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7 - Mt. Pulaski Times November 2, 2010 Along The Silk Road By Scott Tare Scott is a Mr. Pulaski Alum and currently works in Afghanistan for a private construction contractor. Alexander the Great is considered one of the greatest commanders of all time. His conquest of Asia brought an official end to the Persian Empire without which, we might be living much differently today. His mother had a vision during her pregnancy that she was struck by a lightning bolt. It left her with the premonition her soon to be born son was to accomplish great things. Olympias' premonition later became transformed into fact as her son went on to create one of the largest empires the world has known. Alexander's march over two thou- sand years ago through Asia included Afghanistan as its portion of the Silk Road was of strategic importance to control this route eastward to the sea. In southern Afghanistan, a place that is still of key importance and in the heart of the currem major struggle in the global war on terrorism, the remains of Alexander's fort still stand today. Wars have ~aped all of us, as counmes and as individuals. Past and present, whether we have directly par- facilities. Dave had an aneurism a few years later that left him unable to speak. For the last 20 years Dave f~as resided in a veteran's home from where he has a nurse send me a birthday and Christmas card every year. The nurse writes the note. Dave is only able to scratch out his name, but he still faith- fully remembers me when holidays roll around. On this same project with Dave I worked under two general superinten- dents who had both served in World War II. Ernie and Joe took a green horn and taught me those things in construction that couldn't be learned in school Ernie had been in the Navy, while Joe had served in the Army. Joe had enjoyed being a tank commander so much in WWII that he went back and served in Vietnam Three relocations and eleven years later, I had lived in three different states and worked on location in 4 others on airports much to do with yet another friend who shaped my career path. Larry called me one day in Chicago Vol. 8 another friend on yet another airport project. Charlie was another engineer who had been bitten by the construction bug and done his share of relocating and traveling. Charlie had worked some overseas and opened my eyes to its possibilities. The war with.Iraq esca- lated in 2003 that created opportunity for my newfound friend. After working four years in Iraq, Charlie ended his most recent working tour of the Mid- east with another year in Afghanistan. A few phone calls with Charlie and in the winter of 20091 began my workiag career in Afghanistan. From his reign and how his empire geographically encompassed much of Europe and Asia through present day Afghanistan, Alexander the Great changed the world. Pre-dating his reign by almost two hundred years, the Greeks made a legendary last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae against the Persians that staved off the Persians and allowed future victories by the Greeks in the Greco-Persian wars. Devoid of the victory at the Battle of Thermopylae, there might have been no Alexander the Great. Lacking' this It took farm boys who had never been out of their home state and left them, with experiences of the world that built them into the men they became ankt influenced the rest of us either directly or in the global sense at the least. The Korean conflict provided my dad with an all expense paid 3=year cruise of the world compliments 9f the US Navy. Without this interrup- tion to his life path, he might never have returned from where he had been working in the Pacific Northwest to the farm he was raised in Illinois where he met my mother. My dad's older brothers, Pete and Jake also off the farm, both served in WWII Pete carried shrapnel from a battle in Europe as a souvenir until he passed away a few years ago. This same uncle lost his son Kenny to the Vietnam War. where he was a Green Beret. My mother's mother had a younger brother who went to WWII and never came home. Carl left behind a young widow and a hole in my grandmother's heart until the day she died. Later in life my mother remarried another veteran. Steve did his time in Vietnam before he was able to start the sports stadiums in the'US. Then there's Charlie, the friend I met at yet another airport project that helped me get to Afghanistan. He too has spent most of his life in construe-. fion, following his father's footsteps. His father, Robert had a plethora of adventure related occupations remi- niscent of .a Jack LOndon or Louis L 'Amour; logger, trapper, and commer- cial crab fisherman'in the Bering Sea. But the one that led into a career was that of a construction superintendent. Prior to his construction career, Robert was another one of those many farm boys who got an overseas tour of the Pacific during WWII. As a gunner on a tanker, Robert can tell you first person about Japanese kamikaze pilots, Several thousand and some years after the end of Alexander the Crteat% reign, another