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Emails for May 2005
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Best place I have ever lived | True American values | There is positive in our community | Wants to organize softball league | Graduation, another step | Activities for kids | | Minonk IS a good place to live | Concerned about negatism in Minonk | Flying flag is freedom of expression | Pavilion trashing comments | Affront to a true American | Install security cameras to combat vandalism | Young people are learning to respect community | Comment on trashed restrooms | Children are not littering our parks | Upset over pavilion trash | Enjoyed Fieldcrest Spring Concert | Thanks from raceway developers | Looking for Myers family descendants | I-39 Truck Stop appearance has improved | Congrats to daughter for state track qualifying | Inline hockey league in the works | Thanks to Roberta (Bobbie) Evans | Plug for web site | Old people in photo | Sen. Rutherford addresses healthcare crisis | Upset over grave site vandalism |

True American values

To whom it concerns,

If someone is going to say that the rebel, or Confederate flag, shouldn't be flown in Minonk, would they agree that the flag shouldn't be shown in history textbooks? Perhaps we should all just forget what happened during the civil war, although I doubt that will make us much better off asAmericans. It amazes me how people find these types of things so offensive.

You say you're speaking out against racism, which is great. So you obviously associate the flag with racism. That's your choice but it seems a bit provincial. I, personally, have never associated the rebel flag with any form of hatred but rather freedom and rebelion as was stated in the previous letter. When I first drove by the rebel flag I ,too, must admit that I was a bit shocked. I wasn't shocked because someone was making a racial statement but rather because someone actually cares enough to show an important piece of our American history, despite any controversy that might arise over it. I'm not at all shocked that someone has taken offense to this. Any symbol has the potential to offend someone, somewhere. The flag was never designed to represent racism, so why would anyone associate it with that now? The flag is a symbol of unity amongst the many men who gave their lives brutally to stand for their beliefs and rights, whether right or wrong. Having suceeded from the Union, the South needed their own flag and the Confederate flag was thus born. It is a product of their own
established union not any of the specific beliefs which founded it.

Some people want to abolish the Confederate flag forever because they say it is a symbol of slavery, hatred, and racism toward blacks. Most of the people I know, however, would disagree with this. I don't think I've ever met too many bad people in my life sporting rebel flag hats, t-shirts, belt buckles, or even tattoos. Most I've met were simply expressing their right
to freedom of choice or patronizing their Southern heritage either of which, I feel, should be most acceptable in America.

John Moritz

Wants to organize softball league

In response to those who say teenagers need activities:

Being a teenager in Minonk is harder now that a select few have ruined it for us all. We can no longer be out past dark at the parks in town. My friends and I used to hang out at the tennis courts and play tennis and play catch, but now there is no place to play after dark. I for one believe that an organized summer recreational schedule may help. I have been trying to organize a summer co-ed softball league for teenagers and up. I think that this may be the perfect opportunity to get the ball rolling. But the possibilities do not end there. Maybe other sports could be organized as well. Maybe a flag football league or a roller hockey league. It seems like a waste to have all of these facilities in town and not be able to use them, especially after dark. I would be willing to help get the ball rolling on such activities. I think that it is a shame that Minonk does not already have recreational programs for people who are out of school. We have fallen behind our surrounding communities, however it is not too late to catch up.
If anyone is interested in a summer softball league let me know at the following address: Maybe we can still get something organized for this year.

Jeremy Welch

Activities for kids


I agree with you. I have two ideas. The first is to lead a group to do some camping and fishing. It always surpises me how many kids have never been camping, canoeing and fishing. We have two kids in high school here in Minonk and we take their friends with us a couple times a year. We could expand on that. There are a ton of things to do and learn at our State Parks and Forests. I especially like Sand Ridge State Forest. Here is the link.

The second idea is teach the teenagers how to make things. If we could do something like a junior achievement organization. A little wood and metal working can really keep you busy and make you proud of what you can do.

John Hawk.

