CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

November 2, 2010

Watching the 2000 Election from Munich, Germany

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

WATCHING THE 2000 ELECTION FROM MUNICH, GERMANY

     My most memorable election experience—the 2000 presidential election.

     It wasn’t made memorable by the controversy over the Florida votes, although, like most Americans, the controversy made the 2000 voting unforgettable.

     It was memorable because (more…)

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November 1, 2010

Change the Name of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

CHANGE THE NAME OF THE

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS?

     On November 2, 2010, Rhode Island voters will decide whether to change their state’s name. Election results at the end of this post.

     Apparently not many Rhode Islanders realize their state’s official name is lengthier than its small size deserves: The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Although it isn’t listed this way on modern-day maps, it is on the state seal, and it is in many official state documents. It is also heard in the courtroom when the judge is announced.

     If asked, many Rhode Islanders don’t know what the term plantations means.

     State voters must decide whether or not to drop the phrase and Providence Plantations from the state’s name, leaving it at just State of Rhode Island, an issue that has been debated for years. Only last year did lawmakers authorize a ballot question.  A group of primarily African-American lawmakers made a strong push, speaking about racial divisions and the lingering negative connotations of the word plantations.

     The issue has spawned an impassioned debate over race relations, ancestry and history.

     In 1663, when King Charles II granted a royal charter to the colony of Rhode Island, plantations was a general term for a settlement or colony. Rhode Island was formed by merging the Providence settlement, founded by minister Roger Williams, with nearby towns.

(Picture: This wharf, on the former Rebecca and Thomas Cornell property—1600s—points across Naragansett Bay towards Providence, Rhode Island. To read about the Cornells click on KILLED STRANGELY: A NEW ENGLAND MURDER STORY.) 

     The sting: although the word plantations originally wasn’t associated with slavery, that fact can be considered irrelevant. Rhode Island merchants became rich when the state had a prime role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade (along with trading rum, sugar and molasses). The trade was among New England, the Caribbean and West Africa.

     Persons promoting the name change state that the word plantations is as inextricably linked to slavery as is the swastika is linked to (more…)

Election Integrity: Where is It?

CAROLYN’S CREATIONS

ELECTION  INTEGRITY: WHERE IS IT?

     Integrity.

     What we need in America is elected people who say what they mean and do what they say.

     More common is the opposite—candidates who say what they must to succeed in the election, but who do not or cannot deliver on their promises.

     My first political interest occurred in the fall of 1963. Previous to that time, while surviving a negative home situation, I concentrated on my education in the medical field. It was my route to a better life.

     That fall I was on my way, a medical laboratory technician working in the pathology lab at Doctor’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. It was time for me to become involved in my community.

     I listened to the candidates for election. One, especially, I liked. He assured his electorate that he would accomplish something (after this many years, I forget the details). After he was elected, he immediately (more…)

May 11, 2010

Immigration is Positive for the USA

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

IMMIGRATION IS POSITIVE FOR THE USA

I observe with regret that the law for the admission of foreigners was not passed during this session, as it is an important moment to press the sale and settlement of our lands. From a letter written by William Bingham to Gen Henry Jackson, April 9, 1793*

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     From the birth of the United States into the present time, immigration has had advocates. In the 1790s, immigration was supported by land speculators, who hoped to make it rich by settling their lands with immigrants.

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     My interest in immigration issues was piqued during my research for a historic journal paper and a historic romance novel, both set in the 1790s. Many of the characters in my novel—including Gen. Henry Knox, Col. William Duer, Gen. Henry Jackson, Madame Rosalie de Leval, even Pres. George Washington—were land speculators. Except for Washington, they favored immigration to supply the settlers to fulfill their land purchase contracts.

     In Roy L. Garis’s book on immigration** I discovered the “great immigration” controversy that existed in the decades immediately following the American Revolution.

     My intention is not to indicate any personal preference or bias in the immigration issue. It is to present both sides of the issue as found in early United States documents. This post offers immigration pros. To read the negative views of immigration click on Immigration is Negative for the USA.

