Clarksville, TN Online: News, Opinion, Arts & Entertainment.

Suddenly, impeachment hearings are looking like a strong possibility


Kucinich, by bringing his Cheney impeachment resolution to a floor vote in the House, has shaken up the politics of impeachment, and looks like it may end up putting Cheney in the dock.

Vice President Dick CheneyYou wouldn’t know it if you just watch TV news or read the corporate press, but this past Tuesday, something remarkable happened. Despite the pig-headed opposition of the Democratic Party’s top congressional leadership, a majority of the House, including three Republicans, voted to send Dennis Kucinich’s long sidelined Cheney impeachment bill (H Res 333) to the Judiciary Committee for hearings.

The vote was 218 to 194.

Now the behind-the-scenes partisan maneuvering that preceded that vote was arcane indeed, with Kucinich first exercising a member’s privilege motion to present his stymied impeachment bill to the full House, only to have Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrange for a colleague (Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD) offer a motion to table it. The Republicans, anxious to embarrass the Speaker, threw a wrench into that plan, though, by voting as a bloc to oppose tabling. Since Kucinich already has 22 co-sponsors for his bill, it was clear that the tabling gambit would fail. As soon as that became apparent, rank-and-file Democrats, unwilling to be seen by their constituents as defending Cheney, rushed to change their votes to opposing the tabling motion. In the end, tabling failed by 242 to 170 with 77 Democrats supporting a pleasantly surprised Kucinich. «Read the rest of this article»


Christmas on the Cumberland brightens Riverwalk with a million holiday lights


co-candy-cane-light.jpgAlong the Riverfront, workers are busy stringing more than one million lights through the trees, preparing to illuminate Christmas on the Cumberland, Clarksville’s walk-thru holiday light display.

The holiday display, a ‘new’ city tradition, opens November 20, 2007 with a lighting ceremony and entertainment at Clarksville’s McGregor Park RiverWalk on Riverside Drive. This year’s theme is The Spirit of Christmas.

co-hanging-lights.JPGSeveral new scenes have been added to Christmas on the Cumberland this year making it bigger and brighter than ever. The new montages include a Santa train, a gingerbread park, a snow globe, a giant sea-monster, a fishing scene, Santa flying an airplane, and Santa water skiing. The most striking display will be a lighted, 20-foot Screaming Eagle Emblem custom made to represent Ft. Campbell’s 101st Airborne Division, which currently has hundred of its soldiers deployed in Iraq.

The Grand Opening Celebration for Christmas on the Cumberland will begin with holiday entertainment performed by The Beagles starting at 6:00 p.m., with Mayor Johnny Piper officially lighting up the park during a 6:30 p.m. lighting ceremony.

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Dream Act defeat closes path to citizenship; ‘dropout factories’ fail Hispanic students


co-dreamact-image.JPGFor some minority youth, ‘dropout factory’ high school doom is bolstered by the U.S. Senate’s push away from the Path to Citizenship. A recent AP Impact study concludes that 1 in 10 of every U.S. high schools is a dropout factory. This works out to 14 percent of all high schools/vocational schools in the United States. That’s an alarming statistic for a nation that banks on its intellectual prowess in the economic global marketplace for dominance.

The numbers grow even more distressing when minority figures are reviewed. There is a direct correlation between the high numbers of Hispanic dropouts and the travesty of the Senate’s failure to pass the Dream Act last week. Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006. «Read the rest of this article»


Wildlife panels at Burgess Falls State Park to detail Tennessee ecology, wildlife


co-american-bullfrog.JPGTennessee plays habitat to much wildlife in the form of mammals, amphibians, fish, insects, trees, shrubs and plants. State Natural Areas are dedicated to preserving nature. Can you recognize a Tennessee flying squirrel, nuthatch, snapping turtle, maiden hair fern, sycamore, and a queen snake? Have you ever seen an American toad, great horned owl, alumroot and northern hemlock?

co-artist-at-work.JPGClarksville artist Debbie Boen has been living a ‘wild life’ with such creatures for the past 21 months as she created and recently completed drawing the pictures for panels to be installed at Burgess Falls State Park in Tennessee. This artistic project required the rendering of three panels representing a woodland, lake and stream bank areas. Altogether, the panels illustrate 15 specific trees, 37 plants and flowers, 41 insects and 65 mammals, birds, fish and amphibians. «Read the rest of this article»


SSA funding increase coming up for vote


co-capitol.jpgLast week, key members of the House of Representatives and Senate met as conferees to reconcile their respective versions of the appropriations bill that includes funding for Social Security Administration – the fiscal year (FY) 2008 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill. The House and Senate conferees agreed to include the Senate version of the appropriation for SSA, which provides $9.871 billion for SSA’s administrative FY 2008 budget. This amount is $275 million above the President’s request and would allow SSA to:

  • Hire about 250 more ALJs.
  • Replace some of the several thousand positions lost in SSA field offices over the past two years.
  • Increase hiring in DDSs to replace a loss of over 800 positions.

