This picturesque college town devolved into a chaotic and violence state on Saturday as hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members – planning to stage what they described as their largest rally in decades to “take America back” – clashed with counterprotesters in the streets.

As the two sides traded blows and hurled bottles and chemical irritants at one another, police evacuated a downtown park, putting an end to the noon rally before it even began. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency shortly before 11 a.m., blaming the violence on “mostly out-of-state protesters.”

“I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours,” McAuliffe (D) said.

Despite the decision to quash the rally, clashes continued on side streets and throughouto the downtown. In the early afternoon, three cars collided in a pedestrian mall packed with people, injuring at least 10 and sending bystanders running and screaming. It was unclear if it was accidental or intentional.

A tweet from the mayor of Charlottesville, Mike Signer, indicated that there has been at least one fatality associated with the collision at the pedestrian mall.

Elected leaders in Virginia and elsewhere also urged peace, blasting the white supremacist views on display in Charlottesville as ugly. U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called their display “repugnant.”

But President Donald Trump, known for the rapid-fire tweets that fueled his candidacy and have punctuated his presidency, remained silent throughout the morning. It was after 1 p.m. when he weighed in, writing on Twitter: “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!” He later added, “Am in Bedminster for meetings & press conference on V.A. & all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better-but Charlottesville sad!”

The White House had been in contact with McAuliffe’s office, officials said.

By early afternoon, hundreds of rallygoers had made their way from Emancipation Park – where they had expected to protest the planned removal of a Confederate statue – to a larger park two miles to the north.

There, white nationalist leader Richard Spencer urged them to disperse. But he promised that they would gather again for a future demonstration, blaming Saturday’s violence on counterprotesters.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke also spoke, calling Saturday’s events “the first step toward taking America back.”

Even as crowds began to thin, the town remained unsettled and on edge. Onlookers were deeply shaken at the pedestrian mall, where ambulances had arrived to treat victims of the car crash.

Susie McClannahan, 24, said counterprotesters were marching on Fourth Street when she saw a “silver gray vehicle” drive through the crowd, and then immediately shift into reverse in what she described as full speed.

“Everyone was in shock and all of a sudden we heard people scream get to the wall because the driver was backing up,” McClannahan said. She said those closest to the accident ran to those injured in the street.

“I didn’t want to believe it was real. It was just so horrible,” she said.

Corinne Geller, a spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police said there were multiple injuries ranging from life threatening to minor. There were at least three vehicles involved; one left the scene and has been located, Geller said.

Earlier Saturday, men in combat gear – some wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets and carrying clubs and sticks and makeshift shields – had fought each other in the downtown streets, with little apparent police interference. Both sides sprayed each other with chemical irritants and plastic bottles were hurled through the air.

A large contingent of Charlottesville police officers and Virginia State Police troopers in riot gear were stationed on side streets and at nearby barricades but did nothing to break up the melee until around 11:40 a.m.

Using megaphones, police declared an unlawful assembly and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park, They were met by equal numbers of counterprotesters, including clergy, Black Lives Matter activists and Princeton professor Cornel West.

“The worst part is that people got hurt and the police stood by and didn’t do a goddamn thing,” said David Copper, 70, of Staunton, Virginia.

State Del. David Toscano, D-Charlottesville, minority leader of Virginia’s House, praised the response by Charlottesville and state police.

“Things were getting out of hand in the skirmishes between the alt-right and what I would describe as the outside agitators who wanted to encourage violence,” Toscano said, referring to the counterprotesters.

Asked why police did not act sooner to intervene as violence unfolded, Toscano said he could not comment. But they trained very hard for this and it might have been that they were waiting for a more effective time to get people out” of Emancipation Park, he said.

A group of three dozen self-described “militia” men, who were wearing full camouflage and were armed with long guns, said they were there to help keep the peace, but they also did not break up the fights.

There were vicious clashes on Market Street in front of Emancipation Park, where the rally was to begin at noon. A large contingent of white nationalist rallygoers holding shields and swinging wooden clubs rushed through a line of counterprotesters.

By 11 a.m., several fully armed militias and hundreds of right-wing rallygoers had poured into the small downtown park that was to be the site of the rally.

Counterprotesters held “Black Lives Matter” signs and placards expressing support for equality and love as they faced rallygoers who waved Confederate flags and posters that said “the Goyim know,” referring to non-Jewish people, and “the Jewish media is going down.”

“No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” the counterprotesters chanted.

“Too late, f—–s!” a man yelled back at them.

Naundi Cook, 23, said she was scared during the morning protests. Cook, who is black, said she came to “support her people,” but she’s never seen something like this before.

When violence broke out, she started shaking and got goose bumps.

“I’ve seen people walking around with tear gas all over their face all over their clothes. People getting maced, fighting,” she said. “I didn’t want to be next.”

Cook said she couldn’t sit back and watch white supremacists descend on her town. She has a three-year-old daughter to stand up for, she said.

“Right now, I’m not sad,” she said once the protests dispersed. “I’m a little more empowered. All these people and support, I feel like we’re on top right now because of all the support that we have.”

After police ordered everyone to vacate the park, columns of white nationalists marched out, carrying Confederate and Nazi flags as they headed down Market Street in an odd parade. Counterprotesters lined the sidewalks and shouted epithets and mocked the group as they walked by. At various points along the route, skirmishes broke out and shouting matches ensued.

Charlottesville officials, concerned about crowds and safety issues, had tried to move the rally to a larger park away from the city’s downtown. But Jason Kessler, the rally’s organizer, filed a successful lawsuit against the city that was supported by the Virginia ACLU, saying that his First Amendment rights would be violated by moving the rally.

Tensions began Friday night, as several hundred white supremacists chanted “White lives matter!” “You will not replace us!” and “Jews will not replace us!” as they carried torches marched in a parade through the University of Virginia campus.

The fast-paced march was made up almost exclusively of men in their 20s and 30s, though there were some who looked to be in their midteens.

Meanwhile, hundreds of counterprotesters packed a church to pray and organize. A small group of counterprotesters clashed with the marchers shortly before 10 p.m. at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson, U-Va.’ s founder.

One counterprotester apparently deployed a chemical spray, which affected the eyes of a dozen or so marchers. It left them floundering and seeking medical assistance.

Police officers who had been keeping a wary eye on the march jumped in and broke up the fights. The marchers then disbanded, though several remained and were treated by police and medical personnel for the effects of the mace attack. It was not clear if any one was arrested.

Saturday’s Unite the Right rally was being held to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The city of Charlottesville voted to remove the statue earlier this year, but it remains in the Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, pending a judge’s ruling expected later this month.

Saturday marked the second time in six weeks that Charlottesville has faced a protest from white supremacist groups for its decision to remove the statue. On July 8, about three dozen members of a regional Ku Klux Klan group protested in the city.

The torchlight parade drew sharp condemnations from Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer and U-Va. President Teresa Sullivan.

Sullivan described herself as “deeply saddened and disturbed by the hateful behavior”shown by the marchers.

Signer said he was “beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus.” He called the chanting procession a “cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance.”

This picturesque college town devolved into a chaotic and violence state on Saturday as hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members – planning to stage what they described as their largest rally in decades to “take America back” – clashed with counterprotesters in the streets.

As the two sides traded blows and hurled bottles and chemical irritants at one another, police evacuated a downtown park, putting an end to the noon rally before it even began. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency shortly before 11 a.m., blaming the violence on “mostly out-of-state protesters.”

“I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours,” McAuliffe (D) said.

Despite the decision to quash the rally, clashes continued on side streets and throughouto the downtown. In the early afternoon, three cars collided in a pedestrian mall packed with people, injuring at least 10 and sending bystanders running and screaming. It was unclear if it was accidental or intentional.

A tweet from the mayor of Charlottesville, Mike Signer, indicated that there has been at least one fatality associated with the collision at the pedestrian mall.

Elected leaders in Virginia and elsewhere also urged peace, blasting the white supremacist views on display in Charlottesville as ugly. U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called their display “repugnant.”

But President Donald Trump, known for the rapid-fire tweets that fueled his candidacy and have punctuated his presidency, remained silent throughout the morning. It was after 1 p.m. when he weighed in, writing on Twitter: “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!” He later added, “Am in Bedminster for meetings & press conference on V.A. & all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better-but Charlottesville sad!”

The White House had been in contact with McAuliffe’s office, officials said.

By early afternoon, hundreds of rallygoers had made their way from Emancipation Park – where they had expected to protest the planned removal of a Confederate statue – to a larger park two miles to the north.

There, white nationalist leader Richard Spencer urged them to disperse. But he promised that they would gather again for a future demonstration, blaming Saturday’s violence on counterprotesters.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke also spoke, calling Saturday’s events “the first step toward taking America back.”

Even as crowds began to thin, the town remained unsettled and on edge. Onlookers were deeply shaken at the pedestrian mall, where ambulances had arrived to treat victims of the car crash.

Susie McClannahan, 24, said counterprotesters were marching on Fourth Street when she saw a “silver gray vehicle” drive through the crowd, and then immediately shift into reverse in what she described as full speed.

“Everyone was in shock and all of a sudden we heard people scream get to the wall because the driver was backing up,” McClannahan said. She said those closest to the accident ran to those injured in the street.

“I didn’t want to believe it was real. It was just so horrible,” she said.

Corinne Geller, a spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police said there were multiple injuries ranging from life threatening to minor. There were at least three vehicles involved; one left the scene and has been located, Geller said.

Earlier Saturday, men in combat gear – some wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets and carrying clubs and sticks and makeshift shields – had fought each other in the downtown streets, with little apparent police interference. Both sides sprayed each other with chemical irritants and plastic bottles were hurled through the air.

A large contingent of Charlottesville police officers and Virginia State Police troopers in riot gear were stationed on side streets and at nearby barricades but did nothing to break up the melee until around 11:40 a.m.

Using megaphones, police declared an unlawful assembly and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park, They were met by equal numbers of counterprotesters, including clergy, Black Lives Matter activists and Princeton professor Cornel West.

“The worst part is that people got hurt and the police stood by and didn’t do a goddamn thing,” said David Copper, 70, of Staunton, Virginia.

State Del. David Toscano, D-Charlottesville, minority leader of Virginia’s House, praised the response by Charlottesville and state police.

“Things were getting out of hand in the skirmishes between the alt-right and what I would describe as the outside agitators who wanted to encourage violence,” Toscano said, referring to the counterprotesters.

Asked why police did not act sooner to intervene as violence unfolded, Toscano said he could not comment. But they trained very hard for this and it might have been that they were waiting for a more effective time to get people out” of Emancipation Park, he said.

A group of three dozen self-described “militia” men, who were wearing full camouflage and were armed with long guns, said they were there to help keep the peace, but they also did not break up the fights.

