Thursday, November 9, 2017

A present from my Mama in 1972

If my memory is right--and at my age that is doubtful--my Mama gave me this Bible for Christmas 1972.
I was a sophomore at the University of Missouri, and I lived off-campus with a bunch of guys in a two-bedroom apartment. Breaking the rules to cut our rent share, we moved in two or three more guys.
I will not lie to you. I was not leading a Christian life. Now, I wasn’t as wild as many college students, because I worked my way through school. On most nights and every weekend, I was at work washing dishes in the kitchen at the restaurant at Stephens Magnolia Inn, an old motel on the business loop.
But occasionally, when I had a chance, I would cut loose with the other fellows.
My mother has always been a well-grounded Christian, as has my Daddy. Every time I did something I shouldn’t, like cutting loose on a rare weekend off,I worried about disappointing them, not Jesus. She gave me this Bible for Christmas that year, I guess to keep me mindful of my upbringing. For the most part, I think, it worked. As I say, I was not the best Christian in the world, and, to be honest, I still am not.
But I read the Bible as often as possible, and I think about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ a whole lot. Mostly, I think about how unlike him I am.
I’d like to tell you, and Mama would probably like for me to be able to tell you, that this book, The Living Bible paraphrase, changed my life and made me a wonderful Christian.
Well, it probably did change my life. It was so easy to read that I read and reread passages of it for many years later. It did not make me a wonderful Christian. Reading the Bible makes me more curious and more aware of how much I need and rely on Jesus Christ. So I keep stumbling along in life, reading and worshiping and trying to be Christlike (and failing), and I think this Bible had a lot to do with my current state of spirituality. I read it regularly, well, fairly regularly after my mother gave it to me for Christmas, and I have carried it with me everywhere I have lived since she gave it to me. Had she not given it to me, I might have just chucked the whole business of Christ-following.
It was a new edition in 1972, which is the copyright date in it. It is The Living Bible paraphrase, and it has notes at the beginning of each Bible “book” that make the World of God relevant to the early Seventies. I always skipped those parts, and still do, to read the Bible itself.
I always liked the plain paraphrase of The Living Bible. Years later, I heard criticism of it from learned theologians, but I’ve always had a bad attitude toward theologians, so I ignored them, as always.
This Bible was packed away for awhile, then it was laid on a shelf for even longer, for I have a New International Version that I’ve been reading, as well as my good old King James Version.
Now that I’ve taken it off the shelf and paged through it, I think I might try reading through it again in 2018. I will need to get a head start tonight.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Feed the birds this winter--and year around for fun--Part 4

Seriously, that water is clean, not muddy like it looks in this picture.
One last thing in this birdfeeding series, and this could be the most important thing we tell you:
OK, we’ve discussed where to feed the birds, what feeders to use and what to put in those feeders.
That’s all there is to it, right?
Well, no. When you eat, you like to have something to drink, don’t you? And you like to have something to bathe in, too, right?
We don’t bathe in our drinking water, but some creatures do, and they need a plentiful supply of it.
It’s up to you to provide that necessity, H2O, along with the food.
In fact, my good friend, Mike Doyen, who I believe is the state’s leading birding, for he devised the Great Missouri Birding Trail, told me that providing water at times is more important than providing food. They can usually find a little food in nature, but sometimes, water is so scarce that they can’t find it.
We’re heading into one of those periods, winter. Water turns to ice in winter, and sometimes stays that way for days, weeks, maybe more than a month. Oh, heaven help us, if it gets that cold and stays cold.
Mike showed me his watering trough, an big old skillet out back that he kept filled with water.
My wife had a concrete birdbath when we married, so we use that at The Ozarks Almanac. I even went to The Family Center a few years back when we got real serious about the birds, and I bought a heater that stays warm enough to keep the water thawed in the birdbath.

OK, that does it for our series on bird feeding and watering.
You can buy whatever blend of food you can afford and want to buy. You can do whatever you want about watering. There are all kinds of contraptions to buy, and I’m not opposed to doing so, I just don’t have the money for all that. I’ve seen a mister for hummingbirds. It isn’t expensive, but I’m on city water here, and I don’t want to add on any more gallons that I have to.
You do what you can afford and like to do. Or do nothing. Let the birds fend for themselves this winter. I hope, though, that we’ve created some interest in most of our readers to try caring for the birds. They can use the help, but most of it, it is just fun to have them around to look at.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Feed the birds this winter--and year around for fun--Part 3

Here is what we've been feeding the birds lately.
Yesterday, we talked about what feeders we use. Now here's what we put into those feeders each week.
For years, we bought and fed black oil sunflower seed only that we got from Sands Farm and Home, but Sands shut down. It was a great little store.
Then we started buying a mix from The Family Center, as well as thistle seed for the finches. We fed that for a few years.
Last year a new farm and home supply store opened here, Dickey Bub, which is a funny name that is combination of family names. It is a good store, and the price is right for wild bird seed. It is a True Value store, and we buy a 40-pound mix that contains cracked corn, milo, white millet, sunflower seed, calcium carbonate, white, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement.
I know you’re going to tell me that is a lot of fillers, and perhaps so, but they eat it. They congregate in here and eat it. I fill the feeders on Saturday or Sunday and have to refill them in the middle of the week.
I told my wife that I thought we needed to go back to the black oil sunflower seed, so we bought a 50-pound bag of it. I put the sunflower seed in the cylindrical feeder and the mix in the red barn/schoolhouse feeder. The birds preferred the mix.
So I added sunflower seed to the rest of the mix, and they liked that. I think I will try to convince my wife to continue buying both, fortifying the mix with several scoops of black oil sunflower seed.
We still buy the thistle seed for the finches at The Family Center, because they sell it by the pound, and we bag it ourselves. My wife prefers that, so I do, too.
You can do a lot of research on what to feed. Go online and you’ll see all kinds of seeds that birds like including something called, of all things, rapeseed. What in the sam hill is that?
For The Ozarks Almanac, it boils down to this: What is available here? What can we afford? So far, we have found affordable seed that the birds eat, so that’s about all we care about.
The suit cakes we buy as we can find them on sale. You can spend a lot of money on suet cakes if you want to. We don’t want do and won’t. The birds eat what we place before them, unlike some children.

Tomorrow: Wrapping it up with the most important thing to do for the birds

Monday, November 6, 2017

Feed the birds this winter--and year around for fun--Part 2

Throw a scoop or two on the ground for the ground-feeders.
Today, we're going to tell you about the feeders we use at The Ozarks Almanac. You can see a picture of three of them in yesterday's post, which was Part 1 of this four-part series.

