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Emails for April 2004

Need more volunteers for Route 66 Speedway event

We are very saddened to see the number of Fieldcrest residents over 18, that signed up to work at the Route 66 Speedway in Joliet. Only 47 residents of the school district committed approximately 12 hours of their time to help support a school district that is facing hard times.

On April 24th, we drove to Joliet for orientation to work at the Speedway. This took about 4 hours. This 4 hours included the drive up and back. When we go to work, it will be about another 8 hours of our time. This is such a small amount of time, considering the money that will be raised to help the students of the Fieldcrest School District. By helping, you are giving students the chance to participate in extra-curricular activities. We are also showing the students that when you pull together as a group, as a school district, as a team, you can overcome obstacles. Out of the 47 residents that signed up to work, only 10 are district employees, and 1 is on the school board. Where are the rest of the employees????? Do you want to help save extra-curricular activities????? Where are the rest of the school board members????? Granted you all have done a great deal in problem solving to help the district. Set an example, be there, show your support. We are far from being out of the red!!! Same for the administration, where were you?????

I know some of you that are not on the list to work at the Speedway, put in many hours behind the scene to get this underway. I thank you for all the work you put into this. I know that there are many people that have helped in other ways to raise money, I thank each of you.

If it comes between helping at a fundraiser, or watching your childs extra-curricular event that day, PLEASE, give up the event. Explain to your child that you are not going to attend the event that day, so that you can help raise money so that your child CAN participate next year. You have a choice, miss one event this year, and have extra-curricular activities next year, or go to your childs event, and while you are there, wonder if this activity will be offered next year? If you choose not to help, PLEASE, don't complain, don't gripe, don't blame anyone but yourself if the activity is cut next year, or if you have to pay extra.

If extra-curricular activities are cut next year, before you blame anyone or any group, ask yourself, "What did I do to help?"

Parents who want to keep extra-curricular activities,

Danny & Julie Schmitt

Adding sunlight to the Governor�s fee increases

Efforts have been made to shed a little sunlight on the more than 500 tax and fee increases proposed by Governor Rod Blagojevich. I am working with the Committee for Legislative Action to inform the public about the fee increases (300 approved last year and another 200 proposed this year) on its web site at www.committeeforlegislativeaction.org .

Last year, the Governor passed 300 tax and fee increases over strong objections and without any warning to those affected. The fees were passed along to consumers where possible and some even forced businesses to close doors or move jobs out of state where the taxes are more business-friendly. All of this was done so the Administration could spend an extra billion dollars last year. This year, he has requested another $700 million on top of that! Clearly, we do not have a revenue problem in Illinois , we have a spending problem.

The citizens of Illinois would be appalled if they knew about the increases in hundreds of fees the Blagojevich administration is implementing in order to fund massive growth in spending. This year, rather than waiting for the public to find out about the fee increase when it comes time to pay up, we are shedding light on the proposed fees and giving the public the opportunity to voice their opposition.

I encourage Illinois residents to visit www.committeeforlegislativeaction.org and see which tax and fee increases will affect you. In addition to viewing the fee increases, Illinois residents can register their opposition to the Blagojevich fees by signing a petition online, printing one to circulate, or by forwarding the link to others to participate. The opposition will be forwarded to the Governor and to the General Assembly.

Senator Dan Rutherford

Looking for lost classmate

I am looking for information on Robert Dahler who was part of of the MDHS Class of 1955. His father was the minister at the Minonk Baptist Church. If anyone has information on how to contact Bob, I would appreciate hearing from you.

Martha Eikenmeyer Owens

Computers in grade school good thing

You say students don't need computers until the 5th grade and then hopefully the computer will be used for research or writing rather than a "fun" thing to use. I would like to invite you to visit our lab at South. You would see Kindergarten come once a week to do "fun" things with each letter of the alphabet, their little hands skillfully using the mouse. You would see 1st graders doing "fun" reading skills with wonderful graphics. You would see 2nd graders putting their little fingers on homerow and learning reaches. 3rd graders continue with more reaches until they can type reports. 4th graders finish learning all letters and numbers on the keyboard. They do guided research on the internet for reports they type themselves. The class average words per minute last month were: 2nd grade--12 wpm, 3rd grade--15 wpm, 4th grade--23 wpm. I personally am excited with the progress the students here at South have made with computer skills. I again invite you to come to the lab some afternoon. If you aren't amazed, I will apologize.

