Wow, I can’t believe the 60th annual Carroll County Fair is already over! I think it was a big success.
Thank you to everyone who came to the fair and donated supplies and made cards for our Servicemen and women. The project was a success and I know they will appreciate everything.
Hope to see you next year at the 61st annual CC Fair.
CC Jr. Ambassadors
On Gun Control and Personal Responsibility
Citizens of the United States, I beg you to re-evaluate your love affair with gun ownership. Yes, that is my opening. Before your get your hair up and nose askew, let me state – I believe in the right to bear arms. The second amendment of the Constitution clearly states – “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” I own guns (3) and can identify with the pride, passion and security they inspire. There is a certain sense of accomplishment when you fire a gun and can hit the target. There is something almost awe inspiring knowing that you hold, within your hands a tool that can control life. I understand the bond. That being said, I would like you to consider your appreciation of gun ownership to the reality of the responsibility of gun ownership and all that entails.
I work in law enforcement. Every day, throughout this country there are countless residential burglaries. Firearms are targeted by criminals, and firearms-once they are placed on the streets as a result of these crimes, are killing our law enforcement, security personnel and yes, you and I – regular people. The NRA puts out public affair blurbs warning that the restriction of firearms will not curtail the access to firearms by criminals. They say that this country is flooded with firearms being brought in to this country through illegal means, and if we take away the right to legally own guns – it won’t matter…criminals will still have the same access to black market guns. They say that if that does in fact happen, the only ones with guns will be the criminals.
In response to that-as someone who enters stolen guns into the state and nationwide computer system, the NRA is shooting blanks. Why do I say that, you ask? I must be some lefty, liberal gun hating socialist. In truth, I am someone who is exposed every day at work to the cognitive dissonance between gun love and firearm ownership responsibility. And this exposes the sad truth. America, you are deluding yourselves.
We the people are resoundingly lax in maintaining proprietorship of our guns. We seem to think owning a gun is the end all and means all of home protection, yet we can’t even be bothered with documenting and securing our weapons! How many of you out there have your firearms “locked up” in wooden cabinets with glass doors, visible to everyone who enters your home? How many of you out there proudly display NRA bumper stickers and windshield decals as you drive all over this land? How many of you have gun racks in your pickups? How many of you have “Ducks Forever/Pheasants Forever/Buck Hunter, Bow Hunter, My House is Protected By Smith and Wesson” stickers viewable to the public? How many of you brag about your guns in public places? How many of you have a list of all firearms you own, with complete descriptions and serial numbers stored in a secure place outside of where you keep your guns? Get a clue. If your pride in your guns becomes public, you are basically putting out the “blue light special” for burglars.
People, criminals aren’t stupid. They do their homework. They know you can’t be barricaded in your home 24/7. They will take any information they glean and take your guns. They will kick in your doors, break your windows, walk in through any lazily left unsecured openings and be gone in flash-with your guns, ammo and sense of security. And those guns, those firearms, those constitutionally protected objects that so many of you say won’t be got without prying from your cold, dead hands…well they may now just be used in creating another, and another and another set of cold, dead hands.
People of this country, put your money where your mouths are…step up to the concept of personal responsibility and make sure your firearms are truly secure. If not, then there might come a day when the government has to do it for you.
Vice President Biden has created another stir by saying Governor Romney “would put y’all back in chains” – which most of us just chalked up as yet another gaffe by the VP. I’m sure (well, sort of) he wasn’t actually referring to slavery; it was just another empty-headed comment like dozens of others from the mouth of ‘ole Joe, the gift which keeps on giving.
But, since he drew attention to the issue, let’s look a bit deeper: The first half of this sentence was that Romney “will ‘unchain’ Wall Street”. If we look past the rhetoric, and into the facts, we can see just who is keeping Wall Street honest.
Corporate fraud convictions:
Did Presidents Clinton and Bush totally clean up Wall Street? Perhaps W hunted the crooks into extinction, and they’re all sharing the Happy Hunting Ground with dinosaurs and dodo birds. Are you buying that? Me neither. In 2008, Wall Street pumped nearly twice as much money into President Obama’s campaign as they donated to McCain, and it looks to me like it paid off – not only has the Obama Administration failed to convict any Wall Street executives, they haven’t even charged any!
‘Ole Joe may put the “dunder” in dunderhead, but Obama surely puts the “crony” in capitalism.
Ron Kallemyn turned in his resignation as Alderman, Ward 4 (due to a job change) at the Morrison City Council meeting August 13, 2012. Mayor Drey will appoint someone to replace him. Hayenga, Blean, Thorndike, Sullivan, Zuidema, Wood, and Rose were in attendance. Tresenriter, Groenwold, Dubois, Mayor Drey, Schroeder, Melton, Zollinger, and Wise were also present.
