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Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014
Wisecrack Zodiac (09/24/14)
Aries: Don't fret about your last hurrah. You still have a whole box of "Woo Hoo!" to use up, plus a truckload of "Oh crap." Work through those first. Taurus: Things may seem tough now, but be assured; if you don't work through this they can definitely get tougher. Even one baby step at a time is considered progress...
The Natural Way: Soapberries: Falling short on nutrition (09/24/14)
Trust me, I couldn't help myself, I just had to write this column after reading an advertisement in the coupon section of the big daily Arkansas newspaper. The ad was selling a very well-known multivitamin. The interesting thing is: The ad asked if we knew that up to 90 percent of Americans fall short in getting important nutrients from food alone...
Village View: Chapter 1 (1929) (09/24/14)
In this week's column, I'm honored to share the first chapter of Marian Szczepanski's powerful novel, Playing St. Barbara. Marian will be teaching for us on October 4 and will be the guest speaker at the Domestic Violence Awareness event on October 5...
Citizen Forum (09/24/14)
I want to thank everyone in the Eureka Springs School District for your vote of confidence in giving me the opportunity to serve you as a new board member. Although I was running unopposed I believe that was with purpose. I want to assure you that I will be your advocate representing the best for your children. ...
EDITORIAL: 'The fatal sequence' (09/24/14)
Miscredited ideas, outright lies and misinformation have a pesky way of circulating around until they are accepted as truth. People sometimes massage history to prove their points, and most times they get away without anyone checking too closely. In rare instances it seems the massaged "truth" is so compelling and timely that it creates a point of view with merit...
Wisecrack Zodiac (09/17/14)
Aries: Some days you're the cute little cup of espresso, other days you're the coffee grounds. No matter which one describes your day, if someone licks you, be assured you can still pack a punch. Taurus: Finding your purpose isn't as easy as finding your keys, although both can be knocked behind the refrigerator by the cat. Limber up, because some interesting positions will be required...
Village View: A Story can Change the World (09/17/14)
She stood on the porch of my apartment. We'd just had a really productive writing circle, and the other participants had gone, chattering with enthusiasm. But this woman continued to linger, "impaled," to use my husband's favorite cliché, "on the horns of a dilemma."...
The Natural Way: Soapberries: alternative to detergents (09/17/14)
Jerae and her husband visited Eureka Springs a few months ago an had a wonderful visit. The two had stopped in and introduced themselves to Robin and me. We were immediately good friends as they both had that "Eureka" feel about them. It turns out she has a tiny start-up business named 5 Little Indians based in her home-state of Mississippi. ...
GUEST COMMENTARY: Eureka deserves better from SWEPCO, Asplundh (09/17/14)
After repeated complaints, SWEPCO and their contractor Asplundh have finally removed the numerous tree limbs they left strewn across our property. However, they still left a tree that will be a danger to their power lines once it falls. It is all but dead, with nothing but dead limbs at the top of the tree. It clearly won't survive another season. If it doesn't fall in their power line, it will likely fall into our historic home...
Citizen Forum (09/17/14)
Thank you Mr. Ragsdell for setting the record straight on tourism last week. It was refreshing to her your voice of reason amid the clatter of whining and complaining I hear so frequently. It is my firm opinion that so long as we are able to put out a good and desirable product to ALL of the tribes that may enter our fair village, we are going to do just fine...
EDITORIAL: The 100K Club (09/17/14)
In my job as an editor and reporter, I have the privilege of getting to know many amazing people and deal with a wide array of issues. I attend lots of city meetings, am responsible for taking good notes, keep up with the city's many events, talk to the citizens, observe and try to accurately distill what I take in, and put it all into a few stories a week. ...
EDITORIAL: No excuses (09/10/14)
To a journalist, nothing is more valuable than credibility. And nothing is more vital to credibility than accuracy. If a journalist can't provide accurate information, then he has failed his audience, and he loses credibility. Just as important, a journalist must be able to recognize potentially inaccurate information from other sources and be vigilant against it. Sadly, we at the Citizen failed in that regard last week...
