January 26, 2012

Group Seeking to Return One of Only Three Remaining Pheasant Airplanes to Birthplace



Dr. Harlo Donelson stands in front of a H-10 Pheasant biplane that is housed in New York. Efforts are underway to buy the plane and return it to Memphis, where it was originally manufactured.


More than 80 years ago, a group of area residents joined forces to help the community take flight, literally. Now, numerous community boosters with similar vision are making every effort to land a piece of this town's history back home for good.

In the late 1920's Memphis was home to the Pheasant Airplane Company. An untimely accident and a financial downturn that devastated the entire nation, made the venture short lived. Despite its brief tenure as the community's top manufacturer, the airplane builders put Memphis on the map.

On a recent trip to New York, a local dentist discovered that a big piece of this local history could be had for the right price.

Dr. Harlo Donelson took time out his Christmas trip to visit his son, to do some special sight-seeing. Doc had learned of a fully-functional Pheasant airplane, which was on display at the Bayport Aerodrome Museum.

"There are only three of these planes still in existence as far as anyone can tell," said Donelson. "One is in Wisconsin, one in Canada and this one in New York. Not only did I get to see her, but I got to touch her and boy is she a beauty."

As his words demonstrate, Donelson quickly fell in love with the plane. Anyone that knows Doc, knows he is not shy when it comes to promoting his community. Before he had departed the hangar, the plan had been hatched to return the plane to its birthplace.

"Somehow, some way, we are going to get that gal back to Memphis," Donelson stated.

Just weeks after returning to Memphis, the tales of the plane and its availability had led to the formation of a committee to make the dream come true.

Local pilot Fred Clapp is heading up the group that consists of numerous other flyers and community boosters.

The first task at hand will be raising the estimated $75,000 it will take to purchase the plane from owner Tim Dahlen of Vintage Aero Collection.

The plane was originally restored by Bill Schwenk of Southampton, NY. According to a November 22, 2007 article in the Southampton Press, the then 94-year-old sold the plane to Dahlen and his partner, Ed Katzen. As part of the transaction, Dahlen concluded the 77-year journey for the former owner, by taking Schwenk for a flight in the 1927 biplane.

Schwenk reportedly had purchased the plane back in 1930 from a Southampton junkyard for the price of $50. Over the years, the new owner worked to restore the plane, ultimately completing the task, but not before his age prevented him from flying it himself.

The news article indicated the plane had been owned by an East Hampton family, but following a crash, was sold to the junkyard, where it was reclaimed by Schwenk in 1930.

While it took nearly 80 years for the plane to change ownership for the third time in its life, local boosters are hoping the fourth transaction occurs much more rapidly.

At a January 14 meeting of interested parties, a steering committee was formed with Clapp, Fred Cordray, Jason Glass and Stan Myers charged with organizing a governing board and seeking 501c3 IRS status as a tax exempt entity.

A fund raising committee was also established with members Ronnie Brown, H Middleton, Peggy Brown and Laura Schenk. A checking account has been established for the group and donations are already pouring in.

Another key task for the group will be transportation and storage if the plane's purchase can be secured. Glass and Larry Wiggins were assigned the duty of identifying suitable temporary storage as well as determining requirements for a permanent display location.

The group will meet again on January 27 at the Scotland County Rotary Building at 6 p.m. New members and prospective donors are encouraged to attend.

Airplane Builder Plays Big, Albeit Brief, Part in Memphis History



A local pilot's teaching abilities at the outset of our nation's aeronautical era likely were at the root of one of the area's historical highlights.

In the 1920s, prospective flyers from across the nation were traveling to Memphis to study under the tutelage of pilot Lee R. Briggs, who opened a flight school in 1925. The pages of the Memphis Democrat and the Memphis Reveille, the region's two newspapers at that time, are filled with stories of reports of Briggs's exploits as a flyer and a teacher of the skill with students coming from as far away as Canada.

Once trained in the art of flying, the new pilots offered a captive market for airplane sales. Early on, the news stories indicate Briggs filled the needs by buying and selling the vehicles, but ultimately the idea was born to build a better plane right here in Memphis.

News broke in the June 6, 1927 edition of the Memphis Democrat of plans to form the Pheasant Airplane Corporation to build a new biplane designed by Orville Hickman of Lomax, IL.

