Second Saturday

This Saturday, May 13, 9 a.m. to noon, if you want to come and play some acoustic music in the Courthouse Square, or listen, c'mon. We'll meet on the shady side of the courthouse, where the benches are under the tree, or if the weather's bad check at the newspaper office. Acoustic means no mics, no amplifiers, no exceptions. Jam format, sit in a circle and play along, lead when it's your turn (but no pressure).

You probably should bring a chair as well. Let's have some fun.

Look sharp

It's that time of year, the weather's pretty, the road are dry, and the motorcycles come out in growing number. Good. We like people getting out and seeing things, and motorcycles, properly approached, are fun, especially on the highways and byways that make up Van Buren County.

We note, however, the number of riders who apparently this year is their first year on a motorcycle in a long time, possibly ever. They are not as smooth or assured as what appears to be more experienced motorcyclists. This is good as well, life is meant to be a thing in which you extend yourself, and by all means if your soul cries out “motorcycle” and everything else is in line, go for it.

At the same time, those of us not on motorcycle need to be all-the-more vigilant as riders shake off the winter or long-time rust and get out on the roads. Look twice, as they say, and save a life. It really is easy to miss that single headlight bobbing along and that small machine simply doesn't have the visual impact of even a compact car.

But, speaking of impact, look twice if for no other reason that if you, dear reader, pull out in front of a motorcycle and cause a wreck it will be a weight you will have to carry for a long time, a weight far in excess of the machines involved, moreso if somebody is hurt, or hurt badly. We have to acknowledge that whatever else about motorcycles, freedom of the road and all that, they have no protective cocoon around the operator as a car would and yes, while the rider bears responsibility for safety, that doesn't mean the rest of us can just carry on as we see fit.

We, a community, a nation, built these roads and we, that same community, that same nation, have the responsibility to watch out for the other guy, motorcycle mounted or no. That our winter eyes have grown accustomed to looking for 'bikes is the reason for this conversation: Take an extra moment, look twice.

And you new riders, or comeback riders? Take it easy, give yourself a minute more than you think you need.


The City of Fairfield Bay wound up with 32 pounds of drugs in its recent drug take-back event Police Chief David Burnett announced at the recent City Council meeting. We'd like to think you know this but, just for the record, that's a lot of drugs.

But wait: In Arkansas, Burnett told the gathering, 24,000 pounds of drugs were gained during drug-take-back. And yes, that is a whole lot of drugs. As Burnett said “Drugs not getting in our water supply, not getting in the wrong people's hands” and on.

And while we're never shy to give advice for living in this space, we add here: Clean out the medicine cabinet. What are you doing keeping that old stuff around anyway? Take it ot the police station, or ask your pharmacist if they can help. Just get rid of it.

2 Corinthians 7: 1-4 (MSG)

7 With promises like this to pull us on, dear friends, let's make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let's make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God.

More Passionate, More Responsible

2-4 Trust us. We've never hurt a soul, never exploited or taken advantage of anyone. Don't think I'm finding fault with you. I told you earlier that I'm with you all the way, no matter what. I have, in fact, the greatest confidence in you. If only you knew how proud I am of you! I am overwhelmed with joy despite all our troubles.