Prison growth

June 15, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — The growth of the state prison system is unsustainable, the governor and the chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court said during an announcement of a far-reaching study of methods to change sentencing laws.

Flooding causes havoc

June 15, 2010 Water, water, water everywhere.This year has to be some kind of record for flooding in Arkansas and Tennessee. My dad’s cousin lives in Henderson, Tenn., and he’s been sharing some of their stories, like how his son Zachariah used his boat to rescue one of his neighbors, where water had flooded the first story of the neighbor’s home. Most of us have seen the photos by now. Homes washed off their foundations. Backyards turned into lakes. Water standing in homes. Cars stranded and submerged. Belongings piled on the street in the aftermath. The list goes on and on.

Movin’ on up

June 14, 2010 I couldn’t be more excited for Batesville to have a new eating place.Ever since word that the Wing Shack and Cheeseburger Grill like the one at Mountain View had plans for building in town, I was thrilled.Driving by the old Sweden Crème every day on my way to work, watching it transform into a wooden “shack” was fun as each day and week brought with it a new activity to the building as it prepared to open.On Saturday, Luke and I decided it was no better time than to try Batesville’s new food spot, and I must say the popcorn shrimp and french fries were yummy.

It’s all about balance

June 14, 2010  Gather ’round, chillerins. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Ol’ Rick ain’t as far to the left, politically, as you may believe.When we — me ‘n mama, the only yellow dogs in all of northwest Arkansas, it seems —were walking across the school parking lot to cast our highly visible votes in the runoff election, we ran into another couple we knew. They, of course, being well-to-do businesspeople, are what you’d call “right-wingers.” So, I had to take a few moments (half hour?) of their time to harass them about ... pretty much everything.

Protecting Old Glory

June 11, 2010 One sure way to light up The American Legion’s switchboards is for an overzealous homeowners association to ban the display of Old Glory within its community. While these disturbing incidents seem to be on the rise in recent years, I find it completely ironic that while a ban can exist on flying the flag of our country, no such ban is allowed to exist on desecrating it.

Reflecting on ‘what if’; So when the story started, “Well, right after he stole all that money from the mob…”

June 11, 2010 Ever wonder what if?Most of us at one time or another reflect on how our lives might have been different if we had altered our location, expanded our horizons, worked on getting a higher education, or ended up with a different partner.From time to time I think about those “what ifs” and realize that instead of feeling like I might have missed an opportunity that in reality I may have escaped what might have otherwise been a disaster.

If I ran a high school….

June 10, 2010 As my two kids progressed through public high school I launched numerous dinner table discussions with the same six words. Now that it’s graduation time, I’m going take one last crack at starting that way.If I ran a high school...

Looking for ‘little Brenda’

June 10, 2010 Mary Kay Woodyard was a nurse at Craig Hospital in Batesville more than six decades ago when an extremely premature baby girl was brought to the hospital.“She was born premature in an ambulance about seven miles from Batesville. I don’t know in which direction,” Woodyard said Monday.The doctors told Woodyard, whose last name at the time was Reynolds — that the baby was so premature that she would never make it.

Not the time…

June 9, 2010 Now is not the time for a Sports Complex in Batesville.It seems to be a popular idea of elected government officials to push this the proposed additional sales tax to finance the proposed Sports Complex. This is not the time for Batesville to be doing this.We have just started to recover from one of the worst economic periods in recent U.S. history. If you had a business or worked for a business that is just recovering or is trying to secure a more certain future, would you buy a swimming pool for your home or for your employees?

E.M. Forster and Facebook

June 9, 2010 “Big Brother” is watching you in a very “Orwellian” way. Has been for years. People who have never heard of George Orwell know of the term “Big Brother.” In many ways his dark vision of what the year 1984 would look like is prophetic. For example, his novel 1984 takes place during a never-ending war while technology is aiding an over-reaching government. I read that in the New York Times yesterday.Orwell was right. He was dead on. Spooky.