Minonk IS a good place to live

I am writing in response to the unsigned letter.
I have lived in Minonk since I got out of the U. S. Army in 1980. My family moved to Rutland in 1976 from Florissant Mo. which is St Louis County. I am originally from Massachusetts. I have had many opportunities to move out of this community throughout the years, yet I have chosen to stay. I raised two great kids here and consider Minonk my home. Although I disagree with many things that are said and done, I choose to fight to make Minonk an even better community and the people I disagree with are still my friends and neighbors,not my enemies. I worked for the Minonk police department for 6 years and have seen the worst here and still it's the best city around. My wife and I have owned and operated two small business' in Minonk and could not have asked for any greater support from this community. I taught Tae Kwon Do in Minonk, first with Eric Olson and then solo, so I have worked with the youth of this and surrounding communities and I can tell you the good people far out number the bad. My wife and I volunteer with the fourth of July committee and if you want to see some hard working dedicated citizens, they are the cream of the crop and could use every bit of support and help from every citizen. If you choose to move to Minonk you will be welcomed, along with your opinions on the community, school and government. Now Dave as for the "flying flag is freedom of expression" letter I am not sure I can do enough Ritalin to follow it. First I never mentioned Nazis, pirates or American Indians so I don't know how to respond to that. The writer does state they fly a rebel rag for many reasons and then they go on to say, they see why some people are offended by one flag or another. If they are doing something that they know is upsetting to another member of our society (especially ones of color) and for no other reason than to instigate or intimidate, they should read the last two sentences of my previous letter. I think that my speaking out against racism on Minonk-Talk is proactive since the flag I wrote of is on main street and children walking to the Millennium park must pass by it. Maybe that writer should read the last sentence of their own letter, it might start with you.

Bob Jackson
Minonk Citizen

Flying flag is freedom of expression


Several people in Minonk fly the Rebel flag once in a while. I am one of them.

I do it for multiple reasons. None of them are about racism. I also fly the our American flag and a pirate flag. That doesn't mean I'm hijacking ships. It's just an expression of rebellion and freedom. I can see why some people can be offended by one flag or another. I know a Nazi flag upsets me. I also know that symbol was used as an ancient native american symbol that meant good things.

It has been used by evil causes and now the obvious meaning that comes to mind is the horrible genicide that took place. A true American has opinions but doesn't force them on others. A true American seeks the entire truth. I say fly your flag, express yourself. If someone takes offense let them tell you why. I also think that we should be proactive about racism in Minonk. Let's look into ways to prevent future problems and respect all members of our society.

John Hawk

Affront to a true American

I feel the need to get this off my chest. I returned to Minonk today via North Chestnut and to my utter disgust I saw the rebel flag flying right there on OUR main street. I had previously observed this RAG flying last year and did not say anything, but now I want to. To the residents of this trailer I ask, where is the American flag that you flew over your Koos sign? In case you are unaware, the rebel rag was the flag of the LOSERS of the civil war. I lost a great grandfather in that war. His descendents know he fought for a winner. Maybe by flying this rag they just want to send a message to all the New residents of Minonk, especially the ones of COLOR. Maybe they were born down south and they are just proud of their heritage, or maybe racism is alive and well here in Minonk. I wonder if this will boost tourism to the downtown area from the race track. After all, stock car racing does have it's roots in the south. This is another example of the moral decay that plagues our city and shows a true disrespect for our community and country. If you want to see why these local kids are so disrespectful look at the (adults). The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

God Bless the U.S.A.
Bob Jackson

Young people are learning to respect community


First and foremost, I wholeheartedly agree with your editorial, however; I would still like to pass along some good news. There are parents here who are committed to raising our children to respect the community they live in. I see it in the eyes of the twenty plus boys that belong to the Cub Scouts. After our recent park "Spring Cleaning" with the Boy Scouts, and watching my six-year-old son (of his own free will) pick up litter every morning on the way to school, I was inspired. I have set a date each month for the Cub Scouts to come together and clean up one of the parks here in town, which is important to them. Hopefully our five through ten year olds (and all the other children and parents who care) can not only set an example to the rest of the adults and children, but maybe bridge the way to bringing together our community as a whole. Then we can possibly see to the end of most, if not all, the vandalism going on around town.