Alexander had an expe- rience much similar to the one his mother had envisioned. In 1961,this woman, pregnant with child, was struck by lightning. The lightning left .her with psychic abilities. F6r the remainder of her life she provided those interested with the clairvoyant interpretations of ticipated or not. seen it on the news or just read about it. During preparation for the trip to Budapest, it was decided to also venture onto Istanbul. Turkey. Once in Europe, many major countries are in such close proximity to each other that it is small effort to travel from one country to the next. Like Hungary, Turkey has a long history that includes many wars. Of all the countries to see in Europe, why not go to Istanbul? For those familiar with the late 1970's movie rifled "Midnight Express" that alone'was enough to dissuade anyone from ever going to Turkey. We have beard enough good from travelers recently returned from Istanbul to believe the good far outweighs sto- ries about the bad. Repercussions from "Midnight Express" negatively impacted Turkey's tourism for many years to follow that are only now begin- ning to dissipate. Travel by train in Europe is com- monplace. With the chance to see more scenery and the mystique surrounding train travel, we decide this is the best option for travel to Istanbul. From the hotel in Budapest it's a healthy walk to the main train station. Like many tram stations in the US. this building is a behemoth that houses numerous tracks and trains for indoor arrivals and departures independent of the weather, Directories are not preva- lent and after a search of the building, a ccmcossion stand Operator tells us with broken English and sign language that the travel office can only be reached by Walking around the outside of the building and entering on the opposite side, More walking and we find the travel office only to learn that the train from Budapest to Istanbul requires three days travel. Our mnerary doesn't allow' for this much travel time so the deci- sion becomes obvious. Travel by air is the only option. I have often been asked how I ever ended up in Afghanistan When I answer," airports" then 1[ is normally viewed as a smart aleck remark or a poor attempt to be .funny. Looking back it seems it was more of a pre- determined event than something that happened serendipitously or the result of life changing decision A Viemam veteran helped me get mv first professional job in Chicago at O;Hare a~rport with a general contrac- tor who specialized in building airport and sent me on a little adventure to a job in Utah where I ended up meeting my wife. I later worked under Larry in Kentucky who ran the first major air- port project on which I worked. Larry never took a management class in managing people or projects nor was it necessary. He had honed his decision- making skills surviving in the jungles of Vietnam. Larry made the critical decisions continually required to manage a large- scale construction project look easy. Through the relocations and travels with this same employer I met and worked With another friend, Habib, who worked fora competing company. The war and conflict in Iran prevalent through the 70s prior to the fall of the Shah had led to Habib's immigration form Iran to the U.S. He became a U.S. citizen and his intelligence and reputation led to him to oversee many major US airport expansion programs during the next 30 years. My nest stop during the late 90s landed me on my first non-airport job in South Carolina where I learned firsthand of the Russian conflict in Afghanistan that we read about during the 80s. I worked with a superinten- dent from Belarus. Raised to be an Olympic swimmer, educated to be event and the victories by Alexander the Great that followed, the world would be much different today. It has been argued that had these" few key battles and wars turned out differently then we would all be speaking Persian today versus English. English is the international language. In many countries outside the US, Eng- lish is taught as a second language as a required elementary school subject. It is not uncommon for people even in Hungary, that has only been without Soviet control for 20years, to be fluent in two or three languages. Since English is the international lan- guage, signage at all airports, regardless of the country, is in English. Even in Kabul, Afghanistan the signage is in English and most of the airport employees speak enough English to effectively communicate. The one difference in Kabul is it sometimes takes some oil to grease the wheels when you are on a departure flight. Cash is preferred at this airport to expedite the processing of your boarding pass. This is a place where it doesn't matter if you brought, your American Express card. So far the Kabul airport has been the exception to the rule. However, international airports in general are if anything, much easier to navigate than an engineer, Ilya had been drafted those in the US..Airport amenities are into the Soviet military and trained just as nice. Airline food is just as good; L -' ~ on ~'-- fr-nt lines~ ' ......... ~ ,,,,~ ..,~..