We want to appeal to the range of birds, so we have a range of feeders. I’m just missing one that I want, but I’ll have to build it, and I haven’t found the time yet.
For the finches, we have tube feeders and sock feeders that dispense the tiny seeds they like.
For the woodpeckers, we have suet feeders that hold the suet cakes.
For the cardinals, blue jays and others, we have a large cylindrical feeder with a perch around the bottom and holes that give access to the seeds. We also have a large feeder shaped like a red barn or a red schoolhouse, I’m not sure which. It has spring-activated perches on both sides that are supposed to keep squirrels out of the food.
We also use the ground to feed birds like large and beautiful mourning doves. They feed on the ground as do some other birds. I usually throw a scoop or two of bird food on the ground when I fill the feeders. Then as the birds feed on the feeders, they move them and knock down more seed to the ground.
What I’m missing is a platform feeder. All I need to do is sink two posts and then nail or screw a 1-by board  across the top. I’m not sure how wide it needs to be, 1x8, 1x10, 1x12. Not sure. Simple to put up, just haven’t got around to doing it, for I work another full-time manual-labor job and a half-time reporting job in addition to my sporadic writing here at The Ozarks Almanac.

Tomorrow: What we put in those feeders

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Feed the birds this winter--and year around for fun--Part 1

Three of the feeders we use at The Ozarks Almanac, located next to a hedge.
We feed birds year-round at The Ozarks Almanac. I don’t know if that is good or bad for the birds. Is it making them dependent on us, raising up a generation of birds expecting handouts from us birdwatchers? I don’t know, but right or wrong, that’s what we do.
If you don’t feed the birds at your place, think about doing it this winter. Get started on it now, in fact. They are fun to watch, and they probably need the food in winter.
I am no expert on birding, but here’s what we do at The Ozarks Almanac.


The bird feeders are on the east side between the house and the neighbor’s hedge that he doesn’t take care of very well. That may be a good thing, for birds like to have a refuge they can fly to after eating. They go back and forth from the hedge to the feeders at feeding time.
If there’s a problem with too much vegetation in the yard, it is probably from our side, not the neighbor’s hedge. We’ve got a big Nine Bark bush. It’s something my wife likes, but it has grown unruly. That and the Golden Currant bushes provide refuge for the birds during feeding, but they also provide shelter for the neighborhood cats.
We’ve got one cat that is ours, Buddy, but there are four feral cats that hang around The Ozarks Almanac, too, because they know they’ll get a free meal from time to time. I’ve found some feathers and twice I’ve seen a feral cat with a dead bird in its mouth, so I guess our bird sanctuary is a banquet hall for the ferals. I’m going to have to get out and trim back the Nine Bark, the Currant and some of the neighbor’s hedge so the birds have a clearer viewing range.
Despite all that, I think the location is good, for it is sunny the biggest part of the day, protected from the prevailing wind and provides good protection, as long as the birds stay out of the range of the cats.

Tomorrow: The feeders we use

Saturday, November 4, 2017

What kind of a construction worker was Jesus?

Sir John Everett Millais' Christ in the house of his parents, 1850

Just about everything you have read and believed about Christianity has been revised, and I might talk about that from time to time here.
One thing that has changed is Jesus’ occupation. I’m not sure what the truth is now. I grew up hearing that he was a carpenter, and the stories and illustrations that I heard in Sunday School as a child indicated that  Our Lord and Savior grew up working with his earthly father, really step-father, I guess, as his Father was Jehovah, in a woodworking shop. I always imagined them making furniture, like baby cradles and such.
Then I was watching  The History Channel a few years ago and there was a show on there that claimed Jesus was actually something called a “tekton,” which is the Greek word for a laborer, very likely helping the Romans build a new city close to Nazareth, a city called Sepphoris.
The show said he likely was a stone-cutter or a stone carrier or someone doing a lot of work with stones. The show pointed out that there was not a whole lot of wood over there, as there is here, so Jesus probably was not a woodworker, certainly not a carpenter, but probably a stone worker of some sort.
Well, boy howdy, that sure changes the picture.
I thought Jesus grew up quietly in Nazareth, him and Joseph working together sawing and planing and sanding all those baby cradles. Ever now and again, Mother Mary would bring out a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet tea to the workshop and say something like, “How are my boys doing?’ and then give them each a peck on the cheek.
At lunch time, she’d holler out the back door of the house, “Come and get it, but wash your hands first,” and Jesus and Joseph would go to the bucket of water at the back door and pour some in a pan and wash their hands and face and then go into the house and eat themselves a bowl of soup or a grilled cheese sandwich or something. Then they’d thank Mary for lunch and go back to the workshop and spend the afternoon making some more baby cradles before heading back to the house for supper and then an evening of study of the scriptures.
And I figured that went on from the time Jesus was 12 and got left at the Temple until the time he was 30 and headed to Capernaum and beyond to go into business for himself as a rabbi, or teacher, having done all that scriptural study.
But, according to The History Channel, the incarnate Word was actually a construction worker, and he and Joseph probably spent a good many years on a work crew in Sepphoris building the city.
What was Jesus like as a construction worker around all those other construction workers? That can be a rough crowd. They tell dirty jokes, talk about getting drunk and getting laid. When a good-looking woman walks by they stop and stare, maybe make a comment, hoping  she’ll stop and flirt a little while.
What did Our Lord and Savior, who was sinless, do while all that tomfoolery was going on? What is a sinless person supposed to do around that kind of baloney? Ignore it? Say nothing? Say “tut-tut” or “tsk-tsk” and keep on working? Preach about the sins of the flesh? What if someone tells a dirty joke and it is really funny? How does a human, and Jesus was 100 percent human as well as 100 percent divine, not laugh at a funny joke, even if it is off-color?
I got reported at my day job for telling an inappropriate joke in the break room. The HR manager called me into the office and told me a complaint by a female worker had been filed for an inappropriate joke. I said, “The only joke I know I told recently was this one“ and then I told her this joke: Old boy goes into a bar and there is a big, fat girl in Daisy Duke shorts dancing on the table. Guy watches a while and then says, “Great legs.” The fat girl giggles and says, “Really? You think so?” And the guy says, “Sure, most tables would have collapsed under the weight by now.” The HR manager laughed out loud, told me to get out of her office and quit telling jokes in the employee break room.
Jesus would not have told a joke like that, nor would he have laughed. He is probably pissed off at me now for telling it again. No, wait, he doesn’t get pissed off. I get pissed off, because getting pissed off is a sin, and I am a sinner, but Jesus is not.
Wow, it must have been difficult being The Word Made Flesh, Divinity living amongst us sinful humans, and going to the cross to die for us, because we all deserve death, but he wants us to have eternal life.
I guess I don’t care whether he was a woodworker, a rough-in carpenter, a hod carrier or a skilled stone cutter.
I know that he was the Word of God to us, God in the flesh, who came to teach us and to die for us to atone for our sins. Because of him, we can live eternally, if we recognize our inability to save ourselves, recognize that he alone is the way to God, believe he died for us to cleanse us of our sins. He rose from the grave and now he offers us grace, mercy and peace. All we must do is receive him into our daily lives and worship him and follow him as the true expression of the Father.
That is truth that has not changed.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Politics and media haven't changed a bit over the years

