The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Friday, July 31, 2009 Volume XVIII, Number 30

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?... August 1st marks the beginning of the Pet Photo Contest put on by the Carthage Humane Society. They will use 12 entries for their 2010 Calender. Entry fee is $10, no limit on entries. For info, call 417-439-7134.

Did Ya Know?... The Family Literacy Center will be selling Mums for the fall season at $10 each. To order, call 358-5926.

Did Ya Know?... Jam Session Saturday, doors open @ 4:00 p.m., music starts @ 5:00 p.m. All acoustic instruments welcome! Salem Country Church, Red Oak II, Carthage MO., 417-237-0885.

today's laugh

There were some backwoods hillbillies living across the river from each other, who feuded constantly. John hated Clarence with a passion and never passed up a chance to throw rocks across the river at Clarence. This went on for years until one day the Corps of Engineers came to build a bridge across that river. John was elated; he told his wife that finally he was going to get the chance to cross over and whip Clarence.

He left the house and returned in a matter of minutes. His wife asked what was wrong, didn’t he intend to go over the bridge and whip Clarence? He replied that he never had really seen Clarence up close and didn’t realize his size until he started over the bridge and saw the sign: "CLEARANCE 8 FT 3 IN"

A Chronological Record of Events as they have Transpired in the City and County since our last Issue.

Big Catfish in Park Fountain.

A catfish a foot long was caught out of the fountain basin in the city park today. While Park Superintendent F.A. Liggett was angling for it apparently in vain early this morning, Postal Clerk W.R. McDonald came along and requested to be allowed to handle the pole and fish line. His request was granted and he had no sooner taken the pole in hand than the fish happened to make a dive for the bait and was promptly landed on the gravel walk.

It is not probable that such a fish could grow up in the fountain basin without having been seen long before this, so it is thought that some boy recently placed it in the basin at night when nobody was looking. Such fish are undesirable in the fountain, as they destroy the young goldfish and fight and injure the larger ones.

  Today's Feature

Skate Park Opening Delayed.

The grand opening of the Skate Board Park located in the Fair Acres Sports Complex has been postponed for at least a week due to the discovery of an easement question. Apparently an easement was placed on the property when power lines were built to service the electrical sub-station just south of the complex. A KAMO Power employee noticed the construction of the skate park and brought the easement issue to the attention of City employees.

KAMO Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KAMO Power), with headquarters in Vinita, Oklahoma, is a Generation and Transmission (G&T) cooperative serving 17 member distribution cooperatives in northeast Oklahoma and southwest Missouri.

According to City Administrator Tom Short, City Attorney David Dally is working with KAMO attorneys to work through the hold up.

Park Administrator Allen Bull says he thinks KAMO envisioned a larger project and was concerned about the proximity of the skate park to the power lines. Bull thinks once they understand the project, the opening will not be further delayed.

Some Banks in Govt’s ‘Healthy Bank’ Bailout Are Struggling.

by Paul Kiel, ProPublica

A growing number of small and midsize banks that received federal bailout money have stopped paying quarterly dividends to the government in order to conserve capital.

The banks, reeling from bad loans, have sometimes been ordered by regulators to stop the payments as part of a rescue plan.

At least 18 banks that received bailout funds are not paying dividends. They range in size from San Francisco-based UCBH Holdings, which received $299 million in taxpayer money and recently announced suspension of the government dividends as part of an "action plan" to strengthen the bank, to tiny community banks. Some have chosen to suspend dividends, while others have been prohibited from paying them by regulators.

The banks aren’t paying dividends only months after being blessed by regulators and the Treasury Department as "healthy." The money was distributed through the government’s primary bailout program. As then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson explained last October, the program was aimed at boosting the overall economy by investing in banks that "will deploy, not hoard, their capital."

The Treasury has kept secret its criteria for accepting banks, saying only that those approved should prove themselves viable without the government investment. Banks in the program are selected for their ability to keep lending levels up, Treasury officials have said, and keep taxpayer risk at a minimum.

Yet shortly after receiving funds, two of the biggest recipients, Bank of America and Citigroup, which both received $25 billion through the program, were bailed out with even more taxpayer money. More recently, CIT Group, which received $2.3 billion late last year, has flirted with bankruptcy.

The suspension of TARP dividends shows that some smaller banks in the program are struggling, too. It also calls into question whether all of the banks in the program really could have survived without the government investment. In the government’s haste to boost the banking sector, "there may have been decisions, where had there been more time and analysis, may have been made differently," said Karen Dorway, president of BauerFinancial, a research firm that studies the financial health of banks. The Treasury Department declined to comment on the dividend suspensions.

Regulators have intervened with a number of the troubled banks.

California-based Pacific Capital Bancorp, which received $180.6 million, reached an agreement with its primary regulator in April to hatch a new plan to deal with its problem loans and boost its capital levels. The bank, which announced its intention earlier this year to lay off nearly a quarter of its employees, missed a dividend payment to the Treasury soon thereafter.

In Wisconsin, Anchor Bancorp received $110 million from the Treasury in January. In June, regulators issued a cease-and-desist order requiring the bank to raise its capital levels and putting it under strict supervision. The bank has yet to make a dividend payment to the Treasury.

The problems extend to small community banks such as Pacific Coast National Bancorp of San Clemente, Calif. The bank received $4.1 million in January, but regulators later clamped down, forbidding it to increase its loans above the amount on the bank’s balance sheet and ordering it to raise capital. The bank was in dire straits when it received the bailout funds in January, "significantly undercapitalized" under regulatory guidelines. But as a result of the aid, it ascended to merely "undercapitalized," according to its annual report. It is prohibited by state regulations from paying dividends.

