Still Watersthe em spaceWhere They StandBy the Numbers,

How We Stack UpWhat's Up With That?

Let me say this about that ó again

By Mike Fak

[APRIL 6, 2001]  With the old Mutual Bank building currently undergoing remodeling to handle county business, the question of whether it should be renamed is coming up. Board member Terry Werth doesnít think a structure which houses county offices and thus handles county business should have the nomenclature "The Old Mutual Bank Building." I agree.

Werth is preparing to propose to the county board that the building be renamed the John A. Logan Building. His thinking is that something in a county called Logan named after John A. should have a least one structure named in his honor. His idea makes sense to me, but of course, I am only the messenger. Tell me what you think of the idea. By the way, did you know Abraham Lincoln christened Logan County in honor of John A. Logan? Abe really left his mark on this community, didnít he?


There has been a great deal of press regarding the Shady Grove Mobile Home Court on the north side of Lincoln. Residents are being sued by a landlord due to the fact they have discontinued paying lot fees because of living conditions in the court. The landlord is facing penalties from the stateís attorneyís office because the Illinois Department of Public Health has refused to issue a license to the owners, making their continuing operation against the law. And through all of this the mobile home court is an eyesore to the community.

Who is to blame? Who is at fault? Personally, I believe there is enough guilt to go around to everyone.

Yes, the owners of the court have not kept the grounds up at all. A drive by shows that considerable trash litters the park even after the city paid to have four yard dumpsters placed in the court. The area is better than it was in February, but it is a long drive from being a bed of roses. It doesnít take much observation for an outsider to notice that the landlord doesnít seem interested in maintaining the grounds in accordance with the rental agreements or the state rules governing the ownership of a mobile home court.

But what about the residents of the park? In America, people are allowed the right to own. They also carry the responsibility of taking care of what they own, and believe it or not, trash is something that all of us own and have a responsibility to get rid of in a responsible manner. The fact that the landlord isnít keeping his end of the bargain doesnít mean that residents can simply throw their garbage out the door and tell the world it isnít their problem. It is.

 

[to top of second column in this commentary]

Perhaps since residents are not paying lot rent, they can use those monies to rent "carry-all" dumpsters from a disposal company and clean up the neighborhood. They can use the mobile home court just three blocks away as an example of how well maintained a trailer court can appear.

While we are on the topic, the stateís attorneyís office having to deal with this issue is a hard ride for Tim Huyett and his staff. The law is clear. No license, shut the court down. It is also clear that displacing three dozen families is not a public relations coup for any politician. My only advice to Mr. Huyett is that the trailer court needs to be right or it needs to be gone. Perhaps Huyett can do something about the abandoned pigeon coop, formerly a restaurant, across from the Tropics while he is at it. Travelers from the north entering Lincoln donít need to judge this community by either of these two views.


The voters have spoken. Well, at least a few of us have. By a 3-1 margin, the 18 percent of people interested enough in exercising their rights have stated that the county board should be apportioned into districts and members voted in accordingly. While 18 percent of the total eligible voters in our county is far removed from being considered a mandate, the 3,500 votes and the margin toward redistricting must be considered a solid sampling of the area residentsí wishes and needs to be looked at by the current county board.

Although the referendum is nonbinding, the board will be gauged during the next election by their decision to consider the referendum as valid or not. Then again, with only 3,000 residents interested enough to vote, maybe a board member having a large family over the age of majority doesnít need to worry about what the few of us who will vote really think.

[Mike Fak]

 

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ABE LINCOLN

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For April fools

Spatula factory to come to Lincoln

By Mike Fak

[MARCH 31, 2001]  Lincoln will have a new factory in just a few months, according to T.E. Flon, regional industrial commissioner. The factory, to be situated in the old Stetson building, will produce hundreds of varieties of spatulas for both domestic and foreign markets. Flon stated that the factory, headed by the conglomerate F.L.I.P., will begin to scrape up employees to man the equipment almost immediately. The number of permanent employees is not yet determined, since spatula use and thus sales are, of course, seasonal.

A F.L.I.P. spokesperson stated that the employees will all be required to join the Kitchen Utensil Makers of America Union in the event they are hired. Wages will run from $7 per hour up to $45 per hour, depending on how many spatulas an employee can turn out in a given shift.

The move to a central Illinois location was deemed an important part of the industryís new marketing strategy. "Too many Midwesterners are using spoons, forks and even knives to lift their meals from pans. There is a huge potential market of spatula buyers in this region if we can offer a diverse and inexpensive means to remove foods from pans," stated Flon.

Groundbreaking on the factory could begin this April Foolsí Day or perhaps next year on April 1, whichever day comes on a weekend after a Thursday.

