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February 2, 2011     The Florala News
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February 2, 2011

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PAGE 4 THE FLORALA NEWS- WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2011 Comments Letter to the Editor The Florala News' editorial section is intended to provide our readers and citizens as complete an opportunity to express themselves with as few re- strictions as possible. Profanity, direct or implied, and attacks on one's per- son rather than on actions or deeds are not acceptable. Publication on this page in NO WAY REFLECTS AGREEMENT OR ENDORSEMENT BY THIS NEWSPAPER. - From, first posted on Valentine's Day, 2010: "13 Ridiculous Things You Didn't Know About U.S. Pres- idents by Katla McGlynn When choosing the next President Of The United States Of America, 'oddball' is usually not considered a qualify- ing characteristic. However, many of this country's former leaders had strange quirks, pets, and rituals tha(make you -'.wonder: Exactly what kind of person does it take to lead a nation? So this President's Day, instead of honoring our commanders-in-chief for the great things they did, why not honor them for the bizarre things they did? Warren Harding Lost The White House China In A Poker Game - Our 29th President really like to gamble, although it seems he wasn't very good at it. In one poker game, he bet the White House china collection and lost it all in one hand. Gerald & Betty Ford Were Fashion Models - Move over, Scott Brown. In the 1940's Gerald Ford did a bit of model- ing and even posed on the cover of Cosmopolitan. His wife Betty was also a dancer and fashion model, who signed with the John Robert Powers modeling firm to finance her dance education. Ulysses S. Grant Got A Speeding Ticket ... On A Horse - The 18th President Of The United States was given a $20 speeding ticket for riding his horse too fast down a Wash- ington street. You'd think he could have talked his way out of that one. James A. Garfield Was Ambidextrous (Awesome) - Not only was he the first president to be both righty and lefty, but it was said he could write a sentence in Latin with one hand and write it in Greek with the other hand. Awesome party trick! William Howard Taft Got Stuck In A Bathtu% - Our 27th President was a stately fellow, weighing in at bver 300 lbs, CROSSWORD Elvis was correct: so it's easy to believe he became stuck in one of the White House bathtubs (things were a lot smaller back then). He eventually had an oversize bathtub installed, but that was probably just an excuse to get a hot tub. John Quincy Adams Regularly Skinny-Dipped In The Potomac - The President was known for his early morning dips in D.C.'s main waterway, always in the nude. Thomas Jefferson Had Two Pet Bears- When Lewis and Clark were exploring the west, two young bear cubs were sent east to President Jefferson. He kept the bears in a cage on the White House lawn and occasionally went on walks with them. Other strange presidential pets include: alliga- tor (John Quincy Adams), elephant (James Buchanan), and zebra (Teddy Roosevelt). Martin Van Buren Popularized The Phrase 'OK' - Sup- posedly, President Van Buren popularized one of the most commonly used phrases to date: 'OK,' or 'Okay.' Van Buren was from Kinderhook, NY which was also called, 'Old Kin- derhook.' His support groups came to be known as 'O.K. Clubs' and the term 'OK' came to mean. 'all right.' Calvin Coolidge Had A Vaseline Fetish, Mechanical Horse - Calvin Coolidge was a strange guy. Not only did he sleep quite a lot - over 10 hours a day - but had a morn- ing ritual where he enjoyed having Vaseline rubbed on his head while he ate breakfast in bed. He also had a mechani- cal horse installed in the White House so he could practice his horseback riding skills. So, when did he do the whole 'running the country' thing? Chester A. Arthur Was A Sharp Dresser, Night Owl - Not only was Chester A. Arthur a very sharp dresser, (he owned over 80 pairs of pants) but he often took late night strolls around D.C. with friends, not returning home until 3 or 4 in the morning. Thomas Jefferson Invented A Bunch Of Stuff - In ad- dition to inventing a rotating book holder that folded into Child investment now means crime prevention later by Trippy McGuire "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." "A stitch in time saves nine." : Little did I know that these truisms I was taught as a "small child would serve as a cornerstone for my judicial phi- losophy decades later as a judge. In the spring of 1969, which was at the end of my sopho- more year in high school, Elvis Presley released a song en- titled, "In the Ghetto." The chorus to the song contained the following Words: "People, don't you understand ' The child needs a helping hand? He's gonna be an angry young man someday." Now, some forty years later, extensive studies have shown that Elvis' common sense statement was precisely correct. . These studies have shown that unfortunately, tough law enforcement is not enough to prevent the rampant crime in our streets today. However, the bright side is that a simple investment in early childhood education DOES prevent crime later -- and contributes greatly to a child's being a successful student, which leads to graduation and a produc- tive adulthood. Too many young people entering kindergarten today are not "school ready." They have not been exposed to a learn- ing atmosphere at home in any manner whatsoever. They arrive at kindergarten already way behind their class- mates. Not only do they know nothing about what is going on, but they have not even been exposed to grasping the fundamental of knowing how to learn. They are already ter- ribly behind the curve. Therefore, they have little interest in learning and pursue other avenues instead, school mis- conduct often being one of them. I have had kindergarten teachers tell me, "I can tell you right now, in future years, you're going to be seeing (fill in the name) in court." In other words, the handwriting is al- ready on the wall, because a child is so far behind that