The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Tuesday, December 9, 2003 Volume XII, Number 121

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?. . .The Carthage First Church of the Nazarene at 2000 Grand Avenue will present the musical, Christmas in Jesus, on December 12th at 7:30 p.m. and December 14th at 10:30 a.m. Admission is free.

Did Ya Know?. . .Criterian Masonic Lodge #586 in Alba will be putting on a 3rd degree at 7 p.m. on Tues., Dec. 9th. Will eat before. All area Master Masons are invited and all help is appreciated! More info call WB Danny Passley 417-525-4330.

Did Ya Know?. . .The Carthage Recycling & Composting Center, 1309 Oak Hill Road, has available (FREE to the Public) compost and mulch. Tues.-Sat. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Did Ya Know?. . .Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church, 2423 W. 26th St., Joplin, is sponsoring a Holiday Gift and Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 13th.

today's laugh

A young lady entered a crowded car with a pair of skates slung over her arm. An elderly gentleman arose to give her his seat.
"Thank you very much, sir," she said, "but I’ve been skating all afternoon, and I’m tired of sitting down."

Son- "Father, what is the biggest fish you ever caught?"
Father- "You had better go and ask your mother, I have forgotten what I told her."

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

They Shot Prairie Chickens.

J. A. Sigler and H. R. P. Miller came in from Lawrence county last night with thirteen prairie chickens—six killed by Sigler and seven by Miller. The dogs of Mr. Sigler and Walter Harrington were taken along.

The birds flew swift and far when they got up, settling down a quarter to a half mile away. The hunters saw two bunches of the chickens and made their killing by firing both barrels and getting two or three dead birds at each flush.

Remembered the Fire Boys.

Howard Gray presented the fire department boys a fine box of cigars this afternoon in appreciation of their care in watching the Pinney house, where they were called the other evening by the flue burning out.

Mr. Gray purchased the house a few weeks ago.

  Today's Feature

Council Debate Tonight.

Two ordinances that have generated distinct differences in the City Council are scheduled for vote at this evening’s regular meeting in City Hall.

Council bill 03-68 would add new regulations concerning firearms in City facilities. The ordinance was in reaction to the possible state law allowing the carrying of concealed weapons. The bill has come to Council previously, but was tabled and modified.

Council bill 03-73, sponsored by Mayor Kenneth Johnson, would change the way in which Council members are elected. The bill would change the current representation of two Council members per ward to one member per ward. The remaining five members would be elected by the entire community. These community elected members are referred to as "at large" candidates.

Four members of the Council appeared to be against the change during the last Council meeting, some expressed reservations, and others were supportive of the change.

The ordinance would also eliminate what is considered an error in current code that does not require Council members to live in the ward they represent.

Letters to the Editor
Opinions expressed reflect those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Mornin' Mail.

Warning changing to "At Large"
makes Large Changes.

"Of the people" for the most part, the people who live near each other are more alike. Having "At Large" councilman means having less representation from each ward and would mean someone’s viewpoints and ideas will have less chance of being supported. If this were not true then there would be no need to change. This is also potentially racist.

If people living in one Ward are mostly of one ethnic group as compared to the city as a whole then they will have half the representation they have the way it is now. The same is true of people of different incomes.

"By the People" "At Large" means large campaigns. It would take more money and time to run a city wide campaign. The more finatical resources and social influence you have the more likely you are to win. This means you would have a city government run by "some" of the people. The dominate political party in the city with the most money will have more representation. Money by itself will have an effect no matter who it comes from and this leads to the influence of "special interest groups"

Another consequence of "At Large" is Less quality of representation from each individual ward. Having staggered or overlapping terms usually means a ward has one councilman who has at least one years experience still in place when there Ward sends someone new to represent there views. With the "At Large" method of council any ward sending a new person would be without some one there with experience and that ward would be at a disadvantage.

The last consequence of "At Large" is Less quantity of representation. A lot of the city is run by individual Boards. The members of the Boards are appointed by the mayor at the approval of the council but each councilman is involved as a liaison. Each councilman is expected to attend there board’s meetings and be involved in what happens in the operation of the city at the board level. This, in truth, is where most of the things happen in city government. If you cut the number of council seats from each ward in half then you have cut that wards participation in the city in half. It also means there is one less person you can call or talk to from your neighborhood to have your say.

Leaving some people out of city government is the goal. It may be more effective. It is easier to control the difference people have than convincing them to agree or living with there differences. The choice of how to govern our city is the issue.

Perry Fleming

Former councilman

In regard to the proposed change to "at large" council members, as opposed to a balance of two for each ward: You gotta be kiddin’ me!!!

The purpose of the ward system, adopted by city leaders long ago, was to balance the council, and ensure that each ward was FAIRLY represented. The mayor is elected city-wide to help this balance system.If this is "evolutionary" government, then maybe its time for another revolution.

Why don’t we just elect 400 congressmen from California, and 80 senators from Massachusetts to represent the whole of the United STATES.

I hope this ordinance fails, and fails miserably.

JD "Boomer" Whitledge

Just Jake Talkin'


The "At Large" vote scheduled for this evening at the Council meet has been over ten years in developin’.

The idea was discussed at length durin’ the City Charter Commission meetin’s in the early ‘90’s.

At that time, many of the points seen in today’s "letters to the editor" were brought up. The thirteen member commission decided to not address the issue directly, but leave the option open for future consideration. Any mention of how the ten members of the Council were selected was intentionally left out of the Charter for that reason.

Historically, the current system has been in place since just after the Civil War when the Fifth Ward was created.

‘Course the perfect system hasn’t been discovered since the beginnin’ of time.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.



McCune- Brooks Hospital

Weekly Column


By Paul G. Donohue, M.D.

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am a 52-year-old male. My mother’s father and her aunt both died from Alzheimer’s. My father is alive, but he has it. What signs should I look for in myself? What are my chances of getting it? Are there any tests I can take to determine my chances? — H.B.

ANSWER: Right from the start, be aware that medical science does not have all the answers to questions about Alzheimer’s disease, so take my answer to be tentative at best. The age when a relative develops Alzheimer’s is an indication of how likely it is that a family carries genes that contain the seeds of Alzheimer’s disease. When it makes an appearance at a young age — the 40s — then the influence of genetic factors on its transmission is high. When it comes on later in life, the gene connection is not so clear. Exact predictions cannot be made. As an extreme example, say a mother or father shows signs of Alzheimer’s at age 85. The chances that her or his children will also have Alzheimer’s are slight. There is no test for Alzheimer’s. Doctors had hoped that testing for a gene called ApoE would predict a person’s susceptibility to Alzheimer’s, but that has not panned out. Early signs of Alzheimer’s include an inability to learn new information, an inability to recognize familiar faces and a change in personality. An easygoing person changes into a gruff, irascible person. Significant memory lapses are common.

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