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Emails for June 2003

Program to register for no telemarketer calls

The government has just launched a national 'no call' list for those of us who are getting those darn solicitors calling up at all hours.

If you go to www.donotcall.gov you can put in your phone number and even your cell phone numbers.

Vicki Lindsay

Editor's note: I added my phone numbers to the list and I recommend this to everyone else. If you register now, you can file a complaint to the government if any calls are received after October 1. It takes about 3 months for the registration to be effective.

Students lives are enriched by sports

Dear Dave;
I wholeheartedly agree with Chris McKay and Jeff Meyer. Many student's lives have been enriched by competing in sports. Sports bring experiences into a student's life that they can not learn in a classroom. They meet so many people that can help them in the future.

All extracurricular activities are important-sport, art and music. Colleges want well rounded individuals who will bring something extra to the campus. Smart kids are a dime a dozen at college. A student needs an edge to be recognized as colleges tighten their enrollments.

The economy is bad all over. It was bad when I was in school in the 70's and there was talk of cutting all activities. But, the school rode it out. Back in the Depression in the 30's, there was sport, art and music to deal with all the problems. We all need to see what will happen and not react in a way that will hurt our kids and our town in the long run. We need to be positive, not negative, about our school.

Nancy Reiter

Need to keep sports program

I am going to have to give my 2 cents worth on dropping sports. Dropping sports at Fieldcrest school district will not help any problems. In fact it might make matters worst.

1. To make it fair for the students and coaches, if you drop organized sports, you will need to drop all extra circular activities. Sports are not the only activity that cost the school money, but unlike most other extra circular activities, some of the sports do subsides itself by bringing in gate money.

2. By dropping the sports the school will have to find a new way for the classes to raise money for there class trips, homecoming, prom, and floats. The classes sell candy, and pop at the sporting events to raise this money.

3. You state in your editorial that instead of playing teams from other town, we should start an intramural program. We already have this it is called PE, if you drive by the school on any nice day while the student are outside for PE you'll notice how many of the kids do not participate in physical activity. (Notice all the people walking around the school grounds instead of playing). Also if you plan to have this intramural program after school hours, it will still cost the school money. You will need supervision, which is not free, lights and heat for the Gym when required. Then the problem with intramural only so many students will participate in the program, so the ones that do will loose interest since they have to play the same teams over and over.

4. Sports also teach student athletes discipline which, most people need when the go away to college, or in the work force. Sports also teach people how to loose and to be criticized. Which helps them when the get into the work force. Not everyone will get the job and promotion they try for, at least sports prepare them for some failure.

5. After school sports keeps some kids out of trouble. When I was in school believe it or not there were students that drank, but when some of them were out for sports they never drank during the season. Sports give students something to do after school other than smoking, drinking, driving around causing trouble. I know you may say well they can get jobs, but there are only so many jobs available for people with no skill in a town of 2000 people. Then you may say they can get jobs in other town, for this to happen they have to drive, for me I would rather have any adult drive a bus than a teenager drive a car.

6. You state in your editorial that starters of a sport thinks they are better than the rest of the team. I will have to disagree with this I played sports in high school as a starter and coming off the bench. This may happen with 1 or 2 people on each team and usually the rest of the team ignore them. For most sports there are students that are good enough to start, along with students that are close of being a starter. Then there are a few that are out for something to do and they like the sport, these kids know they are not good enough to start and for the most part are happy when they get to play. The ones that are close to being a starter usually work harder, so they can be a starter this helps them by giving them work ethic and helps the starter by making him/her work harder.

7. You state that the chance of someone going pro is almost null, but you don't realize how many students that go on to college and play sports. These students usually get some sort of scholarship or funding. There are many students that would never go to college without sports. Many students would have never been able to afford college without sports scholarships.

8. Sports also give the average student some motivation to get passing grades. Anyone that is out for a sport in high school wants to stay eligible so he/she can participate in sports. Without sports this average student may not care and start failing classes.

9. If Fieldcrest would not offer sports programs, the school would end up dying. People would move from the school district, to allow their kids to play sports. New people would not move into the school district, because their kids like to play sports. If someone has the choice to move to Elpaso or Minonk they will end up choosing Elpaso since they have a sport program.

10. Finally you talk about softball in Minonk. I remember being out at the softball fields all the time watching softball with the leagues and tournaments. Minonk lost their leagues many years ago; Flanagan had the same problem a couple years ago. People do not want to play softball any longer, they just don't have the turnout like they use to. Kids these days would rather sit at home and watch TV and play playstation than go out and play, but that is a different problem.

I know our school is in financial trouble, but that is most of the school in our state. May the state should fix the problem instead of people jumping to conclusion and blaming sports on the financial problems of our school. We as a community need to find ways to fix the problems not add to them.

