SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2009 THE NEWS SUN thenewssunonline.com A9 Obama and us T he announcement this week by the feds that the recession could be ending should have been great news for the Obama administration. After all, it is the president’s economy now, and if it turns upward, he will be celebrated, right? Uh, maybe not. It may seem insane, but the ACORN scandal could now be diminishing any good economic news. The community activist outfit has been embarrassed by two amateur journalists who BILL used hidden cameras to expose ACORN employees O’REILLY discussing how to set up houses of prostitution, including one utilizing underage girls. Soon after the expose, the Senate voted 83 to 7 to deny ACORN further federal grants. And even though the committed left media pretty much ignored the story, millions of Americans are engaged. Just like they are engaged on the health care controversy. A recent Rasmussen poll shows most Americans now oppose ObamaCare even after the president’s emotional plea last week. So what exactly is going on here? I think President Obama is experiencing some buyer’s remorse. The furious opposition to his policies has made for great television, and those images are now overriding what policy success he may be having. During the campaign, Obama appeared cool and in control to the public. But now he seems bewildered at times, taken aback by the strident and persistent attacks on his vision for the country. Those attacks are not going to stop. Conservative Americans deeply distrust the president on philosophy not just policy. So the White House must come up with a strategy to blunt the emotional anti-Obama displays or risk being marginalized in year one. The Obama people must convince those who supported the president despite reservations that they did not vote for the wrong guy. From my perch in the media, it seems the president thought the left-wing press would protect him against right-wing media scrutiny. After all, liberal media outlets heavily outnumber their conservative counterparts. But that is not happening. MSNBC and CNN are not competitive with Fox News, and newspapers like The New York Times and The Boston Globe are in serious economic trouble as readers have turned away by the thousands. In public relations land, the biggest mistake the president is making is avoiding moderate conservatives who would give him a fair shake. This Sunday, Obama is appearing on all the Sunday chat shows to talk up health care. All except “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Bad decision. Wallace is no ideologue, and Fox News is dominating the national conversation right now. By avoiding Fox, the president looks weak. He is preaching to the choir on the network news shows. But the choir is obviously losing members. All the polls show that. So if I’m Barack Obama, I take the economy and the aggressive stuff I’m doing against al-Qaida and the Taliban, and I bring it over to the loyal opposition. That would get some attention. And it might also bury the ACORN scandal in the process. Letter Policy • All letters must be submitted with the author’s signature, address and telephone number. The News Sun reserves the right to reject or edit letters on the basis of libel, poor taste or repetition. Mail or deliver letters to The News Sun, 102 N. Main St., P.O. Box 39, Kendallville, IN 46755. Letters may be e-mailed to: email@example.com. Please do not send letters as attachments. • Are soccer fields in East Noble’s future? S hould East Noble develop its own soccer field or invest capital in the Kendallville Outdoor Sports Complex’s three soccer fields for lights and bleachers to accommodate high school soccer matches? That’s the question facing the East Noble School Board of Trustees as soccer parents, coaches and players appeal to the board for a regulation soccer field. They’ve attended board meetings the past two months with their request. Wednesday night was the players’ turn, and nine of them faced the board in their soccer jerseys. “When I go onto the football field to play soccer, it’s the East Noble football field not the East Noble soccer field,” Abby Evard told trustees. “I’d like to play soccer on the East Noble soccer field.” Most would agree East Noble needs a soccer field. Since the sport was introduced several years ago, the boys and girls varsity and junior varsity teams have played on the football field, too narrow for a regulation soccer “pitch” (the British term for soccer field). Over the years the soccer teams have trained on Sunset Park’s soccer field and even on a field owned by Dalton Manufacturing along Weston Avenue across from the Street Department. The teams now train on the recreation complex’s two fullsize soccer fields. Training on full-size soccer fields but competing at home on a narrow football field is challenging for coaches figuring attacking strategies. East Noble will never host a tournament or sectional as long as it competes on a football field. Every school in Northeast Hoosier Conference has its own soccer field except East Noble. Football, basketball, baseball, softball, track, tennis, wrestling and gymnastics have school facilities. Swimmers use the YMCA competition pool. Golfers use Noble Hawk Golf Links or Cobblestone Golf Course, and cross country competes on a Bixler Lake Park course. Ah soccer you might say. It’s not a major sport like football or basketball. The numbers say otherwise. The Kendallville area has approximately 260 boys and girls playing soccer in youth leagues through the Noble Area Soccer Association (NASA), the YMCA, St. John Lutheran School and Oak Farm Montessori School, according to Brian DeCamp, a soccer parent who is chairing a committee of soccer parents investigating a soccer field for East Noble. Since the recreation complex was completed three years ago, I’ve wondered why the school INSIDE corporation hasn’t worked with the Kendallville Park COMMENT and Recreation Department to schedule high school matches on the complex’s Dennis Nartker two full-size soccer fields. Even the players who train there say the park department-maintained grass fields are some the best they’ve been on. Restrooms are nearby and there’s plenty of parking. The complex, though, is on Allen Chapel Road on the other side of Bixler Lake, and to get there from school teams must use Waits Road or Dowling Street around the lake. It’s not convenient to the school, say the players. They travel in three or four private vehicles to the complex for practice. The complex’s soccer fields have no lights, no shower facilities and no spectator seating, and would require additional maintenance and preparation for high school matches. School officials will also have to work with