Leif Erikson Day observed

October 15, 2009 Two friends — a former co-worker and a current co-worker — wished me a Happy Leif Erikson Day by e-mail on Friday.Who knew such a “holiday” existed?Jon Trobaugh and Andrea Bruner did. Knowing of my interest in everything involving visitors to ancient America, they passed along the information by wishing me a happy “holiday.”Leif Erikson Day honors the first Scandinavian known to have set foot on American soil and the contribution of the Nordic peoples to the United States, according to the www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/leif-erikson-day Web site.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 14, 2009 Upset with leadersDear editor:I read the comments of Debbie Miller regarding Charter status for Batesville Schools in your October 13, 2009, issue with great interest and consternation. I was shocked that this process had gone so far without seeking public input. I don’t know whether Charter status would be good for our schools, or if it will be bad.

40 days and 40 nights

October 14, 2009 Forty days and 40 nights. I really don’t know how many days rain has fallen here, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see an ark floating by any day now.According to the weather service, our area has received about 24 inches of rain above our annual average to date. Most of that has fallen in our yard and our upstream neighbor’s yard. I’ve asked her to come get her prodigal water, but she just responds, “pass it on.” And, we do, to our neighbors downstream.I’m not sure where the buck stops in this scenario.

Driven to distraction

October 13, 2009 “It wasn’t my fault. I glanced at my text message for only a second when the car in front of me hit me.”“How could the car in front of you hit you?”“The idiot stopped to let a dog cross the street — and dented my front bumper with his rear bumper. Yet the cops wrote me up for texting while driving!”“You speak of a spate of new distracted-driver laws that are emerging across America. The problem has become so pervasive, the federal government conducted a National Distracted Drivers Summit a few weeks ago.”“A summit for distracted driving?”

Market for all that stuff

October 13, 2009 I think I continue to be surprised at the number of old TV shows that find their way into DVD boxed sets. I mean, some of them weren’t that good the first time around, and I find it hard to believe there really is a market out there now for “Alf” and “Dinosaurs.” Gary and I have a few boxed sets, from “Little House on the Prairie,” which he loathes, and my favorite, “Chuck,” to his favorites, “Two and a Half Men” and “Spin City.” And judging by the number of DVDs we have, I realize we watch way too much television.

Ring of fire

October 12, 2009 As a disclaimer, I should mention that many of the things we did “back in the day” were done before the creation of the word “stupidity” (look it up) and prior to the establishment of law & order in the territory of Arkansas.

Fall changes

October 12, 2009 Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. The leaves start changing and there’s a nip in the air. It’s time to break out the sweaters and nothing sounds tastier than a hot bowl of soup or chili. It’s also the time for football and community fall festivals, which even as an adult are always fun and eventful. Yes, I love this time of year.

Status report

October 9, 2009 LITTLE ROCK — Last year the Arkansas Economic Development Commission signed incentive contracts with 95 companies that will create almost 7,000 jobs.Total investment for the 95 projects will be more than $1.7 billion, a healthy increase over the previous year when new investments amounted to $1.58 billion. The new jobs created by the projects will pay hourly wages of $14.74, on average. That is down from the previous year, when the new jobs created averaged $15.74 an hour.

School spirit, not Holy Spirit

October 9, 2009 The varsity cheerleaders at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School are getting their 15 minutes in the news media spotlight this week.  Unfortunately, much of the sound-bite coverage may serve only to fuel the ignorance and strife over the role of religion in public schools.In case you missed it, on Sept. 28 school officials in Catoosa County, Ga., reluctantly barred the cheerleaders from holding banners with Bible verses for the football team to burst through when they take the field — a ritual that has been performed religiously for at least six years.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 8, 2009 There are still good neighborsDear editor:I read the article “Real and Unreal Neighbors” by Lisa Earle McLeod in Monday’s Sept. 14, 2009 paper.My husband and I are having yard problems also, but instead of a note put in our mailbox, our wonderful neighbors took it upon themselves to keep our yard looking nice, weed eating and mowing.My husband has been in and out of the hospital since June. He is 97 years old. He did all this work before he became disabled. He is now being in rehab.I thank the Lord that there is still people who care and help others.