The Mornin' Mail is published weekly

Week of
Thursday, March 29-April 4, 2011 Volume XIX, Number 159

did ya know?.

Did Ya Know?............ Magic Moments Riding Therapy, a local not-for-profit that uses horses to help people with special needs, is in need of volunteers to help out with Wednesday evening sessions. Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age, unafraid of horses and able to follow directions. This is a weekly commitment for 1 or 2 hours a week.

Please call 417 325-4490 for more information. The center is located about 8 miles south of Carthage.

Did Ya Know?............ The Alba and Carthage Masonic Lodge will sponsor the free Missouri Child Identification and Protection Program this Sat. March 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Grace Episcopal Church, 820 Howard. Photo, fingerprint, photo ID and more call 358-8816 for info.

today's laugh

Two fellers were in desperate need of cash, but admittedly were a bit cowardly. So the one suggested they break into the Amish market. The logic being that since the Amish were nonresistant, even if they were caught, no harm could befall them. Thus they carried out their plot.

However, just as they were breaking into the cash register, the owner turned on the lights and confronted them, a shotgun pointed directly at them. Calmly, the Amishman said, Boys, I would never do thee any harm yet you are standing where I am about to shoot.

When a customer left his cell phone in my store, I scrolled through his saved numbers, stopped at "Mom" and pushed send. His mother answered, and I told her what happened.

"Don’t worry," she said, "I’ll take care of it."

A few minutes later, the cell phone rang. It was "Mom."

"Martin," she said, "you left your cell phone at the convenience store."

Actual Newspaper Headlines (collected by journalists)

1. Something Went Wrong In Jet Crash, Expert Says

2. Police Begin Campaign To Run Down Jaywalkers

3. Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted

4. Drunk Gets Nine Months In Violin Case

6. Farmer Bill Dies In House

7. Iraqi Head Seeks Arms

8. British Left Waffles On Falkland Islands

9. Lung Cancer In Women Mushrooms

10. Eye Drops Off Shelf

11. Teacher Strikes Idle Kids

12. Reagan Wins On Budget, But More Lies Ahead

13. Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim

14. Shot Off Woman’s Leg Helps Nicklaus to 66

15. Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax

16. Plane Too Close To Ground, Crash Probe Told

17. Miners Refuse to Work After Death

  Today's Features

City and School Board Election Tuesday.

The election of City Council members and School Board members will be held next Tuesday, April 3. The following names appear on the ballot.

R-9 School Board: (vote for two)

Michael Goolsby, Lee Elliff Pound, and Sheila VonHolten.

City Council - (vote for one)

Ward 1:

Kirby Newport and

Trevor C. Smith

Ward Two:

Two year term -

Donald McLaughlin

One year term -

Lawrence Q. Chapin

Ward Three:

John Studebaker and

Dustin Blankenship

Ward Four:

Lee Carlson and

Dick Fanning

Ward Five:

Jason T.A. Shelfer

All polling places will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Locations are the same as in previous years.

Chamber Hires Carthage Native as President.

The Carthage Chamber of Commerce announced this week that Carthage native Mark Elliff has assumed the role of Chamber President and Carthage Economic Development Director.

Elliff has worked the last eleven years for Hometown Bank and has another twenty years experience at UMB.

According to the Chamber, over twenty applicants for the position were considered.

Eliff has previously served as a Chamber Board member and as the Chariman of the Board. He is a 1975 graduate of Carthage High School and graduated from MSSU in 1979.

Battle of the Boiler.

The Jasper County Commission voted on Tuesday to pay for work on the air conditions and boiler at the Sheriff’s Office at 2907 County Road 180. The repairs were completed in late February and requests for payment had come from the contractors.

Approximately $13,000 will be allocated from the Sheriff’s Department Maintenance fund.

According to the Commission, it placed $75,000 in the fund for this year, and it has sufficient funds to pay for the work. According to Commissioner Darieus Adams, Sheriff Archie Dunn had requested the money come from the County emergency fund.

County Attrorney Norman Rouse told the Commission that all aspects of the bidding process and completion of the work had been satisfactory, and the Commission had the authority to pay the bills from the Maintenance fund, even if the Sheriff refused to sign off on the bills.

Missouri Workers Confront Legislators.

Jefferson City - An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 building tradesmen from across Missouri, bolstered by members of industrial, service and retail trades, rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday to protest the onslaught of anti-worker bills being considered by the Missouri legislature.

