Letters to the Editor
To the editor:
The BESIC classes of Erik Bailey and Kathleen Dorsey wish to publicly thank Dave Hill and Ivan Huntoon for taking time out of their busy schedules to talk with our classes. Hill and Huntoon spoke to the students about the stock market, banking, investing, and saving. Their presentations have benefitted the students by building a foundation of vocabulary, and concepts that we will build on all year. We are very lucky in this community to have such wonderful people always willing to volunteer their time and expertise. We thank them very much.
Kathleen Dorsey's Fifth grade
Erik Bailey's Fifth grade
To the editor:
A huge thank you to all volunteers, patrons, bands and corporate sponsors who helped make the 2009 Blues and Barbecue a great success.
A special thank you goes to the following donors: Chris Lorenzen; Stephen’s Real Estate; Baldwin State Bank; MidAmerica Bank; Heritage Tractor; Riley and Sara Winkler; Hestia Club of Baldwin City; Cosentino’s Price Chopper of Gardner; Zarda Barbecue; Birdsong; Hen House; Baker University jazz combo; Forecast; Konza Swamp Band; Hickory Creek Barbecue for preparing the meat; and several anonymous donors.
Every dollar received gets us closer to our final goal of finishing phase 1 of the Lumberyard Arts Center Project.
A gigantic thank you to Diane and Jim Niehoff for their countless hours given to the project.
Blues and Barbecue chair
To the editor:
In keeping with tradition, we all wait with bated breathe for the third weekend of October. Only two weeks away until the coveted Maple Leaf Festival. People from 100 miles or more come to see this extravaganza of “hand-made” crafts. The food, the bands, the carnival rides duct-taped together that we can trust our children's safety to. Oh and those “hand-made” crafts with that wonderful little sticker on the bottom. You know the one. The mark of a true craftsman. Made In China. Last year, my family took pictures of items that weren't hand-made. I have yet to see a license plate made by hand and I can't see that pressing a button on a printer actually defines as “hand-made.” In Overland Park, one can go to the farmer's market and find items that “look” hand-made, but are actually mass produced. These items are made and sold in bulk so a vendor can print their own labels for festivals just like Maple Leaf. It's that hand-made look at a commercial rate.
It’s Maple Leaf's dirty little secret. In local minds, not so secret. I wonder though how many Baldwin City residents know that according to the bylaws of Maple Leaf, only hand-made crafts are to be permitted? There is the selection committee that judges each and every crafter who submits a bid for entry. Picking over thousands of items to make for certain that only hand-made items are brought to be sold on our hallowed streets.
Not to mention all the people. Baldwin businesses benefit so well from Maple Leaf! The influx of people to our little town; it can only stand to reason that our local business owners will see vast amounts of profit for the event. Surely our seats will be full in every restaurant, our shelves empty from customers needing snacks, diapers and clean ups. Our storage tanks empty from the tanks filled for the return trip home. Oh, yes, Baldwin businesses should be well compensated for the weekend of jovial fall celebrators.
Yet, not all Baldwin businesses will benefit. There are so many that will suffer greatly at the hands of the Maple Leaf Committee. All being denied entry into this grand event. Why? They do not have hand-made items. Their items have the same sticker as so many of the “crafters” do. These businesses are willing to pay the same entry fee of $250 for an 8x10 stall. So what makes them ineligible? Why should any business of Baldwin suffer? Shouldn't they all see an increase in business?
Our economy has gone south, in case you hadn't heard. So many of Baldwin's residents are out of work or have been laid off in the past year. Many have been unable to find work to replace the lost income due to the economy's current state.
When there is no income, how does one pay their bills? Unfortunately, savings are depleting. Many homes have used up all their resources to pay the bills for the time the breadwinners have been out of work. Many breadwinners have been unemployed for more than a year. A month ago, more than 800 people showed up at The Great Mall of The Great Plains in hopes of landing a job with Coleman. People in suits, jeans and pajama pants all vying for the same jobs. Obviously, our local economy is not supporting our households.
It is great that the Maple Leaf Committee wants to limit the entries to “hand-made” items only. Let's be realistic. There are very few hand-made anythings left in this world. Excluding Baldwin's residents from being included in the Maple Leaf takes money out of Baldwin's economy. Even if an individual who has a business at home can find a Baldwin business with a store front to sponsor them, the Maple Leaf Committee “reserves the right” to exclude them. The committee actually regulates what items a business on the square can sell based on what that business provides throughout the year. Unless of course you’re on the committee. It is unbelievable that any business would allow a festival to dictate how they will use their property. The audacity of the committee to think it is OK to make such dictations.
Bottom line is, no Baldwin-based business should be excluded from Maple Leaf Festival. No citizen should be penalized for not having a storefront. Many home-based business owners would earn a year's income generated from this one event. Why would anyone want to exclude these businesses? The same businesses that donate to Baldwin Junior High School's Basket auction, Rainbow Preschool program, the PTO and the food pantry. We are not just people that live in a town. We are a community that thrives on the people that support each and every need our town has. As home-based businesses, we spend our money here. We buy our gas, we pay our taxes, we use the services provided in Baldwin. Why then are we not able to represent ourselves in the most visible example of what Baldwin is known for? We support the community, why not support us?
Maple Leaf Festival is a pinnacle of Baldwin City's landscape. Its history reaches far and wide. We all love the event and celebration of fall's arrival. I can't imagine arguing the good that Maple Leaf has done for so many. All I am asking is why the at-home businesses cannot be represented in this event? I'm not suggesting that we allow businesses from around the country. I'm only suggesting that our community would happily support the men and women who are struggling to support their families. Why not help us support our families by allowing us to be a part of this rewarding event?
Each year, I make the inquiries to be allowed access. Each year for the last four years, I've been told that the committee would take it into consideration. This year, I was told that there wasn't anyone to head up a committee. I volunteered to do just that. Then I was told it was too late for this year's festival. Then I was told that it wouldn't be in keeping with the “bylaws” of the Maple Leaf Festival. I was also redirected to the BPW who also told me that they are sold out and have no room, but maybe next year. How many more “next years” will it take to finally be included?
Dr. Ivan Boyd inspired this festival as being the best time to view the changing of the colors in the trees. When we will see the changing of the color of the times? When will Baldwin's Maple Leaf Festival don pride in all the businesses of Baldwin with representation of all her community’s attributes?
Scott and Deania Mishler
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