em space, Where They Stand,
How We Stack Up,
Up With That?
we more afraid to get
our feet wet or to dry up?
31, 2001] One
of these days Logan County will have to jump into the economic
development waters. It needs to be sooner rather than later, because
the pond that American business plays in is drying up in a hurry.
decade ago, while the rest of the country was growing, we stayed the
same size. While communities moved forward, we stopped to complain
about the roses. While industrial parks, growth incentive packages
and new infrastructure popped up everywhere in America, Logan County
sat with "zoned commercial" signs in the middle of
cornfields, waiting for someone to beg for a chance to come to a
community not offering what all the others were.
economy isnít as good as it was just a year ago. Talk of recession
is on the nightly news. Although immune to the growth of the 1990s,
we are not, it seems, immune to the problems an economy gone soft
can produce. There has been enough negative news about cutbacks and
closures in Lincoln to make even a strong stomach churn with concern
for the future.
is a proposal before the city and county to become partners in a
joint venture to create an industrial park on the northeast side of
Lincoln. Critics say we donít have the $3 million it would take to
turn the 63 acres of farmland into an industrial belt. Perhaps we
donít have the money because our tax rolls keep decreasing while
everyday expenses to run a city and a county do not. We actually do
have the funds available, but they are kept by both the city and
county in their rainy day funds, and neither body will acknowledge
the drizzle of an economy gone stagnant that has been falling on
this community for years.
have heard skeptics say that we canít afford to spend that kind of
money on a hope of interest from outside corporations. These people
are the same ones who continually complain about high property
should find solace in the fact that without some type of industry,
taxes will continue to escalate.
[to top of second column in this
industrial park is just like any other business except this one
would be owned by the county and the city. In other words, by us. As
in any new business, costs are incurred to build or remodel,
purchase inventory and equipment, pay for insurances and employee
programs. Every new business has its own particular costs before
opening its doors. Every new business understands it has to spend
this money in order to make money. We as the owners of an industrial
park have to think the same way.
funding to build an industrial park is not a cost or an expense. It
is an investment. The numbers presented so far bear out that, as
investments go, this one has the promise of an excellent return.
industrial park in Logan County is long overdue. I hope that the
city, county and all of us understand that if we donít look at
this proposal as an opportunity to show faith in ourselves as an
attractive enough community to lure new industry, then we all might
as well be resigned to fewer and fewer of us paying more and more
taxes. This park proposal is a chance to begin to grow. The
alternative is to just do nothing again and sit on the town square
waiting for the tumbleweeds to start to roll down the empty streets.
are out there, just waiting for a few more economic ill winds to
blow them into town.
(not for publication):
to Fakís commentary:
25, 2001] Itís
getting cold again in Logan County. And not because itís
fall and the air is expected to begin turning brisk and chilly
this time of year, but rather, Iíd like to point out,
because Mother Nature hates me.
years I have been an avid runner. My favorite part of the day is
early dawn, when I wake up smelling the crisp morning air,
stretching out my tired body and then promptly going back to sleep
for another four and a half hours, laughing at anyone dumb enough to
sacrifice sleep for exercise. So Iím a night runner. Or at least I
was, up until the hour of Natureís evil turn. You see, the annual
Harvest of Talents is coming up on Saturday, Oct. 27.
those of you readers who donít know, this is a local festive event
where many talented people gather together to talk about how
talented they are. Plus there is Pie. Which is more than enough
reason for me to attend. Well, that, and the 5K run.
Iíve been in serious training mode for all of two days now (minus
the one day I missed due to a severe cramp infection from the
previous dayís training), in hopes of finishing the race before
either the 30-minute mark or before the paramedics begin
resuscitating me. Although training is not an easy process because,
as any serious athlete will tell you, there is an absolute ton of
movement involved. Something I successfully avoided until the third
grade, when my parents began recognizing my astute laziness
abilities and stopped bringing food to me, thus causing me to walk
to the fridge on my own. Weíve been best friends ever since, the
refrigerator and I. But now itís time to stay focused. Not just on
food and all the glorious bliss it provides, but on getting ready to
run. And trying to overcome the wrath of Mother Nature, her ruthless
self, in the process. Let me explainÖ
I said earlier, Mother Nature hates me. And as part of her
abhorrence toward me, she has decided that I shall (1) Never Obtain
Peak Physical Performance; (2) Never Obtain Average Physical
Performance; (3) Never, Under No Circumstance Whatsoever, Survive
The Harvest Of Talents, Annual 5K Run. She is seeing to this by not
allowing me the opportunity to properly prepare. So far during my
long, two-day training regime, I have already been the target of
many vicious and pointed attacks.
