Broken Record

Bill Bailey, WIUNovember 19, 2014

by William C Bailey
School of Agriculture Western Illinois University

The Urban Dictionary writes that, when someone is referred to as a ‘broken record’, it means “One who continually repeats the same statement with little variation, if any.” Well, I think I might fit the description since I am going to discuss, again, Chinese food safety. And the problems with Chinese food safety have the potential to become our food problems.

In 2006, I wrote about a curious US Department of Agriculture (USDA) ruling that permitted US chickens to be sent to China where they could be processed, repackaged, returned to the sender and sold as a US product. The ruling stated that China was approved to export processed chicken to the US as long as that chicken was not raised or slaughtered in China. At the time, more knowledgeable market watchers said this was the sound of the first shoe hitting the floor. And that second shoe, permission for Chinese grown and slaughtered chicken to be imported and sold in the US, was going to eventually hit the floor. Just wait. Read More

Farm Bureau Update: Farm Safety for Kids

HarveyNovember 12, 2014

By Tyler Harvey
Mo-Do Farm Bureau Manager

It seems long ago since the last time I wrote to you by the change in landscape around the area.

In the last month farmers have been tirelessly working in the fields and taking their crops from the field to elevators and storage bins. It is always amazing to see the harvest unwind every year and always a blessing when the rain stays away to let farmers finish the task before them. This has been a good year for crops around the area as many of you could tell if you passed nearby elevators and saw corn placed outside a storage bin. At the same time, I tip my hat to all the workers who logistically were able to make this 2014 crop move. When you think of the process it takes to get the crop from the field, combine, auger cart, truck, elevator, and to other destinations, it takes a committed group of people to make this all possible. Read More

Understanding Illinois: Gambling Preys on Poor for “Success”

NowlanNovember 12, 2014

by Jim Nowlan
Outside Columnist

A state agency recently reported that gambling revenues in Illinois were up more than seven percent in the past year. This gives me the opportunity for my annual rant about how the state almost shoves gambling down our throats. The big losers are the poor, as I show below.

The state generates more than $2 billion in annual revenue (which are actually taxpayer losses) from seven forms of gambling. And still gambling proponents want more. Read More

Letters to the Editor: 11.5.14

Glad Sullivan Has Kept Halloween Tradition

I was so excited to see in the October 22 paper, which I just got in Oregon, that Sullivan still allows more than one day for trick or treating.

In the 1940’s and ‘50’s we always went out more than one night, and then there was also the parade. Halloween was a very big deal in those days. Read More

Understanding Illinois: Whither Illinois?

November 5, 2014

by Jim Nowlan
Outside Columnist

As I write this, the election has not yet been held.

I have been traveling the state, invited by audiences large and small (mostly small) to discuss my co-authored book on “Fixing Illinois.” At each stop, I ask those in attendance if Illinois can indeed be fixed?

Some say it cannot be fixed, yet more say that the state can be fixed but that it will take a long time. I agree with the latter folks.

The economy of Illinois has, for years, been growing more slowly than that of the nation and even that of our neighboring states. Read More

Understanding Illinois: Political Polls Have Consequences

NowlanOctober 29, 2014

by Jim Nowlan
Outside Columnist

Ever since the Literary Digest poll of 1936 infamously predicted that Alf Landon would smother Franklin D. Roosevelt in that year’s presidential election, pollsters have been working to refine their art.

This column looks at why polls have become more difficult to do well and of the consequences the polls can have for election outcomes.

When I commissioned polls in the 1970s and ’80s for U.S. Senate and other candidates I was working for, we had the gold standard of random digit dialing of the universe of nearly 100 percent of households that had telephones. The pollster was confident he could achieve a sample of voters that was representative of the whole population. Read More

I Agree with Doan on Sales Tax Issue

October 29, 2014

This letter is in response to Mr. Doan’s letter to the editor (the October 15th issue) regarding the proposed 1% sales tax hike in Moultrie County that would go to help maintain our school facilities.  Mr. Doan brought up many good points about the proposal. Though I’m not sure I would call it a “no brainer,” I would say that I agree with him that this tax is a good thing for our school and ultimately our community.  I believe Mr. Doan did a nice job of explaining why the tax would not hurt local businesses, but I would like to expound on why it is needed and how it will help our communities.   Read More

Let Us Decide

Bill Bailey, WIUOctober 22, 2014

by William C Bailey
Professor, Western Illinois University

It was an email, sent by a student from Oquawka, which brought into focus an on-going issue that could affect Illinois food consumers. Oquawka, by the way, is the home of the first monument to an elephant in Illinois, and, perhaps, the United States. Taylorville and Showman’s Rest, in Forest Park, also have elephant monuments.

The student, recalling that I like to read labels on the food I purchase, alerted me to a label she recently saw. The label, on imported soymilk, advertised it contained no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). Read More

LTE: 10.22.14

Oktoberfest Enjoyed

  I would like to say to the Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development that the Oktoberfest was a great idea. Oktoberfest is a good idea that gives people who have been working all week something to enjoy over the weekend. Read More