The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 31, 1998 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

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Sunday, May 31, 1998
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•j.HE'SALINA JOURNAL Great Plains SUNDAY, MAY 31, 1998 A3 ;-; Church's ; stance .toward gays to resurface at next year's .~ conference Methodists take no action on gays By CHAD HAYWORTH Tlte Sallna Journal United Methodists wrapped up their Kansas West Annual Conference Saturday at the Bicentennial Center without coming to a decision on a proposal that addresses the church's stance on its relationship with homosexuals. "We spent about an hour discussing it on Thursday," said Kathy Noble, associate director of communications for the church group. "Then we voted to table the proposal indefinitely." Kansans for United Methodist Renewal, a group of clergy and lay people, asked conference attendees to consider a "Statement on Sexuality," which would define better the church's relationship with homosexuals. The statement ex- presses support for the church's current stance, which accepts homosexuals as being of sacred worth but disapproves of their lifestyle. The statement also encourages the ministry of transformation of homosexuals into heterosexuals. The sexuality statement caught the attention of Topeka preacher Fred Phelps, who, along with a group from his Westboro Baptist Church, picketed outside the Bicentennial Center for a short time Saturday. Phelps preaches a vehement anti-gay message, including that gays are doomed to hell, regardless of their beliefs in Jesus Christ. Noble said the 800 or so delegates from the western two-thirds of the state were respectful and civil during Thursday's discussion, although opinions differed greatly. "Everyone realizes that, to do the work that we need to be doing in the name of Christ, we could not divide ourselves over this issue." Kathy Noble United Methodist Church West Annual Conference official "I think that everyone realizes that, to do the work that we need to be doing in the name of Christ, we could not divide ourselves over this issue," she said. "The reason that we tabled it is that people wanted the opportunity to continue to discuss this issue. We knew that if we voted to reject or accept the proposal, there would still be a large number of people who felt that their opinion was not expressed by the vote." The proposal could come up again at next year's convention, which is scheduled for late May or early June in Wichita, she said. "I won't make any predictions," Noble said. Other business The group also approved a $5.9 million budj get for support of statewide and worldwide Methodist ministries. The budget is 2 percent higher than last year. The conference wrapped up Saturday monv ing with a worship service. BRIEFLY Two West Virginians injured in I-70 crash t';-£USSELL — A West Virginia ;inan and his brother were injured ••ih a one-vehicle wreck Saturday ; morning in Russell County. *:. v -The Kansas Highway Patrol re- Jptirted that Edwin L. Dulaney, 50, "Wetzel, W.Va., was driving a 1993 f-GMC pickup truck westbound on ^Interstate Highway 70 when he -fell asleep. When the truck veered PqfF.the highway, Dulaney awoke jarid over corrected, which caused ^the truck to roll, coming to rest •JQjpright in the north ditch. />Both Dulaney and his brother, ^Edward Dulaney, also 50, were Itaken to a Russell Hospital with • liead and neck injuries. Edwin -Dulaney, the driver, was later • transferred to Hays Medical Cen! ter. Both men were wearing seat L belts at the time of the accident, Ithg patrol said. .,' 'J.-j*' Legislator says he won't run for governor •TOPEKA — One Democratic legislator has ended his consider- fatten of a bid for governor, and •'gkbther set a Tuesday deadline for making up his mind whether ;to - seek the party's nomination. • Rep. Jack Wempe, D-Little Riv- ler, said Friday that the magnitude of undertaking a race for rstatewide office at this late date, Iplus his philosophical differences Iwith the state party's leadership, ; caused him to abandon a possible • candidacy. Sen. Anthony Hensley, D-Tope;ka, said would make an announcement Tuesday. The filing .deadline is June 10. Phelps and group picket in Salina r 'Although the members spent : about as much time driving to Jand from Salina as they did pick- •eting, the Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. of -Topeka said he was pleased with ;his church's efforts Saturday in : Salina. Phelps and a group from his Westboro Baptist Church picketed in front of the Salina Journal for about an hour Saturday morn- "ing before moving to the Bicen- ,'tennial Center to protest the Unit;ed Methodist Church Kansas •West Annual Conference. • '• "Things went wonderfully," •Phelps said from his Topeka home. ", . A proposal that would outline ;hbw the United Methodist Church ;deals with homosexuals prompted •Phelps to come to Salina. He 'stopped off at the Journal to fur- ither protest a 1993 decision by .then-editor George