Anyone (I mean anyone) interested in helping us out, can get more information on our website through the community links.


Sarah Prosser

Children are not littering our parks

Yes, it is absolutely sickening to see that the Westside Park Pavilion is being destroyed! I had written last year about disrespect in the park (/mail0504.htm), and it saddens me to know that things haven't gotten any better.

I am going to step out on a limb and stick up for the children because from personal experience I have seen the children of Minonk cleaning up the park- while the teens tear it up! I suppose if you want to call teenagers children that's fine too, since their behavior isn't indicating a higher maturity level, but you should know that children do not use feminine hygiene products. I think it's unfair to blame all the destruction on the children. I've personally seen young children being conscientious about litter at Westside Park. Both of my children have been involved with picking up trash at the park through their youth groups or schools. I credit the teachers for instilling the "take care of our world" mindset. The kids learn it in the grade schools, and then bring it home to share. (Mine are anyway) It's gotten to the point that when we go to the park as a family and see garbage, we pick it up, regardless o f whose it is. Also on the children's behalf I will say that most of the children who frequent the park live nearby, and go home to get drinks, use restroom, etc. I've seen this. Those who don't have been there with their parents, I've seen this too. However, I've also seen teens at the basketball courts littering the area with their soda bottles, cigarette butts, and other garbage. When reprimanded about the behavior, they mouth off and spew unmentionables regardless of how many little kids are around to hear. There's just no respect.
I got to thinking about possible solutions, I don't know if they will work, but it's a start. Maybe some of the people who are to perform community service hours could be scheduled to clean the bathrooms and do litter patrol? Wouldn't that make sense? And as far as the mindless morons who become disrespectful to regular citizens who reprimand them, should we call the police each time we see them refuse to pick up their litter? Do you think the police would have better luck? Perhaps as a community we can brainstorm and come up with a solution to preserve the beauty of the park and let those who worked hard know their efforts weren't in vain.

Christina Jenkins

Enjoyed Fieldcrest Spring Concert

Last night I went to the Fieldcrest High School Spring Concert. What a wonderful program it was and how lucky we are in the Fieldcrest District to have Mr. Russell teaching are children the fine art of music, be it band or chorus. The selection of music chosen was awesome. A parent even commented on how she was glad to hear spiritual music is being taught in our school again. I was very proud of all of our students last night. Job well done.

Now I wished I could say the same for the appearance of the bleachers. When my husband and I walked in we were both appalled at how filthy the floors of the bleachers were and how there was stuff even stuck to the seats.

I asked my daughter if there had been an assembly that day at school and she said no. There is no reason that those bleachers should have looked like that when I know they have full-time employees working there to clean the school. I would think that they would especially take the time to clean the bleachers when they know there is going to be visitors coming and sitting in them.

Again I want to thank you Mr. Russell for a job well done with our kids. The band was foot tapping fantastic and the chorus sounded like angels. And also a big thanks to Mrs. Rich for always being there to accompanying the students be it the concerts, competition and all the plays. What a good person you are to donate so much of your time.

Lisa Zimmerman

Looking for Myers family descendants

Good morning;
My name is Rod Myers, a great-grandson of Nicholas Myers whose brother was Valentine Myers. We understand that they both were in the Civil War and immigrated to this country from Prussia with their parents in about 1858. We have a copy of the J.W. January pencil sketch of Andersonville Prison and have for years tried to piece the story together. We have searched the national archives with little success, but did gain some knowledge. We would be interested in contacting any decendants of the Myers family in the area that trace to Valentine or their family.

