Search This Blog

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year resolutions

It is that time again for New Year’s resolutions.
For the last few years my resolutions have been centered around making myself a better person by being less wasteful. My feature resolution four years ago was to give up corn syrup. I did exceedingly well and would like to try that one again. Corn syrup is not a naturally occurring product and I have incorporated more organic products in my diet. I make all my own bread and tend to stay away from prepared food on the frozen foods aisle. My family eats better and we reduce our output of packaging materials in the garbage.
The big resolution three years ago was to stop buying so many books and to read all the reading materials at home. I did well but was not able to complete reading my back log of books that year. This year I want to pick up on that one again.
I now have a Kindle and there are many books for free on Kindle. I allow myself unlimited free books. I received a gift certificate at Christmas for Kindle books and I will indulge in a small spending spree. I will try to hold down purchases this year. I will continue to finish reading all the books in the house. I will continue to patronize the libraries, both Coronado and Garland County.
Two years ago my feature resolution was to go greener around the house. I did well that year but would like to keep it on the list for this year, too. My purchases are guided by green sensibilities and I recycle not just my trash but old DVDs, books, clothes, etc. I will endeavor to reduce my ecological footprint this year by making features of my home and lifestyle more green.
Last year the big resolution was to reduce my weight. I didn’t do so well on this one. I am a stress eater and I lost my mom and my job this year. I haven’t gained any more weight and I lost a little just not enough. Instead of putting a quota on weight loss I am going to endeavor to become more healthy this year. I have had the cough crud for the last month and I am sure that has impacted this resolution.
New this year is my resolution to become more organized. I am usually a very organized person but I have let some things slip since I have been ill. My desk has some piles on it that I want to file away. My sewing stuff is out of control and I have pledged not to buy any more material until I use what I have. If I look better I will feel better. A new wardrobe is in the works.
It is very important that I budget my time more effectively this year. I love saying yes to people but this year there will be more no’s. I have a few clubs I will maintain membership in but I will not say yes to extracurricular activities this year. I need a break after doing publicity for Heifer and Players. I loved singing with the Chorale and for the Messiah. I am secretly happy we will skip a year performing the Messiah. I almost killed myself being in charge of the computer music for Annie Get Your Gun. No, no, no. This year I will just be a member in good standing. I would like to pick up more speaking engagements this year, those I enjoy.
My family will be the highest priority for me this year. I resolve to improve my relationship with each and every family member. I will stop chanting for my ex-husband to get a catastrophic illness and I will not picture myself dancing on my ex-mother-in-law’s grave any longer. Both are still going strong and all though my ill wishes did not harm them I think they made me a crankier person. Good thoughts for everyone.
A new resolution that should be lots of fun for me is to enter more writing contests. I will continue to add to the blog on a daily basis and to my arts website. I want to travel a bit more, especially to writer conferences.
I hope all your resolutions come to fruition this new year. Eat your cabbage and black-eyed peas tomorrow for lots of money and luck in 2011. Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Catch a ride in the Village

Recently a friend called very concerned about two Villagers he knew considering moving away from the Village because they could no longer ride. The two feared they would no longer be able to get around. My friend asked me to once again highlight SCAT, a transportation service available here in the Village.
A wheelchair accessible van arrived in the Village March 22 from Malvern ready to provide low-cost rides to Villagers for $4 one way trips from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday by SCAT, south central Arkansas transportation. To reserve a ride call 915-0087. Rides provided are inside the Village gates and just outside the gates. No rides to Hot Springs or to Benton.
The success of the SCAT rides include trips to the beauty parlor, doctors, lawyers, car repair, shopping and to visit friends and family as far as the Fountain Lake Rehabilitation Center on Highway 7, the outer limit of a SCAT ride.The mission of SCAT is to keep Village residents independent by offering low-cost transportation to Village residents unable to drive.
There is no need to move away from the Village if you can no longer drive. Also, several local churches offer services to aid non-drivers in the Village.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Open house at fitness center mid-month

The Coronado Fitness Center is holding a open house Thursday, January 13 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Guided tours will be offered at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Opportunities are also available for guests to tour on their own and ask questions if needed.
Special demonstration of fitness and aquatic classes will be offered as well as door prize drawings throughout the day. Mark your calendar and join us.
The Coronado Fitness Center offers a state-of-the-art facility in a stunning location on the banks of Lake Coronado, and is gearing up for a new year with a variety of classes and activities for all ages and fitness stages.
Beginning with a consult, moving towards a plan, and incorporating your goals, the fitness center’s trainers can design a personalized workout just for you at no additional costs.
In addition, there are more than 30 land classes offered Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. There are also more than 20 water classes offered Monday through Friday. The aquatic classes can especially address the needs of those with limited mobility as the fitness center features a PAL, a portable aquatic lift, which provides access to our indoor heated swimming pool for our guests with special needs.

New POA rental policies for Coronado Center and Ponce

In an effort to streamline and make the collection process for rentals more cost effective, the Hot Springs Village property owners’ association is implementing a new procedure for the Coronado Community Center and the Ponce de Leon Center.
Effective January 1, 2011, all rental fees will be due and payable on or before the reservation date. A written contract will be prepared at the time of reservation for the rental and set up of the event. If applicable, an estimate for consumables such as coffee and tea will also be included.
Payment for the event and estimated consumables will be due and payable on the date of service. Any overages for consumables and/or additional services will be billed after the event. In some cases, a deposit may be required.
Payment must be made by check. Neither credit cards nor cash will be accepted at either facility.
Those with existing contracts should have already been contacted and provided an itemized list of expected charges. If you have an existing contract and have not been provided this information, please contact the appropriate facility.
This procedure change will lead to a more straight forward approach to the charges as well as a more efficient collection process.
If you have any questions, please contact the facility manager.
Coronado Community Center – 922-5050
Ponce de Leon Center – 922-4231

Bunkers in the Village by Renee Steinpreis of the gollf committee

I am writing this article to address some of the concerns, comments and myths about the sand bunkers in the Village. I would first like to present some facts!
There are hundreds of sand bunker in the Village.
They should be renovated every 10 – 15 years according to USGA guidelines. Some of ours have not been renovated in 30 years.
Because we live in such a rocky area, the rocks that are in the sand come up through the sand and contaminate it; the rocks are not hauled in with the sand.
We use limestone which is actually better than the sand we have had before. It will be used to replace sand in the bunkers as the rotations allows during the off season. We try to completely renovate two to three bunkers at each course over the winter.
The cost of sand is about the same as the amount it costs to haul it.
Sand bunkers in the Village are dressed two to three times per week weather permitting.
Heavy rains cause contamination of the sand in the bunkers and it takes longer after a down pour to get them back in shape.
The cost to renovate the bunkers on a course comparable to Granada is between $400,000 and $500,000.
On the bright side, there is a lot that each of us, as golfers in the Village, can do to assist in making the play out of the bunkers more fun! We can always rake after we have made our shot out of the sand. New wider rakes with longer handles have been added to many bunkers to make it easier to rake and as the old rakes are replaced they will be replaced with the wider ones.
Always enter the bunker from the low side and rake toward you. Do not push the sand up the sides of a bunker with the rake. Leave rakes in the bunkers when you are finished raking.
If you play late in the day and decide not to rake because it will be done the next morning, don’t count on it. You should always rake the sand when you have finished playing out of a bunker.
Some of the bunkers are being replaced with grass depressions to help cut down the time, personal, and money needed to maintain sand bunkers. Three were completed at Magellan this year and five more are scheduled in 2011.
It would take a strong commitment over the next five years of both time and money to completely renovate the bunkers.
If you see a specific problem in a specific bunker, please report it to the Golf Shop so something can be done about it. We are all out there playing golf; be a good steward of our resources.

Trash pick up for the rest of this week

Today, Wednesday, December 29 – Trash only will be picked up for Friday, December 31 customers. There will be no yard waste pickup. Recycling will be picked up as scheduled.
Thursday, December 30 – Trash and recycling will be picked up as scheduled.
Friday, December 31 – No trash or recycling pick up.
After December 30, 2010, there will no longer be at house recycling pick up.
On January 3, 2011, the primary recycling center will operate Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The primary recycling center is located at 299 Cloaca Lane just past the Hot Springs Village Animal Shelter.
A new drop off location will be set up off of Toledo Drive on Desoto Park Lane near the parks and grounds maintenance area for customers in the west section of Hot Springs Village. This drop off location will be open on Wednesday only from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
If you have any questions about trash or recycling pick up, please contact the public works department at 922-5524.

