Thursday, January 29, 2009

Insurance company

Lots of issues swirling around.
We haven't talked that much about the crash report fee. The police are billing insurance companies for accident reports. Of course, insurance companies are refusing to pay and send the bills back to the customer.
The city says it will not try to collect from city residents, but will from out of town residents. That includes people who live 100 yards out of town.
The bills seem large to me. Sometimes $400 - $600.
Ark City is the first city in Kansas to do this.
There is talk among city commissioners about reversing the ruling because of the outcry.

The insurance companies are in essence getting a free service by getting reports from the city. To some extent, the taxpayers are subsidizing the insurance companies by paying the police to do their work for them.
Im just not sure $400 is warranted, let alone $600.

Should be interesting. What do you all think.

The Schnauzer vew, day three

I have not yet mentioned the other dog that lives in my house. Now the humans have names for us. I am Gretchen and the other dog is Heidi. There's something cute about that I guess. I dont understand that.
We dogs have our own names for each other. They are not really translatable and are not audible anyway.
We have very different personalities. I am more of a dog's dog. Heidi is more a people-dog. Id rather be outside hanging with the other dogs than hanging out with the humans in the house. I prefer outdoors to indoors.
The other dog prefers to be around people and is not real sociable around other dogs.
Im also more active. I want to play ball, chase something, bark at something. She is content to lay on the sofa all day unless there is something going on.
Loyalty to the pack is real strong to us dogs. There is also a strong sense of chain of command. Of course I am the top dog. Thats only natural. I am always the top dog.
Its just who i am.
Someone asked how it is that we dogs are able to always be loving toward our humans even when they are grouchy. Well one thing is, we usually don't actually understand the words they say, so they might be cursing us or praising us. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Also we have a really strong sense of who we are.
We don't get our feelings hurt, and we dont hold grudges. Every minute its a new day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Schnauzer View, day two

There have been a few ordinances about dogs in the papers lately. Maybe humans are surprised that dogs read and write. Well, what do you think we do all day? We do maintain a vigilant watch for trespassers, but that still leaves some time to pick up the paper now and then.
Ive still not learned to use the remote that makes the talking box talk. I think they call it the tv.
Anyway. I thought I would tell you what the dogs think.

At least I understand these ordinances would also apply to cats. Well thats just being politically correct. Cats are very unruly and need lots of guidance. I guess they are making rules for us dogs - that don't really need them - just so cats dont feel so bad.
First there is dog licensing. Pulleeeeeeze. If I do get outside and run free, I know my way home and Ill go there when I am good and ready. Word also travels fast among dogs. We can pass a bark message all the way across town in just a few minutes.
Sometimes humans think we start barking for no reason. No, its usually to pass along a bark message. Telepathy only goes so far.
Of course I know about that cocker spaniel running loose on C Street. She is just having fun, leave her alone. She will go home when she wants to.
Most of us also know how to stay out of the street and out of the way of those cars that don't seem to be able to control themselves.
Maybe its the humans that need licensing.
I like riding in cars though, except when we go to the vet.

Oh but I guess what they decided is ok. I know there are some dogs not as intelligent as me. They might need some help in getting back home. But humans need to try to understand us better. Sometimes its not that we are lost, sometimes we just want to go somewhere else to hang out for awhile. Its like a vacation. And there are always new and interesting things to smell. I don't know why humans don't appreciate smell more.
I did appreciate the tethering ordinance. Tying us up is just mean. Thats why we get mean and grouchy. Having to wear a collar is bad enough. Adding a chain to that is just un-canine.
I see that there is also a limit on the number of dogs that can live at a house. I dont understand that. A limit on cats i understand. But, why would humans ever think there were too many dogs?

Now I understand the police chief wants a drug dog. I think thats a fine idea. We dogs do have abilities that humans could better utilize.
But i dont understand why they don't consider a Schnauzer for a drug dog. We have just as good of a nose. We dont take up as much room, we don't eat as much, and we are quicker and more nimble. Schnauzers also have a longer life expectancy, so we would be able to stay in the field longer on the job.
Some might argue that at 18 pounds, I might not be able to subdue a criminal as well as 100-pound lab might. yea yea. Have you ever seen me attack anyone? There's no animal as tenacious as I am. And I can subdue people by barking for hours on end without stopping.
You know how silly labs can be. I used to live with one. I had her wrapped around my little toe.
Don't even get me started about German Shepherds. Im German you know.
I just think the chief should consider a Schnauzer.

Well ive done the dog song with my dog neighbors this morning. Ive checked the borders. Ive had breakfast and a snack. Its time for a nap.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Schnauzer view

Editor's note:
Today is Jan. 27. This is the anniversary of Alice in Wonderland, where the world turns inside out and upside down. Many bloggers are celebrating the day today by entering that world.
In light of that, Im turning the controls over to Gretchen, the schnauzer.

