Nursing shortage addressed

April 29, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas, like all other states, is taking steps to address a nursing shortage that is expected to get worse before it gets better. One of the first bills approved in the regular session last year, Act 9 of 2009, aims to increase the number of nursing students in Arkansas. The act dramatically increased the amounts of college loans a nursing student is eligible to receive, from $6,000 to $20,000. Under Act 9, the state Board of Nursing will cancel the full amount of one year’s loan for each year the nursing graduate practices in Arkansas.

Governor is a coward

April 29, 2010 An hour south of Tucson you’ll find deserted silver mines used to make Confederate bullets in the latter days of the Civil War. The settlers of the region tried and failed to gain the federal government’s protection for their business interests. They were at war with the Apache tribe and desperate to have federal troops present so they could excavate in a place named after the Aztec word for “silver-bearing.” The feds ignored them.

More on the 4th Amendment Follies

April 28, 2010 It’s totally mindblowing (that’s an old 70’s phrase) that so many good Americans are paranoid that the government wants to control them completely, and yet, they support this recent “immigration law” in Arizona.

Park issues

April 28, 2010 Dear editor: Recently I was at Riverside Park feeding the cats and a man I know well came over to me and told me I was creating a health hazard. The people who drop off innocent cats and dogs are the ones doing that. I said if Jeff was doing his job they would have been picked up by now. All of them have been there all winter long. As far as Mr. Pender being the best animal control officer this town has ever known, all I know is he threatened to give me a ticket for feeding the cats.

Food stamps for college kids

April 28, 2010 Let them eat baked potatoes. Maybe I better explain. I came across an interesting article at The Daily Caller website: more college kids are qualifying for food stamps. Whereas government-funded grub has long been available to the working poor, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is eagerly expanding such benefits to college kids, too. For starters, says The New York Times, the USDA has worked to take the stigma out of receiving government grub. It now calls food stamps “nutritional aid.”

Insane laws

April 27, 2010 Our city recently passed a helmet law requiring all cyclers — yes, even children on quiet streets — to wear helmets. I’m not sure whether the law applies to exercise bikes. We need to outlaw pants worn below the buttocks. History teaches we cannot legislate morality. First, morals are positive, doing what’s right, not not doing what’s wrong. Laws inherently aim at stopping bad behavior, i.e. “thou shalt not….” Thou shalt not ride thy bicycle without wearing approved headgear, otherwise thou might become a criminal.

Compilation highlights music legacy of Elvis

April 26, 2010 When it comes to the music of Elvis Presley, I’ve heard it all. I don’t say this to sound uppity or nor do I claim to be a fan who knows it all, but after almost 20 years of loving Elvis, I have heard just about every song that’s been released, and that’s close to 700 or more. So, nowadays, when newly released CDs featuring Elvis hit store shelves, rarely do I look twice. The cover may be different, but the songs are still the same and ones I already have. It’s the marketing scheme of music companies.

Addressing criticism

April 26, 2010 Dear editor: To the citizens of Senate District 10: Recently there has been some personal reference to my vote in the 2009 session of the Arkansas Senate concerning Act 631. It has been rather critical of my stance on the matter of control of water resources in our wonderful state of Arkansas. I write this response for the sole purpose of providing full information that has not been mentioned publicly. I owe no apology because I am comfortable with my decision.

Setting the record straight

April 26, 2010 Dear editor: Re: First licensed liquor manufacturer in north Arkansas I take exception with Mr. Ed Ward as to Ward being first to receive a license to manufacture “moonshine” in Arkansas. My grandfather, James A. Luster, son of David Watson Luster, was first in north Arkansas to acquire such a license. James A. Luster manufactured his liquor in or near Bethesda, Arkansas.