According to rally participants, two bills in particular that severely impact the Missouri construction industry are efforts to destroy Missouri’s prevailing wage law and eliminate Project Labor Agreements, both of which they say, have proven that they are a major economic benefit to the state, local communities and the construction workforce.

A total of eight bills seeking to change current prevailing wage laws have been introduced, seven in the House and one in the Senate. The bills range from total elimination of prevailing wage to exempting payment in a disaster area, and school districts, on housing built with housing tax credits.


The Supreme Court Arguments.

Today’s special insert in the Mornin’ Mail represents approximately twenty-two pages of the 132 pages of arguments presented last Tuesday in the United States Supreme Court.

The audio recording and full text can be found at

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: We will continue argument this morning in Case 11-398, the Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida.

General Verrilli. ORAL ARGUMENT OF DONALD B. VERRILLI, JR., ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONERS GENERAL VERRILLI: Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

The Affordable Care Act addresses a fundamental and enduring problem in our health care system and our economy. Insurance has become the predominant means of paying for health care in this country. Insurance has become the predominant means of paying for health care in this country.

For most Americans, for more than 80 percent of Americans, the insurance system does provide effective access. Excuse me. But for more than 40 million Americans who do not have access to health insurance either through their employer or through government programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, the system does not work. Those individuals must resort to the individual market, and that market does not provide affordable health insurance.

It does not do so because, because the multibillion dollar subsidies that are available for the, the employer market are not available in the individual market. It does not do so because ERISA and HIPAA regulations that preclude, that preclude discrimination against people based on their medical history do not apply in the individual market. That is an economic problem. And it begets another economic problem.

JUSTICE SCALIA: Why aren’t those problems that the Federal Government can address directly?

GENERAL VERRILLI: They can address it directly, Justice Scalia, and they are addressing it directly through this, through this Act by regulating the means by which health care, by which health care is purchased. That is the way this Act works.

Under the Commerce Clause, what, what Congress has done is to enact reforms of the insurance market, directed at the individual insurance market, that preclude, that preclude discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, that require guaranteed issue and community rating, and it uses -- and the minimum coverage provision is necessary to carry into execution those insurance reforms.

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?

GENERAL VERRILLI: That’s not what’s going on here, Justice Kennedy, and we are not seeking to defend the law on that basis.

In this case, the -- what is being regulated is the method of financing health, the purchase of health care. That itself is economic activity with substantial effects on interstate commerce. And -

JUSTICE SCALIA: Any self purchasing? Anything I -- you know if I’m in any market at all, my failure to purchase something in that market subjects me to regulation.

GENERAL VERRILLI: No. That’s not our position at all, Justice Scalia. In the health care market, the health care market is characterized by the fact that aside from the few groups that Congress chose to exempt from the minimum coverage requirement -- those who for religious reasons don’t participate, those who are incarcerated, Indian tribes -- virtually everybody else is either in that market or will be in that market, and the distinguishing feature of that is that they cannot, people cannot generally control when they enter that market or what they need when they enter that market.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, the same, it seems to me, would be true say for the market in emergency services: police, fire, ambulance, roadside assistance, whatever. You don’t know when you’re going to need it; you’re not sure that you will. But the same is true for health care. You don’t know if you’re going to need a heart transplant or if you ever will. So there is a market there. To -- in some extent, we all participate in it.

So can the government require you to buy a cell phone because that would facilitate responding when you need emergency services? You can just dial 911 no matter where you are?

GENERAL VERRILLI: No, Mr. Chief Justice. think that’s different. It’s -- We -- I don’t think we think of that as a market. This is a market. This is market regulation. And in addition, you have a situation in this market not only where people enter involuntarily as to when they enter and won’t be able to control what they need when they enter but when they-

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: It seems to me that’s the same as in my hypothetical. You don’t know when you’re going to need police assistance. You can’t predict the extent to emergency response that you’ll need. But when you do, and the government provides it. I thought that was an important part of your argument, that when you need health care, the government will make sure you get it. Well, when you need police assistance or fire assistance or ambulance assistance, the government is going to make sure to the best extent it can that you get it -- get it.

GENERAL VERRILLI: I think the fundamental difference, Mr. Chief Justice, is that that’s not an issue of market regulation. This is an issue of market regulation, and that’s how Congress, that’s how Congress looked at this problem. There is a market. Insurance is provided through the market system -

JUSTICE ALITO: Do you think there is a, a market for burial services?

GENERAL VERRILLI: For burial services?


GENERAL VERRILLI: Yes, Justice Alito, I think there is.

