The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 7, 2001 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

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Salina, Kansas
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Monday, May 7, 2001
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Page 3
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MONDAY MAY 7, 2001 THE SALMHabURNAL • BY GEORGE Sucking the life out of farm states One of the reasons Charles Darwin was ready to describe the ways of life as a natural, rather than a divine, process was that, as a naturalist and a Christian, Darwin had seen much cruelty in nature that he could not bear to lay at the feet of God. The example he used was something called the ichneumonid wasp. As described in Harvard biologist Stephen Jay Goidd's book "Rocks of Ages," the reproductive process of these wasps "could not possibly be more disgusting." The mother wasps lay their eggs inside the body of another insect, usually a caterpillar, which she has paralyzed with a, sting. When the eggs hatch, tjie new wasps Survive for a time by eating the paralyzed, but stiU living, caterpillar, saving the heart and other vital organs for last so their dinner will remain fresh as long as possible. This is not as nasty as Darwin feared, Gould writes, because we now know that such caterpillars hjave no central nervous system £aid do not feel pain. Still, it was enough to ruin Darwin's taste for ci-eationism. ; If, as Darwin surmised, such a gruesome process came to be through a natural series of events, rather than by design, we rtiight also wonder whether the corporate wasps that are eating out the economic innards of Kansas and other farm states, vyith the help of a paralyzing sting from the federal government, are any more to blame for that situation than God is for the ^ tdrture of caterpillars. ; The increasing concentration of processors and retailers in the food chain is leaving the farmer with fewer and fewer customers for his commodities. And when there are fewer customers for any commodity its price goes dovm — way down. Yet enough farmers survive from one year to the next to supply those agribusiness gi- Mits with the raw materials they need to do their very profitable jobs. The final collapse of the independent farm is the logical conclusion of this environment. But the agribusiness giants, and the Congressmen they ovra, don't want that to happen. They want the paralyzed farmer to stay alive year after year so they can continue to suck him dry in a way that never quite kills him. The people who buy the farmer's wheat to make into bims, or his beef to make into.hamburg- ers, want the farmer to be forever struggling with obscenely low prices, to keep the processors' costs down and profit margins up. But the big food processors do not want the farmer to actually go out of business. • The wasp's sting that makes all this possible year after year, of course, is all the money — taxpayers' money — that is fun­ nelled to the farmers so they can keep operating. Unliie the wasp and the caterpillar, we could decide to behave differently We could attack the monopolies that force down prices, focus state-funded research on new processes that make the independent farmer truly independent and give farmers economic credit for practices that preserve the environment. But, no. Big Ag processors are happy to have this huge corporate welfare program that they use to keep farmers, along witii the communities and the states that depend on their economic activity, paralyzed. Though people in this fix do feel pain, as demonstrated by the prolonged Legislative deadlock over taxing and spending that might not be happening but for the rock-bottom farm market. One new vwinkle is that the 2002 budget proposal by President Bush allows less than a half billion for the next round of "emergency farm payments" — compared to the $15 billion that went for emergency relief in 2000 alone. Yet there's no reason to assume that such payments won't be needed again in similar, or even larger numbers. Then Congress will either whiz away the federal surplus in emergency payments, or shift the cost of feeding America onto the middleman. Guess which it will be. Great Plains A3 - mr ^j.::sLJiiifu. T EQUINE ODDITY Twin colts share rare medical event Cricket and Hershey defy the odds and appear to be healthy By KARA RHODES The Salina Journal The 3-week-old colts pressed against their owner and her visitors, snuffling at fingers for treats and nicking at hair and clothes. They were as irresistible as they were unusual: Salina veterinarian David Simmons said that in his 27 years of practice, he's never seen live twin colts. While small — the smaller one weighed about 55 pounds at birth, about half of what a normal colt would weigh — the colts are healthy arid happy, kicking up their heels in the pasture and sniffing curiously at everything from the barn cat to a reporter's notebook. Rita Peterson owns their mother, Snickers, and was at her side when she went into labor April 11. The first filly was a pretty bay with a star on its forehead. "I thought she was done, and there came another one," Peterson said. Guided in the dark only by a small flashlight, she helped pull out the second colt. It wasn't breathing, and Peterson, a nurse at Lincoln Medical Clinic, bent her head to the colt's, giving it several breaths. The palomino filly, smaller than her sister, started breathing. Snickers didn't quite know what to do. "She ran from one to the other, trying to lick them," Peterson said. She had to milk Snickers by hand, because the little palomino was too short to reach her mother's teats. Vets gave the two almost- clean bills of health, suggesting only more vitamins for the