‘Laugh Out’: Tales of the environment

Welcome to “Laugh Out” or “Laugh Outdoors.” This is an offbeat, loud, smiling look at mostly local environmentalism, sporty things and the affected nature of said topics.

The Natural Land Institute held a big fund-raiser at the Greater Rockford Airport on the evening of April 28.

This event had food, of course, a silent auction, music, photos on display and for sale, and raffle drawings. But why was Kris Cohn walking around at the NLI fund-raiser? What has she done for preservation?

Remember when she was “Ms. Dig Out the Ditzlers” and “Ms. Perryville Extension”? She’s so tight with Sunil Puri, she probably has her own wing at Sunil’s giant new home a.k.a. “The Taj Ma Sprawl.”

Having Kris Cohn at a natural areas preservation fund-raiser is like having Paul Bunyan at a “Save the Forest” rally! Glad George W. got her a job in Chicago.

And speaking of “W,” while sitting with a doctor friend and his wife at the NLI fund-raiser, I heard the doctor declare he’d received a letter from George W. Bush. He went on to explain that the “Bush for President” campaign had sent him a photo portrait of W. and a note thanking him for his support in 2004. One problem: The doctor isn’t a Bush supporter and never has been.

I guess W. is guilty of vocation profiling. W’s logic being that if you’re a doctor, you’ve got money; if you’ve got money, you’re a Republican. Or maybe the vast majority of doctors vote Republican whether they own three homes or whether they’re homeless, although most doctors I know living on the street don’t vote.

Just weeks after this skid-row writer slammed Gov. Rod B. in an article, I received a letter saying the state will no longer pay my Medicare premium. What next? Will Phil Pash be denied hunting permits?

Whatever happened to Mike Breit, the 20-year-old Rockford man arrested after illegally firing a gun within city limits? Supposedly, he had mucho guns and explosives in his residence and a hit list of liberal government officials.

You know how the federal government is on squashing individual rights and twisting the truth in this era of terrorism. What if Mike B. is really a liberal with a hit list filled with ultra-conservatives? Suppose his targets are guys like Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, Mel Gibson and Ed McMahon? What paranoid publication or sketchy scribblings must we find in his possession that would convince those who need to know that Mike B. whacks right wingers? Well, the answer is obvious: all that’s needed to be found is a copy of “The Diarrhea of Al Franken”!

Don Miller won this year’s Atwood Award. Don is the administrator at Severson Dells Environmental Education Center. Don well deserved the award; it was the first time he had won it. Don, did it feel like the first time? Though recycling is good, I’m glad to see the Atwood Award broke the habit of recycling winners.

Speaking of recycling, better garbage containers mean that garbage eaters like raccoons have to beg more to eat right. That means raccoons have to come to the porch door to get handout scraps in my ‘hood. This shift in behavior led to the discovery that nine out of 10 raccoons prefer ramps to steps. Yes, nine out of 10 raccoons use the ramp on my porch deck rather than the steps, even though the steps are closer to the food. Ramps are good for everything.

Rod Myers is a local resident with an interest in the environment and disability issues. He has an associate’s degree in science and a bachelor’s in fine arts. Rod is a member of the Audubon Society, the Wild Ones Natural Landscapers and Rockford Amateur Astronomers, Inc.

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