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Bill Linneman

May 5 2016

Cousin Al
Cousin Al Yoder died April 19 in Elkhart, Indiana. I attended his memorial service at Silverwood Mennonite Church in Middlebury, Indiana, along with cousin Dr. John Stutzman on Sunday, April 24. The large sanctuary was packed as befits a leading man in the community.
John was much closer to Al than I was. They both attended Bluffton College in Ohio and had many other connections through the Mennonite Church. John and Erma had often visited with Al and Marie and were quite familiar with Al’s large family, some of whom I had never met before Sunday.
Al was born in Elkhart County in 1927. He was raised on a farm and went to Bluffton where, as he once told me, he chased girls and played basketball. In 1951 he married Marie Haney.
Also in that year he began farming full time and eventually was honored as Elkhart County Farmer of the Year in 1958. When his sons grew and were able to handle the dairy chores, Al became loan officer in a bank. Then in 1969 he joined a new enterprise - Jayco.
Al’s neighbor, Lloyd Bontrager, had invented a device making camper trailers easier to pop-up and close. Al who was outgoing and energetic became Jayco’s sales manager.
The company grew and so did the campers, adding conveniences like counter-tops and refrigeration. Jayco opened a factory in Kansas and expanded into Canada and Australia.
During the energy crisis in 1973, Jayco had to reduce its laboring force. Most of their workers were Amish who were given the challenge to separate sheep and goats. Those who would work and those who would be laid off. The Amish performed with good judgment and Jayco survived the recession.
In 1985 Bontrager was killed while piloting his plane in a storm. Al became president and Jayco continued to expand. Al oversaw a redesign of products to appeal to Baby Boomers. He introduced new products like travel trailers and motor homes and increased the dealer network to 300. In advertising Al used art work resembling Norman Rockwell. In 1992 Jayco recorded 142 million in sales. The next year In 1993 they recorded 202 million.
Al who was 65 and had been with Jayco 25 years decided to retire and devote his time to other enterprises. One was his furniture factory where the Amish made hand crafted wood furniture. Others were his vineyard and winery in Napa Valley, California.
 But the biggest venture was the Deutsch Kase Haus. Amish farmers had no adequate market for their milk. So Al started the Cheese House that manufactured tons every day. The cheese is marketed through grocery chains and the company store which attracts many tourists. Their Colby won first prize in a world competition.
Al served on many boards of directors of both local companies and national. He was active in Silverwood Mennonite Church where he had been a lifetime member. The two hymns sung at the service were “How Great Thou Art” and “It Is Well With My Soul.” The two hymns I had chosen for myself!
Al is survived by Marie and boys Martin, Kent, Scott, daughter Dru and brother Dale. There are thirteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Capitol Facts
by Rich Miller

May 26 2015
No budget and no solution in sight
It has looked to me for a very long time that House Speaker Michael Madigan has been waiting for an existential state crisis to force Gov. Bruce Rauner to back completely away from his anti-union, pro-business Turnaround Agenda so that they can pass a “clean” state budget.
As you surely know by now, the governor won’t agree to a budget deal until he gets important taxpayer friendly changes to workers’ compensation insurance laws and reductions of collective bargaining rights for government union members.
Whether that crisis comes after the Illinois Supreme Court rules that state workers cannot be paid without an appropriation, or whether it’s when schools and/or universities don’t open on time, or if Republicans threaten to break ranks on overrides of the governor’s appropriations vetoes, or a local mayor shuts off the water or sewer access to an important state facility, like a prison, I don’t know.  Nobody does. 
The Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that state employees could not receive back pay without a formal legislative appropriation.  That ruling would appear to apply to the current situation where employees are being paid by court order because Rauner vetoed their salaries out of the budget last year (along with about everything else).  The Court usually goes on break from June through August, so that potential crisis might be months away.
Most schools and universities won’t truly feel the pinch until late July or August.  And because Gov.Rauner has excelled at preventing Republicans from breaking ranks on overrides, any appropriations bill will likely be closely examined for a veto’s potential to wreak any havoc. 
I think almost everyone, including Madigan, has been surprised at how long the Governor has been able to keep state facilities open without an official budget.
The administration is performing these minor miracles at least partly because they know that Madigan is trying to wait them out.  They don’t want a crisis to force their hands on economic reforms.  A tax hike without significant reforms would be an utter political disaster for this governor - which both he and Madigan understand. 
Without compromises, we’re heading for more months without a budget, so we could very well see whether something big will crash before the election.
And along those lines, I’ve been hearing people say that the two sides will just have to fight it out in the November elections before this impasse can be resolved. 
But that’s crazy talk.
First, what are the social service providers supposed to do without a real budget until then?  “Collapse,” is your answer.  What will happen then?  Widespread, utter misery for them. 
Second, if there’s no budget agreement then this will be, by far, the most brutal campaign season in memory.  And as one Statehouse type pointed out to me the other day, win or lose, members in both parties will return to November’s post-election veto session carrying the 60 or so harshly negative mailers sent against them and a very bad attitude. It’ll take quite a while before everybody calms down.
Third, Speaker Madigan is currently three votes shy of a reliable veto-proof supermajority because three House Democrats can’t be counted on to vote for taxes or spending.  He got rid of one of those guys in the primary when Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) went down hard. 
That means Madigan has to net at the very least two more pickups to impose his will on Gov. Rauner by overriding his vetoes.  Madigan does have a shot at picking up some seats because of the presidential turnout dynamics and Donald Trump which will favor Democrats, but his district maps might already be stretched to their partisan limits.  And the Republicans have a shot at picking up some seats in areas where Trump could do well.
So, putting this off until after November may just mean an even worse status quo, with fiscal carnage, a reduction of the social service agencies spening and hardened feelings. 
And, even if Madigan picks up lots of seats, does anybody really think he’ll try to run a purely Mike Madigan tax hike and then override the governor’s veto?  That would be political disaster for his members.
So the election could essentially mean that Madigan will simply override spending vetoes and the debt will continue to accumulate.
That’s no solution.
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

