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Wednesday was the first day around Northwest Arkansas that felt like fall, a season we highly recommend with a generous thumbs up. While we're at it, we'll offer a few more:

[THUMBS UP] After the contentious confirmation process, no doubt new U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was ready to get down to the serious work of judicial interpretation, legal debate and writing case rulings from the highest court in the land. As the newest justice, however, he's got another duty: sitting on the committee that oversees the court's public cafeteria. How's that for keeping someone who just went through a worldwide spectacle humble? That, according to Chief Justice John G. Roberts, is exactly the point. Roberts has said the assignment, which goes to every rookie justice, is a way of bringing him "back down to Earth after the excitement of confirmation and appointment."

Give’em a thumb

Want to give some brief feedback on news? Someone who deserves a pat on the back? An idea that needs a dose of common sense? Recommend a “Thursday thumb” by calling Greg Harton at (479) 872-5026 or by email at

[THUMBS DOWN] If the vandals who painted messages on the Old Post Office building in the center of the Fayetteville square wanted to shock, they accomplished their mission. Their behavior was shocking in its stupidity. Someone climbed atop the building and painted convoluted messages and other emblems on the building, which holds a special place in the hearts of many Fayetteville residents. If it's like a lot of graffiti, this very well could have been just an act born of boredom and lack of creativity. It is, nonetheless, sad that someone would deface a historic building that served as the post office from 1911 to 1963.

[THUMBS UP] The state of Tennessee denied an inmate's request to die in the electric chair, moving forward with plans instead to kill the man through lethal injection today. The man, who was sentenced in 1984 for the slayings of two men during a drug deal and who killed again in prison, contended the electric chair would be quicker and less painful than lethal injection. As tempting as it might be to accept his idea, states don't have any business cranking up the amperage on Old Sparky again. Would you believe the last use of an electric chair in the United States was only 5 1/2 years ago? In any case, our world is better off when government isn't electrocuting people on purpose.

[THUMBS UP] More than 1,000 people have registered to vote in Washington County in the last month. In Benton County, that number reaches about 1,600. That's great, but registering to vote only serves to drive down the voter participation rate if those who register fail to show up and cast ballots. The trick isn't registering. That's just opens the door for participation in representative government. The real impact happens when voters cast their ballots, either by filing the paperwork for absentee ballots, through early voting or by casting votes on Election Day. We encourage voters to spend the next few weeks intentionally seeking out information about candidates and the ballot issues, such as the casino amendment and the Legislature's measure to cap punitive damages in civil lawsuits. A good place to learn more about ballot issues is through the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service at Stories that have appeared in this newspaper are also collected at By the way, local election officials and observers anticipate voter turnout for the Nov. 6 election will fall below 50 percent -- that is, less than half the people who are eligible to vote will actually show up to do it. That's a sad prediction. What can one do about it? Show up and vote. It really is that simple, and voting has never really been easier.

Commentary on 10/11/2018

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