off, I began running the other day when it started to hail. Mere
coincidence, you say? Well, thatís what I thought, until the hail
cloud began following me. It was like one of those little cartoon
clouds, chasing me down while I cried, fleeing it, similar to the
way a stray cat meandering down a random Lincoln sidewalk might flee
a charging bear. Only with more screaming.
[to top of second column in this
that I was nearly tackled by a large crow. Running out on Airport
Road, just off Route 10, I saw it creeping toward me from the corner
of my eye. Actually, before I saw it, I heard it laughing. Thatís
when I turned just in time to dodge the psychotic bird, who, I
believe, was packing.
from the attacks, itís just getting downright cold at night.
Except on nights when Iím too busy to run. In which case, the
weather stays in or around the mid- to low 90s. Often even in
December. And when I am able to hit the streets after dark, Iím
forced to dress like a hypothermic Eskimo, wearing 14 layers of
clothing, which is almost thick enough to protect me from the killer
birds and death-crazed hail clouds.
Iíve seen no choice but to hire myself a stunt double. The process
is simple: He runs out a few feet in front of me, and after he goes
down, I take off sprinting home. But even at top speeds (and
using a special tactic I learned in a dream once where I was being
chased by a Giant Maniac Smurf ó which is flailing my arms around
my head frantically) when Iím out in the middle of town, in
the wide open, itís then that Iím most vulnerable to these
forces which have chosen to stop me.
I contacted the proprietor of Kickapoo Creek Park, Scott Walker, a
good friend of mine, and asked if I might perhaps use the parkís
facilities to practice running after they close down at night.
Scott, who is an active member in his church and an integrity-filled
family man who recently returned from a trip in which he went to
help out local missionaries, told me that if I wanted to run there
after closing time, that he ó and this is a direct quote, I swear
ó "Might not
now that I know my friends have been hired out by Mother Nature and
that all other odds seemed to be stacked against me, I might just
rethink entering this race. But then Iím reminded of all my hard
work thus far and my two daysí worth of dedication. And Iím
reminded of all that pie theyíll have there available for
purchase, and thatís when I ask myself, "Why am I so
worried?" The race begins at 8 a.m. I wonít even be up until
place that most of us wish didnít exist
an integral part of this
community, an integral part of our humanity
24, 2001] I
wrote the following paragraph as part of an article I submitted to
the Lincoln Courier in the summer of 1999. The paragraph was the
lead to a story I wrote in support of LDC and its employees after a
sad and disparaging report had come out regarding the death of one
of the residents at the Lincoln Developmental Center.
buildings are huddled together, like a sprawling college campus on
the end of town. We drive by them almost every day, but we donít
see them. We donít see them because they are part of a place that
most of us wish didnít exist. We ignore them or choose not to
ponder what they represent because the reality of what they are and
who lives and works in those buildings is more truth than most of us
can live with.
years later, nothing about LDC or the people who work there causes
me to change a single word in that paragraph.
is under a great deal of fire these days. It is under fire for many
reasons that actually have nothing to do with the 700 employees who
walk the halls of the institution.
has been told that it has failed to correct administrative problems
in a timely fashion. The state, or no one else for that matter, asks
why a woman from the Department of Corrections was moved into the
chief position of administration at a home for mentally handicapped
individuals. She has been replaced, but no one has asked why this
administrator was actually promoted to another office after having
failed to handle the stated problems at LDC.
the way, the employees at the center knew she couldnít do the job
and voted "no confidence" in her administration. But that
wouldnít be of any significance, would it.
have heard that LDC is under scrutiny for not having enough staff to
handle the patient load at the center, but no one has asked the
state why their continued cutbacks in funding, which caused this
understaffing, was not remedied in a timely fashion.