Public comment: Nancy Riggen asked “where did the money go?” since it was stated that if we did not use Motor Fuel Tax to pay for decorative iron for the Route 78 bridge replacement, we could use it on streets. She feels the City of Morrison should tighten its belt and quit buying and impose a hiring freeze.
Public Comment: Bob Shambaugh stated that he didn’t realize there was an issue with the 30 mph speed limit. He wanted to know what the cost to change signs, etc. would be. As far as raising property or sales tax . . . he said we should be bragging that we have the “lowest tax” in the area because we watch what we spend. Or do we? We have the Sports Complex that will cost us for forever—And that half million spent on the block building downtown - that would have looked good on the streets instead of there.
Public Comment: Terry Wilkens is opposed to lowering the speed limit to 25 mph . . . enforce the 30 mph speed limit. He asked if this is Phase 2 of Safe Passage, will there be a Phase 3? Is signage only required at the edge of town, he would like to see a written statement from IDOT stating that . . . and hopes the suggestion dies for lack of motion. It is painful to watch the town’s finances being drained for the past few years spending on the Sports Complex and the building on Main Street - putting the city millions of dollars in debt. Street repair is a fundamental function of the general fund. He wants the Mayor to direct the City Administrator to begin a thorough review of all operations and discover more efficient uses of city resources. He finished with applause from the crowd.
Public comment: Dave Zuidema stated the city should have the money in hand before spending as far as grants go. He also said decisions should be made if a project is “a need” or “a want”.
Sarah Thorndike presented a slide show from the Yard Waste Ad Hoc committee. In conclusion, the committee recommended that the city be allowed to burn the same 3 days a week with ideas to amend the present ordinance from the committee. TheCity1 ran a poll on line with the majority of votes for keeping it the same.
As for reduction of speed to 25 mph, there were polls on Sauk Valley News and TheCity1. - both polls showed that 3/4ths of those who voted want it to stay at 30 mph and enforce what we have. City Administrator Wise stated, “I myself voted several times on those polls” I asked, Why would someone do such a thing???(ethical???) - and he said to see if they were valid. After some heated discussion of “Why not?” Dave Rose stated a lot of you old farts out there do have grandchildren and if you want to take care of them quit your bitching when we drop the speed limit to 25 mph. Harvey Zuidema retorted-“Some of us old farts are voters, too.” A motion was made to pass Ordinance #12-26-Residential District Speed Limit Reduction and seconded. I asked CA Wise if we had any information from IDOT on where we will post the signs. CA Wise stated repeatedly, “We will post our signs within our right of way at the entry point of the city”. So I don’t know if they will be before the 45mph, the 35mph, the 30mph signs on the West entry to the city. Michael Blean has heard from residents that they feel decisions should not be made from the top down and that we should represent the citizens - this brought a round of applause. I also agree we should represent the people who elected us. After much heated discussion, the motion to lower the speed limit to 25 mph in all residential areas of Morrison was passed. The vote was-4 yes (Hayenga, Thorndike, Zuidema, Rose) and 3 nays (Blean, Sullivan, Wood).
Resolution #12-12 was pertaining to whether the city should authorize placing a referendum on the November ballot to either raise property tax or sales tax. I made a motion to “table the decision to have a referendum to raise either sales tax or property tax for further information to be revisited in the spring”. The motion was seconded. The meeting became very vocal. CA Wise asked if anyone is in favor to continue this discussion this evening, to vote NO to table this motion. During discussion Michael Blean asked CA Wise what amount of revenue this would generate from either one of these two sources. CA Wise proceeded to say he would tell him Once You Defeat The Motion To Table. The residents and many of the aldermen were shocked that he would say something like that! Mayor Drey had to tell him to give the figures BEFORE a vote could be taken. Do you think that behavior was out of line? More comments, is there another way to fund streets-use our Motor Fuel Tax for streets instead of lighting would help, After the information was given, the motion to table was passed by 5 yeses (Blean, Thorndike, Sullivan, Wood, Rose) and 2 nays (Hayenga and Zuidema).
CA Wise decided to establish and develop a permanent part-time position for an assistant for Gary Tresenriter. He said they were paying $8.50 hourly/minimum wage? - but no one knew what minimum was when asked??!?! Leo Sullivan wants to review the position in 6 months and see if the position is necessary. CA Wise said her wages were coming out of the Sewer and Water part time line item - she is doing Cemetery cataloging - so why not out of the Cemetery part time line item?
The next Morrison City Council Meeting will be held on August 27, 2012 at 7 pm at the County Board Room. Get involved and let’s see a full house.