Final new home permits for 2010

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor/square footage
070-01 Malaga / 15 Mollera Place / Tucker Home Builders/1,437
018-09 Mesero / 46 Jarandilla Drive / Castleberry Homes/2,337
003-01 Hendaye / 25 Illescas Way / Carriage Custom Homes/3,185
008-04 Belleza / 16 Belleza Way / Carriage Custom Homes/2,526
016-07 Sergio / 4 Altura Lane / Carriage Custom Homes/2,004
004-08 Perfecto / 59 Campeon Way / Carriage Custom Homes/2,004
011-33 Isabella / 15 Lejos Lane / Madison Custom Homes/2,200
023-21 Isabella / 18 Pizarro Drive / Covenant Home Builders, Inc.

Last of the addition permits for 2010

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor/project
016-02 Segovia / 3 El Espinar Circle / Castle Services/replace driveway
001-01 Guadalajara / 3 South Pego Way / Rus Norman/replace steps
002-01 Guadalajara / 3 South Pego Way / M & R Sarver/room addition
008-02 Olmedo / 40 Olmedo Way / Brett Ray/rebuild garage
002-08 Andorra / 1 Ballobar Circle / Mister Jim Construction/deck addition
028-01 Narvaez / 10 Narvaez Way / Kevin Geiling/seawall repair
029-01 Narvaez / 11 Narvaez Way / B & M Plumbing/replace water service
023-10 Sergio / 8 Leno Lane / Nick Daily/replace deck
003-02 Diamante / 6 Loyola Circle / Gerald Ellison Construction, Inc./interior remodel
001-13 Diamante / 8 Princesa Lane / Mary Laursen/finish basement

Final HVAC permits for 2010

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor
001-01 Puertollano / 74 Sierra Drive / Affordable Heating and Air
013-01 Avila / 25 Las Navas Lane / Tempco, Inc.
003-04 Barcelona / 41 Toledo Drive / Reliable Air
017-01 Orense / 5 Orense Lane / Tempco, Inc.
009-04 Bajada / 37 Empinado Way / P.E. Johnson Plumbing, Inc./plumbing
018-01 Delgado / 3 Delgado Place / Northside Electric/automatic transfer switch
020-01 Costa / 21 Costa del Lago Lane / Tropic Air
026-01 Murillo / 113 Murillo Way / Tempco, Inc.
023-03 Salas / 11 Mesero Way / Reliable Air
013-02 Escocia / 4 Escocia Lane / Standridge, Inc.
021-04 Levantino / 42 Atrayente Way / Reliable Air
003-02 Galeon / 7 Galeon Lane / Beebe Heating & Air
008-01 Majorca Cts / 50 Majorca Drive / Standridge, Inc.
010-02 Guindola / 17 Guindola Way / Tempco, Inc.
004-03 Villa Allegre Cts / 7 Burladero Trace / Standridge, Inc.
024 -03 Cifuentes / 22 Cifuentes Way / Eagle Heating & Air
009-11 Baltanas / 18 Lavanda Lane / Huchingson Heating & Air
005-05 Sergio / 63 Sergio Way / Reliable Air
008-02 Sergio / 18 Lindo Lane / Reliable Air
009-10 Sergio / 19 Sergio Way / Huchingson Heating & Air
005-11 Magellan / 23 Charca Way / Reliable Air
014-08 Magellan / 2 Quieto Place / Johnston Heating & Air
002-01 Balboa Cove / 3 Balboa Cove / Huchingson Heating & Air
010-01 Ensenada / 12 Esplendor Lane / Standridge, Inc.
010-01 Lanza Cts / 13 Lanza Court / Climate Control

First and last hot water heater permits for 2010

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor
001-02 Segovia / 7 Segovia Drive / Daryl Creasy
010-03 Castellon / 8 Castellon Drive / Daryl Creasy
009-03 Santistaban / 18 Rubi Circle / Daryl Creasy
026-01 Murillo / 113 Murillo Way / Top Notch Plumbing
005-06 Jubileo / 48 Jubileo Way Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
003-04 Buque / 85 Tiburon Way / Daryl Creasy
011-05 Debutar / 21 Debutar Way / City Plumbing
001-02 Magnifico / 21 Magnifico Lane / Daryl Creasy
005-08 Diamante / 10 Granada Way / Beasley Plumbing

Final roofing permits for 2010

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor
001-04 Guindola / 14 Guindola Way / Jerry Althoff
005-09 Zapato / 23 Pandilla Way / Greenstar Roofing Co.
001-13 Baltanas / 10 Villacarriedo Drive / Barnett Roofing
009-03 Promesa / 13 Bosque Lane / Keith Lunchard
009-09 Magellan / 8 Aventura Lane / K & L Roofing
010-02 Magellan / 9 Navegar Trace / Jerry Jones Construction
015-11 Magellan / 8 Charca Way / Jerry Althoff
003-01 Magellan Cts / 8 Magellan Lane / Tracy’s Quality Roofing
004-01 Magellan Cts / 10 Magellan Lane / Tracy’s Quality Roofing
005-01 Magellan Cts / 16 Magellan Lane / Jerry Jones Construction
006-01 Magellan Cts / 18 Magellan Lane / Jerry Jones Construction
009-01 Magellan Cts / 28 Magellan Lane / Dirk Thompson
010-01 Magellan Cts / 30 Magellan Lane / Magnum Contractors
011-01 Magellan Cts / 15 Magellan Circle / Tracy’s Quality Roofing
012-01 Magellan Cts / 13 Magellan Circle / Tracy’s Quality Roofing
013-02 Divino Cts / 5 Divino Place / Quick Tight Roofing
014-02 Divino Cts / 7 Divino Place / Quick Tight Roofing
002-01 Commercial / 100 Cordoba Center / TCB Roofing & Construction

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Final commercial remodel permits for 2010

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor/project
942-01 Commercial / 121 Cortez Road / Stoney Developers/remodel main building and common area

Last sprinkler system permits of 2010

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor/water source
005-07 Zafiro / 2 Zafiro Way / Down to Earth/Village
002-03 Fedrera / 3 Fedrera Lane / Bob Malt/Village
016-01 Alta Vista / 16 Nubarron Lane / Harpers Landscape/Village

Last seawall permits of 2010

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor/project
014-04 Oliete / 6 Oliete Lane / Graves Bros./repair
004-03 Madrid / 11 Jaca Place / Dewayne Wilson/repair

Monday, December 27, 2010

Last landscape permits for 2010

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor
012-06 Barcelona / 30 Santona Way / Village Landscape
005-07 Zafiro / 2 Zafiro Way / Down to Earth
002-03 Gerante / 48 Gerante Way / Village Landscape
006-01 Bilbao / 11 San Sebastian Drive / Village Landscape
013-01 Segovia Courts / 25 La Canada Way / Ace Martin Yard Care
015-01 Cresta / 30 Cresta Way / Village Landscape
013-01 Balboa / 10 Balboa Way / Village Landscape
002-08 Pedrera / 3 Pedrera Lane / Bob Malt
003-01 Hendaye / 25 Illescas Way / Carriage Custom Homes
008-04 Belleza / 16 Belleza Way / Carriage Custom Homes
016-07 Sergio / 4 Altura Lane / Carriage Custom Homes
004-08 Perfecto / 59 Campeon Way / Carriage Custom Homes
014-02 Magellan / 11 Navegar Circle / Ramsey Robison
016-01 Alta Vista / 16 Nubarron Lane / Harpers Landscaping
014-14 Vereda / 25 Sorprendente Lane / Village Landscape
001-06 Cielo / 11 Juntar Lane / Village Landscape

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Chirstmas

Have a lovely day with friends and family. Merry Christmas. I hope Santa was good to everyone, naughty or nice.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve gift

