Quality early education: A child’s mind can’t wait

December 20, 2010 Dear Editor:Some legislators are questioning if now is the time to fund quality preschool programs. Here is the answer. There will never be a better time. Countless studies make it obvious that good education starts in the early years before children set foot inside a kindergarten classroom.

My grown-up Christmas list

December 20, 2010 I hope I never get too old for loving Christmas, but the older I get the more I understand not everyone sees the holiday as a happy time of year.For many it’s a stressful, sad occasion that’s hard to live up to. Many can’t afford to make rent or put food on the table let alone buy their children the toys of their dreams. Some don’t have homes and children are without families.

Christmas gets better every year

December 20, 2010 I still wish I hadn’t peeked in the attic that year.It was Christmas 1972 and I was 10. It was the first year when I no longer believed in Santa Claus.Until that point, Christmas had been a magical time for me.A few weeks after Thanksgiving, I would join with my father to pick out our tree. He’d wear his rattiest coat and work his mastery on the helpless Christmas-tree guy to knock the price down two or three bucks.

Reflections of Oil Trough City Hall

December 20, 2010 The loss of the City Hall and Community Center in the recent fire at Oil Trough was a devastating blow to the small town. It was made even worse when we learned from the fire investigating team that it was arson. We have to wonder why anyone would do something so terrible to the people of Oil Trough.

Letters to the Editor; Safety first

December 17, 2010 Dear editor:This holiday season if you catch a buzz, catch a ride.The holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest on the nation’s roadways and also one of the most dangerous, due to a high incidence of alcohol-related traffic crashes.That’s why I’m joining with other national, state and local highway safety and law enforcement officials to remind everyone this holiday season to always designate a driver before each holiday party or event involving alcohol.

Letters to the Editor; Church and state

December 17, 2010 Dear editor:Recently in a debate between two political adversaries, one mentioned that the wall of separation between the church and state was not in the constitution. Her political opponents ridiculed her that anyone would even hold to such an idea.

Gratitude begins where my sense of entitlement ends

December 16, 2010 An apropos saying, “Gratitude begins where my sense of entitlement ends” was recently tweeted across the cyber world of Twitter, but apparently the message did not connect with entitlement-loving Democratic Party Progressives currently unhinged over the recent proposal to extend Bush tax cuts.In a rare moment of self-mutilation, the Democrats have begun to eat their own in their condemning of Obama’s Tax compromise rather than indulging in their usual and most boring anything-Palin diet — and to that I respond with a hearty, “Bon Appetite.”

FEMA: Be prepared for quakes

December 16, 2010 WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, on the 199th anniversary of one of the largest earthquakes ever to strike the U.S., the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready Campaign is encouraging all Americans to prepare for earthquakes and other disasters by making a new year’s resolution to “Resolve to be Ready” in 2011. It only takes a few simple steps to prepare for emergencies, and anyone can visit www.Ready.gov to learn more.

Crying Game

December 16, 2010 Honestly, what’s with all the crying on Capitol Hill? Judging by the flow of tears you’d think Republicans had recently suffered some kind of horrible defeat.Thanks to YouTube, just about everyone has seen how John Boehner, incoming House Speaker, cried uncontrollably on “60 Minutes” when grilled by Lesley Stahl. As I recall, Boehner burst into tears when Stahl asked something like, “Can we start taping now?”

Freedom of Deplorable Speech

December 15, 2010 Pastor Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church congregation — also known as the “God Hates Fags” picketers — have no place in a polite society. But we don’t live in a polite society. We live in this one. And in this one we are guaranteed the freedom of speech.If you’re for free speech, which I am, you’re proclaiming you can be offended and be reasonably OK with it. Freedom of speech isn’t just saying what you want to say, it’s also letting other people say heinous and indefensible things and accepting the government’s inaction on the issue.