Still Watersthe em spaceWhere They StandBy the Numbers,

How We Stack UpWhat's Up With That?


What new awareness did
America gain on 9-11-01?

By Mike Fak

[SEPT. 12, 2001]  Two hundred citizens of Logan County gathered in Latham Park at noon Tuesday to pray. Some of them prayed for the many who at the moment were suffering from the devastation brought on by the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Others prayed for the families of those thousands of victims. Still others prayed for help and guidance from God because they understood that America will never be the same after Sept. 11, 2001.

Across America millions met in similar gatherings. Millions more will as the days go on. America stopped as government across the nation stayed home. Every monument in the land locked its gates as air traffic across the land ceased. Millions even at work or school stopped what they were doing and sat riveted in front of televisions as the carnage from a violent Hollywood movie was explained to all as fact, not fiction. Even the president of the United States as well as Congress were not to be found in their normal work environs.

On the news on every station across America, the twin towers of the World Trade Center burned like two candles as the smoke billowed and buried the Manhattan skyline under its dense plumes. Seasoned anchors fought to maintain composure at a scene that has not been a part of the American landscape since the War of 1812. Not since then have the American people been forced to witness such destruction and loss of life on our own soil. Not even Pearl Harbor can stand before this latest act of war on the American people.

Make no mistake. This was an act of war. For years we have gone about our business, shedding only a cursory glance at Lockerbie or Lebanon or the previous World Trade Center terrorist attack. For years we pretended there was no war, when all along people in other parts of the world prayed to their God that this day would come.

We have been at war with these types of terrorists for decades. Only today has this reality burrowed deep into the false world we Americans chose to live in.

They say America lost its complacency after Pearl Harbor. They say we lost our innocence after the Kennedys and King were assassinated. What will history say we lost on Sept. 11, 2001? Will it be that we have found we are not safe in our own homes, our own buildings, even our own military structures? That we cannot go to work to provide for our families without fear of death? Will it be that we cannot spend our lives concerned with such mundane thoughts as college for the kids or a new car or house or paying an overdue bill? Will we forevermore find the need to look over our shoulder and worry whether today is the day that a stranger 10,000 miles away takes away our loved ones, all in the name of God?

There are people in this world who hate you and me although we have never met. They hate our nation, our leaders and everything we believe in. They believe that if they can kill us, they will find a special place in heaven for their acts of murder.

I hope that soon whoever was responsible will be sent to their God, and then let them find out the truth about being a murderer of men, women and children whose only transgression was living their lives the best that they knew.

After Pearl Harbor, as the Japanese naval hierarchy celebrated their infamous victory, Admiral Yammamoto stated that he feared they had awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.

You got that right.

[Mike Fak]

Reply to Fak (not for publication):

mikefak@msn.com

Response to Fak's commentary:

ldneditor@lincolndailynews.com 

 

 

 

 


Want a historic structure?
Hey, Lincoln, I got one for you

By Mike Fak

[SEPT. 6, 2001]  The old school bell casts a shadow on the Walnut Grove School House. For 50 years it has patiently waited for the call to summon rural children back into the building for another day of learning.

[Click here to view pictures]

The schoolhouse owned by Lon and Nancy Simpson sits on a section of their property between Remington Seed company and their home on Route 10. The Simpsons purchased the structure in 1993 from Harold Stoll and had it moved to its new foundation and site. Originally intended to house a small gift shop and tearoom, the schoolhouse for the past several years has been rented out as a home by the Simpsons.

Although the schoolhouse has seen modernization in plumbing, electricity and a modern basement that creates living space for tenants, the upstairs schoolhouse is as it was 100 years ago. The original tin ceilings, flooring and woodwork, as well as blackboards, easily represent the same appearance students in 1902 would have seen on their first day of school in the building.

The Simpsons have maintained the old schoolhouse and have, in effect, probably saved it from the fate that hundreds of such structures have met over the years.

