Becker: Big Labor’s Plan B

February 26, 2010 Over the past year business owners and workers from across the state rallied together to convey their strong opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). This legislation would fundamentally rewrite the nation’s labor laws by usurping secret ballot elections and allowing government bureaucrats to set contracts without consent from employers or employees, giving labor unions a clear and unfair advantage.

How flu you do?

February 25, 2010 If you live in Independence County and did not get a free flu shot going into this winter, it is surely your own fault, for the county health department, the city of Pleasant Plains and the Pleasant Plains United Methodist Church all cooperated to make vaccinations against normal types of flu available to everyone, as near as I can tell.

Fun goes downhill

February 24, 2010 Now that thick snow has blanketed much of the country, we all know what that means: more sledding bans.In Massachusetts, says The Week Magazine, a movement is afoot to crack down on the pastime. Many Massachusetts communities are posting warning signs or issuing outright bans. A state lawmaker introduced a bill requiring children to wear helmets because “there are no brakes on a sled.”In Omaha, Neb., two popular parks banned sledding after the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that public parks are not legally protected from being sued.

Spring River’s got game

February 24, 2010 Familiar faces.As I watched the members of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, along with officers from Fulton County, make their television debut last night on “Party Heat,” I couldn’t have been any prouder of how they were portrayed.Partying on the Spring River at Hardy is a yearly event and those officers know from year to year they will be working full-force during the holiday weekends.

Guns carry responsibility

February 23, 2010 Last week, an elementary student at Westside brought a gun to school, making this the third weapons incident in the past few weeks in and around Jonesboro. The third! The schools have reacted quickly and appropriately, and for that the teachers and administrators should be commended.My concern is this: Where are these students getting the weapons to begin with?A student at Nettleton Middle School had a switchblade. Now, at one time I too had a pocketknife, as did nearly every kid at my high school, but not when we were in sixth grade.

Singing her praises

February 22, 2010 Let me introduce ...I was in the ninth grade when I found her CD in the Walmart music department.I didn’t know who she was, but I scanned the album’s barcode across the music player hanging above the rows of country music CDs, put on the headphones and gave it a listen.Her voice was old-fashioned, a lot like Patsy Cline and I became a fan of Mandy Barnett’s instantly.

A lesson on the tale of two teachers

February 19, 2010 Do you ever feel like you’re surrounded by negativity?Sometimes it seems like everyone around you has a bad attitude. You try your best, but it’s almost impossible to get them to act right and play nice.But what role do your own thoughts and emotions have in creating your environment?Consider the tale of two teachers.They’re both public high school teachers; one teaches biology, and the other teaches language arts (the fancy label for what we used to call English).

Martha’s Big Adventure: Life’s Terms

February 19, 2010 One of my favorite sayings is, “live life on life’s terms,” which means deal with things the way they are step by step in pursuit of the big dream. If you can’t pay your bills, get a job and become a star after hours. If you want to run a marathon, start by walking a mile on a consistent basis. If you want to own a home, start saving and make sure you can reasonably afford whatever you’re buying for the length of the loan.