em space, Where They Stand,
the Numbers, How We Stack Up,
Up With That?
posted do not necessarily represent the opinion of LDN.
Any opinions expressed are those of
decision leaves more unanswered than answered
6, 2001] Half
full? Half empty? That is a question that a lot of LDC proponents
are asking themselves after Gov. George Ryan officially gave the
news of a massive downsizing for the Lincoln Developmental Center.
Yes, the news is better than just pulling the plug on 250 residents
and 700 employeesÖ but not by much.
a classic fit of gubernatorial pomposity, Ryan refused admittance to
his press conference to anyone except the waiters. Excuse me, I mean
the reporters. I get those two occupations confused since many in
both occupations simply write down what someone tells them without
asking any intelligent questions regarding the authenticity or
actuality of the words.
only reporters were allowed to transcribe the governorís diatribe.
Of course, why would it be considered proper to let others into the
press conference, such as the parents of residents or perhaps
representatives of the employees? What do they know about what they
want? Gov. Ryan is in charge of their lives as well as their
childrenís. He, like the Wizard of Oz, is all-knowing. What a
shame he also is not all-caring.
governor says that only 100 residents, moving into
community-integrated homes, will remain at LDC. The homes, at a
great deal of taxpayer expense ($6.25
million to be exact), will be replacing the cottages that already
are set up like a community home. Thereís a real savings to the
state. The cottages, as well as the rest of the buildings on the
75-acre plot formerly known as Wyattís Grove, are to be used forÖ
Sorry, no one said what was going to happen to them, and of course,
no one asked.
the state will allow them to deteriorate. That way, in a decade or
so the community homes can be closed because they are adjacent to an
abandoned ghetto. Perhaps they will be maintained by state employees
so that doesnít happen. But is that a good use of tax money and
stated he was downsizing the facility based on the requests of
parents of residents. This, of course, is not true, but no one asked
the governor for a list of these complainants. There has been only
one disparager compared with dozens of parents who want the center
to remain home for their children and wards. Geez, a golden
opportunity to catch the guy in his own stink went right out the
window on Monday.
stated that CILAs are the future of mental health care, and of
course they are. But since they are not here yet, and human beings in
a place they have called home all their life areÖ Couldnít we do
this gradually over the years? The ARCís own website states there
are 271,000 Americans waiting for group homes, with 6,800 of them
being in Illinois. How about filling the needs of those waiting for
proper residency before pushing into CILAs those who would rather
live just up the block from these homes.
[to top of second column in this
Ryan talked about how terrible LDC was in care to residents. It
never made his conversation that five state institutions have a
higher rate of negative incidence than LDC, including Jacksonville,
where LDC residents have been unceremoniously shipped off to in the
past few months.
for just a question or two to have been asked about that.
governor went on about how LDC has had problems for two decades. I
assume he means receiving high accolades just 10 years ago as a
model health care facility is a problem. Actually if youíre a
governor trying to close a place, I suppose that is a problem. No
comments about this ambiguity in the governorís statement came out
of the peanut gallery either.
papers, of course, followed the verbatim article with negative
quotes about LDC from every organization that has never visited LDC
except for the Free Willy Foundation. What a shame that a quick
blurp by Sen. Bomke that he questioned Ryanís statement regarding
parental support for the closure was placed in print and then
dropped. Wouldnít it have been fun to ask the senator if he
believed the governor lied. That would have been a good story to
Ryan again promulgated his own agenda by saying whatever he felt
like saying. No one gave the other side a chance to counter his
spurious remarks. Fair and balanced reporting? I havenít seen it
yet on LDC, regardless of what people in the business say. You see,
in the world I live in, when someone says something stinks, I ask,
"Compared to what?" A fair comparison of all 10 state-run
institutions, which only was briefly touched on by the State
Journal-Register, shouldnít have taken three months to appear. But
then, at least someone did their homework. Better late than never, I
this column is pro-LDC. I am not a journalist, you see; I am a
commentator. I have been asking some of the questions, however, that
no one else deigns important enough to bring to this story. I will
until the man in Springfield leaves and LDC stays.
(not for publication):
to Fakís commentary:
of Lincoln on Rt 121
10:30am - 9pm Tues -- Thurs
10:30am - 10pm Fri and Sat
Closed Sun and Mon
the place to advertise
Call (217) 732-7443
staff offers more than 25 years of experience in the
the corner of Woodlawn and Business 55
story of state ineptitude
and injustice effectual
30, 2001] Just
when you thought we didnít have a winterís precipitation in
Hades to salvage LDC, a story comes to light that should make us all
regather our collective wills and push forward with our objections
to the governorís "prepaid" decision to close the
budget cuts, some $500 million by the governor, not only placed our
own major employerís situation in jeopardy but also sounded the
death knell for other such institutions across the state.
of the most tragic stories regarding the executive guillotine of
statewide human services had to be the decision to close the
Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education in Chicago. This
facility, primarily focusing on young men and women who do have
basic life skills, was deemed nonessential by Ryan in last monthís
budget-trimming nightmare. The institution, which offered such
services as an education as well as physical and emotional therapy,
with a long-range goal of community placement for its graduates, was
advised that it was to be closed and its students moved to other
suitable area facilities. This is where the story became ugly.
