New York Times picture.…our very own is right behind Obama.
New York Times picture.…our very own is right behind Obama.
Mary Ann Fredrickson sent me the following unemployment map of the United States.:
This is hard to believe! I had to review this map a couple of times to grasp the enormity of it.
Displayed this way sure brings the perspective up close and personal.
This is scary. If you have a job, be thankful!
Be sure to click the PLAY button in the middle of the map and take note of the dates above the US map as it advances month by month!
This is what’s for lunch on a hot summer day…lots of veggies and albacore tuna. It was topped with mushroom infused olive oil, Modena balsamic vinegar…and cracked pepper. Just a suggestion…
Because the world needs a good lawyer
21 June 2011, 1:52 PM
Collusion in Kansas Force-Feeds Coal Power
“This is not how government is supposed to work”
Americans are worried about their government. We imagine backroom deals are cut, fates are foretold and the little guy always gets shafted because powerful interests own the cops.
Recent events in Kansas prove these fears can be spot-on.
The Kansas City Star has unearthed emails showing the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the agency responsible for enforcing the federal Clean Air Act, had an “improper relationship” with an air permit applicant.
That permit would allow an 895 MW coal-fired power plant to be built by the Sunflower Electric Power Corporation. Opponents say this plant isn’t needed and will pollute Kansans while most of the power will go to Colorado.
The emails show that 6,000 public comments were summed up into 275 questions. KDHE sent these questions to Sunflower to get their take on how to respond to public opposition. Some of the responses KDHE produced as their own work were nearly verbatim copies of the responses suggested by Sunflower. KDHE even helped Sunflower set up a computer program to process the questions.
A Lawrence Journal World editorial today concludes that KDHE “failed miserably” at their duty to be the independent, unbiased analysis body of public concerns with the permit.
An editorial in The KC Star lays the blame for this scandal squarely at the feet of former governor Mark Parkinson, and his fellow coal advocates.
“The permit process is a shameful legacy of former Kansas governor Mark Parkinson. The Democrat reversed the refusal of his Democratic predecessor, Kathleen Sebelius, to grant a permit for a coal-burning plant in western Kansas. Sebelius and her secretary of health and environment, Roderick Bremby, said the plant would pollute Kansas air while generating most of its power for Colorado. Parkinson fired Bremby in early November after Sunflower officials said they thought he was slowing down the permit process. With Bremby gone, regulators worked nights and weekends to process Sunflower’s permit.”
In response to the mess, Republican state legislators defended the agency’s collusion with an applicant as simply pro-business.
“Being cozy with business is not necessarily bad,” said Rep. Scott Schwab, an Olathe Republican. “Kansas needs to be open for business. We don’t have mountains. We don’t have oceans. If we don’t allow for people to make it easy to make a profit in Kansas, there really is no reason to come here.”
Sadly, Kansans are learning that even when they speak up, it may not matter if state agencies are in bed with the very industries they are supposed to regulate. The Star suggests a way out of this mess that could help restore the public’s faith in government:
“Either the courts or the EPA should put the brakes on the Sunflower project. A coal plant that will affect air quality for decades is too important to be the end result of a polluted process.”
We agree. Legal steps by Earthjustice may help that process along. As described by Amanda Goodin, Earthjustice attorney representing Sierra Club in this case.
“EPA has the obligation to enforce the Clean Air Act and protect air quality and public health throughout the country; specifically, EPA has the obligation to object to permits that don’t comply with the Act, like the Sunflower permit.”
Connie and Shonka have a wide variety of baked and canned goods and crocheted items at the Ellsworth Farmers’ Market.
Caleb Svaty’s produce stand.
Daughter and daughter-in-law…here to celebrate my 83rd.
Birthday celebration friends…it was all very low key.
Son Todd….waiting for blueberry pie and strawberry ice cream…
New items for my culinary enjoyment…exotic infused oils and vinegars…and many rare teas…
Thanks for tuning in…
History was just made in New York as laws regarding same sex marriages were passed. The Republican controlled Senate passed this measure 33 to 29.
Same sex marriage rights were passed this evening as the NY assembly passed the amendment bill and the New York senate also passed the measure. Gov. Cuono has promised to sign it. New York is the most populous state to pass this measure. Also previously approving same sex marriage provisions are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa and Washington D. C.
The NY Assembly amendment on religious restrictions on this matter passed 36 to 26. It was the sticking point on the main issue. This measure will protect religious groups from civil lawsuits if they refuse to preside over or host same-sex ceremonies. Supporters worked to have more than 32 positive votes so that no single senator would be seen as casting the deciding vote. 32 votes were all they need to pass the measure.