hear press conferences by John Eckert, head of the Consortium of
Illinois Disability Advocates, saying that the center should be
closed down. No one asks the man if his consortium, which has a goal
of shutting down developmental institutions in Illinois, has a
truly objective view of the situation. No one has asked the man if
he has ever visited LDC and seen for himself the claims he makes in
front of a microphone. I can find no one who has ever seen him at
has stated that the issue has nothing to do with jobs. An easy
statement for someone to make who earns a living disparaging LDC
and all the other developmental centers like it. I
have to ask Mr. Eckert if, in the event he got his wish and all of
Illinois no longer had these facilities, would he then be
out of a job. Or would he perhaps find some other cause to ensure
that he continues to earn a paycheck.
[to top of second column in this
Eckert claims that his organization represents the patients of LDC,
but he has interviewed only those who agree with his position. He
has nothing to say or do with the parents group, which Tuesday had
their own press conference supporting the center and its employees.
of course, has his own agenda that he claims is for the benefit of
all the tenants of the center, but his actions and statements prove
otherwise. His organization is intent on closing state care
facilities, and with LDC on the ropes, he and his coalition are
circling over the beleaguered center like verbal vultures waiting
for the kill.
coalition states jobs are not the issue, but jobs in any community
always are an issue to be considered in an equation.
employees of LDC have not discovered the great "cash cow."
Working at that center is not some type of "died and gone to
heaven" employment. These employees are making a living doing
something that we and Mr. Eckert cannot do. That job is helping the
mentally impaired have an existence in this world. The idea that all
of them can have a coexistence with us is absurd. In the event Mr.
Eckert walks away from a press conference long enough to visit LDC,
he will find that a great many of the residents can never become our
next-door neighbors. Many of these blessed souls need care 24 hours
a day, seven days a week.
could close LDC. All we need is for Mr. Eckert to pledge to bring
these individuals into his home and neighborhood and to ensure, like
the LDC employees do, that they are taken care of.
find it disheartening that groups that profess their advocacy for
disabled Americans have ulterior motives. No one should have to live
in a home for developmentally disabled people. But the reality is,
that is where some of us belong. We need to care for these
individuals. We need to support the employees. Most of all we need
to look in an honest and compassionate way at what God has dealt
Lincoln Developmental Center is an integral part of this community.
More importantly, it is an integral part of our humanity. I donít
need to hold a press conference to explain that.
(not for publication):
to Fakís commentary:
to be an AmericanÖ
or at least a ĎLincolnianí
6, 2001] Central
Illinois continues to amaze me. Ever since Sept. 11, I have seen
nothing but giving hearts and unselfish attitudes in the people
around me. This Sunday, I had the opportunity to witness not only
the giving of time and money to families in New York, but the humble
attitude of Lincolnites in giving to their neighbors.
was reported, this past Sunday was the Lincoln auction for the Red
Cross Disaster Relief fund. Dozens of people showed up, not only to
give their money but to give their time and efforts. Tirelessly,
these volunteers gave as much as two weeks of their time to the
nationwide cause to help victims of the terrorist attacks in New
York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. This, however, was not what
touched me that day.
in the auction, I had the opportunity to speak with Philip Carver,
one of the volunteers, who pointed me in the direction of what he
thought (and I agreed with him on this) was the highlight of the
auction. It was a framed poster of a print by Allan Albaitis
entitled "Return to Glory."
The painting is of a burning
building and firemen lifting a ladder to an upper window. Streaming
from the window is a billow of smoke and fire that blends into an
American flag where it touches the top of the ladder. Against the
building is what at first glance appears to be the shadow of the
firemen. Upon closer examination, however, it is actually a photo of
the Marines lifting the American flag on Iwo Jima.
pictureís beauty and simplicity amazed me. This was not the photo
we are all so familiar with of the firemen raising the flagpole in
front of the remains of the World Trade Center. It was just a
picture of men doing what was needed to save lives.