The new business was housed in the garage of the Briggs & Son Ford dealership on the northeast corner of the Memphis square (the current Payne Funeral Chapel property).

The first model H-10 biplane "rolled off the assembly line" in August and pilot Harold Phillips was the first to take a Memphis-made plane airborne, as reported in the August 18, 1927 Memphis Reveille. Shortly after, well-known local pilot Leslie Smith, put the plane to a full test of stunts, "pronouncing the Pheasant as superior to any plane in its class."

A full-page ad in Aviation magazine resulted in hundreds of inquiries about the plane, and within months a number of contracts were arranged for salesmen to handle dealership rights in states across the Midwest.

By October 1927, the newspaper reported seven planes had been contracted for construction, and by November of that year the workforce at the plant had more than doubled to 25 employees, with projected output of a plane per week.

Tragedy struck the company in December, when founder Lee Briggs and a student, Otis Oliver, of Versailles, OH, were killed when they fell an estimated 1000 feet from a plane, that later crash landed.

A December 8, 1927 article in the Memphis Democrat indicated that Oliver was piloting the plane, and reportedly banked the plane too sharply, causing it to overturn and ejecting the two pilots.

Inspections by the U.S. Army and the Commerce Department ruled the accident was no fault of the plane, and manufacturing continued despite the resignation of Hickman. W. H. Raines was elected the new board president.

The company became bogged down awaiting official approval from the federal government's aviation department to certify and approve the planes design, which finally was received in April of 1928.

While waiting, in March of 1928, the company relocated to the O.O. North Building (the current Tri-State Used Furniture building) west of the southwest corner of the square.



Craftsmen work on wing assembly for a Pheasant H-10 bi-plane being constructed in Memphis. This photo was taken in the new workshop, located on the second floor of what is now the Tri-State Used Furniture Store.


Well known Wisconsin pilot, S. J. Wittman, arrived in Memphis in April and quickly became a champion of the Memphis-built planes. He became one of the company's leading salesman, as more than half a dozen Pheasants were flown home to Wisconsin buyers. Other planes were sold, including one that ultimately landed in Prince Alberta-Saskatoon, Canada.

Despite the solid sale numbers, the company fell into a capital crunch, and investors decided to offer the corporation for sale as opposed to extending further local investments. In July of 1928, a call was made for added stock sales to raise the capital investments from $10,000 to $40,000.

Meanwhile Wittman was gaining national notoriety for the Pheasant. He entered his plane in a trans-continental race from Long Island to Los Angeles, and finished ninth, despite featuring one of the race's smaller horse-powered motor.

Despite some limited initial success in reorganizing the company under local stockholders, the Pheasant Airplane Company was ultimately sold to T.W. Meiklejohn of Fondulac, Wisconsin, an associate of Wittman. The plant was relocated to Fondulac in May of 1929, but reportedly no planes were ever built there following the stock market crash later that year that took its toll on commerce across the nation and the Great Depression began.

Leo Brown of Memphis reported in documentation on file with the Scotland County Library, that a total of 37 Pheasant bi-planes were built in Memphis.

Similar history provided by former plant worker Herb Prather, seems to affirm those numbers, as his documented estimates were 30-36 planes built in Memphis. Correspondence from Wittman to Prather in April of 1980, did dispute the fact that no planes were built in Wisconsin, as the former test pilot, informed Prather that he believed three new ships were built in Wisconsin. Further investigation may have revealed that these were the new monoplane version, whose prototype was developed in Memphis.

Of the estimated three dozen H-10's built in Memphis, only three are believed to remain. One is on display at the EAA's Pioneer Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, near the site of the transplanted factory. The second is on display at the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon, Canada. The third, currently in New York, hopefully will be on display in Memphis in the not-too-distant future.

Brackets Unveiled for Class 2 District 6 Basketball Tourneys

GIRLS BRACKET

Defending its district title got a lot tougher for the Scotland County girls thanks to redistricting in 2017 and the Tigers didn’t benefit from the move either, as the Class 2 District 6 brackets were released this week.

The boys’ bracket features seven out of eight teams with winning records in 2016-17.

Despite posting a 20-1 record and a #7 ranking in the state, the Scotland County girls will enter next week’s district tourney as an underdog. Clopton, the #1 ranked girls team in Class 2 will be the top seed in the district tournament, which will be hosted by the Clarksville, MO  school, which is located south of Hannibal.

