New school progam is voluntary

July 23, 2010 LITTLE ROCK  —  For kids it is the middle of summer, and for the state Board of Education it is time to prepare for the coming school year.At its July meeting the state board approved a Public School Fund of almost $2.6 billion for the 2010-2011 school year. That will provide the bulk of revenue for 244 school districts in Arkansas that educate 465,000 students from kindergarten through grade 12. There are about 34,000 teachers in Arkansas and their average salary is $45,000, according to the state Education Department.

Judging by the weight

July 23, 2010 Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not kill.Those words kept running over and over in my mind as I picked up speed and headed around the back side of the jogging trail where I had just encountered the person who inspires those murderous thoughts.You guessed it. She’s skinny.So tiny, in fact, that she might register 82 pounds soaking wet.And in all honesty, the fact that she is so thin is not nearly as big an issue as the fact she doesn’t walk in the same direction as the rest of us.

Cut corners

July 22, 2010 Dear editor:I want to voice my opinion concerning the proposed tax increase for the new recreational facility for Batesville. I know that if I choose to continue to shop in Batesville, I’ll be helping to fund this. The residents living outside the city would get no more benefit from this than they are getting from the Humane Society. I for one have called them many times about dogs that come to my house after being dumped by people, but they say they never have any room.

Disappointed with tactics

July 22, 2010 Dear editor:In politics, catchy phrases, a sense of urgency to rush a vote, and vague tax information are often signs one should take a more in-depth look at what is actually trying to be accomplished.I am disappointed the “Move Batesville Forward” group has used that approach to try and force their agenda on the whole county. This only serves to divide the county instead of helping us work as a unit for the common good.

Reasons for support

July 22, 2010 Dear editor:I am writing to express the reasons why I am in support of the Batesville Parks Initiative.1. A community/convention center with room for conferences, educational programs, activities, meetings, concerts and special events would enhance the lives of not only Batesville residents but those who live in the surrounding areas.2. Health: An indoor walking track, a heated therapeutic pool, a gym; all are needed to stay fit and have a prolonged life.3. Convenience:

Where in the world are we?

July 22, 2010 Before I start getting calls, e-mails and letters, let me say the following did NOT take place at a college in Independence County or its surrounding counties.But the college in question IS in Arkansas.Back in the mid- to late 1970s and 1980s, incoming freshmen at this college were asked several questions. Their answers were surprising — even alarming — to those of us who grew up in a time when we actually learned stuff and showed an interest in learning.The survey took place over a 10-year period and involved slightly more than 2,100 incoming freshmen.

Waste of money

July 21, 2010 A new recreation complex would be a complete waste of the taxpayers’ money. We already have baseball, soccer and swimming pools. They are hardly overcrowded or overused. I drive by the north complex every day, twice a day, and see the ball fields empty most of the time. If the city of Batesville wants to improve the community, they should start by attempting to save money.

Financial hurdles

July 21, 2010 Scoping my daunting to-do list I am inescapably enthralled by the glory of getting it done. Yet, my path to grandeur is blocked, impassable.  Between my manly goal and I is one major hurdle…lack o’ da moola…or more simply, not enough money!I have this problem because I refuse to go one penny further into debt.

Lawn mowers and aliens

July 21, 2010 Believe it or not, this writing stuff takes up a great deal of time that normal people might use to do things like keeping their cars clean and their yards mowed.John Harris and I used to mow yards, much bigger than the one I have now, for five bucks. Imagine my surprise, after both of my lawn mowers decided they didn’t want to run, when I called my neighbor and asked her what her guy charged. She said she paid him 50 bucks! Fifty! And her yard is even smaller than mine.

Fry me to the moon

July 20, 2010 Well, Gary and I got a healthy dose of testosterone this weekend when we watched “The Right Stuff.” Sorry, but that’s the first word that comes to mind when I watched it.It’s a fairly old movie (1983) but neither Gary or I had ever seen it. Part of the reason could be that it was soooo long. Like “Titanic” long. The actual race to space didn’t last nearly as long as the movie!