JUSTICE ALITO: All right, suppose that you and I walked around downtown Washington at lunch hour and we found a couple of healthy young people and we stopped them and we said, "You know what you’re doing? You are financing your burial services right now because eventually you’re going to die, and somebody is going to have to pay for it, and if you don’t have burial insurance and you haven’t saved money for it, you’re going to shift the cost to somebody else."

Isn’t that a very artificial way of talking about what somebody is doing?


JUSTICE ALITO: And if that’s true, why isn’t it equally artificial to say that somebody who is doing absolutely nothing about health care is financing health care services?

GENERAL VERRILLI: It’s, I think it’s completely different. The -- and the reason is that the, the burial example is not -- the difference is here we are regulating the method by which you are paying for something else -- health care -- and the insurance requirement -- I think the key thing here is my friends on the other side acknowledge that it is within the authority of Congress under Article I under the commerce power to impose guaranteed-issue and community rating forms, to end -- to impose a minimum coverage provision. Their argument is just that it has to occur at the point of sale, and -

JUSTICE ALITO: I don’t see the difference. You can get burial insurance. You can get health insurance. Most people are going to need health care. Almost everybody. Everybody is going to be buried or cremated at some point. What’s the difference?

GENERAL VERRILLI: Well, one big difference, one big difference, Justice Alito, is the -- you don’t have the cost shifting to other market participants. Here -

JUSTICE ALITO: Sure you do, because if you don’t have money then the State is going to pay for it. Or some -

GENERAL VERRILLI: That’s different.

JUSTICE ALITO: Or a family member is going to pay.

GENERAL VERRILLI: That’s a difference and it’s a significant difference. In this situation one of the economic effects Congress is addressing is that the -- there -- the many billions of dollars of uncompensated costs are transferred directly to other market participants. It’s transferred directly to other market participants because health care providers charge higher rates in order to cover the cost of uncompensated care, and insurance companies reflect those higher rates in higher premiums, which Congress found translates to a thousand dollars per family in additional health insurance costs.

JUSTICE ALITO: But isn’t that a very small part of what the mandate is doing? You can correct me if these figures are wrong, but it appears to me that the CBO has estimated that the average premium for a single insurance policy in the non-group market would be roughly $5,800 in -- in 2016.

Respondents -- the economists have supported -- the Respondents estimate that a young, healthy individual targeted by the mandate on average consumes about $854 in health services each year. So the mandate is forcing these people to provide a huge subsidy to the insurance companies for other purposes that the act wishes to serve, but isn’t -- if those figures are right, isn’t it the case that what this mandate is really doing is not requiring the people who are subject to it to pay for the services that they are going to consume? It is requiring them to subsidize services that will be received by somebody else.

GENERAL VERRILLI: No, I think that -- I do think that’s what the Respondents argue. It’s just not right. I think it -- it really gets to a fundamental problem with their argument.

JUSTICE GINSBURG: If you’re going to have insurance, that’s how insurance works.

GENERAL VERRILLI: A, it is how insurance works, but, B, the problem that they -- that they are identifying is not that problem. The -- the guaranteed issue and community rating reforms do not have the effect of forcing insurance companies to take on lots of additional people who they then can’t afford to cover because they’re -- they tend to be the sick, and that is -- in fact, the exact opposite is what happens here.

The -- when -- when you enact Guaranteed Issue and Community Rating Reforms and you do so in the absence of a minimum coverage provision, it’s not that insurance companies take on more and more people and then need a subsidy to cover it, it’s that fewer and fewer people end up with insurance because their rates are not regulated. Insurance companies, when -- when they have to offer Guaranteed Issue and Community Rating, they are entitled to make a profit. They charge rates sufficient to cover only the sick population because health -

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Could you help -- help me with this. Assume for the moment -- you may disagree. Assume for the moment that this is unprecedented, this is a step beyond what our cases have allowed, the affirmative duty to act to go into commerce. If that is so, do you not have a heavy burden of justification?

I understand that we must presume laws are constitutional, but, even so, when you are changing the relation of the individual to the government in this, what we can stipulate is, I think, a unique way, do you not have a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the Constitution?

