Written by Joel Klaassen Tuesday, 22 July 2008 14:20
Here’s one of those interesting “small-world” stories. Via e-mail, daughter Amy described how she was riding on a shuttle with George and the boys at the Newark, N.J., airport to pick up a rental car. They were headed to George’s dad’s surprise 70th birthday party in eastern Pennsylvania.
On the shuttle was a family with a daughter who was wearing a KU shirt. Following initial conversation, Amy learned the family was from Newton and the dad had an appointment at a Hillsboro dentist this week.
The e-mail came via her Blackberry, which is commonly called “Crackberry” because its use is so addictive.
Grandson Alex is ramping up for his visit to Hillsboro. We just received a Rip Stick he bought (actually his mom bought for him) on eBay and had shipped here. While he didn’t actually buy it, since 10-year-olds don’t have credit cards, he monitored the auction and told his mom how much time was left to bid.
I like to try new things with the Web. Recently, I found out about a new free program from Google named Google Sketchup. It’s a pretty awesome 3-D drawing program.
Google also offers a free program that will tell you more about your own Web site than you’ll have time to read. It is called Google Analytics.
We have it running on our Free Press Web site. We know, for example, which stories are read the most, where our readers come from—which is all over the world—and how many pages they read per visit, and which pages. We can also learn what browser they use and the speed of their Internet connection.
That’s just the beginning.
I thought it was interesting when, for grins, I entered the word “search” in Google search. Alta Vista came up at the top.
Last week I offered reasons why I feel the jail-for-hire is a bad proposal for Marion County. In retrospect, I wasn’t specific enough about which businesses would be harmed the most. Besides car dealers, others who wouldn’t fare well with the highest sales tax in the state would be our furniture store and trailer manufacturers. Like car dealers, they sell high-ticket items and would be at a tremendous disadvantage having to charge higher taxes than their competitors in other counties.
I’ve received feedback from readers who are in total agreement with me on this issue. I still haven’t found anyone who is for the jail project as proposed.
One retired gentleman from Marion has had plenty of time to analyze the situation in depth. He showed me how the numbers don’t work, and had many questions about what the county would be getting itself into.
For example: How much is the cost including the interest? What unknown services or additional employees would be needed based on changes in the jail population?
While we are against the jail-for-hire concept—as are many residents who live in the neighborhood of the proposed facility, as evidenced by a petition circulating in Marion—we do agree that improvements need to be made at our county jail.
I believe many options have not yet been seriously considered that would make more economic sense than the one our commissioners have come up with.