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LCHS Choir at Woman's Club, 'We Are Lincoln' meeting, 'Gifts for Yanks,' 'Atlanta & the KKK'

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[December 17, 2013]  LCHS Choir to perform at Woman's Club on Wednesday

Members of the Lincoln Community High School Choir will entertain Lincoln Woman's Club members during a 1 p.m. Christmas tea at the club building on Wednesday, Dec. 18. The choir is directed by Kim Quinn.

Devotions will be presented by Diane Osborn. Social chairwomen for the meeting are Clara Douthit, Janet Haning and Jean Tubbs, with Louann Bleess and Janet Langenbahn serving as greeters.

Members are reminded to report volunteer hours and donations made during the past year.


'We Are Lincoln'

Group putting words into action — Part 2

Last Wednesday evening, the We Are Lincoln group met at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital to continue discussions on what they can do to draw attention to the good in our community, and also to identify areas where the city needs improvement. The goal of the group is to work together with city government and other entities to help create a better community.

Michael Gowin served as the moderator for the meeting and led the group through a list of wants and needs that had been compiled in November at the first meeting.

The talks began with how to go about creating a single source of information for everyone in the community. The topic of building a one-stop-shop website where anyone could find out anything they wanted to know about Lincoln continued to come back into the discussion throughout the evening.

Gowin moved the discussion forward, asking if anyone had addressed the topic of job shadowing that appeared on one of the lists. No one commented.

Gowin moved on to the list that included downtown revitalization. It was brought up that there are revitalization projects in the works.

Gowin built on that, saying that there are many things happening that folks don't know about. He said it wasn't just about what was going on in projects, but also what is going on in area civic organizations, as well as churches and other social bodies.

Patrick Doolin commented that it might be a good first step for someone to "inventory" the local organizations, find out what they do and offer information about them. Andi Hake of the chamber of commerce said the job might be easier than one would expect because the Healthy Communities Partnership is already working on a similar directory.

Jeanette Harris is a newcomer to the Lincoln community. She talked about her former community in McLean County and how the United Way was working on a central directory of all social services in the county. She thought it would be great for the Logan County community to have something like this as well. She said she would be happy to help work on something like this for Logan County.

After her comments, it was noted that the Logan County United Way is working on a 211 phone project and recently had a meeting to inform the public on this project.

Gowin moved on to the page that mentioned cultivating the arts. He asked if anyone had talked about this or done anything with it.

Kathy Vinyard said there is already a visual arts group in Lincoln. The Logan County Arts group meets at the Lincoln Art Institute. Vinyard said they have monthly art shows, and they want to do more in the community to promote the arts.

It was also mentioned that there is a creative writing group in Lincoln.

Another item on the need list was for a dog park in Lincoln. David Lanterman said that he, Brittney McLaughlin and Angela Stoltzenburg have been discussing this. He said, however, what it came down to was not just a discussion about a dog park, but rather all the green spaces in Lincoln. He said the three had discussed how the green spaces are being used and how they could be used better.

He mentioned the APEX at City Center, the community garden spaces and more. He said he thought there needed to be an inventory of all the green spaces in the city and determine how they can be better used.

Lanterman said that in addition to the three who are currently working on this, perhaps the city and the park district needed to be in these discussions as well.

In regard to the APEX, he noted that while it has been started, it needs to be moving forward.

At the first meeting, it was mentioned that there needed to be a curbside recycling program in Lincoln. At the meeting Wednesday evening, Mitzi Rohlfs of the Joint Solid Waste Agency was on hand to review this proposal. That agency is the recycling program serving Lincoln and other locations in Logan County.

Rohlfs offered a little bit of background on why the city does not have curbside recycling at the moment. Prior to 2010, there was a curbside program with Area Disposal picking up recycling materials free of charge as part of their trash collection service in the city.

However, in 2010 the company determined that they could no longer offer the service for free and implemented a $5 monthly charge on recycling pickup. Rohlfs said more than 50 percent of the households dropped the service then, but they didn't stop recycling. The Joint Solid Waste Agency offers recycling in a variety of venues. There are large dumpsters on the city lot on North Kickapoo for paper and plastic. The agency partners with the Logan County Habitat for Humanity for electronics recycling, and glass for recycling is collected at the Logan County Fairgrounds from spring to fall, with the service stopping during the winter months.

Lanterman said he was the one who brought up the household recycling at the first meeting. He said that recycling at home was something that could be a family activity, and it would be educational for kids to get them started in the habit of recycling.

Rohlfs said she would support the change completely. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder said that one way to possibly bring this back would be to offer a waste hauler exclusive rights in the city and in offering that exclusivity require that recycling be a part of the program.

Lanterman said that another part of the problem is that homes are not required to subscribe to a waste service. He added that if they were required, and if the fee for recycling was included in the monthly rate, more households would participate in curbside recycling.