Vie Gehts !
Ahem, not only do I have to think in human language, but also in English. I understand German better, being a German dog.
As usual, I woke up at 5 a.m. and did my morning duty of waking up the humans. It is an important part of my job. I also made sure there were no trespassers on the property when I went outside. I sounded the alarm when a pesky squirrel ran into the neighbors yard. I thought the neighbor should know about it.
Of course those low life creatures know better than to come in my yard. I just have no respect for an animal that eats acorns .. ewwwww.

I also greeted the dog across the alley. He is a good dog, but doesn't live in the house with the humans. Ive told him he needs to train them better than that. It was real cold this morning. It was so cold the humans were putting on extra skin. At least they have gotten over putting extra skin on me like they did when I was a pup. Oh the embarrassment. At least no other dogs saw me.

For a little while several of us dogs were singing the traditional morning dog song, and warning all the other creatures to stay out of our territory. Just when we were sounding good, my humans called me into the house.

Whats up with that? They always want me to come in the house just when we reach a really nice pitch together.
But I have compromised. Ive taught them to give me a little snack when i come in the house. That took a long time, but they finally got it. It doesnt matter if I have just eaten, i still want that snack.

It was stressful chasing away all the other vermin, and making sure our borders were secure, so when I came back in I took a nap.
One of the humans likes to carry around a ball. He isnt smart enough to put it in his mouth so he can hang on to it better though. Ive tried to teach him, but no luck. So the ball keeps flying out of his hand, so I go get it for him time after time. Silly humans, Why do they even try to carry around a ball if they can't hang on to it. They dont even chew on it. Ive even rubbed it in dirt and trash to make it smell nice for them.
I guess ill keep helping them keep track of it. Most of the time they cant even find it, so i have to sniff it out. Luckily that isnt very hard.

They are leaving now. I dont know where they go, but they put extra skins on, and leave every morning and talk about something called a d$$$ job. I dont know what that is.
But That means I have to be dilligent at my post. First I watch for coyotes. There are no coyotes in this city. There's a reason for that. They fear me for many miles.

Ill keep my eye out for that human they call the maleman. He is evil. He comes right up onto the porch as though this were his territory and puts things into a small box. I know thats a bad thing and the humans dont usually like what he puts in there. They fuss about something called bills. I know its the evil maleman's fault.
If it werent for me scaring him off he might come in the house and be further in our territory wihtout permission.
I know my humans appreciated it because when they are here, and I sound the alarm that the maleman is near, they also bark ... it sounds like no no no ... so we all scare him off. They are learning to bark better.
Makes me feel good to know they appreciate the protection I give.

Of course ill sound the alarm if anyone enters my territory, which extends as far as i can see out the window.
Well my human says he needs the computer. And im ready for another nap.

Monday, January 26, 2009


The deadline for filing for office in city and school board races is noon Tuesday.
You can sign up for the city hall race at city hall in Arkansas City.
For city commission we now have four candidates ... Patrick McDonald the incumbent, Jean Snell, Jay Warren and Pennyann Waresak.
Scott Margolius told me Monday he would make a final decision Tuesday a.m.
Dont know about Hockenbury.
On the school board there are two candidates for three positions. Reese and Woodard are running again. Squires is not running again, so there is no one running for her seat now.
If only two run, the board would appoint a new member in July.
Current terms last through June.

interesting story

Here is an interesting story about Obama and the possibility of creating a mandatory youth work program. 18-20 year olds would have to work for two years for the public good. They would receive very small pay, and two years of college tuition when done.
What do you all think. Click the link to read the story

a new blog

Ive started a new blog over at
If you click on the title, it should take you there.
It will be "religious" in nature.
Not sure how long Ill keep going on it. I have a bible study web site that has fallen into disrepair, so maybe this will get that going again.
The web site is at

Sunday, January 25, 2009

life issues

There was some talk earlier about pro-life, pro-choice issues.
(Does it seem unfair to anyone else that the national media calls one side PRO choice and the other side ANTI abortion?)
I lean toward life. Life is holy and something that should not be destroyed... That said ..
Here are my main criticisms of both sides:
it has become much too political.
The pro-choice argument has one main flaw, and that is that it does not recognize the morality of the issue.
The pro life people perhaps do not have as strong of footing a they might think as far as when life begins.
I do object though, to what I see as the tactics of many in the pro choice movement to silence their opponents. The Freedom of Choice Act, was one example, which would outlaw the requirement that a woman see pictures from a sonogram of the fetus in her body. Well the reason for that is obvious, if she sees it, she will realize it is a living being and might back out.
Remember, the pro abortion folks are making a lot of money on this. its not really about choice, its about making money.
The pro life people are too extreme by not allowing exceptions, and some dont even allow contraception. They put girls in a double bind ... no birth control and no abortion .. and just tell them to say no. They need a reality check too.

