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March 13, 2001

The local Ministerial Alliance is again offering a series of weekly Lenten meditations each Wednesday noon in the United Methodist church sanctuary. The messages are provided weekly by a different local minister, then a great luncheon is offered for those who wish to remain. The food is delicious and the services so far have been very helpful in understanding the meaning of this wonderful season. The attendance, however, has been rather sparse. If you havenít yet joined your friends in this traditional community event, make a note now and join the group for each of the remaining services, starting tomorrow. You wonít be sorry, especially when those ladies come around with seconds on their truly magnificent hot rolls.

We enjoyed a pre-spring drive on one of those beautiful March afternoons the other day, but the brief trip was spoiled by the sight of so much trash being dumped along the sides of Perry streets and highways in this vicinity. Beer cans, soft drink cans, many kinds of bottles, Styrofoam cups, paper sacks, napkins Ė you name it and you can be sure itís there. Fifteenth street, one of Perryís most-traveled north-south arteries, is perhaps the worst to behold, but go east on U.S. 64 to Billís Corner and you will be depressed and distressed at what you see. How did we get this way? Our fine little town is becoming a pile of garbage, because most of this stuff is not being picked up. One of the first lessons I can remember being sternly intoned by the elders in my family was simply this: ďDonít throw that trash out the car window!Ē

Iím not saying that youngsters and teen-agers are responsible for all the debris we are seeing these days. I know we adults also are responsible. But we need to start impressing that anti-littering message in the ears and on the minds of those growing up here, because they are the ones who will inherit the mess now being created.

So, all of us can contribute to this crusade. Hereís how: Donít be one of the litter tossers, teach the young people around you that itís wrong, and help out by picking up some of this junk from time to time. Got trash? Bag it!

At the signing of the Communities of the Future agreement here the other day, Dave Woods, the newly named CEO at the Charles Machine Works, was reviewing some of the positive steps that already have been taken since the formation of the Project Perry group last year. Their objective was to get our community ready for an expected growth in population, and the work still goes on. Several new businesses and services are in various stages of development, and housing starts are expected to continue. An assisted living center apparently is in the works, and other facilities are under discussion to clear the way for the hundreds of new residents who will be making Perry their home. You can see signs of growth in the business and residential areas and that is truly exciting. Looks like weíre well on the way to a period of orderly expansion with a realistic, practical plan to accommodate the coming era. Isnít this a great place to live?