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Thursday, March 10, 2005 09:09 am

quick takes 3-10-05

VOICES OF DISSENT

Area religious organizations and peace groups mark the second anniversary of the U.S. attack on Iraq with a monthlong series of meetings, vigils, concerts, and protests.

The observances begin Saturday, March 19, with an 11: 30 a.m. interfaith service at the First Church of the Brethren, 2116 Yale Blvd., followed by a noon vigil for peace at the steps of the Capitol, Second Street and Capitol Avenue. (Three more Saturday noon vigils follow on March 26, April 2, and April 9 at the Paul Findley Federal Building at Sixth and Monroe streets.)

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, area poets and writers speak out on peace in the Carnegie South room of Lincoln Library, Seventh Street and Capitol Avenue.

Noon-2 p.m. on Good Friday, March 25, peace activists will observe the Way of the Cross, starting at the southeast corner of Second and Capitol. (For information, call 217-523-4049.)

Jessica Gonko, director of the Springfield Peace Camp, leads children’s readings in Carnegie North, Lincoln Library, on Saturday, March 26, from 1 to 3 p.m.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, Tim Godshall, outreach and development director at the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund, speaks in Carnegie North, Lincoln Library.

Sue Morris of Pax Christi Springfield, speaks at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, in Carnegie North, Lincoln Library.

On Friday, April 15, a tax day fundraiser to benefit the Springfield Peace Camp will be held at the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 745 Woodside Rd.

The events are co-sponsored by Church World Service, the Mary Wood Branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Middle East Peace Project, and Pax Christi Springfield. For more information, call 217-546-5454.

UP IN SMOKE

WICS News Channel 20 anchor Elizabeth Wooley last week (March 2) reported on the growing use of salvia, a legal drug with psychoactive effects similar to those of LSD.

Wooley’s feature included extensive footage of the leafy substance being rolled into joints and directed viewers to Penny Lane, the head shop on South MacArthur Boulevard.

The business has sold salvia for years but began carrying high-potency extracts of the drug two months ago, says store manager Harvey Utterback.

If the news report was meant as a warning, it had the opposite effect. After Wooley’s story ran, sales went through the roof, Utterback says.

“We must have had 100 people come in the next day,” he says. “There’s been an unbelievably heavy demand.”

Attempts to reach Wooley and WICS general manager Johnny Faith for comment were unsuccessful.

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