Marcia Stolt, Aide at South

Editor's reply: Marcia, I am pleased that our grade school students are making good progress with their computer skills. I just hope it is not at the expense of learning the fundamentals.

Memories of James Wise

I echo Albin Johnson's letter on James Wise. I had him in shop as well. Down in the good 'ol Minonk-Dana High basement. He was a fine man, a man to be looked up to and regarded as one who always gave his all to his students. I'm saddened by his passing, but, oh, what great memories of a fine man.

Art Kettelhut; class of '54
Round Rock , Texas

James Wise was role model

If there were only a few people that I felt had affected my life, then James Wise would be in the top 10. My high school period was from 1944 - 1948. Mr. Grampp taught me drafting and when Mr. Wise returned from the service, he taught me woodworking and house construction. He truely was a role model for me. He always had time to help and suggest ways of solving woodworking projects. He was soft spoken, and most important, interested in me as a student. As a senior I helped construct one of the "school" houses located behind the High School. He gave me the confidence and ability to use my hands for creating items from wood. I carried his teachings throughout my life and have taught woodworking, remodeled two of our homes, built over 50 different pieces of fine furniture for all my children and grandchildren. I am sorry to hear of his passing, but as long as I live, I will always remember him and continue to remember, with joy, those shop classes in the Minonk High School basement.

Albin Johnson
San Clemente, CA

Concerns about Moran Street extension


I was wondering about the jog in the west end of the Moran street extension. It seems to me that it would be safer to make it go straight through to the west and come out farther south from the curve. This to me seems much safer than having it come out right on the curve. I think it will be a safety hazard the way it is. If it's because of the millennia park entrance, I'd rather have the street be straight thru and be safer, than have it come out at the millenia park entrance on the curve and be unsafe just for convenience purposes.

Keith Paris

If you can do it on paper, do it

The discussion of computers in the class room lately got me thinking, so here is my two cents. "If you can do it on paper, do it." Seriously, I go to training all the time for the newest products and software. Almost no one there knows what a diode is, or why it is important. If I gave the young kids using computers two D cell batteries, a flash light bulb and a piece of wire, how many would be able to make light? Where does the heat in the refridgerator go after it is cooled down? Why is it important to check your car's oil? I'm just saying it's good to question things and put first things first.

John Hawk

Computer skills are a necessity

Yesterday I visited my son's classroom for Curriculum Day at Fieldcrest South, and today I feel impressed upon to write this letter in response to comments that have been made concerning computers in the classroom.

Saying that the world has changed from when I was in First Grade would be a major understatement! I can't help but to somehow feel that although my education was wonderful for the time, it is seriously lacking by today's standards. I remember our reading primers being that of "See Jane Run" and so forth. Today Dick and Jane are obsolete, and Kindergarteners are reading better than most of were in the First Grade!

What made the biggest impact on me was to see my son and other children on computers. I'm sorry Dave, but I think you need to wake up and smell the coffee! This is a different world than when you and I went to school! To say that by teaching computers our district risks losing fundamentals is absolutely absurd. I am all for teaching fundamentals, but in today's world, computers are a fundamental! The main function of a school is to prepare children for their futures. If children are not taught the fundamentals of a computer at a young age, they will be seriously behind society in the long run. I, for one, want my child to be able to compete in today's job market. By introducing computers in High School, our children will be behind the norm. We complain that many of our jobs are already being sent elsewhere as it is. If we don't prepare future generations by training them with the way of the future, then how can we expect to create or maintain jobs any better tomorrow than we are today?