While this level of funding is not enough to eliminate the disability claims backlog, without this appropriation, the backlog will continue to increase and SSA service will worsen, as SSA’s staffing drops to its lowest level in over 30 years. This bill is very important to people with disabilities and their families! «Read the rest of this article»


Peach Cobbler: ‘Scrumptious’ family fare with festive holiday style


master-of-the-domestic-arts.gifThis week, I thought I would share something that everyone can enjoy. Below you’ll find a recipe for a delicious peach cobbler. This recipe has been in my family for quite a while, and anyone who’s ever tasted it will tell you that it’s positively scrumptious.

co-peaches.jpgIt’s an easy recipe that anyone can make with a few simple ingredients that you may already have in your pantry. Now, I must warn you that my recipes often leave a lot of room for creativity and interpretation based on individual preferences. I truly believe that recipes are only guidelines and exact measurements get in the way of true creation. If you find that you’re stuck when preparing a recipe, go with what your taste buds are telling you. They’re always the greatest measuring tool in your kitchen.

Comments and criticisms are always welcome in my inbox. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know how the recipe turned out for you. Enjoy!

Best Regards,



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Halloween and “Fight or Flight” response


co-grim-reaper.JPGTrick-or-treating at my friend Heidi’s house featured tall husband Lonnie dressed as the grim reaper, standing by the grave display in their yard. He stood perfectly still until someone approached and then with a slowly sweeping hand he pointed the way to the candy bowl. People down the block were eyeing him, and worried about him, long before they got to the house.

“Is it real?” “I don’t think so.”

Some trick-or-treaters just plain avoided the house. One boy decided to hit the grim reaper, and hit and hit and hit him. The mother was ashamed, but as Heidi remarked to me, it is interesting to see what reactions kids have to being scared.

Fight or flight: that’s how we react. Some run, some hit. Freezing, playing possum is a form of flight.

This fight-or-flight response, also called hyperarousal or acute stress response, was first described by Walter Cannon in 1915. His theory states that animals react to threats “with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming the animal for fighting or fleeing.” [Wikipedia, Fight or Flight]

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‘New Sanctuary Movement’ emerges with hope, shelter and support for immigrants


co-helping-hands.JPGOne of the hymns in the evangelical tradition states our desires well with these pleading words: “Receive us again …”

Our society is experiencing a a revival of a concept called Sanctuary. Over the centuries, the church in an effort to protect individuals and families, proclaimed the availability of Sanctuary, a practice that is alive, sprouting up anew, and being rediscovered in the United States.

Sojourner Magazine (Sept-Oct 2007) gives an interesting and consciousness-raising of this idea for helping people. It’s viewed by dozens of religious and political leaders as an expression of and way of implementing the teachings of Jesus toward the deprived and the disadvantaged. «Read the rest of this article»


City’s former First Lady Patsy Trotter passes


ApparitionOn Friday, November 2nd, Patsy Trotter, wife of former City Mayor Don Trotter died. Mrs. Trotter was a lifelong educator who was devoted to children and early childhood education. Having started her teaching career at Ft. Campbell, she taught first grade for 21 years and was principal of Northeast Elementary School until her medical retirement.

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Section: News | 1 Comment »

Cook’s Corner: Festive Roast Chicken Salad


Though Chicken Salad is usually considered the stuff summer sandwiches are made of, this variation on the familiar is a perfect and colorful addition to any holiday buffet.

A variation of this dish is served at Judie’s (a bistro on North Pleasant Street in Amherst MA); at Judie’s, the chilled chicken salad is served either as a salad plate or in the one item this bistro is particularly famous for: piping hot jumbo popovers. I’ve had chicken salad there several times, savoring their version served up in amazing 8″ high popovers. I paid attention, and drew on the best of several salads (their’s, others and my own leftover roast chicken fixin’s) to develop this hybrid creation for my friends.

Okay, it may seem labor-intensive, and yes, I know there are shorter, faster, less complex ways to make chicken salad. But this recipe is worth the effort, can be made the day before, and rarely results in leftovers.

The idea is to create a chunky chicken salad heavily laced with fruit for color, nuts for hearty texture, and a bit of celery for crunch. «Read the rest of this article»

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