Road woes

June 4, 2010 LITTLE ROCK —  In recent years tax revenue from traditional sources for maintaining Arkansas state highways has been flat or in actual decline. At the same time the cost of fixing highways and bridges has gone up.Raising taxes is always politically difficult, and in an economic slowdown it becomes extremely so. However, when highway maintenance is postponed it quickly becomes more expensive.

Recession now or depression later?

June 4, 2010 Date nights are great nights! My wife and I enjoyed an awesome film during one of these over Memorial Day weekend.Typical for a Russell Crowe film, “Robin Hood” was brutal! Yet it was just the film to fit my flavor for “history” flicks. I would have called it, “Robin Hood: When Governments Go Broke” as this name is a better fit for the story.

Fixer-Uppers

June 3, 2010 If only more Americans had bought fixer-uppers.Maybe I better explain.My first house was in need of major renovations. Boy, did my father and I suffer when we improved the bathroom.The project started well enough. We tore down the old wall tile and put up wallpaper and a tub surround. We repainted, then put down a new floor. All we had to do to was reinstall the commode.The bolts that had secured the toilet to the floor had both broken. The hardware-store guy sold me a kit to reattach them.

Blowup over a mosque

June 3, 2010 Houston talk-show host Michael Perry couldn’t contain himself. When a listener named Tony called in May 26 to defend a plan to build an Islamic center near New York City’s 9/11 ground zero, Perry exploded.“No, no, Tony, you can’t build a mosque at the site of 9/11 ... And I’ll tell you this — if you do build a mosque, I hope somebody blows it up ... I hope the mosque isn’t built, and if it is, I hope it’s blown up, and I mean that.”

Double trouble

June 2, 2010 We got the call at about 10:30 p.m. on Monday, May 24.  I had just gotten back from the grocery store, after suffering a case of late night munchies and picking up an apple pie and, since I was there anyway, a turtle cake.  Seems the girls had decided they didn’t want to wait until their scheduled arrival on Thursday.  And they didn’t want grampa to be clogging any more arteries for a while.Maci Paige was the first out, at a little after midnight on Tuesday, followed closely by her little sister, Kennedy Alexis. 

Only suntan oil in Destin

June 2, 2010 Gary and I can tell you there’s no oil in Destin, Fla., at least none last week while we were there.It had been six years since we’ve taken a beach vacation, so last week we were Destin or Bust.

Outlook improves

June 1, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — The financial outlook for Medicaid improved last month, according to state officials who administer the program.This year’s Medicaid budget is about $4.2 billion and is estimated to increase to $4.6 billion next fiscal year. Medicaid officials have been concerned about possible budget shortfalls because more people become eligible for Medicaid in a bad economy. Also, the cost of medical services and prescription drugs continues to increase.

Dressing for something better

May 28, 2010 Women’s work clothes have come a long way. A new book, “Work It!” by Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo of Visual Therapy fame, is here to help generations of women figure out what to wear on the job, with a twist. Instead of starting from the idea of what your boss would like to see, which is such an old schoolgirl way of thinking, “Work It!” guides us through an inner search first.