Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Notes From My Knapsack 10-30-05
Jeff Gill

Best Fall Colors Ever?

Chlorophyll departing the leaves, removing green tints and leaving some natural hues to mix with sugars breaking down, gives you the color riot that is autumn.
Some have noted that the necessary rhythms of cool and warm, rain and sun, tapped out just the right message to call forth the best range of beauty along the treeline we’ve seen in many a year. Too much heat, and the sugars are baked out making everything bland. Frost sets in early, and the green lifeblood flees and slams shut the stem door behind, tugging a quick drop and a short season.
So far, through this time change weekend and doorstep of Beggar’s Night on Monday, the views across valleys and down lanes has been long-lasting and exquisite. If the rain drags down the stock a bit, all the better to shroud the still-growing grass, more green than us mowers might wish.
In fact, out and about you could see last week trees standing in tidy puddles of foliage. Here, a yellow disc framing the sweep of an oak’s limbs; there, an orange splash surrounding the trunk of a maple. Those artistic notes are now as blurred as an artist’s palette after a long afternoon of daubing, since the wind and rain have swished across the spectrum in any wooded area.
You know to set your clock back Saturday night, for sure, and you’ve been nudged to switch out smoke detector batteries as you grant yourself the added hour. This is also a good time to check your bin set aside with canned goods, an opener, a small bottle of bleach, and a pair of flashlights with a radio stored next to a stock of batteries for them.
No emergency kit put away? How many ice storms, hurricanes, and earthquake warnings do you need? C’mon, it doesn’t cost much and pays peace of mind: batteries are the only real expense, and the whole rest of the disaster bin, bin included, can be put together for less than $50 for a family of four for a week. That’s quite a bit of Dinty Moore or Chef O-Boy, but elegance ain’t the question when power and water are out.
Batteries, though, ought to be swapped out regularly with new and the stored ones into the battery drawer, which every household apparently must have today. Anyhow, here’s a good weekend to do it.
So, there’s some advice you probably weren’t looking for; why stop now? There’s an election coming up, and those fall colors may not be as delightful, but they remind us that some important work on our citizenship job description is coming up.
My broadly intended, generally useless opinions are on offer, based more as a report on what I’m intending while not constituting formal endorsement of no one nor nothin’. For Issue 1, I plan to hold my nose and vote yes. This has been run by us voters a few times, and not unwisely we’ve kicked it back; the state needs some money for infrastructure improvement, and it will benefit localities as now written with a bit more certainty. I’d rather not give the Taft administration more cash right now, but I consider it a reminder and an investment in keeping a sharp eye on the next executive, who will be the one to allocate most of it.
Issues 2, 3, 4, and 5 strike me as reactive legislation, of a sort that we can always approve next time, if the energy exists to run it up the flagpole again. I’m less sure that it is bad legislation (which I suspect) than it is a show of temper about current political circumstances. So I call it no, times four.
Issue 6 hereabouts is for the Community Mental Health and Recovery Board, and they continue to need our support, if only because we can help people when it makes sense (i.e., voting yes now) or spend it on Medicaid bills or jail costs after problems become acute and also unresolvable.
Newark has a chance to continue building up their fine school system, which is working through a very well-wrought plan for dealing with the near-future; there are a number of Fire/EMS levies up that also deserve your support.
Dotted about here and there are some competitive races, and I confess I haven’t kept track of them. I can say that Newark's John Uible was a public servant long before he ever ran for office, in the best sense of the term "serving the public," and y’all’d have to be crazy not to put him and Bill Rauch back on council, where they can amiably stare across the partisan divide at each other.
Granville has the pleasure of seeing Deb Tegtmeyer run for village council, who is my friend of long standing, so why should you listen to my recommendation there? Steve Mershon I don’t know half so well, but I like him, so there you go again.
And since Pataskala decided to keep Bernie Brush around (for local color, naturally), I have no counsel to offer there. He's got plenty to say!
Just read the candidate bios in the papers, go to candidate nights, ask them questions on the streetcorners (they really do hang out there, it appears), and don’t forget to plan on voting Nov. 8, 6:30 am to 7:30 pm. And set your clock back, OK?

Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and supply preacher around central Ohio; get your last minute political rant in quickly to disciple@voyager.net.

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