What a wonderful Christmas gift, for the first time in almost a month I awoke without coughing. I think I might just live and have enough energy to make our Christmas meal tomorrow.
There is one Christmas Eve ritual I will miss this year. None of our children or grandchildren are coming to visit for the holidays so I won’t be reading out loud Clement C. Moore’s famous poem, A Visit From St. Nicholas.
The children and the grandchildren always enjoyed the poem with a good old Cajun accent. What follows is a re-enactment of the telling around the Upchurch homestead. My apologies to Mr. Moore.
"Twas da night afore Christmas when all tru da house
Not a creature was stirring not even Fifi da mouse.
Da stockins were hung by da chimney with care,
In hope dat Sait Niclas soon would be dere.
Da chilren were nested all snug in dere teenie tiny beds,
While dreams of sugarplums danced in dere wee little bittie heads,
Mamma in her kerchief and I in my cap,
Had just settled in for a long winter’s nap.
When out in da swamp dere rose up such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to look see what was da matter.
Away to da window I flew like a flash,
Tore open da storm shutters and trew up da sash.
Da moon on the breast of da arpents of swamp,
Gave a luster of midday to objects below,
When, what to my wondrin eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight teenie tiny reindeer;
With a little ole driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid dan eagles his coursers dey came,
An he whistled and shouted, called dem by name:
‘Now, Dasher, now, Dancer, now, Prancer and Vixen.
On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen.
To da top of da porch, to da top of da wall.
Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all.’
As dry leaves afore the wild Hurricane Betsy did fly,
When dey met with an obstacle, mounted to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers dey flew
With a sleigh full of toys and St. Nicholas, too.
An den in a twinkle, I heard on da roof
The prancin and pawin of each little tiny hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was trunin aroun,
Down da chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
An his clothes dey were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
An he looked like a peddler jus opnin his pack.
His eyes how dey twinkled, his dimples how merry.
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.
His droll little bitty mouth was drawn up like a bow,
An da beard of his chin was as white as an egret.
Da stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
An da smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of Mamma’s jelly.
He was chubby and plumb, a right jolly ole elf.
An I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had notin to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
An filed all the stockins; then turned with a jerk,
An layin his finger aside a his nose,
An givin a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
An away dey all flew like da down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,
‘Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.’"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New GM not well-liked in former post

Attached are three articles by news reporter John Aguilar of the Daily Camera of Boulder, Colorado regarding Hot Spring Village’s in coming general manager Scott Randall. Aguilar’s writing is able to give a glimpse into Randall’s trouble’s back in Superior, Colorado.
Superior town manager leaves job over 'personality conflict'
By John Aguilar, Camera Staff Writer
Posted: 09/29/2010 12:46:49 PM MDT
A "personality conflict" was at the heart of Superior Town Manager Scott Randall's departure from his post this week, according to the mayor.
Randall, who had been the town's manager since February 2007, entered into a separation agreement with trustees Monday night after meeting with the board in a closed-door executive session.
Mayor Andrew Muckle described the departure as "mutually agreed upon" by Randall and the town's elected leaders.
"Like most things, there was a personality conflict," Muckle said. "His style was very matter-of-fact and full-steam-ahead when he's on a project."
Others said the resignation was the result of months of growing dissatisfaction with the way Randall was managing the town of 12,000.
Randall, who was previously manager of Auburn Hills, Mich., couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.
Longtime resident George Kupfner said he and other Superior residents had been trying for a while to get the board to oust Randall, whom he described as curt and short when dealing with the public.
"We wanted somebody in here who is not pushing us around," Kupfner said.
Trustee Elia Gourgouris said he was not allowed to speak at length about Randall's departure, but he said it's not unusual for there to be turnover in the town manager position.
"It's a high-pressure job with a lot of demands, and after a few years sometimes it's time to part ways," he said.
Former Town Manager Bruce Williams, who preceded Randall, held the post for 15 years. He was dismissed in August 2006 by trustees seeking a "different direction."
Williams died in a car crash five months later.
Muckle said some of the new trustees elected in April -- in addition to existing members of the board -- didn't get along with Randall. The board voted 6-1 to pass the separation agreement with Randall, who will receive nine months of his $126,000 annual salary plus health benefits for that time period.
The mayor said he cast the lone dissenting vote.
"Scott was a really highly qualified town manager," Muckle said.
He said Randall helped stabilize the town's finances and attracted economic development.
Several other trustees reached by the Camera deferred comment on the matter to the mayor.
Steve Smith, outgoing president of the 2,800-home Rock Creek Homeowners Association, said Wednesday that Randall was "not well-received" by the community.
"The treatment we got as citizens was horrendous," he said. "He was very bullying, very condescending -- he treated people like they were beneath him."
He cited Randall's efforts to take over Rock Creek's garbage contract with the Rock Creek HOA as one example of the town manager's bad leadership.
Matt Magley, Superior's assistant town manager, will take over as acting town manager while trustees figure out how to find a replacement for Randall.
Superior sacks town manager after 'separation agreement' falls apart
By John Aguilar Camera Staff Writer
Posted: 10/11/2010 10:24:34 PM MDT
SUPERIOR -- Two weeks after the town of Superior and its manager spelled out the terms of his departure from his leadership post, the Board of Trustees voted Monday night to fire him.
The board voted 5-2 to terminate Scott Randall -- who had served as Superior's town manager since early 2007 -- after meeting for nearly an hour in executive session.
Acting Town Manager Matt Magley said the board withdrew the separation agreement it voted to approve Sept. 27 with Randall because "the final terms couldn't be agreed on."
Though the board had approved that agreement, it hadn't been signed by all parties, Magley said.
"It's not fully executed until it is signed by the town and Mr. Randall," he said.
Magley didn't know whether the agreement fell apart because of objections registered by Randall or the board.
The agreement two weeks ago had called for Randall to receive nine months of his $126,000 annual salary plus health benefits for that time period.
It is not clear what compensation or benefits Randall will receive as the result of being fired, but those terms are spelled out in his contract. Magley said he didn't have access to personnel records after hours.
Mayor Andrew Muckle and Trustee Joe Cirelli cast the two dissenting votes Monday night.
Trustees leaving Town Hall after the vote declined to comment.
Several residents told the Camera last month that they had pushed for Randall's departure because of his abrasive nature. The mayor said a "personality conflict" contributed to Randall's exit.
Randall was not present for the vote Monday.
Three-year manager Scott Randall to receive $94,500 in a lump sum after being fired
By John Aguilar Camera Staff Writer
Posted: 10/12/2010 09:23:14 PM MDT
Several residents of Superior said Tuesday the town should be more careful hammering out contracts with its high-level employees after it was revealed that former Town Manager Scott Randall will receive nine months' worth of pay and benefits for being fired.
The Board of Trustees terminated Randall in a 5-2 vote Monday after negotiations broke down over the terms of a "separation agreement" drafted two weeks ago.
His compensation and benefits package is nearly identical to the one he would have received under the separation agreement -- nine months' worth of his $126,000 annual salary and health and life insurance coverage for the same period of time.
Acting Town Manager Matt Magley said Randall's contract stipulates that he receive his compensation -- equal to $94,500 -- in a lump sum as opposed to being paid over time, as proposed in the original agreement that was scuttled Monday after both sides couldn't agree to terms.
Rochelle Rittmaster, a 10-year resident of Superior and a member of its planning commission, said she had never heard of a fired private-sector employee getting such a generous farewell.
"I would ask the town to be more prudent with pay and fringe benefits in the future," she said. "Nine months of pay for 3 1/2 years of service is a very generous package and not in line with the common experience of residents here."
At the same time, she said, there's not much the town can do given that Randall's payout is spelled out in his contract.
"Good for him," Rittmaster said. "He negotiated a very lucrative package."
George Kupfner, who has lived in Superior most of his life, said he had never seen eye-to-eye with Randall since he was hired by the town in February 2007. He helped push for Randall's ouster, claiming that the town manager treated residents rudely and curtly. Kupfner said the town shouldn't be spending so much taxpayer money to get rid of its town manager.
"I don't think it's fair to the people to just hand someone a satchel of money," he said.
Attempts to reach Randall on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Mayor Andrew Muckle, who was one of two members of the board to vote against firing Randall, said the trustees will undoubtedly take a close look at the termination clause in the contract for the next town manager.
"I'm certain it's going to be a discussion point," he said.
He said compensation for municipal executives is usually determined through a comparison of pay rates for comparable positions in area towns and cities. But other portions of the contract -- such as the terms of termination -- are negotiable, Muckle said.
He said his impression is that termination packages for town managers are generous because turnover in the position is high, and the jobs are competitive.
Steve Smith, outgoing president of the Rock Creek Homeowners Association, said Superior's residents will be paying the consequences of "a poor contract negotiation."
Smith, who clashed with Randall over the last several years, said he has faith that Superior's current board will be more careful before finalizing a contract with Randall's successor.
"I think the board is far more diligent than it has been in the past," he said.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Messiah today at Woodlands at 3 p.m.