~,, , .~a~,,,~,.,J, ,. to commanu troops me o .. the planes .arg ~ug as n eye, a~l~g.tetm; in Afghanistan. Fifteen years later and ~ae a~dxne~cr~'ws~o~-Eia~jis~and the memories were still raw and he provide excellent service. wiped away the tears when he talked On the flight to Budapest, the airline of the young Soviet men in his troop wh~ didn't survive that confrontation These open emotions from a man who had a scar down the center of his nose from his favorite hobbies, drinking and bar fighting. Several years later I ended up on another airport project in Florida in part from my friend Habib who had unbeknownst to me provided a refer- ence. While or/the Florida project 911 hit and for those who remember, its impact was profound. It stopped the US economy and with it brought the construction industry to its knees. After the Florida airport project was completed, I returned home to GA and like many others waited for the con- struction industry to rebound. A year later I was employed again in mrport construction. Habib, my Iranian friend of over 20 years lent another hand. This led to meeting crew greeted everyone at the door of the plane. The airport at Budapest was modern and easier to process through than many I have traveled through in the states. The point is, don't be afraid to see the world because of a fear of airports. Maybe I'm jaded because between working and traveling I have spent more time at airports than I have at my own homes in the last 20 years. Airports are a]] pretty much set up the same; all have signage in English; all have people in them who speak enough English to help you if you .have ques- tions. The world is a big beautiful place and it will change your life to see how other people live. Many times they don't have the choices we do. Living overseas is a life changing ex[aerience. The changes to the lives of those affected by war are infinite. life he had planned after graduating from high school. He made his ~areer at a power company. An accident that almost took his life forced him to learn how to do things with his non-domi- nant hand that he does better than most of us can ever do. Steve's Vietnam tour left him with a resolve that has allowed him to thrive whereas most ,who were dealt these cards would have quit the game. My neighbor across the street from where I grew up served in WWII. He and a second man from my hometown traveled to Washington, D.C. earlier this year Where they and other WWII veterans Were honored for their ser- vice. Everett returned from WWII to spend a 10~g career "at Caterpillar and raise a family. While growing ~p, I had manymeals at his home. Always treated lilce one of their own, he and his family taught me the meaning of good neighbors and hospitality. The second man I mentioned was also an influence in my life. Dalen was one of those farm boys I mentioned that got a ticket to see the world and returned from WW-II with a bronze medal for his service. His love for the English language motivated him to receive a master's degree in English. He did more to sharpen my use of the English language than many of my them she received after meeting with them. She also gained some notoriety by assisting regional authorities in criminalcases. This Alexander went by the first name of Greta. Several girlfriends went to visit Greta one time for her to analyze her impres- sions of them and their families. One of the friends asked Greta what her son would do as an occupation in his life. Greta's response was, "I don't know, but I see him around a lot of airplanes." The lady who asked about her son is my mother. Did Greta make a lucky guess or am I living out a self-fulfilling prophecy? I guess we'll never knOW, but I can tell you this, construction chose me rather than vise versa. What we all do need to know is how lucky we are to be livir~g in America and without the sacrifices of many wouldn't have the freedoms and luxu- ries that might never be realized by most other parts Of the world. Our way of life in the US has been compliments of those who served their country, our veterans. My life contains real life examples of how it has beer influenced by veterans. Without a doubt I wouldn't have spent most of my life on construction sites and around airports without them and others who have had their lives inter- rupted by wars. Inarguably each of for ma!