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Pyne Needles
            by Ed Pyne, Publisher
DEC 22 2016
Merry Christmas to all!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our readers. As we come to the end of 2016 I’m telling myself, “What a remarkable year!”
After 108 years since they last won the World Series the Chicago Cubs pulled it off in 2016. And, in the biggest upset in political history Donald Trump was elected President.
I told my lovely wife, Sally, I would like a “time machine” for Christmas where we can go back to a simpler time with no internet or social websites. I don’t think she agreed.
Sally is a Forum Commentator for WJBC and she talked about a great program we were involved with this past week. Recycling Furniture for Families, RF4F, will take your gently used items and get them to families that need them. They pre-screen for need and the average recipient is a 34-year head of the household and 67% of the time it is a mom with two kids.
 They help over 650 families per year who have an annual income of under $10,000. About 16% of these folks are disabled, and a small percentage have suffered abuse or are veterans.
You can drop off items at their warehouse at 515 N. Center St., Bloomington or they can arrange to pick up larger items. They took our old king-size mattress. It is suggested you have a monetary donation ready to pay for gas and maintenance. A small donation helps offset the cost but any amount in appreciated. If you live outside of the Twin Cities there is a $40 mandatory fee.
This is a great way to help a family in need. Remember RF4F when you consider throwing something away that someone else could use.

Cowboy AlFrom the ChimpersCage
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DEC 8 2016
Caucuses choose candidates
Every four years the townships in the county get together the first Tuesday in December and nominate a slate of candidates for the consolidated election in the spring. This year is special to our family since my lovely wife, Sally, has decided to throw her hat in the ring and run for one of the four Normal Township Trustee offices. At the last Democratic Caucus, four years ago, only four people showed up so I think she has her work cut out for her!
She was nominated along with Samantha Quigle, Jodie Slothower and Arlene Hosea for trustee. Four will be elected. Sara Grammer was nominated to run for township supervisor.
A question came from the audience that made me wonder too? “Has there every been a Democrat elected in Normal Township?” I asked retiring Township Supervisor Rich Farr if he knew, and he said he didn’t know of anyone. He leaves with quite a feather in his cap. The ARC is far more popular than he ever anticipated. Enrollment is up over 2,900 people, and he would have been satisfied with 1,200.
The Republican Caucus also exceeded expectations. Since Mr. Farr was leaving, Town of Normal council member Cheryl Gaines ran for supervisor along with current Township Trustee Rick Phillips. They both searched for votes among the 149 Grand Old Party members present and she won. Township Assessor Rob Cranston, Road Commissioner Arin Rader, Township Clerk Amy Conklin and Trustees Mel Schultz, Ray Ropp, Randy Schaab and Mr. Phillips are all running again.
This year about sixty Democrats showed up for the caucus.  John Whelan, who was one of the four people four years ago, came back to serve as moderator and was pleasantly surprised. Maybe President Elect Trump has made everyone look in the mirror and ask themselves “WHY NOT ME?”


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