Cuts could be in future

March 1, 2010 LITTLE ROCK —  The first fiscal session in Arkansas history lasted three weeks and went very smoothly.There  were some disagreements between the governor and legislators over a few budget issues, but the amount of money in dispute was a small fraction of less than one percent of total state spending. As always happens during legislative sessions, the disagreements were ironed out after both sides compromised.

Wearing heels at 3

March 1, 2010 Like a lot of little girls growing up I loved trying on my mother’s high heels and can still remember the “clip clop” sound they made as I pranced around in her size 8 1/2s.And, I’ll never forget how mad Mom would get when she’d go to use her makeup and discover some little girl had helped herself to the blush and mauve- and wine-colored lipsticks.While Mom never went for the bright red lipstick like I love, I can’t help but wonder if she’s not who I get my affinity for wearing lipstick from. (After all, everything seems better with a little on.)

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.