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  1. Government Meeting Roundup for week of Feb. 13 – 20

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    February 24, 2012 by wcobserver

    Greenland City Council Michael Moore and Lisa Thornton were appointed to the Greenland Planning Com- mission after a resolution passed at the city council’s regular monthly meeting on Mon- day, Feb. 12. Moore and Thornton were recommended by Mayor Bill Groom, and after a brief executive session, the council passed a resolution to appoint the pair, 5-3. During the meeting, Mayor Groom also expressed concern for the Ozark Transit program, for which the city of Greenland subsidizes about $2,000. Groom said the program wasn’t being utilized and asked the council to perhaps consider ending the fee or encourage more use of the program? Councilmen Danny Dutton suggested public announcements be made to inform the public and perhaps increase passengers. The council also asked the mayor to reach out to the community in order to increase the number of riders? The city has a filed for a conditional use permit for the recycling center, and reported that it received three bids for its long-await- ed City Hall expansion. The bids have come from Mahan Construction, Heckathorn Construction and Jim Hoadley Construction. The council voted, 7-0, to work with Heckathorn. In other news, Chief of Police Gary Ricker said he has sent …

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  2. A View From the Right: Who’s Winning the Republican Nomination Race?

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    February 24, 2012 by Mike Landry

    Candidates in the Republican Primary are described at various times with such terms as surging, withdrawing, forging ahead or making a comeback, in a chaotic race to the convention. What’s going on? Whose on first? Romney? Bachmann? Perry? Cain? Gingrich? Santorum? What’s been happening? Just a Republican primary doing what it’s supposed to do: vet the candidates and find the one most desired to go up against the incumbent President. True, it’s been a convoluted one. But that’s due to four forces using the Re- publican primary race to duke it out. The first major force is the GOP establishment. Romney’s their guy: a former governor, successful in business, good family, telegenic. Had “The West Wing” been a conservative show, Mitt Romney would have been cast as President Josiah Bartlet. And while Establishment Republicans like to throw out a lot of conservative language, on their laptops they spell the names of guys like Romney as m-o-d-e-r-a-t-e. Pleasant, respectable, unlikely to scare the horses. Sort of like Bob Dole with an MBA. Establishment Republicans tend to fear the second major force: the news media, also known as the Democratic Ministry of Propaganda (DEM-OP). DEM-OP’s role in this fight has been to …

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  3. A View from the Left: Who’s Winning the Republican Nomination Race?

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    February 24, 2012 by Richard Drake

    Candidates in the Republican Primary are described at various times with such terms as surging, withdrawing, forging ahead or making a comeback, in a chaotic race to the convention. What’s going on? I used to joke that politics should be covered by sports writers, as that might bring some excitement to the manner of storytelling. But honestly? Many sports writers are as prone to use cliches — and drive them into the ground — as other journalists. Over the past few years, we have seen the gradual militarization of the English language, especially where it pertains to political reporting. There is a small part of me, the man who is nourished on clichés and rarely comes out to play with others, who wrings his hands when he hears news anchors speaking this way and worries about the militarization of the English language. And in truth, I am getting combat fatigue from all the increased martial terms in our political discourse. There may be those who suspect that all of the above was just an excuse to use that line. Well, partly true. Our use of military metaphors began long ago with our War on Poverty, followed by our War on …

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  4. Election Customs Change

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    February 24, 2012 by wcobserver

    To the Editor, We have been taught in public schools that one of the important features of freedom is the “secret ballot.” The United States did not start out with a “secret ballot.” What we had was an open ballet and everyone was counted in front of the rest of the people who had gathered to vote. From this process came the saying that a person was a “stand-up man.” Literally, if a man said that he was for someone and voted accordingly, standing for his choice as the votes were counted, he was indeed a “stand up man.” Virginia was the last of the original states to adopt a “secret bal- lot.” Another change in the election process occurred in 1911. Prior to 1911 United States Senators were not elected by popular vote. Instead, Senators were elected by their respective State Legislators. If they did not adhere to the Constitution and States rights etc., they could be recalled / fired by the same legislators. The President and Vice President did not necessarily come from the same faction or party. The one who got the most votes was named President and the one who garnered the second most votes be- …

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  5. Rendered Speechless

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    February 24, 2012 by wcobserver

    Faithful readers of the editorials that ap- pear in this space are probably prepared for the usual arm-waving, bug-eyed rant that we spew forth when the West Fork City Council unleashes some action we judge to be worthy of ridicule. Not this time. This time, we are rendered utterly speechless by the council’s mind-boggling vote to override a judicious decision of the Planning Commission and create a two- acre, single parcel commercial zone in the midst of a residential district to accommodate the owner (who is chairman of the planning commission), because he “Has A Right” and wants a bigger tax deduction. There are few things more harmful to the character and livability a city than spot zoning, not to mention the council’s decision is an invitation to litigation. And there are fewer city councils anywhere who would so wistfully abandon any semblance of prudence. But, representative government being what it is, the decision by the council is the will of the citizens of West Fork. The council’s shortsighted irresponsibility has opened a can of worms. The ramifications of that St. Valentine’s Day massacre of common sense will undoubtedly be the topic of many future news articles and scathing editorial …

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  6. Can the Tea Party repeat its 2010 gain as Democrats prepare for a comeback?

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    February 24, 2012 by Jack Suntrup

    WASHINGTON COUNTY – With help from local and national Tea Party groups, Republicans made historic gains from the county level to the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2010 election. But, as the 2012 election draws near, the question is whether or not the Tea Party can duplicate the successes it had two years ago. “I’ve seen articles saying the Tea Party is fizzling out,” said Jeff Oland, Chairman of the Washington County Tea Party. “It may be that it’s fizzling out, that the numbers at a Tea Party meeting are reducing, but that’s because many of these people are involved in other groups … What they’ve done is they zeroed in on specific local challenges.” A main part of the Tea Party’s strategy is to consolidate the resources of other groups around the area. Some, Oland said, branched out from the Tea Party. Other groups, like Northwest Arkansas Citizens For a Better Government (NWACFBG), popped up without Tea Party affiliation. The NWACFBG organized in response to Fayetteville’s Streamside Ordinance and has focused on other issues like the U.N.’s Agenda 21. “We do share some common interests,” NWAFBG chairwoman Debbie Beckerdite said. “We believe in smaller government, don’t like taxation. …

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  7. Filing List of Candidates

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    February 24, 2012 by Matthew Jones

    Filing date has arrived and are available for viewing at http://www.nwaonline.com/2012filings/ There can be found there a list of the candidates that have filed for State and House seats for the legislature. The site will be updated every day until filing is done. Filing closes next Thursday at noon.  

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