Homer Bristow

Well folks 2009 is behind us, and 2010 is ahead of us. I began this article in this manner to get accustomed to writing the new date. I think I have already sent several checks with 2009 on them, but I'll bet the bank will cash them anyway, depleting my dwindling checking account, if it's not already empty.

I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and a more than happy New Year. I attempted to stay awake until midnight on New Year's Eve, but like the last several years I only made it to about ten-thirty. Oh, well, at least on New Years' Day, I thought about all the things I could remember that happened during 2009.

First we began the year of 2009 with a President of mixed blood, black and white. The media claimed this was a first in the history of America. I don't believe a word of that. I'll bet if they took a long look into the family genealogy of the past 43 presidents they would find at least one with quite a bit of African heritage. Our government has always been successful at covering little things like that up. The only difference between then and now is this time it is too obvious to cover up without making our President look like Micheal Jackson.

All through 2009 we heard things like Economic Stimulus, Health Reform, Bailouts for big businesses, and I'll never forget the Cash for Clunkers program if I live to be a hundred. We have heard of budget cuts at federal, state, county, and city levels.

All of this seems depressing when first looked at, but I have noticed that through all of this depressing mess, that Cherokee County still has some of the best services available. We have several good, well-equipped fire departments. We finally have a sheriff's department that actually works. We have an ambulance service which in my opinion is second to none. We have a very good Social and Rehabilitation Service. We have excellent programs for the disabled known as SKIL which successfully makes it possible for their clients to stay at home safely, instead of residing at nursing facilities.

I know this for a fact because my wife is one of their clients. They have helped me keep her at home for several years. Without their help this would not have been possible.

Here in 2010 Cherokee County cannot afford to lose even one of these services. There are too many residents depending on them. Our state government has seen fit to cut by 10 percent for these services. They are again taking from those who can least afford it.

I believe the state government could find something more trivial to cut funding on than these life saving services. I think it would be a good way to start this new year of 2010, if every voter in Cherokee County would write a letter to our state governor and our state representative, protesting the State of Kansas' decision to cut medicaid services to all care providers by 10 percent.

I am not asking anyone to do this just because I have a loved one using these services, I am also asking because one of your loved ones may need their services some day. Believe me, you will be glad they are there.

Please write to:

Gov. Mark Parkinson

2nd Floor, State Capitol

300 SW 10th Ave.

Topeka, Kansas 66612-1590

AND

Rep. Doug Gatewood

PO Box 306

Columbus, Kansas 66725