Getting to Know: Artist Denise Ryan (09/10/14)
Sitting down with Denise Ryan at her studio on Elk Street, a visitor is immediately transformed into her world. Denise's art takes one to a stunning world of vibrant color, everyday objects seen in extraordinary places. It is an utterly impossible place where tradition, dream and beauty live together. ...
Wisecrack Zodiac (09/10/14)
Aries: Tit for tat has nothing to do with flashing and tattoos, but that doesn't mean you can't make some interesting exchanges this weekend. Whichever side you're on, don't forget the sunscreen. Taurus: There is beauty in every single day, but you'll never see it through a dirty window. Grab the Windex and start scrubbing; life will look much brighter when you can actually view it up close...
The Natural Way: Men's tip: Swedish Flower Pollen (09/10/14)
Here is a unique supplement most people know nothing about. Men should read this column and acquaint themselves with Swedish Flower Pollen. The supplement is available in the U.S. but may be difficult to find. This is an alternative to Saw Palmetto for benign (non cancerous) hyperplasia (enlargement) of the prostate. ...
Village View: How to Begin (09/10/14)
I recently attended the Virginia Review Writers' Conference in Charlottesville. There I heard a panel of agents and publishers speak about what sells and what they are seeking. One top New York agent listed the four things that a story must have to be published by a major house. The four "must haves:" an interesting premise (i.e., vision); a compelling character; forward momentum from the first paragraph; a unique and interesting voice...
Citizen Forum (09/10/14)
Concerning the tree trimming in my favorite city, Eureka Springs. Let me express the future of most trees there. Tree lovers need to use their time pulling down the rapidly growing vines which are causing the death of hundreds of these beautiful shade trees...
Concert Review: Robert Cray -- On from the downbeat (09/03/14)
You could almost hear it as the band just looked at each other the second the lights hit them. Everyone absolutely was with the band on beat one. Within a few seconds it was clear that this night would be special. Bands, even great ones, usually need part of the first song to get their footing -- time to put everything in the pocket, time for the sound guy to get levels right. ...
Citizen Forum (09/03/14)
Hi David, Welcome to Eureka! As a recent resident of three years myself, I can fully understand and share your enthusiasm for this unique village for all the reasons you mention - and then some. After 19 years in the City of Chicago and many previous years in the northern midwest, I moved to Arkansas in July 2000. ...
Wisecrack Zodiac (09/03/14)
Aries: So-called friends may bail on you this Friday, leaving you holding the bag. Don't worry, it just means more apple pies and fries for you, and less dead weight in your life. Taurus: Why worry about the sun melting your wings when you're still in the closet fighting the moths? Jump out there and stretch those flappers; it's easier to get off the ground when you can see the sky...
The Natural Way: Take charge of your health (09/03/14)
Now, is the time to take charge of your health and wellbeing. Life changes very fast and we all are dealing with an uneven national economy as well as the ever challenging Ozark economy. Stress is problematic and ever present. What to do you may ask? Well, start out with basics, keep yourself informed and use your good sense...
Village View: A Sour Dilemma (09/03/14)
This week's column space is devoted to a creative piece by Village writer Nancy Harris, who reminds us that even God has a sense of humor. Helen Anne, age ten, was a formidable figure in the fifth grade classroom at St. Mark's Catholic School. Her large feet provided a sturdy foundation for her big-boned, wide-shouldered body. A surprisingly narrow waist sloped to hips that served as a resting place for plump hands with stubby fingers tipped by nails bitten to the quick...
EDITORIAL: Long overdue (09/03/14)
Next Monday the City Council will meet and talk about an ordinance that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. The topic was added to the agenda at the last meeting by Alderman James DeVito. He said at the meeting, "Fayetteville was the first in the state to adopt an ordinance like this, and I would like to see Eureka Springs be the second."...
Wisecrack Zodiac (08/27/14)
Aries: Most people reap what they sow, but you won't even get near the garden. Munch on dandelions for a while and you'll finally choose to get your hands dirty. Taurus: Not every cloud in the sky is an impending storm; sometimes they float by to give you a bit of shade. Enjoy the break, you'll be back in the thick of things before you know it...