There were vicious clashes on Market Street in front of Emancipation Park, where the rally was to begin at noon. A large contingent of white nationalist rallygoers holding shields and swinging wooden clubs rushed through a line of counterprotesters.

By 11 a.m., several fully armed militias and hundreds of right-wing rallygoers had poured into the small downtown park that was to be the site of the rally.

Counterprotesters held “Black Lives Matter” signs and placards expressing support for equality and love as they faced rallygoers who waved Confederate flags and posters that said “the Goyim know,” referring to non-Jewish people, and “the Jewish media is going down.”

“No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!” the counterprotesters chanted.

“Too late, f—–s!” a man yelled back at them.

Naundi Cook, 23, said she was scared during the morning protests. Cook, who is black, said she came to “support her people,” but she’s never seen something like this before.

When violence broke out, she started shaking and got goose bumps.

“I’ve seen people walking around with tear gas all over their face all over their clothes. People getting maced, fighting,” she said. “I didn’t want to be next.”

Cook said she couldn’t sit back and watch white supremacists descend on her town. She has a three-year-old daughter to stand up for, she said.

“Right now, I’m not sad,” she said once the protests dispersed. “I’m a little more empowered. All these people and support, I feel like we’re on top right now because of all the support that we have.”

After police ordered everyone to vacate the park, columns of white nationalists marched out, carrying Confederate and Nazi flags as they headed down Market Street in an odd parade. Counterprotesters lined the sidewalks and shouted epithets and mocked the group as they walked by. At various points along the route, skirmishes broke out and shouting matches ensued.

Charlottesville officials, concerned about crowds and safety issues, had tried to move the rally to a larger park away from the city’s downtown. But Jason Kessler, the rally’s organizer, filed a successful lawsuit against the city that was supported by the Virginia ACLU, saying that his First Amendment rights would be violated by moving the rally.

Tensions began Friday night, as several hundred white supremacists chanted “White lives matter!” “You will not replace us!” and “Jews will not replace us!” as they carried torches marched in a parade through the University of Virginia campus.

The fast-paced march was made up almost exclusively of men in their 20s and 30s, though there were some who looked to be in their midteens.

Meanwhile, hundreds of counterprotesters packed a church to pray and organize. A small group of counterprotesters clashed with the marchers shortly before 10 p.m. at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson, U-Va.’ s founder.

One counterprotester apparently deployed a chemical spray, which affected the eyes of a dozen or so marchers. It left them floundering and seeking medical assistance.

Police officers who had been keeping a wary eye on the march jumped in and broke up the fights. The marchers then disbanded, though several remained and were treated by police and medical personnel for the effects of the mace attack. It was not clear if any one was arrested.

Saturday’s Unite the Right rally was being held to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The city of Charlottesville voted to remove the statue earlier this year, but it remains in the Emancipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, pending a judge’s ruling expected later this month.

Saturday marked the second time in six weeks that Charlottesville has faced a protest from white supremacist groups for its decision to remove the statue. On July 8, about three dozen members of a regional Ku Klux Klan group protested in the city.

The torchlight parade drew sharp condemnations from Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer and U-Va. President Teresa Sullivan.

Sullivan described herself as “deeply saddened and disturbed by the hateful behavior”shown by the marchers.

Signer said he was “beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus.” He called the chanting procession a “cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance.”

Published: Fri, August 11, 2017 @ 12:06 a.m.

Area umps to work Pony World Series

WASHINGTON, PA.

Mahoning Valley umpires Jeff Vrabel, Sr., Dave Smolko, Ray Parker and Jeff DeChellis will work the 2017 Dicks Sporting Goods Pony League World Series in Washington, Pa. starting today. A team of Youngstown all-stars qualified for the tournament.

Scrappers clinch 10th series

Aberdeen, MD.

Will Benson drove in two runs in the first inning to give the Mahoning Valley Scrappers the early lead. Mahoning Valley would add on three more runs late and rode the arms of Sam Hentges and Felix Tati to a 5-1 win over the Aberdeen Ironbirds. The win is the Scrappers tenth series win of the season.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, Benson singled to right to drive home Nolan Jones and Oscar Gonzalez for the early 2-0 lead.

The scoring would halt for both sides until the top of the sixth inning. Simeon Lucas started the inning with a single. Austen Wade followed with a single as well. Then with one out, Jonathan Laureano singled to load the bases. Lucas would come in to score on a wild pitch with Mike Rivera batting to push the lead to 3-0.

In the top of the seventh inning Ernie Clement started the inning with a double. The extra base hit extended Clement’s hitting streak to 21 games. Jones followed and connected on his third homerun of the season. The two run blast pushed the Scrappers lead to 5-0.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Ironbirds would get their only run on an RBI single from Mason McCoy.

Vikings fan alleges excessive force

MINNEAPOLIS

A football fan who was arrested during a Minnesota Vikings game says he’s focusing on his excessive-force lawsuit against police after being cleared of criminal charges.

Anastacio Lopez was charged after allegedly trying to grab an officer’s stun gun while being escorted from the stadium on Dec. 1. He was acquitted Wednesday of attempting to disarm an officer.

Surveillance video obtained by St. Paul television station KSTP-TV shows two officers using their stun guns on Lopez and striking him with closed fists.

Lopez tells the station he was drinking at the game and doesn’t remember much. His lawyer says the surveillance footage shows the officers’ actions were excessive. Lopez’s federal civil rights lawsuit also names the city as a defendant.

Team USA is No. 26 in FIFA rankings

ZURICH

The United States climbed nine spots to 26th in the FIFA rankings after winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The U.S. had dropped 12 places to 35th in the July rankings, one above the Americans’ low in July and August 2012. Much of that drop was attributable to a devaluation of points from last year’s Copa America.

Brazil regained the top spot Thursday after a one-month absence, replacing World Cup champion Germany.

High school football player dies during drill

FARMINGVILLE, N.Y.

A high school football player performing a drill used by the U.S. Navy SEALs for conditioning was killed Thursday when the log he and teammates were carrying fatally struck him in the head, police said.

Joshua Mileto, 16, was taking part in a preseason exercise camp with the Sachem East High School football team when the accident occurred at the school on eastern Long Island, according to Suffolk County homicide detectives. No other injuries were reported. The team was participating in an exercise camp before the official start of team training on Monday. The football season begins in September.

Carlin Schledorn, a Sachem East graduate who played football as a junior, said carrying the log, which is about 12 feet long and the diameter of a utility pole, was an exercise used for “team building.”

Staff/wire report

There’s a lot to say about Trump reversing some of the Obama administration’s policies on Cuba. The White House recently announced it was banning individual travel to the island and further restricting what business Americans can do there.

Yes, there’s a lot to say, but I wonder if there’s any point in saying it. After all, most Americans want to relax the embargo on Cuba. Even most Republicans disagree with Trump on Cuba, polls show.

That requires a bit of explanation. America has a longstanding embargo on Cuba, preventing the U.S. from selling much of anything there. The policy traces back to the Cold War. The economic harm to the island resulting from the policy is obvious when one sets foot in Cuba.

When I visited in 2010, life had gotten better for Cubans since the hardest times in the early 1990s. Still, life was difficult. Meat was a luxury for Cubans. Milk was only rationed to young children. I bought a handmade dress for $15, a handsome sum to a Cuban but a pittance to me.

Obama didn’t end the embargo. It’s still in place.

What Obama overturned were other Cold War-era measures. He restored diplomatic relations with Cuba and relaxed a travel ban on U.S. citizens visiting the island.

The only way I was able to visit Cuba in 2010 was with a special government permit, and by going for business instead of pleasure. The U.S. government also limited how much I could spend there. And, of course, I couldn’t bring any Cuban rum or cigars home.

I’ve traveled all over on five different continents. In college, I spent an entire summer in China, a Communist country with a bad human rights record — quite a bit worse than Cuba’s, arguably — that the U.S. is on perfectly good terms with, thank you very much.

Yet I’ve never been hassled, searched, and investigated as much upon my return home as I was when I came back from Cuba.

On the way out, I had to first fly to Cancun and then board a second flight the next day to Cuba. On my return, I was questioned, searched, and scolded until I nearly missed my connecting flight.

The hypocrisy was jarring. Why is the U.S. on good terms with China but not Cuba?

After Obama relaxed America’s anti-Cuba policies, you could literally fly Southwest to Havana.

I think the best comment on Trump’s policies came in the form of a satirical “news” article: “President Trump Orders the Execution of Five Turkeys Pardoned By Obama.” No, not really. It’s a joke. But it exposes the motives and sentiments behind many of Trump’s actions.

In part, Trump is probably working to secure the hard liner Cuban vote in Florida by undoing Obama’s Cuba policies.

But more than that, Trump wants us to believe that Obama made America a “mess.” To show us what a great president he is, Trump wants us to believe that everything was awful before him — so bad that it required Trump to make it “great” again, by undoing obvious boons like Obama’s mild Cuba reforms.

If Obama did it, it’s bad. Therefore Trump will do the opposite. Yet he has no interest in understanding complex issues that cannot be solved easily. Health care, ISIS, and North Korea come to mind — and now Cuba, too.

To Trump, trying to understand the complex background of America’s relationship with Cuba is superfluous, since Trump himself doesn’t understand it. Yet he’s hurting both Americans and Cubans in the process.

OtherWords columnist Jill Richardson is the author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It. Distributed by OtherWords.org

What Happened to America’s Wealth? The Rich Hid It.

There’s actually trillions that could be used to fix our roads and schools. The wealthy just don’t want you to know where it is.

By Chuck Collins

Guest Columnist

If you find yourself traveling this summer, take a closer look at America’s deteriorating infrastructure — our crumbling roads, sidewalks, public parks, and train and bus stations.

Government officials will tell us “there’s no money” to repair or properly maintain our tired infrastructure. Nor do we want to raise taxes, they say.

But what if billions of dollars in tax revenue have gone missing?

New research suggests that the super-rich are hiding their money at alarming rates. A study by economists Annette Alstadsaeter, Niels Johannesen, and Gabriel Zucman reports that households with wealth over $40 million evade 25 to 30 percent of personal income and wealth taxes.

These stunning numbers have two troubling implications.

First, we’re missing billions in taxes each year. That’s partly why our roads and transit systems are falling apart.

Second, wealth inequality may be even worse than we thought. Economic surveys estimate that roughly 85 percent of income and wealth gains in the last decade have gone to the wealthiest one-tenth of the top 1 percent.

That’s bad enough. But what if the concentration is even greater?

Visualize the nation’s wealth as an expansive and deep reservoir of fresh water. A small portion of this water provides sustenance to fields and villages downstream, in the form of tax dollars for public services.

In recent years, the water level has declined to a trickle, and the villages below are suffering from water shortages. Everyone is told to tighten their belts and make sacrifices.