It was on this date, Nov. 3, in 1948 that the Chicago Daily Tribute ran a banner headline declaring that "Dewey Defeats Truman."
Talk about fake news.
Well, it was just a mistake, kind of like the declarations a year ago leading up to the election, and even on election night, as the media boldly declared that Hillary Clinton was going to defeat Donald Trump.
"That ain't the way I heard it" is what someone said President Truman said a couple days later at Union Station in St. Louis when he was on his way back to Washington, D.C., from his home in Independence.
Someone handed him a copy of the paper from earlier in the week, so he held it up and the photographers started snapping pictures.
Truman was a Democrat, Thomas Dewey, who was the governor of New York, was a Republican. The Chicago Daily Tribune was a Republican paper, something you don't hear of much these days.
The Tribune had called Truman a "nincompoop," so that goes to show that not much has changed in politics or the media over the years. It's all a bunch of baloney, best ignored if you can do it. It's far more productive to spend time planning your garden, planting your garden, working the soil in your garden, harvesting the produce from your garden and putting up the fruit of your labors for the winter.
That and taking care of your chickens--and any livestock you might have.
And also read your Bible and pray.
The media and the politicians can just go to hell.
This is the 307th day of the year, The Old Farmers Almanac says it is supposed to be rainy and cool.
Tonight after midnight, 23 minutes into Nov. 4, in fact, the moon is supposed to be at its fullest. It is called the Beaver Moon in the almanacs, hearkening back to the colonial days in North America. That's what the early settlers apparently heard that name from the Indians, called Native Americans nowadays, although it seems to me that anyone born in either North America or South America is a native American.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Two weeks later, the bananas were almost as green as the day she bought them

 These bananas looked much greener in reality.Why did they never ripen?
My wife carefully monitors what I eat, and she buys wholesome food for me. Under her watchful eye and refusal to allow me to eat sweets, I have lost several scores of pounds.
Most important, the doctor says my A1C sugar number (I think that is what it is called) is trending downward instead of upward as it had been.
She encourages me to eat fruit instead of Snickers or Butterfinger or Cherry Mash.
My lunch box usually carries an apple, orange, banana, or sometimes all three.
She does most of the shopping at the local Aldi store, and she usually buys the bananas a little green so they won't go to mush quickly.
About a month ago, she brought home some name-brand bananas that were green, real green, green as goose poo, or greener.
And hard as rocks.
I checked them every day, because I wanted to take one to work
Literally two weeks later, the bananas were still green and rock-hard.
I told her that even if they did ripen, I would not eat them, because there was something mysterious and ungodly about bananas that did not ripen in two weeks.
I accused the banana grower of either injecting them with some strange chemical or genetically modifying them. Or both. Whatever kind of black arts had been practiced on those bananas, I wanted nothing to do with them, so she threw them out.
Later, I got to looking on the internet,and maybe there is another explanation. Some sources say that bananas are picked before they are ripe so they will ship. Then they are ripened in the warehouse using a gas. Without that treatment, they will never ripen.
So I guess it is entirely possible our bananas simply didn't get the gas treatment.
I'm still leery, though, and a bit concerned about genetic modification or some other witchcraft.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Starbucks does not match up to House Blend, in my humble opinion

The House Blend at Motomart in Rolla is a superior cup of coffee.
A Starbucks coffee shop, or restaurant, or whatever you call such an establishment, has opened in our small Missouri city.
Opening day was about a month ago, and I still have not gone in and ordered a cup. Likely, I never will.
From what I have read and heard, to experience Starbucks you must order something exotic called a cappucino or something like that with a Mafia-sounding name. And you must be willing to pay a premium price.
I prefer to make my coffee at home and pour it into a Thermos jug. Or, if I am going to buy a cup, I want black coffee with free refills. Or, if I'm out driving, I am perfectly willing to stop at a convenience store and buy a cup of whatever they have.
When you are in Rolla, Missouri, I recommend you stop at MotoMart (I always stop at the one at the junction of US 63 and Missouri 72, which is close to the house) and pour yourself a cup of the House Blend. Unbeatable.
One Saturday my wife and I had been out running errands when she decided she wanted to stop at the Starbucks counter in the new Price Chopper supermarket, not to be confused with the new Starbucks coffee shop, restaurant or whatever you call such an establishment. She also wanted to shop at the new supermarket and see what it was like. I said, "OK, but first stop at MotoMart, so I canget a cup of better coffee." And so we did.
When we got to the Price Chopper, she got in line at the counter, put her order in and then went over to the pick-up window. I stood off to the side, supping from my Mojo's cup that I got at MotoMart.
People kept asking me if I was in line, which I clearly was not. Finally, a yuppie couple came in and asked me the same question. "No," I said. "I'm waiting for my wife who is over there waiting on her fancy-pants coffee. I'm here drinking superior gas station coffee."
Goodness gracious, how they looked at me with disdain.
Oh, well, the House Blend from MotoMart is a superior cup of joe, and I doubt Starbuck's has anything to beat it. That's the humble opinion of The Ozarks Boy.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Time to see what the persimmons predict for winter