GENERAL VERRILLI: So two things about that, Justice Kennedy. First, we think this is regulation of people’s participation in the health care market, and all -- all this minimum coverage provision does is say that, instead of requiring insurance at the point of sale, that Congress has the authority under the commerce power and the necessary proper power to ensure that people have insurance in advance of the point of sale because of the unique nature of this market, because this is a market in which -- in which you -- although most of the population is in the market most of the time -- 83 percent visit a physician every year; 96 percent over a five-year period -- so virtually everybody in society is in this market, and you’ve got to pay for the health care you get, the predominant way in which it’s -- in which it’s paid for is insurance, and -- and the Respondents agree that Congress could require that you have insurance in order to get health care or forbid health care from being provided -

JUSTICE SCALIA: Why do you -- why do you define the market that broadly? Health care. It may well be that everybody needs health care sooner or later, but not everybody needs a heart transplant, not everybody needs a liver transplant. Why -

GENERAL VERRILLI: That’s correct, Justice Scalia, but you never know whether you’re going to be that person.

JUSTICE SCALIA: Could you define the market -- everybody has to buy food sooner or later, so you define the market as food, therefore, everybody is in the market; therefore, you can make people buy broccoli.

GENERAL VERRILLI: No, that’s quite different. That’s quite different. The food market, while it shares that trait that everybody’s in it, it is not a market in which your participation is often unpredictable and often involuntary. It is not a market in which you often don’t know before you go in what you need, and it is not a market in which, if you go in and -- and seek to obtain a product or service, you will get it even if you can’t pay for it. It doesn’t -

JUSTICE SCALIA: Is that a principal basis for distinguishing this from other situations? I mean, you know, you can also say, well, the person subject to this has blue eyes. That would indeed distinguish it from other situations. Is it a principle basis?

I mean, it’s -- it’s a basis that explains why the government is doing this, but is it -- is it a basis which shows that this is not going beyond what -- what the -- the system of enumerated powers allows the government to do.

GENERAL VERRILLI: Yes, for two reasons. First, this -- the test, as this Court has articulated it, is: Is Congress regulating economic activity with a substantial effect on interstate commerce?

The way in which this statute satisfies the test is on the basis of the factors that I have identified. If -

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Mr. Verrilli, I thought that your main point is that, unlike food or any other market, when you made the choice not to buy insurance, even though you have every intent in the world to self-insure, to save for it, when disaster strikes, you may not have the money. And the tangible result of it is -- we were told there was one brief that Maryland Hospital Care bills 7 percent more because of these uncompensated costs, that families pay a thousand dollars more than they would if there were no uncompensated costs.

I thought what was unique about this is it’s not my choice whether I want to buy a product to keep me healthy, but the cost that I am forcing on other people if I don’t buy the product sooner rather than later.

GENERAL VERRILLI: That is -- and that is definitely a difference that distinguishes this market and justifies this as a regulation.

JUSTICE BREYER: All right. So if that is your difference -- if that is your difference, I’m somewhat uncertain about your answers to -- for example, Justice Kennedy asked, can you, under the Commerce Clause, Congress create commerce where previously none existed.

Well, yeah, I thought the answer to that was, since McCulloch versus Maryland, when the Court said Congress could create the Bank of the United States which did not previously exist, which job was to create commerce that did not previously exist, since that time the answer has been, yes. I would have thought that your answer -- can the government, in fact, require you to buy cell phones or buy burials that, if we propose comparable situations, if we have, for example, a uniform United States system of paying for every burial such as Medicare Burial, Medicaid Burial, CHIP Burial, ERISA Burial and Emergency Burial beside the side of the road, and Congress wanted to rationalize that system, wouldn’t the answer be, yes, of course, they could.


JUSTICE BREYER: And the same with the computers or the same with the -- the cell phones, if you’re driving by the side of the highway and there is a federal emergency service just as you say you have to buy certain mufflers for your car that don’t hurt the environment, you could -- I mean, see, doesn’t it depend on the situation?

GENERAL VERRILLI: It does, Justice Breyer, and if Congress were to enact laws like that, we -

JUSTICE BREYER: We would be -- or -

GENERAL VERRILLI: My responsibility -- and I would defend them on a rationale like that, but I do think that we are advancing a narrower rationale.

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Well, then your question is whether or not there are any limits on the Commerce Clause. Can you identify for us some limits on the Commerce Clause?

GENERAL VERRILLI: Yes. The -- the rationale purely under the Commerce Clause that we’re advocating here would not justify forced purchases of commodities for the purpose of stimulating demand. We -- the -- it would not justify purchases of insurance for the purposes -- in situations in which insurance doesn’t serve as the method of payment for service -

JUSTICE KENNEDY: But why not? If Congress -- if Congress says that the interstate commerce is affected, isn’t, according to your view, that the end of the analysis.

