Letters: Sharing Laotian wisdom
August 27, 2012 6:44PM
Updated: September 29, 2012 6:03AM
Korakanh and Bouakeo Phimmasene entered the United States on Jan. 8, 1980, sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church of Joliet. Korakanh Bouakeo was employed two years at Joliet Electric and Motor and 21 years at the First Presbyterian Church of Joliet. He retired May, 2003.
He started a garden in 1998 at Joliet Junior College, combining many different plants. There were tomatoes, cucumbers, hot and sweet peppers, zucchini, green onions that are all from Laos and other parts of Asia.
There are Asian eggplant, mints, angled luffa, dokudami plants, Chinese cilantro, asparagus, beans, yard-long beans, Oriental squash, sponge guard, Thai basil, bitter melon, Oriental cucumber, lemon grass and Asiatic pennywort.
Seeing all of the plants, I was highly impressed. They are all edible or plants that can be used as natural cures and medicinal in nature. I salute Korakanh Phimmasene for being a master gardener and bringing roots of plants from your country.
I salute the Lao community for endeavoring to bring us a little piece of your country and for you beautiful garden. I am your friend of many years, thanks to the First Presbyterian Church where we first met and worked for many years. And thanks to the wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ.
Cut politicians’ perks
If the politicians are so concerned about saving money and balancing the budget, why don’t they put their money where their mouth is?
First, our legislators are the third highest paid in the country, only behind California and Michigan.
Second, they can collect a pension after as few as four to eight years, based on age.
Third, if a legislator does serve 20 years, they collect a whopping 85 percent of their pay, which is at least 20 percent more than state employees are entitled to.
In order to save the state money, first the legislators need to get back to reality and cut their own pay. Second, they need to change the law and require a legislator serve at least 20 years, or five terms, to collect a pension and benefits, like the rest of us. They shouldn’t collect any higher percentage of their pay than the rest of the state employees.
Our politicians need to stop taking care of themselves and start worrying more about the people they represent. Maybe if they had to work longer at their jobs to reap the benefits, they might do a better job.
Paula M. Rohder