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In William Penn’s time (starting 1682), all immigrants, regardless of their religious or ethnic background were welcomed. (In Philadelphia) Quaker immigrants arriving in need of financial assistance were given or lent money interest free, but the others (who were not Quakers) became the responsibility of the city. The Friends established the first alms house in the city in 1713…Poor of all faiths lived there in cottages and were encouraged to work. In 1717 the Assembly ordered that a “workhouse” for the colony be built in Philadelphia within three years. With the Friends’ alms house meeting much of the need, public officials continuously delayed construction. The first public alms house finally opened in 1732…it had separate facilities for the indigent and the insane, and also an infirmary…#

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     As early the 1730s, Samuel Waldo encouraged immigration: (due to) certain difficulties having arisen in regard to the Muscongus Patent (Maine)…thirty miles square—about a million acres…between the Penobscot and Muscongus Rivers…one-half the patent…set off in 1762…was bestowed on (Samuel Waldo)…he subsequently became proprietor of five-sixths of the entire patent…thereafter known as the Waldo Patent…he planned and executed measures for peopling (this land)…(he) invited immigration

(to continue reading, click on http://intertwinedlove.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/immigration-is-positive-for-the-usa/ )

ADDITIONAL READING:

Intertwined Love: Novel Synopsis— http://intertwinedlove.wordpress.com/intertwined-love-the-novel/

Immigration is Negative for the USA

Doing Historical Research in Philadelphia

Eyes in shades of purple

Dog Fighting & Cock Fighting: Cultural Phenomenon?

From the Bastille to Cinderella

January 25, 2010

Update on the Rector and Export Post Office Suspensions

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

UPDATE ON THE RECTOR AND EXPORT POST OFFICE SUSPENSIONS

     NOTE: Below is the January 13, 2010, updated information on the Postal Regulatory Commission’s public inquiry, Docket No. P12010-1.

     Two Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, communities are experiencing a problem common to many communities across our country: the suspension of local United States Postal Services. Both the Rector Post Office and the Export Post Office were closed when their building landlords refused to renew the Postal Service lease.

     Rector’s post office was located in a front room of a private home on Rt. 381 for 107 ½ years before it closed on August 27, 2005. The current owner of the house, Ida Ankney Tenney, was unwilling to sign the required twenty-year lease. By signing the lease, the post office facility would remain on the premises even if the family decided to sell the home.

     Export’s Kennedy Avenue postal facility closed its doors on June 26, 2008, after the owner of the building in which it was located decided not to negotiate a new lease. Arthur Spagnol, who owned the building since 1962, claimed it was too expensive to make the renovations the Postal Service wanted.

     Betty Eichler, a retired postmaster involved with the national group, maintains that post offices can be closed only in the case of an emergency, such as a natural disaster.

     “It’s not right what they’re doing. The Postal Service, in order to get around the law, temporarily suspends an office,” Eichler said. “The people have no rights. There’s nobody they can appeal to. … All I want to do is make them do it the right way.”

     Export’s case has garnered national attention.

(To read the complete story, click on:

Post Office Closings in Rector and Export, Pennsylvania, Mirror a Larger Postal Service Problem

 Or https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/post-office-closings-in-rector-and-export-pennsylvania-mirror-a-larger-postal-service-problem/ )

      On November 9 the Postal Regulatory Commission in Washington initiated a (more…)

January 1, 2010

Post Office Closings in Rector and Export, Pennsylvania, Mirror a Larger Postal Service Problem

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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POST OFFICE CLOSINGS IN RECTOR AND EXPORT, PENNSYLVANIA,

MIRROR A LARGER POSTAL SERVICE PROBLEM

     Rector is a small rural community on the outskirts of Laughlintown, Pennsylvania, near the eastern border of Westmoreland County. Rt. 381, near Linn Run State Park, passes through the community that is about five miles south of the Lincoln Highway, Rt. 30. Its population is undetermined, since it is included in a regional count. However, it has just over one hundred post office boxes.