[Mike Fak]

 

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Let me say this about that

By Mike Fak

[MARCH 31, 2001]  Illinois legislators are debating a bill to extend their terms. Currently a member of the House has only two years between elections, while a member of the Senate serves a four-year term. The concept is to increase the longevity of state officeholders to help check the need of legislators to continually gather funds to run their re-election campaigns. The hope, an altruistic one, is that fewer campaigns mean less money is required from special interests to retain office. I like the idea and I donít.

The concept of a state rep serving only a two-year term has always seemed bizarre to me ó especially in a day and age when campaigns often take on impetus more than a year in advance of an election. Our representatives, in effect, have to continually be aware and make decisions based on a forthcoming election, and that is not a good thing for either the representatives or the voters. I agree: Letís make their terms four years.

I disagree that state senators should be elected for six years. Just imagine how many disenchanted New York Staters there are concerning Hillary Rodham Clinton being their U.S. senator for six years. The lady just showed how little she cares about taxpayer dollars by spending half a million a year on an office suite; if she moved just four blocks away, it would cost under $200,000 for a comparably sized office. New Yorkers having to wait six years to tell her what they think of her extravagance is just too long, even for the screwy New Yorkers who voted her into office.

 

We are fortunate to be represented by Bob Madigan in our district, but to believe fellow Illinoisans in other districts who find out their senators didnít deserve their vote and have to wait to remedy an honest mistake, six years is too long for some to need to bear. In my humble opinion four years for the Senate and the House is just fine, thank you.

While we are on the subject of state officials, kudos to John Turner. Turner came in second to last in office spending by a state representative, which means he lost the race but the taxpayers of central Illinois won. Sen. Madigan didnít do quite as well but is so far below the expenditures of many of the Senate spendthrifts that a thank you to him is also in order.

 

 

[to top of second column in this commentary]


If we build it, they will come. That at least is the hope of New Holland residents Rod and Pam White. Rod White, a 20-year member of the Logon County Board, has purchased the bankrupt property formerly called the East Park subdivision. White is currently sending feelers out to the ordinance committee, planning committee and city council to see if an agreement can be reached so that the potential to build upward of 50 affordable homes and housing units in the plot of land can be profitable. The original plan to develop the site met with resistance and ultimately failed due to lack of funding. White, an experienced county board member and financially stable area resident, could be just the person to turn a previous wing-and-a-prayer dream into a financially sound and solid enterprise. The effect of new home building and the trickle-down effect it has on the entire community give cause to root for the Whites making this a go. Letís hope everyone who needs to endorse their endeavor gives them all the support and assistance they can.


Did anyone besides myself notice the incongruities of Gov. Ryanís statements last week? On the 18th of March Ryan hinted that "Illinois First" wouldnít be enough to repair or replace the entire deteriorating infrastructure in our state. In effect the governor hinted an "Illinois Second," replete with new taxes, would be needed to fund all the "critical" needs of his constituents who wouldnít receive any of the $12 billion in First funds. Then on March 21st, Ryan issued a press release noting that $75,000 in "Illinois First" funds was being earmarked to fund a downstate bass fishing tournament. I wonder how "critical" that is to Illinois residents. Maybe our governor should be subject to re-election every two years.

[Mike Fak]

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ABE LINCOLN

PHARMACY

Just inside the ALMH front door

Jim White, R.Ph.

"We Answer Your Medication Questions."

Click here to visit our website

Are you getting enough...water?

ASK the CULLIGAN MAN!

Click here to learn more about hydration

or call 217-735-4450

to learn more about great-tasting reverse-osmosis fluoridated water.

Our staff offers more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry.

Greyhound Lube

At the corner of Woodlawn and Business 55

No Appointments Necessary


Welcome to the em space, a staff writer's commentary section with observations about life experiences in Logan County and beyond. Enjoy your visit.

- Mary Krallmann


Timely changes go almost like clockwork

Now that we've lost an hour whether we wanted to or not, it's time to assess the situation and see where we stand ó or sit or fall asleep.

Most people would rather have an extra hour than lose an hour of sleep, but moving the clocks ahead tends to be easier than going backward by moving ahead 11 or 23 hours on digital models, so there are compensations.

The semiannual practice session in changing all my clocks and watches had its normal quirks this time around. Each timepiece has a different way to adjust the setting, including some procedures not listed in the instructions, and I may or may not remember how at six-month intervals.

The kitchen clock, for example, likes to take some time off if I change its position, whether I move the hands or not. Turning a small wheel in the back to set the new hour is the easy part. Then time stops. To get it going again, I try turning the switch off and on, take out the battery and polish the connections, put the battery back in, and work the switch some more. The crucial part, though, seems to be tapping the clock at just the right place in just the right way. I go tap, tap tapping around on the front, back and frame until the second hand starts moving along again. The next step is to hang the clock back up on its nail without disturbing anything too much. Then, if the position looks crooked, a gentle touch is needed with the straightening or time will stop again.

