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Mercer County Jail Expansion - do we need it?
Posted by Ralyn on 2009/11/24 20:50:00 (416 reads)

I received a phone call a few days ago to inform me about the Mercer County Jail expansion. Until that phone call, I was totally unaware of any jail expansion, let alone any of the facts or issues on it.

I wanted to know more facts & information on the subject, especially since the jail is only 15 miles from my home. So, I sat down and did a few thorough internet searches, with very little results. I was only able to find a couple very short mentions in the Aledo Times, Quad Cities, & Galesburg newspapers - but not much real information.

  0   Article ID : 20
Plans for Mercer jail addition hinge on lawsuit
Posted by Ralyn on 2009/11/23 22:20:00 (799 reads)

Plans for Mercer jail addition hinge on lawsuit


Posted Online: May 26, 2009, 10:27 pm
By Stephen Elliott, selliott@qconline.com


ALEDO -- Pending the outcome of a lawsuit, plans for a $5 million expansion project at the Mercer County Jail are proceeding.

"As far as we're concerned, it's a go," said Mercer County Board Chairman Tom Harris.

The project has met with some resistance. On April 30, a lawsuit was filed in Mercer County Circuit Court on behalf of Concerned Citizens for Mercer County (CCMC) and Robert White, an Aledo resident.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop the project. It alleges Mr. White, who lives across the street from the Mercer County Jail, would be adversely affected by the expansion.

  0   Article ID : 27
National Bankruptcy Day - February 10, 2009
Posted by Ralyn on 2009/8/30 20:20:00 (516 reads)

I've been hearing rumors about the possibility of new laws that will affect children's products. However I was unable to find information until just yesterday. So, I spent the day studying these laws and doing research. This is a very serious issue that will put millions of American businesses out of business. This law needs some serious ammendments to prevent this.

First, let's take a look at what has caused this problem. Our American government has turned their head for years to allow oriental companies violate American laws and standards that put our children in danger by allowing them to sell faulty sub-standard products to Americans that contain lead and other hazardous materials. Now, as a parent myself - I've had a problem with this for years. So, why are they just now paying attention? Parents that paid attention already knew this, but our complaints were ignored.

Now, don't get me wrong - I applaud the fact that they have finally woke up to their negligence. It's been illegal for Americans to put lead and other hazardous materials in children's products for years, yet they continued to allow oriental imports and out-sourcing companies to neglect those laws. Americans will now be paying the price for their negligence, yet again. The new CPSIA laws will put many businesses out of business due to unfair and unrealistic requirements.

The current laws, that will go into effect on Feb 10, 2009 are terribly written and will cause many American businesses to go out of business. This includes all of the crafters, like myself, that create excellent quality handmade toys for your children that were never in violation to begin with.

But the laws don't stop there - it includes just about all products for kids, even clothing. Used clothing stores will be forced to no longer carry children's clothing or go out of business - the testing required is too expensive for them to be able to comply.

Having a garage sale? Guess what - if you want to sell anything made for kids in your garage sale, you too will have to comply with tests that cost several hundred if not thousands of dollars. If you don't you are in violation of the new laws and subject to a $100,000 fine and felony charges.

Children's products will become extinct, because businesses will not be able to afford to make them. Those that do continue making them will be passing the cost of these ridiculous requirements on to you, the consumer. Aren't our prices high enough already? Now think about how much a toy that costs the supplier well over $1000 to meet with the new laws will cost you.

Large educational products companies will go out of business because of these new laws. This now cheats our children of educational equipment that is important to their education. Where does this craziness stop?

Work at home moms will no longer be able to create quality handmade products for kids. We most certainly can't afford to comply with the new laws. Handknit baby booties will now be illegal.

It's not too late to stop this - Please contact our Congressmen & Obama now. Help us force them to ammend these laws to be fair to Americans that were already creating safe children's products and penalize the ones at fault by implementing stricter import laws for China.

  0   Article ID : 4
Disturbing Trend of Wildlife
Posted by Ralyn on 2008/10/13 13:50:00 (310 reads)

The photo below captures a disturbing trend that is beginning to affect wildlife in the US...

Government Handout Trends


Animals that were formerly self-sufficient are now showing signs of belonging to either the Democratic Party or Republican Party... as they have apparently learned to just sit and wait for the government to step in and provide for their care and sustenance.

*This photo is of a Democrat black bear in Montana nicknamed 'Bearack Obama'!

  0   Article ID : 3
The Pickle Jar
Posted by Ralyn on 2008/6/4 8:20:00 (533 reads)

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents' bedroom. When he got ready f or bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar . They landed with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled.

I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate's treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window. When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank.

Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck.
Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me hopefully. 'Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son. You're going to do better than me. This old mill town's not going to hold you back.'
Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly 'These are for my son's college fund. He'll never work at the mill all his life like me.'

We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm. 'When we get home, we'll start filling the jar again.' He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. 'You'll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters,' he said. 'But you'll get there I'll see to that.'

No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar.

To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make a way out for me. 'When you finish college, Son,' he told me, his eyes glistening, 'You'll never have to eat beans again - unless you want to.'

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town. Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had been removed.

A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done. When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me.

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad's arms. 'She probably needs to be changed,' she said, carrying the baby into my parents' bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes.

She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into the room. 'Look,' she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak.

This truly touched my heart. I know it has yours as well. Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings.

  0   Article ID : 1
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