Last Week, In Case You Missed It: March 12, 2011

We’ve done a number of In the Spotlight profiles of Oak Ridge High School students in Oak Ridge Now, and it amazes me how often we spotlight someone who really has their act together. When I was 17, the only things I thought about were girls, leaving home, girls, frisbee golf, and girls.

We as a society expect high school kids, only a few years removed from The Disney Channel and the children’s clothing section, to somehow decide what they want to do with the rest of their life, and where the best place would be to prepare for it. We expect them to have this nailed only a couple of years after they learned to drive. Sure, many of them don’t have a solid plan — my wife and I have five so far that fit into that category, and the sixth is careening precipitously down that same path.

And then we meet people like Laurin Engle, who knows she’s going to Baylor, knows she’s going to major in Sports Management, and knows she’ll have to put her soccer days behind her. She’s passionate and articulate and actually enjoys her calculus class. Unreal. I read every story in Oak Ridge Now, many of them at least twice, and these are the ones I enjoy the most.

In other stories, we told you about the continued success of the Oak Ridge Color Guard, who is racking up win after win in their various competitions, and is heading to a national competition next month. They are scheduled to perform at 9:52 pm tonight, as they host their own 78-unit competition.

Not to be outdone, Oak Ridge baseball and softball teams both had good weeks. The Lady War Eagle softball team topped College Park, went 4-1 in a weekend tournament, and then got by Conroe. The boys started out in an early season funk in the Wharton tournament, but then crushed traditional 5A TAPPS powerhouse Houston Christian 12-0. They then started off this weekend’s Pflugerville tournament with a win over Killeen Ellison. And the ORHS girls track and field teams also continued to make strong showings at area meets.

In other local happenings, I probably offended some folks by incorporating a Cymbalta reference and Neil Diamond‘s Brother Love’s Travelin’ Salvation Show into an article about Alana Lane Baptist Church’s upcoming Revival. But I assure you, my intentions were all good.

Across the State of Texas, we looked at legislation designed to further protect high school athletes from the effects of concussions. A bill was filed to outlaw texting and driving across the state. And our Tea Party friends want state legislators to know they’re keeping an eye on them. “The people that were elected, they understand there will be no new taxes or they won’t have a job next round.”

Our features this week included Teresa Strasser wondering why other babies are mellower than hers. “It means that baby just sits on your lap at baby music class while my kid rummages through random diaper bags, climbs on a bench, helps himself to anyone’s juice, pulls off his socks, gums the side of a tambourine and attempts to escape out the front door before the wheels on the bus have even gone round and round.”

Lost in Suburbia finds Tracy Beckerman trying to remain a cool mom. “I wanted to connect with my daughter and prove that even though I was from another generation, I was not from another planet, and I did actually know the difference between Eminem and M&M’s.”

Unknown Soldiers tells the story of a Marine killed only last month in Afghanistan. “We said ‘I love you’ 20 times before hanging up on that last phone call because I wouldn’t say goodbye,” his wife said, “I have a feeling that he knew.”

Will E Sanders bemoans receiving yet another wallet as a gift. “After all, it is not like the three dollars I have in there are working my wallet double time or causing it to bust at the seams.” He needs my wallet, made by Rawlings and still smells like a baseball glove. Dave Ramsey encourages a couple to forget about the down payment on a house – get out of debt first.

Dear Margo tackles a complicated adoption dilemma and a man whose wife insists her dogs sleep with them in bed. Margo says, “I suggest giving it a try, to show good faith, and if they do actually interfere with your sleep, perhaps your wife will return your good faith effort.” Are you kidding me? She also addresses a woman who thinks there might be some tomfoolery between her husband and her sister. Ewww.

We previewed St. Patrick’s Day with a recipe for Lucky You Mint Pie. It says that the green food coloring is optional. Really?

Peter Funt examined the escalating costs of attending spring training games in Arizona. Tina Dupuy looks at her fellow potential jurors, waiting to be selected for jury duty. “It was like their outfits were trying to increase their chances of being dismissed. “You’re looking for someone who is impartial and has common sense. As you can see from my corduroy cut offs and Megadeth t-shirt – clearly that’s not me.”

Will Durst has advice for some of the emerging Middle East freedom fighters: “Democracy for one means democracy for all. It’s a take-it-or-leave-it enterprise. All men are created equal. And women. None of this wife- walking-five-paces-behind her-husband-while-dressed-as-a-grieving-beekeeper stuff.”  Mark Shields says he cannot believe that Mike Huckabee actually thought President Obama grew up in Kenya.

Bill O’Reilly is a union member. His grandparents were, too. But that doesn’t mean he disagrees with the union-busting actions in Wisconsin. John Stossel thinks those “green jobs” President Obama and friends talk about aren’t there. They’re not going to be there. They’re a myth. An illusion. And the ones that are there will cost way too much to create.

All that this week, along with our daily editorial cartoons, this week in Oak Ridge Now.


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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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