But moving on from that.
it is not a black and white issue. I think that is the problem. Both sides want it to be that way.
And I see that as an even greater problem. There's too much money and too many political points to be made by both sides to actually resolve the issue. It could be resolved.
Get 10 people from each side, shut them up in a room and don't let them out until they come to a consensus.

I get weary of the examples by both sides of extremes. A 12 year old who was raped for one, but a the same time, what about the socialite teen who gets pregnant and has an abortion and doesnt even miss a party.
Both are extremes that don't happen much. I tend to dismiss those arguments because of that.
Camping out there will never solve the issue.

We are so hung up in our culture on even offending someone's sensibilities ... but we dont care about killing babies..
But at the same time, there is a point when it is not a baby ...
and it is hard on the mother.
There are agencies that will help though, and adopt.. so there really isnt much of an excuse except in extreme cases.

Both sides try to use the bible to back up their claims. Of course, the first lesson of proper biblical interpretation, is not to "proof text," which means to take a sentence or a phrase out of context and try to prove a point that way.
Here is an example ...
Judas went and hanged himself
Go ye therefore and do likewise
What thou do, do quickly.
That is a biblical statement ... out of context. but .. theres no arguing that this is what the bible says, go hang yourself and do it quickly.... thats how manipulative people work.

The scritpures are not as clear as either side would like on this issue.
A verse the pro life crowd likes is

Psa 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

Ok, context is thing. This is a poem about the greatness of God. It is not talking about life issues. And being a poem, it uses metaphors a lot, flowery language. not meant to be taken "literally" at all. Another psalm talks about God's mighty right arm ... well God doesnt have an arm. and wouldnt have to use an arm anyway .. he speaks worlds into existance just by thinking .. let there be ... this verse is not teaching when life begins.

Another verse not used by the pro life crowd

Gen 2:7 the Lord God formed the man [fn] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Again, it is not about when life begins, but ... doesnt it seem to imply that life begins with breath?

Here is one that is interesting.

Exd 21:22 "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely [fn] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows.
Exd 21:23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,

So, is this verse talking about both the mother and her baby. or just the mother?

So, ive written all this and you can tell ... I dont know the answer.
What I do know is that both sides are making political hay out of it and people are suffereing as a result on both sides of the issue.

back to the music

The River of Life Music Festival group has been meeting, and we have come up with a new plan.
We had an opportunity to bring Remedy Drive back for a concert in late Feb., but decided that we did not have enough time to promote it adequately.
I leaned a lot about promotion during the last music festival. I did more and worked harder in that area than i did the first year, but it was not as effective.
Anyways, we felt we didn't have time, so we decided to not go forward.

What we are going to do is to have some band competitions with local bands.
We hope to get started in March.
We will have an open invitation to local bands - local defined as how ever far a band is willing to travel and play.
We will either have professional judges or let popular vote decide the winner. We hope to have this every month. The winners will advance to our music festival in the fall. They will make up the program.
We still have to work out some details as far as how the competition will work.

We are also thinking about moving the festival to September, the week before the bluegrass in Winfield.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

roe v wade

Today is the anniversary of the roe v. wade decision that legalized abortion. Of course, pro life people have protested ever since.

There was a small demonstration at city hall today . above is a picture from that

below, there is a story from AP. about what happened in the legislature today...

This is a very hot topic, and one that needs discusison....

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A guest chaplain upset some Kansas House members Thursday with a prayer remembering millions of children that he said were "legally exterminated" by abortion and decrying a national "culture of death."

The Rev. Brian Schieber, pastor at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, gave his prayer on the 36th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion across the nation.

"We remember the over 53 million beautiful, innocent unborn children who have been legally exterminated in our land," he said in his prayer. "By Your grace, guide us to transform this culture of death into a culture of life and a civilization of love."

Legislators who support abortion rights complained afterward, saying the prayer opening the 125-member House's daily session is supposed to be nonpolitical.

"Prayers ought to be more ecumenical," said Rep. Tom Sawyer, a Wichita Democrat. "It's supposed to be a prayer that all 125 people will feel comfortable praying."

But not all legislators were upset.

"It's always like music when you hear the truth," said Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook, an anti-abortion Republican from Shawnee who was in the House gallery.

Schieber acknowledged he wasn't surprised that his prayer caused a stir among some House members. He said he wasn't judging or condemning policy makers but hoping to "stir hearts to conversion."