The host school will face #8 seed Louisiana (1-19) in the opening round on February 20th at 4 p.m.

The #2 seeded Lady Tigers will take on #7 Van-Far (6-14) at 5:30 p.m.

The third opening round game on Monday night will pit #4 Knox County vs. #5 South Shelby before the girls finale at 9 p.m. featuring #3 Paris vs. #6 Canton.

The boys will take the court Tuesday with #3 Louisiana (16-5) vs. #6 South Shelby (14-8) at 4 p.m.

BOYS BRACKET

Top seed Knox County (17-4) will then take on #8 Paris (8-12) at 5:30 p.m.

Scotland County, the #7 seed will be in action at 7 p.m. versus #2 seed Canton (15-6). The final game will pit #4 Clopton (15-6) against #5 Van-Far (13-7) at 9 p.m.

The girls semifinals will be played at 5:30 and 7 p.m. on Wednesday night. If the Lady Tigers take care of business in the opening round, they would advance to play the winner of Paris vs. Canton, in the 7 p.m. contest.

The girls’ championship game is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 25th.

The boys’ semifinals are set for 5;30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 23rd. An opening round win for the tigers would advance them to play the winner of Louisiana and South Shelby in the 7 p.m. game.

The boys’ championship game will be played at 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 25th.

The Late Mike Wagner’s Pink Elf is Honored in the International Gladiolus Hall of Fame

The late Mike Wagner was recently honored when he and his gladiolus hybrid, Pink Elf, were inducted into the International Gladiolus Hall of Fame located in Greeley, Colorado.

by Andrea Brassfield

The late Mike Wagner was fondly remembered as a man who loved and appreciated nature.  As a science and biology teacher, he enthusiastically taught for thirty-four years.  But his passion for science, and specifically genetics went well beyond the classroom as he and his wife spent much of their personal time in their garden. Over a 40 year span, they grew their flower garden to more than an acre in size with more than 1800 varieties of gladiolus.

Gladiolus hybridization was one of Mr. Wagner’s greatest joys and his work led to the development and introduction of many named seedlings into the commercial flower market not to mention the success his new creations experienced on the show table.

Thirty-seven years ago, in 1980, Mr. Wagner, introduced Pink Elf, one of his award winning gladiolus.  Last month, at the Annual North American Gladiolus Council Convention, in Myrtle Beach, VA, it was announced that Mr. Wagner’s Pink Elf was being inducted into the International Gladiolus Hall of Fame.

Mr. Wagner’s wife, Diana, received correspondence from Jane Bruce, Curator of the International Gladiolus Hall of Fame, letting her know about Pink Elf’s induction.  She received both a plaque and certificate with a description and picture of Pink Elf, letting her know the information would be included and archived at the International Hall of Fame.  The certificate reads: “This Certifies that Pink Elf is honored in The Gladiolus Hall of Fame inclusion in which is limited to those cultivars which represent outstanding achievement in the Gladiolus world.  And which have, thereby, contributed significantly to the betterment of Gladiolus. Michael E. Wagner 1980”.

Pink Elf was one of Mr. Wagner’s favorite creations and is described as a ruffled 300 size pink with yellow blotch.  It was introduced out of a cross of K&M’s “butterfly” Elf x Parfait (Lauras 1958 233). It is still cataloged by Peters and remains healthy, still winning ribbons both in North American and the UK.

Pink Elf is also described as proven to be a great parent, at least among North American breeders: Elfin, from Bates; Rose Elf (and others) from MacKenzie; sister-seedlings Cream de Mint and Pink Doll) from Everson; and others too numerous to mention.  It is still being used successfully, at least as a seed parent.

The International Gladiolus Hall of Fame is in the Michener Library at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, and is a repository for gladiolus literature from throughout the world and honors both outstanding gladiolus varieties and people who have notably contributed to gladiolus culture.

SCR-I Grad Rob Morgan Recognized for Contributions to Discovery of New Element

Recently, 1998 graduate of Scotland County High School, Rob (Bobby) Morgan was recognized for his contributions to the discovery of the newest element to be added to the periodic table. Element 117 received the official name Tennessine and was added to the seventh row of the table in November 2016.

The discovery of element 117 was officially announced in April of 2010, but began in early 2008 in a joint effort between researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory(ORNL) in Oak Ridge Tennessee and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia. To synthesize element 117, researchers bombarded the heavy element Berkelium7249 with a beam of Calcium-48 atoms. During the bombardment some of the calcium and berkelium atoms would combine to form the new element 117.

ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor and adjoining Radiochemical Engineering Development Center(REDC), is the only facility in the world capable of producing the Berkelium-249 necessary for the experiment. Morgan was part of a small team of researchers and technicians at REDC who worked on the year-long campaign resulting in the production of 22 milligrams of Berkelium-249, the necessary amount to perform the experiment.

The berkelium target material was then shipped to the JINR in Russia where it would begin the six-month process of calcium bombardment in a particle accelerator. Following this experiment researchers announced they had detected the presence of six atoms of element 117. These findings were later confirmed by researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California.

The proposed name, Tennessine, was approved by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 2016 to recognize the significant contributions of ORNL Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), and the University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN).

The discovery of Tennessine is evidence of the existence of the theoretical “island of stability”, where superheavy elements have increasingly stable properties. Discovery of these stable superheavy elements could lead to new technologies in energy, and have a drastic impact on the current view of chemistry and physics.

Jolly Jacks & Jills Make Valentines Cards for Meals on Wheels Deliveries

The Jolly Jacks & Jills 4-H Club held their regularly monthly business meeting on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at the Rotary building on the east side of the Memphis square.

President McKaela Bradley called the meeting to order.  Pledges were led by Kadance Burnett and Mason Mallett.  The Roll Call question was, “What is your favorite candy?”  Roll call was answered by 17 members.  Treasurer, Corbin Kirchner gave the treasurer’s report.  Several members reported on project meetings and work on their projects.

In Old Business, Assistant Leader, Sarah McSparren reported on the County Council meeting held on Jan 18th. Sarah reported that the nominations for the State Awards were written and submitted for Naomi Crouch Award – Sarah McSparren; Frank Graham Award – Josh McSparren; Hall of Fame – Pat Wiggins.  Sarah reported six 4-Hers are registered to attend State Teen Conference.  She reported there’s a FARM CITY night in Kahoka on Feb 25th.

Julian Vale and Sadie Jackson reported on volunteering at the Memphis Theatre. Club Leader, Alisa Kigar, reported on the craft that the members will do after the meeting that will be given to approximately 30 Senior Nutrition Site home delivered meals on February 14th.

In New Business, it was announced if any members are not aware of their project leaders to talk to the Extension Office.  Trash pickup was tabled until next month, but suggested an early out date from school in April for trash pickup.

President McKaela asked members if they wanted to do a fun spring activity?  Skating was suggested and kickball was suggested.  President McKaela called for a vote: Skating 13; Kickball 2. Julian Valle moved a motion that the club pays for the skating party. Morgan Jackson seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Under announcements: Drive on Pig Camp in Warrensburg on April 29th.  It was announced that all members that wish to show livestock at the fair must complete the SMQA (Show-Me Quality Assurance) training either live or via computer training.  The rules are that youth age 8 -13 must take the course 2 consecutive years to be certified.  Youth age 14 must complete an additional session to be certified.  Training is offered in our area in the following locations: March 2 @ 7 pm Lewis County Courthouse; March 8th @ 6 pm Scotland County Courthouse; March 13 @ 3:20 pm at Knox County High School; March 14 @ 7 pm at Clark County Courthouse.  Please contact the Extension Office in these counties if you plan to attend one of the live courses.  Otherwise, complete the course on-line at: http://agebb.missouri.edu/smqa/.

There’s a NORTHEAST REGIONAL 4-H ENERGIZER in Macon on Feb. 18th from 10 – 2 pm for youth age 11 – 18.  It costs $10.  Any youth that want to attend, please call the Extension office.

Achievement Day is scheduled for Sunday, March 5th.  The committee is meeting soon and registration papers will be sent out soon.  Members are encouraged to participate in all activities that day and prepare  a demonstration.  To learn about how to give a demonstration, go to University of MO Extension on-line and look up document Y 744 Let’s Demonstrate.

President McKaela asked for adjournment.  Elsie Kigar moved to adjourn.  Kilee Bradley-Robinson Second motion.  Motion carried.

After the business meeting, members and adults enjoyed snacks and made Valentines for the shut-in meal recipients for home delivered meals on Valentine’s Day. Thirty valentines were made by members of the club.