It has been a tradition for me for several years to open up some seeds from the persimmon tree in our yard to find out what they predict the winter weather will be.
Then, I often write a column about the findings. If you root around in here, you might find some of those previous winters' prognostications.
Maybe you will find last year's that predicted a harsh, wet winter. It turned out to be quite mild. No snow accumulation worth mentioning.
As you can see from the picture, I have gathered some fruit, seven of them.
I chose seven because that is the number of days it took Our Almighty Father God to make the universe, and rest up from the effort.
I try to keep my persimmon work biblically based, because s fellow employee at the newspaper where I once worked asked, "Is this witchcraft?" I told her, "No, it is Ozarks folklore." So, to make sure it is not witchcraft, I keep it biblically based.
The seeds have been removed and are in a plastic sandwich bag on the kitchen counter.
I will get around to opening the seeds and reading them this weekend, so check back. And tell your friends.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

No action taken on councilman’s fireworks complaints

Managing Editor/The Ozarks Almanac

Councilman Kelly Long tried again Monday night to cut down the number of days people can shoot fireworks in the city limits, but he didn’t have enough help from  other councilmen to get the job done.
“Independence Day is the fourth of July,” Long said. “Why allow it (discharge of fireworks) on July 1, 2, 3 or 5?”
Long, Ward 3 representative, has in past years tried to persuade council members to diminish the days of celebration, owing to complaints from his constituents, in particular one neighbor who goes to work at 3 a.m. weekdays.
“As my neighbor pointed out to me, July the fifth is not Independence Day,” Long said. “It (was) Wednesday.” And Wednesday was a workday for most working men and women in Rolla like the neighbor.
Long said other holidays are not extended with nuisance celebrations.
“I took my children trick-or-treating on Halloween,” he said.  That is Oct. 31, not Oct.28, 29, 30 and Nov. 1, 2 or 3.
Using sales tax figures and industry spending figures, Long presented a case that, at most, just 1,890 people bought fireworks in Rolla during the selling days allowed by city code, June 30, July 1-7.
The city code, specifically Chapter14 allows the discharge of fireworks on July 1-5.
Long said he would be willing to allow it on July 3 as well as July 4, but he indicated he wouldn’t stop there. Although he emphasized that he does not want anyone to think that he is completely opposed to discharging fireworks, he said, “My goal is to celebrate the Fourth of July on July 4 from 9 a.m. to midnight.”
There was some push-back from the mayor and other councilmen.
“People enjoy it,” said Mayor Lou Magdits IV about the discharging of fireworks on and around the fourth day of July.
Councilman J.D. Williams, Ward 5, noted that the purpose of allowing the sale of fireworks after the holiday itself is to get rid of stock inventory.
And Councilman Don Morris, Ward 4, said the sellers collect sales tax that is remitted to the city.
Councilman Long said he received complaints, in addition to his working neighbor, from pet owners and combat service veterans.
“One veteran told me that he can go to Lions Club to see the display and it doesn’t bother him,” Long said. That’s because the display is staged and the discharges are expected. The intermittent, unexpected and relentless explosions, especially at night, are disturbing to the veteran.
Regarding sales taxes collected, Long said the amount of taxes is relatively minor.
Councilman Jonathan Hines, Ward 1, said that although fireworks fans discharge the explosives for five days of the year, “there are 360 days they don’t.” He indicated that he could live with that.
But Long continued, and entered a motion to limit the sale of fireworks to July 1-4 and the discharge of them to July 3-4.
Councilman Matthew Crowell, in the discussion after the motion was entered, asked if it might be more logical to limit the sale of high-decibel fireworks rather than all of the explosives. That led to a discussion of the need for additional manpower to go into the various vendors’ tents and selling places--there were apparently six of them--and check each item.
That was judged too time-consuming and expensive.
The motion failed.
Long then attempted another motion, limiting the sale to June 30-July 5. That, too, failed to pass.
In other council action or discussion:
* The council held a public hearing and heard first reading of an ordinance that would rezone some lots from C-1 to C-3 between Faulkner and Rucker avenues, east of Bishop Avenue (U.S. 63) and south of Black Street. The rezoning would allow for the construction of an “enhanced Sonic drive-in,” said Steve Flowers, city codes enforcement officer, who presented the request from Sonic owners to the council.
Final reading and a vote will take place at the next council meeting, the first Monday of August.
* On a related ordinance proposal, first reading was heard on the vacating of Faulkner Avenue for 100-plus feet to tie in the lots fronted by Bishop Avenue with those fronted by Faulkner. This would allow a future replatting of the lots into one lot so the main building, a storage shed, a playground and volleyball court can be constructed without being separated by a street or crossing lot lots. The preliminary site plan puts a building squarely on what is now Faulkner Avenue.
* The council set aside the final reading of an ordinance to allow an agreement with the College Hills West Sewer District,
* A Complete Streets Policy was approved.
* First reading and final readings were heard and an ordinance was passed to authorize and agreement with the Missouri Department of Transportation to amend the airport business plan.
* First reading was heard of an ordinance to limit parking on 11th Street between Jimmy Johns and Infuze Credit Unit.
* Fire Chief Ron Smith presented a city Life Saving Award to firefighters Dillon Barnes and Dalton Hayes for saving the life of Kent Summers at Route 66 Summerfest.

Editor’s Note: watch for more details about the council meeting here at the Ozarks Almanac/Ozarks Chronicle this week and in the first issue of the Phelps County Focus newspaper, which will be published Aug. 2.

Get up, look up early every morning

I wish I had a good camera, for I would like to take a picture of the morning sky from time to time.
Today, for instance, when I let the poodles out at 4:45, I wanted to take a picture of the moon and Venus against the eastern sky that was starting to show some blue. Unfortunately, my Tracfone, while good for pictures in bright sunlight, does not do well in the twilight.
Here is a link to Earth and Sky's excellent website.
The sky changes throughout the year, of course, so I use that website frequently, as well as other resources, to keep track of what is going on.
If you get up early, as I do, step outside and take a look upwards.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sonic seeks property rezoning for new restaurant