Blue Valley Ban Corp of Kansas ($21.8 million) suspended dividend payments in May at the request of its regulator, said the bank’s CEO, Bob Regnier. But he said the move was only cautionary as the bank deals with losses from construction loans and doesn’t mean the bank is pulling back on lending. "We’re still out there making every good loan that we can find, but it’s a more difficult economic environment."

One bank is seeking even more TARP funds. Midwest Banc Holdings ($84.8 million) suspended dividends in May to retain cash and announced this week that, as part of a plan to reduce costs and raise capital, it was seeking up to $53 million more from the Treasury.

The Treasury has invested more than $200 billion in 653 companies through the program, and since the overwhelming majority of banks have paid dividends, the Treasury had collected $6.7 billion as of June, according to a Treasury report. The banks pay 5 percent annual interest on the investment.

There is a consequence for banks missing too many dividend payments. After six quarterly non-payments, the Treasury gains the right to appoint two members to the bank’s board of directors, a fate some banks could face next year.

At least eight California banks have missed dividend payments because of state laws prohibiting payment of dividends unless certain earnings benchmarks are met. The rules are designed to ensure that banks pay dividends out of earnings, something that’s more difficult for younger banks.

Fresno First Bank, a 3-year-old community bank, is among those eight, but Chief Financial Officer Steve Canfield said the bank expects to gain approval from state regulators to pay the dividends on the $2 million investment later this summer. The bank plans to use the TARP money primarily to fund the bank’s "very, very rapid" growth, he said. "It wasn’t our intention to take the money and stiff the government."

Court decision on Pledge of Allegiance.

Jefferson City, MO – Attorney General Chris Koster lauded the St. Francois County Circuit Court decision to dismiss a lawsuit against Judge Kenneth Pratte for beginning each day in court with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Attorney General’s Office defended Judge Pratte in the lawsuit. Robert Stamm, Sr. and Robert Stamm, Jr. sued Judge Pratte, claiming a violation of their First Amendment rights guaranteeing free speech and prohibiting the establishment of a religion.

Koster said it was Judge Pratte’s practice, upon entering the courtroom, to invite those present to remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. The judge then faced the flag and led the recitation of the Pledge.

"The court’s decision to dismiss this case protects the rights of our judiciary and our citizens to express their patriotism to our country," Koster said. "The decision also leaves open the opportunity for everyone in the courtroom to be reminded of the right to ‘liberty and justice for all.’"

Just Jake Talkin'

I hate shoppin’ for bacon. For some time I thought I was the only one who tried to get a little meat on the slice. Since they started puttin’ the little flap on the package so you could get some idea of what you were gettin’ a few years ago, I don’t think I’ve picked up a package of bacon where the flap wasn’t pulled up.

Seems that by the time I get to pickin’ out a package, they’ve all been picked through. All that’s left are the packs that nobody else wanted. I’m always left wonderin’ if someone else got that one decent package they throw in ever now and then.

Prob’ly, like me, they figure out there ain’t no difference anyway, close their eyes and grab a pack and live with it.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’

  Weekly Columns


ART NOTES from Hyde House

by Sally Armstrong, Director of artCentral

Hard to believe that our current season here at artCentral is one half over, and what a great year we have had thus far! Membership is up to 217 active memberships currently, a steady monthly increase from 198 in January. This has been a great encouragement. In 2006, the first Membership Show I directed sent 66 artist calls for work to artist/members, with 33 responding and represented. This year, 95 artist/members were contacted, and 57 were represented by their best work. This too is very impressive for a small organization. Exhibitions have been well attended each month, and the work exhibited well received. I am happy to report that each exhibition so far has boasted the financial support of a generous underwriter. Our long planned for parking lot and driveway widening project, much discussed and most needed, is finally going to become a reality once our kid’s artCamp is completed in a week. Our facility will be closed for a short period while work is underway on the grounds, and when we open the next art exhibition September 18th , a whole new parking situation will exist and members and guests can actually drive up to our door and pass in the driveway. Sadly, we lost our good friend and patron Wendy Christensen, and though she can never be replaced, we hope to add something needed by the membership to our property in her name. Now, as our artCamp for kids aged 8-14 is nearly half over, we are proud to boast the longest running children’s summer art program in our area, this year with 44 in attendance daily. The weather has been mild and beautiful, and I think those students have already had a great time with the classes completed so far. Six of our area art instructors are teaching this year, and there is still availability in some classes, which run through August 8th. If your child is still interested, please call me at 358-4404 to inquire about the details!

Journey Along the Wellness Path

by Leesa I. Robinson, N.H.P.

An interesting fact to consider when focusing on wellness is that all of the structures and functions of the human body are built from and run on nutrients. Every moment of every day, millions of cells; which make up tissues, organs, and thousands of biochemical messengers are being broken down and rebuilt; all by nutrients.

In contrast, consuming a regular dose of processed, devitalized foods leads to malfunctioning, broken-down bodies. We see this happening to increasing numbers of people at younger ages. Amazingly enough, our body actually will take what it is given and with the intelligence it has within, will build and rebuild to the best of its ability. Eventually, various versions of fatigue and cellular breakdown result from this and are ultimately given names such as fibromyalgia, insulin resistance, arthritis, diabetes, etc.

Essential nutrients are those nutrients that we must provide in our daily intake of food in order for the body to have what it needs to run smoothly. Evaluation of the right quality and quantity of nutrients that continuously rebuild our bodies should rightly be a foundational starting point in any health care consideration.

So ask yourself a basic question. Do you want to build and rebuild your body with essential, constructive, life-giving nutrients or devitalized junk food? Remember that nature’s design is for us to eat whole foods with the nutrients still in their living form.

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