This week, I'm not delving into those really big and important stories. You know, the ones that elicit a string of comments on the website.
I'll not tread into Egypt's waters and weigh in on whether we are right or wrong to continue pouring money into that country's economy, or whether this military coup is any different from others there and elsewhere. Besides, America has a history of being fickle when it comes to allies. Remember the Shah of Iran? That country was an ally once. Remember when we supported bin Laden in Afghanistan? Now, he's a trophy in secreted archives.
I'll also not tread into the gun arena, even though I'd have to applaud Illinois for finally getting in step with the rest of the nation's states with respect to its concealed weapons law.

I WON'T BOTHER weighing in on why the entire nation should be glued to the TV for up-to-the-minute coverage of the George Zimmerman trial in Sanford, Fla. And that's probably because I don't think the entire nation should be. It's really a local matter the national TV media folks have turned into a circus. There's a really, really good chance some other teenager in another city was shot and killed by someone. Oh, wait. That's right, this is of national importance because Trayvon Martin was black and Zimmerman was what some described in newscasts as a white Hispanic. Huh? OK. And it's because, well, we need to follow this nationally, so we can get beaten down with the idea no law-abiding citizen should carry a weapon for self-defense. Or maybe it's because there haven't been any devastating tornadoes lately, no reason for Anderson Cooper and others to turn a serious but rather typical event into an apocalyptic one.

And then there is Amanda Bynes, another national story of great importance to us all. Not. She acted like a brat on Nickelodeon's "All That," and she has done a spectacular job of growing up to become a 27-year-old brat, a familiar theme among that crowd. But the nation should know (and yes, we published a story about it on our Entertainment page) all the sordid details of her New York pot binge that led to her (allegedly) tossing a bong out of her 36th-floor Manhattan apartment. See, the poor girl was high enough on the 36th floor. Maybe that's where she went wrong. But we should all truly care deeply. Which reminds me, I wonder how Lindsay Lohan's doing these days.

SO, INSTEAD OF HAVING A one-sided conversation about all these other important topics, I'm simply going to say thank you to a good many people who have already responded to the Index-Journal's annual plea to be a fan of The Salvation Army by donating box fans the Army then distributes to resident who have no relief from the summer's heat.
While we have been experiencing tropical weather that makes many of us wonder if we live in the Rainforest, we have already also experienced the high temperatures that accompany such climates. And while the bulk of us are fortunate enough to be able to retreat to our air-conditioned homes, a good many people in The Salvation Army's service area do not. They can open windows, but if there's no natural breeze, they have no way to stir the air. A simple box fan that costs less than $20 can make the difference for them, a good many of whom are elderly people living on fixed incomes. And yes, the Army staff does screen people to ensure the fans are going where they need to go.
Last year was a banner year for the fan project. About 250 fans were donated by caring residents. And while there were just a handful left when the fall temperatures arrived, those were already distributed this year. So far, about 30 fans have come through the newspaper office and made their way to the Army for distribution. Summer's still here, warm - make that hot - temperatures lie ahead.
So, what am I saying? Just saying if you have not had a chance to do so yet, there's still plenty of time and plenty of need for some fans. We'll be happy to accept your fan here at 610 Phoenix St. between 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

DON'T FRET. THE UPDATES on the Zimmerman trial are endless, Egypt's still in a state of flux, Amanda Bynes has only had a preliminary court appearance and you can keep up with Anderson Cooper's latest apocalypse by following him on Twitter. In other words, there is time and opportunity to grab a fan at one of the big box stores and drop it off at the newspaper. You won't solve the world's problems by doing so, but you'll sure provide some much-needed relief to someone in your community.

Whiting is executive editor of the Index-Journal. Contact him at 943-2522; email ,or follow him on Twitter at IJEDITOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.