Though not a man, I did indeed evolve into an adult and put away many childish things. Too many. Thank God for the wonder of summer expanding the mature mind, breaking it free from deadlines, bills and daily angst over creative ways to cook ground beef other than forming it into a patty.
Just steal outside in the early evening as twilight descends. A light here, a light there. It’s Tinkerbell herself coming to visit. Leaping up you run — maybe only in your mind – barefoot through the yard chasing the magic that is the firefly.
Though thousands of specifies are found the world over, in the United States not many are seen further west than Kansas. It’s like the wee winged beetles got to the Jayhawk state and after getting blown to bits by stiff winds and seeing nothing but fields of “corn that’s as high as an elephant’s eye” (Okay, that’s Oklahoma, but to a firefly and most of the free world, what’s the difference?) they turned around to settle in the fertile, humid East.
If I grew up in Morgan County, I might be like a fellow living next door to the most beautiful girl. He’s known no different since he was happy to sit around in a messy diaper. Sure she is pretty, funny and sweet but darn – she always hanging around. Nothing special. Then one day a new guy moves in on the other side. When he takes a look at the girl next door, it’s fireworks. He realizes how extra-special she is never having grown used to her quiet radiance.
What’s not to love in this bug? They don’t bite or at least I have never felt the slightest nibble. They don’t sting. They bob along at the most perfect pace for a doddering child or adult... just beyond reach, but with perseverance and a well-timed leap you can snag even the cagiest one.
For the past several weeks the city of Madison Police Department and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office have held town hall meetings to discuss establishing Neighborhood Watch programs.
The timing couldn’t be any better.
For more than a month now Madison and Morgan County have suffered under a mini–crime wave. We call it that because the bulk of the offenses have been crimes of pure opportunity. Somebody has found out, in our trusting town, that locking a car door is a an after thought.
In fact, statistics show, most of the criminal behavior has been of the snatch and grab variety. Electronic devices left in unlocked cars are fair game to these criminals. Cell phones left on a car seat? Gone.
GPS devices left in a dark and unlocked car? Ripped out and fenced, if the criminals can figure out how to reconnect the devices sans wiring.
Guns left in plain view? Please, they’ll break your window for a pistol. Change? Gone. Jewelry? Gone.
There is no doubt the perpetrators of these crimes lack sophistication. But it has been the frequency and quantity of thefts that is vexing. People are getting robbed all over.
And while it is our sincere hope that the folks stealing are caught and brought to justice, it is also our hope that solid citizens of Madison and Morgan County view this as a wake–up call to join with local authorities to protect yourselves.
Neighborhood Watch programs are hardly time consuming enterprises. Officers will hold a meeting, if asked, and not only explain how to establish an effective Neighborhood Watch program but also spend some time explaining common sense ways we can all protect ourselves and our property.
By: Dick Hodgetts
Those famous lines from the movie Casablana resonate now in Madison. We have our own piano bar every Friday night at Perk Avenue. Our favorite bon vivant : Jerry Caldwell encouraged Jolene Stewart to try something unique, he was confident enough good piano talent was available to have a variety of performing musicians who could add to the local live music scene. So far he has been right on the money.
If you have been around Jolene long enough you know that she is going to make anything with her name on it truly special. So, she buys a piano, has it tuned properly, and develops a new Friday evening menu of truly tempting choices. ‘Tapas’ she calls them, and they change each week along with the piano talent.
Who has played? And what is their style? Let me name a few and attempt to describe their artistry in just a few words: Peyson Moss (Vibrant Energy), Beth Unger (Simply a sweet sound), Donna Crouch (Delightfully Emotional), Al Santoro (Worldly Talented), Devereaux McClatchey (Piano Red Honky Tonk), Elsie Monk (Perky & Expressive), and Rebecca Bonas (Accomplished & Stylish).
My apologies to these talented musicians who would properly retort: you cannot sum up good music in two or three words. Right they are. You have to hear it for yourself.
You don’t need a reservation, in fact one of the great aspects is that when you come downtown on Friday night you can make this a destination, or if you exit the Cultural Center, Town Park, the Madison Convention Center, or one of our nice restaurants, just pop in for an entertaining end to the evening. You will find lots of your friends and neighbors. And, everyone is having fun.
By: Celia Murray
Integrity, defined as a steadfast adherence to a strict moral code or ethical code, is a rare virtue. It is, perhaps, particularly rare in politics. I’ve no doubt that we, as citizens, desire integrity in our elected leaders, even if we don’t always get it. But, we don’t demand and don’t seem to expect our leaders to insist upon integrity in their advisors or in the cadre of professional pundits, party leaders and political action committee members who make up the face of politics in this country. To possess integrity is the work of a lifetime and is never perfectly achieved. No where is it more difficult to attain or hold on to personal integrity than in the world of politics. Significant personal integrity appears rare in public life, perhaps since political power holds a great attraction for those persons who are easily swayed by inordinate desires, passions and temptations.
by: George Warren
Neil Barofsky, the man President George W Bush named in 2008 to be the Inspector General overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Plan, has submitted a report critical of the Treasury Department in their handling of the funds.
According to Barofsky, under the worst of circumstances, the US taxpayer is on the hook for a maximum exposure of $24 trillion, or $80,000 per person in the nation. Admittedly, this means the loss if every covered mortgage payer defaults, and the government can recover nothing on their property.
Neither does it take into account the fact that the government requires some collateral for some loans. But, when you consider our annual national production is only about $14 trillion, you can see his reason for concern.
On the positive side, since most of the strongest financial concerns have returned their loans in order to escape any supervision over exploding bonus amounts, the $4.7 trillion committed to them has declined to about $3 trillion.
Barofsky aims the most of his criticism at the Treasury Department, now headed by former Fed official Timothy Geithner. He says Treasury has accepted some of his recommendations for more accountability; but has not taken steps to require all TARP recipients to disclose their actual use of those funds.
He also criticized Treasury for not disclosing the values of its investments in financial institutions, disclosed the identity of borrowers allowed to borrow under a non-recourse loan program, and disclose the trading activity taking place under the new Public-Private Investment. Fund (PPIF) established to buy and sell those toxic mortgage assets.
Home. During my five day stint in the hospital this spring, I missed my husband, my children – who behaved as angels my first few hours home, my food, my bed. Though thankful for good medical care, feeling sickly and not with those I loved got really old, really fast.
What if five days turned into five months? Five days in the hospital suddenly appears as serendipitous as an all expense paid vacation to Argentina courtesy of the state of South Carolina.
Fifteen-year-old Madison superstar, Laura Margaret Burbach, finds herself in such a position. She and her mother, Sarah, are at Duke Children’s Hospital while LM gets primed for extra-special new lung parts and long-awaited bone marrow transplant. Though they have a residence waiting for time between medical procedures – this adds up to many months away from home. David, Laura Margaret’s father, travels to Durham most weekends but not having dad around all the time gets tough.
But through www.carepages.com, LM and Sarah visit a virtual Morgan County daily. Each morning my e-mail in box holds a link to Laura Margaret’s new Care Page posting. Through her writing, friends and family read of her progress and treatments, perseverance through trial and of her nurse who’s hooked on the Food Network.
I’m hooked on Laura Margaret’s hope, strength and humor.
When asked about Care Pages Laura Margaret wrote, “Mom and I read all the comments and post the new update each night as the last thing I do before I go to bed every night. The comments help me end each day with a positive note.”
Reading through your wonderful e-notes back to Laura Margaret day after day, I feel closer to all of you, even those friends I’ve never met. It’s a beautiful digital community reaching out from Morgan County in love.