A Morrison Taxpayer,
Attacks on Wind Energy Not Applied to Similar Technologies
Some of the Prairie Advocate editorial contributors expound a great dislike for wind generators. There appears to be a major campaign by a vocal minority against wind. Some of these arguments appear to be supporting a right-wing agenda, which is against anything “green”, whether for political and ideological reasons, or promoted by agenda oriented institutes funded by elements of the coal and natural gas industries, or both. Most of these anti-wind voices echo any rationale that seems logical, and I agree their arguments have degrees of legitimacy. Trouble is, these arguments are not unique to wind, and anti-wind supporters should apply them to all energies or technologies. Some other readers are likely swayed by these arguments when voiced against wind energy; but few would consider these arguments as significant when applied elsewhere.
I personally favor using all energies, especially ones that use our nation’s resources and keep money and jobs it the USA. Green energies ARE the future – remember when part of being a conservative went beyond promoting a fair and beneficial market place and meant conserving the environment, American jobs, infrastructure, research and development, our schools, and those government regulations that protect the health and well being of our children and us.
I agree windmills are not pretty, but neither are most things of progress that change the landscape or “places we grew up” such as power lines, nuclear plants, coal plants, dams, interstates, garbage dumps, strip malls, factories, ethanol plants, clear cut logged mountains, livestock operations, prisons, and on, and on. This is a democracy with delicate balances between individual interests, those of others and the good of the whole. That isn’t meant to make light of the loss of property values or the ambience of the area you live – but we are not a third-world country, and should you personally want to live in an area of rustic, pristine fields and skylines, it’s not likely to be throughout Northern Illinois. Most significant types of progress will affect one’s property values. In addition to property values (the issue with which I most personally agree) in letters to the PA, I’ve read many other battle cries in the war on wind energy. Some include: (In “parenthesis” are my paraphrasing of anti-wind rationales, followed by my thoughts.)
”The rebar in the foundations are rusting and polluting ground water”. Now, even if that is true, there is a tremendous amount of rebar in our buildings, structures, highways, and anything with concrete. Additionally, the rust from our vehicles and myriad of metal objects that make our lives better are oxidizing and putting metals in our ground water.
“Birds and bats are dying from the blades.” Possibly, but are the persons complaining about this driving cars, using spray on their plants and trees, and letting their cats run free. There are many things causing calamity on the environment and taking a toll on birds, bats and beneficial insects. All that doesn’t make the few being killed by blades acceptable, but if one only selectively worries about those and disregards the vast majority killed by other human activities, there doesn’t appear to be full consideration for their arguing point.
“Those generators up there have oil and grease in them!” Well, so do all the millions of trucks on the highways, tractors in our fields, trains on the tracks, planes in our skies, tanks underground at gas stations, pipe lines that bring us most of our gasoline, and even the chemicals under your sink or in your garage.
“Those neutral charges are going in the ground and God knows what those neutralized energies or energy waves do to us humans?” Those neutral charges are true in every house or factory that uses electricity. Will anyone stop using all electricity over that concern? Energy waves radiate off our TVs, computers, cell phones, medical devices, and more
“There’s a noise we can’t hear, but it’s driving my neighbors literally crazy, and just seeing those whirling blades compounds the health and emotional issues.” Those living near highways, train tracks, large airports, or using ceiling fans all hear sonic noises and fell subsonic vibrations, these are not unique to wind turbines miles away.
“Those crazy liberals are using MY taxes to subsidize them monsters.” The oil, gas, nuclear, ethanol and other green energies have all had various subsidies and tax incentives over many, many decades. There are the “back door” subsidies from cheap leases of coal, oil, along with corn subsidies. There was a 20-year tax credit to the gas and oil industry for developing methods for shale drilling and fracturing – this greatly increased the current US drilling boom (especially in N. Dakota with 1% unemployment) and resulted in the incredibly cheap natural gas prices. I am not big on subsidies, which are mostly influenced by corporations and paid lobbyist, but all energies are a key part of our nation’s future economy, standard of living, and national security, which all come from growing energy independence. Wind, when combined with solar have the greatest potential of all our energies for hundreds of years, well beyond the reserves of oil, natural gas, coal, and future concerns with ethanol production. Our immediate energy needs and future needs of generations require economic considerations, both for us as consumers and concerned citizens. America needs to develop all our energy sources.
There are other anti-wind reasoning’s, but those stated above give the gist of my point. American needs all energies and none of them are perfect. As individuals, we can pick those we like and dislike and strive to justify our opinions with specific reasoning. Yet, these rationales used to support one’s disdain for wind energy are not unique to wind mills. I am not saying these are false, but when only focused on wind energy, lack consistency. As with every technology since man harnessed fire and sharpened stones, there are good and bad effects for all, and as a people, Americans need to weigh those without any particular bias and make efforts to limit negative consequences.