"The Gospel should rattle us out of our complacency," he said. "We're not supposed to preach what people want to hear. We're supposed to preach the fullness of the Word."

The House's chaplain, the Rev. Eunice Brubaker, associate pastor of the Fairlawn Nazarene Church in Topeka, invited Schieber to give the prayer because she had a scheduling conflict.

Schieber said initially he resisted then, "I thought, 'This may be a very providential moment that God has given me.'"

But Rep. Mike Slattery, a Mission Democrat, said Schieber could have communicated a similar message without being as "startling."

"That prayer was a little more abrasive than necessary," he said.

House Speaker Mike O'Neal, a Hutchinson Republican who opposes abortion, said he didn't know beforehand what Schieber's message would be.

O'Neal said guest pastors usually receive a letter with some guidance but that Schieber apparently didn't because he was invited on short notice. O'Neal said he would review that guidance.

"It was a prayer that caused some concern, and I'm sorry about that," O'Neal said.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

have we changed yet ? / more city

I liked Obama's speech. He is a great speaker. Maybe that is what we need.
We need someone with vision and the ability to inspire as they articulate that vision. I dont think the vision itself is the thing that will make a difference.
But just the articulating it in a clear manner that will inspire people.
It will be interesting to see what happens
Im waiting for change... hope it happens.

Just less than a week to go to the city commission - and school board - filing deadline.
Only Patrick McDonald has filed for re-election as of last night. Joel Hockenbury and Scott Margolius say they are still undecided.
Ive heard a couple other names thrown around of people who might run, but so far they have not.
A previous commissioner attends meetings regularly, and she might run again.
Some people have even encouraged me to run.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Racial jokes and other bad taste items

Just wanted to respond to yesterday's discussion.

I thought yesterday's discussion about jokes was interesting.
I do think people are too sensitive, and get too bent out of shape over minor offenses that really solve no problems. Im more interested in people really being equal - able to have opportunities in the real world - than i am in whether someone might be offended. What are we doing about crime, teen pregnancy, drugs, poverty and so forth among minority groups?
It is true that minorities have more poor people than white people. Part of that is injustice in the system - racism - and it is also due to their own attitudes. Being poor leads to other problems. What is our system doing to help people pull out of a system of poverty?
Keeping people in that cycle is a form of racism, even if you never offend a single one of them.

Someone telling a joke that "might" offend someone should be taken as just that ... a person using bad judgement or poor taste.
Arguing over it does nothing to help race relations - and actually harms race relations. Even more than the offense would have. I would say the offended party needs to be a little more mature and over-look the slight or offense. Thats so much better than having a few days of media glory and emotion. and it might actually help relations.
Sometimes we even argue over things that "might" be offensive. Please, why does "might offend" matter? Getting upset over it does empower the joke .. it gives it power over you. If you over look it, then it goes away...

It is like in sports - when people talk trash. If you get upset, it gets in your head and affects your game. If you just smile and focus on the game, you will play better, and that will get in your trash-talking opponents head. It is a power trip. Are you in charge of yourself, or do you give power to people who could offend you?

An aside - no one can "make" you angry. How you feel is how you choose to feel.

At one of my papers in South Carolina, the publisher liked to tell "bad" jokes about minorities. Black, hispanic, whatever, he told them. BUT - when it came time to hire someone, he hired the best person and never hesitated to hire a minority person. So, was he more of a racist than someone who would never say anything that MIGHT offend a black person, but somehow never seemed to actually work with them or do anything with them?

That being "offensive" is the worst thing you an do in our culture, shows how weak our culture is.
You might be offended at a joke on blacks, indians, handicapped, or even po white trash - but ... are you willing to do anything to help any of these people?
I say if you're not willing to actually help solve real problems, then you really have a lot of damn gall being offended at a little joke.
Hope that offends a few people :)

More obama

Today is the inauguration. It is a big deal. But they are always a big deal, so its no big deal that its a big deal.
What I see in Obama is someone who is trying to bridge the gap between right and left.
Maybe he realizes neither side is "right" .. and that picking the lesser of two evils is not the "right" answer.
The answer is not conservative or liberal - because both are extreme and wrong. - not wrong in a moral sense, but wrong in a truth or factual sense. On most issues, the truth is between the two.
I see him trying to look past that and get to the real answers.
On most issues, if i can get both sides to disagree with me, then I feel like im about at the truth. Truth should always matter more than ideology., but thats a subject for another day.

If he can get people to do that - too look past the labels of conservative or liberal - , he will have been a successful president whether he does anything else or not.

Race is a big issue. Religion is too.
Here is a link to a column that I liked about that.