Deep below the water surface, however, is a hidden pipe, siphoning vast amounts of water — as much as a third of the whole reservoir — off to a secret pool in the forest.

The rich are swimming while the villagers go thirsty and the fields dry up.

Yes, there are vast pools of privately owned wealth, mostly held by a small segment of super-rich Americans. The wealthiest 400 billionaires have at least as much wealth as 62 percent of the U.S. population — that’s nearly 200 million of us.

Don’t taxpayers of all incomes under-report their incomes? Maybe here and there.

But these aren’t folks making a few dollars “under the table.” These are billionaires stashing away trillions of the world’s wealth. The latest study underscores that tax evasion by the super-rich is at least 10 times greater — and in some nations 250 times more likely — than by everyone else.

How is that possible? After all, most of us have our taxes taken out of our paychecks and pay sales taxes at the register. Homeowners get their house assessed and pay a property tax.

But the wealthy have the resources to hire the services of what’s called the “wealth defense industry.” These aren’t your “mom and pop” financial advisers that sell life insurance or help folks plan for retirement.

The wealth defenders of the super-rich — including tax lawyers, estate planners, accountants, and other financial professionals — are accomplices in the heist. They drive the getaway cars, by designing complex trusts, shell companies, and offshore accounts to hide money.

These managers help the private jet set avoid paying their fair share of taxes, even as they disproportionately benefit from living in a country with the rule of law, property rights protections, and public infrastructure the rest of us pay for.

Not all wealthy are tax dodgers. A group called the Patriotic Millionaires advocates for eliminating loopholes and building a fair and transparent tax system. They’re pressing Congress to crack down on tax evasion by the super-rich.

Their message: Bring the wealth home! Stop hiding the wealth in offshore accounts and complicated trusts. Pay your fair share to the support the public services and protections that we all enjoy.

Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and a co-editor of Inequality.org. He’s the author of the recent book Born on Third Base. Distributed by OtherWords.org.

The Tax Plan Moms Need

A modest proposal: Tax corporations to help working moms afford childcare and stay-at-home moms save for retirement.

By Martha Burk

Guest Columnist

During his speech announcing that the U.S. is ditching the Paris climate accords, President Trump took a strange detour to declare “our tax bill is moving along in Congress, and I believe it’s doing very well. I think a lot of people will be very pleasantly surprised.”

He was right about the surprise part — since that tax bill doesn’t exist. Trump has presented only a single-page summary of his wish list, and Republicans in Congress have introduced nada.

Maybe that’s good news. Since the bill is still in preexisting condition, there’s still time for improvement. The Trump summary already outlines benefits for the majority of corporations and fat cats. Let’s add a few ideas to benefit the majority of ordinary citizens — women.

The old saw about nothing being certain but death and taxes happens to be true. Another certainty is that tax policy impacts women differently from men, and not in a positive way. It’s been that way since taxes were first collected, and if President Trump follows through on the so-called “innovative” changes he says he’ll make, it could get worse.

These days virtually every family needs child care — and like it or not, women are still pulling most of the load. Not to mention that females are by far the majority of single parents.

To ease the burden, the U.S. has long had a child care tax credit. Simply put, it’s a credit (up to $6,000, depending on income) that comes off the bottom line after income taxes are calculated.

The downside is that the credit only applies to workers earning enough to pay income taxes in the first place, which excludes many low-income families. Women’s groups have advocated for years that it should apply to payroll taxes (like Medicare and Social Security), which every worker pays regardless of income, so working single moms at the bottom can also get the benefit.

Working mothers of young children aren’t the only ones punished by our current tax system. Stay-at-home moms also come in for their unfair share of tax treatment.

They get a big fat zero in Social Security accounts for years spent caring for kids, unlike almost all countries in the European Union and other advanced nations which grant caregiver credits. President Trump has said he won’t change Social Security, but this is one change that’s badly needed, and would mean fewer women would end up in poverty in their old age.

If our new president really wanted to overhaul the tax code in a way that would help families other than his own, he’d advocate increasing taxes on the rich and corporations, and revoking favorable tax treatment for organizations like the Catholic Church that blatantly discriminate against women.

We could use the savings to allow child care credits against payroll taxes, give caregiver credits in Social Security, and give a little tax relief to employers offering paid family leave in the bargain.

Now those are some truly “innovative” tax ideas.

Martha Burk is the director of the Corporate Accountability Project for the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) and the author of the book Your Voice, Your Vote. Follow Martha on Twitter @MarthaBurk. Distributed by OtherWords.org.

A Political or Apolitical 4th of July?

By Wim Laven

Guest Columnist

I posted a link to Frederick Douglass’ 1852 speech “What to the Slave Is the 4th of July?” to mark the occasion most years. For many people this year will be different and it is important that we pay attention. The freedoms marked by the day are under attack. The Declaration of Independence declares:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It is important to consider the choice of reflecting these specific values. For example, in Canada they say: “peace, order, and good government” and in France: “liberty, equality, fraternity.” “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” have been specifically chosen to represent the United States of America from its inception. These values preceded Democratic and Republican parties, the founders were Federalists and Anti-Federalists. The founders focused on guarding against tyranny, both of the majority and by elected rulers. James Madison wrote, “It is of great importance in a republic, not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part.” These days the rulers are tired of the people getting in the way.

It would be easy to highlight the hypocrisy, hence my regular reminder of the role—requirement—of slavery in the formation of the U.S.A. The hardest thing about being an American is being honest about the ugly details of our history; there are no words capable of expressing the disappointment I experienced in finding out there were slave owners in my family tree. The principles are worth aspiring to, even with our historical shortcomings, and they are under attack.

People in some demographic groups will be much more worried if they are pulled over while speeding on their way to store to pick up a missing ingredient or some briquettes for the grill than people in other groups. Some people will be working for a minimum wage that isn’t a living wage while other people are enjoying the holiday. Others will be unable to enjoy the holiday because of the recent loss of a loved one who was killed in a hate crime; that sadness is the same regardless of religious belief, sexual orientation, or skin color. My sadness is that it is frequently people who look a lot like me targeting people who look differently than I do, and white males are frequently the ones who tell me to stop being “so political.”

We have a President targeting and bullying different groups. Ignoring the fact that white males commit nearly all of the terrorism on U.S. soil. Current policies break families apart and put them on hold. We have the National Rifle Association making sure that domestic terrorists never have a problem accessing instruments of death. But, forget the fact they were silent when an African American male was killed by a police officer while lawfully carrying. The NRA now advertises a response to lawful protest, “the only way we stop this, the only we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.” I guess they are happy that I’ll teach with guns in my classroom this fall (see Georgia HB 280, in effect July 1st, 2017). Forget the words of former Justice Antonin Scalia, “[N]othing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings…”

There may be as many as 22 or 23 million Americans losing health insurance; they might have a reason to protest. Almost 66 million Americans voted for losing candidate Hillary Clinton, she had 3 million votes more than Donald Trump. Trump is now a president without a mandate, the majority of Americans did not want what he ran on, and he has historically low approval numbers. Nonviolent protest is a great response to his unwanted agenda. These are matters of life and liberty. New England Journal of Medicine reporting on the impact healthcare repeal effort would have says about increasing deaths ascribable to the Republican ‘healthcare’ plan: “Estimates of this inherently murky statistic vary, but the range is from about 28,000 to nearly 100,000 a year.” A monumental loss of life!

“The right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” is a liberty guarded in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom — August 28, 1963, An anti-Vietnam War protest in Washington DC — November 15, 1969, and The Anti-Nuclear March in New York City’s Central Park — June 12, 1982 were all events where hundreds of thousands of Americans made a statement about policy. No statements of “clenched fists” were made by the NRA in those times. There are currently (Republican) efforts to restrict the right to protest in 18 states. This is not what you’d expect from the nation of the Boston Tea Party, which, I’ll remind you, did destroy private property (342 chests of Tea). These laws aim to restrict the power of protest, because it works.

The reason we must keep the 4th of July political is because freedom and equality are political. The success of the civil rights movement in the 60’s required actions like marches to Selma. These laws would prevent the exercise of freedoms in such marches, in Indiana they would give law enforcement the power to shut down highway protests by “any means necessary.” The political discussion and protest are required because the public isn’t getting what it wants. The fact that, “only 12% of Americans support the Senate Republican health care plan” (USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll) is important and it is a responsibility of citizens to be active and well informed. The 4th of July is not a day for ignoring tyranny, and this 4th efforts are everywhere and they are undeniable. More fundamentally we have to be political because we need life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans.

Wim Laven, syndicated by PeaceVoice, teaches courses in political science and conflict resolution, and is on the Governing Council of the International Peace Research Association.

.neFileBlock {
margin-bottom: 20px;
}
.neFileBlock p {
margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px;
}
.neFileBlock .neFile {
border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa;
padding-bottom: 5px;
padding-top: 10px;
}
.neFileBlock .neCaption {
font-size: 85%;
}

comments powered by Disqus

Classic South Park humour fills the gameplay

THE last few months have been underwhelming for new video game releases, but this could have something to do with the massive titles scheduled for release in the coming months.

From one of the most offensive video games ever created to the return of highly-popular character, the remainder of 2017 looks sensational for gamers.

Here are the best games still to come this year:

1. UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY

From critically acclaimed developer Naughty Dog comes the next adventure in the popular Uncharted series — only this time there is no Nathan Drake.

The latest game in the franchise will bring fan-favourite character Chloe Frazer and renowned mercenary Nadine Ross into the mix.

Tasked with recovering a fabled ancient artefact to keep it out of the hands of a ruthless warmonger, the female protagonists venture deep into the mountains of India in search of the item.

Building upon the critically acclaimed gameplay and storytelling of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, this title features all of the hallmarks of the series, including a rich cinematic story, exotic new destinations, intricate puzzles, and action-packed set pieces.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy will be released on August 22 for PlayStation 4.

2. MARIO + RABBIDS: KINGDOM BATTLE

Super Mario is one of Nintendo’s most recognisable characters and for the first time ever he is appearing with Ubisoft’s Rabbids in a video game.

The premise behind Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is that the inter-dimensionally travelling Rabbids have ended up in Mario World and chaos is ensuing, with corrupted Rabbids wreaking havoc and some of the (comparatively) normal Rabbids deciding to help Mario.

Mario and his motley crew of friends and Rabbid cosplayers set off to fight the corrupt Rabbids and fix the disaster.

Broadly, the combat system is a grid-based turn-based affair, with players having a certain number of moves and actions to complete before the focus swaps sides so the other team can do their thing.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle will be released on August 29 for the Nintendo Switch.

3. DESTINY 2

Have you ever wanted to travel across the solar system and back again as you wage war, discover the secrets of our forgotten past, and aid allies in need of a legendary hero?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Destiny 2 could be the game for you.