Seeing how the world is today, I truly wish that I could have had the opportunities when I was young that my children have today. This past fall I returned to college, and the way I see those eighteen-year-olds fly over the keyboard absolutely amazes me. I struggle daily with computer assignments, and often have to ask these youngsters for help! Computers came around when I was in Junior High, and my husband had just graduated. We were not offered typing courses until we were in High School. By then, Miss Hauth certainly had her hands full trying to break our bad typing habits and instilling the fundamentals of typing. Our kids are not just "playing games" on the computers! Yesterday, I watched my first grader listen to Mrs. Stolt teach him the fundamentals of typing. It nearly brought tears to my eyes, because my son will not have to struggle to break bad any typing habits, so because of this his boundaries are limitless. I fully expect that within the next few years both my children will surpass my 60 wpm! The proper way will be instilled in them because this school system saw the importance of technology in their education. Tomorrow my children will be better people for it, and will be competitive in society. I feel sorry for my husband, who did not learn computers in school. Believe it or not, as a truck driver my husband must use an on board computer (QUALCOMM), so technology affects him too. Precious time is wasted when he uses two fingers to peck out his messages to his company. I'm certain that my husband most likely wishes he'd had the opportunities that our children have. Perhaps the excellent instruction Mrs. Stolt gives our children will enable them to teach my husband keyboarding.

While I have this opportunity, I would like to say Thank-You to Mrs. Stolt on behalf of my children. I know they will remember your instruction for the rest of their lives, as I do mine. I would also like say THANK YOU to Miss Hauth as well. I know breaking my bad habits wasn't a treat, but she did it with dignity and grace while instilling in me the love of keyboarding. Of the subjects I took in High School, keyboarding was one of the ones that I DO use everyday of my life. When I was in High School I never did tell Miss Hauth how much I appreciated her. Maybe she will read this letter and know how grateful I am that she has forever changed my life by patiently teaching me a skill I use everyday.

Christina Jenkins

Say thanks to a special person

I liked your editorial about Mr. Jim Wise. While I did not take vocational trade or drafting, I did enjoy his company during driver's education. You captured several key characteristics...patience, a teacher, a veteran, and often times those who gained the most don't say thank you during one's time on earth. I learned that in the recent past and have made an effort to say thanks to teachers, mentors, scout leaders, choir directors, former employers, friends, before they depart. Hopefully you'll touch the hearts of others to say thanks to those that helped them years ago.

Steve Cinnamon

Remembers Jim Wise

Dave, I, too, have fond memories of Mr. Wise. I had him for woodshop (girls took woodshop, too!). He was very knowledgeable and helpful. He was funny and always had interesting stories to tell--never boring!
It wasn't unusual to see Mr. Wise when one walked into a history class or some other class where a teacher was absent. I must confess that we would get Mr. Wise to tell us war stories and never did learn much about the subject at hand when he was our sub. We always learned something, tho!
Mr. Wise taught my dad (Ken Lindley, class of '51) and thirty years later was there to teach me!
Mr. Wise was a very special person and I have thought of him more than a few times over the years.

Denise Robinson (class of '81)
Akron, Ohio

Offers to help residents

If someone in town needs help nailing up numbers or moving some junk out for what ever reason, they can give me a call and I'll come over and help them.

John Hawk

Open letter to Minonk residents from City Administrator on Ordinance Violations

On June 17, 2002 the City council passed a civic addressing ordinance (backside of letter). The ordinance is the result of a request from emergency services. They are asking that every building in the city be required to prominently display its civic address.

You may think everyone in town knows where you live. Maybe most people do. But some don't and that could be life or death�for you? �or for someone in your family?�.or maybe for your neighbor?���.. There are new people in town, some of whom may be volunteering their time on the ambulance squad or the fire department. They don't know you or me or where we live. Do you want to take a chance on them being able to guess where you live in an emergency? �THEY DON'T.

If you already have your address displayed on the outside of your residence or business (yes, businesses too), DO NOT disregard this letter. Check with your neighbors. It is just as important that your neighbors have their addresses placed in a location easily visible from the street. If they don't, it may take longer to find them (or you).

We'll be checking to see who hasn't complied with the ordinance in about a month. If you don't have your address posted, please do so. It is in everyone's best interest.

Also, the spring season is upon us again. With that the grass grows and needs to be cut. If you live on a street with a curb and gutter, please DO NOT blow your grass clippings into the street. This is an ordinance violation. When it rains, the clippings collect in the street drains and cause flooding.

Finally, spring clean up (junk pick up) will be held on April 27th and 28th this year. This provides the perfect opportunity to get rid of ANY AND ALL junk in your yards. If it is in the back, please move it to the front berm. We have received a number of complaints concerning this ordinance violation in numerous areas but will wait until after spring clean up to act on them.

Thanks for making this a safer, cleaner and better town.

Trent Smith
City Administrator