The Democratic-dominated Assembly last week approved the bill, which would make New York the sixth and most populous state to permit same-sex marriages. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who lobbied very hard for this measure, has promised to sign it. This is a major victory and political coup for Gov Cuomo signaling his leadership on this issue that is popular among his constituents.
The gavel of the chair was no match for the cheers from the gallery. This will double the number of people in the U.S. for which same sex marriage may become a reality. It will have a huge economic impact on the state as 30 days after this becomes law, couples from around the U.S. can be married in New York.
Evolve already, Mr. President.
fROM: SALINA POST
Friday, June 24th, 2011 | Posted by admin
TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) — A board in Kansas plans to meet Wednesday to review new regulations drafted by the state health department for abortion providers.
The Department of Health and Environment is imposing the rules under a new law mandating specific health and safety standards for abortion providers.
The law takes effect July 1, and the department plans to have its rules in effect then, too.
The state’s three abortion providers have criticized that process.
The rules are considered temporary but can remain in effect for up to four months while the department takes public comments on permanent regulations.
But the state Rules and Regulations Board must sign off on the temporary rules.
The five-member board includes two legislators and representatives from the attorney general’s, secretary of state’s and secretary of administration’s offices.
Bring you family, neighbors, friends, a lawn chair and join the festivities planned especially for you “south of the river” … lots of entertainment for the kids. street food, music and beautiful fireworks.
It will be a fun-filled evening, and one to remember so come early and stay for the spectacular fire works that will begin around 10 p.m.
Photo by Chris Seiler
This is the Roehrman building in Ellsworth that burned and was heavily water damaged on Father’s Day. The main floor was occupied by the Ellsworth County Independent Reporter.
The top floor was to be the loft home of Mark and Josie Roehrman. They have been working on it for over four years that I am aware of. My grandson, Tyler, helped with it when he was in high school. It was about to be an outstanding loft/home of several levels and perfection in carpentry. A lot of time and money had gone in to the project.
The lower/basement level was a beautiful home where the Roehrmans lived. It was the back of this building where the fire commenced.
Mark and Josie Roehrman lost every personal possession they owned in the fire Sunday night. That included their home as well as a future home they were building. Their clothes and household can be replaced. What can’t be replaced are treasured family mementos accumulated over the years.
They are living with Mark’s parents, Charlie and Josie Roehrman, in Kanopolis until they can re-establish themselves. Right now they could use some “cash” help in buying necessities like clothes and personal items. Money works better than donated items at the present time.
An account for the Roehrmans has been established at The First Bank in Ellsworth to help them get started again. Donations of any amount will be appreciated.
Checks can be made out to Mark and Josie Roehrman and sent to:
First Bank Kansas
120 W. Second St.
Ellsworth KS 67439
From Agurban, an AGrace! Publication:
Made in the USA, Again.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recently released part of an ongoing study they are undertaking on the future of global manufacturing. Their research is very positive for the future of manufacturing in the United States. Their report, in part, follows:
Within the next five years, the United States is expected to experience a manufacturing renaissance as the wage gap with China shrinks and certain U.S. states become some of the cheapest locations for manufacturing in the developed world.
With Chinese wages rising at about 17 percent per year and the value of the yuan continuing to increase, the gap between U.S. and Chinese wages is narrowing rapidly. Meanwhile, flexible work rules and a host of government incentives are making many states-including Mississippi, South Carolina, and Alabama-increasingly competitive as low-cost bases for supplying the U.S. market.”All over China, wages are climbing at 15 to 20 percent a year because of the supply-and-demand imbalance for skilled labor,” said Harold L. Sirkin, a BCG senior partner. “We expect net labor costs for manufacturing in China and the U.S. to converge by around 2015. As a result of the changing economics, you’re going to see a lot more products ‘Made in the USA’ in the next five years.”
Products that require less labor and are churned out in modest volumes, such as household appliances and construction equipment, are most likely to shift to U.S. production. Goods that are labor-intensive and produced in high volumes, such as textiles, apparel, and TVs, will likely continue to be made overseas.
Indeed, a number of companies, especially U.S.-based ones, are already rethinking their production locations and supply chains for goods destined to be sold in the U.S. For some, the economics have already reached a tipping point.
Caterpillar Inc., for example, announced last year the expansion of its U.S. operations with the construction of a new 600,000-square-foot hydraulic excavator manufacturing facility in Victoria, Texas. Once fully operational, the plant is expected to employ more than 500 people and will triple the company’s U.S.-based excavator capacity. “Victoria’s proximity to our supply base, access to ports and other transportation, as well as the positive business climate in Texas made this the ideal site for this project,” said Gary Stampanato, a Caterpillar vice president.