GENERAL VERRILLI: No. The, the -- we think that in a -- when -- the difference between those situations and this situation is that in those situations, Your Honor, Congress would be moving to create commerce. Here Congress is regulating existing commerce, economic activity that is already going on, people’s participation in the health care market, and is regulating to deal with existing effects of existing commerce.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: That -- that it seems to me, it’s a -- it’s a passage in your reply brief that I didn’t quite grasp. It’s the same point. You say health insurance is not purchased for its own sake, like a car or broccoli; it is a means of financing health care consumption and covering universal risks. Well, a car or broccoli aren’t purchased for their own sake, either. They are purchased for the sake of transportation or in broccoli, covering the need for food. I -- I don’t understand that distinction.

GENERAL VERRILLI: The difference, Mr. Chief Justice, is that health insurance is the means of payment for health care and broccoli is -

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, now that’s a significant -- I’m sorry.

GENERAL VERRILLI: And -- and broccoli is not the means of payment for anything else. And an automobile is not -

CHIEFJUSTICE ROBERTS: It’s the means of satisfying a basic human need, just as your insurance is a means of satisfying -

GENERAL VERRILLI: But I do think that’s the difference between existing commerce activity in the market already occurring -- the people in the health care market purchasing, obtaining health care services -- and the creation of commerce. And the principle that we are advocating here under the Commerce Clause does not take the step of justifying the creation of commerce. It’s a regulation of the existing commerce.

JUSTICE GINSBURG: General Verrilli, can we -can we go back to, Justice Breyer asked a question, and it kind of interrupted your answer to my question. And tell me if I’m wrong about this, but I thought a major, major point of your argument was that the people who don’t participate in this market are making it much more expensive for the people who do; that is, they -they will get, a good number of them will get services that they can’t afford at the point where they need them, and the result is that everybody else’s premiums get raised. So you’re not -- it’s not your -- your free choice just to do something for yourself. What you do is going to affect others, affect them in -- in a major way.

GENERAL VERRILLI: That -- that absolutely is a justification for Congress’s action here. That is existing economic activity that Congress is regulating by means of this rule.

JUSTICE SCALIA: General Verrilli, you -you could say that about buying a car. If -- if people don’t buy cars, the price that those who do buy cars pay will have to be higher. So you could say in order to bring the price down, you are hurting these other people by not buying a car.

GENERAL VERRILLI: That is not what we are saying, Justice Scalia.

JUSTICE SCALIA: That’s not -- that’s not what you’re saying.

GENERAL VERRILLI: That’s not -- not -

JUSTICE SCALIA: I thought it was.

I thought you were saying other people are going to have to pay more for insurance because you’re not buying it.

GENERAL VERRILLI: No. It’s because you’re going -- in the health care market, you’re going into the market without the ability to pay for what you get, getting the health care service anyway as a result of the social norms that allow -- that -- to which we’ve obligated ourselves so that people get health care.

JUSTICE SCALIA: Well, don’t obligate yourself to that. Why -- you know?

GENERAL VERRILLI: Well, I can’t imagine that that -- that the Commerce Clause would --would forbid Congress from taking into account this deeply embedded social norm.

JUSTICE SCALIA: You -- you could do it. But -- but does that expand your ability to, to issue mandates to -- to the people?

GENERAL VERRILLI: I -- I -- this is not a purchase mandate. This is a -- this is a law that regulates the method of paying for a service that the class of people to whom it applies are either consuming -


GENERAL VERRILLI: -- or -- or inevitably will consume.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: General, I see or have seen three strands of arguments in your briefs, and one of them is echoed today. The first strand that I have seen is that Congress can pass any necessary laws to effect those powers within its rights, i.e., because it made a decision that to effect, to effect mandatory issuance of insurance, that it could also obligate the mandatory purchase of it.

The second strand I see is self-insurance affects the market, and so the government can regulate those who self-insure.

And the third argument -- and I see all of them as different -- is that what the government is doing, and I think it’s the argument you’re making today -- that what the -- what the government is saying is if you pay for -- if you use health services, you have to pay with insurance. Because only insurance will guarantee that whatever need for health care that you have will be covered. Because virtually no one, perhaps with the exception of 1 percent of the population, can afford the massive cost if the unexpected happens.

This third argument seems to be saying what we are regulating is health care, and when you go for health services, you have to pay for insurance, and since insurance won’t issue at the moment that you consume the product, we can reasonably, necessarily tell you to buy it ahead of time, because you can’t buy it at the moment that you need it.