The Natural Way: Green Tea benefits (08/27/14)
Iced Green tea blended with spearmint or peppermint is refreshing and delicious especially as the days heat up and we get more sun exposure. Most everyone knows of the long-term damage to the skin caused by sunburn and the increased chance of skin cancer. Accordingly, many know about wearing hats, protective clothing and sun blocker. But some don't want the chemicals in commercial preparations. To the rescue comes the ever refreshing green tea...
Village View: Celebrate with Us on Sept. 9 (08/27/14)
The public (that's YOU) is invited to join us as we celebrate our mission--writing stories--with a party that includes Arkansas writers, food, and music. On September 9, we are inviting all Arkansas authors to bring their books to our open house. Any stories written by folks born or living in Arkansas. ...
EDITORIAL: Try to see it my way -- for a minute, anyway (08/27/14)
My band had a concert in Dallas, and the other guitar player, Bernard Jenkins, who was from Mississippi, stayed with me. After the gig, he went out with some people from Dallas to check out the local music scene. He called me the next day, overwhelmed by the musical opportunities he saw there, and how great the Dallas music scene seemed to him. "Man! We could own this town."...
Village View: Imagining My Way into the Truth: An Interview with Kevin Brockmeier (08/22/14)
Yesterday, someone called Kevin Brockmeier a "Rockstar of Fantasy." In this discussion, which was originally part of an interview in The Georgia Review, he talks about his new memoir, his way of working, and the blurring of genres. Reprinted with permission...
Wisecrack Zodiac (08/22/14)
Aries: You're faced with an uncomfortable truth, but it will take more than digging in your underwear to solve it. Consider this a mental wedgie, not a physical one, and use some hand sanitizer before you go back to work. Taurus: There's a bright spot in your day, but you don't see it as a perk, just a reason to buy more sunscreen. Lighten up! Not every sliver of sunshine indicates a hole in your umbrella...
The Natural Way: Cell phone dangers (08/22/14)
People often ask about the safety of cell phones and electromagnetic radiation. While this is a type of radiation it is different than medical radiation like C.T. scanners which is also different from spilled radiation from nuclear reactors. It is no wonder people are confused...
Citizen Forum (08/20/14)
It was a frustrating week for many residents as we watched the Asplundh crews decimate many of our favorite trees in town, including ornamental dogwoods and redbuds that were planted by our own hands twenty-five or thirty years ago- all gone. More frustrating was the lack of concern on the part of City Council, as Alderperson Schneider was told by most of the others there was nothing to be done and they should move on to another topic. ...
A letter from the editor: A conversation starter (08/20/14)
Hi, I'm David Blankenship, the new associate editor at this great newspaper. I can't tell you how proud I am to live in this community and have the chance to get to know you with this job. As for me, I've been happily married almost four years to my high school crush, Janie. ...
Wisecrack Zodiac (08/13/14)
Aries: Not only have you put the cart before the horse, you don't even remember which field you kept him in. Pull yourself together before Seabiscuit runs up your cable bill in the guest bedroom with pay-per-view horse shows. Taurus: Every day is a gift, but some are the wrong size and others break before you can use them properly. You'll have a brand new day tomorrow, but keep your receipt because there are no guarantees about its quality...
The Natural Way: Touching on antibiotics (08/13/14)
While most all prescribed drugs affect the absorption of certain nutrients, whether from food or supplementation, most people are unaware. In fact, the lopsided biased healthcare system typically only warns about nutritional supplements interfering with the prescription drugs...
Citizen Forum (08/13/14)
Referring to Roger Martin's guest editorial in last week's Citizen, regarding the devastating drop in tourism, I believe he misses a key point about the biker trade: Other potential visitors, chiefly the family trade, are more than a bit put off by the bikers; they dislike the noise, of course, but they also view the riders as threatening, as eyesores, and as proponents of poor behavior...
Guest Commentary: Teacher made an impact (08/13/14)
Attending college on a full ride scholarship, graduating college with honors, and landing a dream job seems to be an unattainable dream for most high school students. It was for me anyways. When I was in high school, these things seemed so unachievable. However, I was blessed with an incredible teacher that turned those dreams into a reality...
Wisecrack Zodiac (08/06/14)
Aries: You'll need some time for reflection. That will be easy considering how much you love shiny things. Don't get carried away with primping and duck faces and forget to do the actual thinking. Taurus: The universe usually gives you what you need, not what you want. This week you get both, you lucky bull. Enjoy it while it lasts...