Even as companies reduce their investment in China to make goods for sale in the U.S., it is clear that China will remain a large and important manufacturing location. First, investments to supply the huge domestic market in that nation will continue. Second, in the absence of trade barriers that prevent offshoring, Western Europe will continue to rely on China’s relatively lower labor rates since the region lacks the flexibility in wages and benefits that the U.S. enjoys.
Third, even though other low-cost countries-such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia-will benefit from companies seeking wage rates that are lower than China’s, only a portion of the demand for manufacturing will shift from China. Smaller low-cost countries simply lack the supply chain, infrastructure, and labor skills to absorb all of it, Hohner noted.
For those who feel they have been downsized, out-sourced, terminated, laid-off, or otherwise dumped upon, ill-treated, abused and forgotten, they only need to look at Ellsworth and the resilience of those who lost so much in the downtown fire last night.
Most likely there will be an Ellsworth County Independent Reporter newspaper in the news stands and mail this week despite the fact all their computers and equipment were lost in the fire.
Mark and Josie Roehrman, who lost the roof over their heads, a building of significant importance, and all their personal belongings, began today forging ahead as if it were a normal work day.
The members of the well-trained volunteer fire departments who responded with haste and saved the downtown area from possible total destruction grabbed a few minutes of sleep wherever they could and were ready to respond once again.
The resilience of those who have their roots in this part of the world is evident today. They are an example of the very the best this country has to offer and an inspiration to all.
If you lose the shirt off your back in Ellsworth, someone is standing by to help you find another.
Update June 20, 2011:
According to Mark Roehrman… he had been working in his shop in the back of his downtown building and had gone to his home in the basement of the same building to take a shower. As he was exiting the shower, he and his wife were alerted by the sound of smoke detectors. They exited the building and were met with a great deal of heavy smoke. They were very fortunate to get out as the back of the building, and the only exit, was soon engulfed in flames. The fire was intense and the back of the building and roof collapsed. The basement is filled with thousands of gallons of water but there is no fire damage. The main floor is water damaged and contents of the Ellsworth County Independent newspaper totally destroyed.
My daughter Ally owned three ice cream machines that were stored in the back area of the building in Roehrman’s shop and they were backed up to the bathroom for the Indy. All the walls of the bathroom were burned, the machines destroyed but the roll of toilet paper remained intact in what was once the bathroom.
Fire inspectors are on the scene now trying to determine the cause of the fire. There was a slight explosion that was reported and they are concentrating, among other areas, on a transformer that was located at the back of the building.
A fireman said that had they not responded as quickly as they did and call immediately for the resources of neighboring fire departments, it is likely the entire, historic downtown business area would have been lost. The volunteer firemen did an outstanding job containing the fire and preventing loss of life. They did a hero’s job of saving the downtown area.
Our family is celebrating the day with the only dad we have remaining in our family, Todd. He’s our treasure. Wife Karen, son Drew, sister Ally and I will pamper him today. Son Tyler would be here if he were able, but he’s in Afghanistan where he is needed to do the work he does. Mackenzie is in Texas and further away than any of us would prefer. Brit and Dane are very much in our hearts as are all the other family dads who were so instrumental in all our lives. We are a small but appreciative family.
Thanks for tuning in…
Eons ago, Brit and I spent a few days in Jamaica. I can’t even remember very much about it now, except that we had a great time and particularly enjoyed their famous Jerk Chicken. I bought some jerk spice that seemed to be available everywhere so I could prepare the dish once we returned home. Then, I must have forgotten about it.
Fast forward 35 years. Grandson Drew just spent some time in Jamaica attending the wedding of friends and he too discovered Jerk Chicken. He came home with a bagful of spices for it and treated us to dinner last night. It really is a terrific dish and we are hooked on it. We all like “hot and spicy” food.
You can probably find the dry mix at Trader Joe’s or some such place, but if not, this is what you do. It’s really rather easy to put together and it’s well worth the effort. Then you find Todd or Drew to cook it over charcoal and you have a dish fit for kings.
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks…or filets.
4 limes, juiced
1 cup water
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped green onions
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 habanero peppers, chopped
Place chicken in a medium bowl. Cover with lime juice and water. Set aside.
In a blender or food processor, place allspice, nutmeg, salt, brown sugar, thyme, ginger, black pepper and vegetable oil. Blend well, then mix in onions, green onions, garlic and habanero peppers until almost smooth.
Pour most of the blended marinade mixture into bowl with chicken, reserving a small amount to use as a basting sauce while cooking. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat.