Is that -- which of these three is your argument? Are all of them your argument? I’m just not sure what the -

GENERAL ,VERRILLI: So, let me try to state it this way. The Congress enacted reforms of the insurance market, the guaranteed-issue and community-rating reforms. It did so to deal with a very serious problem that results in 40 million people not being able to get insurance and therefore not access to the health care environment. Everybody agrees in this case that those are within Congress’s Article I powers.

The minimum coverage provision is necessary to carry those provisions into -- into execution; because without them, without those provisions, without minimum coverage, guaranteed issue and community rating will, as the experience in the States showed, make matters worse, not better. There will be fewer people covered; it will cost more. Now the -- so -

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: So on that ground, you’re answering affirmatively to my colleagues that have asked you the question, can the government force you into commerce.


JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: And there is no limit to that power.

GENERAL VERRILLI: No. No. Because that’s -- that’s the first part of our argument.

The second part of our argument is that the means here that the Congress has chosen, the minimum coverage provision, is a means that regulates the -that regulates economic activity, namely your transaction in the health care market, with substantial effects on interstate commerce; and it is the conjunction of those two that we think provides the particularly secure foundation for this statute under the commerce power.

JUSTICE KAGAN: General, you’ve talked on -a couple of times about other alternatives that Congress might have had, other alternatives that the Respondents suggest to deal with this problem, in particular, the alternative of mandating insurance at the point at which somebody goes to a hospital or an emergency room and asks for care.

Did Congress consider those alternatives? Why did it reject them? How should we think about the question of alternative ways of dealing with these problems?

Jasper County Jail Count

162 March 28, 2011

Total Including Placed out of County

Sponsored by Metcalf Auto Supply

Weekly Column



Dear Tom and Ray:

When I was filling my engine with new oil, pine needles fell into the oil and are now in the engine. The little stem that went in had three needles on it, each approximately 4 inches long (long-leaf pine, Pinus Palustris). Is this going to hurt my engine? My car is a 2011 Honda Accord EX, 4-cylinder. -- Marissa

TOM : Oh, good thing it was the Pinus Palustris, and not the dreaded Pinus Enginus Rebuildis!

RAY: Your engine’s going to be fine, Marissa. There are several things that can happen to these needles, and none of them is harmful.

TOM: The oil fill on this car is right on top of the valve cover. Most likely, the pine needles are just sitting there on top of the valve train, soaking up oil and doing no harm. And they may stay there for years, or decades, without affecting anything.

RAY: If they do get in the way of one of the cams, they’re soft enough to just be pulverized. Remember, all the engine parts are metal. They’d make short work of these three little pine needles.

TOM: Then the pulverized pine needles would get circulated with the other oil that gets sent up to the valve train, and the entire top of your engine will have a nice, fresh scent! Sweet, huh?

RAY: Eventually, you’ll get rid of these needles in one of two possible ways, Marissa: If they get ground up, their crushed remains will end up either at the bottom of the oil pan or in the oil filter, and will be removed next time you change your oil.

TOM: Or, 10 years from now, when some mechanic removes the valve cover to replace a gasket, he’s going to find a 6-inch Christmas tree growing in there. Either way, it’s nothing to worry about, Marissa.


ART NOTES from Hyde House

by Sally Armstrong, Director of artCentral

Dale Augustson is our current presenting artist, and his current work varies between acrylic paintings of muted colors and textures to high gloss enamel finishes with collage textures featuring actual leaves, shells and twigs. The nature pieces are beautiful and feel almost wet they are so heavy with clear lacquer. It was a pleasure featuring his wife Darice Avakian Augustson, at our opening reception last Friday night, as she provided beautiful musical accompaniment on her harp to the enjoyment of the guests and visitors who came out to view Dale’s work and escape the rain for a beautiful clear evening at Hyde House gallery. The attendance was good, several paintings were sold, and once more we wish to thank our underwriter, Beimdiek Insurors, for the generous sponsorship of this exhibition, which included the wonderful food prepared by Mary Jean Beimdiek and wines selected by them for the evening--- a special treat which most underwriters do not provide. Thanks too to the Carthage Crisis Center for the kind donation of paper napkins for the reception. This weekend will feature a workshop led by the artist, Dale Augustson, for a small class of various levels of adult artists on abstract painting. If you are interested to see what the class is up to, and want to view the paintings on display, come Saturday or Sunday afternoons. The regular gallery will continue be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5:00, and then weekends through April 8th.

Copyright 2012, Heritage Publishing. All rights reserved.