The Ghosts of Christmas Pageants Past

December 21, 2010 Indecipherable speech, missed cues and wardrobe malfunctions abounded, but a wintry good time was had by all.I’m speaking of my son Gideon’s first-grade Christmas pageant; but, come to think of it, I could probably go “green” and recycle that lead paragraph when reporting about a congressional junket to Jamaica.

Learning about an old Scrooge

December 21, 2010 My little 3-year-old daughter, Celese, let go of my hand and rushed to the little red wagon. “Oh, Daddy. Can we get it for Christmas?! Can we?!”I could see the longing in her smiling face and her sparkling eyes, but when I looked at the $60 price tag, my heart sank. As a college student, I was doing everything I could, but I was barely able to earn enough money for my family’s needs. Besides teaching some classes, and taking care of race horses at nights and on Saturdays, I also did work at our apartment complex for half of our rent.

Decade’s top 10 comedic news stories

December 21, 2010 Believe it or not, an entire decade has passed since the turn of the millennium. One hundred-twenty months. One-tenth of a century. More than 3,600 days. How did that happen? It’s harder to comprehend than a faded Kazakhstani street sign tagged by Mongolian graffiti.

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.”