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Here comes the rain again.

No, we're not promoting the Eurythmics, although that is a great song from the early '80s. Instead, we're just observing our own response to the last few hours as the rains fell. Maybe by the time this is being read there's some sunshine at the the end of this proverbial precipitation tunnel.

Until then, we'll keep our thumbs dry and ready to turn.

It was a great start to the Eric Musselman era of Arkansas Razorback basketball at Bud Walton Arena Tuesday night. The new coach's eight eligible scholarship players played hard and entertained a crowd of Hog fans more than eager for victory, what with the state of the University of Arkansas' football program. More than 17,000 fans celebrated the victory over Rice University. As first games go, it was exhilarating, but we suspect Musselman knows many challenges lay ahead in the 2019-20 basketball season. Nevertheless, it was good to see the players actually having fun on the court. That seems a good sign for the future.

OK, we get it: College students are, for the most part, young and still developing their capacities for making good choices. But it's a frustrating week for fans when the first hear football player Cheyenne O'Grady has "mutually agreed" to leave the team, then a few days later, they hear basketball player Reggie Chaney has been suspended indefinitely from the team. Give us college for free and a few rules to live by and we'd like to think we could follow them.

Kudos to the Benton County Road Department for its collaboration with Decatur Mayor Bob Tharp for to install signs at War Eagle Creek to warn about the swimming dangers of strong currents.Tharp's 33-year-old son died in the creek in June after he fell out of a canoe and drowned. The signs provide vital notice that might just warn away others who would just as soon avoid the risk.

We're going to join a lot of our other Americans who would just as soon set our clocks and forget it when it comes to picking either daylight saving or or standard time on which to operate. Last Saturday, many gained that desirable extra hour of sleep but we'll lose it again come spring. A recent poll by The Associated Press found differences of opinion about what the nation should change to, but plenty of agreement that the back-and-forth nature of the twice-annual time change is a royal pain.

Maybe the Razorback Foundation wouldn't be so grumpy if the football team for which it raises money could manage to pull itself together, but we can't blame the folks over there for getting a little perturbed at Bret Bielema. The former UA football coach, who is now a defensive line coach for the NFL's New England Patriots, has been getting a $320,833.33 check from the Razorback Foundation every month as part of the UA's $11.8 million buyout of his contract. He makes $150,000 a year as a Patriots coach, the maximum he can apparently earn under the agreement without resulting in a deduction from what the foundation owes him. Nobody would suggest Bielema's Patriots salary is inflated, by any stretch. Indeed, it's well below what assistant coaches are usually paid, but no assistant coach would ever make the kind of money Bielema has received monthly from the UA. So, the foundation is challenging Bielema's right to keep receiving payment. In the end, both parties will probably negotiate some form of final payment below $11.8 million. Every dollar in reduced payout benefits the Razorbacks.

The filing period for people wanting to run for local, state and national offices has just a few days left. We're glad to see a good number of candidates out their turning in their paperwork, creating contests that give voters a choice at the polls. Now, it's the job of each voter to become knowledgeable about who is running and to prepare themselves for their role in the democratic processes of the nation. It's going to be a big election season in 2020.

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 [email protected]

Commentary on 11/07/2019

Print Headline: Thursday's thumbs

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