It’s been almost a week since it happened but many of us are still trying to wrap our minds around the result of the 20th annual WSOY Community Food Drive. It was held last Friday and collected money for over 8 million pounds of food, blowing by last year’s total of 2.2 million pounds! The Howard G. Buffett Foundation gave the effort an unexpected gigantic boost with a donation of $1 million dollars which translates into about 5 million pounds! The total amount of money collected was for 8,134,201 pounds of food! That’s incredible!
• I WAS out at the food donation staging area in the parking lot of Kroger East around 7:00 a.m., on Friday, as I’ve been for the event each year for the past 20 years, and although I’ve always been optimistic that each year would raise more money (food) than the year before, I had no idea what a special, “historic day” in donations that it would become when the event concluded in the evening.
This community, like so many communities, needed a real boost to the morale and boy did the result of this year’s food drive accomplish that purpose. As I mentioned in this column last week, I am so proud of the dedicated commitment and work by longtime friends Brian Byers, Kevin Breheny and so many other caring residents who work themselves to near exhaustion each year in making this happen. With all of the negativity from social media and other places about our community, this day, above all days, each year shows the true spirit of this community — it is a spirit of giving and caring about others! That’s the reason I always felt honored to serve the people of Decatur during the years I served as mayor and it is also the reason I feel honored to be an editor, a business owner and a resident of this great community.
• I APPRECIATE so much Howard G. Buffett, and his foundation, for all he has contributed to this community in multiple ways. The fact that his foundation would make a $1 million donation to the food drive to help others during this difficult time says a lot about his love for this community and the people here. It has been awhile since I sat down with Howard Buffett and talked over breakfast at a local restaurant, but the man I talked with was extremely likeable and committed to helping others — in ways that he has found most effective in making a community better. I’ve always believed that our community is extremely fortunate to have Howard G. Buffett supportive of us — when there isn’t a community in the nation who would not want him in their city or county.
• MORE THAN a few 18-wheeler trucks continue to blast through downtown on Main and Franklin streets like there isn’t a law on the books against it! Those big trucks were banned and an alternative route to accommodate them was designed years ago — yet some drivers completely ignore the signs posted. It seems that every time I walk to the downtown post office, I see one or more of the big rigs blasting up Franklin! Maybe I should start printing the names of the companies the trucks belong to when I see them — or shoot a photo of the tractor/trailer as it passes by in front of me! I don’t think the companies with their names on the sides of the trailer will appreciate the “advertising”.
• WHILE I’m on the subject of vehicles, I see more and more cars with heavy tint on their windows. I’ve written about it before and received a few complaints from readers about my being against the heavy tint. Sen. Chapin Rose has tried a few times to get legislation passed to outlaw heavily-tinted windows but his efforts have died in committee. I guess some powerful legislators don’t want citizens being able to see what is going on behind those darkened car windows.
Some people believe the heavy tints make their cars look much better. Frankly, I’m always suspicious of what is going on inside those vehicles behind that heavily-tinted glass. There are a number of laws that can be broken when the view from the outside is obstructed. With all of the violence against police officers these days, it is easy for me to see that an officer approaching a car with heavy-tinted glass could easily have a gun pointed right at him and he or she wouldn’t know it.
I’ll get off my “anti-heavy tinted glass in car windows” soapbox, but I do believe it should be outlawed as a matter of public safety.
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00 for the “City Hall Insider” portion of his program.