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  1. Old Age Ain’t for Sissies

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    March 26, 2012 by Annie McCormick

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    When I was in high school, my sociol- ogy teacher asked members of the class to raise their hand if they wanted to live to age 20. Everybody’s hand went up. “How about 30?” Again the whole class raised their hand. She increased the amount by 10: “40?, 50?, 60?” By 50 most of the hands stayed down. When she got to 70, 80, 90 only myself and Mike Richardson had our hands up. I don’t think it was that we were unafraid to get old, maybe just afraid of dying. I didn’t know much about “old” people then. My mother’s perspective was col- ored by her intense anxiety and fear about everything. She told me that old people had germs and that I shouldn’t touch them or I’d get sick. All of my relatives lived far away, so I didn’t get to experience their lives changing as they aged. I believe that this society considers elderly people as an inconvenience. All those tax dollars going to health care and housing. I think that they are hidden away as a convenience to those who are in denial of being old one day. Other cultures revere their elders as an irreplaceable …

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  2. Disability Insurance, Part Two

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    March 26, 2012 by Milton Jones

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    In the last column, we discussed the risks of Premature Death, Old Age, and Disability. One of these three gremlins is sure to take away your earning power, sooner or later. The Insurance & Health Insurance Industry offers policies to protect against all three. Life Insurance pays best when you die before your time. You can get an annuity policy, or utilize certain types of life insurance policies to provide retirement benefits. Finally, some companies offer policies that provide disability income. From the Insurance Company’s viewpoint, disability is the toughest of the three to cover. When we think of disability, the stereotype is to visualize someone paralyzed and bound to a wheelchair. That extreme example is rela- tively easy to insure against, because it’s relatively black and white. But things like stress, fibromyalgia, or back pain are much more subjective. Stated differently, it’s sometimes hard to know whether it’s really disabling or just something to put up with. With disability income policies, the definition of disability clause is really critical. A typical definition goes something like this: total disability is deemed to exist when the insured person is unable, by reason of sickness or injury, to perform all the important …

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  3. Tick Season

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    March 26, 2012 by Linda Ford

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    In case you haven’t noticed, the ticks are out again. I noticed the first wave about a month ago when my horses started swishing their tails. Sure enough, when I checked under the tails ticks were already attached and feeding. I got out my doggy Frontline and wiped a small amount on each horse. That took care of the first wave. Almost every dog we get in the clinic now, if it’s not on a preventive, is covered in small ticks. There are number of diseases that dogs, cats, horses, cows and people can get from tick bites. The worst one for dogs is Eh- rlichiosis. We just had a dog in the hospital that was drowning in his own blood that had leaked into his chest. We removed 1.5 liters of blood from his thoracic cavity and he was finally able to breathe again after many sleepless nights of sitting up—the owners, too. Ehrlichiosis destroys the plate- lets in the blood. Platelets cause the blood to clot to prevent bleeding out after a trauma or cut. I’ve seen many dogs die suddenly and blood come gushing from the nostrils. Young dogs aren’t nearly as susceptible to bleeding out as …

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  4. Moving On

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    March 26, 2012 by Alison Grisham

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    Almost two years, and now 85 columns ago, I began writing Serving The Burned Side Down. I didn’t set out to enlighten anyone or change the world, but I hope I’ve made you smile once or twice. A few people have asked me about the title of the column, so I thought I’d take a minute to answer as I say goodbye to the Washington County Observer. A few years ago, I decided I didn’t want to write in silence anymore. So I started to look for writing opportunities of any sort. The first one I came across was a contest at Nightbird Books, in Fayetteville. It was a six-words memoir contest, and two hours before the con- test deadline arrived, I flew in the door and submitted my entry. If you’re not familiar with it, a six-word memoir is just as it sounds. It’s a description of life in 6 words. Legend has it that it began with Ernest Hemingway, who was once asked to write a story in just six words. His response was: “Baby shoes for sale: never worn.” Leave it to Hemingway. Just a few poignant words that manage to say so much. And so began …

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  5. PSAs for weeks of March 22 – April 1

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    March 26, 2012 by wcobserver

    FREE CLASS Second Class for “Whittlin’ in Winslow” will occur at the Ozark Folkways Center in Winslow on Hwy. 71 on Sunday, March 25, from 3 – 4 p.m. Mr. Don Brotherton will be leading the class. Please bring a knife for carving, if you do not have one Mr. Brotherton has them available for $10.00. You may also bring your own wood to carve, however there are ‘cut outs’ available for $15.00. Ages for carvers must be at least 13 years old. Anyone between 13 and 17 years old must have a parent accompany them and stay for class. For more information call 479-634-3151. STRIDES FOR SLIDES West Fork High School EAST is sponsoring a 5K Race to help raise money for the elementary school playground equipment. Also, a Fun Run only a mile long. The entry fee includes a t-shirt and refreshments at the end of the race. The race will be held May 5, 2012. It will start at 8 a.m and end around noon.​ COUNTRY STORE Bake and Rummage Sale at First Presbyterian Church located at the four-way stop in West Fork. Saturday, March 10, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Clothes $1 a bag. Lots of …

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  6. Three’s a Crowd: Third parties still vying for recognition in 2012 election cycle

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    March 26, 2012 by Jack Suntrup

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    If you’re not a Democrat or Republican, this election cycle is going to be hard to take — no matter who wins. To say third-party voters are “disenchanted”  is a misuse of the word. It gives the impression that the bloc was exiled from some Washington D.C.-Disney-fantasy land, when in reality the plane never left Arkansas. “Every election season the group of bottom feeders is scummier and dirtier than the last,” said John Gray, the 2010 Green Party senate candidate and former mayor of Greenland. State law dictates that in order to appear on the ballot as a recognized party, leaders must collect signatures from 3 percent of qualified electors, or 10,000 signatures. Predictably, with historically low approval of the congress, third parties want the chance to make their case. Their request: automatic ballot access. The ACLU filed suit after the Green Party won 20 percent of the vote in the 2008 senate election. Success did not transfer in 2010, however, and the 11th Circuit Court in St. Louis ruled the law was not unreasonable. Nevertheless, the Libertarians and the Green Party met the signature requirement this year. “We are an official political party in Arkansas,” said Casey Copeland, a …

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  7. Council Blinks, Veto Stands

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    March 26, 2012 by Steve Winkler

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    A showdown was averted over Mayor Hime’s veto of last month’s council vote that reversed the planning commission’s denial to establish a commercial zone in a residential neighborhood. A motion by Alderman Rodney Drymon to override the mayor’s veto and grant the rezoning request failed to get a second. Game over. Mike Landa who serves as Planning Commission Chair sought and was denied approval by the commission for his property on McKnight Ave to be rezoned to commercial. He appealed that decision to the City Council who at the February meeting reversed the Commission and granted his request. The mayor vetoed the council’s decision citing a need to take a closer look at possible legal ques- tions. The council listened to Darrell Giddy, Landa’s attorney, argue that the mayor had a conflict of interest because Hime is the subject of a law suit by Landa. Alderman Charlie Rossetti asked City At- torney Tom Kieklak if there was a conflict of interest. Kieklak said he saw “no legal conflict at all.” He also advised the council that they should “be careful about going outside the [regional] plan.” Giddy reminded the council that last month they had deliberated over an hour. He …

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