In 2011 the BND ran an article about the Yellow Dot program. It entails placing a yellow dot on your car, which alerts first responders to look in the glove compartment for a yellow card with information about you in case of an accident or emergency. I have spoken to a few first responders in our area and they know nothing about this wonderful tool. Can you explain why? -- Bette Ettling, of Belleville
Don't blame Jenny Meyer. As director of environmental programs at the St. Clair County Health Department, she says she regularly meets with emergency responders to sing the praises of this potentially lifesaving program.
"I recently met with the Belleville Fire Department and gave them information on it so they have it," she told me Friday. "And we take it with us to all of the events we attend."
I suppose the trouble is that if it's not in the paper every day or on a billboard you pass by, it tends to get lost in the shuffle of everyday life. I only hope the police and EMTs see this.
"I mean there could be weeks that go by where we have nobody come in. But then all of a sudden we'll get three or four people call about it because they've heard about it from somewhere," Meyer said.
In fact, I wrote about its virtues just a year ago. For those still unaware, the Yellow Dot program was introduced in Connecticut in 2002 to help emergency workers better treat victims in accidents and medical crises.
Now funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, it works this way: Obtain a Yellow Dot kit from your county health department. In the kit, you'll find a small information sheet on which to list your name, emergency contacts, doctor, medical conditions, recent surgeries, allergies and medications. Add a small snapshot of yourself, and place it in your glove compartment. Finally, put the accompanying yellow dot on the rear window on the driver's side. Do this for anyone who regularly drives or rides in your car.
Such information could be critical in what emergency responders call the "golden hour" -- the first 60 minutes after a traumatic event when fast, accurate treatment could mean the difference between life and death.
However, after my story ran, I heard from several people who asked me to consider the downside: In an age when people are increasingly worried about identity theft, a stolen car or burglary could give thieves personal information you might not want strangers to have.
You'll have to weigh the risks and rewards. In any case, like that character in "Spamalot," the program is certainly not dead yet -- and you might not be, either, if you take advantage of it. For more information, call 233-7769 or go to www.yellowdotillinois.org.
Why has the BND stopped publishing "Tune in Tomorrow"? -- S.N., of Belleville, and J.W., of Freeburg
As you're probably well aware, fewer folks are tuning in tomorrow to watch what was once a daytime programming staple.
Just about 10 years ago, there were nearly a dozen soaps that had followers glued to their TV every day. Now I think only four major players remain -- "Bold and the Beautiful," "The Young and the Restless," "General Hospital" and "Days of Our Lives" -- as viewers turn to talk shows, Judge Judy, Dr. Phil, cable and retro TV. Soap digests have declined as well.
At the same time, newspapers constantly reevaluate their best use of space. So with the major decline in soap popularity, we have decided to drop that once-vital column.
"Interest in it is minimal, and we can use the space for other content," BND Editor Jeffry Couch told me.
Annual memo: With school back in session, I would like to remind folks that on four-lane streets and roads such as Main Street in Belleville, you do not have to stop for school buses that are picking up students in the oncoming lanes. I was reminded of this again this week when I received a very dirty look from a driver after I zipped east past a stopped bus going west.
Stink bomber: My recent answer about White Castle slogans brought back a sackful of memories to David Busse, of Maryville, about his dad.
"As a St. Louis teenager in the 1920s, Dad was an especially dapper fellow," Busse wrote. "While courting his future wife (my mom), Dad would walk several blocks out of his way to a date to avoid getting the odor of White Castle onions on his suit."
I used to feel his pain, Dave: A friend and I always dreaded our tennis matches at Belleville East High School when the wind would blow the White Castle exhaust our way.
What is believed to be the first soap opera shown on American TV?
Answer to Thursday's trivia: Long before he donned his pointed ears as Mr. Spock on "Star Trek," a 21-year-old Leonard Nimoy had another out-of-this-world role as Narab, one of three Martian invaders in the 1952 12-part movie serial "Zombies of the Stratosphere."
Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427 or email@example.com or call 618-239-2465.