Department of Health and Human Services had begun to ship out the
residents before a hearing on a stay by the local union came before
the Cook County circuit judge. The destinations of the residents
were nothing near what had been promised by DHHS. Close to home? How
about a young man being sent 250 miles away from his elderly mother.
Proper facility? How about that same 21-year-old man, who has a high
school diploma and was getting ready for a community home, being
sent to a nursing home for severely handicapped senior citizens. A
nursing home that had no physical therapy program nor means to allow
him to do anything but wait out the rest of his life.
this was happening, there wasnít a word from the ARC, nor the
Equip For Equality coalitions. Too small a cause? Just one small
fish when there is a whole lake full of fish to fry in Lincoln? Who
knows? We havenít heard from them to tell why they ignored this
human rights issue.
seemed hopeless. And then this past week, Celeste Garrett of the
Chicago Tribune brought this scathing story of state ineptitude and
injustice into the public forum with a pair of headline articles
regarding the treatment of the residents of the Chicago center. It
didnít tell the story of the center, it told the story of the
people involved. The story brought to tens of thousands of
Illinoisans the same type of story that residents and parents of LDC
have been facing with far less notoriety. Did Garrettís story have
power? You bet it did! Was it the truth? Absolutely. Did it have any
effect on the Chicago institutionís residents? Thank God it did.
[to top of second column in this
Tuesdayís State Journal-Register, an article by Jeff Druchniak
sayings that Ryan had reversed his decision to close the Chicago
Rehabilitation Center flashed off the paper like a Roman candle.
power of a major newspaper to find the humanity in a story and bring
it to center stage had done more than all the letters and calls and
petitions of hundreds of concerned Illinoisans. In the limelight of
a statewide audience, Ryan and DHHS were shown up as having no souls
nor conscience. The heat was too much even for an I-donít-care,
lame-duck governor like Ryan to ignore.
The lives of dozens of special souls were given a second chance
because a reporter delved into the body of the issue rather than
just continued to write down what everyone told her. Garrett made a
difference that only someone in her special circumstances could do.
She did more than just write a story. She helped people who needed
help when everyone else just wrote words and then went home.
is in these same dire straits as the Chicago center was. There is
still one chance, one opportunity to save the institution. All it
will take is one Chicago Tribune reporter or one reporter from the
lawmakerís digest, the State Journal-Register, to bring out the
humanity of the individuals in this story and give the residents a
chance to live their lives as they would want.
story is still lying there on the ground just waiting to be picked
up. Oh for just one white knight to enter the foray.
(not for publication):
to Fakís commentary:
rally, comparative analysis, growing House support give hope
14, 2002] I
broke a cardinal rule of journalism Saturday. Itís OK since Iím
not a journalist. That rule is someone reporting a story should not
become part of the story. Accordingly, I shouldnít have spoken to
the crowd at the LDC rally and then written an article as well as
preparing a report for Channel 15.
understand the concept quite clearly and agree with it just about
most of the time. But not this time. Not this Saturday.
people at LDC, through their union, felt I should be among the
political figures, resident guardians and community leaders who were
given a few moments to help employees of the beleaguered institution
realize that they are not alone in their fight to keep the
institution open. If I were asked to speak a thousand times at this
rally, I would have said yes just as many.
the event you feel my observations are now biased or jaded, I will,
as always, leave that up to you. This is what I saw. This is what I
heard. Most importantly, this is what I felt.
felt like I had gone back in time to an old fashioned 1960s union
rally. Aggressive words used to excite an audience to become part of
the rhetoric filled the auditorium that day. To some on the stage, I
could sense a discomfort. This wasnít a quiet "meet the
candidates" forum. This was an old-fashioned "You take my
job over my dead body" kind of gathering. In 20 years, I have
never seen the likes in Logan County.
sat on stage between more political candidates than you can shake a
stick at. There were Davis and Bomke and Wright. There
were even Klingler and Brady and
Mitchell on the folding chairs
around me.(*) Yes, I should say their full
names, their party affiliation and where they live, but I feel like
breaking another rule of proper reporting today.
important in my mind was the fact that Democratic gubernatorial
candidate Paul Vallas was there. The man got up and stated for the
record that as governor he would fix LDC and keep it open. The
political correctness of the statement was, of course, self-serving
but the repercussions could be immense. To date no candidate for
governor has come out from behind the curtain to even acknowledge
the LDC issue. Vallasí comments may cause those more timid than he
to realize a block of voters is awaiting their input now, not come
Rep. Jonathan Wright advised us that a full 96 percent of the
reportable observations at LDC ended with positive conclusions.
Wright stated that was an A in his book. It is in mine as well. As I
sat next to Jonathan I constantly felt bad that he will be lost to
us so soon as our state representative.
