The Buck Stops Here

Time for some three-dot journalism due to the lack of a constant theme this week and a deadline staring me in the face.

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I don’t know about you, but Troy and Vanessa Thomas’ idea to clean up the Town Branch in Louisiana from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 28 sounds like pretty cool stuff to me.
Anyone can see the stream needs a through cleaning, particularly after the floods of the last four years.
I first time I saw this kind of thing was on the Meramec River in St. Louis County when I was a kid. The Meramec had been a dumping ground for old cars, tires, washing machines and just about anything else you can imagine for years.
Community members started cleaning it up and now it doesn’t smell or nauseate the populace. It also has brought a restored fishery and beauty back to the Valley Park area. There’s even a soccer park that runs along side it now.
I’ve seen similar efforts in California and what it does for a community is irreplaceable.
Sometimes when a stream gets run down we forget it is an asset to be preserved for the ecology, economy and esthetics.
I only hope that locals help the Thomases start preserving the Town Branch with the first cleanup. Just the sense of accomplishment will make it worth it.
One of my favorite things to do in life is simply sit by a stream and listen to it flow. Wouldn’t it be nice to do that on the Town Branch?

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You may have caught some of the World Cup soccer games on TV the past week and if you haven’t, I highly suggest it, even if you don’t know or love the game.
First of all, teams representing nations give an Olympics-like feel to the games and the crowds are boisterous because of it. It’s like a World Series crowd inside an American football stadium on a Saturday afternoon.
The level of play is unequaled and you will see terrific goals and saves by goalkeepers that are just breath-taking. I think it has to do with the squads playing for the love of the game and their countries and not just the money.
I must admit my intention here is to get people more in tune with soccer, which is truly the game of the world. I coached my sons in soccer, taking on 10 different teams over eight years.
They were teams of kids under 12 years old and the camaraderie and teamwork they experienced playing with boys and girls was just terrific. My sons still talk about their soccer days and both did pretty well playing with boys teams when they got older.
The United States team has drawn a tough, first-round group in which they must play Ghana, Germany and Portugal, all soccer powers. If they get to the second round they will have earned it and if they don’t, I suggest you watch the other nations’ teams as they move to the final.
I have some good friends who don’t follow sports, but they now look forward to the World Cup after watching if for the first time eight years ago. Even those who aren’t sports fanatics like me can enjoy it.

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Would someone please explain to cable TV that its infatuation with the story of the week is boring and an insult to our intelligence?
With news breaking out constantly all over the world, it’s a bit much when the lead story is the same as it was five days ago.
I have nothing against analysis, but when you insist on filling air time with talking heads taking apart a story from every conceivable angle for days and weeks on end it gets very old.
Not every news story equates to a Watergate. Please, move on.

Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 2:37 pm