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The Oskaloosa Independent
Valley Falls , Kansas
July 19, 2012     The Oskaloosa Independent
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July 19, 2012

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P. 2 THURSDAY, JULY 19, 2012 THE OSKALOOSA INDEPENDENT Opinion The View From... #8 Rural ROUs tto the m ...-. -..-__ the The more Agriculture decades ago by p g money and food people take from their govern- ments, which lately have been urging this prac- tice, the more difficult it is to wean the takers from the troughs. We soon become wards of the State, meaning all governments rolled into one, which is how it is. In recent years the food programs administered and funded through the U. S. Department of Agriculture have climbed to more than $100 bil- lion a year. That includes food stamps (they have a fancy name now, and it's plastic money with a lot more eligible items), all the school programs of breakfast, lunch, snacks and week- end stay and the Women with Infants and Children deal. The current administration has even advertised on cable TV for peo- ple to participate in these programs. Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts wants to know how much and why. The money has risen from around $30 billion a year just 10 or 12 years ago to what it is now, which is really shocking and really dangerous going forward. Last week the House debated the so-called farm bill, or more accurately, the food welfare bill because farmers get comparatively very little, and de- cided to trim the burgeoning food pro- grams just a little bit. Traditionally, farmers are considered quite eligible for cuts, while the food programs are usually considered inviolate or safe from any reductions. Food handouts now outpace farm programs by at least 10 to one. Food programs were inserted in the U.S. Department of Kansas Sen. Bob Dole. No pun in- tended. The rationale was to tie food welfare to the USDA to give increased political power to farmers, whose numbers were waning even then. The House is trying to cut $16 bil- lion from food welfare over 10 years, or a mere $1.6 billion a year from what is $100 billion a year. Even though that is a thin cut--one that probably could not even equal the fraud, the slippage, the cards going out to deceased, the cards going out to ineligible people, the waste in the school food programs or a few sal- ary reductions within the program in USDA--it was the subject of hot debate. Chances are the minimal cut will not happen. The cynics are saying, and with some logic on their sides, that the food welfare skyrocket in recent years is designed to rope people into the government corral of subsistence and thereby secure votes enough for the liberals or so- called progressives to stay in power to prove that we cannot live without a totalitarian government tucking us into bed each night in a metaphori- cal giant apartment warren similar to those that failed in the ultimately dispirited Soviet Union. So what's wrong with government money? Well, it costs a whole lot per dollar to distribute and to track, for starters. The slippage rate 20 years ago was said then to be 30 percent. Recent experience with a minor pro- gram for the elderly poor given fresh food vouchers indicated a cost to tax- payers of $18 for each $2 voucher! More important than robbing taxpayers is what welfare usually programs last and the more comfort- able a welfare taker becomes as a ward of the state, the less likely or able anyone is to escape the bondage for a new life in the private sector. Welfare recipients can become expectant and demanding for more money and services. As long as the perceived needs are met, there is no incentive to break out of the system. Almost without self awareness, the welfare class becomes dispirited and under-achieving with a sort of outward listlessness accompanied sometimes with a sullen undercur- rent of defensive anger. The other day a man assumed that all farmers' market vendors took food vouchers. When informed by me that was not the case, he angrily declared that any vendor in Kansas was sup- posed to be taking the handout vouch- ers. I opted out of that program several years ago because I had no means to defend against participants who might complain to the federal govern- ment about me or my produce at the government's stated and standing invitation, which implied a crushing legal prosecution would follow any complaint. Plus, the program caused the vendors to go to a lot of trouble just to cash the things in. I left the program and have not regretted it. I give produce away from time to time to the Rescue Mission in Topeka, a place that actually feeds the hungry and shelters the homeless. Jim Suber is an award-winning farm, ranch, and rural life columnist resid- ing on Rural Route No. 8, Topeka. Changes at juvenile justice The Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority is one of those agencies that doesn't often come up in discussion of how Kansas government works. It is very basically where the state puts juveniles who have committed crimes, generally grown-up style crimes At The Rail by Martin Hawver ing with. There were employees who didn't meet the qualifications for their jobs, there were employees who were able to bring contraband into the Topeka facility, and there were employees who had criminal records that should have disqualified them for duty, the audit that would land most of reported. us who are old enough to That's changing. The facility is essentially being legally order a drink in changed from, according to the audit, an apparently prison, pretty loosely run social service facility into a correc- ......... 