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Emails for February 2003

More comments on Minonk water

Hi Dave, I would like to add to what Kim Barth had to say about the water. I lived in Minonk for 15 years. I could not believe how the water Dept. is ran also. One thing that really got me is that if a tenant ran their bill up, the Water Dept. did not disconnect them, but made the "owners" pay their bill. I was an owner of a rental place, so I went through this. That bill ran up to over 150.00 I was forced to pay and a lien was put on my home actually until I did so. I could not help but wonder about that as I also lived in Minonk, and I knew if I let my water bill go past 2 billings, my water would have been turned off. Why then did they not turn off the water of a rental person as they should be responsible for their bill. What can the land lord do about that. If they even knew that is. Also I had Foster kids who did not even want to brush their teeth because the water tasted so terrible. I now live in Flanagan and I really miss Minonk so far, but am so happy with the water here I could burst.

Wanda Patterson

Update on fireman's fund solicitations

The group that was calling for donations to a firemen's fund was for Central Illinois Firemen's Fund. They are having some sort of concert at Peoria Civic Center. This group is trying to raise money for the Families of Victims of Fire. All they are selling are tickets to this concert. This fund is to help families, that lose everything in a fire, the fund helps them get back on their feet. None of the money goes back to Minonk's fire dept. You were misinformed earlier.

Chris McKay

Columbia disaster

The tragedy witnessed by so many of us brought back some confusing thoughts to my mind. I went to work at Northrop Aircraft in 1958 as a technical illustrator. At that time the emphasis was on defense with the production of war planes and jet powered missiles. I remember visiting a company that was forming crystals to make devices to replace diodes with circuit boards. This "invention" set the aerospace industry into fast forward. By 1960, I had moved to San Diego and was working for General Dynamics as an illustrator. I had the great fortune to be assigned to help develop drawings of the capsule John Glenn would eventually use for our first sub orbital trip around Earth. By 1962, I had moved back to Downey and North American Aerospace Co. The emphasis was now on space flight! I worked as a technical illustrator helping developing educational materials for in-house instruction. The company was building rockets capable of space flight. I watched hundreds of skilled workmen build wooden and metal mockups in various sizes of capsules and landing modules for experimental work. I think that at this time I began to question how these lofty goals could work. The government had imported large numbers of German scientists and workmen who a few short years prior were working on high tech devices that would help Hitler win the air war. We use to laugh when asked what important advancements had we accomplished and the answer was " Velcro and Tang". Actually, the reward for me was a teaching assignment at Fullerton College to develop an AA Degree program in Technical Illustration. Twenty-five years later, all my skills and knowledge had been replaced by the computer chip which I had watched being formed 30 years earlier. I can't fault science for the fantastic use these micro sized devices have spawned, but I have great reservations about where we are going with our space program. I have been to Huntsville and seen wonderful things; in particular, the construction of one phase of the orbiting space platform our current Astronauts are working on. In my limited scientific knowledge I must ask why we continue subjecting some of our brightest to the inherent dangers of travel through the Earth's atmosphere. Perhaps it is time to concentrating our knowledge to improving man's life and understanding here on our troubled Earth.

Albin Johnson

Need a soccer field in Minonk

The following is the text of a presentation to the Fieldcrest Board of Education in November 2002.

I've come here today to discuss a soccer program at the High School level at the Fieldcrest School District.

Soccer began at the High School level in Illinois in 1972 for boys with 36 schools and for girls in 1987 with 98 schools participating. Presently there are 360 schools for the boys program and 309 schools in the girls program. In Central Illinois there are 26 schools offering a boys program and 19 schools offering a girls program. Soccer ranks 5th in popularity for both boys and girls in the State of Illinois. Soccer is the fastest growing sport for youth in the United States.

2002 brought the World Cup soccer tournament to South Korea and Japan, an event that brought the best soccer players in the world together for a peaceful competition, with the winner Brazil holding the title for 4 years. Millions of people all around the world tuned in their radios and televisions to watch and listen to the action.

As a concerned parent who graduated from Morton High School in 1972 with no introduction to soccer until I went to college, I feel it is time for Fieldcrest to offer this sport. As you may know, Morton now has a competitive soccer program with soccer parks and an indoor soccer complex.

I currently have 15, 3rd to 5th graders from Minonk, Wenona, and Toluca playing in the El Paso Rec Program. I understand there are a number of boys travelling from Wenona to Streator for soccer. At this time I am uncertain of how many children from Toluca are participating in a soccer program somewhere. Marshall County Soccer Club is now forming in Lacon, of which Toluca students could participate.

There are 10 students at Fieldcrest High School who would choose to play at the High School level, and 15 students at El Paso High School who would participate.

Starting a soccer program at Fieldcrest will undoubtedly grow in interest with time. I understand that El Paso parents are looking to Coop a High School Soccer program with another school. The IHSA allows a Junior Varsity program for 2 years, after that time a Varsity program is required. After 2 years both El Paso and Fieldcrest would have their own Varsity teams. The New Millennia Community Center Planning Committee of the City of Minonk is planning on building a soccer field at their new park, which is breaking ground this Spring 2003.

