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Emails for January 2005

Letter from Iraq

Hey, I just wanted to let everyone know that I am alright and doing good. Don't have much time to write but I will call whenever I get a chance. I love you and miss you guys. Please keep me and my fellow Security Forces members in your prayers this week as we are coming up on an historical event in Iraq. Also, keep the Iraqis in your prayers as they are battling for democracy.

Rick Butler

Editor's note: Rick is the son of Bill Butler of Minonk and has just been assigned to Iraq.

Closing Fieldcrest South not an option


Thanks for allowing this forum to continue. You are providing a most valuable asset for our community. I'd like to express my views concerning the recent Fieldcrest School Board discussion on school consolidation. In my view, several of the current board members are truly concerned with the long term health of our school district. Others seem to have personal motives however. Closing Fieldcrest South has yet again surfaced as an option to save money. To close Fieldcrest South simply is not in the long term interest of Fieldcrest. Consider this, the continued financial stability of our communities is in the best interest of the entire school district. Closing an elementary school in any of the three larger towns served by Fieldcrest is not in our best financial interest. If we want our communities to grow, then we need to be able to attract new families. I find it difficult to believe that there would be many who would be willing to relocate to a community where they would be forced to put their very young children on a bus. I do understand that those from Rutland and Dana are already forced to do that. Consider those communities for a moment. I attended Dana Grade school. I have friends and family in both Dana and Rutland. But, while I maintain close personal ties to both of these communities, I must admit that they are not growing by leaps and bounds. All sarcasm aside, I do not wish this on Toluca, Wenona, or Minonk. I want these communities to grow and prosper. When our communities prosper, our schools prosper. I'm not going to get into what appear to be personal motives by some. I'd rather appeal to everyone to look at the bigger picture. There are of course many, many, other reasons not to close South. Many reading this email are probably reciting them now. Closing South would be like selling the car you use to get to work because you are deep in debt. It simply does not make sense. On April 5, I hope everyone who is able decides to cast a vote for Fieldcrest.

Thank You,

Jeff Geringer

Walking the IC tracks

Hi Dave,

Seeing the picture of the men walking on the railroad tracks brought back memories.

My dad, Hank Janssen, talked about walking on the railroad tracks to town to go to confirmation classes at St Paul's Church in the early 1900's. The Janssen family lived on a farm south of Minonk along old R. 5l and across the road from the Illinois Central Railroad tracks. It is the farm where Bob and Pam Janssen now live. It was easier walking on the tracks than on a slippery, muddy road. He usually walked to confirmation with his cousin Shorty Janssen and Emil Kark, who lived in Woodford.

Do you know when route 51 was paved?

Sherry Lindeman

Editor's reply: Sherry, I believe that route 51 was first paved in the middle 1920's according to my late Uncle Bill VonBehren. It was then known as route 20.

Tsunami photos: Another hoax


You�re doing a great job with Minonk Talk. I try to visit at least twice a week or more, to read the articles and view the photos. I visited this morning, and recognized the above photos as the same as I had received from a co-worker. The photos are, unfortunately, a hoax. Go to the following website, http://www.snopes.com/photos/tsunami/tsunami1.asp, an urban legend site, and see the same pictures, with background narrative. This site is an excellent resource for verifying the validity of e-mails, stories, etc.

These photos are actually of the tidal bore of the Qiantangjiang River, in China. It is near the sea and has some of the highest tidal bores/surges in the world, and is a great tourist attraction. You can see many of the people carrying umbrellas, in anticipation of getting wet, and they are laughing and smiling as the water drenches them.

These photos were taken around September 8th, 2002. The photos appeared in the Daily Times (Pakistan) September 10, 2002, with the headlines; A massive wave from a tidal surge rears over fleeing spectators on the Qiantangjiang River near Hangzhou, a coastal city in eastern China�s Zhejiang province 167 km southwest of Shanghai, on Monday. �Reuters

Many newspapers in Germany, Canada, etc., were recently taken in, and have printed these same photos as being from the recent disaster in Asia.

Duane Kneppe

Editor's reply: Duane, thanks for the update. It's hard to believe that someone would play a hoax on such a tragedy. Again, we all have to be suspicious of unvalidated information on the internet.

Fieldcrest Board needs to reorganize now

The Board of Education has said it will revisit realignment, and so it should. We elected the Board to take the responsibility for educating students to the best of their ability. The Board is acutely aware of the problems we have and it would take a new Superintendent a long time to get up to speed. Call the Board members and tell them we don't have another year or two. We need to act now and reorganize the district.

