Disparity in fire protection

December 19, 2011 Dear editor:I am writing in response to the letter of Ms. Brenda Sandage in the December 13, 2011 issue of the Batesville Daily Guard. Ms. Sandage is 100% correct  in her view that new taxes should be spent on essential services. There is currently a great disparity in the levels of fire protection provided to property owners within Batesville and those in other areas of our county. However, it costs just as much to put out a house fire in the most remote areas of our county as it does in Batesville.

State Capitol Week in Review

December 19, 2011 The Arkansas Development Finance Authority is a relatively small state agency in terms of staff and office space.However, the agency is rather large if you measure its economic effect on the Arkansas business community and the state’s housing market.

Getting up the nerve to sing

December 19, 2011 I think I found a new hobby and it’s probably a good thing Gilley’s Texas Cafe at Branson, Mo., isn’t any closer because I’d probably join the club.Luke and I nearly felt like regulars at the cafe owned by country singer Mickey Gilley during a recent three-day stay. Our waitress even seemed surprised to see us at about the same time every night. To be honest, I was little surprised myself that I wanted to eat there all three nights considering the featured entertainment was karaoke.

Saying goodbye to Momma

December 16, 2011 I pick up the phone to call her but am quickly reminded she’s not home. There’s this big thing that has happened and I have to tell her about it. I have to seek her advice on what to do and hear her words that always comforted me. I want to know what she thinks about it and what she would do. She is my best friend and is always there for me.

My little Christmas angel

December 16, 2011 My wife, Donna, says I have a real ability to see the humor in almost anything. I think that is because I have learned that I much prefer laughing to crying. If I couldn’t laugh at life, I’m afraid I would become very pessimistic, something I don’t want to be. However, even with my desire to look at life optimistically, there still are times when even the most optimistic person will struggle to view something in a positive light.

Politicians: Tell the truth about school prayer

December 16, 2011 The latest attack on the “godless public schools” — a staple of Republican primaries past — is a new ad in Iowa by Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign proclaiming there’s “something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”Advocating for “school prayer” is, of course, is a poll-tested winner for politicians seeking to stir voter outrage — and establish Christian conservative bona fides.

‘Toy Story’ — Back to the basics

December 15, 2011 Boy, do we need to get back to the basics in America — even with our toys.Consider: In the basement of any kid’s home you’ll find once-trendy, dust-collecting gadgets that are no longer played with.So I was delighted to stumble across a Wired magazine article by Jonathan Liu that ranked “The 5 Best Toys of All Time.”First up: the stick, a simple branch or hunk of wood you can find in your own backyard.Though doing so is no longer acceptable today, when I was a kid I made several slingshots out of sticks that could fire a small rock a long way.

Good riddance

December 15, 2011 To listen to the “elite” media you’d think that a renowned statesman was regrettably planning to leave the political scene.As Jason Mattera of Human Events has noted, “After his announcement that he won’t seek re-election, the Washington Post heralded the disheveled congressman Barney Frank as leaving a ‘legacy that crosses from legislative cornerstones to political confrontations to a historic place as the nation’s most prominent gay lawmaker.’”

Fossilized human footprints abound

December 15, 2011 Geologists and others, well, to coin a word let’s call them Earth-ologists, used to say — and many if not most still do — that humans came along very late in the formation of the Earth. For instance, in my college geology class, the professor told us that if the formation of the Earth was made into a 24-hour movie, humans would be in only the last three minutes of the show.Well, I beg to differ. And so does my Bible (King James Version). And so does the evidence.

3 churches come together for Care to Share

December 14, 2011 SIDNEY ­— It was all free.Those waiting for the doors to open at First Baptist Church of Sidney on Saturday morning would soon find new toys, clothing and household items along with boxes of groceries to be given away for the second annual Care to Share program.Holly Ayers, who is one of the organizers, explained how three churches had teamed up for the Care to Share event. In addition to First Baptist Church of Sidney, members of the First Baptist Church of Evening Shade and Grace Country Church were also involved.