What was most
awe-inspiring was that this print was not made in response to the
"Attack on America" or the subsequent "acts of
heroism." The copyright date on the poster was 1997. Albaitis,
himself a veteran Las Vegas firefighter, looked at firefighters and
realized ó long before America did ó that they are modern-day
Of his piece, he writes, "As are all of my firefighter
pieces, ĎReturn to Gloryí is meant to convey the emotional
intensity and unswerving dedication of the men and women with whom I
have been blessed to work." More on Albaitisí work can be
found on his website, http://www.fireart.com.
[to top of second column in
my story is not over. I said that this would be about the giving
spirit of Lincolnites. And that it is. You see, this poster was
purchased and donated by one of our own firefighters on behalf of the
Lincoln Fire Department.
When, at last, it was put up on the auction
block, the bidding was furious. Two people wanted that poster. I donít
know why the man who did not buy it wanted it. I donít know if he
had a deeper purpose or just wanted it for his home. But William
Dahman was the man who would not give up. He bought the poster for
When I spoke with him afterward, he said that he was not alone.
He said he knew of many people, mainly firefighters, who were going to
pitch in to buy this poster, including Dr. Robert and Linda Shaffer.
Dahman said that he and many others had helped move the donations into
the gym on Saturday, had seen the poster, and knew exactly where it
belonged. At Old Joeís.
Joeís is a bar on Sangamon owned by retired firefighter and chief
Joe Poppish. According to Dahman, many of the local firefighters like
to go there to relax. "Old Joeís has been there for 50
years," he said, "and itíll be there for 50 more. And that
picture will hang there."
have only lived in Lincoln a few months, but it really makes me proud
to know that there are people in this town not only thinking of those
far away in this time of need, but thinking of each other. The men of
the Lincoln and Logan County fire departments know that heroes are not
only found in times of crisis and cities of international stature, but
they are found here ó in the cornfields of Illinois ó every day.
is the em
space, a staff writerís section with observations about life experiences in Logan County and
elsewhere. Enjoy your visit.
identification is a tricky issue.
referring only to whoís behind the mask at a costume party or who the
candy-seeking ghost is under the sheet.
example is the local statue sometimes identified as a maiden and sometimes
as a mother. The papoose suggests one answer, unless the child is a
sibling instead of an offspring. Not everyone agrees on the definition of
a maiden either. Cultural sensitivity also has its say in such matters,
and appropriate terminology is a work in process rather than a completed
project. I could get used to calling the newly restored sculpture a Native
are the multiple variations of a label with wider news interest. If you
type "al-Qaida" into a search form and click "go," you
can find information faster and easier than special military forces can
find people theyíre looking for, but youíll also find differences of
opinion on exactly what the name of the group is. Iíve seen it written
as "al-Qaida" (AP, CBS, NBC), "al Qaeda" (ABC, CNN,
White House), "Al Qaeda" (PBS), "Al-Qaeda" or
"al-Qaeda" (BBC), and other ways. I assume itís a matter of
translation. People who are used to English spelling like to add a
"u" while theyíre at it. Beyond that there are the aliases
used by individuals associated with whatever the group is called.
to identifying ghosts and such, those traditions have a mixed identity in
themselves, with both good and bad connotations, as well as background
from both the secular and spiritual world.
to mind when I hear churchgoers tripping over words instead of costumes.
Even worship leaders and lifelong church members sometimes have trouble
repeating the same phrases in unison in a creed thatís been recited for
nearly 2000 years. Modernized versions have a few differences in wording
from older texts, and habits of speaking can easily take over in spite of
whatís on a printed page.
grew up reciting "Holy Ghost" in the Apostlesí Creed, the term
"Spirit" is equally familiar from hymns and Scripture passages.
Nowadays, I suppose "ghost" sounds more ghostly and
"spirit" more spiritual, but I need to give it special thought
to say the updated translation. It comes out the other way on autopilot.
explained after he adjusted to a newer version, you need to set up an
internal translation mechanism to make the appropriate changes. Itís
like a search-replace code on your computer. Depending on where you are
and which text is in use, if you learned to say "shall," replace
it with "will"; if youíre used to saying "Ghost,"
say "Spirit" instead. Or vice versa.
terminology gets increasingly complicated as you go from place to place
where the practices differ. Just about the time youíre accustomed to a
new phrase, you need to memorize something else or replace it what you
In a rapidly
changing society, itís a challenge to maintain uniformity of language.