Managing Editor

Rolla City Council Monday night will hear the first reading of an ordinance to rezone three lots and half of another, all between Faulkner and Rucker Avenues mid-block between Black Street and Highway 72.
Owners of Sonic have asked for the rezoning from C-1 (neighborhood business district) to C-3 (highway commercial district) zoning.
In addition, the Sonic owners have asked for a portion of Faulkner Avenue to be vacated, so the three lots in the area to be rezoned can be joined to lots between Faulkner Avenue and Bishop Avenue (U.S. 63), to make way for a new and expanded Sonic restaurant.
“The current Sonic would be closed,” Michael Calkins, a part-owner of the local Sonic franchise, told The Ozarks Chronicle/Ozarks Almanac after the Rolla Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Tuesday afternoon. “We plan on more parking bays, a drive-through and a playground.”
Calkins said the plan is to make the restaurant a “destination spot.” He said the expanded restaurant would, for instance, be a place to hold children’s birthday parties.
Asked if there is a timeline for the project, Calkins said, “It all depends on what happens next.”
What happens next will be decided by the Rolla City Council on the rezoning and the street vacating. That will likely take at least two council meetings.
The council will take up the commission’s approval of the rezoning request at the Monday night meeting, but council policy is to hear only the first reading (except in emergency situations) to give the public time to hear about impending ordinance changes and offer opinions to their ward councilmen. That means final reading and a vote on the rezoning change won’t take place until the meeting on the first Monday night in August.
There will be a public hearing on the rezoning change at the Monday night meeting. It is likely that the public hearing at the council meeting will be a lot like the public hearing at the commission meeting, with neighbors offering no opposition to the rezoning but questioning the need and the fairness of the vacating of the street.
City Codes Enforcement Officer Steve Flowers presented the requests to the commission, a task that usually fell to the community development director. John Petersen retired from that position at the end of June, so Flowers will fill in until a successor is hired.
Flowers noted that D.L. Rogers Corp., of  Grapevine, Texas, a suburb of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex,  was the primary applicant for the rezoning and the vacating.of the street.
The legal description of the area to be rezoned is Lots 3, 5 and 6 of Block 7 of Cowan’s Addition and the west half of Lot 4 of Block 7 of Cowan’s Addition.
Flowers said there are some buildings on those lots currently; they will be demolished. He said the vacating of the street will not include placing a curb across the street. The Rolla Fire and Rescue Department has asked that no curb or obstruction be placed there that would make it difficult for emergency vehicles to enter.
The site consists of 0.88 acre, excluding the street right-of-way that could be vacated. That is 34,397 square feet. The main building will be 1,817 square feet, There will be a 256 detached storage building. The rest of the property will hold landscaped areas, 57 parking spaces, a 1,500-square-foot playground and a 2,250-square-foot volleyball court, according to the current site plan.
There was no opposition to the rezoning from the audience during the public hearing. Some members of the audience asked about expanding the rezoning to all the lots between Faulkner and Rucker avenues on the west and east and Black Street and Missouri 72 on the north and south.
Flowers explained that the people with a vested interest in the other lots had not applied for the rezoning, and commission Chairman Don Brown briefly outlined the procedure obtaining a rezoning.
What concerns a couple of the neighbors is the closing of that short section of Faulkner Avenue. Tom Lin and Sundra Lin, owners of a lot between the property in question on the south and Zane’s Tires on the north, both spoke to the commission.
They explained that they plan on building a business on their lot, which fronts Bishop Avenue and has Faulkner Avenue on its other side. Tom Lin noted that customers of whatever business they build will have to turn north only, going to Black Street if the Sonic vacating is granted. If that request is not given, customers could turn south and go to Missouri 72 (where they would have to turn west only, due to an esplanade dividing the traffic.
Sundra Lin questioned the fairness of closing the street, noting that leaving the street open will help all of the driving public while closing it will help only the owner of the property, the Sonic franchisees.
Commissioner William Lindgren asked Flowers if the city would be reimbursed by Sonic for vacating the public right-of-way. Commission Chairman Brown interjected that he remembered no remuneration for any vacating of any street.
Lindgren said that it was his opinion the commission should go ahead and follow Flowers’s recommendation that they approve the vacating of the street to “put it in a larger forum.” That is what they did with only Commissioner Monte Shields voting against the approval.
Approval by the commission, an advisory body, is actually a recommendation that the council approve the measure.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

It has been a hot day here.
Right now at 8:33, it is 82 degrees on the front porch. High on that porch was 91.7. Relative humidity is 61 percent.
From the NOAA Co-Op weather station over at the Missouri S&T campus, here is the Rolla weather data for the 24 hour period ending at 7:30 this morning, July 9, 2017.

Maximum Temperature:                                                              90° F

Minimum Temperature:                                                               69° F

Present Temperature:                                                                 73° F

Precipitation:                                                                               0.00"

Precipitation for the year:                                                            30.27"

Precipitation for the month:                                                         3.80"

Snowfall/Frozen Precipitation:                                                     0.0"

Snowfall/Frozen Precipitation for the 2017-18 season:               0.0"

Snowfall/Frozen Precipitation for the year:                                  2.6"

Snowfall/Frozen Precipitation for the month:                               0.0"

Relative humidity:                                                                         72%

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Council approves Buehler Park master plan

Managing Editor

With nary a no vote, the Rolla City Council Wednesday night approved a resolution affirming its support of the Buehler Park  Master Plan that includes a dog park.
No roll call vote was cast on the resolution, but the room was quiet when Mayor Lou Magdits IV called for opposing votes.
Eleven councilmen were present. Missing was Ward 3 Councilman David Schott, who in previous meetings had posed questions about building a dog park in Buehler Park. Schott would have been there if the council had met on its regular night, Monday, but the council reset the meeting because some members had indicated a desire to take a long Independence Day holiday weekend; Schott had rearranged his schedule, taking off Wednesday for a trip rather than Monday, thinking the council meeting would be held on its regular schedule.
Instead, he sent a letter that was read by Mayor Magdits prior to the vote. In that letter, he said the Buehler Park site makes perfect sense if the purpose of the dog park is to show hospitality to travelers who stop in Rolla to rest and eat. A different site, one with more available property and nearer to residential areas, would make perfect sense if the purpose of the dog park is to serve local residents and taxpayers.
Schott acknowledged that both purposes have benefits.
The dog park is one improvement proposed in the master plan for the 3.2-acre park on the west side of the city near where the Westside Marketplace will be built.
A few other improvements are new playground equipment, bathrooms, water line, electric upgrades for the pavilion, fence along Kingshighway and walking trail around the park.
In other business or discussion:
* The council heard about a plan to turn Pine Street into one one-way lane with angled parking spaces on both sides. Currently it has two one-way lanes with parallel parking spaces on both sides. City Administrator John Butz said the Rolla Downtown Business Association members like the idea, and he asked council members to think about the change.
* The annual city audit report was presented by Tammy Alsop, representing Hochschild, Bloom & Co. LLC, CPAs. Alsop said the audit shows the financial statements to be accurate and the auditors gave the city the highest ranking for its records.
* By an 11-1 vote, the council approved an ordinance on plugging of existing wells. Councilman John Meusch, Ward 4, voted against it.
* Unanimously, the council approved an ordinance to disallow parking on the short stretch of Elm Street between IHOP and Breaktime, which are on US 63.
* Also unanimously, the council approved an ordinance allowing a contract with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for the construction of handicapped walkways.
* No action was taken, but the council heard a report from Nell Davis, a Missouri University of Science and Technology student who is an intern for the Public Works Department, on a Complete Streets Policy. The council will take time to study the policy before voting, possibly at the next meeting this month.
* First reading of an ordinance was heard that if approved would set up an agreement between the city and the College Hills West Sewer District.
* Heard on first and passed on final reading was an ordinance allowing a contract with McConnell and Associations for tennis court improvements. The council took similar action last meeting, but City Counselor Carolyn Buschjost further reviewed the documents, found she had questions and made changes that both the company and the city agreed to support.
* Mayor Magdits appointed, and the council ratified, the following people: Monte Shields to another term on the Planning and Zoning Commission; Dr. Janece Martin to another term on the P&Z commission, and Terry Harris to the Tax Increment Finance Commission.
*Mayor Magdits noted the Transportation Development District Board had met earlier in the day and had authorized distribution of money, including reimbursement to the city for certain actions previously taken.