Rod L. Myers
114 Monmouth Road
La Harpe, IL 61450
Ph 217-659-3945

Congrats to daughter for state track qualifying

Congrats to my daughter Danielle for going to the State Track meet on Saturday 05/14/05. She qualified in the 1600 with a time of 5:48 and in the 800 in 2:42

Dick Meierhofer

Thanks to Roberta (Bobbie) Evans


I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to Roberta (Bobbie) Evans who stepped down as Minonk City Clerk. At the City Council meeting last night I thanked Mark Spencer, Matt Fink and Ron Redenius for their service to the City and inadvertently left Bobbie off of that list.

While I'm sure it was embarrassing for Bobbie to be left off of that list, her embarrassment can only pale in comparison to my own when I realized what had happened. I apologized in person to Bobbie this morning, but would like to take this opportunity to offer a public apology and a whole hearted Thank You for the time, energy and dedication she exhibited as City Clerk over the last four years. Thank You.

Alderman Steve Mattox
Ward 2

Old people in photo


Noticed the photo labeled "MDR classmates get together" in the latest Minonk Talk. I recognize the names in the caption, but who are all those old people in the photo?


David Webster, class of '53

Upset over grave site vandalism


I'm sorry to have to "rain on the parade" of the positive email that's been coming in lately that has been trying to lift the spirits of Minonk Talk readers, however I must.

Today I came home from school and listened to a voice mail from my mother-in-law who was saying that decorations at Dad's tombstone had been disrupted. She was quite upset, so I drove to Minonk to see for myself, and to go to see her.

As I was driving to Minonk I thought about my father-in-law, and about all those he left behind. Not just me (and how much I miss him) but I thought about my husband, brother-in-law, and my sister-in-law who no longer have their dad. I thought about the grandchildren who no longer have their Papa, and I thought about my mother-in-law who no longer has a husband. Now my in-laws had been married for well over thirty-five years when my father-in-law passed away, and I can honestly tell you that not a day goes by that my mother-in-law doesn't miss him. All of us kids worry about her, because when one has a love like those two did- life is never the same for the one that is left when the other is gone. I'm sure that many of the readers can relate to what I am writing about as death, inevitably, affects us all.

As a way of "remembering" Papa, my children and I go to the cemetery and put decorations on Papa's grave with each change of the season. I have found that by maintaining this "ritual" it has helped my children to heal. When we go to the graveyard, my children and I talk about Papa and their memories about him. This ritual has become one that they look forward to. They become so thoughtful around the change of the season when we shop, and lately have started picking out the decor all by themselves. I know that decorating Papa's grave is important to my brother-in-law's kids as well, and I must say that it is through those thoughtful and precious grandchildren that Dad's legacy lives on. I'm writing this because I want people to know that (the grandchildren and the rest of) our family doesn't just decorate the site for what it does for us, or how it makes us feel, or how it helps us remember (because it does do that for us), but, we do it to honor Dad. We honor his memory by placing items at the site, and in turn, these items show others that the man that lies beneath the marker was loved. Gary Jenkins wasn't just a man that lived and died and then has been forgotten about; but he was a man that is still cared about, and we are proud to have been loved by him.

So imagine what our family thought when we received a message that our Dad's grave-site decor was vandalized. I'm sure that the deviant(s) who committed this atrocity was hell bent on "pulling a prank" or perhaps thought they'd get some "retaliation" for some 'offense' that lives only in their twisted imaginations---but I'd like to tell them who their act really hurt tonight.

This act hurt little kids. It caused stress to them, and it made them worry about the well being of their grandmother. It made them cry. It showed them that there are hateful punks in the world. It made them wonder why someone would want to do something hurtful to Papa. Further, it caused a widow to become so ill that she canceled plans with friends who had been trying to get her to go out more.

It wasn't 'funny,' and it didn't make us think you were scary or cool.

It just convinced me that there are still brainless brats with no respect for people or property in Minonk's "y generation." I know that I am not off base when I write that I am convinced that this cowardly act was committed by someone in the "younger" generation. I say this because responsible, respectful, and mature people would not commit hateful acts of this nature.