Brush grill grate with oil. Cook chicken slowly on the preheated grill. Turn frequently, basting often with remaining marinade mixture. Cook to desired doneness
Today was bonanza day at the Ellsworth farmers’ market for fresh veggies. Caleb had beets, broccoli, cabbage, radishes, white and red potatoes, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers and onions, that I recall. I bought enough everything to keep me healthy for a week. In addition, I have fresh spinach that Claudia sneaked in to my refrigerator. Meredith has kept me with a good supply of green onions for several weeks now. I love this time of year. I admire my gardening friends talents. I could live on veggies.
Connie Terry and Shawnka had a large table full of their usual items…cakes, pies, cinnamon rolls, birocks, jams and jellies and assorted handmade crocheted items. The more vendors there are at the market, the better the market.
On my way to the market this morning, I stopped to see Mark and Josie Roehrman at the Village Mall and enjoyed a wonderful cup of coffee and visit with them. We always have a world of things to visit about and we rarely find time to “catch up”. They were very instrumental in my grandson’s decision to join the Air Force so I try to remember to thank them for that from time to time. Tyler worked for them during the summer months doing demolition and construction work with Mark. He also worked in the Mall for Josie doing whatever she asked. He loved working for them and learned a great deal from both the work experience and personal association. The Roehrman’s were excellent mentors in many ways. They helped Tyler see the advantages military service had brought to their own family members and relate those to the possibilities that were open to Tyler. Because of his successes during the past four years and the many opportunities available in the Air Force in the future, Tyler recently reenlisted for another four years. He’s been making very good choices and, as a result, has an exciting new assignment coming up in the fall.
It is such a delightful morning and great to be out and about enjoying the sunshine and cool breezes. It’s a beautiful morning in Kansas. The afternoons tend to be slightly warmish for me.
Thanks for tuning in…
Fireworks haven’t always been alive and well in Ellsworth. When our son, Dane, returned to Ellsworth from Houston in 1980, he discovered the city had no 4th of July Celebration for the children and he did something about it. The Citizens State Bank planned and sponsored the first event and Dane found a professional company to provide the night displays. It was the first ever such event for Ellsworth. Thousands of people were on and around the Ellsworth Golf Course where the event was held. There were a few years of those gala events on the golf course and they soon became the occasion for many family reunions. If ever there were perfect afternoon and evening events in Ellsworth that brought families and friends together, those days were among them.
Each year the event became larger and larger and even today it continues to take monumental efforts from the city and various organizations to make it a Star Spangled Spectacular success. The location was changed to the Rec Center south of town to better accommodate the crowds that gathered for the fireworks display that is heralded as being the best in central Kansas. The Recreation Center continues to be the location of the event which will be held Saturday, June 25th unless it rains, in which case the event will be held Saturday July 9th.
There will be many activities…rides and inflatable toys for children, and “4th of July food” will be available in abundance. It’s the one day of the year when everyone is allowed to indulge without guilt in a funnel cake.
Everyone is encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair, and bug spray. Bring a small child for your lap and make it a truly wonderful evening with memories to last a lifetime.
There is one additional item to mention regarding the display this year. The cost for this family event has almost become prohibitive, so the city is asking that everyone make a donation toward the cost of the display next year. In years past, the City of Ellsworth has contributed $10,000 each year toward the success of this event and as we all know, there are many demands for projects within the city that require a lot of money. It is necessary to find supplemental funds elsewhere. It isn’t asking much for those who attend the Spectacular to contribute to its continued success. There will be a brigade of red bucket-wielding volunteers asking for donations so please be generous in your contributions.
….and make sure you bring your family and friends to the festivities Saturday, June 25th. Plan to enjoy the hot dogs, hamburgers, funnel cakes and drinks. The kids will have plenty to do while surrounded by friends and family. The fireworks will start when it gets dark..a little before 10:00 p.m. It is truly a spectacular event you’ll not want to miss.
We are holding a reception at the Ellsworth Area Art Gallery, 223 N. Douglas, this Friday, June 17th at 2 p.m. to meet Andrea Mehringer and view her photography. She is a 19 year old student at Fort Hays College. Her dad is Richard Mehringer, a high school art teacher at Larned.
Showing with her is Becky Hyberger, of Salina, exhibiting her miniatures.
The show will be over on June 17th. Everyone is welcome.
June 20th is the opening date at the Ellsworth Area Art Gallery, 223 N Douglas, for Jerry Exline’s painting exhibit entitled “From Whence I Came”. Showing with him are Vernon Brejcha, with his blown glass on display, and Robert Hulse showing a large collection of polished rocks and minerals.
The EAAC will hold a reception on June 28 at 6:30 to 8 p.m. The public is welcome to come and meet the artists.
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