Counting down to Christmas. Today is the performance of Handel's The Messiah at the Woodlands Auditorium at 3 p.m.
The concert is sponsored by the Village Chorale. Performers volunteered to sing the piece without audition. This is the second year the all volunteer chorus met for three rehearsals and then performed The Messiah.
Last year there were around 150 performers. This year there is a tighter performance with less than half the singers.
The holiday season of musical performances will come to a close with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra at the Woodlands on Monday evening. The concert is sponsored by the Symphony Guild.
Happy holidays to all.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Message from the Muses

This Sunday, December 19th, at 3 p.m. The Muses will present 500 years of musical expression, showcasing all female voices in a unique and uplifting program designed to complement the magical setting and acoustical environment of the “glass hall in the woods”. The Muses performed the opening recital for the Chapel’s dedication in 2006, and have presented a variety of concerts in the space, this being their 5th Annual Christmas program. “Voices of Angels” has become somewhat of a Christmas tradition among regional concert goers, and many combine the afternoon of music with a chance to view the garden lights, and then have drinks and supper with family and friends.
This year’s program offers unique musical selections and groups of works by such varied composers as Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, Benjamin Britten, and John Rutter.
The program highlights the “Magnificat”, which sets to various music the words of Mary, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.”, based on Luke 1:46 – 55. Three outstanding composers address the mysteries of faith, two hundred years apart from one another, united in one concert expression. Hauntingly beautiful, the plain chant and modal polyphonic texture of Palestrina’s “Magnificat” (1560’s), in which four equal voices, moving within the narrow compass of thirteen notes, are woven into constantly overlapping patterns of the most subtle variety. Balance that with the classical voicing of J. S. Bach’s “Magnificat” (1723), without a doubt one of the greatest choral works ever written, and Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols” (1943), modern musical expression based on old English poetry.
One exquisite and delicate moment is provided by Maurice Durufle’s “Tota pulchra es” (1960), an acapella motet based on Gregorian themes, dating back to 600 A.D.
Other traditional favorites from the 16th century include Tomas Luis de Victoria’s “O magnum mysterium” and other beautiful settings of traditional carols by Mozart, Max Reger, and Steve Suter. Wondrous nativity settings, lullaby’s, and winter carols are orchestrated by the beloved composer, John Rutter, dating from the mid-1980’s to 2000.
Virtuoso vocal skills are required to perform this particular literature, and The Muses Project is particularly pleased to be featuring local favorite (currently singing with Placido Domingo’s Washington National Opera) mezzo-soprano, Sarah Mesko, whose rich and beautiful voice will shimmer in the chapel. Also, Nicole Vogel is quite excited to be returning to Hot Springs from Denver, since her last appearance here as Count Orlofsky in the Muses’ Fledermaus Gala. Deleen Davidson and Gay Strakshus round out the vocal quartet. These four talented female vocalists will be masterfully supported by a three part chamber ensemble, consisting of Louis Menendez, Steve Suter & Shelley Martin.
This is a “not miss” concert. Please join us.

Friday, December 17, 2010

New superintendent of Jessieville School District

George Foshee's last day as superintendent of the Jessievilee School District is June 30. His replacement will begin July 1 of this summer.
Foshee's replacement, Andrew T. Curry, age 38, of Mena, Arkansas was the "most ideal out of the a group of ideal candidates" according to school board member Charles Williams.
Williams added, with the upcoming expansion of the Jessieville School, Curry was more ready to handle the challenges.
In the 75 year history of the Jessieville School District there have been only four superintendents. The school board was cognizant of picking a candidate to be here for a long time.
Curry will complete this school year's term as assistant school superintendent for the Cossatot River School District before taking his post in Jessieville.

Local schools on Christmas break

The children are out of school from December 18 through January 2 for Christmas break.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Muses concert tonight at Arlington

HSV GM selected

The Board of Directors of Hot Springs Village is pleased to announce the successful appointment of a new general manager.
Scott Randall brings 35 years of increasingly responsible experience in public administration, having worked in cities of 35,000-plus residents, with budgets in the $30-40 million range. He most recently served as town manager in Superior, Colorado. While in Superior, Randall and his staff expanded services, and adopted the town’s first multi-year financial plan, including a 20-year infrastructure maintenance and replacement program.
Randall held city manager positions in the Streamwood, Illinois, Clayton, Missouri, and then Auburn Hills, Michigan, finally moving to Superior in March of 2007. These cities represent upscale, progressive communities across the U.S.
In Streamwood, Randall’s team significantly reduced reliance upon property taxes by cutting expenditures and adding alternative revenue sources. Clayton is recognized as "one of the finest residential neighborhoods in the St. Louis metropolitan region," where Randall led efforts to improve service levels and/or enhance cost efficiencies. He successfully implemented an aggressive capital improvement program, all of which contributed to growth. In Auburn Hills, Randall was instrumental in developing a much needed, comprehensive economic development program which has attracted new businesses and employment to the area.
The key leadership traits the board and POA staff were searching for are represented in Randall. He has demonstrated the ability to understand the vision of a community, think strategically, embrace change, make sound decisions, execute for results, and provide accountability while using proficient analytical, financial, and technical leadership skills.
We believe Scott Randall will communicate clearly, and act with integrity and openness, as he works with the POA board of directors, leads the POA staff and all employees, and serves the interests of all property owners.
We welcome Randall and his wife Sandi to Hot Springs Village. He is expecting to start work January 10 or 17. His wife will remain in Colorado until the end of the school year. She and their child will move to the Village in May.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Village Big Band free concert tomorrow night

The Village Big Band's holiday concert is Thursday night at the Christ of the Hills United Methodist Church at the intersections of Balboa and Balearic Roads.
The concert is free and is always loads of fun with jazz trumpeter Pat Henry as a special guest.
The concert is at 7 p.m.

Chorale concert big success

Members of the Village Chorale fought hard to bring quality holiday music to the Woodlands last night. Over the last few weeks "the crud" invaded and made many members of the Chorale were sick.
As with any music there were variations, some had chills and fever, some had sore throats and ears and some just had a hacking cough that made talking impossible. Most knew the technique of singing over the ailment and that is just what they did. Troopers one and all.
A little over an hour before the show the word went out that three of the sopranos, there were only 12 scheduled to perform and those twelve divide into first and second sopranos, were not going to make it to the concert. Two first and one second. Ouch. Luckily, the two first sopranos were able to sing and the second soprano was in the audience to cheer on everyone else.
First soprano Kay Fair Crews was the chorister that had to occasionally leave the stage to stifle a coughing fit.
The show went on and what a show. The music was delicious and I could not wait to partake. There were lush melodies, humorous rhythms and a banquet of good holiday cheer.
I did not have a favorite song which is unusual for me. They were all good.
Randy Lusk brought a little of his Cedar Mountain Singers fancy duds to the podium. He, Bill Morgan and Ione Bartells took turns conducting the group with Lusk carrying the lion's share. All three brought out different qualities the Chorale has to offer. Morgan's and Bartell's numbers were both fraught with humor but the tune that made the audience laugh out loud was Throw the Yule Log On, Uncle John arranged by Peter Schickele.
Dave Major stepped in this year as the emcee. Ron Petti was diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment. Unfortunately, Ron's voice has been impacted by the cancer and the treatment. His dulcet tones were missed. Dave bravely stepped into Ron's shoes and segued the music with tidbits about the pieces or composers.
The Chorale was accompanied by pianist Nikki Saltmarsh with occasional assists by Fran Stroud. These ladies are the dynamic duo. They added flavor to the music. Nikki accompanies be Chorale at all their rehearsals. Also on board, percussionist Lee Beach. This was Lee's third year to join the Chorale on the drums. He peps up the musical selections for the audience and the Chorale members.
The concert was well attended and everyone enjoyed the music, including me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ramona's Kitchen closed

A week ago today the hand-lettered closed sign appeared at the entrance to Ramona's Kitchen. No other explanation, just closed.
The restaurant owned and operated by Ramona and Tom Farrow had been struggling along for quite a while trying to find its niche in the Village. Recently the duo had introduced a line of smoked meats to the menu.
Breakfast was always a booming meal at the cozy dinner. Lunch was not as busy and dinner was barren most nights.
Several clubs took advantage of the back room for meetings with a meal.
Ramona's also offered catering to many local events.
Unfortunately, it appears that good food is not enough to keep a restaurant open in the Village.

Village Chorale concert tomorrow night

The Village Chorale will perform Dec. 14 at Woodlands Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and still available at the Woodlands box office. The Chorale is an audition only choral group conducted by Randy Lusk.