Chris McKay

Editor's reply: You have made some good points. Although I don't agree with everything you said, I appreciate you taking the time to voice your opinion. Unfortunately, most people are not willing to state their opinion publicly. Quite frankly, if a parent would move to another town just so their child could play sports they are doing the child a disservice and giving him the wrong signals on what is important in our lives.

Sports should be intramural, not extra-mural

Right on! The cost of sports activity vs the benefit of these programs should be closely examined. I suspect that the extra-mural programs are not worth the cost, especially transportation costs and insurance costs while transporting bus loads of students on icy winter roads to far off towns for what educational goal. I never thought I would hear you make such a statement as you did in your editorial, but obviously, you have raised a very pertinent question. Intra-mural sports for everyone should be the norm, not extra-mural varsity sports for the chosen few.

Good luck.

Dean Uphoff

Editor's note: Imagine that! Siblings with the same opinion. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint. I wonder what former athletes Don and Daryle think?

Totally missed the boat on dropping sports

Dave, I agree with most of your viewpoints but I feel you have totally missed the boat on this one.

Your point that sports "has nothing to do with athletics" is ridiculous. The game of life has its winners and losers. Athletics is a great training ground in shaping individual pride as well as teamwork. There is nothing wrong with competition and kids will certainly learn this reality when they enter the working world.

I realize there is a financial issue to deal with and I may be out of line since I am not paying taxes in Minonk. I just hope this can be resolved without sacrificing extra-curricular activities. What are the kids suppose to do in their spare time?? Your intramural idea is very interesting but will they be keeping score for these games??

I enjoy your web-site but have to disagree with you here. Thanks Dave.

Jeff Meyer

Comments on last train from Minonk

I had to comment on Paul Vallow's 'Last Train From Minonk'. I thought it was a great article on a moment in history. It's too bad we all couldn't have been there. Many people may not have known it was happening and some just wouldn't care. But, it was an event that will not happen in Minonk again and as such is now part of the ages.

One reason the article appeals to me is because my all time favorite movie is "The Music Man". In the movie Professor Hill has just scammed the people of River City, Iowa and his friend is trying to get him to leave town. Professor Hill says he has his departure timed to the conductors last wave from the last car of the last train leaving town. That's what Paul Vallow experienced only the train Paul saw was never going to return.

The trains coming to Minonk left death and mangled hands. They also brought life to the midwest. They brought some of our fore fathers, markets, machinery, new cars, and transportation. Minonk people would take the trains to Bloomington, Streator, Chicago, Nebraska, California and many other places. The trains allowed one business to dress and ship chickens to the east coast and a mine to ship coal to feed the industrial revolution.

Yes! I'd say Paul Vallow had quite an experience. True, this same event happened in all the towns that once had but no longer have trains. Paul's experience takes on a magnitude that surpasses all the other towns because it happened in OUR TOWN--MINONK.

Barth Weistart

Thanks for cleaning up North Chestnut

I would like to publicly thank Tjaden Construction and John Durre for their work on the North end of Chestnut Street. I think this is a great improvement to that area.

I would like the City to request them to keep going to the South up to Eighth Street after the Fourth of July celebration. This area is so rough, it would save wear and tear on the mowing equipment and the person doing the mowing if leveled out. Grass can be reseeded into this area after the grading is done.

I would even offer the Woodford County Pheasants Forever Chapter grass seed drill to the City of it's use to reseed the area.

Again, Thank you to John, Harold, Brad, Bruce and any one that I may have missed. The community is proud of your work.

Jerry Welch

Vote for local couple in ducktape prom

I want to tell you what a couple of kids in Minonk did in an effort to earn scholarships and then I'll ask you to go online and vote for them.

Dan Longman, a junior at Fieldcrest High School in Minonk, did an online search for college scholarships and came across the Duck Tape Prom scholarship. He asked Jennifer Schmillen if she would be willing to wear a duct tape outfit to prom. She figured that since she's only a Sophomore, she would have other proms so, what the heck! So, they went to the prom in flamenco dancer outfits - outfits that were covered in Duck Brand Duct Tape. They said the outfits were fragile (she carried a roll of each color in her purse) and uncomfortable because they didn't breathe at all. Apparently, it was difficult to cover the ruffles on her dress. They were a big hit at the prom and posed for lots of pictures in their colorful outfits.

If they win, they will each get a $2,500 scholarship and Fieldcrest High School will also get money (the amount was not stated in the two newspaper articles I've read). You can vote for them between June 20 and June 29 at www.ducktapeclub.com/prom. Please give these kids a hand and vote for them

The entries are posted and you can vote now. No names are shown, so you have to look for their outfits. First, click on 2003 Entires and then see the entries from Illinois. I got four rows of entries when I did that. Dan and Jennifer are in the second row, second from the left. She is wearing a red dress with yellow trim and has a black fan in one hand and a small purse in the other. He is in a black suit and his jacket is short - waist-length. His suit is trimmed in red and yellow. He also has a sombrero on his head. You can click on any picture and get a larger view of the couple.