Pyle to run a •story about a homosexual marriage with other wedding and engagement announcements. I Phelps said the group would . Lprotest the Methodist's east conference in Baldwin City next •'week, along with the funeral of 'former Arizona Sen. Barry Gold' water, who died Friday. Drifter faces murder charge for teen's death WICHITA — A drifter accused of deliberately running down a teen- lager who was walking back to his stalled car with a can of gasoline has been bound over for trial on a charge of first-degree murder. : Arthur J. Caenen, 38, will go on ; trial Aug. 3. He is charged in the •March 22 death of 16-year-old Jordan Palmer. Police said Caenen deliberately crossed a lane of oncoming traffic, jumped the curb to the median and hit Palmer at a speed of 40 to 45 mph. He then got out of his car and waited for police. Caenen's mother, Bernice Caenen, has said her son has a histo- ;ry of mental illness. She said he traveled from Florida to Kansas in March to visit his ailing father in McLouth. March for Jesus TOM DORSEY / The Salina Journal Participants In the March for Jesus, a nondenominational worship celebration for Jesus Christ, Walk Saturday morning on South Santa Fe Avenue. The marchers walked to Sallna Central High School for a praise and prayer rally. More than 1 million American Christians In 700 cities were expected to participate in similar events Saturday. V AGRICULTURE Conservationist's ideas take root at festival Prairie Festival participants discuss pioneer's beliefs of living in harmony with land By CRISTINA JANNEY The Salina Journal Aldo Leopold's daughter said her father would have smiled at his portrait, carved out of an alfalfa field, and a barn filled with conservationists gathered to discuss his work. Three of Leopold's children and scholars gathered Saturday at the Land Institute, 2440 Water Well, to discuss Leopold's conservation philosophies at the 1998 Prairie Festival, which concludes today. For the festival, a landscape portrait of Leopold was created by artist Stan Herd, who used a plow to fashion the artwork in a alfalfa field. Why have a conference dedicated to the studies of one man? "Because Leopold anticipated the problems we face and the solutions we need," said Curt Meine, a conservation biologist and author of a book on Leopold. Studying Leopold helps put conservation in a historical context, which Meine said he found helpful in his international work to protect cranes. Leopold, a forest service worker in the early part of this century, is considered the father of the modern conservation movement. "Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and aesthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient," T THE JOURNALIST Prairie Festival: Today's highlights • 9 a.m.: "Climbing Leopold's Mountain, 4 ' by Strachan Donnelley; an r ' v^ '** environmentalist, author and president of the Hastings Institute. ,- >,:'.-• • 10 a.m.: "The Leopold Legacy and the Land Institute," by Adam Rome, a professor of history and geography at Pennsylvania State University, who spent a year at the Institute gathering information for a book. • 11 a.m.: 'The Earth Declares the Glory," a poem by Mary Mackey, a professor at California State University-Sacramento, who has written poetry, a novella and eight novels. • 1:30 p.m.: Translating the Leopold Legacy to Iowa Agriculture," by Dennis Keeney of the Leopold Center at Iowa State University • 2:30 p.m.: "Leopold and the Natural Resource Conservation Service," by Paul Johnson, former director of the National Resource Conservation Service for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and architect of environmental legislation. • 3:30 p.m.: A Natural Systems Agriculture Update by a panel including Wes Jackson, Institute founder, and Ted Lefroy, an agricultural professor from the University of Western Australia. , , '«, ;., '•<• ""Xtf . ' • Fees: $20 a day. Donors to the Institute are charged $15, ." >r. Leopold wrote in his groundbreaking book "Sand County Almanac." "A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." Leopold and his family lived his work on a farm in Sand County, Wis., before his death in 1949 while fighting a brush fire. His daughter, Nina Leopold Bradley, said her father picked the piece of land because of it was humble, mundane and degraded. When the family came to the farm during the Depression, the land had been stripped of its nutrients from farming and was mostly devoid of trees and vegetation. The transformation of the farm was one of the first efforts at environmental restoration. The family planted 3,000 native pines a year, countless plants and recorded the comings and goings of wildlife. Bradley said her father believed the land should be regarded as more than scenery and should be engaged. "He taught us to love the land for its community and ecological functions," Bradley said. Leopold became increasingly interested in the interconnection of natural systems and people's place in them. "There are two kinds of relationships," Leopold said. "There are the relationship of people to each other and the relationship of people to the land." Leopold advocated sustainable farming, which is a conservative approach to farming that harnesses the land's capacity for self-renewal. The Land Institute, founded by Wes Jackson in 1976, is a nonprofit research and education organization focused on sustainable farming. Estella Leopold, a paleoecologist and Leopold's daughter, said sustainable farming can decrease erosion and increase profitability. However, her father said land conservation rarely was used by those of his time.'