Dear Chamber Supporters:
 
This has been a gloomy week with winter here in full force and the Chiefs loss in the Super Bowl last Sunday…add in the pandemic, and it is fair to say “these are the dark days of winter”. We are all a little stir crazy from being quarantined…now the bitter cold is forcing us to stay inside even more than ever. I feel like hibernating!! The Chiefs game last Sunday was terribly disappointing…not as devastating as it would be if we hadn’t won last year – but it still stings. We need to take stock in the fact that every week we get to see a very talented and rare team which plays a flashy game and is fun to watch. 
 
Remember Marty Schottenheimer…former great coach of the Chiefs who won many games and took us to the playoffs 7 years. His game and team were not flashy. For those who remember, it was referred to as “Marty Ball”…3-yards and a cloud of dust! Marty passed this week…may he rest in peace. His brand of football was certainly effective but not nearly as fun to watch. Prayers for Marty’s family and all Chiefs Kingdom as together we mourn and commiserate together losses in many different forms…Marty would be the first to say, “on to next year!”
 
COVID Report:
 
COVID cases took a big drop this week…down 33 from 93 last week, to 60 active cases this week. The number of deaths remains unchanged at 19…here is the full report. Kaci Brady, Director of Franklin County Communication reports Franklin County is now regularly receiving 300 doses a week…remember that is enough vaccine for 150 people because of the necessity to assure there is a second shot available for complete immunization. Last week 400 doses were received and this week 500…Kaci doesn’t know if the number of doses will continue to increase. The immunization of the nation continues to be a moving target. Every dose received here is and will be placed in the arm of a Franklin County citizen. The vaccination list to receive the shot is down to people who are approximately age 72…the number to get on the list is (785.229.3531).
 
The Federal government is reporting we now have 300 million doses to be received by the end of July. This should be enough to vaccinate all Americans by the end of July…albeit they will not start vaccinating children until the start of the next school year. By April this year the immunization process should be far enough along that the serum will be available to everyone…in other words, past the priority phasing which is the current protocol. Hang in there…spring is on the horizon!!
 
New Software:
 
The City of Ottawa announced this week they have partnered with Daupler which provides software to implement an Incident Response Management System (full press release here)…this new software system will streamline communications and response within Ottawa Public Utilities. Daupler provides first response programing for utilities and public works which helps cities coordinate and document response efforts while reducing workload and collecting accurate data and insight into response operations. This new software should increase response times and efficiency for City workers when electric outages or waterline breaks occur. This new system will be fully operational beginning next week. You can visit Daupler’s webpage here to more fully understand the benefits and efficiencies. Dennis Tharp, Director of City Utilities says the City is always looking for ways to better steward ratepayer dollars…he is confident this new partnership with Daupler will help achieve that goal.
 
Valentine’s Day:
 
Hope you haven’t forgotten your Valentine this weekend…sounds like the day will be extremely cold – a good day to snuggle together. February 14 is always Valentine’s Day…it was the day the Patron Saint of Courtly Love, Saint Valentine was martyred for disobeying Rome. The Emperor of Rome had ruled it was illegal for his soldiers to marry to help them “keep focus”…St. Valentine ignored the order and continued to marry soldiers because marriage was an important ritual of Christianity. The emperor had him thrown in prison to stop and punish him…while incarcerated he healed the sight of the jailer’s daughter (the reason for his sainthood). St. Valentine was eventually executed, but before his death he signed a letter to the jailer’s daughter, “from your Valentine”…as they say – the rest is history. Now you can impress your valentine with all your trivial knowledge!!
 
February Birthdays:   
 
I suppose the most famous February birthdays are George Washington and Abraham Lincoln…whom we will officially remember on Monday, February 15 – National President’s Day. We have several February birthdays in our family too…we all got together last weekend to celebrate birthdays and continue to get to know baby, Patton John. Here are our February babies…Cherry and I officially became parents on February 17, 1984…now our little baby is 37! Also the entire family has now met Patton…and yes – he remains perfect. Here are a few more pictures.  
 
Not a lot of community news or updates this week…like I said in the beginning – we are all empathizing with the Chief’s loss and cold winter weather. Hug your valentine this weekend for warmth and consolation…spring will be here before we know it!
 
Talk to you next week…
 
Onward ~ John 
 
John Coen
President/CEO
Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce
785-242-1000