Government is clearly not transparent enough

March 18, 2011 WASHINGTON — The national picture for Freedom of Information laws, celebrated during national Sunshine Week (March 13-19), is a bit brighter thanks to two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions and some White House initiatives.But to give a twist on the old saying, “There’s a cloud in every silver lining.”

Killing me softly with your Kibble

March 17, 2011 A 2010 study by the Association For Pet Obesity Prevention says half the nation’s dogs and cats are overweight, and 20 percent are downright obese. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has danced to the Billboard hit “Who Let The Dogs’ (Waistband) Out?”These findings are alarming because, as with humans, weight issues produce other health woes, such as diabetes, arthritis, shortened lifespan and an uncontrollable urge to wear Speedos.

Vendor of smiles

March 17, 2011 This is not about politics or the economy, at least not directly. This is about lemonade. “Lemonade, lemonade, like grandma made!”For 26 years, Derrick Moore has been selling drinks at sports venues across the West, but quenching thirst is only part of his mission. Moore is arguably the nation’s top ballpark vendor of smiles.Fans attending games in Arizona, southern California and Nevada — over 250 events each year — often can’t remember the final score, but they never forget Moore’s deep, rousing call: “Lemonade, Lemonade, like grandma made!”

‘Engine Earth’ produces megatons of energy

March 17, 2011 Earthquakes apparently are on everyone’s mind these days — and for good reasons. The giant earthquake in Japan was so strong that it moved portions of the island nation’s east coast 13 feet, and the entire east coast an average of eight feet.But what really catches my attention is that it shifted the Earth’s axis a measurable amount as well as increasing the Earth’s rotational speed, shortening each day also by a measurable amount.Mind-boggling.

A boy with imagination

March 16, 2011  Dustin’s mother had locked him in his room for most of his 10 years, at least whenever he wasn’t in school. Because of that, his imagination was vivid and wildOnce his father gained custody of him, and he was free to come and go, it was obvious that his social skills were almost nonexistent. Dustin’s father said he didn’t care for church himself, but he felt his son could use it, and he asked us to take Dustin with us each week. I’m not sure if it was for Dustin, or because the dad just wanted some free time, but we agreed.

Wisconsin going forward

March 16, 2011 Wisconsin adopted “Forward” as their state motto in 1851. Sculptor Jean Pond Miner was commissioned to create a representation of her home state and in 1893 created a seven-foot tall bronze statue of a female figure bearing the state’s maxim. The Wisconsin Historical Society notes, “Forward is an allegory of devotion and progress, qualities Miner felt Wisconsin embodied.” The statue is dedicated as a women’s memorial and now stands proudly at the west entrance of the Capitol in Madison.

Gas prices: Facts don’t support claims

March 16, 2011 Poor Peggy Joseph. Overwhelmed by the promise of hope after hearing an Obama campaign speech, Joseph said, “I never thought this day would ever happen. I won’t have worry about putting gas in my car. I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know, if I help [Obama], he’s gonna [sic] help me.” Peggy kept her part of the bargain, but looking at food and gas prices lately, the day Peggy never thought would happen — likely never will.

Irish need not apply

March 15, 2011 Well, this takes the Irish cake.The Irish “need not apply” in America all over again.Ireland, you see, is not doing so well.Prior to the global economic meltdown, its service industry soared as global companies took advantage of its well-educated, English-speaking citizens.Emboldened by its good fortune, the Irish government, and many of its citizens, carried on like Americans. They overborrowed and overspent.A housing bubble formed and burst spectacularly.

Flouride ‘kooks’

March 15, 2011 Dear editor:The State Legislature has passed and the governor has signed legislation that would require municipalities with a population of 5,000 or more to treat their water systems with fluoride.According to Doctor David G. Williams’s booklet Alternatives, Volume 14, Number 3, p. 7, March 2011, there are 7 reasons why public water systems should not be treated with fluoride.

It could happen to you

March 15, 2011 There’s an old saying that goes along the lines of “Everyone thinks it won’t happen to them.” Improper grammar aside, I believe there’s some truth in that.My mother-in-law’s neighbor-friend was allowing her young grandson to ride four-wheelers last weekend with a buddy, and the boys somehow crashed and were seriously hurt. Both ended up in the hospital, with the grandson in critical condition.