May 26 2016
Finally time to get your container plants outside
It has finally warmed up enough so that we can plant tomatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes. Once the night temperature stay above 50 degrees, you can also take the house plants out. Place them in a shady area for a few days to adjust to the bright sun.
When you plant your containers, first of all think about if they will be in the sun or shade when choosing the plants. You don’t want plants that like dry soil mixed with plants that need moist soil. 
To make them look balanced, you want something tall as a “thriller”, something kind of a vine as a “spiller” to drape over the side, and a “filler” to fill in the space between.
Don’t completely fill the container, leave about 1/3 of the soil uncovered. The plants will need to have space to grow and not crowd out and kill other plants. Check the tag to see how big the mature plant will be. Also the roots need space in the soil to grow.
When you place your containers, it helps to have a saucer under the container to hold some water, giving the roots time to absorb it. Don’t leave so much water that the roots stay too wet. Also place the container on a trivet so air can circulate between the container or deck. You don’t want the moisture to stain the deck or concrete. Also when the sun heats the concrete, it would also heat the soil and damage the plant.

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

May 26 2016
Tony Nales
With each passing year, and each celebration of yet another birthday, these “Golden Years” seem to have lost a little bit of their luster.  What once took me an hour to complete a project now takes a day or two and oftentimes a week or more.  The result being that almost everything is either missing or has been misplaced.  Take for instance a simple wooden carpenters pencil.  It’s probably a half-inch wide and maybe six inches long.  It must grow legs and walk away right when it is needed the most! 
Why just the other day I lost my glasses.  Searched high and low only to be told by Mrs. C. that I had them on.  Well, imagine my reaction, “must be getting old-er.” 
Speaking of which, where has all of the screwdrivers gone?  Need a needle nose pair of blue steel side-pliers?  CAN’T be found in the tool box or in the storage shed!  Where were they you might ask?  In my left rear pants pocket… stuff just disappears or does it?  That must be why I buy two of everything and then wouldn’t you know it, I can’t find any when something is needed.  The “Golden Years.”  Yeah, right.
Someone once said something to the effect that the “Golden Years” are in fact just that.  Old Folks are worth a fortune.  With silver in our hair, gold in our teeth, stones in our kidneys and/or gallbladder, plus lead in our feet and gas in our stomach, we have indeed earned our membership in the AARP.
There was a woman who submitted a piece to Dear Abby (02/13/1993) that had been clipped from a church bulletin in regards to this phenomenon. She writes: “I have become a lot more social with the passing of the years; some might even call me a frivolous old gal. I’m seeing five gentlemen every day. As soon as I wake, Will Power helps me get out of bed. Then I go to see John. Then Charley Horse comes along, and when he is here he takes a lot of my time and attention. When he leaves, Arthur Ritis shows up and stays the rest of the day. (He doesn’t like to stay in one place very long, so he takes me from joint to joint.) After such a busy day, I’m really tired and glad to go to bed - with Ben Gay. What a life!
P.S. The preacher came to call the other day. He said that at my age, I should be thinking about the hereafter. I told him I do - all the time. No matter where I am - in the parlor, upstairs in the kitchen or down in the basement - I ask myself, “Now, what am I here after?”
I’m sure most of us can relate to this woman, at least I certainly can.  The latest age-related condition is when confronted with one’s toenails.  When they begin to grow out and under then begin to hurt, it’s a problem, because I can’t seem to contort my feet and hands in such a way to clip them off as I once so easily had done, so it’s off to a pedicurist.  That my friend is an experience, to say the least.

Till next time…john
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