~, t~hers. From being around them has contributed to what I have ~~~~ mm~~Jflttuestimlably; all have played a ca/ er~r including ending a sentence with~a preposinon. My childhood friend who joined me on the Budapest-Istanbul trip might not have been around had his father's life not been-affected by w~. When Tom's father served in the Korean War, he was already warmed up and prepared for life in the Navy. Prior to this mili- tary service, his life on the farm was put on hold while he served in WWII. Like other veterans. Wallace's war experi- ences instilled him with the fortitude to handle challenges and gain success in life despite a progressive debilitating condition,that would have felled most others with less moral fiber. The friend who encouraged me with the original idea to write this newslet- ter also did a tour of Southeast Asia compliments of the government. After serving Nth the Marines in Vietnam, Jerry came back to become an architect and has been involved in the construc- tion of numerous major professional major role in the way of life we are privileged to live in the US .every day. Take a look around and I bet you'll find you also are where you are because of veterans. There's no need to wait until Memo- rial Day or Veteran's Day to show your appreciation to those who fought for our county. There are real people out there who had their lives interrupted by war. Young men, whose lives were put on hold to serve their country. Those that made it back got on with their lives as attested by these real people I know. With no complaints these men made something of their lives and helped many others along the way. Afghanistan has made me grateful for the things in America that I had to travel 10,000 miles away from to comprehend Thank you to all those I have mentioned and thank you to those others who have and are continuing to serve our country. God bless America. Next stop Istanbul. ANNUAL STATEMENT OF AFFAIRS SUMMARY FOR FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2010 Copies of the detailed Annual Statement of Affairs for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2010. will be available for public inspection in theschool district/joint agreement administrative office by December 1, 2010. Individuals wanting to review this Annual Statement 0f Affairs should contact: MT. PULASKI CUD #23 119 N GARDEN ST., MT. PULASKI, IL 62548 217-792-7222 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. MON.-FRI. Also by January 15, 2010 the detailed Annual Statement of Affairs for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2010. will be posted on the.Illinois State Board of Education's website @ SUMMARY: The following is the Annual Statement of Affairs Summary that is required to be published by the school/joint district agreement for the past fiscal year. Statement of Operations as of June 30, 2010 Education Operations & Debt Service Transportation Municipal Capital Working Cash Ted Fire Prevention & Maintenance Retirement/Social projects Safety Security Local Sources 1000 3.097,875 .518,745 132.373 165,659 96.643 0 41.582 169,388 40,634 Flow Through Sources 2000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 State Sources 3000 848,616 0 0 280.830 0 0 0 0 0 Federal Sources 4000 500,166 0 0 O 0 0 0 0 0 TOTAL DIRECT RECEIPTS-REVENUES 4,446,657 518,745 132.373 446.489 96.643 0 41,582 169,388 40,634 TOTAL DIRECT DISBURSEMENTS/EXPENDITURES 4,411,145 465.635 132.597 479,046 100.516 0 177.445 775 Other Sources/Uses of Funds 0 0 0 105,000 0 0 (105,000) 0 0 Beginning Fund Balances - July 1, 2009 670,315 119.901 13.738 (43,828) 303.254 0 228,701 6*8,057 81,626 Other Changes in Fund Balances 0 0 0 O 0 0 0 0 0 Ending Fund,Balances - June 30. 2010 705,827 173.011 13.514 28.615 299.381 0 165.238 0 12!,485 GROSS PAYMENT FOR CERTIFIED PERSONNEL Salary Range: Less Than $25.000 Rebecca Ashley, Phyllis Beccue,Denise Cass,Nancy Cochran,Susan Cochran,Tom Cochran,Bonnie Davis.Scott Doerr, Bethany Dulle,Chris Fitzpatrick,Karen Edgecombe,Heath Houck,Sarah Horchem.Robert Ingram,Jim Jumper, Bob Maske.Cheryl McCue Mark Newhouse,Sandy Ohler, Larry Pasier, Jeffrey Pitts,Lori Przykopanski,Jo Rentmeister.David Rods,Bill Rucks,Don Sharp,Linda Stoll.Darrel Wernsing Salary Range: $25,000-$39.999 Karen AIIs0ach,Jean Beccue,Brooke Ciaccio,Craig Erlenbush,Jason Gill,James Peck,Eeten.Sarah Phillips.Kristin Rucks,Kendra U pdegraff, Michael West Brandy Westen,Julie Wubben Salary Range: $40 000-$59,999 Brian Alexander'Ralph Allen,James Anderson.Lynn Beck,Jennifer Bone,Gale Clark.Michele Cla~k.Ryan Deibert.Keri EllioLDenise Farnam,Heather Fricke, Brent Grisham,Mindy Gross.Chris Kidd.Jenna Kloba,Donna Koehler, Becky Kunken,Barbara Lindley, Sally Lisnek.Barbara Maske.Shelley Mason.Kathleen Miller.Sheila Myers.Ann Olsor Jena Read,Linda Schilling,Rbb Siebert,Nancy Smith Ag-Land FS 45;500 Edline AmerenCilco 116,858 Farmers State Bank Area Disposal Service 4,5B4 Frontier-Mr. Pulaski Atlanta National Bank 112,338 Frontier Communications Baby Fold 31,801 Graue Chevrolet Baumann & Associates 4,375 Brian Hinds Binder Plumbing & Heating 37,373 Houghton Mifflin Central Supply 3,711 IASB City of Mt. Pulaski 4,442 nterstate Brands Curt Smith Sporting 2,516 King-Lar Company Tom Day Business Machines 15,702 Lawson Products Dimond Ins Aeencv 31.808 Lincoln Hiflh School Salary Range: $60,000-$89,999 Sharon Cunningham. Terri Dickson-Hnizdo.Donna Dulle.Sandy Elsasser.Terry Morgan.Gene Newton,Nancy Olander, Mary Ann Radtke.Kathleen Tarrant,B0nnie Wachter, Pat Walsh,Debra Wilham Salary Range: $90,000 and over Phillip Shelton ,! GROSS PAYMENT FOR NON-CERT FlED PERSONNEL Salary Range: Less Than $25.000 Sue Adams-Snelson,Bill Anders,Kristie Anderson~Jason Beard.Anna Beckers,Dianne Birge,Bonnie Davis,Kyle Davis,Tara Davis.Amy.Dyer.Sharon Gerdes.Karla Griesheim.Shelby Helton.Lindsey Horath,Linda Hulett, Deanna Jacobs,Verna , Leach.Eric Leever, Tom Madigan. Eric MaxheimerChris McCawley, Cathy Miller, Donna Morgan,Sam Nichols,Shelly Pearson,Betty Philips.Deron F)owelI,Sue Reeter,Albert Reiterman,Sandy Remmeri.Karen Riohert,Janet Ruck$ Roxanne Rude,Jill Siebert,Cin~:ly Stoll.Julie Stoll Salary Range: $25,000-$39.999 Linda Blue.Tom Davis Salary Range: $40,000-$59,999 Ed Pharis.Cathy' Shull Payments over $2.500, excluding wages and salaries. 