Who is this man....

...and why is he singing? Click here to find out!!!

New Legislation In Arkansas 

As most of our regular readers know, we do not generally delve into areas routinely considered to be ''hard news,'' trusting other media sources to provide coverage of such events. From time to time, however, certain items come to our attention that seem to be newsworthy, yet also seem to get minimal to non-existent coverage by mainstream media. This is one of those times.

For the last several months my Inbox has been literally flooded with information about a growing public consensus for legislative action in Arkansas on one particular subject, that being a call for laws that permit the use of Medical Marijuana as an herbal medication. 

Now, while we do our best as journalists to remain neutral on the ''good'' or ''bad'' of such issues, it seems to us that the public is not being given sufficient information on this topic to make an informed judgment. Therefore, we offer for your edification the most recent news release distributed by an Arkansas group on this subject and sincerely hope you will take the time to look closely at this matter, deliberate an opinion and make your view known to your state legislators. 

Click here to read the news release.


"Spotlighting Seniors"

A Special Feature by Michael King, Editor of the FFB Senior Center Newsletter.

Marvin and Biroda Seastrom moved here from Iowa and ran their garage on Hwy 330 in the Fairfield Bay and Shirley area for many years. They served the community honestly and well, with integrity.

They serviced my first truck, "Jenni" (named after my granddaughter), for eleven years. She was "Like New" when I traded her in and bought my Ninety-Nine Extended Cab S-10 last June… which I named "Jessi". (You guessed It! She’s my other granddaughter.)

I remember the Seastrom’s dog Maynard, now deceased, who hung around the garage and drank Cokes… "No Diet Please" They have a cat now. Marvin calls it "Tink" but the grandkids have named it "Snowball."

The Seastroms have recently retired, which they so richly deserve. He looks so healthy and happy! You can look at them and just see the Love they share. My best to them.

A Changing of the Guard

The duty at hand for newly elected Van Buren County Sheriff, Russell Pridgen, is controlling traffic. 

At left: Van Buren County Sheriff, Russell Pridgen, tends one of the many significant duties of his new role.

But it's not highway congestion and it has nothing to do with drugs.... (To read the rest of this special feature article by gozarks editor, Christine Louise Weiss, click here.)

The Middle Fork

...of the Little Red River succumbed to the longest cold spell this area of the Ozarks has felt in many a decade. But at last, the weather is warming. Of course winter ain't over yet. We've still got a ways to go. And, in contrast to so many other folks, we've had a very easy row to hoe. 

Oh sure. There were some problems with plumbing. Heck, our kitchen drain pipe froze and we had to spend the last week washing all the dishes for a family of six in the bathtub. Plus I heard that bunches of my neighbors had frozen water pipes that burst and made huge messes. And some folks couldn't get out of their own ice-covered driveways for weeks.

But it's started to thaw now. Things are returning to routine. I sat on the couch last night without a blanket on my lap. And just this morning, the sink drained. The aroma of home baked biscuits, pan-fried bacon and eggs is wafting from our kitchen to my office, right now.

But others will not have such an easy recovery from the Winter of 2000-2001. And to them, my and our hearts go out. 

At the same time, this whole ice-storm gig has raised a bone I wish to pick with mainstream media. You know, the Channel 4 or 7 or 11 gals and guys. It has to do with the ''desensitizing of the public awareness to the legitimacy of need.''  

An Example: During the peak of repercussions from the storm, how many news spots did you see about the ''poor people who lost all their food because their electricity went off"??? 

Say what?

I mean, it's 20 friggin' degrees outside the door and everything is covered with ice. Ice. You know... that stuff that keeps food cold!!!

Where are your brains? Why are you not thinking? (And why am I being subjected to your self-imposed plight on the news every night?)

And about those folks who were suffering because they had no heat. Well, with all due respect I'm pretty darn sure that most of them were suffering because of their own lack of forethought and preparedness. 

Two Facts: (1) We live in a climate where it gets cold enough to need heat to live. (2) At the time of year we need that heat the most, our area is subject to severe storms that do regularly cause the electricity to go out.  

A Question: Knowing the above, does it make any sense for us to equip an entire house to operate only on electricity?

Well, duh???

What is the real cause of the plight for those "my food's spoiled and my house is freezing" folks? Are we not all, at some base level, required to be personally accountable? Use common sense? Ensure for our own well being in the event of foreseeable calamity?

And by the media meriting such self-culpability with the level of legitimate need experienced by those people who, in spite of all their best laid plans and most well thought through preparedness, suffered legitimate tragedy, well -- the media ''desensitizes'' all of us to the genuine atrocities that go on in the world around us every day. 

And, being desensitized, we fail to take action. 

As an editor I feel a professional obligation to use my understanding and awareness of language to make sure the story fits the crime. And with all due respect, I'd like to see a whole lot more of this from my journalist-brethren. 

Thus my prima facia New Years Resolution is to continue doing this with renewed vim, vigor, and vitality -and- to do whatever I can to get other media professionals to do the same. 

  Now, as the saying goes..... 

And thanks to our good friend ''Pat,'' who ''stole this ball from somewhere on the Internet" and then passed it along to us!!! Sincerely, we hope the rightful owners come to claim it. But in the interim... well, we appreciate the opportunity to share its sentiments!

Now, please get cozy and let us refill that Egg Nog cup for you. And here, we just baked some pecan-fudge brownies. They're still warm from the oven. Surely you won't mind if we slide one right onto your plate. 

Then, when you're good and  comfortable, we invite you to check our What's New page. We have lots more treats and goodies waiting there just for you. And  remember, if you're looking to find something that was on December's  Front Page (or the front page of any  previous edition of our e-zine), just visit our Archives and follow the links.  

So, now that the New Year is here --- get busy!!! Warm-up those resolutions and get yourself fortified!!! It's going to be a mighty grand year to recall. At least that's our resolution, and thanks to our  readers, our columnists, our advertisers and every member of the Hyper Tech team, we expect this is one resolution that's going to be easy and a great pleasure to keep!!

So, here's to a fabulous Y2k+1... and many, many more!!!

Christine Louise Weiss, Editor

Justin Bonds, Webmaster

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