Soccer has the lowest running cost of most High School Sports. After gathering information from area schools, the cost on average is $5000 - 10,000 dollars, which would be split from both school districts.

I offer to the parents of Fieldcrest Students to please begin a High School Soccer Program at Fieldcrest High School. A survey will be distributed to all the students of our district on their desire for a soccer program in the next few weeks.

Mike Zimmerman
Minonk, Illinois

Class of 54 play identified

Just saw the picture of the 1954 Senior Play cast and in answer to the question if anybody knew the name of the play, it was "The Doctor Has A Daughter". I still have the book. Hope this helps.

Bonnie (Park) Wagner

Recipe from Fort Dodge, Kansas

Thanks for your Minonktalk from a fan miles away! When I did not see your site on the 3rd, I actually felt rather "blue". Yesterday I found it again, and saw it was being updated on the day it was not available. What a relief!

Since I have used many of your recipes, and then e-mailed them on to friends and family, it is only fair I share one with your great cooks! This one came from our local newspaper grocery ad, and is a new twist on an old standby, with a lot of flavor.

Thanks again!
Marietta Sorch
Fort Dodge, Kansas

Click here for the recipe.

Signpainters' convention

We invite you to check out our web site at http://www.letterrip.org.

We are hosting a signpainters� convention in July in Atlanta, Illinois. We invite any artists in the area to attend. We will be painting murals on several walls, there will be seminars, pinstriping, etc. If they are interested, there is a registration form on the web site.

Jane Diaz, Diaz Sign Art, Pontiac, IL

(I am Henry & Bertha Kalkwarf�s daughter, Shorty�s sister)

Comments on potluck dinners


I just read your editorial about "lawmaking running amok". For the most part, I agree with you. The government has become too large and invasive in our personal lives. Your comments of how they will not allow people to gather and have potluck dinners raises a couple of issues. Yes, it is a shame that Big Brother has stuck his nose where it doesn't belong and is bringing the tradition of potluck dinners to a close. However, as the Devil's advocate, I wonder how many people are well educated in food preparation and more specifically, food borne illnesses? I wish I could remember where I saw the statistics for this, but somewhere I read many times when people think they have a "24 hour bug", it is actually a food borne illness. The source went on to estimate the millions of dollars that are spent every year in lost wages and productivity due to people staying home with these "bugs". As a tangent, the source I was reading went on to name mayonnaise and undercooked meat and poultry as the prime culprits. The point is, perhaps the government is protecting us from ourselves! If the average person in the kitchen doesn't follow basic guidelines of sanitation or in some cases, personal hygiene, I'm not sure I'd want to eat anything they brought to a potluck anyway.

Eric Olson

Editor's note: Eric, your point is well taken. It is up to the individual to make a decision on whether to trust food brought to a potluck, not the government.

Concerns about high water bills


I too would like to add to the concern of the city water bills. I moved to Minonk three years ago from El Paso where my water bill for one month was never more then $25.00. Granted all cities are different, but Minonk tripled my bill. First of all, because I rented, I had to pay a $75.00 deposit. Then I get my first water bill and to my disgust it was over $60.00. This was for me and a small child. To me, we didn't have excessive laundry to add up to that and this was with out the garbage added. I let it go thinking it would go down and it never did. My water bill was always over $60.00. And odd enough though, when I had my second child and did add more baths and more laundry, it didn't change any. Now then I would have thought it to go up. Nor did it go up anymore in the summer time when I watered flowers. I had expressed my concerns several times to the city with my payments. Not once did I ever even get a response. And it would be one thing if we could stand to drink the water. When my son would take his bath, the bathroom smelled just like walking into the Flanagan swimming pool. I couldn't even make macaroni and cheese with water from the faucet because it tasted just like chlorine when it was done. So if you could at least stand to drink it, maybe I could see paying a little more for it, but not $60.00 a month.

Then to top this all off, the city charges $10.00 to mail a cancellation notice five days after the due date. That is ridiculous. An envelope, form letter, and a stamp does not cost near to that. The next notice always carried the balance. Shouldn't that of been reminder enough. Did my $75.00 deposit earn that kind of interest? No it sure didn't.

I have moved to the country now where I can drink my water and it doesn't cost. I only hope should I have to move back to town, that something changes with the water and the billing. It will definitely be an influence as to where I live in the future.

Kim Barth

Looking for info on Producers Milk


First of all, I would like to thank you for placing my father's, Merle Robertson, obituary on your site. He had many pleasant memories of growing up in Minonk and enjoyed your website very much.

One of the questions he often asked was: Does anyone remember Producers' Milk? My father delivered milk for that company when I was a little girl in the 1950's. I remember "helping out" at the dairy on some morning, candling eggs.

It would be great to find a picture of the dairy and perhaps a little more information on the company.

LOVE your site!

Kathleen Robertson-Wierzbicki
Frankfort, Illinois