The online-only multiplayer first-person shooter published by Activision combines cinematic storytelling, solo adventures and co-op or competitive gameplay in an expansive world.

Much like the first Destiny, this game promises to provide endless hours of entertainment by visiting countless unexplored worlds.

Destiny 2 will be released on September 6 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

Cuphead looks like it's straight out of the 1930s.

Cuphead looks like it’s straight out of the 1930s.Source:Supplied

4. CUPHEAD

It’s safe to say you have never seen a game quite like Cuphead.

The run and gun platform indie video game by Canadian brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer allows people to play as Cuphead or Mugman — in single player or local co-op.

Cuphead’s premise is to acquire new weapons, learn powerful super moves and discover hidden secrets while you try to pay your debt back to the devil.

In addition to being heavily focused on boss battles, the game offers a very unique design as it has been inspired by cartoons of the 1930s.

As a throwback to the era, the creators painstakingly used traditional hand drawn cel animation, watercolour backgrounds and original jazz recordings to ensure the game authentically felt like the 1930s.

Cuphead will be released on September 29 on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.

5. FORZA MOTORSPORT 7
The latest edition of the long-running simulation racing franchise will be taken to new heights thanks it’s 4K capability.

Built from the ground up to be UHD at 60 frames per second, Forza Motorsport 7 is being tipped to be the premiere 4K gaming experience.

Forza Motorsport 7 is the tenth instalment in the Forza series and will feature over 700 cars and more than 200 different configurations to race on across 30 locations.

Dynamic race weather including intense rain, expanding puddles, and limited visibility will make this the ultimate test of bravery and skill behind the wheel.

Forza Motorsport 7 will be released on October 3 for the Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.

The TV series South Park is famous for pushing the envelope when it comes to satire and humour, but the latest video game based on the franchise by Ubisoft – a satire of the superhero movie genre – may have just taken those limits too far.

6. SOUTH PARK: THE FRACTURED BUT WHOLE

It shouldn’t come as a shock, but South Park: The Fractured But Whole could be the world’s most offensive video game.

Set in South Park, Colorado, USA, the TV series and game follow the improbably strange adventures of a group of primary school children and are heavily focused on satirising current events and trends.

Published by Ubisoft, the latest game of the franchise satirises the superhero movie genre and might have trouble getting past the Australian Classification Board in unedited form.

A demo showcasing the game had the player and their offsider, Captain Diabetes, sneaking into a strip club to find a stripper implicated in the disappearance of someone’s cat — and this is only the start of the mayhem.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole will be released on October 19 for Xbox One and PC.

7. SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY

The worlds “open-world” and “nonlinear” are two phrases you don’t usually associate with Super Mario games.

But this is all about to change with Super Mario Odyssey putting players in 3D world packed with secrets and surprises.

The aim of the game is to use Mario’s new abilities to collect Moons to power up his airship so he can rescue Princess Peach from Bowser’s wedding plans.

Super Mario Odyssey will be released on October 27 for Nintendo Switch.

America, 1961. Your assassination of Nazi General Deathshead was a short-lived victory. Despite the setback, the Nazis maintain their stranglehold on the world. You are BJ Blazkowicz, aka “Terror-Billy,” member of the Resistance, scourge of the Nazi empire, and humanity’s last hope for liberty. Only you have the guts, guns, and gumption to return stateside, kill every Nazi in sight, and spark the second American Revolution.

8. WOLFENSTEIN II: THE NEW COLOSSUS

Set in a world where the Germans won WWII, the player takes on the role of BJ Blazkowitz as he takes the fight to the Nazi forces occupying America.

A range of enemies including your standard soldiers through to literal Nazi Terminator Robots with laser guns in their arms all feature in the highly-difficult game.

It’s challenging nature doesn’t mean the sense of fun is missing, so fans of the previous game will be delighted to know the viscera and extreme violence are back.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus will be released October 27 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC.

9. CALL OF DUTY: WWII

Returning to its roots as a WWII themed shooter, the Call of Duty franchise has been eagerly awaited and with good reason, set for a return on November 3.

While the campaign doesn’t appear to cover any new ground, fans of the series will be delighted to hear the multiplayer is classic CoD — fast paced, frantic and fun — albeit with some concessions to placability over realism; for example, in real life reflex sights didn’t exist for infantry weapons during WWII.

Call of Duty WWII will be released on November 3 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC.

10. PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS

Not only have people been rushing to purchase this incomplete game, but it has been well publicised that the finished title will have no single-player campaign and the online component ends as soon as you die — there are no second chances.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds managed to build such hype because it allows players to participate in their own version of The Hunger Games where they try to locate weapons, vehicles and supplies to be the last man standing in a tactically rich battleground.

Not only has the beta version been well received by consumers, but it has become the second most watched game on Twitch — the world’s largest game-streaming platform.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will be released on by December 31 for Xbox One and PC.

What games are you looking forward to playing? Continue the conversation in the comments below or with Matthew Dunn on Facebook and Twitter.

The Wheatheart of the Nation Celebration will be held throughout the month of August. For a full schedule, see HPO.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will offer a QuickBooks pro short course on Wed (8/30) and Thur (8/31) in Amarillo from 9:30-4:30p at the office located at 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd. Space is limited so RSVP by Thur (8/24) by calling 677-5600.

Perryton’s Key Heights Baptist Church will hold vacation bible school for incoming 1st – 5th grades Mon (8/7) – Thur (8/10) from 6p-8:15.

A special meeting of the Perryton City Council will be held on Tues (8/8) at noon at City Hall.

The Hemphill County Underground Water Conservation District will meet on Tues (8/8) at 5:15 in the HCUWCD boardroom.

The Perryton ISD board will have a special meeting on Tues (8/8) at 6 pm in the admin building.

The Wolf Creek Neighbors will meet on Tues (8/8) at 7 pm at the Dutcher Ranch.

The Ochiltree County AgriLife Extension Service will host the 19th annual Wheatheart Wheat Conference on Thur (8/10) beginning at 8:30 am at the Expo in Perryton. Registration is $10 at the door and three CEUs will be offered. Lunch will be provided. FMI, call Scott @ 435-4501.

The Ochiltree Soil and Water Conservation District and the USDA NRCS will hold a local work group meeting on Thur (8/10) at 12:30 at the Ochiltree County Expo. The purpose is to receive input on the natural resource conditions and needs in Ochiltree County.

The Perryton Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group will meet on Fri (8/11) at noon at New Hope Fellowship. FMI, call 435-0579.

The Perryton HS All Sports Booster Club will host a hot dog feed on Fri (8/11) at 6 pm. This will be the first day the Rangers practice in pads. $2 includes hot dog, chips and water.

Texas’ Annual Sales Tax Holiday will be Fri (8/11) – Sun (8/13). Shoppers can save money on most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced below $100 with no sales tax applied. On average, shoppers save about $8 on every $100 spent. Lists can be found on HPO or at TexasTaxHoliday.org.

The Jamaica fundraiser in Canadian will be held on Sat (8/12) at the Jones Pavilion from 12p-8p. They will have food booths, bouncy house, games, dunking bother and a soccer tournament.

The Conejo Gallery in Canadian will host a vines and vignettes paint along and wine tasting on Sat (8/12) at 7 pm. Reserve your spot by stopping by the gallery at 312 Main.

Larry Joe Taylor will perform at the Stumblin’ Goat Saloon on Sat (8/12). For tickets, see outhousetickets.com.

Sun (8/13) will be the last day the Canadian swimming pool is open.

The Pam Haines Barbie exhibit reception will be held at the Wolf Creek Heritage Museum in Lipscomb on Sun (8/13) at 2 pm.

All Perryton HS athletes will sell Blitz cards on Mon (8/14) from 8:30-2:30.

The Hemphill County Commissioners’ court will meet on Mon (8/14) at 9 am at the courthouse.

The Perryton All Sports Booster Club will meet on Mon (8/14) at 7 pm in the cafeteria.

The Hemphill County Hospital board will meet on Tues (8/15) at 5 pm in the HCH boardroom.

A reception for photographer Terry Henderson will be held at the River Valley Pioneer Museum in Canadian on Thur (8/17) from 5-7 pm.

An immunization clinic will be held in Canadian on Thur (8/17) from 10-3p at the library.

The Hansford County AgriLife Extension Service will host a series of Lunch and Learns throughout 2017. They will be held from 11:45-1 in the Hansford County Annex and are $15. On Thur (8/17) the topic will be “Apparel Textiles and Care: Cleaning your clothes the right way.”

The Hansford County 4-H End of Year Awards Banquet will be held on Fri (8/18) at 6 pm in the Gruver Methodist Church fellowship hall. A meal will be provided. Please RSVP by Mon (8/14) to 659-4130.

Kody West will perform at the Stumblin’ Goat Saloon on Sat (8/19). For tickets, see outhousetickets.com.

The Harrington Breast Center’s mobile mammography unit will be in Canadian on Mon (8/21) at Hemphill County Hospital from 9:15a-6pm. FMI, call 800-377-4673.

The Canadian City Council will meet on Mon (8/21) at 5:30 pm at City Hall.

A Canadian ISD appreciation lunch will be held at the First Baptist Church on Mon (8/21) at noon.

Weigh in for 3rd-6th graders who are playing PAC football will be Tues (8/22) from 5:30-7 pm at the PAC. All players must be weighed in and that will also be when you can check out equipment. FMI, call the AC at 435-3661.

The Raging Red Rally in Perryton will be held on Thur (8/24) at 7 pm at Ranger Field. They will serve hamburgers with all the trimmings from 5:30-7. They will also have shirts, caps, and car decals for sale in the El Rancho.

Olive’s Door in Canadian will hold an ACT bootcamp for the class of 2018 at the River Church in Canadian on Sat (8/26) from 9 – 3:30. All area wide students are welcome. Space is limited, to reserve your spot, call 217-0299.

The Small Town America Tour, featuring Christian bands Seventh Day Slumber, Manic Drive, Consumed by the Fire, Makayla Lynn and more will be held on Fri (9/1) at the Perryton JH at 6 pm. This is a fundraiser concert for the wildfire victims and fire departments. Suggested donation is $10. FMI, see HPO.

The High Plains Music Fest will be held in Hugoton on Sat (9/9) at Dirtona Raceway. The 1st Annual IBCA sanctioned High Plains BBQ Bash will be held September 8-9. Also, head of the music fest will be the High Plains Fall Fling from 10 am – 6 pm. The concert will feature Cody Johnson with guests Josh Ward, Post Monroe, Stars Go Dim and Sydney Beesley. It will be from 5:30 – midnight.FMI and a link to buy tickets, see HPO.

The Go Tell Crusade will be in Candaian Sun (9/10) – Wed (9/13) at 7 pm nightly at Wildcat Football Stadium. The Go Tell crusade ministry unites churches in a community who pool their resources to prepare the way for evangelistic crusades to be held in football stadiums, civic centers, and coliseums. The nightly event features video, popular Christian artists, testimonies of hope and inspiration, and a clear Gospel message.