Monday, June 19, 2017

It takes a lot of scrubbing to get shed of poison ivy

Here is another hillbilly poem based on my real life as an Ozarker.
Despite our poor soil, we grow a lot of brush and that includes a lot of poison ivy. The only thing good I can say about it is that it is colorful when the leaves change in the fall.
In summer, though, it makes me miserable. Usually, when I get a case of it, I go to the doctor and get a shot or a series of pills to take. My wife says those medicines are hard on my insides, so she took over when I got a case of the ivy this summer.
The misery inspired me to versify up this gem, that I hope you enjoy.

Been clearing brush from fence rows over at my place
and now I’ve got poison ivy on my arms, legs and face.
And that stuff makes my skin crawl and itch,
and when I say itch, I mean like a son of, uh--which
brings up the treatment figured out by my wife,
an earth mother-type, who’s loved herbs all her life,
so much that she went to college, you see,
and worked hard enough to earn a master’s degree
in agriculture, with a horticulture focus.
Now she’s working some folk medicine hocus-pocus
on me. She prescribed scrubbing with soap,
yes, Dawn dish soap, and that will work, I hope,
to cut the acid of the ivy oil. Plus, she says, pine tar
soap will also work, so she gave me a bar
of that stuff and another one made from jewel weed,
and, in a bow to modern medicine, Benedryl, with my nightly feed.
She also found in her medicine bag jewel weed spray
that she claimed would soothe my skin night and day.
Well, it all seemed to work, it sure cut down the itching
so maybe there’s something to her herbal treatment witching.
Now the truth has dawned on me like turning on a lamp. It
is clear as day to me now: I married Granny Clampett!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

It is good to spend the morning in Psalms

I spent the morning in Psalms.
This quarter, my Sunday School class is going through that book, studying selected chapters, and today we were in Psalm 23, which may be the most familiar chapter because it is used in funerals frequently, maybe in every Christian funeral.
"The Lord is my Shepherd ..." is the way it starts, and one of the old guys in the class asked if any of us had raised sheep. One ole boy said he had, and the teacher asked him to tell about raising sheep and relate it to the text we were studying.
Marvin, that's his name, said that sheep are docile, gentle -- and stupid.
"They're just like people in a lot of ways," he said. Sheep will not let the shepherd lead them most of the time and they act like they know better. He told about how his barnyard was so muddy that he placed sheets of plywood outside the barn door, trying to cover up the mud. He had enough sheets except for one spot.
He managed to get all the sheep out the door and across the muddy barnyard on the plywood and out to the pasture.
"But there was one old ewe," he said, and that old ewe thought she knew better. She refused to follow Marvin; instead, she head right across the area that was uncovered and sloshed around in the mud.
Marvin said, "Sheep think they know it all. I do not miss sheep."
The guy who asked the original question said, "And it says here that the Lord is OUR shepherd. Think about that while thinking about what Marvin just told u about sheep."
We all got quiet, thinking about how stupid sheep are and how frustrating they are, then we thought about how our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, must see us. Yet, he still loves us and died for us to remove the stain of our sin so we could avoid His wrath toward sin. Pretty mind-boggling. The word awesome is way over-used, but it really describes Him.
In the worship service, the pastor used Psalm 1, which has six verses, to talk about relationships of children and parents. It was a Fathers Day sermon, titled "Love, Spelled T-I-M-E."
He said little children are Trusting, Imitators, Moldable and Energetic.
Pareents are supposed to Treasure, Instruct, Model a life of integrity for and Encourage their children.
This relationship takes time, and the pastor said parents must spend time reading and meditating on the written word of God, learning for themselves so they can instruct, mold and channel the kids' energy in righteous ways, not riotous ways, as described in the sermon text.
For our songs, we sang "The Family of God," which we do every Sunday while walking around the sanctuary/auditorium and shaking hands with folks; "This Is My Father's World" and "Faith of Our Fathres." The invitation hymn was "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus."
We had a responsive reading about love worked in there, too.
It was a good morning of Bible study, worship and praise.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Now that was a strong case of faith

The other day while driving home from work, I saw a case of extreme faith.
It was on old Route 66, coming into Rolla from the west.
I drive to work in St. Robert on Interstate 44 early in the morning when there is little traffic, but I come home in mid-afternoon on Historic Route 66 to avoid the out-of-staters and the locals in the big pick-ups, all of whom are in a hurry.
Historic Route 66 is a nice, peaceful drive. I have to get off it and back on the interstate briefly to get across the Little Piney Creek at Arlington. I get back on the interestate at the exit with a name, Jerome Dixon, and then get off at the exit with another great name, Sugar Tree.
Then I head east on old 66, travel through Doolittle, named for the World War II aviator for some reason that I know not why, and then into Rolla. It was right in there on that portion that they call Martin Spring Drive that I witnessed the extreme faith.
From a distance I saw a figure on the side of the road, my side. As I neared, I saw it was a man walking. At least he was walking on the correct side of the road, although at that point there is a sidewalk, so I don't know why he wasn't on it. There are businesses on this stretch, and many driveways that draw traffic and dump traffic back out onto Old 66. The peaceful old Mother Road becomes pretty hectic up in this stretch.
Then as I got nearer, I noticed his head was down and his arms were up at chest level
As I drove past him, I saw that he was a Millennial Snowflake wearing a backpack and holding a cellphone in his hands and his eyes fixed on the little screen. He wsa obviously thumbing a message, completely unaware of the traffic passing by him.
A young man, likely one of the young scientists in our scientific community that is home to Missouri's technological university that promotes itself as on a par with MIT, he probably does not believe in God and pooh-poohs putting all his trust in anything but science. He might claim to have no faith.
But I believe what I witnessed was pure, unadulterated faith. Faith in the wrong things, himself, me as a safe driver, other motorists following the traffic laws, but faith nonetheless.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Wildlife adapts to extreme weather, so don't worry about the animals

We have really been having some weather in our part of the state this week.I missed a day of work at my day job Monday, because I couldn't get to it. The Gasconade River and the Little Piney Creek had covered the interstate over at Jerome and Arlington, so I couldn't get to my job in Pulaski County.

