This week in Chicago, the citizens are saying: “What was he thinking?”

This is referencing our governor, Rod Blagojevich, for being arrested on Tuesday, charged with various counts or corruption. The one that still has everyone talking is his wanting to allegedly sell President-elect Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat. According to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the governor was running a “crime spree,” that would make “Abraham Lincoln turn over in his grave.” After reading the criminal complaint, it appears Gov. Blagojevich had let his ego overtake his reasoning. The governor was quite aware that he was under investigation for several years, but for whatever reason, he invited authorities to continue wire-tapping him as late as this past Monday because he “had nothing to hide.”

Since the election on Nov. 4, of Obama as president, we have been riding on a “high of pride.” Finally, the stigma of Al Capone was no longer referenced when people talked about Chicago. How quickly our high has been shattered, and in one day, we have become that “corrupt town” again. President-elect Obama’s head must be reeling, and he probably is counting the days to January 20, so he can get out of town before every politician in Illinois gets indicted.

Another alleged charge was Gov. Blagojevich wanting certain editorial people fired from the Chicago Tribune newspaper. This brings to my attention how even our local community newspapers can be targets of some local community leaders’ anger and raft.

Recently, I attended the installation of new board members for the Westside Branch NAACP. For several years, I have been constantly confronted and scolded by a particular Westside minister because the newspaper does not attend or cover his monthly meetings. Like most newspapers, it would be helpful to submit notices about meetings or events in writing or a fax. To assume that newspaper staff will remember certain monthly meetings of an organization is quite a stretch. When I tried to inform him that I had been quite ill (almost didn’t make it) this summer, he dismissed this and continued scolding me in front of NAACP members about Austin Weekly not covering meetings. It was strange that a “man of the cloth” could be so uncaring-my explanation fell on death ears.

It certainly would help if the community would remember that we here at the Austin Weekly Newspaper are people too and always try to do the best we can. It is an honor to try and serve the Austin community. There are so many wonderful people, churches and organizations that work tirelessly trying to make a difference in the lives of the people here.

The Austin Weekly Newspaper is not always able to cover all the events, meetings, and activities it would like to because as a community newspaper, there isn’t always the staffing and resources one would like to have. Most individuals and organizations do submit their requests in writing and we certainly appreciate it. Please help us by working with us.