Hot Springs Concert Band holiday celebration best holiday event so far

Not only was the Hot Springs Concert Band concert, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Greater Hot Springs Village, a holiday hit it was also in recognition of the 35 years the band has performed. Dr. Ryan Lewis was the guest percussionist demonstrating his superb skills on the xylophone.
Lewis is an assistant professor of percussion at Ouachita Baptist University. He was phenomenal on Xylophonia written by Joe Green and arranged by William L. Cahn. The audience was just as enamored as I and he answered our standing ovation with a showy encore right there on the spot.
The concert was magnificent from the bright, percussive and driven opening, Exhilaration written by Larry Clark all the way to the sentimental finale It's Christmas by Warren Barker. The final number allowed audience members the opportunity to sing along and get into the Christmas spirit.
Every number was lots of fun. Stepping up on the podium for a couple of numbers were former HSCB directors Julian Herring and Bill Morgan. Morgan conducts the Village Big Band, a subsidiary of the HSCB. The bulk of the numbers were conducted by current HSCB leader Dr. Craig Hamilton.
I can't wait to see how the band will top itself when it returns to the Village this spring for the ice cream social and band concert also sponsored by the Kiwanis.

Still time left to join Messiah chorus

To be a part of Handel's The Messiah Sunday, Dec. 19 at 3 p.m. interested chorus members must attend at least two rehearsals.
There are two rehearsals and a tech rehearsal remaining. Come today from 2 to 4 p.m. at Christ of the Hills United Methodist Church to rehearse and on Friday, Dec. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m. to rehearse. No auditions necessary.
The tech rehearsal is Sunday, Dec. 19 at 1:30 p.m. followed by the performance at 3 p.m. Participants are asked to donate two food items for Project Hope and Jackson House.
Audience members are asked to bring two food items as well. Tickets to The Messiah are $7 plus the two food items.

Holiday schedule for fitness center

The fitness center will cut back on services December 24 and 31 and will be closed December 25 and January 1.
The December 24/31 schedule is as follows.
There will be no scheduled classes on these days. The facility will be open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The pool, whirlpool, sauna and steam room will close at 2:45 p.m.
Lap swim allowed from 6 to 8:50 a.m.
Turtles from 9 to 10 a.m.
Adults only water walking and lap swim from 10 a.m to noon.
Open swim from noon to 2:45 p.m. Children are welcome at this time.

No recreation or public works committee this week

The recreation and public works committee are taking off the month of December. Both committees will resume regular meetings next month.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Santa at Woodlands auditorium lobby this afternoon

The children of the Village are invited to the lobby of Woodlands auditorium this afternoon from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
The annual Children's Christmas party is a free event sponsored by the POA.
There will be refreshments, story time, carols and Santa.
The Woodlands auditorium in in the Ponce de Leon Center on DeSoto Boulevard in Hot Springs Village.

Friday, December 10, 2010

THA board meets this morning

The townhouse association board is meeting this morning at 10:30 a.m. at the THA administrative building on Perralena Lane.

Thurman resigns at THA

It is with deep regret that after 10 1/2 years, Barbara Thurman, the townhouse association office manager, has tendered her resignation effective December 17th. Barbara has accepted an excellent opportunity for her with the North Garland County Water District. Barbara has been an outstanding and valuable employee for the Association and will be very much missed.
The Board conducted a special emergency meeting on Friday, December 3rd and reluctantly accepted Barbara's resignation and determined the process to locate and hire a replacement as quickly as possible for the position. Barbara has thoughtfully volunteered to work with the Board to assist in the training and transition.
The Board sincerely thanks Barbara for her many years of service to the Association, its members and especially the Board of Directors. We wish her much success in her new career.

Opera Guild meeting this morning

The Opera Guild is meeting this morning at 10 a.m. to discuss tomorrow's high-definition broadcast of the live Met performance of Don Carlo. The meeting is at the Ouachita room at the Ponce de Leon Center.
There will be car-pooling to the Tinseltown Theater in Benton on Saturday morning from the Woodlands parking lot. The caravan leaves at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. The opera starts at 11:30 a.m.

The Muses at Garvan Woodland Gardens

"Gloria in excelsis Deo"(Latin for "Glory to God in the highest")
The Hymn of the Angels: "Fear not! For behold, I bring you glad tidings."
Since 2006, the Muses’ vocalists have brought you carefully crafted Sunday afternoon Garden Christmas programs, designed to delight, and transport you away from the stress and unhealthy speed of modern "holiday-hectic" into an ethereal space, where everything that isn’t music is silence; where your mind quiets, your pulse can relax and blood pressure settle, so you can remember why we celebrate this time each year.
On Sunday December 19, at 3p.m. The Muses presents the 5th annual "Voices of Angels" concertin Garvan Garden’s Anthony Chapel.
Please come to the vocally stunning, and spiritually uplifting, musical experience, four female voices, three piece chamber ensemble and over 500 years of composers setting the same story to word and music, in wonder, love and praise.
You will make many choices this holiday season,.choose to give yourself and those you love a few hours of beauty and musical wonder. Right here in your own backyard.
Tickets are $25 and available on-line or by calling The Muses (501) 463-4514
*Choose to give the gift of music all year round, with a Muses Four Season Subscription ticket! Four luscious musical programs, blending all the arts to represent the best impressions of each season, performed in the magical glass Garden Chapel setting. See website for details. Buy now, and include this year’s Christmas "Voices of Angels" for additional savings: all five concerts for $100.
**And don’t forget next Thursday’s Arlington Hotel show, "It’s Christmastime Again, My Dear", Holiday "Pops" Concert & Cocktails, Thursday December 16 at 7 p.m. in The Arlington Hotel, Crystal Ballroom, Contact the hotel for tickets: (501) 609-2553

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hot Springs Concert Band in Village tonight

The Hot Springs Concert Band will perform tonight at Woodlands Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. The holiday concert is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Hot Springs Village. Tickets are $10 each.

Coupon queen will share tips with Rotarians

Cindy Wagstaff, HSV Chamber manager, has a not-so-secret life as a coupon clipper. She will be sharing couponing strategies with members of the Rotary Club of Scenic 7 today at noon. The club meets at Mollie O'Brien's on Highway 7. Lunch is optional and the responsibility of the individual.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

HSV Players final meeting of the year

2011 officers for HSV Players were installed last night, from the left, Treasurer Bill Jervis, President Jackie Gullahorn, Member-at-Larke Roger Cannell, Member-at-Large Fran Walker and Past President Judy Corwin.
Members of the Players' Readers Theater presented The Christmas Visitors by outgoing club president Judy Corwin at last night's meeting.

Message from Congressman Mike Ross

Congressman Mike Ross' message to constituents, "As you may know, Congress is an a fierce debate on how to address the 2001/2003 tax cuts originally passed under President Bush, all of which are set to expire on December 31, 2010. Some want to extend the tax cuts for everyone, some for just those families making less than $250,000 and some don’t want to extend the tax cuts for anyone. This debate is ongoing and is no doubt a passionate one. However, the debate is not just between Democrats and Republicans – the debate is also between the House and Senate. If none of these groups can reach a compromise and nothing is done, then every tax-paying American will see their taxes go up on January 1, 2011, representing one of the largest tax increases in American history. I have said from the beginning that I believe raising any taxpayer’s taxes in an economic recovery is the wrong approach. I firmly believe that working families know how to spend their money better than the federal government does. That’s why I have continually urged our leaders in Washington to extend the tax cuts for everyone and I will keep fighting until we do so.On December 2, the House passed the Middle Class Tax Relief of 2010 on a bipartisan vote of 234 to 188, which will permanently extend the 2001/2003 tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000 a year and families making less than $250,000 a year, including 97 percent of small businesses nationwide. This bill, now being considered by the U.S. Senate, will permanently extend the tax cuts for 99.2 percent of taxpayers in Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District. Extending these tax cuts will spur economic growth in America and help the vast majority of American families who are struggling through a tough economy. While I support and will also vote for an extension of all the tax cuts, I do not think 99.2 percent of the working families in my district should be punished while a compromise is being worked out between Democrats and Republicans and the House and Senate.Also included in this legislation is a provision that protects more than 25 million taxpayers nationwide from the alternative minimum tax (an extra tax some people have to pay on top of the regular income tax) by extending the AMT patch through 2011. The bill also makes permanent the increased small business expensing amounts set to expire at the end of 2010, allowing small business taxpayers to write-off the costs of certain expenses in the year they acquire them rather than recovering the costs over time through depreciation.Please know that this will continue to be a major issue over the next few weeks as our leaders work out their differences. Rest assured my focus will continue to be on our economic recovery and on creating jobs for families in Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District. I believe extending these tax cuts for everyone will help with our economic recovery as we bounce back from these tough times."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Players meeting tonight

The HSV Players' monthly meeting is back on track for December. The Players will meet in the Ouachita Room this evening at 6 p.m.
If you are interested in acting, directing, or working behind the scenes in a theatrical production you are welcome to attend the meeting. Annual dues for the Players is only $5.

