• Column: Setting an agenda for 2011 General Assembly

    The Senate majority gathered Dec. 9-10 to discuss the upcoming session and lay out legislative priorities. The session will only be 30 days; we have only a brief time so we have to make the most of it and respond to the issues we heard from voters in the fall.

  • Politics need change, not the filibuster

    Watching the power of the minority Republicans to hold up legislation in the Senate has been a frustrating experience for me during the last two years. I often found myself thinking how ridiculous it seemed that bills essentially required 60 votes to pass instead of the constitutionally mandated 51.

    As the new U.S. Congress prepares to get underway, a Democrat Senator from New Mexico, Tom Udall, is proposing several reforms aimed at changing the rules governing the filibuster, but I’ve found myself hesitating on whether they should be adopted.

  • A winter night; a night to remember

    The weather report predicted frigid temperatures. The hunting season was over, we needed an adventure. It was time for camping overnight. The word went out to our gang that we would be gathering. One of our group volunteered his log cabin built in 1830. We arrived, built our fire in a potbelly stove, laid in a rack of logs and threw away the caps on several quarts of Kentucky Bourbon. We told old war stories, recounted past duck and goose hunts and told jokes, many twice-told. When dinner was set upon the table we ate our fill.

  • Saturday Coffee Schedule for 2011 Session

    Your 2011 legislative session has begun, and that means it’s time for “Saturday Coffee with Dave” at places near where you live. 

    These meetings are informal affairs. There won’t be any speeches by me or by anyone else. I usually bring some copies of the legislative record in case you want to talk about certain bills that are before the House. And so we sit and talk as a small group about what those bills might mean for us, the good and the bad. 

  • Some cold coal facts for winter

    Does it date one too much to refer to the possibility of receiving a lump of coal in one’s Christmas stocking? At any rate, through time a lot of youngsters have pondered this possibility as Christmas neared and moved to mending their ways for the better.

    Coal is an interesting part of creation. See  http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=coal_home-basics. It takes a very long time for nature to make coal — like millions of years. The mostly carbon and hydrocarbons in it originated in plant life hundreds of millions of years ago.

  • Happiness is being a grandparent

    By Jeff D’alessio
    Guest Columnist

    Helen Underwood was right.

    So were Mary Alice Holt, Judy Martin and Janice Lunsford. All of them knew what they were talking about when it comes to the love that blossoms within you when you become a grandparent.

    You have a love for your parents and your spouse, and you don’t think it can get any better. Then life moves on and you have your own children, and your love for someone else hits overdrive.

  • Body image issues don’t just affect adults

    By Stevie Lowry
    Guest Columnist

    “Mommy, is this fattening?” my 4-year-old son asked as I sat down on the couch beside him with a bowl of popcorn.

    Completely shocked, I replied, “No, honey, it’s not fattening. And you don’t need to worry about that anyway.”

    As he began to munch on the popcorn and watch his favorite Spiderman cartoon, I wondered to myself, “Why on earth would he ask such a thing? He’s 4 years old. Why would he even care?”

  • The rule of HHS Secretary Sebelius

    The text of ObamaCare is dry and legalistic, except when it summons the majesty of the King James Bible to intone imperiously, “the secretary shall ...”

  • Danger ahead for the triumphant GOP

    It’s been not quite two months since Republicans won a sweeping midterm victory, and already they seem divided, embattled and — not to mince words — freaked out. For good reason, I might add.

  • Let ‘be nice’ be your motto for 2011

    By Candis Carpenter, Landmark News Service


    Oftentimes, New Year’s resolutions consist of weight loss, money management and various other personal goals.

    People often fail to acknowledge resolutions that are fairly easy to implement. For example, in today’s society I see a lack of respect for mankind. Respect is an easy thing to give and most people were taught at an early age to “treat people how you would want to be treated.”