5,052 Lincoln Elementary 36.720 School Specialty 2.760 20,260 Lincolnland Technical 10,150 Simplex Grinnel 6 109 9,525 McG!aw-Hill CompaOes 13,330 Skyward 7,381 7,523 Midland Paper Company 11,791 Staples .6,510 3,493 Miller, Hall, & Triggs 2,921 Ron Stewart 3,331 425,076 MJ Kellner 73,755 St, Mary's Health 19.936 8,547 Prairie Farms Dairy 13,932 TRS 86,983 7,040 Premier Agendas 3.451 Triad Industrial Supply 3,670 3,243 Quality Network Solutions 80,735 TriLCo Special Ed 102,260 3.860 Regional Office of Education HILIA 38,666 U,S, Postal Service 2,730 3,265 Rentmeister Const. 3,865 . Worker's Compensation 31,494 30 396 Salt Creek Academy 18.755 Thank YouFrom Chestnut EMS Chestnut EMS would like to send a Big Thank You to everyone for donations toward our monitor/defibril- lator at our latest fundraiser-we are about $3,000 from our goal at this time! Chestnut EMS would also like to thank the following businesses for donation for this fundraiser: Walmart in Lincoln, GFS in Springfield, IGA in LincoLn, Olive Garden in Decatur, McDonalds in. Lincoln, Johnson's in Mr. Pulaski, Sam's Club in Springfield, Big D's in Clinton, Kroger in Lincoln, and also thanks to several EMS members who made donations. The next scheduled fundraiser is a cookb0ok/bake sale November 20 & 21 at the Chestnut Firehouse (same hours as Christmas on Vinegar Hill or until we run out of things to offer!) Thank you so much to all our supporters/ W-W II Black Bread (A P.O.W. Favorite) Prisoners of War during WW!I in Nazi Germany wondered what was in the "Black Bread Broat Recipe". Here it is. 50% Bruised Rye Grain 20% Sliced Sugar Beets 20% Tree FlOur (saw dust) 10% Minced Leaves and Straw Mix all ingredients; form into a 3" x 3" x 8" 10af; bake until burned black. Each loaf serves 6 to 21 hungry men. This recipe comes from the official records of the "Food Providing Ministry", published (TOP SECRET) Berlin 24.XI 1941 and the Director in Ministry, Herr Mansfield and Herr Moritz. It was agreed that this was the best mixture to bake Black Bread. It is believed that the charcoal coating of WW II Black Bread, created when the loaves were burned black in the ovens, was an effective deterrent for dysentery. Other forms of charcoal were also used to prevent this common ailment among PeWs. Election's Over Maybe the mud'll dry up By Mike Lakin Regardless of political persuasion, most people are thankful the elections are over. That thankfulness is related to the deep mud we have all been subjected to. Illinois voters, like voters in 49 other states, have found themselves waist deep in mud- commonly called national - state political'campaigns. Consider this, If your grandchild ran for student president at their school, they would be required to do it in a civil manner. They'd promote their good.qualities and not slander and/or libel their fellow classmates. To not abide by these standards would result in being dis- ciplined most likely, or at least some sort of reprimand. Why don't we hold these political candidates to this The complexity of the issues was not a problem. Not one national - state politician bothered with issues. I can prove this. My e-mail has been nothing but attempts to get mud.into print. I kept track. Of the 347 e-mails arri~,ing, not one - I repeat, not one - was an e-mail stating why the national - state candidate sending it was qualified to hold the office or what that candidate spe- cifically planned to do if electe& The~yall.were extolling the vices of their opponent. When: t'replied to e-mails asking for qualifications and specific plans - not one national - state candidate responded. As one local wise person commented to me, too bad dueling is illegal. It would be nice to see the national - state candidates face off in an open field, walk 60- paces then turn and fire. The one left standing would be elected. Not a bad idea, if it would do away with the political TV ads we suffered through_ this election year. I've totally stopped publication of candidate sup- port letters for state and national candidates. The only exception, are letters in which a local election issue or candidate is on the ballot. Those are issues of commu- nity-wide importance and do not fall in the my-candi- date-has-better-hair category. What I hear from readers, who see letters in other aewspapers,, is that state and national candidate support letters are largely meaningless. They can3FliRle power to persuade: Here's a tip to campaign organizers and political candidates: old-fashioned, door-to-door campaigning is still the best way to get a candidate's message to the people. Plumbing -Heating - Cooling Backhoe Servl - Sephc Systems Chestnut Family Restaurant Tuesday- Fried Ohieke. Friday Oaflish