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Bill Linneman

October 1 2015

Rick’s Astrology
(This was written by son Rick in 1981 for Normal Community High School  Inkspot. Rick applied to write for the paper, and the advisor (who was also his teacher) said he could write a humor column.)
If February 27 is your birthday you are creative, a perfectionist, and prone to nit-pick until everyone goes crazy. You often laugh at things no one else thinks funny, and even though you try to hide it, others know you are insecure. Leos and Capricorns are among those most likely accept your faults. June is the best time of year for you, since most people go away on vacation that month.
PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20) Today is a good day to meet someone new and start a close relationship. Seek this person where you work or on some street corner.
ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 20) Dig deep into a neighbor’s life. Someone at the bank could help obtain credit information. Ask lots of questions. Children can be helpful.
TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20) Keep distant from loved ones as they’re in the mood for conflict. Teachers could be plotting. Keep out of shadows. Cover face when entering darkened rooms. A Sagittarius at Avanti’s and the Leo milkman will figure in your future.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Something you threw away long ago will come back to haunt you. Stay away from the hospital and a dentist with a goatee.
CANCER  (June 21-July 20) Keep your nose off other people’s grindstones—Mrs. T’s especially. Mary N., a fortune will slip through your fingers, but you won’t find out about it for many years.
LEO (July 21-Aug. 22) It would be a good idea to steer clear of Ash Park, Kingsley St. and Watterson Towers. It would be wise to postpone picnics, potlucks, and out-of-town shopping trips until Venus gets out of the way of your moon.
VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept-23) A family member outlines plans and teaches you a lesson you’ll never forget. Also, your gas bill is past due.
LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 23) If you are the Libra who was out with a certain Gemini on Wednesday night and went to a certain dark restaurant and was observed by a certain Cancer who happens to know the Leo you are married to, you can expect a problem in the very near future.
SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21) You will be embarrassed by something that will happen when you least expect it. There will be an accident and although you will not be seriously injured, you will spend a few days in the county jail with a junkie.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21)) Whatever happened yesterday will happen again today, only it won’t come as such a surprise.
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Feb 18) Doesn’t your friend look strange today? There’s something about him or her that just doesn’t seem right. New hair style? New glasses? Face lift?
AQUARIUS  (Jan 20-Feb 18) Nothing can harm you as you enter a  lunar protection phase. Good Time to see how fast the station wagon will go.

Capitol Facts
by Rich Miller

October 1 2015
Polls and the Pope
A poll and a speech may have hardened positions even further on both sides of the highly partisan and bitter state government impasse. 
The speech, by Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich, you likely already know about. The survey, taken by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s pollster, you probably don’t. So, let’s start with the poll.
Basswood Research, which has done extensive work for the Rauner campaign, surveyed 800 likely Illinois general election voters September 14-15 and found quite a bit of support for Rauner and a whole lot of opposition to House Speaker Michael Madigan.
The poll, which had a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent, found that 45.5 percent approve of Gov. Rauner’s job performance, while 40 percent disapprove and 14 percent don’t know. Not great.
But a whopping 71 percent agreed with the statement: “Bruce Rauner is trying to shake things up in Springfield, but the career politicians are standing in his way,” while just 21 percent said that wasn’t true.
Another 55 percent agreed that “Bruce Rauner is working to find bipartisan solutions that will help fix Illinois’s budget mess and improve the struggling state economy,” while 34.5 percent said it wasn’t true.
President Obama’s favorables (50 percent) were higher than Gov. Rauner’s (47 percent) in the poll, but Obama’s unfavorables (45 percent) were higher than Rauner’s (40 percent).
Only 11 percent approve of the job being done by the General Assembly, while 73 percent disapprove.  House Speaker Michael Madigan’s favorable rating was only 21 percent, while his unfavorable was 60 percent. Only 19 percent had no opinion of Madigan either way, which means that Madigan is quite well known to voters.
An overwhelming 76 percent agreed that “Mike Madigan controls the Democratic legislators in Springfield,” while a mere 10 percent disagreed and 14 percent weren’t sure. 
If you trust these poll results, then the public is largely siding with Rauner and views the General Assembly as unlikeable obstructionists tools of the House Speaker. So, a well-crafted, well-funded message which ties legislators or legislative candidates to Madigan could be disastrous.
There are caveats here. This is Rauner’s pollster, so the Democrats will likely be dismissive. Also, the group which commissioned the poll, the Illinois Business and Industry Council, is an unknown quantity with a vague website that was created this past July.
But Rauner’s pollster was almost alone in accurately predicting the governor’s win last year. So, keep that in mind when the naysaying starts.
And the point isn’t what the Democrats or even you or I think of the poll anyway. The point is that the Rauner people trust that pollster and are convinced of the poll’s results. So they truly believe they are winning and can make Madigan pay a steep price for losing.
But on the other side of the equation, we now have some very powerful folks who believe they have God - or at least the Pope - firmly on their side.
Archbishop Cupich’s September 17th speech to the Chicago Federation of Labor was perhaps the most profound rallying cry for the importance of organized labor that I’ve ever seen. Without mentioning the anti-union governor’s name, he made it clear that he and Pope Francis stand firmly with unions - both public and private sector - and against those who would exploit or weaken them.
Two years ago, Speaker Madigan specifically credited Pope Francis’ words of inclusion for his change of heart about gay marriage. You could argue that Madigan was simply using his Pope to justify a popular position change, but this time around he has a pretty clear mandate from his church’s leadership. “The Archbishop has said the same thing that we’ve been saying in Springfield,” Madigan told reporters after Cupich’s address.
The problem with mixing religion too deeply with politics, of course, is that religious beliefs can’t easily be negotiated away. So Cupich may have complicated matters.
Both the poll and the speech came during a period when folks with ties to both sides were attempting to get the top dogs to talk. Some are saying that the governor will further narrow his economic demands to a far more politically doable list before he’ll agree to finally deal with the state budget.
But the poll numbers could easily harden the governor’s position, and the Archbishop’s timing might very well end up hurting many of the neediest people served by his church’s charities if we don’t get a budget deal anytime soon.
I never seem to have any good news.
Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and thecapitolfaxblog.com