Some people want to complain about how they and their peers are treated, well, instances like this one is why. Unless the 'y generation' starts showing respect for people and their property, attitudes toward this generation will not change. Yes, I'm sure some people will think this statement is unfair to those young people who do work hard and are doing those good deeds; unfair because they are lumped in the category to be judged by the misdeeds of the deviants. Well, my comeback would be that it was unfair that Dad's decorations were disrupted!

I just don't understand the mentality of those who destroy decorations in cemeteries, I guess all I can say (in print) is how shameful!

Perhaps Emily Zivney's email to this site hits the nail right on the head when she states, "If we all would just live the "Golden Rule, " all our problems would be resolved in a very short time. And, if you need to be refreshed on this rule...........'Do unto others what you like for them to do unto you'. "

Oh vandals, do you get it?

From the Heart-

Daughter not just "by Law," but "by Love" of Gary,

Christina Jenkins

Best place I have ever lived

Hi Dave,
I went to Minonktalk site today. I have it on my favorites list so I can get to it fast and easily. I saw a lot on the trash and vandalism on the emails. I was glad to see so many good folks in Minonk are concerned, as I thought they would be. I read one of the emails that said the community needed to band together and eliminate or deal with some of it. That was very good and a positive way of thinking. I think a lot of people would volunteer to clean the parks and rest rooms and town on a Sat. On a regular basis if a committee were formed and someone to organize and re-group when need be, delegating so it did not fall on just a few's shoulders so everyone could also have a Sat. free to enjoy also. If I were there, I could not do much because of degenerate spine problems, but bet you I would be out using my grabber and do what I could. I could also clean the rest rooms sometimes. I am sure folks would come forth. I think things like this is also what Minonk talk is all about. I thing a lot of positive comes out of getting the word out there. Hello to all you good friends I left behind when I moved. Take care and God Bless all and Minonk. Its the best place I have ever lived at and the longest I had ever put down root at. Is why I am still interested in Minonk.

Wanda Patterson

There is positive in our community

I have read your editorial on the destruction of the parks. I too, do not like this situation, but by complaining about it we are not fixing the situation either. I remember in my high school days being asked by certain officers to pick up the mess that was in parking lot, even though we didn't do it, we picked it up. I guess it was just out of respect for the people asking up to do it. So maybe that might be an idea for the garbage that is left or the destruction that is done, ask the people who are in the area to help instead of condemning.

I also would like to inform the community of a youth group that have set out to do the community along with others a great deal of good. The St. Paul's UCC Youth Group have done a tremendous job with community service here in Minonk and also in surrounding areas. They are very involved with Easter Seals, March Madness, Special Olympics, and are starting to be involved in Habitat for Humanity. They also have done car washes, clean up days, and parents night out for fund raisers for different activities that they do such as bowling, mini trips to theme parks etc. Their last major feat was a garage sale, bake sale and a chicken fry all in the same day, and they pulled it off with flying colors. With the money they have made from this they are going to leave this coming Thursday, June 2 to South Dakota to site see and to also deliver the contributions they have collected from the community to Tipsoya Topa School which they have adopted. They will visit and have a presentation on Native American Culture. I am very proud of the youth and all of the sponsors and parents that have made this group what they are today.

So you can see there is positive in our community and it continues to grow. Instead of putting a negative foot forward for the youth or our community lets help by aiding with the positive things the community does and hopefully others will follow.

Dee Ragusa

Graduation, another step


I enjoyed your editorial on graduation, and all that goes with it. I can understand you not wanting to attend your graduation, because of the class size. I wouldn't want to sit through it either, especially after all those hours attending classes that seem to drone on and on. Then ask yourself "What did I learn?"

Well, tonight, my daughter graduates high school. It's a big class and will be held at the Frank Irwin Center on the University of Texas Campus. My wife and I will be in attendance. Seeing my daughter graduate is a high point in my life, as it would be with any parent who cares for their kids.

It's been a long four years watching her fight through some pretty tough times while learning and studying. And, there we are, the parents, praying that she'll get it all down and go on with her life.

