The Duncan Banner


  • Civility starts with remembering good manners

    While pondering a growing lack of civility in American culture, during the column-writing process I had a reoccurring thought: You know, big boy, you’re painting this picture with a pretty broad brush.
    And that’s true. While discussing the Age of Angst and what I perceive as a continuing cultural drift toward incivility in the public forum and among individuals, I do so in generalities.

    November 17, 2013

  • Cavazos, Linehan deserving winners

    Jenel Cavazos is an assistant professor in Cameron University’s department of psychology. She remembers her favorite teachers were accessible, interested and involved. She tries to be just like that.
    Monika Linehan is an associate professor in the department of art. She spent more than two decades as a graphic designer before finding  her way back into the classroom as a teacher. She works hard to know all her students and to serve as a role model for them.

    November 17, 2013

  • Registering rooms a safe, sound idea

    Emphasis on registration of safe rooms in Stephens County occupied significant attention here when emergency officials staged their annual session aimed at preparation for catastrophic events that could occur.
    Residents are encouraged to register their locations by visiting or contacting Jimmy Pryor, assistant emergency management director and flood plains manager.

    November 17, 2013

  • Actions have consequences

    In July, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the former Governor of Kansas, said the government was ‘on target’ to handle the anticipated volume to the federal health care exchange site. Last month, Gary Cohen, the federal official in charge of health insurance exchanges, promised federal legislators that, “on October 1st ‘consumers will be able to go online, they’ll be able to get a determination of what tax subsidies they are eligible for, they’ll be able to see the premium net of subsidy,’ and they will be able to sign up.” Right.

    November 13, 2013

  • Work together instead of fighting over semantics

    He was so tired of the words “stop”, “defund” and “regurgitate” that ex-congressman Ron Paul created a replacement word, “nullification” - to continue his ineffectual attacks on the Affordable Care Act. We hear from talk show to talk show that “they” have a plan for controlling the cost of health care. The problem with that rhetoric is that “their” plan is what got us into trouble in the first place. Lack of regulations - Republicans proposing deregulation to allow insurance companies to sell policies over state lines — is one leg of the rise in premiums. Another is the lax control that some states maintain over the insurance companies. By comparison, why are we criticizing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?

    November 13, 2013

  • Despite some chiding, I’m secure as a gourmond

    Several months ago, I assumed an alternate role as Chef Jeff and regaled readers with tales of sumptuous foods I consume, diet tips and recipes for those of us who are true gourmands.
    In the process, I also bared my soul and brought many readers to weeping by recounting how the other three people in my family react to dishes like Poached Eggs a la Hash, chipped beef gravy, fried corn meal mush, chicken gizzards, creamed eggs and radish sandwiches.

    November 11, 2013

  • Accountability present in Duncan schools but not in current state evaluation model

    Accountability in Duncan Schools has always been a priority and transparency is one of the cornerstones for doing business in our district. In May of 2011, the Oklahoma Legislature passed H. B. 1456 to grade school performance on an A through F scale. At the time the law was passed, we did not completely understand the details of the grading system but fully intended to follow the law and embrace the evaluation model to improve student achievement. H.B. 1456 was intended to provide a system that would be useful to parents, educators, and students. It was to be a fair and equitable model that fairly assesses students through high stakes testing in grades 3 through 12. Unfortunately, the A-F grading system has failed to meet the intentions of the legislators responsible for the passage of HB 1456.

    November 10, 2013

  • Civility fundamental if we’re going to get along

    Can we all get along?
    There’s nothing to indicate Rodney King wanted to become a celebrity, any more than he wanted to be beaten by Los Angeles police in an incident that became a national news story in 1991.
    When the four policemen involved were acquitted in a criminal trial (two would later be sentenced to prison for civil rights violations), it touched off a firestorm of outrage that led to riots and another moment when our country had to face the race issue.

    November 10, 2013

  • Community support important for schools

    Results of the second annual and controversial A-F Report Card for Oklahoma public school districts and schools were released with mixed reviews and opinion last week.
    Implemented by the Oklahoma State Department of Education, the system, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi said, is “part of a larger comprehensive effort to heighten accountability and transparency for Oklahoma schools, providing parents and communities with readily understood information about how well their local schools are doing.

    November 10, 2013

  • Quality art show remains open

    More than 100 works of art are on display at the annual Duncan Art Guild’s Fall Art Show at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center.

    November 10, 2013