By contrast, the alarms were easy to change. I'm used to that.

One watch also changed easily. The other has unreliable switches, especially since the last battery replacement, which was finally accomplished with one piece left over that wouldn't fit back inside. After that, I couldn't count on the timer mode to work, so I put a new watch on my Christmas list and selected the model myself. The regular time display on the old watch continued to work, however, and I thought I could just as well get my money's worth from the new battery, so I continued to use it.

To get ready for daylight-saving time, I did manage to advance the hour on the old watch, but unfortunately I wasn't content with that. The day flag showed Thursday instead of Saturday, and as I worked to adjust it, the display got stuck in timer mode at 0:00.00. Not only did I lose an hour on that watch, I lost track of time completely.

With an hour less than usual to work on such things, I gave up and extricated the new watch from its container. Tossing the hard plastic into the wastebasket, I had to go back and retrieve the little white instruction paper tucked inside. Iíd chosen the watch partly for its large, clear display, but as I blinked at tinier print than I remembered seeing on any other set of instructions, I wondered if I'd be able to read it enough to figure out what to do. Half was in another language, but eventually I was able to zero in on the minuscule English, or something close to English. It helped that the procedures were almost the same as for the old watch. The next step was to poke extra holes into the watchband and then to acknowledge that the whole unit was really too big for my arm.

One time change remained for the morning after. On the old car, time adjustments required a creative use of the radio switches. Given enough time, I usually figured it out by trial and error. I hadn't ever adjusted the clock in the car I have now, but when I pushed a likely looking button next to the time display, the hour went ahead by one number, so that took of care of that. I didn't even have to get out the instruction manual.

The first day on the new time looked uncommonly bright outside and I had a pleasant feeling of being early for once, except that whenever I looked at the clock, it had hurried on past the sunís time, so I wasnít ahead of schedule after all.

Since I usually don't notice what happens between 2 and 3 a.m. on Sunday or any other day, it shouldn't bother me when the whole hour is omitted. Losing an hour of sleep here and there is normal for most of us anyway. If I'm not too busy yawning, I'll try to explain that to my body clock. I haven't seen the instruction book lately for changing that one.

[Mary Krallmann]

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Where They Stand

Where They Stand is a commentary section that poses a question about a specific issue in the community. Informed individuals present their position with facts, opinions or insights on the issue. The following commentaries have been printed, unedited, in their entirety, as they were received. If you have further comment on the issue, please send an e-mail message, complete with your name, address and telephone number to ldneditor@lincolndailynews.com.


District vs. at large

April 3 ballot proposition:  "Shall Logan County be divided into districts equal in population for the purpose of electing County Board members to serve on the Logan County Board commencing in the year 2002?"

YES!

 

In January of this year, citizens throughout Logan County circulated petitions to place this issue on the ballot. That effort was successful with more than 10% of registered voters signing within a two-week period (2569 total/2000 needed). The referendum has been certified by the Logan County Clerk and will be on the April 3rd ballot throughout the county. The citizens were successful and will be able to voice their opinion on this matter for the first time in 30 years!

Illinois law states that every ten years each county in Illinois with a township form of government shall determine whether board members shall be elected "at large" from the county or by county board "districts".

A "YES" vote on this issue will indicate that residents of Logan County want to have their County Board members representing all areas of the county. Each district must be divided equally in population and will guarantee that all areas are represented! The present "at large" system allows for all 13 County Board members to be elected from one area, while the remainder of the county could end up with no one. In fact, the east side of our county (from Mt. Pulaski to Atlanta) does not have representation at the present time! All of the counties surrounding Logan are in districts. Menard recently changed from "at large" to "districts" with an overwhelming vote. The greater majority of counties in Illinois are in districts and have been for several years. We are not the only county with this issue on the ballot. Bureau County recently passed a referendum to go to single member districts. Champaign County has a similar question, as does Adams County.

Remember that this question asks how the make-up of the County Board should be for the next ten years. Under a district system the voter is more likely to know the person they are voting for. This is your opportunity to voice your opinion and let your county governing body know how you feel. If the referendum produces a result in FAVOR of district representation, then measures will be introduced on the floor of the Logan County Board to accomplish that goal.

óRodney J. White

 

 

(Rodney White is a member of the Logan County Board.)

NO!

 

Itís rather interesting and enlightening to note the places of residence of people appointed to the Logan County Board to fill terms of members who have died, moved away, or resigned.

Mr. Robert "Bud" Behrends was appointed to the Logan County Board March 18, 1975, to finish out the term of Robert E. Downing, and Lloyd Hellman was appointed November 15, 1994, to finish out Robert "Bud" Behrends term on the board. Mr. Behrends grew up in the Hartsburg area, and spent most of his life in Lincoln, and Mr. Hellman, who replaced "Bud" has spent most of his life in the rural Emden area. Mr. Downing was a rural Beason farmer.

