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  1. What are you Worth?

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    May 5, 2010 by wcobserver

    Editorial Feburary 25, 2010 What you are about to read is not a pretty sight. No one enjoys seeing a grown man grovel, whine and beg for money. But we’re talking survival here.  We’ve done our best to create a high quality community newspaper and the outpouring of gratitude has been astounding.  To say a community newspaper is important to small towns is one thing – to actually see and experience it is heart wrenching.  People seem to be saying, “Finally, somebody thinks our lives are important enough to write about and photograph. “ But birth is a fragile phenomena.  Life has been breathed into this 27 year community institution but  life support won’t last forever. If the residents of south Washington county want this paper to exist many more need to step up and make a commitment. There are powerful forces that want this paper to fail.  The economy is in the tank, money is tight, and competition for businesses’ limited advertising budget is fierce.  There is now only one other newspaper company in NW Arkansas – they are powerful and they are hungry. They have it all and history tells us that a monopoly doesn’t tolerate competition.   …

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  2. Participate in Democracy

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    May 5, 2010 by wcobserver

    Editorial March 11, 2010 Democracy is a lot of trouble.  Despite some political rhetorical flourishes, the revolutionary idea that people should govern themselves is still an experiment; it is not a universal political fact. Half the world’s population does not live in a democracy; rather, they have a single person or small group of people running things for them.  Having a lot of people involved in government is messy.  People have to meet together in committees, commissions, and boards, discuss things, compromise, agree, reconsider, talk some more, and finally arrive collectively at a considered recommendation, oversight observation and/or, advise for the legislative branch.  Those volunteer, unelected citizens take time out of their lives to participate in a form of government they believe in.  That’s why it’s called “participatory democracy.” West Fork has a paid staff of city employees to keep track of the utility lines, pot holes and paper work.  But like any democratic entity, it is intended to be controlled, monitored, directed and ultimately responsible to the voting, taxpaying public. It is the unpaid concerned citizens who volunteer their time and talent that make the nuts and bolts of democracy fit together in a way that serves us all. …

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  3. Focus on the Foreground

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    May 5, 2010 by wcobserver

    Feburary 11, 2010 Big time media means big time reporting.  It seems natural for big journalism to try to convince readers that what they say is important. Is it? Of course every citizen needs to stay abreast of world and national events.  In an “infotainment “sort of way, it helps give us a broader view of our place in the world. However, consuming the news from Washington D.C can distract us from keeping an eye on that level of government that is closest to our daily lives- our city government. Without small community newspapers reporting the local happenings and opinions it’s easy for the average citizen to think the most important decisions regarding their daily lives are in the hands of unknown people in faraway places.  We agree with the adage that “all politics is local”.  In a democracy, government flows from the bottom up.  Those complaining about too much or not enough government or whether government is the problem or solution need to first examine their own local government. American newspapers have historically been the government watchdogs. They have relied on the principle that the workings of government at all levels should be in the public view.  Transparency in …

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  4. Carter Park opens Season

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    May 4, 2010 by wcobserver

    Play Ball! Those cool spring evenings are back and West Fork’s Carter Park opened the season Monday night. T-ball and girls softball starts May 3. Games are played on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights. The web site for schedules and rain outs is wcclnagsa.org About 275 players participate in Carter Park ball programs. This year there are 150 boys signed up for 13 boy’s teams and 125 girls on 9 girls soft ball teams; an increase from last year. West Fork is part of Washington County Civic League with teams for Boys 4-15 years old and the Northwest Arkansas Girls Soft Ball Association for girls 4-14 years old. West Fork is sanctioned by USSSA, commonly called “U-trip”(u+ triple s).  It’s a  competive, recreation league with tournaments.  In a recreational league an individual or team can go to state tournament. It has a broad skill level. Boys start at age 5-6 with t- ball then move on to machine pitch at age 7.  The 9-10 year olds play on a field with shorter distances with kid pitch, called “rookie” ball.  “Bambino” for 11-12 year olds is regular base ball played on a shorter field. Teenage boys play regulation baseball on …

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  5. WEST OF WEST FORK

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    May 1, 2010 by wcobserver

    WEST OF WEST FORK Rosileemugley@aol.com    839:2534 Hello everyone!  Michelle Duggin, Kim Fry, Vonnie Hill and I returned Saturday evening after attending a Presbyterian Women’s Conference in Russellville.  We went through some pretty hard showers on the way down Friday and Saturday, a big storm went through while we were in the chapel at the Central Presbyterian Church.  We made it home safe and sound.   We now have a great-granddaughter to go with our great-grandson.  I wish I could see and hold the babies but they are too far away.  The Girl Scouts meet Monday’s after school at the Presbyterian Church in West Fork.  If your daughter would like to become a girl scout or you would like to become a leader, please stop in at the church and speak with the ladies in charge.  They’d be happy to sign you up for next year.   The yard across from the church (On McKnight Street) is sure pretty and green.  I wonder if Mr. Caudle plans to build another house there.  It sure is a pretty lot.  I thought maybe it belonged to the city then found out the property still belongs to Steve Caudle.  Eddie Vick loaned me her …

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  6. John Karnes Becomes Superintendent

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    May 1, 2010 by wcobserver

    John Karnes Becomes Superintendent By Susan McCarthy West Fork-John Karnes will become West Fork’s next superintendent.  The West Fork School Board offered Karnes the position following a meeting last Thursday evening. The school board interviewed four candidates last week to replace Diane Barrett, who has accepted a position as superintendent for the Searcy School District. Karnes has served as West Fork High School principal since 2003 and was employed by Greenland School District as both an elementary and middle school principal.  Karnes grew up in Northwest Arkansas and has family ties in West Fork. “The neat thing about West Fork is that is where my family is from,” said Karnes referring to both his father and Grand-dad who owned thelong-operating Karnes Store in downtown West Fork and Mary and Richard Smith. “I am thrilled.  West Fork is a great community.  It has a great school.  I’ve got two kids in school here.  It feels like home,” Karnes said.  “We feel good about our selection.  Mr. Karnes puts a lot of hours in at our school outside of work.  He’s got a great work ethic,” said Daryl Quinton, school board member.  He added, “We’re excited about the direction he’s going to …

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  7. Fire on the Mountain

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    May 1, 2010 by Steven Worden

    The Lucky Plum Tree By Steven Worden I think Leonard Kraemer likes trees.  A retired pastor of German stock with a fringe of hair living in a “scrubby-Dutch” clean house, he loves discussing the various types of magnolia trees or the superiority of pine trees over oak trees. Although he looks like he needs only a long-stemmed clay pipe to have stepped out of Washington Irving’s Hudson Valley, as a savvy gardener, he can tell you how one shade tree can provide oxygen for ten people.  Or, he can tell you that such a tree pumps 75-100 gallons of water into the air in a day, or that a full-grown shade tree removes a quarter of a pound of dust particles from the air every day.  The man likes trees. Now retired, Mr. Kraemer also likes to recall his long career with the United Church of Christ serving multi-ethnic urban congregations.  But, when I casually asked Mr. Kraemer if he saw a connection between his love of trees and plants with spirituality, I almost thought I saw him visibly wince. “Some people see vibrations or go to a symphony and say that they heard God.  I’ve never had that experience.  …

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