[to top of second column in this
listened intently as AFSCME Deputy Director Roberta Lynch reported
on how other institutions and community homes in a 50-mile radius
have been faring in fulfilling their state-mandated mental health
residency requirements. I was shocked to hear of bathrooms with no
toilet paper or soap, of defective sprinkler systems and smoke
alarms with dead batteries. I listened as reports of poorly trained
staff and improper medication safeguards came from her speech. I
have always wondered why there has been no comparative analysis made
as to how LDC stands among its peers. Here was the telling
information I have been so dearly trying without success to obtain
I listened to Lynchís report, I became angry at the media.
Throughout this entire story, only what has been spoon fed to the
press has made the news. Why, I
have to ask, hasnít anyone in the media sought this information
out themselves. Isnít another rule of journalism to ask questions
and to seek both sides of a story. Are all the reporters, especially
in area television, simply now like waiters, who write down what
they are told without a single question or effort to go farther.
hope others at the rally walked away with the same feelings I did. I
can base it on nothing substantive, but it seems that it is becoming
"en vogue" for politicians to come to the aid of LDC. That
is what it is going to take to keep the center open. We as residents
of Lincoln can do just so much. A united General Assembly taking up
the cause is the only true means of winning this battle. I think I
saw the birth of just that this past Saturday.
referred to are Mayor Beth Davis, Logan County Board Chairman Dick
Logan, Illinois Sen. Larry Bomke, and state Reps. Gwenn Klingler,
Dan Brady, Bill Mitchell and Jonathan Wright.
(not for publication):
to Fakís commentary:
So what else happened in 1809?
People commonly know
that Feb. 12 is the day of Abraham Lincolnís birth, even
without seeing it marked on the calendar. Itís less common for
people to know the year without looking it up first.
encyclopedia article indicates that the American president who lived
from 1809 to 1865 is regarded by many people as coming from a
background of poverty, since he was born in a log cabin, but Thomas
and Nancy Lincoln lived as many frontier families did in those
accounts indicate that their son Abraham was born on a bed of poles
covered with corn husks. A young neighbor woman who assisted said
that the birth was about like normal, and the child was born
"just about sunup on Sunday morning." He was named after
his paternal grandfather. The family was then living at a site known
as Sinking Spring Farm in Hardin County, Ky.
The Illinois that
Lincoln would later represent in Congress was not yet a state. The
act that made Illinois a territory separate from the Indiana
Territory was approved by the U.S. Congress on Feb. 3, nine days
before his birth.
In Washington, D.C.,
Thomas Jefferson was completing his second term as president. He was
succeeded in that office by James Madison, the fourth president,
about a month after Lincolnís birth.
The U.S. population,
which had been about 5.3 million at the 1800 census, was approaching
the 7.2 million recorded in the 1810 census.
travel was beginning in the East.
leading up to the War of 1812 with Britain was also beginning. In
1809 New England governors refused to send militia to enforce
certain economic sanctions.
frontier, the westward movement of white settlers conflicted with
Native American interests. William Henry Harrison made an 1809
treaty with tribes in the Indiana Territory, where he was governor,
and the Shawnee leader Tecumseh started to set up a defensive
confederacy to resist expansion. Cherokees began to explore the
Arkansas River valley, as they were being pushed out of lands in the
Europe, the French under Napoleon were at war with Austria in 1809.
Napoleonís soldiers were entering Vienna when the composer Franz
Joseph Haydn died.
composer Felix Mendelssohn was born in Germany that year, and the
poet Alfred Lord Tennyson was born in Lincolnshire, England. It was
also the birth year of William Gladstone, who was prime minister of
Britain four times.
Bodmer, a European artist born in 1809, came to America during
Lincolnís New Salem years and worked as an illustrator for German
Prince Maximilianís expedition up the Missouri River. Bodmer made
detailed sketches of Native Americans and their activities.
the frontiersman Kit Carson and William Travis, a lawyer who became
commander for the Texans at the battle of the Alamo, were born the
same year as Lincoln.
like Lincoln, first lived in Kentucky. Later he worked as a
teamster, cook, guide and hunter for groups exploring the West,
including Gen. Fremontís expedition to California. Carson also
served in the Mexican War, the Civil War and as an Indian agent in
who appealed for assistance at the Alamo, reported being attacked by
increasing forces under Mexican Gen. Santa Anna. Declaring "I
shall never surrender nor retreat," Travis died there along
with almost 200 other defenders. By that year, Lincoln was serving
in the Illinois Legislature.
American writers Oliver Wendell Holmes and Edgar Allan Poe were
others of continuing fame who were born in 1809. Holmesí birth was
in a Cambridge, Mass., house that had historical associations with
the Revolutionary War.
Darwin, an Englishman who became an evolutionary biologist, was born
not only in the same year but also on the same day as Lincoln. Both
Darwinís mother and Lincolnís mother died before their sons were
the prominent Americans who died in the year of Lincolnís birth
was Meriwether Lewis, known for exploration of the Louisiana
Purchase. He had been a personal secretary for Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas Paine also died in 1809. His pamphlet "Common
Sense" had helped influence popular opinion in 1776 and led the
way for the Declaration of Independence.
Decades later "a new
birth of freedom," as the Gettysburg Address described it,
became Lincolnís legacy.
They Stand is a commentary section addressing specific issues in the community. Informed individuals present their
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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)