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, February 16 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Buttered Corn, Cottage Cheese, Garlic Bread, Peaches

Friday, February 17 – BBQ Ribs, Parsley Potatoes, Coleslaw, Hot Roll, Strawberry Shortcake/Topping

Monday, February 20 – Chicken Strips, Sweet Potato Fries or Regular Fries, Breaded Tomatoes, Applesauce, Bread Slice, Pudding

Tuesday, February 21 – Tenderloin/Bun/Onion, Lettuce Salad, Cauliflower/Cheese Sauce, Carrot-Pineapple Salad, Rice Krispies

Wednesday, Feb. 22 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Cabbage, Hot Roll, Fruit

Thursday, February 23 – Liver and Onions or Chicken Pattie, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Bread, Fruit

ACTIVITIES

Wed., February 15 – Board and Business Meeting 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 16 – Scotland County Health Department is doing blood pressure checks at the Nutrition Center. Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Monday, February 20 – President’s Day, Center Open.

Thursday, February 23 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Scotland County Health Department Schedule

Thursday, February 16 – Walk-in clinic hours from 8-10 a.m. for immunizations.  Nurse available at the Scotland County Nutrition Site for blood pressure checks.

Friday, February 17 – Walk-in clinic hours from 8:00-3:30 for fasting blood sugars, cholesterols, blood draws, blood pressure checks, immunizations, nail care, etc.

Monday, February 20 – Office closed for Presidents’ Day.

Tuesday, February 21 –Walk-in clinic hours from 8-9 a.m. for fasting blood sugars and cholesterols and blood draws and from 12-2:30 p.m. for immunizations, blood pressure checks, nail care, etc.  WIC certifications and mid certifications by appointment.  Please call 465-7275 to schedule an appointment.

Wednesday, Feb. 22 – WIC nutrition education and check pick up.

Thursday, February 23 – Walk-in clinic hours from 8-10 a.m. for immunizations.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, February 16 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, February 17 – Sausage/Gravy/Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Chocolate Chip Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, February 20 – NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, February 21 – NO SCHOOL

Wednesday, Feb. 22 – Sausage/Egg/Cheese Sandwich, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Half, Juice/Milk

Thursday, February 23 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, February 16 – Chili Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Hamburger Bar, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Pickle Spear, Cheese Stick, Saltine Crackers, Applesauce

Friday, February 17 – Macho Nachos, Tuna Noodle Casserole, Peas/Carrots, Dinner Roll, Strawberry Shortcake, Fresh Fruit

Monday, February 20 – NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, February 21 – NO SCHOOL

Wednesday, Feb. 22 – Country Fried Steak, Chicken and Noodles, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, California Blend Vegetables,  Dinner Roll, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, February 23 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Deli Wrap, Hamburger Bar, Layered Lettuce Salad, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Fruit Salad, Fresh Fruit

First Christian Church Hosts Central Christian College Students

Five students from Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, MO, and Preaching Professor, Jason Poznich, were guests at the First Christian Church in Memphis on Sunday, February 12th. CCCB Students are: Ian Whitmore a freshman Preaching major from Des Moines; Roni Busick, a freshman Christian Counseling major from Newtown, MO; Ashley Tanner a freshman Youth & Family Ministry major from Columbia, MO; Lucas Reynolds a sophomore Preaching major from Eldon, MO, and Admissions Counselor, Dillan Hayes, originally from Ft. Worth, TX. The Team is pictured here with the various youth groups from First Christian Church in Memphis.

A worship team, from Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, accompanied by a professor was in attendance at the First Christian Church in Memphis on Sunday, February 12, 2017.  During the Sunday School hour, the team met with the Junior High & Senior High students from the youth group and the topic of discussion was prayer.  Following the Sunday School hour, the church worship service was led by students Ian Whitmore, a Freshman Preaching Major from Des Moines and Roni Busick a Freshman Christian Counseling Major from Newtown, MO.   Preaching Professor, Jason Poznich, delivered the message from Luke 11:1-13.

After the church service, a carry-in lunch was enjoyed in the fellowship hall as part of the Annual Mid-Winter Cook-Out which was prepared by Randy Harrison, Paul Campbell, Lance Campbell & Lane Campbell, who cooked burgers & brats over the grill in the chilling temps.  After the Mid-Winter Cook-Out, the CCCB Team and Professor Poznich led youth group activities in the afternoon.

Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, MO, is an accredited four-year Bible college, founded in 1957 and dedicated to equipping men and women for leadership in the Kingdom of God both nationally and internationally.  CCCB offers four-year degrees in Preaching, Christian Education, Youth & Family Ministries, Christian Counseling, Cross-Cultural Ministries and Christian Ministries.  The college also offers a variety of Associate Degrees and Certificates.  For more information, please call 1-800-263-3900 or go to www.cccb.edu or like them on Facebook.  Jack Sumption, Preaching Minister and Josiah Holloway, Youth Minister at First Christian Church, are both alumni of CCCB.

Memphis FFA Celebrates FFA Week February 18-25, 2017

The Memphis FFA Chapter is celebrating National FFA Week February 18th-26th, 2017. This year’s theme is Transform Purpose to Action.FFA Week

Memphis FFA and FFA chapters across the nation will celebrate National FFA Week, February 18th-26th.  The theme this year is Transform Purpose to Action.  Chapters have activities planned to raise awareness about the National FFA Organization and the role it plays in the development of the agriculture industry’s future leaders and the importance of agricultural education.  The week-long tradition started in 1948.  Each year, National FFA Week runs Saturday to Saturday, encompassing President George Washington’s February 22nd birthday in recognition of Washington’s legacy as an agriculturist and farmer.

FFA was founded by a group of young farmers in 1928.  Its mission is to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population.  Since the founding members the organization has taught generations that agriculture is more than planting and harvesting – it involves science, business and much more.

Today, FFA continues to help the next generation rise up to meet new agricultural challenges by helping members develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways.  Members prepare for careers as biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers and entrepreneurs.

Memphis FFA activities and events include:

Saturday, February 18th – Card Party in the High School Commons from 6:00-9:00 p.m.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

Monday, February 20th – KMEM Coffee Break, No School.

Tuesday, February 21st – No School.

Wednesday, February 22nd – Pajama Day.

Thursday, February 23rd – Wear Official Dress.

Friday, February 24th – Drive trucks or tractors to school and dress like a farmer.

Wednesday thru Friday – FFA students will be going into the elementary classrooms to do lessons on Agriculture.

Saturday, February 25th – Community Appreciation Breakfast in the Ag Building from 7:00-9:00 a.m.  Everyone is welcome.

Sunday, February 26th – Those members who choose to will all go to church together wearing official dress.

Bridging partisanship for climate change

Dear Editor,

As the national news continues to highlight deep divisions in our country, I am encouraged by two recent events that actually highlight the bridging of partisanship around the topic of climate change.

First, a group of highly respected “elder statesmen” of the Republican Party has put out a position paper entitled “The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends:  How a new climate strategy can strengthen our economy, reduce regulation, help working-class Americans, shrink government and promote national security.”  While action on climate change has often been associated with Democrats and “liberals,” this group, the Climate Leadership Council, includes former Secretaries of State and Treasury, James A. Baker and George Schultz, well-known for their service during the Bush and Reagan administrations.

In the thoughtful position paper, the authors state that, now that the Republican Party controls the White House and Congress, it has “the responsibility to promote a climate plan that showcases the full power of enduring conservative convictions”. This would mean that such a plan would embody the principles of free markets and limited government. They write that their proposed “carbon dividends” plan makes just plain good economic sense, even if one is not one hundred percent sure about the science.  Harking back to Ronald Reagan’s philosophy, they urge the Trump Administration and Congress to take out an insurance policy, just in case the science is right.

Meanwhile in Congress, the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus is growing quickly. More and more Republicans are signing on, in “Noah’s Ark style” with a partnering Democrat, to address issues around climate change.  The newest arrivals to the Caucus include Nebraska Republican Congressman Don Bacon, the first from the Midwest.  Rep. Bacon was quoted as saying, “I am proud to be joining the Climate Solutions Caucus to further expand my knowledge on the potential impacts of climate change and find bi-partisan solutions.”

It is attitudes like that – willingness to learn, explore solutions, and bridge differences – which will ultimately solve problems.  When it comes to impacts of national security, the health and productivity of our agricultural lands, and the well-being of our economy, we’re all in this together.  I applaud the courage of those who act to bridge our divisions in addressing these vital issues, whatever their political persuasion.

Sincerely,

Sharon Bagatell – NE Missouri Citizens’ Climate Lobby

« Older Entries