It was also brought up that there was a need for electronics recycling and glass recycling. Rohlfs explained that those programs are already in place. The second Saturday of every month there is an electronics recycling collection at the Habitat for Humanity warehouse, and glass for recycling is collected at the fairgrounds in season. She said she provides public notices to all three local media outlets the week prior to the Saturday events.


In Part 3 of this report, Gowin leads the group through bringing up new ideas that were not on the original list from the first meeting.


Past related article


'We Are Lincoln'

Group moves forward with putting words into action — Part 1

Last Wednesday evening a group of about 25 Lincoln citizens met at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. The goal of the meeting was to find a starting point for putting words into actions.

The group is an evolution from the recent "Boomtown USA" meetings hosted by the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network.

Michael Gowin served as the moderator with assistance from Patrick Doolin. Gowin told the group he was not the leader of the group, but had been asked to serve only as the moderator of all discussions. He said he wanted to start by talking about what has taken place since the last meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting, Gowin talked about "We Are Lincoln" versus Boomtown, saying that it was somewhat of a misinterpretation to connect the We Are Lincoln movement with Boomtown USA, though admittedly, the group has evolved from that to what it is now.

The first Boomtown meeting came in October at Lincoln Community High School and focused on creating a sense of entrepreneurship in local youth, finding ways to keep them in the community after college, and interacting with them in a productive way in the interim.

Guest speakers Craig Lindvahl and Jack Schultz spoke at the first meeting about the talent they have discovered in other areas by implementing a CEO program for high school-age students. They spoke on the "Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities" program that was started in Effingham and how students there became involved in their own small-business projects. They also talked about some of the tremendous successes those students have realized after completing the program.

The CEO program is something the chamber is still very interested in pursuing, but it was what came after that first meeting that lit the fire for We Are Lincoln.

After that first meeting, the Young Professionals Network set a date for a Boomtown Roundtable meeting to occur at ALMH. At practically the same time, an article written by a former Lincolnite was published and broadcast through National Public Radio that painted Lincoln as a decaying city with drug issues and high crime.

Many local citizens were offended by the article, but they were also motivated. They were driven to ask themselves if that was the perception of the city to people outside the community, and if it was, how that could be addressed and changed.

The end result was that so many RSVP'd to the Boomtown Roundtable that the venue had to be changed to the Lincoln Park District Ballroom. When the meeting took place, the discussion quickly veered to the negative article and discussions of how to make the city a better place.


[to top of second column]

At that meeting, Doolin served as the moderator with assistance from Blinn Bates of the YPN, and Craig Lindvahl was on hand. Throughout the evening, members of the audience openly talked about what is needed in the city of Lincoln to make it more attractive to young professionals, people looking to move into Lincoln and those who visit.

A wide variety of ideas came out of that meeting. At the end of the night, Doolin told the group that talk was good, but what was needed was action. He offered them an opportunity to make lists on large pieces of paper outlining what needed to be done.

Last Wednesday evening, when the group met for the first time as We Are Lincoln, those same pieces of paper were brought out again, and the group was encouraged to talk about their lists and how to accomplish the goals on the lists.

Doolin talked about the CEO program and said that it was a project he intended to stay involved in, along with the chamber.

In the audience was Lincoln High School Superintendent Robert Bagby.

Doolin said there have been discussions with Bagby regarding the CEO program, and the wheels are in motion. He told the group that the CEO program won't come soon, though, because Lindvahl is limiting the number of programs he opens each year so as to maintain the integrity of the program. Opening a few each year allows Lindvahl to be certain that each new program gets plenty of attention from him and gets off to a good start.

Doolin concluded that Lindvahl knows there is interest here in Lincoln for the CEO program, and it will come within the next couple of years.

After Doolin's update, Gowin returned to the lists. He asked about the need for a single resource for information about Lincoln. David Doolin then spoke about this.

He told the group that preparing for a single source of information was going to be a large undertaking, but something that was needed. He said when searching Lincoln on the Internet, one can come up with several bits and pieces, but there is no one place that puts everything together to make a complete picture. He said for those who are not familiar with the area, having a single location for everything is very important.

He said he saw the single source as a "hub in the wheel" resource. He said the idea was to create a site that would bring searchers in, based on a broad search. Then, once they are at the site, they would have options of other places to go to see more specific information about the community.

Patrick Doolin commented on this from the last meeting, saying this single source was something people seemed to want: a source where they could track what is going on in the community and also learn about the various organizations and other points of interest.

This report will continue in Part 2, when the group moves on to other items on the first set of lists and talks what to do next to move certain projects forward.