Thomson: It’s about fighting for the people
By Cheri Bustos
Nothing motivates me more in my campaign for Congress than to fairly and passionately represent citizens across northwest and central Illinois. The political tug-of-war over the sale of the Thomson prison is a shining example of how our leadership has failed to make “the people” they represent a priority.
I recently visited Thomson and met with village President Duke Hebeler. He’s about as disenchanted with Washington as any man can get. Duke has been waiting for years for the federal government to buy the Thomson Correctional Center. Not only would the sale be an economic boon to the region, but his small town also continues to carry the burden of the vacant prison on its books.
Regardless of the conditions, Duke has always supported the sale of Thomson to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. But politicians, including Congressman Bobby Schilling, have prevented the deal from going through.
This could hardly be simpler: The federal prison system is overcrowded. The administration wants to buy Thomson to do something about it. The community is ready to sell it. The price has been negotiated. But still Thomson sits empty.
What’s more, the prison could generate more than 1,100 jobs and an estimated $200 million in annual economic activity in communities across northwest Illinois. Opening Thomson would provide an economic jolt to an area that needs it.
In 2011, House Republicans, including Congressman Schilling, voted to strip funding for Thomson from the Defense Department budget. He stood with his friends in Washington instead of advocating for jobs for the people he represents back home.
To complicate matters, Rep. Schilling fueled another effort to block the sale led by Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia by asking for redundant assurances that Guantanamo Bay detainees wouldn’t be transferred to Thomson. Something that has never been of concern to Duke Hebeler, and a move that can’t happen as a matter of law. It was a phantom controversy.
As Election Day approaches, however, Rep. Schilling is changing his tune and attempting to undo the damage his previous actions have caused. But Rep. Wolf is standing his ground and now has a team of Republicans lining up behind him to ensure the sale never goes through.
If I were representing the 17th Congressional District, I wouldn’t allow a Virginia congressman to stand in my way or in the way of good jobs for Illinois. Jobs that the people I was elected to represent want and can be made a reality through a no-brainer of a deal that’s been poised to be made final for years.
I would fight with all I have for the people I represent and for those jobs -- not cover up my past failures and dodge taking on my party’s leadership.
The people of the 17th District deserve nothing less out of their representative in Congress, and I’m determined to give them just that.
Cheri Bustos of East Moline is a Democratic candidate for Congress in the 17th District.
By Jim Sacia, State Representative, 89th District
Other than the completion of Highway 20 as a four lane, arguably the most significant issue to the citizens of the 89th District and all of Northwest Illinois is the opening of Thomson Prison.
I recently wrote of the efforts of myself, my friend and colleague Rich Morthland (R-Cordova) as well as our Congressional Colleagues Senator Dick Durbin (D-Springfield), and Congressmen Bobbie Schilling (R-17, Moline) and Don Manzullo (R-16, Egan) to convince Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) to release the $165 million, the agreed upon price to transfer the facility to the Federal Government.
The issue of the failure to open Thomson Prison must rank right up there with the stupidity of removing the gaming boat from East Dubuque twelve years ago because it wasn’t “profitable enough”. Over ten of those twelve years, the license for that boat was contested in court by numerous municipalities in Illinois wanting it. I have been unable to obtain a figure, it would be in the billions of dollars, the money lost by the state in revenue and paid to lawyers to fight over the issue. The good folks of East Dubuque and all of Jo Daviess County shake their head in disbelief.
Back to Thomson, Congressman Wolf has now come out swinging. He has rallied his allies to stop the sale. He cites four new federal prisons sitting vacant with no funds to open them - they are in Berlin, New Hampshire; Yazoo City, Mississippi; Aliceville, Alabama; and Hazelton, West Virginia. Only Hazelton is a high security (like Thomson) facility.
Thomson is the second most expensive expenditure for a building in Illinois history costing $145 million to build. It has sat as a “mausoleum in a cornfield” since its completion twelve years ago, costing you the taxpayers approximately $1 million per year for heat, lights, and general maintenance. Fiscal year 2012 the cost was $804,000.
Congressman Wolf’s four page letter to Senator Durbin points out that this is not a partisan issue. Are you kidding me? Eleven of the twenty three paragraphs are about his distrust for the Obama Administration. And yes, you can obtain a copy from my office. It will make your blood boil. You can contact his press person, Jill Shatzen, at 202-225-5136 or wolf.house.gov.
I am asking my congressional friends, and my state colleagues to join me in asking Governor Quinn to give it to the Federal Government. Yes give it with their commitment to open it and pay off the mortgage of about $61 million. It’s 1,100 good jobs folks, between $50 and $80 million per year in economic impact to our area. Isn’t it time to bypass Congressman Wolf and do something?
September 5, 2012 I will be at the Mayor’s Office in East Dubuque from 10:00 a.m. until noon and in Hanover at the Village Hall from 1:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. to visit with you and discuss your concerns.