All this brings me to the conclusion that when we learn, we grow. However, education is just as fleeting as the hours of the day. What is new today is old tomorrow. These times are the most advanced the world has ever seen. Technology is reaching new plateaus. Just to keep up is a challenge.

I just wanted to mention all this because I can remember our "little" class at Minonk High back in '54. Compared to now, what did we learn? It's sort of like buying a new car, education is. You drive it off the lot, and it's already dated and used.

And tonight, my daughter's class of '05 breaks out into this world with the same expectations that we had when we graduated. I wish them all good luck.

Art Kettelhut

Need activities for teenagers


I see all of these letter on Minonk Talk and hear all these people complain about diffent thing. But not many people write in and say all the good things about town. We have many activities for kids to play in the summer and we will be adding a new Hockey League to the list. But I do agree that there are teenagers that are causing trouble. My opinion is that we don't have enough activities for them to do to. We have all of these programs for younger kids but not any for them. So I was think maybe we should come up with leagues or trip for them to do to keep them out of trouble. If anyone has any ideas let me know.

Ryan Orabutt

Concerned about negatism in Minonk

Minonk Talk

I am a friend and co-worker of someone who lives in Minonk. I have been looking to move my family to a smaller town atmosphere and he has been telling me how much of a good place Minonk would be to move and raise my family. We talk often about the happenings in Minonk and in my current residence of Bloomington. He also talks about your website. So I come to this website once a week or once every 2 weeks and read up. Now I am normally reserved and don't say much. However over the past 3 or 4 months I have noticed that this e-mail forum on this website is more of a insult and negativity forum. Really not something you want people who are looking for a truly good place to live to read. Why is it everyone who writes to this website have negative views on life and there town. I have moved from city to town to city for my job so I have been in a lot of communities. Do all of you realize that this stuff like vandalism and growing pains involved with a growing community happens in every town. It doesn't matter small or big. So complaining, whining and pointing fingers is not going to solve any problems. Maybe working together and coming up with possible solutions to things will be better then all the negativity and blaming parents and kids and so forth.

With all of that said. I had my mind made up to move to Minonk about a month or so ago. Now I am not sure. Now it is between Minonk and another small town. It is not for lack of things Minonk has to offer. It is a wonderful community with a bright future with the Race Track that is coming and all the wonderful parks. However after all the negativity I read about I just don't know if I want to live in a community that the residents have such a bad outlook on life and their community. I want my children to grow up in a positive environment.

Just my opinion from a potential resident.

Editor's reply: Normally, I do not print unsigned letters. However, your letter raises important issues. MinonkTalk letters are no different in content than letters sent to the Pantagraph. This website provides a public forum for issues that must be addressed as does the Pantagraph. People do not submit nice and cozy letters telling about their wonderful successes to these forums. Minonk has just gone through a city election and a school board election which raised many controversial issues that should be discussed. Honestly, I feel that letters to MinonkTalk are a healthy sign of a vibrant community in which things are happening and people want to make things better. Without such a forum, issues will be resolved by those few in smoke-filled rooms rather than by the people themselves. You are right. Bad things happen in other communities also. However, Minonk is trying to do something about them and change the way people approach these problems. Minonk is leading the way by creating a path that other small communities will eventually follow. To me, Minonk is the best small community in Central Illinois.

Pavilion trashing comments


I guess it takes a certain type of gene that stupid people have to conduct such acts of vandalism on the pavilion rest rooms. These sub-human slime balls are the Bevis and Butt-Heads of the world, who have spilled some of their brains and can’t seem to find the part that has reason.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to Minonk again, but I do know that my feelings take on a personal hurt when such things are injected into the community by these knuckle dragging idiots.

I am so sorry that this is happening to the pavilion. I enjoyed it while I was there. I just hope that it’s around long enough for others to enjoy, without fear of total destruction.

Art Kettelhut

Install security cameras to combat vandalism

Hey David

I read your editorial about the pavilion and the restrooms being trashed. Surprise, surprise.