'And, for mr ore than tional fac{lit.v. And it's Brownback's doing. " ' """' ........ ' ....... It soneo][rthose examples of a dramatic change in the a decade, at s beer ats a :: '  ....... ' .......... .... " .... ' oeial service-'t56' ttbiiJt. ........ 0//tl0Olt at geoals of a new governor. It's an example of They're children we're lock- the end of that 16-year period in which Kansas gover- hag up. nors generally didn't change much, and a new guy in But after that long town is taking a look at how things have been working, social services orientation and whether they're working right. of the agency, Gov. Sam Brownback put a career correctional officer in charge Brownback is starting to of JJA,. i;ather than social-services types. And she's al- turn it into what it probably ready starting to tighten things up. ought to have been from There are some "government-type" problems that the get-go--a corrections need to be solved, such as low wages for the guards system, that means there's too much turnover to have a really The details of the experienced workforce, and that's a budget deal. But there's an attitude change in the JJA, one that Brownback looked for and found; it sounds like the management is finally right for the mission of a cor- rectional institution. It sounds like the youths there might soon be safe enough that they can pay attention to their rehabilitation and education, not just keeping themselves from harm. There have been a lot of those "fresh eyes" looks at state government by Brownback. This one might work... i i Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver's Capitol Report--to learn more about this statewide political news service, visit the website at hawvernews.corn. operation of the JJA came to light in a recent Legislative Post Audit report that showed inside the juvenile correc- tional facility in Topeka, there were doors unlocked and propped open, guards who didn't check in on prisoners and even a set of keys missing. Does that sound like a correctional facility? Or, more like an activities center? Oh, but these are juveniles. Well, yes, the 200-plus boys and 20-plus girls at the facility are young, probably still educable and able to be rehabilitated so that they don't bother people when they serve their terms...but they need to be safe while that's going on. That wasn't happening. There were suicide attempts, fights and sexual assaults, all going on because of the general attitude' that these are children we're deal- The gardener's corner And the skies are not cloudy by Sandra M. Siebert Heat. Rain. That about sums up my gardening thoughts these days. It is very hot. We desperately need rain. While this past week has been cooler -- highs in the 90s instead of 100s -- rain remains a memory and a hope. I cringe every time I check the weather forecast. It is so often discouraging. Yes, it is going to be hot. No, rain is not likely any time soon. And the water level in our rain tanks keeps going down. Why do I keep looking? The forecast is always the same. We have had a reprieve from the most intense heat, but the high tempera- tures continue to creep upward in the forecast. I should simply block the National Weather Service Web site from my computer as being obscene. However, all is not dismal. The garden looks amazing in spite of the heat. Watermelons, canta- loupes, cucumbers, okra and toma- toes are thriving on the water they have received. The harvest won't be as abundant as in years past, but soon I will begin canning tomatoes and eating ice cold watermelon. This past week not only brought relief from the intense heat, but another form of fresh air. A young Japanese couple, who have been traveling around the U.S. perform- ing at music festivals, has spent the week here between weekend festi- vals that are relatively nearby. We offered them a place to just breathe, and a taste of a different culture -- country life in Kansas. And in return, we have been able to see our place and our life from a new perspective through another's eyes. Homegrown vegetables have been on the menu and part of one morning was spent touring the gar- den and orchard areas. This morn- ing we suited them up and opened up the honey bee hive. A look inside a honey bee colony is a wonderful experience, even for those of us who have seen it before. The first look inside a hive, however, is absolutely awe inspiring. The heat has taken its toll on all creatures, as well as the plants. Almost all of the plants bloomed early, and it seemed almost everything