The Walk To End Alzheimer’s will be held in Amarillo on Sat (9/16) at Sam Houston Park (4101 Line Ave.) with registration at 9 am, a ceremony at 10 am and the walk at 10:30 am. FMI, call Ty @ 881-7145.

The Hansford County AgriLife Extension Service will host a series of Lunch and Learns throughout 2017. They will be held from 11:45-1 in the Hansford County Annex and are $15. On Thur (9/21) the topic will be “Food Preparation: In a pinch food substitutions and the Yields.”

Other general reminders:
The Texas Dept. of Public Safety will require a new course designed to combat distracted driving. All skills examination applicants 18 and older must complete the course prior to taking the driving skills examination. In addition, drivers 18 to 24 must complete the 6-hour adult driver education course prior to the skills examination. For full info, see HPO.

The Canadian EDC is distributing a survey designed to gather info about internet needs to homes and business in Canadian. The survey is available at https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/omB0uk. (On HPO)

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has announced the deadline to be included in the Fall Foliage Festival brochure and flyer as Fri (9/1). The festival is scheduled for October 21-22. FMI, call the chamber at 323-6234.

The City of Perryton Municipal swimming pool will stay open through Thur (8/10) and will continue half price Wednesdays until then.

The Booker Lions Club has set up a fund for the family of Brittany and Timothy Reyes. A fire in the family’s home destroyed most of the home’s contents. They have three children. Money can be donated through FirstBank Southwest in Booker or clothing donations are being accepted as well. Boys 12/14, girls 12/14 and girls 5T.

The Perryton HS cheerleaders would like businesses to know who they do business with for Ranger spirit items. Authorized vendors who may call local businesses include SPN (Sports Promotion Network)/Spirit Shop, USA (united Specialty Advertising) and End Zone Athletics. Info is also available on the PHS website. If any other vendor calls, they are not associated with PHS cheer.

The Perryton Activity Center is currently taking signups for youth fall soccer for kids ages pre-k – 6th grade. Deadline to sign up is Fri (8/25) at 8 pm. FMI, call 435-3661.

The Perryton Activity Center is currently taking signups for youth volleyball for 3rd – 6th grades. Deadline to sign up is Fri (9/8) at 8 pm. FMI, call 435-3661.

A Go Fund Me account has been established for Locust Grove volunteer firefighter Cody Graves. Graves was injured during the Perryton Fire and because of his injury has been let go from his job. The funds will help the family until Graves recuperates and is able to work again. FMI or to get the link to donate, see HPO. They also have a bank account set up at Happy State Bank in Canadian.

The High Plains Music Fest will be held in Hugoton on Sat (9/9) at Dirtona Raceway. The 1st Annual IBCA sanctioned High Plains BBQ Bash will be held September 8-9. Call 620-544-3069 to sign up or for more information. Also, head of the music fest will be the High Plains Fall Fling and they are looking for vendors. It will be from 10 am – 6 pm. Call the Hugoton Chamber of Commerce for more information at 620-544-4305.The concert will feature Cody Johnson with guests Josh Ward, Post Monroe, Stars Go Dim and Sydney Beesley. FMI, see HPO.

The North Plains Teachers Federal Credit Union is accepting donations for basic school essentials to contribute to teachers and students for the upcoming school year. They will accept donations July 3 – August 11. Items needed include: notebook paper, crayons, scissors, number 2 pencils, folders, etc. A full list can be found on HPO.

The need for referees is up again ahead of the 2017 football season. The Amarillo Chapter of football officials is currently recruiting and taking applications for anyone interested in becoming a high school football official. If you are interested, email amarefs@outlook.com or call Kelly @ 282-2513 or Wayne @ 674-1937.

The Ochiltree County Senior Citizens Center is having their annual membership drive. Open to anyone over the age of 50. $60 for an individual, $150 sustaining and $200 for corporate. FMI, call 435-9909 or see perrytonseniors.org.

The Ochiltree County Farmers Market is underway every Saturday in the Perryton National Bank parking lot from 8a-12p. FMI, call 435-4501.

The Perryton Elks Sweetheart Golf Cart Raffle is currently selling $50 raffle tickets for a golf cart worth over $8,000. Only 300 tickets will be sold. For tickets, stop by Cyd’s Crafts or call 231-5177.

The American Cancer Society is looking for volunteers for their Road to Recovery program, which provides drivers to cancer patients to their treatments or doctors appointments. They will work with your schedule. FMI, call 1-800-ACS-2345.

The Perryton Lions Club has announced their Roarin’ Ranger Spirit Flag project. A Ranger flag will be posted by a Lion in your yard or business during football home games and playoff games from 7a-7p. Cost is $50. If you are interested, call Don @ 202-1631 or any Lions Club member.

Weekly Ladies scrambles on the Perryton Golf Course on Tuesdays are underway and begin weekly at 6 pm. Meet at 5:45 for pairings. FMI, call 202-3027.

Scrambles are underway on the Perryton Golf Course on Thursdays. Have your name called in by 5:45. Scrambles start at 6 pm. Call the pro shop at 435-5381.

A medical account has been set up at First State Bank in Spearman for Ty and Paula Williams. You can send a check to PO Box 247 in Spearman.

The PARIS system is available to Texas Panhandle residents who wish to receive severe weather alerts by either cell phone or email. Through the service, they can also receive local alerts like boil water notices, etc. To sign up, go to r2beready.com. Oklahoma Panhandle residents also have some options for receive alerts. Call your local Sheriff’s office for more information.

The Wheatheart Celebration council has set the theme for the 98th Perryton Celebration as “Better Together – Perryton Strong.” Parade entries are available online at www.perryton.org. The early bird deadline has passed. Any other entries are due by Fri (8/11). FMI, call 228-0549.

Hemphill County 4-H is already drawing for guns in their 52 week gun raffle, but they are still selling tickets if you want to get in. Tickets are $60. Contact A Squared Shooting Sports at 323-9114 or The Cattle Exchange or the Stumblin’ Goat in Canadian.

OPSU is now offering a welding certification program that allows for a standardized curriculum and assessment with readily available credentials for construction and maintenance. FMI, call 580-349-1448.

Canadian Golf Course will start Thursday night scrambles are underway and start at 6 pm. Call 323-5512 FMI. Their final scramble will be Thur (8/17).

A new ag law podcast is available from the Texas AgriLife Extension Office called “Ag Law in the Field” and will have guests weekly for a 30 minutes segment. It will be available every Thursday at http://aglaw.libsyn.com/.

A nondenominational single ladies bible study will take place on Thursday nights in Canadian at 7 pm at the Church of Christ. FMI, call or text Ella @ 681-1744.

Perryton-Ochiltree County Crime Stoppers is offering a new free document shredding service. A blue bin has been placed in the lobby of the Perryton Police Department for the public to place their documents to be destroyed. A shredding service will pick up the container and dispose of the documents.

Vyve wants you to vote for your favorite teacher for Teacher of the Month. Winners will be selected monthly and based on number of votes. All monthly winners will be entered to win an iPad for their classroom. Vote at vyvebroadband.com/teacher.

Spearman’s endowment fund is a powerful, permanent legacy fund that will have a lasting impact in Spearman beyond our lifetimes and will remain in existence forever. Every donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to the $150,000 goal. If you would like to donate, call 886-0984.

The Snack Pak 4 Kids programs in Perryton, Canadian, Booker, Spearman, Pampa and Borger help feed needy school children over the weekend. The program is funded 100% by donations. If you would like to donate, please see http://www.snackpak4kids.org/ and then choose your school district.

The Ellis Theater Revival project is underway in Perryton. If you would like to donate to the cause, they have an account set up at Perryton National Bank. Follow their info at Save the Ellis Theater on Facebook.

Texting and driving kills. Did you know you can download the AT&T Drive Mode app for your phone that can save lives? Get it in the app store.

The Texas Panhandle War Memorial is currently raising funds for the Texas Panhandle War Memorial Education Center, which would be a facility that would focus on the 11 major conflicts the United States has been involved in, and would be completely interactive with digital kiosks. FMI or to donate to the cause, see texaspanhandlewarmemorial.com.

Celebrate Recovery, a faith based 12 step recovery program meets every Sunday from 4-6 at the Union Church in Spearman. FMI, call 202-3886.

The Panhandle Crisis Center in Perryton is in need of volunteers to work at its resale store one to three hours, one day a week, sorting clothing and other donated gifts. The crisis center gives the items donated to the center to its clients free of charge. To volunteer, call Sarah @ 435-5008.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing smoke alarms every ten years. Don’t wait, check the date and replace your smoke alarm if it is over 10 years old.

Millions of people wait and thousands die waiting for on organ transplants. If you would like to be an organ donor, register on organdonor.gov today. You can also register when you renew your driver’s license.

A new program is launching in Amarillo to help provide better mental health care for veterans and their families. Texas Veterans + Family Alliance are looking for any veterans or family members seeking mental health assistance. Call 342-2509 FMI.

Hansford County Hospital District is currently in need of volunteers for their Meals on Wheels program, which provides meals to several aging community members along with a smiling face every visit. If you are interested, call Cheryl @ 659-2535 ext. 3331.

Hansford County has a new passenger van that will be used to transport Hansford County veterans to and from appointments to the VA Medical Facility in Amarillo. For more information, call Judge Benny Wilson @ 659-4100.

The Perryton Activity Center has many different classes available throughout the week. They include: aerobics, insanity, piyo, tae kwon do and water aerobics. For more information on days and times, call the PAC at 435-3661.

The Ochiltree General Hospital Auxiliary, the Pink Ladies, is in need of volunteers. The organization runs the hospital gift shop with the proceeds going to the hospital for projects, college scholarships and Auxiliary projects. FMI, call 648-7223.

If you would like to help the Spearman Food Bank, they need help unloading the truck at 11:30 the 1st Thursday of each month. Contact Cecil Biggers FMI. They used jail trustees this past time because of the need of people. Also, if you need community service hours, this is a great way to earn needed hours.

Getting to and from medical treatments is one of the greatest concerns cancer patients face during treatment. To ensure patients get to those much-needed treatments, the American Cancer Society provides free rides through its Road to Recovery program. The society is currently looking for volunteer drivers in all communities of the 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle so that all patients have transportation when they need it. For additional information about the Road to Recovery program or to volunteer, call 806-353-4307 in Amarillo or the call center @ 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit cancer.org.

The Canadian Meals on Wheels program is in need of volunteers. FMI, call Sandy @ 323-6856.

Perryton Alcoholics Anonymous meets on Mon and Wed nights at 7 pm at 7th and Birch.

