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  1. The Biggest Loser (AKA New Year’s Resolutions)

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    January 20, 2012 by Linda Ford

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    Personally I can’t stand to watch that re- ality show, but one of my daughters just is addicted to it. I still like Survivor though. I haven’t seen anybody get fat on that show! January is the month for resolutions and a large number of large people choose this month to get started losing. Did you know that the CDC says that 33 percent of Americans are obese? And guess what? The American Veterinary Medical Association puts pet obesity at the same percentage. The correlation cannot be a coincidence. And both of these figures are on the rise. Obese people and pets are subject to the same diseases associated with obesity as well. After all we have the same organs — stomach, liver, kidneys, joints. However, pets do not have opposable thumbs. That means they can’t open the refrigerator door. When dogs are obese, they are prone to contracting diabetes, heart disease, respiratory issues, urinary tract issues and arthritis often in the form of hip dysplasia. Obese cats can develop a very serious and life threatening disease called hepatic lipidosis or “fatty liver.” Here is your three-step program for Fido to become the biggest loser on your block: 1. First, …

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  2. Chairman Resigns After 31 Years

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    January 20, 2012 by Steve Winkler

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    A pillar of the community and cornerstone of the West Fork park system announced his resignation at the Dec. 12 Parks Commission Meeting. John Selph, who has served on the commission since its inception in 1981, said in a resignation letter that he “plans to move out of the city limits in the next few months.” “I have said and will continue to believe that you cannot be a first class city with- out a first class parks system,” Mr. Selph said, adding that the commission was fortunate to have the support of the present and past city administrations. Mr. Selph credited the community support for the one-cent sales tax as the most outstanding accomplishment of the commission, along with the donated land for the baseball fields. “I hope that the vision that has been established will be not only accomplished, but expanded,” wrote Mr. Selph. “Much has been done, but there is still much to do. My hope is that the commission will continue to explore ways to serve the needs of all age groups.” “It’s been an joy for me,” he said. At the December meeting, Brian Bower- man was voted into the chairman position. At the January …

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  3. Thinking about Tort Reform

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    January 20, 2012 by Milton Jones

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    Many people, me included, have been critical about controversial features of the Health Reform Act. Perhaps the most important flaw is what the law didn’t include. I refer, of course, to the business of Tort Reform. Why don’t we just say Legal Reform? “Tort” is a more specific word, so let’s define it: Tort — a wrongful act other than a breach of contract for which relief may be obtained in the form of damages or an injunction. Why is reform important, you ask? Maybe the following example will suffice. Try to relax and watch TV for a couple of hours and you’ll get to enjoy at least one commercial that sounds like this: If you took the drug Delusia, and are suffering from kidney failure, call the Law Firm of Eusta B. Hon- est. You may be eligible for compen- sation if you call before … Okay, so I made that one up. Pick the one you love to hate. There’s quite a list, including (allegedly) defective hip re- placement joints, faulty hernia repair mesh, bad side effects from drugs, etc, ad nauseam. “So who cares if someone sues the drug company and gets a big settlement,” you ask? …

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  4. Political Spectrum, a View from the Right: This 2012 election funded by …

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    January 20, 2012 by Mike Landry

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    The 2012 presidential election will be the first since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, allowing large organizations such as unions and corporations to contribute an unlimited amount of funds to promote candidates and issues. How do you think this will affect the outcome of the race? It’s possible the Citizens United decision will bring some advertising dollars to the table, but results are hard to predict. The free political speech absolutes of the First Amendment were the primary focus of the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, when it said the First Amendment applied to organizations voicing political opinions. Such organizations had been hampered by the 2002 McCain-Feingold Act’s as- sault on the First Amendment, assaults through regulation that the Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority in Citizens United, called “censorship.” Trying to decide who may be unworthy of political speech because they are an or- ganization or are too rich, is blatantly un- constitutional, the Court said. Opponents of the Citizens United decision like to say that it benefits “corporations,” raising the image of powerful oil and pharmaceutical companies using their mega-dollars to subvert the democratic process. But the Citizens United decision is aimed …

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  5. Political Spectrum, A View from the Left: This 2012 election funded by …

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    January 20, 2012 by Richard Drake

    The 2012 presidential election will be the first since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, allowing large organizations such as unions and corporations to contribute an unlimited amount of funds to promote candidates and issues. How do you think this will affect the outcome of the race? I once wrote a short story about a fu- ture America in which people voted not for politicians, but rather the corporation they trusted they most to run the country.

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  6. Letters to the Editor in Vol. 34, Issue 1

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    January 20, 2012 by wcobserver

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    More Shenanigans in the Water Dept? To the Editor, I am inspired by the previous issue’s Let- ter to the Editor, “Policies, Followed or Broken,” Dec. 29, 2011. I am wondering why a transfer of an em- ployee from the Water Commission Department to the City Budget was apparently done by the Head of the Water Department without the approval of Mayor Hime and/or the City Council: Mr. Charlie Rossetti, Mr. Rodney Drymon, Mrs. Anita Lowry, Mr. John Foster, Mr. Ed Stout, Mrs. Misty Caudle, Mrs. Julie Shafer, and Ms. Joan Wright. Doesn’t such a large transfer of salary and benefits greatly affect the City of West Fork’s Annual Budget? Won’t other departments in the City of West Fork be negatively affected by the addition of $50,000 annual salary and benefits? I, for one, would like to know that our city council has become aware of the sacrifices that other departments will make BEFORE a $50,000 per year decision is made. Doesn’t the city treasurer and city clerk need to notify the mayor and city council of this decision? Or, isn’t this decision one for our ELECTED LEADERS to make in the sunshine of a regular West Fork City Council …

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  7. Occupy Doing the Right Thing

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    January 20, 2012 by wcobserver

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    The reason the Occupy Movement will not just blow over and fade into the on- slaught of election year political rhetoric is simple. Americans, for all their diversity, for all their wrangling and ranting, share one basic understanding: fairness. Social movements in this country follow much the same pattern regardless of the cause. They are often sparked by a seem- ingly insignificant event like who gets a seat on the bus, stopping a troop train or a police raid on a bar. For some reason, the “story has legs,” spreads, resonates with people and becomes part of the social con- versation. People debate and argue, offer analogies and give reasons supporting one point of view or the other, until the issue becomes so prominent in our national conversation that it can’t be ignored by the moral and political leadership. We’ve seen it happen with civil rights, the war in Southeast Asia, gender and sexual orientation inequality. After defining the dilemma and wrestling with the possible outcomes, the Ameri- can people often boil it down to “that just doesn’t seem fair.” The Occupy Movement poked its head up only a few month ago when a few hundred assorted activists, hippies, malcontents …

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