bloomed all at once. Little seems to be in bloom right now, meaning food is scarce for the bees and other pol- linating insects. Our honey bee colony has still not begun to even build comb in the "honey super" (the box from which the queen is excluded so that it isfilled only with honey and no bee larvae), as they are using all that they find to feed the larvae, queen and workers. However, the colony appears to be strong and thriving. We recently began providing supplemental food for the bees to encourage them to build in the honey super. Yet they are not entirely depen- dent on that. When I looked closely at bees arriving from the morning for- age, many of them had orange pollen in the pollen bags on their hind legs. Something is blooming. Something provides sustenance for them. Nature never ceases to amaze me. "Amazing" is a word that comes to my mind again and again and again as I walk through the gardens and orchard. Many of the ornamental perennials in the flower beds around our house have received no supple- mental water this summer. Their only drinks have been provided by nature, yet they appear unaffected by the heat and drought. Totally and completely amazing. The giant winter squash vines no longer receive water, now that the rain tanks are low and it does not appear that nature will fill them soon. Winter squash is not one of our staple foods, so we can let them go when water is scarce. They wilt in the after- noon heat, but perk up in the cooler night and morning temperatures. And they are full of blooms filled with pollen and nectar. Food for bees. Bumblebees are numerous among the squash blossoms. Perhaps I should reconsider my decision to quit water- ing them. Food for the bees seems a good reason to keep them going. As the supply of rain water dwin- dles, I look around and wonder what I can let go and what I should keep watering. The perennial foods -- the berries and fruit trees -- are top priority, with the newest trees at the foremost. Second are the annual vegetables that are strong and capable of providing a good harvest -- such as the melons, cucumbers, eggplants and tomatoes -- as well as some ornamental shrubs that got transplanted this spring. Next on the list are the medicinal herbs that need extra help and the an- nual vege- tables that tolerafe heat and drought -- okra, long beans, black eyed peas. I am wavering on the green beans, as they do not seem to produce in the intense heat, even with supplemental wa- ter. This week I plan to start broc- coli and cabbage to transplant in a few weeks for a fall and winter garden. Already I have seedlings of brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower waiting to be put into the garden. The brussels sprouts should be planted soon, but I am reluctant to do so in this heat, when I already have to begin ra- tioning water. I will start the broc- coli wondering if I am wasting my time. Hope and optimism, however, keep me saying, "Maybe conditions will improve. Maybe the fall garden will thrive. Maybe..." That mantra keeps me moving forward. With the cooler temperatures of this past week, I eased up on my watering schedule and didn't push myself out of bed and into the garden quite as early. That respite has let me recharge a bit. And when I see all of the green in the garden that has continued to thrive with just a bit of encourage- ment from me, I am more willing to keep moving. All that green out there in spite of the inhospitable conditions. Amazing. r Talking safe Internet use for children With more free time during the summer, children may be using the Internet for entertainment. The In- ternet can be fun and educational, but it can also be a dangerous place for children. It's important for parents to keep an open line of communication with their children to make sure they are safely using the Internet. It is never too early to start these conversations. Even preschoolers are playing games on computers or smart phones, and need to understand the limits of what they should or should not do. Talk to children about never giving out their name, address, age, or any other personal information on the Internet. One way to help keep children on appropriate websites is to put icons on the desktop or opening page that they know are OK for them to use. Children often do not know where they are going and may accidently visit inappropriate websites. It is best for parents to help with Internet searches ifa child wants a new site to visit or game to play. Asking questions is also very im- portant. Know which sites children are going to and what they are doing there. If children are unwilling to talk about what they are doing, that may be a sign that they are going to inappropriate and potentially dangerous sites. Withdrawing from the family and not wanting other people around when they are on the computer are other warning signs. Keep computers in family rooms where children's Internet use can be monitored. Do not allow them in children's bedrooms. Make sure chil- dren are not spending too much time on the computer, especially at night. Be alert to see if they are