Monday, January 19, 2009

city commission meets

City Commission meeting is tonight, worksession at 5:30. Regular meeting tomorrow.
Not a lot on the agenda.
But I understand some people are upset about the water fees for turning on or off water to a residence. They may show up.

Here is the agenda.

Consider voiding unclaimed warrant checks from 2006.
These are checks the city has written and that have never been cashed. They are all under $50 and there are about 10 of them.

Consider ordinance vacating portion of E. Harrison and portion of alley, 100 block S.
Summit, for KanPak expansion.

Consider ordinance modifying language in the City’s nuisance code to remove antiquated

Consider authorizing use of the Equipment Reserve Fund by the Fire Department for
purchase of two vehicles authorized in 2009 budget.

Consider Mayor’s appointments to City Boards.

Also, someone was asking about how to get on the agenda for a meeting. There is a time set aside for comments from the public. You get three minutes.
But if you have a large matter, you can get on the agenda. Just call the city manager.
Most likely you will get invited to the work session, where you can talk to the commission.
The work session is definitely the more interesting meeting.
That is where all kinds of things are talked about.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Interactive story

Here is the end of Friday's blog. Some people were getting creative .. I thought maybe the story could continue. This could get the Jan. 27 thing going,. Im really going to do that. Im going to let my dog blog for a few days. She's been bugging me for months to do it anyway.

Here is the story .. please add to it as you are inspired to do so.


we will continue our fight for world conquest through pancake feeds and child identification without your support bwa haha

Can you identify the children WHILE they are eating pancakes.
Now that would be the trick.

That's when we ear tag them and start the brainwashing process. Ultimate goal is to get them into the pancakes. Along with the German Shepperds.

Ill bet the German Shepherds like the pancakes too.
Though id imagine they are not as partial to maple syrup.. probably prefer some german type covering instead .. streussel maybe..

But im still not clear ...
do your shepherds eat the children
or do the chldren eat the shepherds

or maybe thats just a cover for the abduction by aliens.
the lions clubs are a front for the aliens... much more sinister than the masonites.

Leave the German Shepherds alone.
They are good farmers just like Kansans, They just herd sheep instead of cows. And dress funny.

Friday, January 16, 2009

City commission race

as of 1:45 on Friday, Jan. 16 No one has filed for city commission or for the school board.
The deadline is Jan. 27 at noon.
County Clerk Karen Brooks said a lot of people do file at the end, but it is a bit unusual to be this close to the deadline and not have any.


I was thinking about Zach's post about bail-outs.
It does seem that we taxpayers are being asked - forced - to bail out filthy rich executives who got in trouble because of their greed. Has anything good happened to the economy as a result of any of the billions spent on bailouts so far?

The reason for the economic crisis is greed. Bad loans were made and that caused problems for the banks, and then there has been a ripple effect throughout the rest of the business world.
Theres no credit now because of all the bad loans.
People who make loans should take into consideration whether a person can pay back the loan. They made loans they knew would probably default.
Its just like some car dealers who sell people cars with no money down, no credit check, low payments for awhile, knowing that the person will never pay back the loan ... but what do they care, they still get their commission and money from the bank.

So we are telling those in charge that their stupid - greedy - behavior was ok, and we are rewarding them by keeping them afloat and even funding huge bonuses for those in charge.
So what is to stop it from happening again and again.

It reminds me of the Mayan indians in Mexico.
You know their civilization just stopped one day. All the cities were abandoned and it went from one of the most advanced civilizations in the world to nothing. By the time the Europeans arrived it was all but forgotten. The spaniards thought it all was just fairy tales. Wasnt till the 1800s that someone started investigating and found all the ancient ruins.
They did have a system of human sacrifice. The priests convinced the public that they had to have human sacrifice to keep the sun coming up.
After a few hundred years no one questioned whether it would actually come up the next day or not. This started about 300 a.d. and lasted till about 1200 a.d.
So people were asked to give family members to be sacrified. They cut their hearts out, still beating, and offered that to the gods. who kept the sun coming up each day - and of course kept the moon doing its thing as well.
No one knows what happened - why it all just stopped all of a sudden.
One theory that makes sense to me is that people finally got tired of the sacrifice.
So one day they all just said NO ... Probably happened in one city, then another, then another..
They may have even killed the priests who essentially ruled the country.
The cities were built around the temples where the sacrifices took place, so ... out of fear or whatever, they abandoned the cities.
the sun did come up the next day.

Does anyone see a parallel here.
We have to keep bailing out these companies - we have to keep funding greedy filthy rich executives - to keep the economy going.
Im not advocating killing them of course, but ... what if we did just say no.