 

Often these one-room schoolhouses would be situated in a grove of trees in the middle of a stretch of farmland. Each of those schools would serve the educational needs of the farm children in the immediate area. As time went on, farms became larger and rural families fewer and farther between. Consolidation occurred, leaving the buildings situated in the middle of nowhere ó obsolete and without purpose. There they sat until the elements or a farmerís tractor drove them into extinction.

 

[to top of second column in this commentary]

Records show that few of these buildings still exist, but Walnut Grove School still does and sits waiting to be used again, if not by students then perhaps by visitors wanting to see what school was like a century ago.

The Simpsons have ideas of moving in a few years and, like doting parents, are concerned about the future of their schoolhouse. Approximately five years ago Mount Pulaski expressed an interest in purchasing the school, as did the city of Atlanta. To date nothing has come of those initial conversations. The Simpsons are not actively seeking a buyer for the building, but in the event a group is interested in purchasing and maintaining the school as a historic structure, they would be willing to discuss the possibility.

In a day when Lincoln is making a great deal about Postville Courthouse and a well on Fifth Street, an interest in having this historic building become part of the Lincoln tourism experience seems like a natural to this observer.

I am presently working on this school and can tell you a walk inside the structure yields more antiquity and nostalgia than anything Lincoln currently has, except the county courthouse.

Hey, Lincoln, in the event you want to expand sites for tourism, call the Simpsons. The old school bell is just dying to ring an opening of the schoolhouse doors once again. It would be great if it occurred in Lincoln.

[Mike Fak]

Reply to Fak (not for publication):

mikefak@msn.com

Response to Fak's commentary:

ldneditor@lincolndailynews.com 


Economic pie

By Mike Fak

[SEPT. 1, 2001]  I want to give you folks a number. The number is 15,418. Go ahead and write that down someplace. Now for the sake of analogy, letís call that number the economic pie. Donít hang up on me; Iím not giving out a recipe. Iím trying to ask a question that you folks should answer, not I. Now some of you are sharp enough to realize that the number is the population figure given to the city of Lincoln for the 1990 census. That number is, for want of a better explanation, all the potential consumers this city has to offer.

Yes, we can add some for travelers or visitors during one of our promotions, but we can subtract when all of us seem to head out of town on vacations or to find the alleged "super" bargains in Springfield or Bloomington. We could subtract for toddlers or seniors who donít get out and about anymore. Just for the sake of clarity, letís stay with the number 15,418.

Our city seems to be in the midst of an argument over whether we are for economic development or are stifling it with our rules and regulations and, most importantly, our attitude toward new business.

 

My question to all of you is: Does an auto parts store when we have a half dozen, or a Caseyís when we have eight such stores already, really constitute economic growth at all? Is adding a business of a type that has already met a saturation point in this town really what we should call economic growth? Yeah, Iím for free enterprise and creating a new tax base and creating new jobs. But if everything that comes to Lincoln adds just enough to offset what we eventually lose in a similar business leaving, are we really growing?

Remember the number 15,418. No matter what business comes to Lincoln, that is all the economic pie there is for all the retail businesses to absorb.

Now new business blood can stimulate prices. There is no doubt of this. Sometimes those new prices are short-lived, as we see another friend of the community give up on trying to keep just enough of those 15,418 customers to stay in business. Again I have to ask, "Is that growing?" Or are we simply changing the names of the players involved in getting business from the 15,418?

 

[to top of second column in this commentary]

Economic growth, to me, isnít seeing more of the same type of retailers we already have in Lincoln coming to town. Economic growth, to me, is seeing the number 15,418 change to a higher number. More people mean a larger pie to take an economic slice from. More people mean some major retailers might look differently on us. Having a 100-year stagnated population number doesnít excite most major retailers into believing growth is around the corner.