Auditions for Senior Follies later this week

Auditions for the HSV Players' production of Senior Follies will be December 11 and 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. in Ouachita room B at the Ponce de Leon Center.
The cast calls for four men and five women in this comedy set in a retirement home with verve and Viagra.
The show will run March 16, 18, 19 and 20. For a copy of the script or more information call Marge Newburn at 922-9047 or Judy Corwin at 922-6750.

Things I didn't know, knowledge is power

Today is the first day of the Islamic new year.
The Islamic calendar is 11 to 12 days shorter than our Gregorian calendar year. Because the year has varying lengths it does not correspond with the same day every year on the Gregorian calendar.
This year the first day of the Islamic New Year is December 7, next year it will be November 26.
The first month of the Islamic calendar is Muharram. The Islamic calendar also has 12 months as does the Gregorian calendar.

Cedar Mountain Singers tonight

Tonight is the last performance of the Cedar Mountain Singers Christmas program. Tickets are still available at the Woodlands box office. Tickets are $10. The concert is at 7:30 tonight at the Woodlands auditorium.

Garland County courthouse lighting ceremony

Last night was the Christmas parade in downtown Hot Springs. It was also the lighting of the courthouse holiday lights.
Singers from The Witness provided a living nativity scene and led Christmas carols for all to sing.
It was cold but there was free hot apple cider and delicious cookies in the courthouse lobby to keep participants warm.

Both Crystal Chimes concerts a success

The Crystal Chimes' holiday concerts were a bid success yesterday. The annual Cocoa, Cookies and Carols expanded to two performances and both were well attended. The second performance was sold out.
This year's theme was Miss Ditsy's Ding-A-Lings. The ladies sang many holiday tunes including my new favorite, Twelve Days After Christmas.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Flags fly at half mast today until sunset, National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, December 7.
This day was set aside by the United States Congress on August 23, 1994. Public Law 103-308 designates December 7 of each year as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the naval air base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Marcia Greathouse services set

There will be a Rosary and a service for Marcia Greathouse at Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Rosary is tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. and a service is Wednesday at 11:00a.m.

Cedar Mountain Singers concert tonight and tomorrow night

Soprano Suzanne Bannister to sing with Cedar Mountain Singers for the second year in a row.

The Cedar Mountain Singers were joined by the Jessieville High School chorus in 2008. (Photo by John Citron)

This year the Cedar Mountain Singers are joined by dynamic soprano Suzanne Bannister for the concert tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at Woodlands Auditorium.
The Cedar Mountain Singers was formed in the fall of 1993. It was the only Village-wide, non-audition mixed choral group until the addition of the Messiah program last year in the Village. The singers perform two concerts at year, spring and fall. The 100-member chorus rehearses only eight times before each concert. This is the 35th concert by the Cedar Mountain Singers.
Bannister, like me, is another New Orleans person that has relocated to Arkansas. She is an active performer and a teacher at Hendrix College in Conway. Bannister often solos with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra. She received her Bachelor's degree in vocal performance from Louisiana College and her Master's in vocal performance from Loyola University at New Orleans.
The performances of Cedar Mountain Singers have the added treat of ridiculously corny jokes by conductor Randy Lusk and emcee Dr. Bill Lefler. I reviewed the last rehearsal of the show and was unable to hear Lefler's jokes but I know they are funny as is he.
Once again this year the Singers are joined by accompanist Ray Liebeu, keyboardist Steve Fetcko, percussionist Lee Beach and rehearsal accompanist Nikki Saltmarsh on various percussion instruments. The Hot Springs Village Saxophone Quartet will warm up the audience before the show starts. The quartet members are Bill Morgan, Howard Olson, Charlie Wilson and Hal Thompson.
Thompson is also the assistant director of the Singers. He conducts Angels and Shepherds, a 1931 tune by Helen A. Dickinson and Sheldon Curry, a Victorian anthem-style piece. Thompson does a good job on the Dias.
Conductor Randy Lusk conducted the remainder of the concert. He is known for getting the most out of his chorus sound and this show will not disappoint. By reviewing the rehearsal I also missed the parade of wild costumes Lusk wears during the show. A do not miss.
There were two numbers that used pre-recorded music, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas and Hallelujah! From Handel's Messiah Rocks. The Hippopotamus piece carries over as the theme of the concert Christmases and Hippopotamuses. There were lots of smiles all around for the Hippopotamus song, it was cute. The Messiah Rocks is not my cup of tea but it was well-performed. I am more a traditionalist where Handel is concerned.
The Singers perform several light holiday pieces and some meatier ones as well. They do an admirable job especially when you consider they have only had eight rehearsals before the concert. Some of the concert pieces include What Child is This? arranged by Molly Ijame, Calypso Gloria by Emily Crocker and Little Saint Nick arranged by Mary Brymer. The finale of the evening, Silent Night, Holy Night arranged by Mark Hayes, is beautiful, a treat for the eyes and the soul.
The most gorgeous piece of the night was Bannister's interpretation of Franz Schubert's Ave Maria. It was closely rivaled by the collaboration of Bannister and the chorus on Craig Courtney's arrangement of Breath of Heaven. The back to back numbers gave my goosebumps, goosebumps.
There is a lot of humor in a Cedar Mountain Singers concert and this one is no exception, Bannister's rendition of Frederick Silver's The Twelve Days After Christmas is a hoot. I was laughing out loud instead of just politely smiling.
The Cedar Mountain Singers concert will be a fun evening for anyone looking for holiday music in the Village. Tickets are $10.

Crystal Chimes Cocoa, Cookies and Carols has two shows today

The Crystal Chimes has two performances today of their traditional Cocoa, Cookies and Carols concert. This year the theme is Miss Ditsy's Ding-a-lings.
The concerts are at the Coronado Center. Tickets are just $7.
For morning carolers, the concert is at 10 a.m., for afternoon carolers a repeat of the show is at 2 p.m.
The Crystal Chimes will be all decked out for Christmas and the Santa family has been known to visit this event.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Marcia Greathouse died of internal injuries from auto accident in Village

It is with a heavy heart that it was confirmed this morning that Villager Marcia Greathouse died last night as a result of an auto accident yesterday in the Village.
The accident was at the intersection of Balboa Road and Balearic Road. She was on her way to a Crystal Chimes rehearsal.
Marcia was very active in Village life. She and her husband Chuck moved here just two years ago from Chillicothe, Ohio.
Marcia was a retired psychotherapist that gave of her time to the Crystal Chimes, Writers Club and to the Animal Welfare League. I ran into her often as I was covering events for the local newspaper and for this blog.
When I first met Marcia at the Newcomers Coffee she confided that she loved singing, dogs, wildlife and Chuck, not necessarily in that order. She thought the Village was paradise.
Marcia Greathouse will be greatly missed by many Villagers, family and friends.

Garland County Courthouse holiday lights

The Garland County Courthouse holiday lights will be activated Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. The lighting ceremony will be followed by the Christmas parade on Central Avenue in Hot Springs.