I work at a big-box home improvement store as a manual laborer, so I worked at the sister store in Rolla, closer to my place, on Tuesday and Wednesday, returning to the St. Robert store today.

One of the cats that hang around here  broke the rain gauge before the big storm started, so I don't know how much rain we got here at our place total. I finally had a chance to put a new gauge up yesterday, and I know that that from 6:30 p.m. Wednesday until it quit raining today, we received 1 5/8 inches. All this water causes problems for humans, but it also can hinder wildlife. Don't worry too much about the animals, though. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, wildlife is well adapted to the weather, no matter how extreme. Here's some more from MDC:

Regarding wildlife and flooding, MDC Furbearer Biologist Laura Conlee explained most wild animals move to higher ground when areas begin to flood.

“Many species have the ability to move to higher ground and can avoid flooding and high waters,” she said. “Although there are likely to be localized negative impacts, wildlife populations generally recover over time from these types of extreme natural events.”

MDC Deer Biologist Barb Keller echoed the same message.

“Deer and elk are pretty resilient to these types of events because they’re mobile, and in most cases, move to high ground as flood waters rise,” Keller explained. “Deer and elk are also strong swimmers and are occasionally sighted swimming across rivers as large as the Mississippi and Missouri.”

Keller added that deer fawns and elk calves would certainly be more vulnerable to extreme weather events such as flooding, but the peak timing for elk calving and deer fawning is still a few weeks away.

"Anytime we have a big rainfall event during spring, it’s never a good thing for turkey nesting success," said MDC Turkey Biologist Jason Isabelle.

“That being said, this spring’s flooding does not necessarily mean that we’re in for a poor hatch this year,” Isabelle said. “Weather over the next 4-6 weeks will still have a big influence on the success of this year’s hatch.”

Missouri fish are well adapted to flooding and MDC Fisheries Division Chief Brian Canaday noted the state’s fish populations are resilient.

“During floods, some fish move long distances, while others find refuge in local habitat such as root wads, logs, boulders, and flooded back waters,” he said.

Canaday added that fishing in Missouri will continue to be good.

“Your favorite fishing spot may look different after the flood, but the fish are still there and fishing will still be good in Missouri’s lakes, rivers, and streams,” he said.

As waters recede over the next few days, MDC staff will continue to assess impacts of flooding at MDC facilities, conservation areas, hatcheries, and accesses.

Before visiting conservation areas around state, check the MDC website for area closures due to flooding under CHECK FOR CLOSINGS at

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Changing lives out here in flyover country

Out here in the middle of no where, or as we like to say, the middle of everywhere, there is some life-changing science going on.
The Missouri University of Science and Technology is a news-making school, and there is more good news coming out of that campus now.
Here's a recent announcement about a new technology that uses glass to heal wounds. That's right, glass to heal wounds.

A glass-based wound care product that emerged from research by a doctoral student at Missouri University of Science and Technology has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for human use and is now available on the commercial market.
Steve Jung laid the groundwork for the Mirragen Advanced Wound Matrix while earning a master’s degree in ceramic engineering and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at Missouri S&T. Jung is now chief technology officer at Mo-Sci Corp., a Rolla specialty glass manufacturer that continued the product’s development in collaboration with ETS Wound Care, also of Rolla.
“The recent FDA approval is a significant milestone,” says Chad Lewis, president and CEO of ETS Wound Care, a subsidiary of Engineered Tissue Solutions. “We’re opioneering an entirely new therapeutic option for wound care.”
The Mirragen Advanced Wound Matrix is a wound dressing solely composed of microscopic glass fibers and particles that are absorbed by the body. Both flexible and moldable, the wound dressing can be easily customized, while its fiber structure allows Mirragen to absorb fluid from the wound site and facilitate healing.
Keith Strassner, director of the university’s office of technology transfer and economic development, calls the new wound care product a successful example of the real-world benefits of academic research.
“The Mirragen story perfectly illustrates how federal support of university research can translate into broader economic and social benefits,” he says, noting the early support of Jung’s work by a U.S. Department of Defense grant. “Then, we were able to create a strong partnership with Mo-Sci and transfer the technology to allow the company to make the necessary investments in its commercialization and the regulatory approval process.”

The inventor, Steve Jung, is a Rolla City Council member. Mo-Sci was founded by Dr. Delbert Day, the inventor of glass bead technology that has developed into a number of products. His son, Ted Day, is the Mo-Sci CEO who gave the initial seed money for the newly opened Delbert Day Cancer Institute. Ted was also a member of the hospital board and its chairman. Keith Strassner is ending a 15-year run on the Rolla Board of Education.
The point I am making is that not only is S&T changing lives, its people are important servsnt-leaders in our community.
And this blessed life is nestled here in the Ozarks.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Watching a V of geese flying north

When I stepped off the back porch this morning just after 5, I looked up and saw the sky was clear and the stars were shining, at least in the west, my direction of travel for the next 30 minutes or so to get to my day job. The ground was soggy for we had received a heavy rain overnight.
As I set my travel mug of coffee atop my car, I heard a goose in the sky to the South. I head a couple more calls. We have many resident Canada geese here, and I see them year-round at a couple of parks. Consequently, I didn't think much about it as I fumbled for my keys in my pocket with my right hand and hung onto my dinner bucket and Thermos full of coffee in my other.
Then, the goose conversation picked up and was coming in my direction. I looked up and a beautiful big V of geese glided north directly over me. The motion-activated porch light was still on, and the light from the two bulbs lit up the birds' undersides.
They weren't real high, well above the top of the persimmon tree, but not way up there in the darkness.
They made a beautiful sight, and in my morning prayer on the way to work, I thanked the Lord for the opportunity to see the birds, and I thanked Him for the seasons and His creation.
At work, I was telling some co-workers about the geese when Justin, who produces his own outdoors show for local television, said, "Did you notice that one side of the V was longer than the other?"
"Yeah, why is that?" I asked, expecting a semi-scientific answer from a man I consider an outdoors expert.
"Because one side has more geese in it than the other," he said, grinning.
I laughed. We all laughed and shook our heads. And it wasn't even April Fool's Day.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Some snow fell last night