." Jim Scharplaz, a rancher near Minneap.Q- lis, said he has tried to used conservation techniques in his operation. •••« "You can't change agriculture without changes in the rest of society," he said. "It is as much a social problem as it is an agricultural or technical problem People have become removed from the production of food. "The first step is to shorten the distance between the person who grows (food) and the person who eats it," he said. Although Scharplaz sells his cattle to slaughter companies, he also sells some meat directly to consumers. "When you know the person who is eating your meat, you can't sell them food that is unhealthy or unpalatable," he said. Fear and loathing in the new, illusionary Las Vegas In a city where hotels have themes rather than decor, nothing is really as it seems En route to a wedding in Arizona and some serious grandparent- ing in California, we had the pleasure of experiencing, for one night, modern Las Vegas. I was there before, in the 1960s, when the desert town was basically neon and heat. Today, only the climate is unchanged. The glitzy casino-hotels of mob-era Vegas have been replaced by — well, I'm not sure how to describe it. To say the city still has hotels and casinos is technically correct. So is saying the Titanic leaked. GORDON D. FIEDLER JR. The Salina Journal From Staff and Wire Reports Now almost all the hostelries have themes, so that you don't so much stay at a hotel as experience it. I don't have first-person knowledge of this experience because on our budget the best we could do was the Jack Dawson suite at Motel 6. We did, however, promenade along a portion of "The Strip" into the wee hours, rubber-necking with the other gaping tourists at the facades that screamed "money means nothing." The Excalibur re-creates a fairybook medieval castle with a mechanical fire-belching dragon in its moat. New York New York approximates a New York skyline, complete with a realistic Lady Liberty and functioning fire boat in a shrunken New York Harbor. Down the street, the Luxor beckons with its pyramid shape and giant Sphinx out front. Inside, in the cavernous casino areas of the hotels, design differences disappear faster than my loose change through slot machines, which are everywhere. There are phalanxes of other games as well, such as poker, keno and one that mimics the game show Wheel of Fortune, which advertises itself in an exuberant voice shouting "Wheel... Of... FORTUNE!" every 15 seconds. This quickly becomes "Really ... Really ... ANNOYING!" The perpetual noise in these dens is as soothing as that pouring from a busy mall video arcade. In every parlor the electrified ding, ping and clang is relieved only by the occasional cascade of coins from machines other than the ones I was feeding. Despite our winless streak we were fortunate. When the racket drilled far enough into our skulls, we could flee into the exhaust-scented night. The employees were stuck for eight hours or for whatever their shift lengths were. I know that at 1:30 in the morning none looked very happy in any of the casinos. I won't be surprised if the next disgruntled-worker Shootout occurs in one of these places. (Witness: "Well, officer, I was counting my chips at the blackjack table and hear- ing the Wheel of Fortune game go off agair when the dealer just went nuts.") Whatever its faults, the resort-gaming part of Las Vegas is as unique as some of the country's natural wonders and therefore should be a candidate for federal protection. If the Las Vegas strip were naturally occurring, such as the thermal paint pots and geysers of Yellowstone or the granite splendor of Yosemite, it would be declared a national treasure. In its Mafia days, the place did little to hide its gaudy, tawdry image. It was real, and as such, somehow less spectacular. Now it's mostly illusion elevated to an art form. At the Luxor, for example, visitors and guests gawk at the massive pillars and blocks engraved with authentic-looking hi-, eroglyphics and see tons of Egyptian lime- •• stone quarried from the banks of the Nile. ' A closer inspection, involving a few dis- i crete scrapes with a thumb nail, unmask the "stone" for what it really is: plastic. These days in Vegas, it's not just show- i girl anatomy that's fake. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BEN WEARING, DEPUTY EDITOR, AT (785) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbwearlng@8aljournal.com

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