Past related articles

American Legion seeks support for 69th annual Gifts for Yanks Who Gave

This is the 69th year that citizens of Logan County have the opportunity to thank veterans who have served our country and are now residents of nursing homes in our county. The American Legion's Gifts for Yanks Who Gave ensures that no Logan County veteran is forgotten during the Christmas season.

Each year, citizens respond generously to this program as a way of thanking men and women who have served in the armed forces of the nation. Logan County residents are urged to once again respond to this program and show these men and women that we do care.

Contributions to support this cause can be mailed to:

Gifts for Yanks Who Gave
c/o Town and Country Bank
PO Box 159
Lincoln, IL 62656

Donations are appreciated and will be used for Christmas gifts for hospitalized veterans from Logan County.

Dinner at the Palms schedules encore performance of 'It's a Mystery to Me: Atlanta & the KKK'

ATLANTA — Due to popular demand, a second date has been scheduled for presentation of the "It's a Mystery to Me: Atlanta & the KKK" program at the Palms Grill Café in Atlanta. The originally scheduled KKK program will still be presented on Friday, Dec. 13, but because that evening is now fully booked and so many folks have called trying to get a reservation, the program will be repeated on Friday, Jan. 3.

To make a reservation for the Jan. 3 KKK program or any of the other programs remaining in the series, phone 217-648-5077 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, or leave a voice message with your phone number at other times.

The Atlanta Public Library and Museum is presenting "Dinner Programs at the Palms Grill Café," a free series of events at the Palms Grill, 110 SW Arch St., on Old Route 66 in downtown Atlanta. The programs run through February and feature local speakers who present 45- to 60-minute presentations or activities following dinner at the Palms Grill. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m., and the evening's program or activity starts at 7 p.m. Reservations are required and limited to 50 people.

Programs on the schedule for the remainder of this year and in 2014:

Friday, Dec. 13, and
repeated on Friday, Jan. 3
"It's a Mystery to Me: Atlanta & the KKK"

In this program, the Atlanta Historic Commission and the Atlanta Museum ask you to consider Atlanta's involvement with the Ku Klux Klan in the mid-1920s. Artifacts, documentation, photos and period newspaper accounts will be presented and examined, with the goal of having those attending decide what the "history" of Atlanta and the KKK was.

Friday, Jan. 17
"Movie Magic in Atlanta"

Christopher Myers and Cory Berstein, of Bloomington-Normal, will share how they became the winners of the 2011 Normal Theater Short Film Festival. People attending will view their 2011 winning entry, plus learn about and watch their newest movie project, including a number of scenes filmed in downtown Atlanta.

Friday, Jan. 24
"Foundations of Atlanta: The John Dowdy Story"

The Atlanta Historic Commission and the Atlanta Museum will tell the story of John Dowdy, a man whose lifelong work can be found underfoot throughout most of the community, in the form of the sidewalks everyone treads upon, as well beneath many of Atlanta's older homes, in the form of their concrete block foundations. In addition, the people attending will learn about a library program in which a group of Atlantans have teamed up with students from Olympia South Elementary School in a project to re-create the purple martin houses Mr. Dowdy used to build and maintain in downtown Atlanta.

Friday, Feb. 7
"Illinois Office of Tourism Update"

Ms. Jen Hoelzle, director of the Illinois Office of Tourism, leads the state's tourism industry marketing and development efforts. Before joining the Office of Tourism in October 2012, she served as the director of external engagement for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and in several capacities for the state of Illinois. Ms. Hoelzle has brought fresh ideas for statewide tourism strategies and pushed for heavy social media engagement designed to drive new visitors to Illinois. She'll update the group attending on the current state of tourism in Illinois.

Friday, Feb. 21
"Wheels of Change: The History of Bicycles in Atlanta"

The Atlanta Historic Commission and Atlanta Museum will team up again to present a concise history of the bicycle in Atlanta. The program will examine the social implications of the invention that hit the streets -- and railroads -- of early Atlanta through the present day. Of course, one cannot study the bicycle without coming across the name of the infamous George "Sonny" McIntyre, one of Atlanta's most eccentric citizens and the builder of many of the town's bicycles for close to 50 years. Come to this program to learn about McIntyre, share your stories and speculate about the future of bicycles in Atlanta.

Friday, Feb. 28
"It's a Mystery to Me: The Bucket of Blood"

Sometime in the early afternoon on Tuesday, April 2, 1935, a murder-suicide happened involving Joseph and Verna Rehrman, owners of the Popular Inn, a roadhouse on Route 66 just north of Atlanta. The mystery of exactly what transpired that fateful day will be recounted in a new narrative written by Terri Ryburn, based upon research conducted by the Atlanta Museum and the Atlanta Historic Commission. Learn about this tragedy, as well as share stories you may have heard growing up, as this program examines the mystery of "The Bucket of Blood."

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