receiving calls from strangers or making long- distance calls to unknown numbers. Cindy Williams Meadowlark District Extension Agent Food, Nutrition, FNP 4-H and Youth KSU Research and Extension email: cwUliam @ Parents can monitor where their children are going online by check- ing the history tab. Another step to protect children is to buy a software filter program to prevent them from accessing inappropriate sites. Spider m,tes on soybeans David Hallauer Meadowlark District Extension Agent Crops, Soils, Horticulture 4-H and Youth KSU Research and Extension email: dhallaue @ Spider mites on soybeans A hot, dry weather pattern has again prompted reports of spider mite infestations on soybeans. HOPE- FULLY, this last little shower helped alleviate some drought stress that tends to encourage these infestations. Rain also increases fungal pathogens that attack spider mites. To scout, look for feeding on the un- derside of the leaves, causing them to initially turn yellow, then gray-green, and eventually bronze. Actual mites will be difficult to see, but if you look closely or use a hand lens, you can see them moving. Severe infestations may cause leaf loss. Spider mites will generally create webbing on the un- derside of the leaves and often in the middle part of the crop canopy which can make control measures very dif- ficult. What about control? It's not rec- ommended unless you find them, but since much of our yield potential is determined between beginning bloom and full length pods, protecting the plant during that time frame is cru- cial. Drought stress that may limit production complicates matters. If soybeans are in R1-R4 growth stages, and spider mite activity is found in the mid-canopy approaching the up- per canopy, it might be a good idea to treat the infested areas in the field. Reducing the spider mite pressure will help alleviate the stress on the soybeans over the week to 10 days after appliatiol,bufing some time "u'rltfl'fleXxcic of rmfi. ': Severallnsechclffds are laB61M. If available, using drop nozzles can help the insecticide penetrate the canopy and hopefully increase coverage. Read and follow all label directions and rates when using any pesticide. For more information, please see the K-State Soybean Insect Management guide at: library/entm12/mf743.pdf Iron chlorosies in trees Dryer weather this summer has again shown many of our pin oak trees to be affected by iron ehlorosis. Not really a deficiency, per se, it tends to occur on higher pH soils that tie up iron, making it unavailable to plants. Symptoms include yellow leaves with a network of dark green veins. In severe cases the entire leaf turns yellow and the edges of the leaf scorch and turn brown. Plants may eventually die, in some cases taking some very nice landscape trees with them. The best method to combat iron chlorosis is to plant a tolerant tree. The aforementioned pin oak appears to be the worst for us, but sweetgum and maple (red, silver, Amur) can also be a problem. On the flip side, most other oaks and Norway maples are fairly tolerant. You can also try treatments. For example, a soil treatment (acidifica- tion of the soil so it can absorb iron on its own) Using sulfur products in- jected into holes beneath the dripline is labor intensive but effective. Foliar treatments (spraying directly with an iron chelate or iron sulfate) are quick-but you might burn the leaves and responses may be spotty and temporary, requiring re-application. One method that tends to be fairly successful over time is trunk injec- tion or implantation (there are both professional and homeowner options). Here, holes are drilled in the lower trunk and ferric ammonium citrate (iron citrate) or ferrous sulfate is introduced through the holes in the spring just after leaves have fully expanded. For information, refer to 'Iron Chlorosis in Trees' available at the extension office or: http://www.]ibrary/forst2/mf718. pdf. County news and photos at T H E 0 S K A L 0 0 S A 00nl00epenbent County Seat Weekly--The Official Newspaper of Jefferson County Established 1860 * Six Months Older'Than The State Of Kansas CUSPS 412-940) A legal Jefferson County Newspaper and the official publication for McLouth, Nortonville, Oskaloosa, Win- chester, Jefferson County, and Unified School Districts 339, 341 and 342. Published every Thursday at Oskaloosa, Kansas 66066. Periodical Class Postage paid at Oskaloosa (KS) Post Office. Postmaster: Send address changes to: The Oskaloosa Independent, P.O. Box 278, Oskaloosa, KS 66066. Subscription rates: New and renewals: $26.00 a year mailed to a Jefferson County Post Office (tax included); $27.50 a year elsewhere in Kansas (tax included); and $34.50 a year out-of-state; in advance. Single copy, $1; plus postage if mailed.  O Oskaloosa Office Information P.O. Box 278 * 607 Delaware Oskaloosa, KS 66066 Phone (785) 863-2520 Fax (785) 863-2730 E-mail: independent@centurylink, net Owner & Publisher: Davis Publications Inc. Independent Staff Dennis Sharkey Peggy Collier Editor Office Manager Reporter Bookkeeping Corey Davis Production Manager www. JeffCountyNews. com