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Stories by Fran Alexander

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Commentary: The benefits of battiness

Devil’s Den events help dispel myths about state’s bats

Subscriber onlyA fairly common insult is to call someone "batty" or "bat-brained," and we refer to erratic and irresponsible speeders as driving like "bats out of hell." Halloween and Dracula have heaped almost permanent image damage upon bats, creating a public relations nightmare for them in their relationship with humans, who do not always get the facts or behave rationally when it comes to living alongside other creatures. Fortunately a few of our species have been trying for a long time to put in a good word for bats. Continue reading...

Commentary: Out of the woods

Woodworker gives fallen trees new life

Subscriber only"The story of the tree is there if you'll listen to it." Continue reading...

Commentary: Love for a river

Natural State falls short in protecting Buffalo River

Subscriber onlyWhen diverse backgrounds meet over a shared issue, especially in a microcosm the size of our state, gatherings can run hot and cold, but are important for figuring out what our values really are. Farmers and professors, children and elders, folks of different ethnicities and skin color, and rural and urban residents have all been touched by the plight of our country's first national river that runs through us, the "us" that is Arkansas. Continue reading...

Commentary: Bringing nature home

Landscaping should take native species into account

Subscriber only"The World Conservation Union has estimated that 12 percent of all bird species are threatened with extinction because of habitat loss and invasive species." Continue reading...

Police: Suspect in Virginia bus station shooting dead; 3 others hurt

RICHMOND, Va. — A gunman shot a Virginia state trooper Thursday at a busy bus terminal in the capital city of Richmond before he was shot dead by two other troopers, police said. Two civilians were hurt, though it was not clear if they had been shot. Continue reading...

Commentary: Standing on corners

Do people really vote based on signs they see?

Subscriber only"Standing on the corner watching all the cars go by," keeps repeating in my head. OK, I know the Dean Martin song was about watching girls, not cars, but Dean wasn't singing while holding a poster in an election year. Continue reading...

Commentary: Picking a contender

Responses to climate change, campaign funding key considerations

Subscriber onlyYou must be the change you wish to see in the world. Continue reading...

Commentary: The Golden Rule

Corporations overtaking public in global controls

Subscriber only"It's a corporate world," is a phrase often muttered more in frustration than fear, especially since the United States Supreme Court declared corporations to be people in regard to campaign contributions. Their 2010 Citizens United ruling gave corporations the right to fund individual candidates and electioneering communications, and the money is often unlimited and untraceable. This action screwed down the heaviest lid ever put on a democratic government supposedly controlled by "the people" of the flesh and bone variety. Continue reading...

Commentary: The papal influence

Francis urges care for ‘our common home’

Subscriber only"I urgently appeal for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone." Continue reading...

Commentary: Watch out, heaven

Two made difference in service to others

Subscriber onlyOur town recently lost two humans who accomplished amazing feats and left us far better off than had they not been with us, two whom I would classify as unsung heroes, who made a huge difference in our state. Continue reading...

Commentary: Turning, tipping points

Shifts on environmental attitudes producing change

Subscriber onlyIn just the past few months, one shocking reversal after another has occurred on the environmental front. Most of these turning points on issues have been brought on by public pressure tipping decision makers to change directions. Continue reading...

Commentary: Celebrate the Buffalo

Event marks opportunity to make a difference

Subscriber onlySome sort of lulled assumption settles over us as a society when it comes to realizing how things get done. For example, most of our lives are spent utilizing public lands without giving a thought to the history of their creation and continued existence or how we, the people, became the owners and benefactors of those places and spaces. Continue reading...

Extinction is forever

Why do humans need to kill for the thrill?

Subscriber onlyAlone in the living room with a book, and fully believing she was actually reading to her toys, my 2-year-old granddaughter unknowingly summed up our human relationship with wild animals pretty well as she began her story, "There was upon a time." Continue reading...

Verda The Indomitable

Combs, at 90, knows plenty about survival, living

Subscriber onlyOne of the best things about being 90 is saying what you want, eating what you want and doing what you want, according to my friend, Verda Combs. She says the problem at 90, however, is just not wanting much of anything anymore. Continue reading...

Commentary: Getting out of the hole

Don’t pamper non-recyclers; require personal responsibility

Subscriber only" Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at the sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground." Continue reading...

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