Archive for March, 2008

Where am I?

March 21, 2008

On vacation. See ya on the blog and in the paper after. 🙂

Help for victims

March 20, 2008

Today’s column talks about the address confidentiality program run by the N.C. Department of Justice.

The five-year-old program can provide an alternate mailing address for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking who’ve managed to move to a new address — one their abusers don’t know.

The program aims to help victims keep their abusers in the dark about that information.

It can’t guarantee the abusers won’t learn the new address. But by giving eligible victims an alternate address for their first-class mail and to use on government forms, it can provide a degree of help.

With Obama coming to Fayetteville

March 18, 2008

 obama-wave.jpg

I thought I’d point anyone who’s interested to a Feb. 22 blog post where I went in some depth into his family background, his statements about his religious beliefs and some of his stances on public displays of patriotism. FYI.

Catching up

March 18, 2008

water-main-on-snowhill-church-road.jpgHow many non-city residents are served by PWC’s water system? Sarah wanted to know. I answered that in last Thursday’s column.

If you don’t want to click: About 15,000 of the utility’s 78,000 individual water customers live outside the city. (Note: The pic shows crews putting in a water line on Snowhill Church Road earlier this year.)

So what’s with that deal? Why do they get water and other folks outside the city don’t — at least, not without having to spend an arm and a leg, etc, etc? (more…)

Water world

March 12, 2008

drought.jpg

Today’s column talks about the water restrictions currently in place for customers of Fayetteville’s Public Works Commission.

You can read them yourself here, or look over the utility’s FAQ on the subject or check out any of a number of water-conservation tips linked on the main page, including these.

Voter-ific

March 11, 2008

Today’s column has info for absentee voters of all sorts:

vote2.jpg*Those who don’t want to deal with going to the polls on May 6 but don’t mind going by the Elections Board’s office ahead of time to vote — aka One-Stop Voters.

*Those who won’t be able to make it to the polls on May 6 because of health conditions or they’ll be out of town or some such reason.

*And those who really, really won’t be able to make it to the polls on May 6 because they’ll be mega out of town — as in overseas. Around here, that often means they’re deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

But all those folks can and should vote. The column has info on how they can.

Meanwhile, I wanted to put out some other informational links for y’all so go ahead and click the following link and read on.

The Cumberland County Board of Elections handles elections stuff for… well, Cumberland County, obviously.

If you live in another county, you can find the link to its elections board as well as contact info through the State Board of Elections. The “find your county board” link is right on the front page 0r, what the heck, click here.

The SBOE has lots of other info, too. You can check to see if you really are registered to vote (or if someone else is). That same link will show you your polling place. You can view campaign finance reports there.

And you can find out who the candidates are.

The usual suspects, plus some others you may have forgotten about, will be listed on presidential-primary ballots, depending on which party you vote with.

One slate:

mccain.jpg huck.jpg 

paul.jpg keyes-hat.jpg

And the other:

obamamouse2.jpg hillary-clinton.jpg gravel2.jpg

Click on the pic to go to that candidate’s (or former candidate’s) Web site.

Side note: The Mr. Potato Head pic is one of a series. Mr. Potato Head was apparently very active during the Iowa caucuses.

Side note 2: If you can’t figure out what Obama’s contemplating, it’s a mouse — an oh-so-delicious chocolate one. I speak from personal, albeit much-dated experience. Back when I lived and worked in New Hampshire, I wrote a story for my then-paper about that very chocolate maker and, in doing so, got to taste the chocolate mice. I still remember them fondly.

Back to the whatever it was I was talking about. Oh yeah. The election! There are also other races. What? Didn’t realize other races were going on? Oh, sure. Lots of state races will be decided this year, too. Some even have contested primaries, including both sides of the ticket for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Elizabeth Dole. She’s running for re-election, btw.

Would that be Dopey?

March 7, 2008

dopey1.jpgAllegedly, it might not have been.

An item in today’s Live Wire talks about the famous Disney classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” In researching that, I ran across all kinds of interesting information, including a list of potential dwarf names that were rejected.

If the list is for real, it’s easy to see why these names weren’t used. They include Awful, Flabby, Gaspy, Hotsy (!) and Shifty. There’s also a name whose meaning I can’t divine — Neurtsy. A “cute” way of saying Neurotic? Or Nutsy? Dunno.

Some of these names seem pretty weird and/or brutal — though I know Dopey isn’t exactly the most complimentary of names. But he’s so sweet. And we’re just so used to his name and those of the other Disney dwarfs — Bashful, Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy and Sneezy.

grimm.jpgMeanwhile, there’s a harrowing account of the original tale(s) of Snow White at MousePlanet, which is a fount of information about all things Disney (though the site isn’t affiliated with Disney). Those were the tales that were originally collected by — and then edited by — the Brothers Grimm — and grim they are indeed.

Long Ago and Far Away…

March 6, 2008

…there was a singer named Jo Stafford, who sang a song of that ^ very name — among many, many others over a period of about 40 years.

H.P. in Pinehurst asked about her in today’s Live Wire. The column contains the latest word on Stafford, who’s 90, per her son.

stafford1.JPG

Fans and interested folks can find plenty of examples of her singing on YouTube.com. Most are simply music recordings unaccompanied by video or film. Click on the pic to the right and it’ll take you to “Long Ago and Far Away.”

But there are also a couple of TV clips that include performances by Stafford. One features her and Rosemary Clooney (George’s aunt). In another, she sings love songs — and joshes — with another singer you may (!) have heard of — the great Ella Fitzgerald. It’s a load of fun to watch and listen to.

diamondring_550Ă—383.jpgAlso in today’s column: Info about the De Beers Group’s settlement of a class-action lawsuit. If you bought a diamond between Jan. 1, 1994, and March 31, 2006, it could be worth your while to check into it.

I have an idea!

March 5, 2008

green-light.jpg

idea.gifThanks to a question from M.H.*, who didn’t see a recent Live Wire column that touched on this subject, I’ll post the particulars on how to dispose of your “green” light bulbs — the curly compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) that green-minded folks are encouraging us to buy to help conserve energy.

(Wonder if/when curly light bulbs will replace the old faithfuls in depictions of people coming up with an idea, as above.)

CFLs use lots less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs but they aren’t flawlessly green. That’s because they contain tiny amounts of mercury, a toxic element.

So what do you do with them when they finally burn out? (more…)

BRAC-kish talk

March 5, 2008

brac.jpgYes, it may sound like you’re clearing your throat or not doing a very good job at your imitation of a chicken’s squawk but it’s braaaack (aka BRAC), not Buh-CAR (not aka B-CAR). As per today’s Live Wire.

BRAC’s a BIG deal, especially for the area around Fort Bragg, because it’s going to cause the military presence here to swell. Local BRAC info here.

Another item in Live Wire referred briefly to a program that some of you may want to know more about. It’s the state’s Address Confidentiality Program, which is available for victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence of stalking. The N.C. Attorney General’s office runs the program. Go here for info.