The Duncan Banner


August 12, 2012

Cluttered notebook empty

DUNCAN — Odds and ends, bits and pieces and an opinion or two from a notebook that seems to fill quickly each week.

Count me among those surprised to learn Plato Elementary, which this year celebrates its 100th year, was not named after the philosopher Plato. It was named for Mr. Plato, who years ago either donated or sold the land. That made unnecessary the planned donation of a pewter statue of the philosopher during the special year.

…Made me wonder why Lee Elementary is still referred to as Lee instead of Cary Elementary since school officials suggested the change to honor longtime educator Andy Cary years ago. Seems the humble Mr. Cary himself made that decision…

Some enterprising state legislator ought to introduce a bill requiring adult Oklahoma motorbike and motorcycle riders to wear helmets. A state law was repealed in 1976, but recent statistics support safety over personal freedom. I don’t remember, but personal freedom may have been a point used by those against automobile seat belts years ago and just think of the lives saved.

…Did you know Helen Keller inspired the International Lions Club to adopt its Sight program? …Appears time for the group that paints house addresses on street curbs to revisit their earlier work…Remarkable things happen every day at the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute…Old but still great quote: Football is not a contact sport. It is a collision sport. Dancing is a contact sport..

Don’t you just love all the studies that direct our actions these days? One says a middle income family, identified as one making between $59,406-102,870 annually, spends $235,000 to raise its first child from birth to age 17…that includes, food, shelter, education, health care etc….and seems like a bargain to me…

…Another suggests spending less than three hours seated each day extends your life by two years…and a third reports babies who grow up in a house that has a dog or cat in its first year of life are more likely to be healthy…

Don’t be surprised if Gov. Mary Fallin was including Stephens County as she hoped for voluntary consolidation of school districts as a cost-cutting, shared services and increased efficiency move…we have seven separate systems in a county of 45,197 people…there are, incredibly, 522 districts in the state and most everyone agrees, a reduction makes sense…as long as we adjust their system and not ours.

…Kelsey Avants’ new Edward Jones office on North 10th in the old Duncan Water Works Pumping Station is an early favorite to earn the Duncan Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s annual Community Improvement Award…the new Holiday Inn Express and the soon-to-be-built Applebee’s will likely provide competition…

High school football’s first big weekend is only 19 days away…it’s the best time of a season…all teams are undefeated…good luck to players, coaches, managers, trainers, bandsmen and directors, cheerleaders, pom squads and leaders, drum majors and majorettes and everybody involved in one of each community’s most shining moments.

…Get this: American Airlines had a record second quarter financially and is in bankruptcy. Or this: Airlines may soon offer early plane exits for an additional fee. They figure if folks will pay more to board early, they’ll do the same to get off faster.

I know Ron Howard is, technically, a Duncan native, but good guy Andy Griffith may be more popular in the Deep South and his recent death was a jolt…Mayberry clubs are popular there with sheriff Andy, deputy Barney and barber Floyd among the most imitated characters of that treasured television series…parties often include replicas of the old black-and-white police car as well.

 …If Oklahoma City’s Sky Dance Bridge on I-40 is the city’s answer to the St. Louis Arch or the Seattle Space Needle, it fails…inspired by the scissor-tailed flycatcher, it looks more like somebody needed something to do with their leftover erector set parts…

Recent deaths of Dr. Rob Miller, Tom Goodner, Quanah Cox and Don Grantham made clear several points…the city has lost some enormous talents…leaders can contribute in many different ways…and behind every successful man does stand perhaps an equally successful woman…thanks Darlene, Linda Mac, Mary Frances and Pat for sharing and supporting.

…Touching moment…Mike and Jimmy Grantham escorting their dad’s casket out of the First Christian Church sanctuary…

…Colorado is responsible for finding the national Christmas tree this year. It must be at least 65 feet tall and will be on display at the U.S. Capitol…Equestrian Karen O’Connor of Florida was the oldest U.S. Olympian at age 54; swimmer Katie Ledecky of Maryland the youngest at 15…Roger Bannister, who broke the four-minute mile barrier 56 years ago, is 83…

Finally, my favorite philosopher, Anonymous, says we can learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp. Some are dull. Most have weird names. All are different colors. And they all have to live in the same box.

