Monday, March 14, 2011

Do we need more people in Rolla, the Ozarks, Missouri?

The population center of the United States has been in Phelps County for the past 10 years. It has moved southwest into Texas County, according to the latest Census figures, (read all about it in this story, U.S. population center leaves Phelps County, Missouri ) and will eventually leave Missouri and the Midwest, the experts say.
The reason: Lots of growth in the Southwest, particularly because Mexicans are moving into that region. Here's an excerpt from the report:

America's population center is edging away from the Midwest, pulled by
Hispanic growth in the Southwest, according to census figures. The historic
shift is changing the nation's politics and even the traditional notion of the
country's heartland — long the symbol of mainstream American beliefs and
The West is now home to the four fastest-growing states — Nevada,
Arizona, Utah and Idaho — and has surpassed the Midwest in population, according
to 2010 figures. California and Texas added to the southwestern population tilt,
making up more than one-fourth of the nation's total gains since 2000.
the Census Bureau announces a new mean center of population next month,
geographers believe it will be placed in or around Texas County, Mo., southwest
of the present location in Phelps County, Mo. That would put it on a path to
leave the region by midcentury.
"The geography is clearly shifting, with the
West beginning to emerge as America's new heartland," said Robert Lang, a
sociology professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas who regularly crunches
data to determine the nation's center. "It's a pace-setting region that is
dominant in population growth but also as a swing point in American
The last time the U.S. center fell outside the Midwest was 1850,
in the eastern territory now known as West Virginia. Its later move to the
Midwest bolstered the region as the nation's cultural heartland in the 20th
century, central to U.S. farming and Rust Belt manufacturing sites.

What do you think about this?
Is Hispanic growth good for our economy? Or is it a sign of 'reconquista' taking place?
Missouri did not lose population but it didn't grow and will lose a seat in the U.S. House? Is that loss of a voice in Washington OK? Or would it have been better to become more densely populated to keep our representation?
When is population growth sufficient? Will we ever have too many people in Missouri?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Do you know right from wrong?

"Discerning Right From Wrong" was the title of pastor Dave Scudder's sermon this morning out at Macedonia Baptist Church. He used Psalm 25:1-4, 8-10, 12, 13 and 21 as his text. His points:
The four-step process in these verses on how I can discern right from wrong are:
I. Consider the choice; my way or God's way (vv. 1-4)
II Compare your
choice to God's (vv. 8-10)
III. Commit to God's way (vv. 12 and 13)
Count on God's protection (v. 21)
Discerning the right choices should be as
second-nature as tying our shoes, he said. This is achieved by prayer, Bible
study and instruction. The first step toward knowing the difference between
God's way and our way is to decide to follow Christ as our Lord and Savior.
"So what is your decision?" the pastor asked.

For our call to worship, we sang "This Is the Day."
The worship hymn we sang were "Oh, How I Love Jesus," "Glorify Thy Name," and "O, Worship the King."
Music director Linda Wools and her daughter, Janet Jenkins, sang "Surely Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow Me."
For our invitation hymn we sang "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus."

Some Christians nowadays don't believe we can actually know what is right or wrong. They say what is morally and spiritually right for one person may not be what is right another. Do you agree?
Are modern/post-modern Christians right when they say there is no such thing as absolute truth?
What do you think?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ozarks taxpayers have a beef with their city

Brent and Cheryl Garzelli are homeowners and taxpayers in Waynesville who are having some difficulty with municipal authorities. It boils down to this: The Garzellis paid to have a sewer line put in; the city drove a truck over the lot with the new sewer line and broke it. Now the city refuses to repair the problem because the line is on the Garzellis' property--even though the city truck is what caused the damage.