Pam Gansch-Boythe

Has problems with spam also

Yes, sir, spam is messing up the internet. I get 20 to 30 unwanted items almost every day, and you're right, there's no way to stop it. Legislation won't work, because these people will send it anyway, under the "right to advertise", etc. And, there are also the bums out there who love to send viruses. Programs that you have to buy to stop this sort of this don't always work either, because there are new viruses created each day by these sick folks, who don't have anything better to do than create havoc. But what bothers me the most about all this is that my daughter also gets these "ads" in her e-mail. And of course, porn ads are included. These ads show nudity and much more. She is just 16, and, in my opinion, is nothing short of child molesting. Sick, sick sick. Here's a word of advice..Don't ever asked to be removed from one of these ads, because if you do, they will see that it's a working e-mail address, and will add it to their data base for others to harvest and sell. You'll keep getting them for awhile, but they will stop. If you don't respond, they will eventually stop sending them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, just hope that something can be done, although, it doesn't look like there's a solution anytime soon.

Art Kettelhut

Spam needs to be stopped


The majority of spam can actually be stopped by implementing reverse lookups and discarding emails that can't not be verified as coming from a correct and vaild domain - ip address. Many emails are relayed from computers that have been hacked into either manually or by a virus. Implementation of firewalls and monitoring of traffic can identify when this is happening. The email protocol SMTP is a completely open service. When the service is implemented many features must be turned on to prevent common spamming techniques. Those that create spam are doing a terrible thing. Those that don't lock down there networks, servers and services are "leaving the keys in the car".

Each domain "hawkcomputing.com" is suppose to have an email account abuse@hawkcomputing.com that is monitored and when complaints come in that someone is spamming, action is to taken to fix it. IP addresses and address ranges have owners that are suppose to administer abuses as well. ARIN is the organization that registers and tracks owners of ip addresses in the U.S. So, you see that many people are dropping the ball on the email issue.

It's a shame that it's human nature to do things that you shouldn't and such elaborate means must be taken to control those that do these things.

John Hawk

Need to change property tax, not drop sports

I do not like my property tax bill any more than you like yours Dave. I do not believe it is a fair system of taxing. The tax punishes people for owning property by taxation. Eliminating school sports is not the answer. School sports provide a chance for students to compete and learn skills that they will use in every day life. Many of the successful managers I have worked for were deeply involved in high school sports. I would like public schools to be funded differently. All Schools should receive equal funding per student with parents having the option to send there children to the schools they believe to be best. I also support the voucher system to move children away from poorly performing schools and force schools to compete for students. The failure of the school referendum was not necessarily a reflection of how we as voters feel about the school or how it is run but a statement reflecting we are over taxed.

Jack Daniel Devine

City should cover volunteers insurance

Dave, If the city of Minonk can provide insurance for a skate park at Millennia Park, I have a problem seeing why they can't provide liability coverage for volunteers. After all, these people are willing to donate their labor and skills to help make improvements to the community. If it weren't for their time and effort the job probably wouldn't be getting done.

Also we have a truck stop that would seem like a good place to park a truck to me, not on city streets.

Keith Paris

Agrees on dropping sports

You are so right on that sport thing. Why can't the boards see that. Is there too much $$$ pay back on equipment to them? You wonder don't you? Maybe it would only take one school to start that. You know lots more people have said that before. ( Just wanted to let you know you are right)

Dorothy (Falk) Tucker. From Flanagan now but am a MHS grad.

Disagrees on banning trucks

I was irritated upon reading the news on Minonktalk.com that some council members intend to ban truck parking. This attack on the working would surprise me if it were anywhere other than Minonk. We ought to be happy to see a driver parking the rig or trailer up town to return to his or her family after long hours of hard honest work. Minonk should go ahead and encourage the county to shut down the exit for repairs as with this anti truck driver attitude it deserves no tax generated from all the truckers that stop at Shell. Would it not be friendlier to go ahead and fill in a few pot holes once in a while than to interfere with a worker trying to make an honest living.

Sincerely, Jack Daniel Devine

Should try to help truckers

If we can help out the truckers I think we should. One of my uncles is a truck driver from Kentucky. Don't get me wrong, I don't think we need to have the roads torn up by heavy vehicles, nor do I think we should promote just any trucker coming into town to park. But according to my uncle, the truck stops fill up, the ramps fill up, and they just plain get stuck until everyone else moves. Truckers for the most part are hard working people and if we can find a way to help those truckers out that have ties to our area let's do it.

John Hawk.