Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
Updated Monday. The Illinois senate passed the bill 44-11 on Sunday and it now goes to Governor Quinn. The P-D today described the Star Bond bill as "a bill which will provide an unusual tax benefit to developers of a planned commercial hub in Glen Carbon." Unusual, that's the right word, but it looks like our state legislators like the idea of developers getting all tax revenue, both local and state in addition to letting Glen Carbon have a virtual monopoly on this type of incentive.
The Illinois House yesterday passed the Star Bond measure by a vote of 78-39 and it now goes on to the senate. It passed with an added amendment which supposedly will level the playing field for area businesses in nearby communities so that they can compete.
The amendment states that "the Illinois Department of Revenue and the local governments who were
affected by the project to work together to select an economist who
would conduct an economic impact study. And that "before any STAR Bonds project could be approved, a regional hearing
would be conducted by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic
Star bonds are sales tax-backed revenue bonds in which state and local sales taxes collected in the development area are given back to the developer to pay for costs of the development.
The big talk around the metro-east is just which businesses may end up in Glen Carbon, Cabela's being the the gist of most conversation. There is a Cabela's on the Missouri side in Hazelwood. But, if, say, Springfield or Rockford or Kankakee might want a Cabela's would Cabela's go there without the same incentives they're getting in Glen Carbon?
They can't get the same deal because of the 250 mile rule applied to Star Bonds.
Is this really front page news? The New York Times carries a story on just how many portraits are being painted, digitized, drawn, by in many cases, the average Joe/Jane artists. These are then sold on the web.
There seems to be such a demand for images of Obama that it is keeping the Chinese and German economy running as factories just keep churning them out. It is also providing an unexpected income for hobbyist and professional artists.
According to the Times, "Perhaps not since John F. Kennedy, whose dusty portraits can still be seen in kitchens and barbershops and
alongside the antique beer cans at bars like Manuel’s Tavern in
Atlanta, has a presidency so fanned the flames of painterly ardor among
hobbyist and professional artists."
Of course, Kennedy died in a shocking, unexpected, and horrifying way. His assassination brought about the huge outpouring of grief and a desire to keep his image alive. This Obama adoration is just a bit pre-mature and just a bit much.
Update Sunday: The Star Bond bill, SB 1909, passed on Saturday in the Illinois House by a vote of 78-39. It now goes to the senate.
The Illinois House may vote today on a STAR bond development package for Glen Carbon. STAR bonds are Sales Tax Revenue Bonds which in simple terms means that all sales tax revenues are rebated to the developer for the purposes of developing a business district.
The contentious point, however, is that no other STAR bond area can be created within 250 miles which gives that place a huge advantage over neighboring communities for attracting business.
In Illinois local state rep Tom Holbrook has attempted to amend the bill to make it more palatable to other communities, but another state rep, Jay Hoffman believes the amendment has no teeth.
One of the first STAR bond districts was created outside Kansas City and that development is used as a model for Glen Carbon and now, Reno.
Most communities locally are vehemently opposed to this tax advantage going to Glen Carbon. The Belleville paper editorialized against it this morning, and Collinsville, Fairview Heights, Edwardsville and Granite City as well as other local cities have come out against it.
Sam Miranda may have moved to Lawrence Kansas in 1963 as an assistant basketball coach and recruiter at the University of Kansas, but he never ever lost his love for everything Kahok. His Kansas license plates read: Kahok and he rarely missed a basketball reunion or tribute to former coaches or players.
Sam died this morning and will be buried in Collinsville, the city he most loved, next Friday.
He was an All State basketball player in 1948 under Virgil Fletcher and went on from there to star at Indiana University. For ten years after college he coached at various schools until he ended up at KU.
While at Kansas he was called "the best saleman ever" as a recruiter, centering the most of his attention on high school players from Illinois. One of his best catches was JoJo White out of St. Louis.
How does our family know Sam so well? His parents lived on our street, his father, Lawrence passed away some years ago, but his mother is still in the same house, a joy to everyone. Sam would visit Dorothy and Lawrence several times a year and we would go over just to hear his Collinsville stories...and sip a few beers.
When our daughter was running track and cross country for Collinsville and then for Missouri, Sam followed every meet, and always communicated his congratulations and encouragement. He looked forward to getting updates and local newpaper reports from his family back home and we hope Sam knew how much that meant. When his nephew's daughter Lauren became a standout softball player for Collinsville he followed her career with the same, if not more enthusiasm.
Look atthe names of the players on the Collinsville team in 1946-50. So many recognizable names still today.
Sam loved and missed Collinsville and Collinsville will miss him. The city has had few better boosters.
Sam at his mother's surprise birthday party two years ago. Dorothy is not in this photo.