The emphasis on appointments was the type of person needed to effectively function on the board; not where they resided. A Beason resident (Mr. Downing) was replaced by a Hartsburg/Lincoln resident (Mr. Behrends), who was replaced by Mr. Hellman, an Emden resident.

The above appointments donít look like "district" representation. It looks like desire on the part of the replacements and their ability to effectively function on the Logan County Board.

Mark H. Werth resigned from the board December 31, 1988. L. Buckles was appointed to replace Mr. Werth, February 20, 1989. Both were from rural areas -- Mr. Werth, rural area north of Mt. Pulaski, and Mr. Buckles, rural area south of Mt. Pulaski.

Mr. Earl Madigan, who lived southeast of Lincoln, was replaced by Dwight Zimmerman, who farmed for years just east of San Jose and later lived in Lincoln. That certainly wasnít a "district" appointment. That was an appointment based on the desire of the person to serve and his ability to serve.

Mr. Edward L. Spellman, resigned from the board March 18, 1976, and Mr. Don Smith was appointed to take his place. both came from Lincoln, Both were successful business people and served well on the board.

Mr. Robert Welch died in office November 18, 1998. He was a resident of rural Beason. Mr. Roger Bock of rural Williamsville was appointed to replace him. Again, not a "district" appointment, but one based on desire and ability.

To my knowledge, no proponent of the district plan for electing members of the Logan County Board has ever submitted a plan, so my question is: If the at large system of electing county board members is not flawed, why fix it?

If the system is working well and the members are getting the work of county government done, why change?

Will a district election plan, which apparently is only floating around in the minds of a few people and has not been committed to paper, better serve all the people of all the county?? I think not!!!

óDick Hurley

 

(Dick Hurley is a former member of the Logan County Board.)

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By the Numbers

Motor fuel taxes paid in August 2000

Local figures are as follows:

Logan County = $44,078.23

(Counties receive an allocation on the basis of motor vehicle registration fees, with the exception of Cook County, which has a percentage allocation set by law.)

Townships and road districts = $90,973.85

(Townships and road districts are allocated an amount computed on the basis of mileage in their jurisdiction.)

City of Lincoln = $38,003.84

(Cities receive an allocation based on population.)

[Source: Economic Development report]


Population estimates in Logan County
30,798 Total population, 1990
15,380 Rural population - 49.9%, 1990
15,418 Urban population - 50.1%, 1990
2,875 Projected births, 1990-1998
2,736 Projected deaths, 1990-1998
3,143 Persons below poverty level - 11.8 %
258 Average marriages per year
135 Average deaths per year

Alexis Asher


Logan County high schools: 1960-2000
1962 Middletown High School consolidated with New Holland
1972 Atlanta High School became part of Olympia School District
1975 Elkhart High School consolidated with Mount Pulaski
1977 San Jose High School consolidated with Illini Central (Mason City)
1979 Latham High School became Warrensburg-Latham
1988 New Holland-Middletown High School consolidated with Lincoln Community High School
1994 Beason High School consolidated with Lincoln Community High School

Alexis Asher


Lincoln High School history

1859

Lincoln School District

5

School buildings in 1859

1

"Grammar school" in 1859

1

High school teacher, Mr. January, in 1859

1870-71

Central School opened

1898

High school building started

1900

High school dedicated, Jan. 5

$20,000

Cost of new high school

1920

Election authorized community high school District #404

1958

Dedication of new Lincoln Community High School, 1000 Primm Road, in auditorium, on Nov. 9

Alexis Asher


Lincoln/Logan County numbers
(2000)
5 Wards in Lincoln
17 Townships in Logan County
29 Officers in Lincoln City Police Department
20 Officers in Logan County Police Department
22 Firemen in the Lincoln City Fire Department
16 Rural Fire Departments in County
13 Members of Logan County Board
10 Members of Lincoln City Council
3 Colleges in Lincoln
44,850 Volumes in Lincoln Public Library
40,000 Volumes in Lincoln College Library
126,000 Volumes in Lincoln Christian College Library

How We Stack Up


This feature of the Lincoln Daily News compares Lincoln and Logan County to similar cities and counties on a variety of issues in a succinct manner, using charts and graphs for illustration.

Racial makeup of selected Illinois counties

 



What's Up With That?

 

When you look around, you will probably find something interesting to look at here in Logan County.
For instance, sitting just north of Lincoln near I-55, this trailer home looks a little odd up on stilts.  But if you look closely, it makes perfect sense, as it stands above the expanding waters of the nearby barrow-pit pond.  

 Innovation is alive and well here in Logan County.

 

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