When you have 1/2 the kids out running around after 10pm at night with NO supervision, things like that are going to happen. Seems as though no one is watching their kids. I know this is NOT true for every single family in Minonk, but I couldn't believe the number I saw out riding bikes and walking one night when I was in town.

Since Minonk does not have the resources to have the police watch the pavilion 24/7, my suggestion is install security cameras and tape everything. Every corner, every angle. Then prosecute to the full extent of the law.

The reason why it's being done is that the perpetrators know that no one is watching them. No one is going to mess with the pavilion if they know they are being taped. Who wants to go to jail?

One last comment about the Minonk youth and the lack of supervision...Minonk has been very lucky, though. Sad to say, but sometime when some sick pedophile comes off of the interstate to get gas and happens to come into town, it's going to be very easy pickings for them. I guess it's going to take a tragedy for some parents to pay attention to their kids.

Vicki Olson

Comment on trashed restrooms

As you mentioned in your editorial, it is not just a problem in Minonk. You can go to most business establishments and see the same mess. I shop frequently at Wal-Mart and Home Depot and find the same problem. You mentioned that parents should punish their children. Who is going to punish the parents? It was once said that what one generation allows the next enjoys. I had very good parents that made me tie my shoes, throw away ripped and torn clothes and eat my vegetables. My parents spanked us when we lied and spanked us when we talked back to them. Since I am writing this response it can be concluded that I didn't die from this discipline. In fact if you ask me today I would tell you they should have spanked me more. I am a parent today and I still do not wear clothes that are ripped and torn and I tie my shoes. I am also eating all my vegetables with the exception of lima beans. I teach my child these values also. There is foolishness bound up in children, they need to be spanked to show them that there is a right and wrong way. Today's parents are allowing too much space for their children. Today's parents take their children to taverns and parties. Today's children hear their parents talk bad about the police and others in authority. Children live what they have learned. Parents should ask themselves "Do I want my child to marry a person like me?" Do you want your child to marry a drunk, a bum, someone who pees on toilet seats and throws toilet paper on the floor. If a parent loves on their children, they would know if they had problems. If the child has problems, the parent most likely has the same problem. The problem in the child is intensified though. The parent may throw a soda can out their car window and the child will throw their toilet paper on the floor. A parent will allow their child to drink at home, when the child has children they will allow them to go out to parties. A parent will talk bad about the mayor of the city, the child will call the local police "pigs." Parents allow their children to watch sexual explicit movies, the child will most likely have premarital sex. What one generation allows the next will enjoy. Society will always have the idiots. In the Marine Corp, the idiots were wrapped up in blankets and beat until they smartened up. I am not saying we should carry blankets around with us, but I am saying if the penalty was severe enough, the crime would not be committed. It may take a little extra money for surveillance, but what about the time and money you dished out to clean the restrooms. It doesn't even need to be city administrated, it could be a community program. Good luck with a solution.

Ronald May

Upset over pavilion trash

Hi Dave, I moved to Kentucky. However I have the Minonktalk on my favorites as I have so many good friends who live in Minonk. Ones I have known for over 20 years. I was upset at the editorial. I thought better of folks there than that. I know the young people are not as respectful as they used to be. Of course there is no way of saying for sure it was young people who dis-respected the new pavilion. However if it's older people doing that I am really worried as they must be deranged. I was so glad good folks volunteered and felt now this is what a good place to live is all about. This makes me sad it really does. I fear its all over now. These beautiful woods and road sides here are littered with trash all the time. I hope this editorial makes everyone think and watch out for that and ones who did contribute be ashamed enough to realize just what they have done and stop.

Wanda Patterson

Thanks from raceway developers



The path to approval for a racing facility was made extremely easy by the current land owner, Minonk Community Leaders, City Administration, past and present Mayors, past and current Aldermen and Alderladies, and Zoning Board of Appeals members.

We appreciate the recommendations and approvals given by the Zoning Board of Appeals and the City Council on the evening of May 16, 2005.

I hope the racing facility that you have allowed us to locate in your community will bring other jobs and businesses as well! I will love to see the day when the area youth do not have to worry about part-time jobs, school sports programs, etc.