Your school district would like to remind everyone that Texas law prohibits texting and using handheld devices in school zones. This is especially dangerous during drop-off and pick-up times. FMI and maps on drop-off and pick-up procedures for Perryton ISD schools, see perrytonisd.org.

Single Moms (SEEDS) will meet Wednesdays at Perryton’s First Baptist Church from 6:30-7:30. Children’s ministries are available. FMI, call Karen @ 202-5296.

Your school district is looking for children ages 3-21 years who may be slow in developing communication skills, social interactions, walking skills and/or have major physical disabilities. They want to give your child the chance to receive the extra help he/she needs, if the disability interferes with his/her education. Please call your elementary campus to get more information.

The Waka Christian Center located in Waka is a great place for a weekend retreat, family reunion, wedding, celebration or holiday event. It has a fully equipped kitchen and dining room seating for 125 people, as well as overnight accommodations for up to 85 people and much more. FMI, call 202-1376.

Perryton’s WIC office has many services available for pregnant or new moms as well as kids up to 5. This includes classes that can help with healthy eating as well as nutrition counseling. FMI, call the office at 435-4908.

Perryton’s Beehive Daycare is currently accepting babies 0-12 months, toddlers 12-24 months, 2 year olds, and after school program ages 5 through 13 years old. Stop by the offices at 901 S. Jefferson to pick up an application or call 435-5922.

The USDA FSA would like to remind all foreign persons with an interest in agricultural lands in the US that they are required to report their holding and any transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. FMI, call your local FSA office.

Panhandle Transit operates a large fleet of vehicles that provide rural transportation across the Texas Panhandle with a curb-to-curb service, in-town or out-of-town, for a very nominal fee with 24 hour notice. Panhandle Transit serves as the non-emergency medical transportation provider for all 26 counties, including the city of Amarillo. FMI or to schedule a trip, call 806-372-2531 or 800-676-4727.

The Booker Fire Dept. is looking for volunteers. No training or experience needed. Contact Danny Loesch @ 435-1946 or show up at one of their bi-monthly meetings at 7 pm every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month at the fire station on Main street.

The Perryton Volunteer Fire Department is looking for volunteers. If you are interested, contact Chief Dutcher at 435-3000.

Gruver Elementary School is participating in the Lowe’s Tapes for Education program. Help your school earn credit for free education supplies by saving your receipts from any Lowes Supermarket.

Booker Meals on Wheels delivers fresh, hot lunch Monday – Friday. $2.50 per meal. Interested recipients should call Tina Pickett @ 658-4886 or 228-6007.

Are you a victim of domestic violence, sexual abuse or physical, emotional or sexual assault? Call a toll free hotline, 800-753-5308 or call 435-5008. The Panhandle Crisis Center operates a safe place for victims and their children to stay in times of crisis. Battering intervention and anger management available at the Crisis Center, serving the Hansford, Lipscomb and Ochiltree Counties.

Local Perryton organization A HAND UP is looking for any household items that people may be getting rid of that could go to people in need. If you have anything, please call Phyllis @ 202-8867.

OPSU Aggie fans can now visit www.opsuaggies.com to receive the latest news and information for all OPSU sports including rodeo, cheerleading and equestrian events.

Wheel Times, based in Pampa, provides educational and recreational opportunities to children, young adults and their families with mobility challenges all around our region. If you or someone you know has a child in a wheel chair and would like to participate, please call Brad @ 440-1863.

“Get Real,” a faith based, Christ centered recovery group based on the Celebrate Recovery program meets twice a week at Word of Life Church in Perryton. Wednesdays at 7 with specific groups and Sundays at 3 is a Step Study Group.

Hansford Hospice is currently looking for volunteers. If you are interested, please call 659-5811.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) meets on Tuesday morning at 8:30 at the First Christian Church in Gruver. Anyone interested is invited. Call Marilyn Been @ 733-2087.

Perryton Weight Watchers meet every Tuesday at First Christian Church at 6 pm. Weigh in starts 30 minutes before the meeting. FMI, call Jennifer at 940-632-7557.

Canadian Weight Watchers meet every Thursday at the First Christian Church for a 5:45 weigh in and 6:15 meeting rather than Tuesday at noon. To learn more, contact Cook @ 806-255-0750.

Did you know that drug addiction is the number one culprit behind nutritional deficiencies in the body, illnesses and injuries? Get the specifics on how someone is physically affected by substance abuse and how they can undo the physical damage caused by addiction through your free copy of “The Truth About Becoming Addicted”. Call 888-837-9177 or log onto www.becomingaddicted.org.

The Spearman Volunteer Fire Department is actively recruiting new members. Both men and women age 18 and over are welcome. The number of volunteers has dropped to dangerously low levels and the roster needs to be increased. Call Kimmi Rivera @ 202-6374 FMI.

The Perryton Lions Club is collecting used eyeglasses for recycling. Anyone who has eyeglass to donate can contact any Lions Club member.

Jireh Outreach Ministry provides free groceries every Thursday evening and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, income or any other factor that is prohibited by law. All clients must sign in between 5:30 and 6 p.m. and new clients are required to fill in a general information sheet to be kept on file. Jireh is located in the 200 block of Colgate, behind La Casita and next to the Family Outreach Services office.

Do you have or do you know someone in the area who has a passenger that is traveling unsafely in the car? Please contact your local Extension office for passenger safety education and a free car seat today.

The Panhandle Crisis Center of Ochiltree, Hansford and Lipscomb Counties is always in need of these items for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse: toilet paper, facial tissue, paper towels, 1gal zipper food bags, pasta, rice, bread mixes, cereal, crackers, soups, beans, meat, sauces and nonperishable lunch box size meals and food. They also need used cell phones with batteries.

Any woman who has had breast cancer surgery and cannot afford undergarments and prosthetics can get help from the American Cancer Society through a grant from Susan G. Komen for the Cure. FMI call the American Cancer Society office in Amarillo at 806-353-4307.

Redeemers Way, a single father’s group, has begun meeting on Sundays. They will meet at Perryton’s First Baptist Church from 5:15-6:15 in Room N102. FMI, call Ray @ 202-6914.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is hosting “A Midsummer Night’s Fairy House Workshop” on August 24 from 6-8 p.m. The session will be led by author Renee Raney, Director of Library Services Hope Long and Plant Adventures Coordinator Brooke McMinn. Space is available for $45 for Members and $50 for Non-Members. Most of the needed materials are included, though participants are encouraged to bring their own optional decorations like miniature dishes, tea sets and doll house accessories. 

Registration can be completed online here.

All bases will be natural bark taken from fairy trees that have fallen on Raney’s farm. 

Participants must be over 21, as they will enjoy a glass of wine with friends while making a summer cottage for the fairies in their garden using materials that are durable outside in sheltered areas or inside their sunroom. Under the guidance of author, storyteller and biologist Renee Simmons Raney, adults will create one house each to take home at the end of the program. 

Come prepared for messy art play (hot glue guns will be in use). We suggest some materials to bring from home (such as optional decorations like miniature dishes/tea sets/doll house accessories; feel free to bring your own glue gun). A base for your fairy house and a variety of natural materials (moss, bark, sticks, acorns, shells, clay for creating fairy accessories, and more!) are provided.

Fee includes instruction, basic materials, use of hot glue guns/tools and two glasses of wine.

Each participant will have the option of using a cut processed wood board to make the bark base sturdier. This requires some “structure” accents with additional moss. (Approximately 10″ x 8″ of moss will be provided for each workshop participant. Additional moss may be collected from private property or purchased from craft stores.) 

Signed copies of Renee’s new book Hairy, Scary, but Mostly Merry Fairies (Published by NewSouth Montgomery) will be available for $17.

To learn more about all of the educational opportunities The Gardens has to offer, we encourage you to visit our website, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and follow us on Instagram. You can subscribe to the award-winning Dirt E-Lert, our bi-weekly e-newsletter, by simply texting BBGARDENS to 22828. 

About Birmingham Botanical Gardens

A facility of the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board, the beauty and value of Birmingham Botanical Gardens are the result of a successful public/private partnership between the City of Birmingham and the nonprofit Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens. In 2016, Birmingham Botanical Gardens was named as one of the top three free attractions in America by USA Today. Education programs run year round and more than 10,000 school children on average enjoy free science-curriculum based field trips annually. The Gardens is open daily, offering free admission to more than 350,000 yearly visitors. 

Perryton’s Key Heights Baptist Church will hold vacation bible school for incoming 1st – 5th grades Mon (8/7) – Thur (8/10) from 6p-8:15.

A special meeting of the Perryton City Council will be held on Tues (8/8) at noon at City Hall.

The Hemphill County Underground Water Conservation District will meet on Tues (8/8) at 5:15 in the HCUWCD boardroom.

The Wolf Creek Neighbors will meet on Tues (8/8) at 7 pm at the Dutcher Ranch.

The Ochiltree County AgriLife Extension Service will host the 19th annual Wheatheart Wheat Conference on Thur (8/10) beginning at 8:30 am at the Expo in Perryton. Registration is $10 at the door and three CEUs will be offered. Lunch will be provided. FMI, call Scott @ 435-4501.

The Ochiltree Soil and Water Conservation District and the USDA NRCS will hold a local work group meeting on Thur (8/10) at 12:30 at the Ochiltree County Expo. The purpose is to receive input on the natural resource conditions and needs in Ochiltree County.

The Perryton Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group will meet on Fri (8/11) at noon at New Hope Fellowship. FMI, call 435-0579.

The Perryton HS All Sports Booster Club will host a hot dog feed on Fri (8/11) at 6 pm. This will be the first day the Rangers practice in pads. $2 includes hot dog, chips and water.

Texas’ Annual Sales Tax Holiday will be Fri (8/11) – Sun (8/13). Shoppers can save money on most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced below $100 with no sales tax applied. On average, shoppers save about $8 on every $100 spent. Lists can be found on HPO or at TexasTaxHoliday.org.

Larry Joe Taylor will perform at the Stumblin’ Goat Saloon on Sat (8/12). For tickets, see outhousetickets.com.

All Perryton HS athletes will sell Blitz cards on Mon (8/14) from 8:30-2:30.

The Perryton All Sports Booster Club will meet on Mon (8/14) at 7 pm in the cafeteria.

The Hansford County AgriLife Extension Service will host a series of Lunch and Learns throughout 2017. They will be held from 11:45-1 in the Hansford County Annex and are $15. On Thur (8/17) the topic will be “Apparel Textiles and Care: Cleaning your clothes the right way.”

The Hansford County 4-H End of Year Awards Banquet will be held on Fri (8/18) at 6 pm in the Gruver Methodist Church fellowship hall. A meal will be provided. Please RSVP by Mon (8/14) to 659-4130.

Kody West will perform at the Stumblin’ Goat Saloon on Sat (8/19). For tickets, see outhousetickets.com.

