From Terri in Texas:
A Bold Statement for the Earth—
On March 28, 2009 at 8:30 p.m., tens of millions of people in more than 240 cities around the world will come together once again to make a bold statement about their concern about climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. Earth Hour symbolizes that by working together, each of us can make a positive impact in the fight against climate change. Here in the U.S., it sends a message that Americans care about this issue and stand with the rest of the world in seeking to find solutions to the escalating climate crisis.
This afternoon two of my fave artists from Salina, Dick Bergen and his son Richie, stopped by for a visit. They were here sizing up our new art gallery as they will have a display in the near future. Dick is the sculptor whose Indian is on the Capitol dome. He and Richie combine their talents in many interesting ways. I’ll soon blog the original Kansas Jayhawker they have for sale.
Speaking of the art gallery, as I was, reminds of a funny story about our prolific volunteer Meredith Vargo. She is constantly working on someone else’s project that requires extra hands and a willing heart. She’s the kind who has a lot of follow through and does the actual work, picking up after others who say they’ll do something but rarely do. One of her latest efforts has to do with work at the art gallery and getting it cleaned, locating volunteers, running errands and getting it ready for art displays. She called me to do a blog with pictures. She’s always rounding up people to go see the gallery.
The other day Meredith was downtown and spotted a group of orientals wandering in and out our shops and proceeded to chase them down. She knew they weren’t locals and she was bound and determined to get them to visit the gallery. Willingly, they followed her even though only one could speak a little English. She took them in the gallery and explained everything there was about it leaving nothing to chance. Finally, she learned from them that they owned the oriental restaurant in Lyons (which I hear is very good, btw) and the young girl who spoke English said, “Since we have so many customers from Ellsworth, we thought we would come visit to see what it’s like”. Now isn’t that something? Can’t you just envision Meredith running down the street in hot pursuit of a group of Chinese visitors? She’s a national treasure.
Tuesday evening we celebrated St. Pat’s Day at Ally’s farm with a special dinner she prepared. It was Todd and Karen’s 25th wedding anniversary so that made the occasion very special. Here are the “eaters”…Sandra, Karen, Todd and chef Ally. I took the picture! If you’re curious about the background…it includes an Ansel Adams print, the stove pipe from her wood stove, and a wooden pitchfork from the old Britton place ca early 1800s in Virgina. Karen has a firm grasp on Todd.
The Senate passed the statewide smoking ban but it was tabled in the House Health and Human Services Committee which means it’s hit a stumbling block to eliminate discussion. The chairperson only represents a small fraction of the people in Kansas yet can prevent the discussion of an item that effects everyone. I really don’t like this part of the legislative system or chairpeople who strong arm others.
Barack Obama will be on the Jay Leno Show tonight. That should be interesting.
From the KDP:
Kansas Republicans Todd Tiahrt and Lynn Jenkins voted against recovering taxpayer funds used to award $165 million in bonuses for AIG employees.
The measure passed the house 328-93.
Yesterday, Rep. Lynn Jenkins said, “We need to focus on repaying the taxpayers.” But when the time came to ‘walk the walk,’ Jenkins turned her back on taxpayers to help greedy Wall Street executives.
Yesterday she wanted us repaid…today…well, her out-dated and out-of-touch “Government shouldn’t do anything” rhetoric won out.
On a higher note, the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee endorsed a bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations. It passed with a vote of 5-3.
Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee Chairman Pete Brungardt, R-Salina, voted with the majority in favor of the bill. He said that in this day and age, there’s no reason that people should be discriminated against because of their personal characteristics. “It just affirms the obvious,” Brungardt said of the bill.
This makes the bill, SB 169, eligible for a vote on the floor of the Senate. If passed by the full Senate, it would have to go through the same process in the Kansas House. There aren’t many in the legislature like Pete Brungardt who believe in fairness for all, so we’ll see how far ths bill goes….and how legislators vote on it.
A good friend called today to see if I had some Grand Marsala as she was cooking Indian food and couldn’t find that ingredient. I thought she was talking about Marsala wine. She said it was a common spice in Indian food and I thought…strange, all I use is curry, etc. It was a puzzler to me until I looked it up on the net and learned Grand Marsala is the same as curry…and, of course, I have some good curry she can have. Just thinking about it makes me hungry for some good Indian food.
There was a front page article yesterday in USA Today that made several referrals to our ECF. I passed it on to Todd to read and he can share it at the prison with others.
Thanks for tuning in…