively address our local economic woes. Roundtable participants could be you, your boss, a co-worker, a direct report or maybe your spouse or someone in an organization where you volunteer. So how do we keep the 2013 momentum alive? Sign up and commit to participate!
I would encourage anyone who has a concern about moving our area forward to contact Russ Simpson email@example.com at the Northwest Illinois Business Resource Center on the campus of the Campbell Center in Mt Carroll. Learn about the Roundtable and what it can do for you and our area. It may still be possible to salvage a 2014 program, or we can begin to prepare for a 2015 initiative. Economic opportunities are best grown right here at home. The Leadership Roundtable is excellent nourishment for that growth.
2013 Carroll County Leadership Roundtable Participant
Feb. 9 Meeting to Determine Future of MMTA
The Morrison Music Theater Association has been presenting quality dramatic and musical productions to the community since its founding in 1962. An important meeting will be held at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Morrison on Sunday, February 9 at 4 p.m. to determine whether MMTA can continue to exist as a viable community organization.
Throughout the past 52 years, MMTA has not only performed numerous plays and musicals but has also encouraged participation in music and drama by the students of Morrison High School. Proceeds from performances have provided a great deal of equipment for the MHS stage including lights, a sound board, curtains and other items. MMTA also made a significant contribution toward installing air conditioning in the auditorium. Most recently, MMTA members worked together with high school staff and students to produce “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” in May of 2013.
However, it has become increasingly challenging for MMTA to recruit directors, actors and even individuals to serve as officers. As peoples’ lives have become busier, it has been difficult to present the large scale productions that were the reason for the organization’s existence. There is a real possibility that the organization may need to disband. The February 9 meeting will probably decide the future of MMTA.
Questions can be directed to MMTA President Bob Stone at 815-772-5629. Anyone who has been involved with MMTA in any way over the years, and all others who care about the cultural life of the Morrison community are invited and urged to attend this meeting.
Global Warming, or Cooling?
As I sit in my 100-plus-year-old farmhouse, wearing a vest over my sweatshirt and two pairs of socks, I’m not feeling too friendly toward Al Gore and his global warming. (By the way, he is about to become a billionaire thanks to the perpetuation of his theory.)
Anyone with access to the internet can look up for themselves the temperatures from the early 1800’s when it was extremely hot and dry. There were no cars or industry polluting then.
From the 1940’s through the mid 1970’s the earth cooled when increases in our use of fossil fuels were at their greatest. In 1974, in an article in Time magazine entitled “Another Ice Age?,” the same alarmists suggested that the approaching ice age was being caused in part by the same vehicular emissions that they’re now blaming for global warming! Go figure.
Now, since the over-all warming stopped 12 years ago, the alarmists are finally beginning to admit the earth has started cooling again. They’re actually saying the reason it hasn’t been warming the last 12 years is that China and India are now burning such a massive amount of coal that it blocks the sun’s rays from reaching the earth and warming it.
That’s right—our use of fossil fuels is warming the earth, while China’s is cooling it. Amazing.
John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel, has called the theory that human use of carbon-based fossils will lead to catastrophic global warming or climate change a “hoax.”
Finally, H. L. Mencken, an American journalist, magazine editor, and critic of American life and culture, said: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
A Girl Scout Logging Camp?
As a supporter of the Girl Scouts, what would you think of logging 1200 majestic hardwood trees from a 200 acre scout campground?
Well, incredible as that seems, that is precisely what has been, and continues, taking place at Camp Far Horizon, located in the beautiful wooded hills 3 miles south of Hanover, IL. The largely secretive activity has been going on for a month, with probably hundreds of trees yet to fell.
Apparently, no state forester was consulted but rather, the logger was given free reign to cut nearly every white or red oak, walnut or black cherry he deemed to have any commercial value. The 1/4 mile roadway into the campground to the building complex is constantly being relined with logs, tagged and made ready to load daily onto convoys of lumber trucks heading into Iowa.
The decision to log the campground was apparently made by a handful of corporate minded officials that now control the Northern Illinois Girl Scout Chapter, with offices in Kane County. The primary decision makers appear to be the chapter property “manager”, Charles Qualls, (Ph. 630-897-1565), and the recently appointed C.E.O. Fiona Cummings. Somewhat unsettling is the fact she was previously employed by B.P. (British Petroleum)!
They seem to have decided that a one-time flush of cash was preferable over the preservation of an irreplaceable environmental treasure. Little if any regard was given to the feelings of hundreds of girls who come to enjoy the beauty of these campgrounds every summer. Nor were the opinions of parents and other scouting supporters given any consideration.
A very deceptive sign at the camp entrance, signed by Mr. Qualls, and headed by the words, “Forestry Conservation,” goes on to explain that there will be some “ecological restoration” taking place on the Campground (logging is never mentioned), which he claims will lessen a purported fire hazard “in a woodland too thick with trees.”
The truth is that any fire hazard will more likely increase due to the huge piles of dead branches being pushed into the once picturesque ravines! Some understory trees may now have more sunlight but it will require about 100 years to look anything like those being destroyed.
I realize the Girl Scout organization is not a public entity and can be operated in any manner that they see fit. However, public support, especially through the annual cookie sales, is expected and received every year. I feel this should give us some voice in matters like this. I believe that future public support will wane if those in control continue to lose sight of what the original intent of scouting was all about.
One Man’s Opinion
A Guest Column By Jim Sacia
Yes I’ll continue to submit articles – yes some newspapers may print them, some may not. One newspaper has already told me that they will change them to a letter to the editor and, depending on available space, they will print them. Many of you receive them via email or snail mail and that will continue.
All of us have opinions on issues. I feel very blessed to have been a part of the political process up close and personal. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to represent the citizens of the 89th District for eleven years. All of this has cemented my conservative value that many of you share. I will continue to share my opinions as many of you do.
It was the day before my 31st birthday. I was a six year veteran FBI Agent into my third year assigned to the Rockford Resident Agency. The call came from the Rockford Police Department Detective Bureau. It is all seared in my mind to this day. That day, March 4, 1975, Joey Didier, age 15, son of well-known Rockford Alderman George Didier, Jr., was missing as he delivered his newspapers early in the morning. Leads seemed to indicate an abduction. I recall well the herculean efforts of law enforcement agencies lead by the Rockford Police Department, assisted by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police, the State Police, and the FBI.
Those of us who remember the crime are chilled with the results. Joey had been abducted, molested and murdered in a scout camp cabin in Jo Daviess County. The late Detective Roland Donnelli of the Rockford Police Department gets credit for the confession of Robert Lower who led investigators to the body.
Why am I writing about it now? For the nineteenth time, Lower is requesting parole. The Illinois Prison Review Board will once again consider the facts. My prayer is that this demented individual will never see freedom. To drag the Didier family through this emotional roller coaster every three years is a travesty (for a period of time it was yearly).
This is not a liberal or conservative issue. It’s an issue of doing the right thing. Many businesses in Winnebago County have petitions to sign to keep Lower incarcerated. We have one at NITE Equipment; certainly Didier Greenhouse on West State Street in Rockford is taking the lead.
Let’s all do our part and keep Mr. Lower where he belongs – a guest of the Illinois Department of Corrections.
By Brian Stewart
IL State Representative, 89th District
Editor’s Note: There is no column at press time for Rep. Stewart. We are including his contact information below for our readers.