Here, in Brent's words, is more detail:

We have spent hundreds of dollars to have our sewer cleaned out, to no
We paid David Hartley $350 for the materials to put in a new
sewer between our house and his. I was there and it was laid
Two weeks later, the city sent in a heavy truck with a "cherry picker" and
cut down two trees in our yard. They ran right over the water and freshly
dug dirt for the new sewer line. They broke the water line and had
to dig it up and fix it.
Since that day over a year ago, we have had constant problems
with backed up sewage. It has gotten so bad that it is now running
all over the ground at a "clean-out" for the sewer. I have
included a few photos, since a "picture paints a thousand
Our next door neighbor won't allow her twin girls at the back of the house
where the sewage runs freely and the smell of sewage gas has over come any
fragrance we use in our house. This is not just an inconvenience-it
is a dangerous situation!
I have reported the sewer to the City of
Waynesville on numerous occasions. They have come and cleaned out the
sewer, but are claiming it is my sewer that is the problem. They made
no permanent repairs and the City Manager didn't even return my call.
In frustration, I called Natural Resources of the State of
Missouri. I got the "runaround" from their person in Rolla,
Poplar Bluff, and finally got some action when I called their main
office in Jefferson City.

The Natural Resources fellow from Rolla
called the City of Waynesville and four trucks were at my house cleaning
out the sewer the night before Natural Resources appeared the following
day. Of course, he found not problem with his camera in my sewer.
What a surprise. I was never provided with a copy of his report on
this so-called investigation.
Months before being the
victim of "corporate restructuring" at Lowe's, I had committed to having
Timz Plumbing refurbish my bathroom. Before Tim Williams started work
on the bathroom, he called the City and they cleaned out my sewer so he
could begin his plumbing on our sink, bathtub, and toilet. It
has gotten much worse over the past two weeks and the toilet barely
flushes. It takes 30 minutes to drain the bathtub and the smell is
This day, I have called Natural Resources to file
a grievance. They have done nothing to protect the environment. Raw
sewage is all over the ground a hundred yards from Bradford Creek that
runs right into the Roubidoux River. Sewage gas is a health hazard to
my family and the family next door with three children. I got the distinct
impression from Linda (she refused to give me her last name) at Natural
Resources that I was wasting her time. Each month, we pay our state and
local taxes for a sewer that has not functioned properly in years.
And these people wonder why the "Tea Party" evolved.

It seems like government is non-responsive, no matter what level it is.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weather data

From A.C. Spreng and J.H. Senne, of the Rolla NOAA Co-Op Weather Station, here is the Rolla weather data for the 24=hour period ending at 7:30 a.m., March 6, 2011:

Max Tempt.: 33° F

Min Tempt.: 29°

Present Tempt.: 30°

Precipitation: 0.01 "

Precip. for the year: 5.86 "

Precip. for the month : 1.00 "

Relative humidity: 73%

Learn to garden for free

The Master Gardeners of Phelps County will conduct a series of three short courses.

These courses will be free of charge to the public, except for a small cost for printed materials if applicable.

These courses will be held on Thursdays evenings at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 801 N. Cedar St., Rolla.

The topics and dates are as follows:

March 10: Lasagna gardening and raised bed gardening.
March 17: Photography: flowers and such
March 24: Edible flowers and herbs and edible landscape

Please email or call the Phelps County extension office if interested. or 458-6260.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

More rain

I just emptied 1.1 inch out of the rain gauge at our house.

It is 31.5 degrees on our front porch.

The sky is overcast.

The wind is from the northwest at 16 mph, so the windchill is 21 degrees.

The weather forecast says there's a chance of flurries this morning.

It's going to stay cloudy until this afternoon. There's supposed to be a little bit of sun and the high is supposed to be around 40.

We'll see.

Weather data

From A.C. Spreng at the Rolla NOAA Co-Op Weather Station, here is the Rolla weather data for the 24-hour period ending at 7:30 a.m., March 5, 2011:

Max Tempt.: 68° F

Min Tempt.: 33°

Present Tempt.: 33°

Precipitation: 0.99 "

Precip. for the year: 5.85 "

Precip. for the month : 0.99 "

Relative humidity: 100 %