the park and recreation director and complex manager to schedule matches and practices, and rental fee for using the complex fields. The school corporation pays the park department $1,200 for East Noble soccer teams to practice there. The school board has not been oblivious to the soccer situation. The school corporation has accumulated approximately $500,000 in a sports facilities fund that could be used on a soccer facility. At a board meeting on Aug. 27, 2008, consultant Andrew J. Bearman of ForeSight Consulting LLC presented a design of bus refueling station and sports fields on 33 acres the school corporation owns on Sherman Street across from South Side Elementary School and about a half mile south of the high school. The drawing included two regulation soccer fields, two practice softball fields and a parking lot at the north end and a bus refueling station at the south end. Bearman estimated the cost to develop just the refueling station and access road at $240,000 to $350,000. He gave no estimate to develop the soccer and softball fields or the cost to maintain them. No one has publicly estimated the cost to add lighting, bleachers and maybe shower facilities at the recreation complex soccer fields. Cost is certainly a factor on the minds of trustees. DeCamp’s committee has collected 370 signatures on a petition calling for an East Noble soccer field. The committee is also investigating the pros and cons of building a soccer field or using the recreation complex soccer fields with added lighting, bleachers and maintenance. The committee is expected to report its findings at the Oct. 14 board meeting. Trustees welcome the input, and the way the soccer supporters are investigating the situation. Considering the area’s economic situation, and the school corporation’s budget constraints placed on it by the state, cool heads, common sense and a “together we can resolve this” attitude are what’s called for now. DENNIS NARTKER is a reporter for The News Sun. He can be reached at • And so starts the autumn storytelling season I open up the closet that holds my dressup clothes and haul out the costumes of autumn. I think these are my favorites, at least this week they are. I used to pack them away in moth balls. Now I just hang a bunch of herbs between them to keep out any unwanted critters. Personally, I hope there are no critters anyway! I have been wearing these long skirts and ruffled slips for as long as I remember, even before storytelling began! Maybe I was born old fashioned? I pull them out and mix and match and put together costumes for festivals as they are now beginning the celebration of autumn in Indiana. I love my dress-up clothes. A few years ago I wanted to start a vintage clothing booth at the Fancy This Antique shop. I had visions of my booth … feathered hats, sequined vests, long dance skirts, pinstripped suffragette shirts. With this in mind I began collecting these clothes and filling up my attic over the barn with these treasures. I have since decorated this space as Annie’s Attic with twinkle lights and displays of old toys and clothing. It is a great place for neighborhood tea parties, children’s birthday parties, and it looks just like the vintage shop I imagined. I just don’t have any shoppers. It is also a fine place to wear my long skirts and vintage shawls; light candles and write as if I were one of the young ladies in “Little Women.” Once, a few years ago, a film crew from WFYI in Indianapolis called and asked if they could follow my life as a storyteller for a day. I was thrilled and only had a few days to prepare. The first thing I did was to hunt through the vintage clothing to find costumes for each event. I mean this was television, and maybe even my big break into stardom. (A girl can dream, yes?) I was careful as I chose costumes from my attic and my closet. I mean the clothes can’t really look like I took any time to prepare, even though it does! A plan was made. The crew was to follow me to LOU ANN school, during storytelling, HOMAN- in my attic with the and neighborhood children SAYLOR at my house for an evening pot luck. I was ready for the day. The film crew arrived at Hamilton early and set up lights and microphones. You can only imagine how excited the kids were that day! They filmed me working with children as they told stories. They took the lights and sound outside to the playground and interviewed children as to what storytelling means to them. They even interviewed my principal, Kimberly, as she gave an eloquent presentation on how storytelling and the arts are used at Hamilton. I was impressed just listening to her speak. We then traveled to where I gave a storytelling talk, then home to my neighborhood storytelling in the attic. Again I changed clothes and invited my three girls from across the street to come to the attic. (This was planned ahead of time with their dress up clothes ready.) So in my “Little Women” clothing with candles and a properly prepared tea came Grave Alice, laughing Allegra, and Edith with Golden Hair (Longfellow) exclaiming surprise and delight to come across the street to the lovely attic tea party. The filming ended in my living room with a host of friends gathered around for stories. Jonah and Matthew were on my lap as I told them a story about when the world was new. It was all of stardom quality. The film crew signed my wall, shared the pot luck with us, packed up lights and cameras and said they would let me know when it would air across America. I understand that it ended up on the cutting room floor. Some things just aren’t meant to be. Sigh. I take out the clothes I need for the Johnny Appleseed Festival, the 35th year. I do not know how many years I have worked there, at least 20. It doesn’t make me rich or famous, but I love spending the day celebrating the life of this legendary character. So with a homespun shawl over my shoulders and a satchel full of stories, my fall schedule begins to the rustling of corn and the scent of apple dumplings. Come on down, sit a spell and make sure you give me a wave if our paths cross! BILL O’REILLY is a syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate. THE NEWS SUN Founded 1863, consolidated 1911 Publisher Terry Housholder firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Matt Getts email@example.com • West Noble Bureau Chief The Advance Leader Editor Bob Buttgen firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Financial Officer Donna Scanlon email@example.com Vice President Of Sales Bret Jacomet firstname.lastname@example.org LOU ANN HOMAN-SAYLOR lives in Angola at White Picket Gardens where you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, teacher, writer, actress and a collector of front porch stories.