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Helen Leake's Gardeners Tips
by Helen J. Leake

October 1 2015
Prepare your soil before laying sod
If you are thinking about putting sod down, be sure to prepare the soil first. If new sod is laid down on compacted subsoil it could take years for the grass roots to penetrate the soil and develop good, deep roots. In order to have a healthy lawn, you need to have healthy soil. Healthy soil is alive with earthworms and beetles as well as microorganisms that improves the soil structure. A well balanced soil is rich in beneficial microbes that helps reduces plant stress and disease. Using pesticides can dramatically upset this balance.
Before you lay your sod or seed, work in organic matter as deep as possible. Good organic matter includes compost, aged manure and grass clippings. High quality compost tea is also a good option to encourage beneficial organisms. Some lawn companies do offer this service. You can apply a thin layer of screened compost over your existing lawn [1//2 inch or less]. Compost has more bacteria ad fungi than most commercial fertilizers.
We are seeing a lot of attractive pumpkins in the stores now. When you pick one up, use both hands. Do not pick it by the stem. If the stem breaks off, the pumpkin will spoil quicker, In your decoration, try to keep the pumpkin out of full sun.
 It is too early to carve the pumpkin, but you can paint a face or any decoration on it now, using a permanent marker.
If you purchase your pumpkin early while the choice is good, store it in a cool shady place.

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Classic Colcalsure
The Rest is Still Unrwritten
by John Colclasure of Lexington

October 1 2015
Attention to Detail
Recently, Mrs. C and I, along with a goodly number of other travelers joined together for what was billed as “Say Yes to Michigan.” This was a 6-day, 5-night tour with stops in Indiana, Michigan and back home in Wisconsin. Despite its billing as previously mentioned, it could easily have been listed as “Attention to Detail. This later quote came about as a daily 10-part question and answer contest to test the travelers “attention to detail.” Yours truly finished last and on one particular day went 0 for 10. That’s right 100% wrong. How did I know that Bronners CHRISTmas Wonderland was open 361 days a year? I simply guessed that they would close only on CHRISTmas day.
Or how about meaning of the city of Frankenmuth, Michigan? The city’s name is a combination of two words. “Franken” represents the Province of Franconia in the Kingdom of Bavaria, home of the Franks, where the original settlers were from. The German word “Mut” means courage; thus, the name Frankenmuth means “courage of the Franconians.” Once again, “attention to details.” Frankenmuth, also known as “Michigan’s Little Bavaria,” is breathtaking with a number of well-crafted shops, buildings, and a covered bridge referred to as Zehnder’s Holz Brucke (German for wooden bridge) and looks as though it could have been plucked up from the black forest or a river valley in Switzerland and planted astride the Cass River in the middle of town.
Then there is St. Lorenz Lutheran Church in Frankenmuth with its current membership exceeding 4900 members. Should have gotten this one as the idea of a “mission colony” in 1844 called for dedicated men and women to immigrate to the wilderness forests of Michigan. There, under the guidance of a devoted mission pastor, they would demonstrate to Native Americans (Saginaw Valley Chippewa Indians) and others “wie gut und schoen es ist bei Jesu sein” (“how wonderful it is to live with Jesus”). It should be noted that my grandmother was a full-blooded Chippewa Indian and her parents were originally from these parts. Since my heritage is also both German Lutheran and Dutch, I was most interested in the remainder of the tour. Frankenmuth, Michigan is a must see for everyone.
There is just too much to share in such a short column, so perhaps a part two is in the offing. Hopefully next time we can spend some time at the Ford Rouge Factory, the Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, the world famous Zehnder’s Restaurant, Edsel & Eleanor Fords House, The Shrine of Christ’s Passion and of course Mackinac Island.

Till next time…john
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