pair. The littler filly, whom Peterson quickly started calling T PAROLE HEARINGS TOM DORSEY / The Salina Journal Rita Peterson, Beverly, walks Snickers, mare of twin colts Hershey and Cricket. Live twin colts are rare. Cricket (her sister is Hershey) also needed somewhere more warm than Peterson's unheated barn. She called her friends, Jolene Flaherty and Maryahn Vidricksen, at Brookwood Farms in western Saline County. They invited the mother and colts to stay in their heated barn. The colts have thrived there. One in 200,000 births Judy Cox, an associate professor of equine medicine at Kansas State University-Manhattan, said only about one in 200,000 births result in live twin colts. "It's unusual for both of them to survive." Judy Cox associate professor of equine nfiedlclne, Kansas State University-Manhattan "It's unusual for both of them to survive," she said. While it's not that unusual for mares to conceive twins, it's rare for the mare to be able to carry them to full- term. "We can't save foals more than three weeks premature," she said. And those that are even slightly premature often re­ quire intensive care to nurse them to health. Big pets Flaherty said Snickers — an experienced mother — is protective of her little ones, nickering in annoyance and worry when one strays too far from her side. As the obvious objects of much attention. Cricket and Hershey have absolutely no fear of humans. "They're going to be big pets," Peterson said. "They'll be great horses for kids." The colts are close: they look for each other and sometimes sleep curled up next to each other. "They love unconditionally," Peterson said as Hershey leaned her head against her for a nose scratch. "How could you not love them back?" • Reporter Kara Rhodes can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 167, or by e-mail at sJkrhodes@saljournaJ.com. Salina man eligible for parole hearing The Genuine. The Orighial. By The Salina Journal A Salina man turned down last year for parole for the stabbing death of his estranged wife is among Kansas prison inmates eligible for a parole hearing in June. Public comment sessions regarding prisoners eligible for a hearing start May 18 before the Kansas Parole Board. Among those eligible is Francis Alvin Alley, 50, who was turned down when he saw the parole board last year AUey was convicted of first-degree murder and burglary for breaking in and stabbing to death his estranged wife on March 6,1977, in the living room of her mobile home. Those who can't attend the comment sessions can write to the Kansas Parole Board, Landon State Office Building,. 900 S.W. Jackson, Room 452S, Topeka 66612-1220, Other inmates eligible for parole include: Cloud County — Brian K. Myers, indecent liberties with a chUd. Dickinson County — Jesse Hammond, robbery, theft and aggravated assault (some in Pottawatomie and Shawnee counties). Geary County — Roland Keith HiU, aggravated battery, battery of a corrections officer, attempted first degree murder, criminal possession of a firearm, fleeing and eluding and obstructing the legal process; Phillip Jackson, drug of fense; and Gilbert A. Mason, aggravated burglary, robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a furearm (some in Dickinson County). McPherson County — David Reed, indecent liberties with a child. Russell Coiuity — David Allen Corn, rape and aggravated kidnapping. Saline County — Rocky Benfield, criminal property damage and rape (some in Pawnee County); Michael C. Peterson, burglary and theft (some in Johnson and Wyandotte counties); Kelvin Oneil White, rape; Charles T. Cunningham, theft and aggravated incest; Parole hearings Public comment sessions: • 9a.m.Feb. 16, Finney County Courthouse, 425 N. Eighth, Room 209, Garden City. • 9 a.m. May 21, City Hall, One McDowell Plaza, 701 N. Seventh, Kansas City, Kan. • 10:30 a.m. May 22, Memorial Auditorium, 503 N.Pine, Room B-1, Pittsburg. • 10 a.m. May 24, Finney State Office Building, Room 3080,230 William, Wichita. • 8:30 a.m., Landon State Office Building, First Floorj Room 106A, 900 S.W. Jackson, Topeka. and Kevin G. Jones, conspiracy to commit robbery and aggravated robbery Thomas Coimty — Terry Lynn Reeves, aggravated incest. CORRECTIONS Because of a Journal error, Bethany College javelin thrower Stacey Johnson was misidentified in a story in Saturday's edition. ••••• The Journal wants to set the record straight. Advise us of errors by calling the Journal at (785) 823-6363, or toll free at 1-800827-6363. Corrections will run in this space as soon as possible. OVERHEAD DOOR COMPANY OF NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS ACME BRICK COMPANY AOMMiUJNGCO BENNETT AUTDPLEX, INC BUSBOOM ANDRAUHCONSTRUCTiONCO COLUMBIA INDUSTRIES CONKUNCAR$~SAUNA COPAS HOMES CRESTWOOO,iNC. CROSSROADS COlUSiON, INC. DOUQBRADlEYTItUCKINQ EIDORAOO NATIONAL, KANSAS EU5W0RIHSBMCC CENTER EXiDECORPORATION EXUNE,iNC. FEDERAL EXPRESS OUSSSERVICeS ORAiNBETSUPPLY QRaiPUINSMHl HARBIN CONSTRUCTION, INC HAWORTHCONSTmiCnON JDHNSMANVILLE JORDAN « SONS NOME IMPROVEMI L&SBUIIDINQ CONTRACTORS LONG MCARTHUR FORD MEDINACONSTRUCnONCO. MHCKENWORTH POWBIVAC.INC. ROLUNGIflUSREFVaE SAUNA BUIUNNG SYSTEMS SAUNA JOURNAL SAUNATERMtNAL SCHWABS SALES ENTERPRISES SOLOMON CORPORATION TOTALBEAUIY.INC. UNfTGDPARCaSERVICE VEALCONSIRUCnON VIDRICKSEN DtSTRIBimNG CO. WAROCRAFT HOMES WE APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNmr TO SERVICE NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS WE LOOK FORWARD TO AOttNG YOUR NAME TO OUR USTI For complete stock listings go to sjtlipumal.com the Salina Journal *'OnlIne Connecting communities with iiifonmtion (785) 823-)78« OR TOLL FREE (800) 271.3768 425 EAST AVENUE A, SAUNA. K8 ...r'V^irv.. ,,„

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