Where is accountability?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

some random thoughts

We will have a story in today's (thursday) paper about sales tax receipts in Arkansas City and Winfield.
Both cities are reporting record sales for 2008. Both had about an 8 percent increase in sales. Winfield's is slightly larger to start with.
But it is interesting that there was more money spent in both cities than ever in 2008.
Maybe it was because gas was $4 a gallon and people didnt go out of town as much.

I know we are in a recession, and maybe in a depression. But still, fear and such only makes it worse.
What we need, both locally and nationally, is strong leadership. People with vision and the intestinal fortitude to carry that vision forward. Complaining and moaning about the economy - or blaming the other side - is not the answer.

I dont know if Obama is the answer or not.
But ill give him a chance before i make a judgement. Im not republican or democrat, so ... i dont have that preconceived notion. :)
It is time to move on from politics as usual.
The pubs are moaning about the end of the world because the dems are in power.
yada yada yada
The dems think its so great that they are in power now, and they are finally going to fix things.
Yea right.
Until both sides get over themselves, we may not make much progress.
Political parties are not the answer, and consevative or liberal ideologies are not the answer either.
Maybe the real moderates will finally come forward.

Someone asked about how many local people are being laid off from jobs like at Cessna in Wichita. Im not sure how to track that. I ll look into it and see what i can find.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Musical opportunity

Hey folks
Just stumbled upon an opportunity.
The lead band for our music festival. Remedy Drive. 
is going to be passing through on Feb. 19. They have a show in Norman, Okla., the next day.
Anyhoo, i sent them an email and they would love to stop in on feb. 19 on their way south and do a show for us.
Indoors of course, and with electricity this time.
(An aside. they had a great time here, they loved the people and the hospitality. They loved the food we served and they were impressed with how we handled the crisis during the festival.)

i just wanted to get some feedback.
I can get the high school gym cheap, or the auditorium.
but remedy drive is not cheap. and there would have to be advertising and lots of it.
Do you think we could promote it enough , and get enough tickets sold to make a little money for the festival.
Would you pay to see them in a nice indoor concert. 
Could add a local band or two maybe.
What do you think


I was just wondering if there are any local events for the presidential Inauguration next Tuesday.
Anyone know about anything going on?

drug dogs

What do you all think about the city getting a drug dog?
Actually, the proposed animal is a "multi-purpose" dog. The animal would be able to sniff out drugs, also to track people down, search buildings and things like that.
At last week's work session, a dog and his handler from Augusta gave a demonstration in the commission chamber. It was pretty interesting. The dog was very impressive.
The handler had planted some drugs in the room, and the dog found them quickly. What if someone had just happened to have been there and had a bit of drugs in their pocket?
That would have been interesting.
While the dog was looking for the drugs, he took an interest in my camera. He really wanted to get a good sniff of it. Well I did get it off E-bay, so you never know.
But most likely the dog was aware of me messing with it and pointing it at him, so he just wanted to see what it was.
Anyway, police believe a good bit of drugs pass through town and they want to catch some of them.

There is also the rumor of the big drug operation that runs out of Arkansas City. This has been rumored for decades. Every small town I have lived in has had some variation of that rumor.
Small towns thrive on rumors. It is not unique to Arkansas City at all.
Not sure why, but larger cities don't have that as much.
Anyways, I dont want to get into accusing or spreading rumors. I dont want any people named on here, but ... what do you all think about the rumor of a major drug operation operating out of Arkansas City?

It will be interesting to see if the drug dog can sniff that out.
Police will have to raise the money from private sources for the city to approve it.
But police also get to keep money the confiscate, as well as property that can be sold eventually, so the dog could finance himself.
One good bust would be all it would take.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

faith and works

When people bring up poor perfoming high schools, sub-standard housing, high taxes, marginal retail and low paying employment, there are no words, slogans, or mottos that will work to convince them otherwise.
The above is a comment on yesterday's post.
There is some truth to this. I have two points i want to make, and offer for discussion.

One, that it is easy to see things that are bad. And some people seem to just like being in the negative all the time. Way back when our music festival was just a vague idea, i ran into one person who gave me several reasons why it wouldn't work and why i shouldn't try it, and how ark city would never support such a thing. Good that I didnt listen because the people of Arkansas City gave me over $10,000 over two years to grow the festival.
So while it is easy to point to bad things, there are good things too.
So I offer this challenge, tell me one good thing about Arkansas City. A specific thing, such as what i mentioned above. Lets see how many things we can come up with.
It is ok to say good things. It does not change the bad things, and you can still complain about those. It doesnt take away your right to complain, so you dont have to worry about that.

Second, that attitude does matter. You have to have the right attitude for your actions to matter though.
The person who posted that comment probably wont ever like Ark City, and it will never be good to them. They probably wont do anything about it either.