The Harrington Breast Center’s mobile mammography unit will be in Canadian on Mon (8/21) at Hemphill County Hospital from 9:15a-6pm. FMI, call 800-377-4673.

The Raging Red Rally in Perryton will be held on Thur (8/24) at 7 pm at Ranger Field. They will serve hamburgers with all the trimmings from 5:30-7. They will also have shirts, caps, and car decals for sale in the El Rancho.

Olive’s Door in Canadian will hold an ACT bootcamp for the class of 2018 at the River Church in Canadian on Sat (8/26) from 9 – 3:30. All area wide students are welcome. Space is limited, to reserve your spot, call 217-0299.

The Small Town America Tour, featuring Christian bands Seventh Day Slumber, Manic Drive, Consumed by the Fire, Makayla Lynn and more will be held on Fri (9/1) at the Perryton JH at 6 pm. This is a fundraiser concert for the wildfire victims and fire departments. Suggested donation is $10. FMI, see HPO.

The High Plains Music Fest will be held in Hugoton on Sat (9/9) at Dirtona Raceway. The 1st Annual IBCA sanctioned High Plains BBQ Bash will be held September 8-9. Also, head of the music fest will be the High Plains Fall Fling from 10 am – 6 pm. The concert will feature Cody Johnson with guests Josh Ward, Post Monroe, Stars Go Dim and Sydney Beesley. It will be from 5:30 – midnight.FMI and a link to buy tickets, see HPO.

The Walk To End Alzheimer’s will be held in Amarillo on Sat (9/16) at Sam Houston Park (4101 Line Ave.) with registration at 9 am, a ceremony at 10 am and the walk at 10:30 am. FMI, call Ty @ 881-7145.

The Hansford County AgriLife Extension Service will host a series of Lunch and Learns throughout 2017. They will be held from 11:45-1 in the Hansford County Annex and are $15. On Thur (9/21) the topic will be “Food Preparation: In a pinch food substitutions and the Yields.”

Olive’s Door in Canadian will hold AIMS testing for the class of 2018 at the Canadian First Christian Church on Sat (9/30) from 8:30-4:30. All area wide students welcome but space is limited. To reserve your spot, call 217-0299.

Other general reminders:
The Texas Dept. of Public Safety will require a new course designed to combat distracted driving. For full info, see HPO.

The Canadian EDC is distributing a survey designed to gather info about internet needs to homes and business in Canadian. The survey is available at https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/omB0uk. (On HPO)

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has announced the deadline to be included in the Fall Foliage Festival brochure and flyer as Fri (9/1). The festival is scheduled for October 21-22. FMI, call the chamber at 323-6234.

The City of Perryton Municipal swimming pool will stay open through Thur (8/10) and will continue half price Wednesdays until then.

The Booker Lions Club has set up a fund for the family of Brittany and Timothy Reyes. A fire in the family’s home destroyed most of the home’s contents. They have three children. Money can be donated through FirstBank Southwest in Booker or clothing donations are being accepted as well. Boys 12/14, girls 12/14 and girls 5T.

The Perryton HS cheerleaders would like businesses to know who they do business with for Ranger spirit items. Authorized vendors who may call local businesses include SPN (Sports Promotion Network)/Spirit Shop, USA (united Specialty Advertising) and End Zone Athletics. Info is also available on the PHS website. If any other vendor calls, they are not associated with PHS cheer.

The Perryton Activity Center is now taking signups for youth football for kids 1st grade – 6th grade. Deadline to signup is Fri (8/4) at 8 pm. Weigh in for 3rd-6th graders will be Tues (8/22) from 5:30-7 pm at the PAC. All players must be weighed in and that will also be when you can check out equipment. FMI, call the AC at 435-3661.

The Perryton Activity Center is currently taking signups for youth fall soccer for kids ages pre-k – 6th grade. Deadline to sign up is Fri (8/25) at 8 pm. FMI, call 435-3661.

The Perryton Activity Center is currently taking signups for youth volleyball for 3rd – 6th grades. Deadline to sign up is Fri (9/8) at 8 pm. FMI, call 435-3661.

A Go Fund Me account has been established for Locust Grove volunteer firefighter Cody Graves. Graves was injured during the Perryton Fire and because of his injury has been let go from his job. The funds will help the family until Graves recuperates and is able to work again. FMI or to get the link to donate, see HPO. They also have a bank account set up at Happy State Bank in Canadian.

The High Plains Music Fest will be held in Hugoton on Sat (9/9) at Dirtona Raceway. The 1st Annual IBCA sanctioned High Plains BBQ Bash will be held September 8-9. Call 620-544-3069 to sign up or for more information. Also, head of the music fest will be the High Plains Fall Fling and they are looking for vendors. It will be from 10 am – 6 pm. Call the Hugoton Chamber of Commerce for more information at 620-544-4305.The concert will feature Cody Johnson with guests Josh Ward, Post Monroe, Stars Go Dim and Sydney Beesley. FMI, see HPO.

Leadership Perryton is currently accepting applications for their next leadership series. Deadline to apply is Mon (8/7). FMI, see HPO.

The North Plains Teachers Federal Credit Union is accepting donations for basic school essentials to contribute to teachers and students for the upcoming school year. They will accept donations July 3 – August 11. Items needed include: notebook paper, crayons, scissors, number 2 pencils, folders, etc. A full list can be found on HPO.

The need for referees is up again ahead of the 2017 football season. The Amarillo Chapter of football officials is currently recruiting and taking applications for anyone interested in becoming a high school football official. If you are interested, email amarefs@outlook.com or call Kelly @ 282-2513 or Wayne @ 674-1937.

The Ochiltree County Senior Citizens Center is having their annual membership drive. Open to anyone over the age of 50. $60 for an individual, $150 sustaining and $200 for corporate. FMI, call 435-9909 or see perrytonseniors.org.

The Ochiltree County Farmers Market is underway every Saturday in the Perryton National Bank parking lot from 8a-12p. FMI, call 435-4501.

The Perryton Elks Sweetheart Golf Cart Raffle is currently selling $50 raffle tickets for a golf cart worth over $8,000. Only 300 tickets will be sold. For tickets, stop by Cyd’s Crafts or call 231-5177.

The American Cancer Society is looking for volunteers for their Road to Recovery program, which provides drivers to cancer patients to their treatments or doctors appointments. They will work with your schedule. FMI, call 1-800-ACS-2345.

The Perryton Lions Club has announced their Roarin’ Ranger Spirit Flag project. A Ranger flag will be posted by a Lion in your yard or business during football home games and playoff games from 7a-7p. Cost is $50. If you are interested, call Don @ 202-1631 or any Lions Club member.

Weekly Ladies scrambles on the Perryton Golf Course on Tuesdays are underway and begin weekly at 6 pm. Meet at 5:45 for pairings. FMI, call 202-3027.

Scrambles are underway on the Perryton Golf Course on Thursdays. Have your name called in by 5:45. Scrambles start at 6 pm. Call the pro shop at 435-5381.

A medical account has been set up at First State Bank in Spearman for Ty and Paula Williams. You can send a check to PO Box 247 in Spearman.

The PARIS system is available to Texas Panhandle residents who wish to receive severe weather alerts by either cell phone or email. Through the service, they can also receive local alerts like boil water notices, etc. To sign up, go to r2beready.com. Oklahoma Panhandle residents also have some options for receive alerts. Call your local Sheriff’s office for more information.

The Wheatheart Celebration council has set the theme for the 98th Perryton Celebration as “Better Together – Perryton Strong.” Parade entries are available online at www.perryton.org. The early bird deadline has passed. Any other entries are due by Fri (8/11). FMI, call 228-0549.

Hemphill County 4-H is already drawing for guns in their 52 week gun raffle, but they are still selling tickets if you want to get in. Tickets are $60. Contact A Squared Shooting Sports at 323-9114 or The Cattle Exchange or the Stumblin’ Goat in Canadian.

OPSU is now offering a welding certification program that allows for a standardized curriculum and assessment with readily available credentials for construction and maintenance. FMI, call 580-349-1448.

Canadian Golf Course will start Thursday night scrambles are underway and start at 6 pm. Call 323-5512 FMI. Their final scramble will be Thur (8/17).

A new ag law podcast is available from the Texas AgriLife Extension Office called “Ag Law in the Field” and will have guests weekly for a 30 minutes segment. It will be available every Thursday at http://aglaw.libsyn.com/.

A nondenominational single ladies bible study will take place on Thursday nights in Canadian at 7 pm at the Church of Christ. FMI, call or text Ella @ 681-1744.

Perryton-Ochiltree County Crime Stoppers is offering a new free document shredding service. A blue bin has been placed in the lobby of the Perryton Police Department for the public to place their documents to be destroyed. A shredding service will pick up the container and dispose of the documents.

Vyve wants you to vote for your favorite teacher for Teacher of the Month. Winners will be selected monthly and based on number of votes. All monthly winners will be entered to win an iPad for their classroom. Vote at vyvebroadband.com/teacher.

Spearman’s endowment fund is a powerful, permanent legacy fund that will have a lasting impact in Spearman beyond our lifetimes and will remain in existence forever. Every donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to the $150,000 goal. If you would like to donate, call 886-0984.

The Snack Pak 4 Kids programs in Perryton, Canadian, Booker, Spearman, Pampa and Borger help feed needy school children over the weekend. The program is funded 100% by donations. If you would like to donate, please see http://www.snackpak4kids.org/ and then choose your school district.

The Ellis Theater Revival project is underway in Perryton. If you would like to donate to the cause, they have an account set up at Perryton National Bank. Follow their info at Save the Ellis Theater on Facebook.

Texting and driving kills. Did you know you can download the AT&T Drive Mode app for your phone that can save lives? Get it in the app store.

The Texas Panhandle War Memorial is currently raising funds for the Texas Panhandle War Memorial Education Center, which would be a facility that would focus on the 11 major conflicts the United States has been involved in, and would be completely interactive with digital kiosks. FMI or to donate to the cause, see texaspanhandlewarmemorial.com.

Celebrate Recovery, a faith based 12 step recovery program meets every Sunday from 4-6 at the Union Church in Spearman. FMI, call 202-3886.

The Panhandle Crisis Center in Perryton is in need of volunteers to work at its resale store one to three hours, one day a week, sorting clothing and other donated gifts. The crisis center gives the items donated to the center to its clients free of charge. To volunteer, call Sarah @ 435-5008.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing smoke alarms every ten years. Don’t wait, check the date and replace your smoke alarm if it is over 10 years old.

Millions of people wait and thousands die waiting for on organ transplants. If you would like to be an organ donor, register on organdonor.gov today. You can also register when you renew your driver’s license.

A new program is launching in Amarillo to help provide better mental health care for veterans and their families. Texas Veterans + Family Alliance are looking for any veterans or family members seeking mental health assistance. Call 342-2509 FMI.