Here is the Rolla weather data for the 24 hour period ending at 0730, March13, 2017

Maximum Temperature:                                                              47° F

Minimum Temperature:                                                               25° F

Present Temperature:                                                                 35° F

Precipitation:                                                                             0.21"

Precipitation for the year:                                                            3.62"

Precipitation for the month:                                                         1.42"

Snowfall/Frozen Precipitation:                                                     0.7"

Snowfall/Frozen Precipitation for the 2016-17 season:                   3.5"

Snowfall/Frozen Precipitation for the year:                                    2.6"

Snowfall/Frozen Precipitation for the month:                                 0.7"

Relative humidity:                                                                      93%

S.R. Fraley
NWS Co-Op Observer

Saturday, March 11, 2017

I look forward to Sunday School

It is Saturday morning, and the temperature is below freezing. Snow and ice are reportedly on the way. It looks like I might miss Sunday School tomorrow. If it is too bad, they will cancel the service, but if it looks the least bit hazadous, I will stay home and read the Bible and listen to bluegrass gospel.
I hope to get to Sunday School and church service, though, for in many ways and for many reasons, my favorite day of the week is Sunday, and Sunday School is about my favorite hour of the week.
"Adult Men" is the name of the Sunday School class. We are all older adult men. At 63, I think I am the youngest. The others are even more wizened. They are farmers who are still farming or ranching, retired mechanics and other men who have worked, and worked hard. One is a retired engineer who was a general in the National Guard. They are all veterans of the military. They are all patriots. They all love and take care of their families. They all love their church.
To my way of thinking, they are the perfect examples of Christian men. I've run across some teaching and preaching on the Internet, though, that would disqualify them from heaven.
They new Christianity is pacificism, and the new teaching is that anyone who has served in the military has put empire before Jesus. That is error, in my opinion.
Men, and now women, who serve in the military do so to protect liberty, so we can continue to serve Jesus, tell others about him, and preach about Him and his principles and share our interpretation of His principles, even when we are wrong.
Because of people who serve in the military, these new-age teachers have the liberty to preach against the military.
The new preachers and teachers apparently believe they are today's best examples of Christ-like living. I prefer the good men who are in my Sunday School class.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Weather threatens peaches and magnolia

The wind is picking up and the temperature is dropping. There is a freeze wàrning box that popped up on my phone yesterday, and the radio has been warning on every newsbreak that snow could accumulate to 2 inches and there might even be some ice.

Well, there go this summer's peaches. And there go the blossoms on my wife's magnolia tree.

Oh, well, better luck, perhaps with next year's Missouri weather.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Is Hobby Lobby coming to Rolla?

I've heard before that Hobby Lobby was coming to Rolla. I remember a few years ago, it was supposedly going in at the old Forum Plaza shopping center, in what was once the JCPenney store, followed by a Goody's store and finally, I think, a furniture store. That building has been torn down and a new, larger supermarket is there -- not a Hobby Lobby.
Early last week, I heard  from a pretty good source that Hobby Lobby was buying, or has bought, or is thinking about buying, the Kmart building. As I'm sure you've heard, Kmart is closing stores across the country.

I think this time, there is credence in the source's tip.

I don't have sufficient credible sourcing to submit a story to the editor of the local paper, but this being my personal blog, I don't feel I must have documentation. This is just a conversation between us. I'm just passing along what I heard, and you can make your own decision.

At the open house the city held last week about the blasting that will be going on for about four months to prepare the ground for the Westside Marketplace, I asked the developer about Hobby Lobby and why it was not going into that new shopping center.

He said Hobby Lobby likes to go into existing structures. "You mean like our Kmart building?" I said. He said, "That would be the kind of building they would look for, and I think your Kmart is either closed or going to be closed, so, yes, that would be a possibility."

He did not have any inside inforrmation about the veracity of the news tip I had received, but his description of the "fit" for the company and the soon-to-be-empty building added credence, as far as I was concerned.

Then just a little while ago, my wife said a friend told her that when she (the friend) went shopping at Kmart today, the check-out girl said, "Well, this place is going to become a Hobby Lobby."

That did it for me. Check-out girls know more than managers about business. I figured as soon as I heard it that the die is cast and we are going to have a Hobby Lobby in Rolla by late summer, early fall, definitely in time for Christmas shopping.

I'm not too thrilled by that. Hobby Lobby will harm at least two locally owned businesses that I can think of, maybe three, maybe even four or five.

But the push in Rolla is for chain-owned stores, not locally owned stores. That's the trend not only here, but in every Ozarks town, it seems. Rolla is a shadow of its former self, in terms of locally owned businesses that give a community character. But, I will also say that I work for a big-box chain store during the day, and I love it. Obviously, then, I am double-minded on this issue.

All I can offer is this: If we are going to get a Hobby Lobby, please continue to do business with the locally owned stores where your neighbors have invested in the commuunity, and pay taxes to support local services.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Local university chancellor looking for a new and better job

So far, the news that Missouri University of Science & Technology chancellor Cheryl Schrader has been looking for a job has not been in the local paper, the Rolla Daily News.
She is one of three final candidates for the job as president of Wright State University in Ohio.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch posted this to its website back on Feb. 9: Missouri S&T chancellor named finalist for university president post in Ohio.
The Dayton, Ohio, Daily News posted this to its website back on Feb. 7: Wright State names third, final presidential candidate to visit campus.
On Feb. 10, the Dayton website printed brief bios of the three candidates for the job: Wright State could choose next president next week. In that report, I learned for the first time that Chancellor Schrader had been arrested (though never charged) for driving under the influence back in 2009 in Idaho. That's a serious charge, but the authorities didn't think enough of it to follow up, and her performance since has been exemplary, so I don't judge her on it.
I do wonder, though, why she wants to leave S&T. I have always heard that S&T is second only to MIT in engineering education. Even though a president's position is higher than a chancellor's position, it seems to me that she is taking a step down in campus prestige. I guess she knows what she is doing better than I.