When I was in college. I had quiet a few dates with really pretty girls. I had friends who never had dates.
They were sure they would get turned down, and didnt want that to happen, so they decided girls didnt like them, so they never had a date. They also decided that most of the pretty girls were stuck up B***s.
I decided early on that I didnt mind getting turned down, and I got turned down a lot.
I heard "No" a lot. But I heard Yes now and then too :). I discovered that there were some really pretty girls who never got asked out. They were so lonely they were willing to even go out with me lol...
Thats were attitude matters.
I had a better attitude than some of my friends had, but .. i still hadto do something. I still had to get turned down a lot in order to get what i wanted.

As it is written in the scriptures. Faith without works is dead. Yet, no one will be declared righteous by works. Rather we are righteous because of faith. Faith works.
Hey its sunday, im entitled ok :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Good saturday morning

I haven't posted much lately, but the conversations have been good.
It seems like some people are starting to catch the vision, or at least understanding my vision for a musical Arkansas City.
The Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield stated as just an idea, and look at where it is now. It has also "evolved" musically. It does not have all that much bluegass anymore, and they have dropped the name.
We need to keep this going.
I enjoyed the talk about the upper floors of the downtown buildings. That could be a great story, or series of stories.
This was the Old West. Its not too surprising that there would be interesting things going on.
I read from the traveler that at one time there were six saloons downtown on Summit. It was during the times of the prohibition movement, and there was a huge debate over them.
That debate was much large than the beer garden at Arkalalah. I think Carrie Nation came and spoke.
Another thought: There has been some talk on the blog about promoting Ark City and attracting industry. There are mechanisms in place to do that.
But I think we need to promote Ark City within. We need to convince the people of Arkansas City that this is a good place. Maybe we need to do that first?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Why i am here

What was the primary reason you came to A.C.?
If you made a list of the top ten things that help you make your decision what were they in the order of priority.
What were the top 3?

My wife was in Winfield taking care of her mother. I was back in South Carolina. We lived apart for about a year, and i decided to try to find a job here. Her mother had cancer for a few years and was to the point she could not care for herself. We made the decision for joyce to come back and take care of her. I stayed back in S.C. That was interesting, living apart essentially.

I had a really nice job there, but ... thought it would be an adventure. I was working for a newspaper, was not editor, and pretty much did what i wanted, even set my own hours and did a lot of freelance work .. the paper i had worked for shut down, and i was hired by the competition, i had worked for them less than a year when joyce came here to take care of her mother.

I interviewed a few places here and kept my eyes open for anything within 150 miles of winfield.
Lord have mercy Blackwell .. sheesh anyone who doesn't like ark city needs to go over there and take a good look around. Also interviewed in Shawnee, and was real impressed.. also Newton, and some other places.

Anyways, the job opened up here. Actually i almost got hired 6 months earlier by Kim Benedict.
We were in negotiations and i called back to tell her i would come for the interview and the seatons had bought the paper, and there was no opening.
but it opened up again six months later. The editor then put off his quitting for a while .. i guess ?
Truthfully I liked winfield better at the time. I lived in winfield the first few months we were here.

So her mother died a few months later. There was no longer a reason to stay here.
About six months later - we had been here a year, the folks in south carolina wanted me to come back and even offered me the job of editor there.
So we had to decide.
An aside, my wife 's family is from here. she still has lots of cousins etc in the area, but most are around winfield.
She did talk me into staying here for another six months. That deadline came and went.

So the question then becomes, why did i stay? I can still go back to s.c. at anytime to my old paper, they are an old family and take care of people they like . they dont need an editor, but they would make room for me. They are crazy, but still a fun group.
also ive had some other chances to leave .. other opportunities, but ive stayed here.

Reasons in order.
I like the people here. I have made some really good friends. Thats No. 1 ... Do i like the people? I have lived places where i didnt like the people or the aura of the community ... arkansas for one..

I love my church. that is huge to me. If i didnt like my church - or didnt have one - id be miserable. and wouldnt like it here. There is opportunity there for me to be involved too, so that is big.
I like the history and character of the city.
I see potential here to do other things ... like run a music festival, ... and im thinking about figuring out a way to open a place to have music regularly. maybe food even, but i dont want to get into the restuarant business. Maybe someone else could do htat part.
Also, ive been surprised, to find that i like the rivers and the geography around here. I have a campsite year round on the walnut river, and love it out there. Its not the beach, but it will do.,
I love the quiet, the nature,
Also I do feel like I am making a difference in the community, through work and through church.
In S,C. I lived in a county that had 300,00 people, and another county just across the river, had 500,000 people. There were advantages - any food you could dream of available at anytime ...
but ... i was just a number.