Request for Arkansas Razorback men's basketball schedule

I had a request to post the Arkansas Razorback men's basketball schedule. Here it is.
Date / Opponent / TV / Site / Time
Today / Troy / - / Fayetteville / 2 p.m.
Dec. 8 / Seton Hall / ESPN2 / Louisville, KY / 6 p.m.
Dec. 15 / Mississippi Valley State / RSN / Fayetteville / 7 p.m.
Dec. 18 / Texas A & M / ESPN2 / Dallas, TX / 1 p.m.
Dec. 22 / Texas Southern / RSN / Fayetteville / 7 p.m.
Dec. 29 / North Carolina A & T / RSN / Fayetteville / 7 p.m.
Dec. 31 / Texas-Arlington / RSN / Fayetteville / 7 p.m.
Jan. 4 / Texas / ESPNU / Austin, TX / 8 p.m.
Jan. 8 / Tennessee / SEC / Fayetteville / 12:30 p.m.
Jan. 12 / LSU / SEC / Baton Rouge, LA / 7 p.m.
Jan. 15 / Alabama / SEC / Fayetteville / 12:30 p.m.
Jan. 19 / South Carolina / SEC / Columbia, SC / 7 p.m.
Jan. 22 / Florida / FSN / Greeneville, FL / 7 p.m.
Jan, 25 / Auburn / ESPNU / Fayetteville / 8 p.m.
Jan. 29 / Vanderbilt / FSN / Nashville, TN / 5 p.m.
Feb. 2 / Georgia / CBS / Fayetteville / 8 p.m.
Feb. 5 / Ole Miss / ESPN2 / Fayetteville / 5 p.m.
Feb. 9 / Mississippi State / SEC / Starkville, MS / 7 p.m.
Feb. 12 / LSU / SEC / Fayetteville / 12:30 p.m.
Feb. 16 / Florida A & M / - / Fayetteville / 7 p.m.
Feb. 19 / Alabama / FSN / Tuscaloosa, AL / 6 p.m.
Feb. 23 / Kentucky / SEC / Fayetteville / 7 p.m.
Feb. 26 / Auburn / SEC / Auburn, AL / 12:30 p.m.
March 2 / Mississippi State / CBS / Fayetteville / 8 p.m.
March 5 / Ole Miss / SEC / Oxford, MS / 3 p.m.
March 10 - 13 / SEC Tournament / SEC, ABC / Atlanta, GA / TBA
March 15 / NCAA Opening Round / CBS, TBS, Turner, TruTV / TBA / TBA
March 17 - 20 / NCAA first and second round / CBS, TBS, Turner, TruTV / TBA / TBA
March 17/19 Denver, CO / Tampa, FL / Tucson, AZ / Washington, D.C.
March 18/20 Charlotte, NC / Chicago, IL / Cleveland, OH / Tulsa, OK
March 24 - 27 / NCAA Regionals / CBS, TBS, Turner, TruTV / TBA / TBA
March 24/26 Anaheim, CA / New Orleans, LA
March 25/27 Newark, NJ / San Antonio, TX
April 2 and 4 / NCAA Final Four / CBS, TBS, Turner, TruTV / Houston, TX / TBA

Pocket Community Theatre upcoming season

The 2011 season promises to be very exciting at the Pocket Community Theatre in Hot Springs.
Crimes of the Heart, March 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12 and 13.
Plaza Suite, May 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21 and 22.
Proof, July 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23 and 24.
Dracula, October 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22 and 23.
Oliver!, December 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
The season package to attend all five shows is only $45. Prices for individual shows are non-musical $10, musicals $15, students through 12 grade $5.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. for Sunday matinees. The house opens a half hour before each show.
The theater is at 170 Ravine Street. For tickets and reservations call 623-8585 or go to the website
There is a bonus fundraiser that is not a part of the regular season, The Best Times of the Heart, running March 24, 25, 26, 31, April 1 and 2. Tickets for the fundraiser at $10 for adults and $5 for students. The production offers an evening of one-act plays showcasing new directors. The plays, both funny and poignant, offer insightful glimpses into courtship and other affairs of the heart.
Currently, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown is playing at the theater. The show runs today and tomorrow and next Thursday through Sunday.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Review of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Back row from the left, Alex Roberstson as Schroeder, Grace Allard as Linus, front row, Cody Young as Charlie Brown and Amy Young as Sally in the Pocket Community Theatre's production of You're a Good May, Charlie Brown. Photo provided by Mary Lou Moran

I have to admit I love the intimacy of the Pocket Community Theatre. There is not a bad seat in the house. You hear every word the actors say and you are involved in every little action.
Last night at the Pocket was the first performance of the run of Charles M. Schulz's You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown adapted by Clark Gesner. It was loads of fun and the audience laughed at every line and clapped for every vignette.
Like the Charlie Brown comics the play is made up of short little vignettes of humor then a theatrical black out. Move on to the next one and throw in a song here and there. If you like to laugh this is the show for you.
Everyone has their favorite character in the Charlie Brown comics and of course it carries over to the musical. Like most I am partial to Snoopy, Lucy and Linus and they stole my heart last night as well.
Also, the music has become a part of our culture with Suppertime sung by Snoopy and Happiness by the entire ensemble as the most endearing, enduring pieces.
The analytical Linus was played by Grace Allard. She has a good singing voice and was very sweet as the insecure but brainy boy with his famous blue blanket in tow. Allard was making her debut at the Pocket. The Lakeside High School freshman held her own against the older cast members.
The star of the production, Charlie Brown, was played by Cody Young. Cody appeared in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown once before but played Linus in Arkadelphia. He is the Charlie Brown blockhead personified. He has a pleasant singing voice and portrays depressed to the hilt. I enjoyed Cody's Charlie Brown.
Cody Young's wife Amy played the lovable Sally, my personal favorite in the show. For all the angst suffered by Charlie Brown his little sister Sally is perfectly comfortable in her own skin. She is a blond doll the world orbits around. Amy has the best trained voice but didn't have enough opportunity to let it soar.
Alex Roberstson was Schroeder. He appeared consumed by his music and terrified by Lucy's advances. He was a delight to watch. Emotion danced across his face. Good job Roberstson.
For the most giggles and laughs watch Cameron Jones as Snoopy. I loved Jones as Paul Bratter in Barefoot in the Park but I adore him as Snoopy in this show. He hams it up and is perfect as the scene-stealing beagle. The scenes with Snoopy and Lucy are some of the best in the show.
Rounding out the cast is the villain of the piece, Lucy, played by Sarah Mouritsen. Sarah has the best singing voice in the show and we have ample opportunity to hear her sing. The character of Lucy thwarts every other character in the show but takes a special delight in the character assassination of Charlie Brown. To keep from totally hating her occasionally she shows what a good friend she can be. She also takes a sibling delight in tormenting her blanket toting little brother Linus.
The hardest working member of the cast was accompanist JoAnn Ross. In addition to the musical numbers there is a lot of incidental music in the show. She never missed a beat. The cast could count on her to keep the show moving along and to keep it pulled together. Bravo.
The director of the show, Jerry Davis, and his right hand woman assistant director Mary Lou Moran did a great job with the vision of this production. Producer Dianne Darcus should be very proud. Rounding out the capable production staff were stage manager Cate Thornton and assistant stage manager Katie Garner. Good job you two, everyone made it to places and the show moved right along.
I can't forget to mention the bigger than life size set in primary colors, perfect. The oversize costumes that matched those of the comic strip characters were also memorable.
All in all this is a go see show. You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown runs the rest of this weekend and next. Visit to get tickets.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Charlie Brown in Hot Springs tonight

Order Granny Camp book now

Go to to order your Granny Camp Book today.

Items on "acting" general manager's to do list

There were a few items left over from the last POA board meeting to be acted upon before the meeting yesterday.
Golf department director John Paul is to evaluate a special golf rate for military to ensure controls are in place and ensure program compliance. He will submit his plan at the January 5 POA working board meeting.
Doris Truett will develop a vote counting procedure for the upcoming board of directors election. She will submit the procedure to the board at the January 5 work session.
Steve White, director of planning and inspections, followed-up on the basketball court at 4 Pinta Lane on Isabella golf course. Beverly Ellison contacted complainant Bob Busse on November 23 to let him know the permit was issued by the ACC without any stipulations.
David Whitlow, director of public works, was directed to do a follow-up on the road to the recycle center.
The Dec. 1 meeting of the board was a work session with on votes taken. The next meeting of the POA board is set for December 15 at 9 a.m. at the Ouachita room of the Ponce de Leon Center.

CFO a no go / GM interviews ongoing

Of the two final candidates for POA chief financial officer, one would have lost a quarter of a million dollars on his home if he took the job and the other candidate got a better offer.
The POA board of directors will let the new general manager hire the CFO. Wayne Copeland's last day is January 21. The department is expected to run itself until a new CFO is found.
The last day for GM candidates to submit applications was November 19. There were 70 applicants. Already the field has been narrowed down to ten candidates with five interviews set up. Two happened earlier this week, two are set for next Monday and one for next Tuesday. Hopefully, the board and "acting" general manager well have better luck finding a general manager than they did a chief financial officer.
The board had set a goal of naming a new general manager before next year.

