Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Hebron Crossroads 3-28-04
By Jeff Gill

Leo climbs into the early night sky from the east, as Orion and his faithful dog Sirius chase Taurus the bull with his star-crowded heart of the Pleiades into the western sunset.
Venus plunges after the crescent moon, with Mars at her heels (as always), with Saturn at the zenith and Jupiter shining near Leo’s heart.

The Little Guy has been captivated by the planets lately, writing and making a set of the nine “wanderers” (which is what “planetarii” means in Greek), and going out on the now-warmer nights to trace the zodiacal path of the planets across the sky. And in the news, a tenth planet, or planetoid, called Sedna has been identified, perhaps out in the Oort Cloud and more an overgrown comet, a closer part of the Kuiper Belt. Sedna is the Inuit (casually and inaccurately known as Eskimos) goddess of the seas, and a rocky lump some thousand miles across circling irregularly close to the orbits of Pluto and our nearer neighbors.

Saturn is tilted so that the rings are visible through even my old binoculars, at least as ears on the glob of gold that is the sixth planet, and Jupiter’s moons can be seen near the gas giant’s orb in a modest optical device.

If you have the binox out for the birds passing through to the north, keep them handy for nighttime viewing; you don’t have to have a telescope to see remarkable, awe-inspiring sights in the heavens. A glance to the setting V of Taurus’ horns, capped to the left hand with Aldebaran, shows clustering clouds of stars around them and nearby Orion; nebulae and globular clusters are easy to spot. And wait ‘til Sagittarius rises after sunset. . .

Can you get over the amazing achievement for Licking County high school bands? In one week, Lakewood, Licking Valley, and Newark are all on display in one of the world’s top tourist destinations, Disney World.

If Licking County had three high schools in the sweet sixteen for basketball or baseball, we’d hear about it no end. Well, this is much the same thing, band fans, and kudos to Scott Coffey and all involved at the other schools. Well done, marching bands.

If your church or civic group in the area (Hebron to Buckeye Lake, Jacksontown to Kirkersville) has an Easter Egg hunt to share with the general public, or an Easter sunrise service to celebrate, please let me know this week at disciple@voyager.net or 928-4066. We’ll be delighted to share them at the Hebron Crossroads.

Thanks to the Licking Park District, who will have one of those big April 10 egg hunt activities, and Mary Beth Sills who led a program on the first weekend of spring to look in ponds for signs of warmth and life to come.

The pond probe, which was very well attended considering the threatening weather last weekend, will be followed by a May program looking at what some of the remarkable life in the margins of Infirmary Mound Park wetlands will develop into come another few weeks.
Nymphs of dragonflies and caddis flies and midges were seen under the magnifiers, and many young people (and their parents) learned about the richness of life invisible near our everyday paths, even through the heart of winter. . .now past, right?

Don’t forget the Saturday, April 3 feeding frenzy, at Jacksontown United Methodist in the morning for breakfast, and the United Methodist Church of Hebron for baked steak in the evening.

And as we approach the First of April, a new newsy note for Hebron Village.
Thanks to some aggressive grant writing by village staff, every full-time employee of Hebron will have their own Segway human transporter. These two-wheeled, gyroscopically balanced, battery powered wonders are normally $5,000 through Amazon.com, but the special “governmental package” will bring the price to half that at $2,500. Meter reading, sidewalk patrol, and code enforcement will all be done at eye-level from these rolling wonders, though Planning and Zoning is disputing with the Police department who gets the Segway HPV, or “high performance vehicle” that has the extra battery life and knobby tires.

Planning and Zoning has quite a few active construction sites to navigate through nowadays, but the Police usually require a more beefed up transportation option no matter how many wheels. Council may have to decide this issue, allocating the 8 mile an hour version versus everyone else’s 4 mile an hour standard Segway.

Our Hebron Fire Department says they don’t care either way, since you can barely carry a fire extinguisher and still steer one of these teetery zip-a-dee-doo-dahs, and they don’t plan on using one at all.

Did I mention that the First of April is coming soon? Happy April 1, all, and talk to you soon at the Hebron Crossroads.