Letters (April 8, 2009)

Article contained some inaccuracies


I was wishing the April 1 edition of the Hillsboro Free Press were an April Fools edition because the information presented in the article on the front page titled, ?Ramona A County Hot Spot This Year,? would have then made more sense.

Even though I was pleased to see Ramona in the headlines, and I was pleased with the accolades regarding the interest in elections, I was not pleased about the misconstrued information in the article that followed.

Inaccurate information and a faulty quote or two can influence an election, especially in such a small pond.

There were several quotes attributed to me, as mayor of Ramona, in the article that were not accurate.

The facts are that our little town of 100 had to go into debt years ago in order to be brought into the 21st century with a sewer system and improved streets. The city will be paying off this debt for many years to come, even with grant money.

The fact stands that everyone in Ramona pays a monthly sewer fee?not most, not some, everyone. That fee was instituted so that in the future, repairs could be made to our sewer ponds without going into further debt. We?ll be able to pay in cash!

The fact is that we are saving money, raising money, to put an appropriate, durable, sign on Highway 56/77 so that people will know that Ramona exists?that?s future plans.

The fact is that we have been able to accomplish what we have in Ramona because of hours and hours of hard work, volunteer labor?not grants.

It?s true, the mayor is 71, whatever relevance that has to the issue, but she is running for her third term in office, not her second. While age doesn?t really make that much impact, the fact that a third term is considered is of massive importance?even on April 1.

For readers of news, my message is, ?Don?t always believe what you read.? The reporters try to get the facts straight, but they don?t always accomplish the job. So, reader, if you are curious about something you read, you?d best go to the source, and check out the facts.

Mayor Pat Wick



Yes, toilets were a stimulus device


So, you have recalled and made public another off-hand, frivolous remark made during recess at a long-ago county commission meeting, have you (Soapbox, April 1)? Do you recall anything substantive said there? Oh, yes, that was what you printed then. Thanks for delaying these exposures until now, when reputation is no longer important.

But, yes, WPA toilets were a stimulus device in the ?30s. The resident paid for the materials (about $20, I think) and three-man trained carpenter crews paid by WPA set them up.

These were pretty classy, as outhouses go, with concrete floors and stools, with a screened ventilation shaft and an air-tight seat cover, and they were all painted white. (Untippable at Halloween, too.)

How my mother wanted one! Ours was a rickety, drafty, leaky two-holer that leaned with the prevailing wind. But, alas, my father was almost as anti-government at that time as Jerry Plett is today. No government interference in our lives!

I seem to remember something about Eleanor Roosevelt?s health drive for poor people having something to do with the program. Typhoid prevention, maybe. At least I recall some of our neighbors having them, and they would sometimes excuse themselves from company with the remark that they were ?going to see Eleanor at the white house.?

And, yes, Jerry, I own one today, moved from its original location on the Clyde Kieferle farm. Mighty handy when working outside with muddy boots.

That money spent on infrastructure has lasted well. And since you?re feeling left out of the stimulus bill, maybe you can come up with a plan for ?green? use of ?waste? instead of our present ?flush it to the wild geese? system.

I?ll bet there?s a grant or an earmark you can get for such a plan.

Thanks for a usually delightful and readable column, except when stirring up people?s unpleasant memories of such subjects?outhouses and me!

Howard Collett



Close encounter at the base of the cross


Tempted to help you lift it up, yet unable to bear its burden, I left the nails for you, Father, and the thorns for your son. I turned away when they called my name, as if their voices were asunder, claiming not to know you.

The hammer beckoned to be struck. The sound of splitting wood and bone gave way to a soft cry. Beads of blood and droplets of vinegar spat into a fine mist, wafted gently through the sultry summer breeze. Gathered before you in the midst of your sweat and pain, so fleeting in its fancy, I heard you exhale a breath of forgiveness through parched lips.

Bowing down over us, bent and broken upon wooden beams, I could see myself staring back at me through his eyes that were soon to close.

Unable to bear his stare, I nodded my head and found myself standing in a pool of blood with his reflection staring up at me.

And as I walked away from the base of the cross, I looked back and saw my sandals? bloody prints upon the sand, as if a part of him were following me.

Thane M. Schwartz


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