View From Afar
Written by Dale Suderman Wednesday, 05 December 2007 14:38My sister asked me to rake the leaves in her yard when I was her guest at Thanksgiving. I schemed to find a way to continue to eat her good cooking while doing no work.
For two days I was able to persuade her that raking leaves put me at risk of heat stroke due to near 80-degree temperatures.
Then I pointed out the impending cold front would produce 60 mph winds, making leaf raking an exercise in futility.
My final gambit was to suggest than a pending snowfall would cover the leaves on her lawn and make removing them irrelevant.
“Could you just go rake the leaves today?” she said in the tone of voice an older sister uses. Dialogue ended and I put on my gloves and found a rake and some trash bags.
Her corner lot is a huge...
Written by Dale Suderman Wednesday, 21 November 2007 08:33Myths, legends and old wives tales abound when it comes to discussing economic growth in a community or region. Some of these apply to Marion County. These top 10 myths should be discussed and debated. Low taxes promote economic growth. I wish this myth were true. But with a few exceptions—Nevada is the major exception—growing and prosperous communities have fairly high tax rates. Among other things, they are paying for infrastructure such as new schools and streets to keep up with the growth.
If you want low taxes, move to Mississippi or Alabama. But you will get what you pay for. Industries will relocate to rejuvenate the local economy. Chasing smokestacks with the hope that some Fortune 500 company will build a local plant and...
Written by Dale Suderman Wednesday, 07 November 2007 13:55The population of Marion County hovers around 12,000 souls. What would it take to double this in the next decades? Or, is slow population decline inevitable in this region?
The second question is, does the county want growth that matches the demographics of America—meaning solid numbers of young persons in addition to retired persons?
Baby boomers are inevitably a growing segment of Marion County. The mild climate, good recreation facilities, wonderful senior programs and retirement centers plus a low cost of living all serve to make the area attractive. For some urbanites, low housing costs are the biggest magnet to the area.
There are, unbelievably, inhabitable homes for sale in the county costing less than a remodeling job for a...
Written by Dale Suderman Wednesday, 17 October 2007 13:26Years ago my old friend Jack was asked to appear as an expert witness in an obscenity trial in Cincinnati. Jack was a local radio personality and a stand-up comic genius.
When the defense lawyers grilled him before the trial they asked him, “Now, you will testify that this comedian was being artistic and not obscene?”
“Absolutely not,” Jack replied. “He is totally obscene and lacks any redeeming artistic merit. That is precisely why I believe he should have the freedom to speak.”
Needless to say, Jack was not called as an expert witness by either side.
I agree with Jack’s absolute commitment to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. An open society does not censor words and images. An open society does not stomp on...
Written by Dale Suderman Wednesday, 03 October 2007 13:31Global warming is easy to mock. Kansas gets a late snowfall at Easter. Al Gore got caught in a New York City blizzard where he was to deliver a speech on global warming. One can use these incidents to whoop it up, slap your thigh and debunk global warming.
But stubborn facts exist. Long-term Great Plains temperatures are rising. This can be marketed and used to encourage folks to retire in Kansas rather than in Florida or California.
Perhaps one could even do longer-term marketing and encourage folks to speculate on future ocean front properties on scrubland south of Wichita.
It is speculated that by 2020 enough Arctic ice will have melted to open a Northwest Passage allowing ships to travel from Europe to China by going north of...
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