Parents, not kids, are ‘illegitimate’

May 24, 2011 My adoptive parents told me I was “chosen,” but the kids at school told me I was a “bastard.”The recent headlines about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infidelities and the son he fathered out of wedlock have stirred many old memories and emotions.I was 4 years old when I learned I was adopted. It was just before my sister Maureen’s 8th birthday. I told her, “I know what you’re getting for your birthday.”“Don’t spoil the secret,” she said. “If you tell me, I’m going to tell you a secret!”

States’ secession was never made illegal

May 24, 2011 One hundred and fifty years ago, Arkansas had begun its preparations for war, both on the home front as well as on the national front. As state and Confederate regiments were being formed throughout the state, the national scene was looking quite grim; it was apparent that neither the Unionists nor the Confederates would be able to make peace.

Investing in small business development

May 24, 2011 A policy idea hatched at the Center for Rural Affairs and enacted as part of the 2008 farm bill is helping lift up small businesses across the nation and helping rural people rebuild our economy and strengthen our communities.In only two years of operation, the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program at USDA has awarded grants for business training and loan capital to 83 small business development organizations in 38 states across the country.

New approach: Less is more

May 24, 2011 I’ve been watching “Hoarders” again. That’s not great news for my trash pickup guys, since it usually involves my throwing stuff away. But every so often, I’ve got to do this, or I just get overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we have that we don’t need. And the more clutter I have, the more it affects my mood in a negative way.

When schools go to church, conflict follows

May 23, 2011 Like thousands of other public school students across the country, seniors in Irving, Texas, will graduate from high school next month — although in Irving they’ll go to church to get their diplomas. The venue is the Potter House, a megachurch led by Bishop T.D. Jakes, site of Irving commencements since 2004.

Niece, nephew moving on

May 23, 2011 I can still remember the butterflies I’d get knowing there were only a few days of school left before summer. For many students across the area that time is now. Many will be leaving one grade for another while others mark the end of one era to begin a new one this fall.On Friday my niece Ashley graduated from Hillcrest High School, and to be honest, I can’t believe it. It was only a few short years ago (ok, 17) that she was brought home from the hospital, a precious, tiny little bundle. I can remember it. I was there.

Arkansas troops in Civil War

May 20, 2011 One hundred and fifty years ago, Arkansawyers began taking serious the preparations that were needed to head off any Northern invasions. As Arkansas seceded on May 6, 1861, the First Arkansas Volunteer Regiment left the grounds of the Little Rock Arsenal on May 8 and arrived in Lynchburg, Va., on May 19, 1861. Arkansas was officially supplying troops to the Confederate States Army.

Break out the bell bottoms

May 20, 2011 “The wife and I have a plan to survive this lousy economy. We’re breaking out our bell bottoms.”“Ah, yes, you refer to a recent article in the Financial Times by Spencer Jakab. He writes about a growing fear that America may relive the ‘70s.”“That’s right. Slow growth, high unemployment, high inflation — ‘stagflation’ is what we called it then!”“There certainly is that fear it will happen again.”

How to grow optimism

May 20, 2011 In many cities across America spring has sprung at last. I’m not quite including where I sit in Chicago in that group just yet because we keep bouncing around between the high 80s one day and feeling like it’s in the 30s with the wind chill. We’ve been holding steady mostly in the 50s, which is still 20 degrees below normal for this time of year.

Ledge update

May 20, 2011 LITTLE ROCK — Officials at the state Department of Human Services are working to correct problems at the State Hospital.One area of concern is treatment of children with dual diagnoses, meaning they suffer from mental illness as well as a developmental disability.  An advocacy group has asked federal authorities to review disciplinary incidents to determine if treatment of children put them in danger. The group also is seeking changes in how medications are prescribed to avoid excess use of sedatives as a method of keeping the children docile.