I also like working at the paper. I like putting out a paper every day. Of course there are always issues with work, and things you might not like, but ... its still a fun gig.
Wish i could do more sports. :)

Housing is cheap. We have a nicer house here than what we could afford in S.C>, even though I made more money there. It is interesting to compare prices. Housing and food are much cheaper here, utilities, taxes and hte like are much higher here...

So thats why im staying here. 8 reasons.
I do miss S.C. at times. Do you know what collared greens are ? oh my, i could sure use a plate of collared greens over rice, some barbeque pork or fried chicken, with some sweet tea, rolls and maybe some apple pie ... oh my goodness :)
The food is the thing i miss most about south carolina, that and the mild winters..

There ya have it.

100 years ago

Here is what we had for our 100 years ago in the Traveler, yesterday...

Arkansas City is the metropolis of Cowley County and always will be. It has the advantages for becoming the metropolis of the great southwest and some day these advantages will be accepted. Because of her superior location, Arkansas City draws an abundance of trade from Cowley, Sumner and Kay Counties.

That was the attitude 100 years ago. Why is the attitude so different today?
Sometimes people worry about what outsiders think. Maybe that should be a concern.
But I believe a larger concern should be convincing ourselves as a city that we are worthwhile.
We need to sell ourselves, and each other, on Arkansas City, before we can convince the rest of the world.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Purpose of blogs

A poster on yesterday's questioned whether blogs serve a useful purpose.
I understand that with all the negativity and insanity that gets posted on here. Even while i was gone the blog seemed to have a life of its own.
But I guess it does keep some people off the streets, which might be good.
There are days that I want to quit. Other days its more fun.

Im not totally sure of what the purpose of blogs are. We keep developing technology, and at times it develops faster than we know how to use it.
It is a whole new world.
Now anyone can call themselves a journalist and put up a blog or even a web site without much effort at all.
Way back in the early days of what we now call journalism, there was a similar situation going on.
The printing press had been developed and people were starting to have disposable income, so the "penny press" was born. That meant just about anyone with some money could put out a paper. There were no rules. Once they figured out distribution, huge daily papes were born.
There were as many as 10 daily papers in New York in the mid 1800s.

It was pretty wild in London, New York, Philadelphia etc., in the early 1800s. Its where yellow journalism got started. Its also where libel laws got started. Finally it straightened itself out. Most journalists now at least try to be objective and fair to both sides. Actually thats a new idea in journalism, and i fear one that is fading away. In the late 1800s and early 1900s the only reason to start a paper was to push a cause - or a political party - or an issue. That went away for about 50 years, but its coming back unfortunately.

I think now we are in a new age of yellow journalism.
Web sites and blogs are the new media, and we are still figuring out how to use it.
Someday there wont be paper papers anymore.

I dont think people realize that the Traveler is actually ahead of the curve in this area.
Most papers our size don't have the quality of web site that we have, let alone blogs and such where readers can interact so well. Our site was judged best in the state in our size category last year.
Just take a look at some other newspaper web sites around the area.

But anyway, I sound like Foss talking all this history. :)
My point is, we are at a new age of discovery and development. The definition of journalism is changing.
The powers that be - governing authorities etc., - are aghast that just anyone can post something - anonymously even - and it doesn't have to be true. no accountability.
I would imagine that 150 years ago the authorities were aghast that just anyone could put up a printing press and print whatever he chose about them. Even anonymously. No accountability, or not much anyway.

So I dont know whether blogs serve any purpose or not.
But it is the new revolution.
The times they are a changing.
But they are here to stay, and no telling what will be next.
Wireless access is going to become even more available. So it may be in a year or two, that a person could take a picture of something out on the street, and stick it up on their blog immediately, with pictures, sound and video.

I was traveling over the holidays, and saw that many rest stops on the interstate now have free wifi. Just another example.

Monday, January 5, 2009

city commission

Here is what is on the Arkansas City city commission agenda . Worksession is today at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. Regular meeting is Tuesday at 7 p.m., at city hall.
The meetings are open to the public.
The worksession is where the work is mostly done. They talk about the issues more in depth and decide what they will do at the regular meeting. By "decide" i mean come to a general agreement. They may or may not actually vote that way.
So the monday meeting is more interesting.

Clicking on the title of this post will open a document containing background info on each item.

1. Consider proclamation designating January 2009 as Stalking Awareness Month in Arkansas

2. Presentation recognizing Optimist Club for donation to the Police Department.

3. Consider resolution endorsing passenger rail service in the 10-year state-wide
comprehensive transportation program.

4. Consider ordinance modifying City code to require dog and cat owners to display proof of
rabies vaccination.

5. Consider ordinance modifying regulations for City utility payment and shut-off procedures.

6. Consider Mayor’s appointments to City Boards.