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Stories by Fran Alexander

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Commentary:

Subscriber only"... and a little child shall lead them." Continue reading...

The Big Job We Know Little About

Subscriber onlyConfessions are good for the soul, or so I've heard, so I'll admit that in the past I have usually voted for the commissioner of state lands more in a partisan way than in an educated way. This voting method would be grounds for embarrassment if I believed I was the only one who has generally forgotten about this state job until faced with it at the polls. So, I'll plead, "Oops!" as Texas Gov. Rick Perry so eloquently phrased his unpreparedness. Continue reading...

Commentary: Fallen Sparrow Uncovers a Philosopher

Subscriber onlyProvidence -- noun; the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth. Continue reading...

Commentary: How 'Bout Them Hogs?

Two Opportunities To Make A Difference For Arkansas Are On Horizon

Subscriber only"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have." Continue reading...

Commentary: What We Owe To Our Animal Friends

Group Pushes To Match Number of Animals To People Who Want Them

Subscriber onlySome people feel they have heard a "calling" to do certain things in life. Marcia Donley heard barking and meowing. By founding Spay Arkansas, Marcia acted on some of the messages she must have translated from animals in need. Continue reading...

Commentary: Cities Cannot Live On Growth Alone

Subscriber onlySeveral years ago, an extremely successful local developer made an offer to the Fayetteville City Council he figured they couldn't refuse. Four hundred trees, he announced, would be his gift to the city. I no longer remember exactly why he proffered what he considered a generous enticement, except that it had to do with tree issues in developments, where wooded areas were being leveled in order to plant subdivisions and apartments. Continue reading...

Commentary: Environmentalists Seek Hope For Global Quality

Subscriber onlyOur language seems rather poetical when we describe crowds. What else could phrases like a murder of crows, an obstinacy of buffalo, a bellowing of bullfinches, a scold of jays, a gaggle of geese, a knot of toads, a glaring of cats, a bask of crocodiles, and everyone's favorite, a congress of baboons be besides poetry? Continue reading...

Compassion In ‘Well, Bless Your Heart !’

FAYETTEVILLE WORKS HARD TO AID NEEDY, PROMOTE DIVERSITY, UNDERSTANDING

Subscriber onlyGrowing up Southern means some phrases are forever emblazoned on your brain. Certainly the empathetic smoothness of, “Well, bless your heart,” goes a long way to let us know our pains are not invisible and our hurts are recognized as valid. Continue reading...

Taxpayers Likely Responsible To Clean Spills

PIPELINE DETECTIONS MORE OFTEN DUE TO RESIDENTS’ DISCOVERIES THAN COMPANY MONITORS

Subscriber only“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.” — CHANT OF THE THREE WITCHES IN SHAKESPEARE’S MACBETH Last March in Mayfl ower, near Conway, 210,000 gallons of crude oil and the chemicals within it flowed onto Arkansas soil and into her water. Exxon, the parent of the 65-year-old pipeline with a 22-foot long crack, has now done its cleanup routine and continues to say the pollution went no farther than a cove in Lake Conway. How chemicals can become stationary and not circulate or contaminate other parts of a lake is still a mystery to me, but that’s been Exxon’s story, and they’re sticking to it. Nevertheless, exactly which chemicals, and in what quantities, the residents and the environment will be dealing with over an unknown span of time is still anyone’s guess. Continue reading...

Will 2014 Be A Turning Point For Earth?

MAN-MADE, MAN-UTILIZED CHEMICALS DETECTED IN LIFE FORMS AT FARTHERMOST REACHES OF THE PLANET

Subscriber only“Absence of certainty is not synonymous with absence of risk.” — Dr. John Cairns, Jr., biologist New beginnings, fresh starts, resolutions and proclamations are all about what can be changed if we just make up our minds to change. And, change is the daily, not annual, mantra of anyone working on environmental issues. Wanting change for the better and fearing change for the worst is what activism is based on, but, of course, the problem with change arises when diff ering defi nitions of “better” collide with differing levels of power. Continue reading...

Residents Need Vigilance As Cities Change

CITY DWELLERS MUST LEARN LESSON NATIVE AMERICANS REALIZED LONG AGO

Subscriber onlyOccasionally in our eff orts to live together in societies, rules have to be made to protect us from each other. Like many of the other animals with which we share this planet, humans are territorial and consequently, things can at times get tedious and tense. We like our space, and some of us need more than others to remain civil. Continue reading...

Christmas Strikes Again Across Nation

TOY OFFERINGS FOR GIRLS STILL TOO HEAVILY GEARED TOWARD GENDER LIMITATIONS

Subscriber onlyWell, it’s that time of year again when my feminist streak rises closer to the surface than I normally allow in my daily life. It’s that time when colorful slick ads and catalogues begin pouring down upon us from every conceivable outlet. Continue reading...

Children’s Hospital Makes Difference In NW Corner

Subscriber only“Until no child needs us, we need you.” — Arkansas Children’s SHospital motto ome images never leave us. I saw something last week that will always flash in my mind when I hear the abbreviated and common name of one of our state’s greatest treasures, “Children’s.” Extended from what seemed like a gigantic diaper were two tiny, slightly curved pink legs, bent at the knees, and ending at feet hardly as large as my thumb. That’s all I could see of the infant on an adult-sized examination table, while the baby underwent an echocardiogram at the ACH/ UAMS Centers for Children location in Lowell. As this little human’s heart function was being electronically screened in Lowell, it was also being scrutinized by a cardiologist in Little Rock at home base, where there are a larger number of specialists than this center can support at this time. Continue reading...

Drilling To Realities Some Want To Ignore

POTENTIAL ENERGY SUPPLY BUBBLE COULD HAVE DIRE RAMIFICATIONS ON GLOBAL ECONOMY

Subscriber onlyUnless you have closed out all forms of news media in your life, you’ve probably heard about “fracking” for natural gas in this country and around the world. Continue reading...

True Equality Still Eludes Some People

SOCIETY MAKES STRIDES AS ATLANTA CHURCH HOLDS ITS FIRST SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CEREMONY

Subscriber only“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” — Martin Luther King Jr. Continue reading...

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