POA board made aware of water loss in system

The POA is continuing to examine the water system's usage through water metered and water produced.
Recently, David Whitlow produced a report for the period of November 1, 2009 to October 31, 2010. The overall percentage of loss is 20.61-percent.
The breakdown is as follows.
Unaccounted for water report / Gallons
Total water produced / 847,868,600
Total water sold / 626,499,130
Water used in flushing based on two billing cycles for water treatment plant/25,436,058
Water used by POA water plant based on 3-percent of production / 21,196,715
Water lost / 174,736,697
Water loss / 20.61-percent

ACC met this morning

The architectural control committee met this morning to discuss five pending permits.
Committee member Mike Christy had a death in his family and was not at the meeting. Condolences to the Christy family.
Committee chairman Bill Roe briefly discussed a fence issue on Granada golf course, 15th green. The homeowner, Dave Chester, was asked to appear before the ACC to discuss his not complying with Village criteria. Mr. Chester had conflicts for the foreseeable future and will not be able to meet with the committee but according to Roe is eager to bring his fence into compliance. The fence is currently four feet tall and needs to be 24-inches or less to be considered a border. He will have to remove the two existing gate in the fence. The committee will continue to work with Mr. Chester to bring his yard border into compliance.
The assignments were evaluated as follows.
023-05 Cartagena / 22 Badalona Circle / Brent Hummel/fence
Bob Kostelecky reviewed this permit application for a four-foot coated chain link fence. The fence meets Village criteria. The permit was approved by consensus.
012-13 Ladera / 30 Largo Drive / Tommy's Custom Fence/fence
Bill Roe reviewed this permit application for a fence on Granada golf course. This fence will be behind the garage and will not exceed the back of the house. The fence meets all Village criteria. The permit was approved by consensus.
027-03 Gerona / 4 Cieza Lane / Brian Cappel/fence
Bob Kostelecky reviewed this permit application for a fence. The fence will be a dark brown coated chain link. The fence meets all Village criteria. The permit was approved by consensus.
There were two commercial, churches, non-residential permits reviewed by committee members.
Kirk in the Pines Presbyterian / 275 Asturias Drive/sign
Bob Kostelecky went out to this site but nothing had been marked yet. Steve White, director of planning and inspections, will go to the site to see where the sign will stand in conjunction with utility lines. According to White the utility lines have now been marked. The committee gave a tentative approval to this permit pending White's approval.
Good Sam / 121 Cortez Road / Stoney Developers, LLC/remodel
This is just a preliminary plan review at this time. Steve White received the plans in his office on Monday and should be finished with his review some time tomorrow. The plan will add an addition 600 square feet onto the existing structure. No action was taken at this time.
White said he and another POA employee attended a workshop on masonry code yesterday. He was pleased the Village inspectors had been very close to compliance. White also said they learned a few new things yesterday they could incorporate into Village inspections. Masonry includes seawalls.
The ACC will meet next Dec. 16 at 8:30 a.m. at the POA administration building.

New home permits

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor/square footage
039-07 Murcia / 111 Murcia Way / M & R Sarver/1,750
011-01 Barlovento / 23 Barlovento Way / Malt Construction/1,861
020-04 Dominar / 43 Dominar Way / Vantage Construction/1,636
010-09 Cielo / 29 Gloria Drive / Malt Construction/2,447

Propane tank permits

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor
014-14 Vereda / 25 Sorprendente Lane / Ferrellgas

Sprinkler system permits

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor/water source
004-06 Maria / 30 Manzanares Drive / 4 Seasons Landscape/Village

Addition permits

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor/project
017-01 Puertollano / 4 Tobarra Lane /Daniel Schanink/repair existing seawall
022-02 Puertollano / 44 Sierra Drive / John Brown Construction/kitchen, bath remodel
006-01 Santa Cruz / 8 Alcantara Lane / M & R Sarver/garage addition
016-02 Santa Cruz / 64 Malaga Way / The Hairless Handyman/replace deck
016-02 Andalusia / 6 Touro Place / Beasley Plumbing/water heater
009-01 Castellon Cts. / 18 Nacozari Lane / Superior Granite/screen room
019-01 Faisan / 38 Pintuerero Way / Liberty Solar Solutions/solar photovoltaic system
019-03 Faisan / 38 Pintuerero Way / Chuck Stewart/deck addition, patio, sidewalk
007-02 Guindola / 23 Guindola Way / The Hairless Handyman/deck addition
012-02 Guindola / 13 Guindola Way / Al Lewis/enclose covered deck
026-02 Guindola / 9 Guindola Circle / Northside Heating & Air/generator
006-03 Telon / 1 Telon Way / Good Construction, Inc./sidewalks
002-31 Isabella / 3 Victoria Lane / Village Home Improvement/concrete patio
014-10 Vereda / 102 Elcano Drive / Regie Howard / deck addition, pergola roof
014-18 Ladera / 75 Largo Drive / Chance Mitchell/electric to hot tub

HVAC permits

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor
007-03 Puertollano / 105 Alba Lane / Grisham Air
001-17 Meseta / 1A Medina Way / Standridge, Inc.
006-01 Las Palmas / 1 La Vega Lane / Reliable Air
040-03 Cuenca / 21 Aracena Lane / Standridge, Inc.
015-05 Caceres / 9 Caceras Lane / Standridge, Inc.
004-06 Valencia Cts. / 36 Perralena Way / Reliable Air
006-03 Valencia Cts. / 10 Perralena Lane / Climate Control
024-01 Zafiro / 90 Arjona Way / Middleton Heating & Air
007-05 Coronado Cts. / 14 Diamante Place / Climate Control
011- Mesero / 119 Mesero Way / Affordable Heating & Air
008-01 Bilbao / 15 San Sebastian Drive / Tropic Air
021-02 Cresta / 21 Cresta Way / Roberson Heating & Air
005-06 Jubileo / 48 Jubileo Way / Huchingson Heating & Air
004-01 Hartura / 44 Hartura Way / Reliable Air
003-02 Fastota / 28 Fastota Way / Standridge, Inc.
017-01 Salvatierra / 11 Salvatierra Lane / Huchingson Heating & Air
010-02 Rodriguez / 10 Rodriguez Trace / Grisham Air
026-01 Encantado / 31 Encantado Lane / Johnston Heating & Air
004-01 Ensenada / 8 Esplendor Way / Climate Control
968-01 Commercial / 1196 DeSoto Boulevard / Johnston Heating & Air

Landscape permits

Lot-block-addition / Address / Contractor
019-09 Peral / 107 Castano Drive / 4 Seasons Landscape
002-03 Tiburon / 3 Tiburon Way / Casa Verde
003-01 Tiburon / 3 Tiburon Way / Casa Verde
020-04 Dominar / 43 Dominar Way / Jack Bates
016-04 Oliete / 4 Oliete Lane / 4 Seasons Landscape
007-04 Brilliante / 1 Brilliante Way / Malt Construction
012-12 Vereda / 27 Arturo Lane / Carriage Custom Homes
021-09 Ladera / 29 Alteza Drive / Carriage Custom Homes
004-06 Maria / 30 Manzanares Drive / 4 Seasons Landscape

Anne Dierks speaker at Rotary today

Anne Dierks will be the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Scenic 7 today at noon at Mollie O'Brien's on Highway 7. Dierks is the author of Granny Camp. She is sure to have some great ideas about what to do with your grandchildren on a hot summer day. All are welcome. Lunch is optional but if ordered is paid for by the individual.

Today in the Village

This morning is the architectural control committee meeting at 8:30 a.m. at the POA administration building.
At the same time is the Newcomers' Coffee at the Ouachita Room at the Ponce de Leon Center.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More December concerts

More concerts coming up this month, the PEO Singers and the Village Men's Chorus program, Joyful Night Christmas, is scheduled for Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Christ of the Hills United Methodist Church.
The Village Big Band concert is scheduled for Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Christ of the Hills United Methodist Church.

Hanukkah starts at sundown today

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah begins this evening at sundown.
According to Jewish history a small group of faithful Jews defeated the Greek army and drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of God.
When the small band of Jews sought to light the Jerusalem Temple's menorah, the Jews found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks; miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.
To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Hanukkah. At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah lighting: a single flame on the first night, two on the second evening, and so on till the eighth night of Hanukkah, when all eight lights are kindled.

World AIDS day

Today is World AIDS day. AIDS is the acronym for autoimmune immunodeficiency syndrome. The day of observance started Dec. 1, 1988.
The goal of World AIDS Day is to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. The World AIDS Day theme for this year is Universal Access and Human Rights. World AIDS Day serves to remind people HIV has not gone away, there are many things still to be done before AIDS is eradicated.
According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.3 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2009 some 2.6 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 1.8 million people died from AIDS.
The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.

POA board meets today

The POA board of directors is holding a working board meeting this morning at 9 a.m. at the Ouachita room at the Ponce de Leon Center.