We as a community need to determine what economic growth really is. In my mind it is little factories and widget companies that not only take up our unemployed workforce but also cause others to come to recognize the opportunities those companies present in the city of Lincoln. Changing the number 15,418 will allow new like businesses to come to Lincoln and prosper, without meaning some of them have to close.

 

I cringe when I hear the words that Lincoln is a bedroom community. Those are the words spoken by every little town across America that has given up on the prospect that it can attract new non-retail business. Yes, the job is tough. We canít just look in a catalogue and order this kind of factory and that kind of manufacturing plant. It can be done, however, if we put our minds and our hearts together and decide it can be done.

Let me know what you think. Your ideas might be just what all the rest of us have been waiting to hear.

[Mike Fak]

Reply to Fak (not for publication):

mikefak@msn.com

Response to Fak's commentary:

ldneditor@lincolndailynews.com 

 


This is the em space, a staff writerís section with observations about life experiences in Logan County and elsewhere. Enjoy your visit.

ó Mary Krallmann


Pass the plates for free entertainment

"New plates go by the numbers," the headline said. The article that caught my eye explained that the new license plates brightening up Illinois cars donít need to include any letters and can have as many as seven digits.

That means full plates that look like telephone numbers are available, but the license plates emphasizing letters are still the ones I notice.

Sometimes the location or the timing is as interesting as the message. WKNDRS showed up at a weekend garage sale. A car plated RUDE stood next to one that said VEX. A favorite that went by on a rainy afternoon was a vehicle plated CATFSH, pulling a boat. After the storm, there was SHPREC 1, safely parked on solid ground with no boat involved and no noticeable damage.

End-of-summer jaunts and a new crop of studentsí cars added to the sampling below, but youíll find some of the best plates right at home, where you know the names and the people. Just use your imagination, fill in the missing letters and catch the IDs in seven characters or less.

4 ARROW

70 DNA

A DAY 14

A PONY 98

ABBA 82

ACRE 5

AGY 240

AJS RYD 5

ANGEL 2

ASC ME 83

ASHES 88

AUDY 82

BG HRN 1

BLAZR 52

BNKS 1

CATFSH

CODE 102

CRITTRZ

CRUZ BY 2

CSWIM 83

CWBYS 37

DON CAR 2

DR MOM 96

DRENCH 7

E IZARD

FASHN 5

FILZ 1

FLIRTY 5

FNKYS 97

FROST 42

G LADY 7

GERM 74

GRN EYS 9

HARTBT 4

HELLO 50

HEVY C 44

HOOPS 23

HOTT RX 7

HRMNY 20

ICATCH 7

IDANCR 1

JP A QT

K WAGS 1

K9MUM

KT SUE 78

LAPS 11

LEGAP 1

LKYLDBG

MCH FAN 1

MDFLD 12

MDVANE 7

MID HIT 9

MISHEL

MJTWICE

MOMMY 93

MON 99

MS EMM 1

NO PONY 5

ONG ONG 1

PAM ANN 1

POLITE 1

PRICE 83

RAT PACK

RBND 50

RIVER 88

RT FLD 4

RUDE 82

SAGA 55

SAN FRN 9

SCOUTR 6

SHN GRD 9

SHPREC 1

SHYGL 81

SNOTAG 1

SPAY C 1

SPNDR 1

SSSS 93

SYMPSN 5

TEN 79

THANX 43

THE 512

TINY 131

TOMJUL 4

TPCAT 11

TUFF 33

U LQQK 6

VB QT 1

VEX 431

WDRWMN 7

WE FARM 9

WHYMOM3

WIND 97

WINK 62

WKNDRS

WLKR 86

XERSIZ 1

XRAY U 2

Y LAB 1

ZAKATK 6

ZAZ 190

[Mary Krallmann

 

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.


 

By the Numbers

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
1979 Latham High School became Warrensburg-Latham
1988 New Holland-Middletown High School consolidated with Lincoln Community High School
1989 San Jose High School consolidated with Illini Central (Mason City)

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


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?

 

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