With new names, new words and new meanings, there are instances when
dictionaries and other authorities disagree or havenít decided yet.
Puzzling translations and mistaken identities complicate the issue. We
might as well be ready for adjustments along the way.
Flowers by other names would
smell the same, and a "whatchamacallit" works for a label at
times, but in general Iíd just as soon use the appropriate term ó if I
knew what it was.
They Stand is a commentary section addressing specific issues in the community. Informed individuals present their
position with facts, opinions or insights on the issue. The
material is posted unedited in its entirety, as received. If you have further comment on the
issue, please send an e-mail message, complete with your name,
address and telephone number to email@example.com.
teacher announces her candidacy for regional superintendent of
Jean Anderson, candidate
31, 2001] My
name is Jean Anderson and I am announcing my intent to be a
Republican candidate for the office of Regional Superintendent of
Schools for Logan, Mason, and Menard counties.
am a graduate of Lincoln College and Sangamon State University (now
the University of Illinois, Springfield). I have a Masterís
Degree in Educational Administration and hold the Type 75
certificate, both requirements for the position of Regional
Superintendent. I am currently employed by Lincoln Elementary
District #27 Schools as the eighth grade Language Arts teacher at
The Lincoln Junior High School, a position I have held for the past
seventeen years. I also serve that school as its Discipline and
member of the First United Methodist Church of Lincoln, I was its
organist for over 22 years and currently serve on the Board of
Trustees. I am chair of the Communications and Bargaining committees
and treasurer of the Lincoln Elementary Education Organization, and
also belong to the Illinois Education Association, the National
Education Association, and the Lincoln Junior High School
daughter of Lincoln residents Paul E. and the late Helen Musa
Rankin, I have resided in Lincoln and Logan County for my entire
life. My husband of thirty-two years, Mike, is a Logan County
Highway Department employee. We are parents of Jonathan Anderson,
Director of Instrumental Studies at The Victoria College, Victoria,
Texas; and James Anderson, a kindergarten teacher at Mt. Pulaski
Grade School, Mt. Pulaski, Illinois. My sister, Susan Rohrer, and
her family also reside in Lincoln.
I am a political novice, I believe I would be an effective Regional
Superintendent. For one, I am a strong written and oral
communicator, due to many years of teaching and music performance. I
have a working knowledge of school law and the many issues educators
currently face. Having spent seventeen years in the classroom, I am
very much aware of the concerns felt by today's teachers. I have
received formal training in negotiations, employer/employee team
building, and conflict resolution, and have served as chief
negotiator for our district's bargaining team. Our last three
contracts have been settled amicably, without mediation or
work-stoppage. In addition, I am organized and work well both
independently and in group situations.
[to top of second column in
recertification is an important new issue in the education field. I
am currently serving as a member of my district's Local Professional
Development Committee, a group responsible for overseeing and
assessing the state-required recertification requirements of our
teaching staff. I received training for this position through the
Springfield Regional Office of Education. Part of my duties as
Regional Superintendent will be to provide local training for the
teachers of Logan, Mason, and Menard counties, and assist them in
the recertification process. I also plan to work with local school
districts that want to become Providers, a designation that allows
them to bring on-site training for their staff rather than sending
them to another location for training or paying an outside group for
facilitating the process.
elected, my intention is to continue in the professional and
dedicated manner of our current Regional Superintendent George
Janet. Not only has his leadership been outstanding, the fact that
he is a resident of this county has been a definite advantage for
all Logan County citizens, and he has represented the Republican
party well. I believe that it is advantageous for this tradition to
continue. Therefore, I feel that my party affiliation, my residency
in this county, my strong ties with area schools and school
personnel, and my knowledge and dedication to current issues make me
a strong contender for the position of Regional Superintendent.
estimates in Logan County
||Rural population -
||Urban population -
||Persons below poverty
level - 11.8 %
||Average marriages per
||Average deaths per
County high schools: 1960-2000
High School consolidated with New Holland
High School became part of Olympia School District
High School consolidated with Mount Pulaski
High School became Warrensburg-Latham
High School consolidated with Lincoln Community High School
Jose High School consolidated with Illini Central (Mason City)