     Export is a community of less than 830 residents, not far from Monroeville, Pennsylvania. It is on Rt. 22 in Westmoreland County, on its northeastern edge.

     These two communities are experiencing a problem common to many communities across our country: the suspension of (more…)

July 13, 2009

Eliminate feral birds: A call for political action

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

ELIMINATE FERAL BIRDS:

A Call for Political Action

 This is a follow-up of a previous post, FERAL BIRDS: THE LATEST COMMUNITY HAZARD.  The stories keep coming in. Michael’s story is compelling!

      Michael’s story: It happened in June (2009), very early in the morning, between Ford City and Kittanning (PA). I was traveling on a work assignment. It was too cold to open the car windows, about 60 degrees.

     When it warmed up, I decided to put my window down. As I reached to do so, I saw something from the corner of my eye, on my left side. I thought it was a bird and that it would slip away, and shoot up the window to the other side of the car. But no sooner had I put my window down when something came into the car and nailed me in the head. It happened fast, and I didn’t see what it was at first—I just saw feathers flying.

     I looked to the right and saw (more…)

June 18, 2009

Health care reform & Silver Sneakers

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

HEALTH CARE REFORM & SILVER SNEAKERS

A month ago I joined the Silver Sneakers program at the Ligonier (PA) YMCA. Since participating, I can feel the positive physical effects. Since national health care discussions place this Medicare Advantage program in jeopardy, Silver Sneakers members were asked to write a letter explaining why this program should not be eliminated to reduce governmental health care costs. Below is my letter. Please write one of your own and send it to your legislators.

A nation, a community, a family, are only as healthy as its people.

Thus, quality health care, including preventive and rehabilitative care, should be a major priority. Yet, escalating health care costs are threatening the health of the American people.

Persons who knowingly promote their ill-health should be required to take responsibility for the consequences. Conversely, persons who take responsibility to maintain/regain/improve their health, thereby decreasing the need for medical care, should not be penalized.

The Medicare Advantage funding of the Silver Sneakers health maintainance/rehabilitative exercise program, geared towards improving/developing the health of America’s senior citizens, is an example of preventative medicine.

Health care reform discussions include the Silver Sneakers program. This issue is likely to be part of the health care reform bill being drafted this summer. And it is likely the discussions and results of the discussions will be (more…)

March 11, 2009

Kathy Kelly, of Voices of Wilderness: On Peace

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

KATHY KELLY, of VOICES OF WILDERNESS: ON PEACE

     Today’s e-mail brought an announcement that peace activist and educator Kathy Kelly will be the Sister Mary Schmidt Lecture Series speaker on March 24, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. (See end of this post for further information). Kathy helps coordinate the Voices for a Creative Nonviolence, a campaign to end military and economic warfare against Iraq. This three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee has participated in nonviolent direct action teams in Haiti, Bosnia, and Iraq.
     When my husband Monte and I were traveling New England in the fall of  2003, we found ourselves in Lewisberg, Maine. There, I spotted a meeting announcement on a grocery store bulletin board. The speaker was Kathy Kelly. Below is my journal entry on that evening.

 
     One night I suggested to Monte that we attend a meeting where a woman from Iraq was speaking about her experiences being in that country during the war. Since the meeting was preceded by a pot-luck dinner, we purchased an adorable yellow-iced cake with brown mice on it. After all, we were traveling and our cooking facilities were limited.  (view photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolyncholland/3347179523/in/photostream/ )
     When we arrived, the activity seemed very loosely run, so much so that I felt uncomfortable. No one seemed to know what was (more…)

April 30, 2008

FERAL BIRDS: THE LATEST COMMUNITY HAZARD

Just after a private Gulfstream jet took off from the Santa Barbara, California, airport, a bird collided with its windshield, forcing the metal bird to return to the airport. It’s a pretty common event, according to the Santa Barbara fire department spokesman, John  Ahlman, said.

The passengers, Oprah Winfrey, and her boyfriend, (more…)

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