Village View: As Authors Do (08/06/14)
Rejection. Failure. We all have to deal with it in one way or another. Even if you aren't a writer, Jessie Rex has some words of wisdom for those times when disappointment and self-doubt are breaking your heart. As Authors Do You casually scan your inbox for new mail, and your heart skips a beat when you see an email from an editor or agent. ...
The Natural Way: PPIs can have nasty side effects (08/06/14)
I've written about the travails of using prescribed/OTC drugs for reducing acid reflux (GERD, heartburn) several times. This group of drugs is very commonly used daily and is in fact one of the biggest-selling and profit-making pills ever. The group is called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). ...
Citizen Forum (08/06/14)
I have noted in the local news the concerns regarding the necessary replacement of the aging Eureka Springs hospital. For about a 10-year period in the late '60s and '70s, I was actively involved in the Lake County Illinois and later State of Illinois Health Planning committees and represented the area on the health committee of North East Illinois planning commission. ...
GUEST COMMENTARY: An open letter to city officials and residents (08/06/14)
While I am not a native of Arkansas or Eureka Springs, I have chosen to live in this area, though I could have moved just about anywhere, because this area offered the right combination of natural beauty, economics and social stability that I preferred...
Guest Commentary: Questions left unanswered in Martha episode (07/31/14)
I took my daughter, who is a middle school band student, to the public hearing for Mr. Martin a few weeks back. I thought this would do a few things. One, open the door for her to experience our justice system, as much as you can at a public hearing in front of a school board, and two, for both of us to get some answers as to what is going on with the band situation. ...
Citizen Forum (07/31/14)
Caller had it wrong Apparently if you are free-spirited enough to bring your horse to Eureka for a ride some idiot assumes you must be drunk and calls the police on you. Ishmael and I can assure you we don't need to drink to enjoy a good ride no matter where it is...
Village View: Framing the Love Scene (07/31/14)
"Literary fiction has shied away from love scenes," Pat Carr told me. "It's time to bring them back and do them right." She'll be teaching us how in her workshop entitled Love Scenes and Other Major Scenes on August 9 from 1-4 pm. If you can write a scene, you can write anything...
The Natural Way: A look at metformin (07/31/14)
Last week I started with a series of columns in which I described how prescribed drugs can and often do interfere with the absorption of necessary nutrients. This is little known as it is rarely talked about. Nutritional deficiencies can be diagnosed as a new ailment contributing to having yet another prescription written. Common sense tells us the more drugs we take and the longer we take them the risk of nutritional deficiency would increase...
Wisecrack Zodiac (07/31/14)
Aries: Success takes ability, luck and lots of fertilizer. You have two components ready to go, now you just need to find a skill besides talking bullcrap, unless you want to go into politics. Taurus: You're slow to act, so when you start to make a move on Wednesday, give a warning yelp. That way, the pigeons roosting on you won't be quite as startled...
Thanks for helping Apollo (07/24/14)
To everyone who has donated, called, visited, liked and befriended our boy Apollo: On behalf of Apollo, the shelter staff, the board and myself, I must thank all those who donated so generously for Apollo's surgery. The outpouring of compassion and concern from the public overwhelmed us all. Within two days of our plea hitting the internet, we had enough donations to get surgery scheduled...
Thanks to HI responders (07/24/14)
A big thank you to Jack Deaton and the Holiday Island emergency response team for their quick action on Saturday, July 19th. Due to a wreck traffic was re-routed through Beavertown. Traffic was backed up for quite awhile with frustrated drivers on Hwy. 187...
Keeping tragedy in perspective (07/24/14)
Tragedy struck the Fat Tire Festival in Eureka Springs overt the weekend when a 39-year-old woman died after being injured in an accident on the race course. While the death of Laura Wooldridge was a horrible event, it should not be a stain on the festival itself...
Citizen Forum (07/24/14)
Well, "good news" here in Arkansas; we've gained status in the US. Bad news is that the gain is in the poverty areas of our state. According to the Census Bureau, Arkansas has gone from 23.1 percent to 38.8 percent in areas of poverty. The GOP goal seems to be stripping our families of all that will make our lives livable. ...