580-255-5354, Ext. 130

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  • Governor, state Legislature have misplaced priorities

    If the Oklahoma State Legislators and our Governor spent less time interfering in women’s rights to manage their bodies, creating ways to lay more taxes and fees on the middle class in order to generate more tax breaks which benefit only the wealthy while also conceiving methods with which to fill Oklahoma’s for-profit prisons, they would be doing all of us a favor. Instead, why not work to enhance funding for our schools and wage increases for all school employees? While reforming the state’s educational budget, why don’t they approve wage increases for our Oklahoma State Troopers and enlarge their Academy to insure qualified individuals are ready to fill the upcoming vacancies as many of the older force retire?

    April 9, 2014

  • Self government key to keeping politicians in check

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that federal campaign laws that limit the total amount of money donors can give to political parties, committees and candidates for federal office (U.S. House, Senate, and President) was unconstitutional. The ruling will not increase the current $2,600 limit on how much a donor can give to a federal candidate in each primary and general election or the $32,400 limit that can go to a national party committee. Those limits are still in place.  The ruling will instead remove the limit on how many candidates/committees to which a donor can contribute.

    April 9, 2014

  • Legislative goals crucial to priorities in education

    I am a member of several professional organizations where I attend regular meetings, network with colleagues, and stay abreast and informed on education best practices.  The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, better known as CCOSA, is a nonprofit organization that establishes close and continuous communication and cooperation between educators, taxpayers, and legislators to improve the effectiveness of professional school administrators and to communicate the needs of schools. Attendance this time of year is especially critical because legislators are in session.

    March 28, 2014

  • An impressive ranking that could be better

    That Duncan was named one of the best 15 communities in Oklahoma by Movoto, a national Real Estate company, is news worth celebrating.
    Of 43 places with population of 10,000 or more, as determined by the U.S. Census data, Duncan finished 15th. Norman was first, Edmond second, Yukon and Moore tied for third and Bethany was fifth.

    March 9, 2014

  • Kids shouldn’t have to pay for having punster parents

    Friends and neighbors, I’ve been cloistered in my Thought Chamber for the past few days, contemplating many high-brow philosophies and haughty hypothesis that we who think on a different level use to exercise our finely-tuned minds and remain intellectually superior to the Great Unwashed.
    As you see, the time alone has been intellectually beneficial. I just composed an opening sentence (what we in the journalism dodge call a “lead”) that’s 46 words long.

    March 9, 2014

  • The blissful serenity of No-TV Land

    Life without TV is possible. Maybe you should try it. I did. It’s a do-able thing, I tell you. I’m still here, no worse the wear, no oozing wounds, no serious loss of brainwave activity except for the slow, inexorable downhill decline that already started when TV viewing was a daily occurrence.

    Granted, two months without the tube is quite likely not a scientifically acceptable sample from which is to hold forth. But it’s the best I can do, so deal with it.

    March 9, 2014

  • Cooper’s message is to remain active

    Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the Dallas physician who coined the phrase “aerobics” more than four decades ago, who has become a world leader in physical fitness and who has saved, literally, thousands of lives by promoting the value of an active lifestyle, shared his philosophy of life here last week.

    March 9, 2014

  • Time to take the “B” out of the “Three R’s”

    Our young folks are hitting the stretch drive toward the end of another school year, during which they’ve been taught “Three R’s”, which are not really “r’s” at all.
    In case you missed it, reading is the only one of the “Three R’s” that actually begins with the letter “r.” Writing starts with a “w” and arithmetic begins with the letter “a.” There are two reasons we drop the “w” from “writing” and the “a” from “arithmetic”: 1. For poetic flow in the age-old saying; and, 2. many people have a secret yen to talk like the Beverly Hillbillies.

    February 23, 2014

  • Thank you for lettin’ me be myself again

    Friends and neighbors, hope I don’t sound like the biggest egomaniac since Donald Trump, but you know, I am the most interesting person I’ve ever known.
    Forgive me if — on first blush — that sounds like the most totally self-aggrandizing statement you’ve ever heard. And if you’ve headed to the restroom to express an editorial opinion about the statement above, I’ll stop for a couple minutes.

    February 15, 2014

  • Buzz misfired in Vanity Fair body slam of Duncan

    As the new kid in town, I’m reluctant to leap atop the ramparts to defend the honor of Duncan, Okla., my new adopted hometown.
    But to heck with that. When an out-of-towner comes into your house and soils your rug, it’s on.
    I speak, of course, about the article in Vanity Fair magazine about Duncan and the  killing last year of Chris Lane, the Australian who was gunned down in August.

    January 24, 2014