We need to be aware that we have a good complex and we need to continue the work of consolidation that we voted in a few years ago.

As to the parents of students and family having to pay fees - this is a way of allowing some students to do things while excluding others. The state will not send more money to Fieldcrest because we're doing ok without it. The state will not change funding of schools until there is a dire need. The Board never said the "activity fee" would stop if we passed the referendum. How would we feel if we passed the referendum and then still had the "activity fee"?

To borrow from the real estate people, we have three priorities that must be taken care of and they are the student, the student and the students.

Dean Barth

Looking for info on Tucker family

I am from Australia and know that some of my cousins lived or may still live in Minonk. They would be descendants of a William Webber Tucker. Do you know of anyone in your community with interests in family history who I could contact.

Gwen Harvey - ghar7845@bigpond.net.au

Wants to contribute to web site

Dear Dave,

Congratulations on your 5th year! Ever since I discovered MinonkTalk several years ago, I have been a regular visitor, and have tried to contribute items of interest from down here in Texas.

My question is: Would you be accepting events and things of interest on the viewer-designed web pages from us who no longer live in Minonk, but still have close ties?

I know that some folks up there might not be interested in what�s happening down here in Texas, but on occasion, I run across some very good articles and events that might be interesting to the viewers.

You have done a magnificent job with MinonkTalk, and I�m really looking forward in participating in your new venture. Good luck, and keep on doing this wonderful service to the Minonk community, as well as those of us who can keep in touch through the site.

Best wishes, always.

Art Kettelhut

Editor's reply: Art, you certainly will be able to have your own web page for submitting articles, photos, and other items of interest. That is the purpose of the new design - to allow others to contribute to the web site easily. Having input from the 4 corners of the country will add immeasurably to the quality of the web site. Stay tuned.

Response to editorial on military tests

As a society we allow small children to make too many choices. As a child matures into adulthood and is in high school they need more choices and the ability to opt in or out of non-mandatory testing. Schools need to work with parents to make sure the students make good decisions. Ideally, information needs to be giving to all parties and a discussion to follow, and a informed consent obtained. "Fieldcrest Principal Steve Wallick said that the reason a notice was not sent to the parents is because there is no guarantee that the parent will receive the letter." If the principal takes this stand why send report cards? There is no guarantee the parents will receive them either. In this age of email, phones and yes even U.S. Postal Service mail, parents can be easily reached and notified of events like this. I believe the school made an error in judgment, and put the students privacy at risk.

Debra Hawk

Homeland security is in a turmoil

On Thursday, an armed AirTran Airways pilot was charged with operating an aircraft under the influence after a federal screener at McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas) smelled alcohol.

Come fly with me? I don�t think so. As if we didn�t have enough to worry about with planes crashing into buildings, and terrorists who might be planning all sorts of devastating actions against this country, now we have drunk pilots. And he was armed, as well. Scary.

This has happened before, from previous reports, and it�s not pretty.

I thinks every pilot should be tested BEFORE he even attempts to take command of an aircraft.

When I flew up to Minonk for our class reunion, I wasn�t worried so much about terrorists, but I kept thinking: �Is the pilot sober?� Now this is something each one of us should not have to be worried about.

Most of us do fly and one time or another, so what is to be expected when it comes to safety? We expect responsible people on the plane to keep us safe. Imagine if that plane had taken off and a drunk, armed pilot was at the controls! There is no justification for this sort of action.

Let�s get it all out, we�re in a mess in this country. Now the FBI has a database that doesn�t work, and it cost us millions to set it up. Even the computers at the FBI are old and antiquated.

Homeland security is really in a turmoil, in my opinion. We�ll never catch all the terrorist in this country, and they are here. Cells are all over, and operating.

So we all have to be vigilant. Keep our eyes open, and our minds clear on fighting this potential danger.

After all, this is where we live, and we have to protect it. I am reminded of the �Minute Men�. I guess these days, we all have to be as they were. Ready to take action.

Art Kettelhut

Looking for guitar teacher

I got a guitar for Christmas and I am looking for someone to give me lessons. Is there anyone in the Minonk area that gives guitar lessons? If so please email me at tkcremer@mchsi.com.

Collin Cremer

Followup to cookie recipe

Read with interest the story about the NEIMAN-MARCUS COOKIES. And I noted the source of the recipe too. Might I suggest that a person check this link.. http://www.ih2000.net/ira/hoaxes.htm

I remember being sent that same message a couple of years ago.. By the way, the recipe makes very delicious cookies...

Larry Moritz
Rome, Ill