The TIF process is underway, so we will be addressing various development issues during that time period. We still hope to commence construction this fall on 2 of the 3 race tracks, and to be operational in the spring! The oval track is still scheduled for development the following year.

Thank you for your positive responses and the warm welcome that you have extended to our business (and us personally).

It's wonderful that we will be allowed to build a racing facility in such a good place!

I need to also thank to various others that believed in our past and current efforts, specifically: Attorney,Gery Gasick; Dr. James Rabchuk; Dr. Geoffrey Hewings; Consultant,Ron Colson; Consultants, Scott & Laura Gardner; Ron Kingdon; the Brimfield Posse, Matt Wahl and countless others!



Randy Hellyer - Developer & General Manager, Owner
Christine Spence - Internal Operations Director, Owner
Joe Spence - Operations Manager, Owner

I-39 Truck Stop appearance has improved


For years the Minonk Fast Break fuel and food oasis at the l-39 interchange was a sore spot for Minonk because of litter, poor service, outrageous restrooms and so on. Well, no thanks to anyone except the new owners, the place has made a huge turnaround not only in appearance, but also in service.

I can recall lamenting the fact that pleas from the City Council, yourself, others including myself fell on deaf ears until now. All it took was a change in ownership and pride in our town. The area behind the truck stop can still use some help from Woody's, but I suppose a half a loaf is better than none.

The new owners have accomplished what no others have been able to do for years. I wish them well.

Michael Stagliano

Editor's note: As I mentioned in a previous editorial, Chuck Feeney, the previous owner, left an ignominious legacy.

Inline hockey league in the works

I would like to address Dave's Editorial blurb about Minonk organizing an inline hockey program. I would like everyone to know that the Parks and Recs Committee is working hard on getting an inline hockey program up and running. Since this program has to be started from scratch, there is a lot of researching, planning, organizing and fundraising that needs to be done to make it a success. Something like this doesn't just happen over night, it takes a lot of time and effort. I am 100% for Minonk starting an inline hockey league. So much so, that I recently joined the Parks and Recs Committee to help get it off the ground. The people that complain about the lack of programs for kids in Minonk are also the same people who are too busy to donate their time to help existing programs or to start new ones. I would encourage anyone who would like more information regarding the programs that are offered or going to be offered in Minonk to attend a Parks and Recs Committee meeting to become more informed on what is going on in their town.

Ryan Orabutt

Plug for web site


Many people have expressed their appreciation for your web site and the work you do. I know I have personally thanked you for your work and involvement in issues that make Minonk a good place. I don't always agree exactly with your positions or opinions but I completely respect the effort and service. I would like to make a plea to current Minonk residents and former ones to support your web site.

As soon as you brought up the classified section, I signed up for a year. Friends, Dave has labored long for us.

John Hawk

Editor's reply: John, thanks for your support. I have received private donations from people for this website. While I did not create this website to make money, I do accept donations to help fund the expenses for keeping the web site going. Anyone wishing to make a donation can send a check to MinonkTalk at P. O. Box 222, Minonk, IL 61760

Sen. Rutherford addresses healthcare crisis

Dear Dave,

As you know, Illinois is facing a terrible crisis involving doctors and Medical Malpractice insurance. Many healthcare providers are leaving Illinois, they can no longer afford the insurance premiums. This leaves our citizens with fewer choices and, in some areas, no choice at all.

The Med Mal crisis should be a priority before the General Assembly during the 2005 Session. Various legislative proposals are being discussed, ranging from caps on economic damages to a separate court system to handle Med Mal lawsuits. Opponents have been successful in stalling passage of these reforms.

Med Mal Reform is a major initiative of the Committee for Legislative Action. We will be working to keep the public informed on legislative activity and encourage the enactment of meaningful reform.

Dave, will you help by weighing in on the need for reform by  clicking  here.

I will keep you up to date on what is happening in Springfield. Thank you for your help and concern.

Dan Rutherford
State Senator