he's already falling through the cracks, just as the floor begins. This is not the fault of the teacher. There is no substitute for a good home environment with two loving, nurturing par- ents. However, a large percentage of children today know nothing of such a home. Fortunately, help with the education component ex- ists in the form of pre-kindergarten programs. Studies have shown that pre-kindergarten is the most widely im- plemented school reform that produces solid graduation rate increases. Unfortunately in Alabama, too few of our young children have access to high quality early learning programs in the years leading up to school Seventy-four percent of our 4 year olds are not enrolled in the Alabama Pre-Kindergarten Program, Head Start, or early childhood special education programs. So it is not surprising (but it is very alarming) that in Alabama, almost 4 out of 10 high school students fail to graduate from high school on time. The social cost of that statistic has very devastating con- sequences for our state and keeps us ranked at the bottom among other states in many categories. Alabama has been fortunate to produce national cham- pionship football teams two years in a row. Only one other state has that distinction. We demand andexpect excellence of our football teams. That mindset of excellence must also be applied with equal vigor to investment in our children in the vears from birth to five. j- No man stands taller than he who stoops to help a little child." We must throw a lifeline to our children in Alabama by investing in high quality preschool and family strength- enmg programs, to build their learning foundation so that they can pursue excellence throughout life. Letter to the Editor Editor, Alabama is my home away from home, I've been visiting this fine state for the last five years off and on. To my dis- may, only one thing upsets me when I am here. There are "way" too many dogs who are homeless, dropped off some- where, or they run off, get lost, and then left for dead. I, myself, have incurred these dogs, mostly hunting dogs, on a regular basis when I am here. Just a few days ago another arrived, a female hunting dog, she came up on the property and has not left, nor, does she want to, I know this as I have tried to run her off and she is not willing to leave. My mind tells me to take this hunting dog to the pound, but my heart says, "do not." I feel that giving her to the pound will only kill her slowly as she is used to her freedom and her nature to run and hunt, her "life," bred into her, has told her to do so. These wonderfully, smart dogs serve their masters and do their jobs faithfully, but in return their owners simply do not care if they run off or are lost, I'm assuming they run off and get lost and are replaced by the "many" litters they continue to have. There are "too" many faithful dogs and not enough lov- ing masters. Please, stop the abuse owners/hunters, you must learn to take care of your loyal dogs, that "you" own, that serve you without question, only asking for a home and some "real" care and devotion. Remember Job 30:1 - Dogs are man's (underrated) friends. Diane Dean Florala The Florala News a box, he also invented/improved on the inventions of the dumbwaiter, the polygraph (for recording), a pasta mak- er, the swivel chair, the sundial, and the pedometer. Well, Obama? Let's see some inventing in between all that boring Presidential stuff. Barack Obama Is A Comic Book Nerd- President Obama collects 'Spiderman' and 'Conan The Barbarian' comic books, and has even read every 'Harry Potter' book. Abe Lincoln Won A Wrestling Match - When Abe Lincoln moved to New Salem, IL in 1831, he met a rowdy bunch called The Clarence Grove Boys. Their leader, Jack Arm- strong, challenged Lincoln to a wrestling match outside of Denton Offutt's store, where Lincoln was a clerk, and townspeople gathered to watch and wager on it. Lincoln won the match, and Jack's respect, and the two became best friends." [ ST mm 46 5O 66 67 70 73 PRESENTED BY If-- 43 47 Volu nteer M atch .org Where volunteering begins. 2 2010, StatcPoint Media, Inc. THEME: 2010 IN REVIEW ACROSS 1. It comes from the past? 6. Like one of the Testa- ments 9. *Lady Gaga - most chari- table of 2010 13. Cooler clime conifer 14. Actress Thompson 15. Garlic mayo 16. *"The Hurt Locker" won this 17. Romanian monetary unit 18. Three goddesseS of des- tiny 19. *It broke out in Haiti 21. "2010's best actress? 23. Object of fairytale prin- cess test 24. Capital of Norway 25. Ad 28. Bypass 30. Plane road 35. Verbal test 37. Long narrative poem 39. Impart knowledge to 40. Cosine's buddy 41. Inhabitants of Denmark 43. ----caca, South American lake 44. Native American pole 46. Popular pickling spice 47. Organic compound 48. Heavy windbreaker 50. Margarine 52. Old fashioned %efore 53. " on Me" 55. Rub-a-dub- 57. *Location of air travel- disrupting volcano 61. *Infamous secret spiller 65. Ecclesiastic council 66. Goes with "aah ' 68. Scandinavian gnome 69. Everyone but clergy 70. Biography 71. Hollywood's legendary swashbuckler 72. Odds and 73. Boundary Waters entry point 74. One what he sows DOWN 1. Eastern 2. Eye hair 3. To be played with a bow 4. Sell illegally, as in tickets 5. " a crowd" 6. Used in India for writing _ paper 7. *Pitcher who led Rangers to first World Series 8. Smears 9. Upper layer of earth's crust 10. Dorothy's dog 11. *This Baldwin co-hosted 2010 Academy Awards 12. Strategic board game 15. Drifting 20. Gathered leaves 22. Preceding month 24. Movie review, e.g. 25. Popular perennial gar T den plant 26. Belted starman 27. Ann Patchett's novel "Bel " 29. *A revolutionary device? 31. Intersecting nerves or vessels 32. Easternmost state 33. Thespian 34. *Home to trapped min- ers 36. Expression of contempt or scorn 38. Text messenger 42. Toboggans 45. Unwellness 49. *Fashion-conscious char- acter from "Toy Story 3" 51. Wrongful dispossession 54. Sun-dried brick 56. Pavlova's rail 57. Just one of British Isles 58. Bluish green 59. Children's author Blyton 60. A bunch 61. Saiior's call 62. Novelist Roberts 63. Lump of stuff 64. 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