Hansford County Hospital District is currently in need of volunteers for their Meals on Wheels program, which provides meals to several aging community members along with a smiling face every visit. If you are interested, call Cheryl @ 659-2535 ext. 3331.

Hansford County has a new passenger van that will be used to transport Hansford County veterans to and from appointments to the VA Medical Facility in Amarillo. For more information, call Judge Benny Wilson @ 659-4100.

The Perryton Activity Center has many different classes available throughout the week. They include: aerobics, insanity, piyo, tae kwon do and water aerobics. For more information on days and times, call the PAC at 435-3661.

The Ochiltree General Hospital Auxiliary, the Pink Ladies, is in need of volunteers. The organization runs the hospital gift shop with the proceeds going to the hospital for projects, college scholarships and Auxiliary projects. FMI, call 648-7223.

If you would like to help the Spearman Food Bank, they need help unloading the truck at 11:30 the 1st Thursday of each month. Contact Cecil Biggers FMI. They used jail trustees this past time because of the need of people. Also, if you need community service hours, this is a great way to earn needed hours.

Getting to and from medical treatments is one of the greatest concerns cancer patients face during treatment. To ensure patients get to those much-needed treatments, the American Cancer Society provides free rides through its Road to Recovery program. The society is currently looking for volunteer drivers in all communities of the 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle so that all patients have transportation when they need it. For additional information about the Road to Recovery program or to volunteer, call 806-353-4307 in Amarillo or the call center @ 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit cancer.org.

The Canadian Meals on Wheels program is in need of volunteers. FMI, call Sandy @ 323-6856.

Perryton Alcoholics Anonymous meets on Mon and Wed nights at 7 pm at 7th and Birch.

Your school district would like to remind everyone that Texas law prohibits texting and using handheld devices in school zones. This is especially dangerous during drop-off and pick-up times. FMI and maps on drop-off and pick-up procedures for Perryton ISD schools, see perrytonisd.org.

Single Moms (SEEDS) will meet Wednesdays at Perryton’s First Baptist Church from 6:30-7:30. Children’s ministries are available. FMI, call Karen @ 202-5296.

Your school district is looking for children ages 3-21 years who may be slow in developing communication skills, social interactions, walking skills and/or have major physical disabilities. They want to give your child the chance to receive the extra help he/she needs, if the disability interferes with his/her education. Please call your elementary campus to get more information.

The Waka Christian Center located in Waka is a great place for a weekend retreat, family reunion, wedding, celebration or holiday event. It has a fully equipped kitchen and dining room seating for 125 people, as well as overnight accommodations for up to 85 people and much more. FMI, call 202-1376.

Perryton’s WIC office has many services available for pregnant or new moms as well as kids up to 5. This includes classes that can help with healthy eating as well as nutrition counseling. FMI, call the office at 435-4908.

Perryton’s Beehive Daycare is currently accepting babies 0-12 months, toddlers 12-24 months, 2 year olds, and after school program ages 5 through 13 years old. Stop by the offices at 901 S. Jefferson to pick up an application or call 435-5922.

The USDA FSA would like to remind all foreign persons with an interest in agricultural lands in the US that they are required to report their holding and any transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. FMI, call your local FSA office.

Panhandle Transit operates a large fleet of vehicles that provide rural transportation across the Texas Panhandle with a curb-to-curb service, in-town or out-of-town, for a very nominal fee with 24 hour notice. Panhandle Transit serves as the non-emergency medical transportation provider for all 26 counties, including the city of Amarillo. FMI or to schedule a trip, call 806-372-2531 or 800-676-4727.

The Booker Fire Dept. is looking for volunteers. No training or experience needed. Contact Danny Loesch @ 435-1946 or show up at one of their bi-monthly meetings at 7 pm every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month at the fire station on Main street.

The Perryton Volunteer Fire Department is looking for volunteers. If you are interested, contact Chief Dutcher at 435-3000.

Gruver Elementary School is participating in the Lowe’s Tapes for Education program. Help your school earn credit for free education supplies by saving your receipts from any Lowes Supermarket.

Booker Meals on Wheels delivers fresh, hot lunch Monday – Friday. $2.50 per meal. Interested recipients should call Tina Pickett @ 658-4886 or 228-6007.

Are you a victim of domestic violence, sexual abuse or physical, emotional or sexual assault? Call a toll free hotline, 800-753-5308 or call 435-5008. The Panhandle Crisis Center operates a safe place for victims and their children to stay in times of crisis. Battering intervention and anger management available at the Crisis Center, serving the Hansford, Lipscomb and Ochiltree Counties.

Local Perryton organization A HAND UP is looking for any household items that people may be getting rid of that could go to people in need. If you have anything, please call Phyllis @ 202-8867.

OPSU Aggie fans can now visit www.opsuaggies.com to receive the latest news and information for all OPSU sports including rodeo, cheerleading and equestrian events.

Wheel Times, based in Pampa, provides educational and recreational opportunities to children, young adults and their families with mobility challenges all around our region. If you or someone you know has a child in a wheel chair and would like to participate, please call Brad @ 440-1863.

“Get Real,” a faith based, Christ centered recovery group based on the Celebrate Recovery program meets twice a week at Word of Life Church in Perryton. Wednesdays at 7 with specific groups and Sundays at 3 is a Step Study Group.

Hansford Hospice is currently looking for volunteers. If you are interested, please call 659-5811.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) meets on Tuesday morning at 8:30 at the First Christian Church in Gruver. Anyone interested is invited. Call Marilyn Been @ 733-2087.

Perryton Weight Watchers meet every Tuesday at First Christian Church at 6 pm. Weigh in starts 30 minutes before the meeting. FMI, call Jennifer at 940-632-7557.

Canadian Weight Watchers meet every Thursday at the First Christian Church for a 5:45 weigh in and 6:15 meeting rather than Tuesday at noon. To learn more, contact Cook @ 806-255-0750.

Did you know that drug addiction is the number one culprit behind nutritional deficiencies in the body, illnesses and injuries? Get the specifics on how someone is physically affected by substance abuse and how they can undo the physical damage caused by addiction through your free copy of “The Truth About Becoming Addicted”. Call 888-837-9177 or log onto www.becomingaddicted.org.

The Spearman Volunteer Fire Department is actively recruiting new members. Both men and women age 18 and over are welcome. The number of volunteers has dropped to dangerously low levels and the roster needs to be increased. Call Kimmi Rivera @ 202-6374 FMI.

The Perryton Lions Club is collecting used eyeglasses for recycling. Anyone who has eyeglass to donate can contact any Lions Club member.

Jireh Outreach Ministry provides free groceries every Thursday evening and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, income or any other factor that is prohibited by law. All clients must sign in between 5:30 and 6 p.m. and new clients are required to fill in a general information sheet to be kept on file. Jireh is located in the 200 block of Colgate, behind La Casita and next to the Family Outreach Services office.

Do you have or do you know someone in the area who has a passenger that is traveling unsafely in the car? Please contact your local Extension office for passenger safety education and a free car seat today.

The Panhandle Crisis Center of Ochiltree, Hansford and Lipscomb Counties is always in need of these items for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse: toilet paper, facial tissue, paper towels, 1gal zipper food bags, pasta, rice, bread mixes, cereal, crackers, soups, beans, meat, sauces and nonperishable lunch box size meals and food. They also need used cell phones with batteries.

Any woman who has had breast cancer surgery and cannot afford undergarments and prosthetics can get help from the American Cancer Society through a grant from Susan G. Komen for the Cure. FMI call the American Cancer Society office in Amarillo at 806-353-4307.

Redeemers Way, a single father’s group, has begun meeting on Sundays. They will meet at Perryton’s First Baptist Church from 5:15-6:15 in Room N102. FMI, call Ray @ 202-6914.

Rip Curl Cup Invitational

Waves at Padang Padang never reached the world-class caliber needed to run Rip Curl Cup Invitational

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 August, 2017 – After several close calls at Padang Padang in recent weeks, the waiting period for the 2017 Rip Curl Cup Invitational has drawn to a close without the magic swell required to run the hallowed event. Despite a month-long waiting period during prime swell season (July 10 – August 10), the waves at Padang Padang never reached the world-class caliber required to hold the Ultimate Tuberiding Contest.

For now, The Cup will remain in Bali with reigning Rip Curl Cup Champion Mega Semadhi (IND). The local Balinese surfer who grew up just down the road from Padang Padang will have to wait until next year to defend his title. Meanwhile, the international invitees, which included such heavy hitters as Mason Ho (HAW), Bruno Santos (BRA), Bruce Irons (HAW), Clay Marzo (HAW) and Damien Hobgood (USA) in 2017, will be eager to steal away The Cup in 2018.

With just five days remaining in the waiting period, invited surfers and fans were hoping that the impressive westerly swell that hit Bali over the weekend of August 5 might provide the classic daredevil waves the Rip Curl Cup demands in order to hold competition. While there was the occasional spitting bomb on Saturday evening at Padang Padang, the conditions were never spectacular or consistent enough to greenlight what has become the most anticipated barrel shootout of the year.

“Our standard is to guarantee 16 of the world’s best tube riders are competing on the best day of the year at Padang Padang,” Rip Curl Southeast Asia Marketing Manager James Hendy said. “Anything less would mean compromising the integrity of the event.”

Hendy said holding the contest at an alternate site, such as Bingin or Uluwatu, was also out of the question. The Rip Curl Cup will only be held at Bali’s premier barreling wave, Padang Padang.

On multiple occasions during the 2017 waiting period, large swells prompted event directors to place the event on High Alert for a possible start to competition. While Padang Padang certainly dished out some memorable freesurf rides for the 16 invited surfers gathered in Bali during these swells, the conditions were never consistent enough to hold the contest.

“I think it was a good call not to run the event on the mediocre days at Padang Padang,” international invitee Dillon Perillo (USA) said. “If you run this event, you want to have full guns blazing.”

The 2017 waiting period in Bali provided plenty of freesurfing action from the 16 invited surfers, including the event Expression Session that saw the Indonesian surfers put on dominant barrel riding performances that put the international invitees on notice for next year.

“There’s been swell every day,” Perillo said of the recent swells to hit Bali’s Bukit Peninsula. “People have been getting barreled every day and there’s been people on the cliff watching and cheering. It just wasn’t good enough for this standard of a contest. When the waves did come they were pretty legit, but there weren’t enough waves every 30 minutes for a heat worthy of a global audience. This isn’t a wave catching contest, it’s a barrel riding contest.”

Fans can experience video highlights of all the electrifying surfing that took place in Bali during the waiting period by visiting ripcurl.asia.

OJ Made in America Sundance Film Festival“O.J. Made In America.”Sundance Film FestivalAs a species, we’re working on our seventeenth year into a new century and everything is on fire. The blurring of the lines that divide fact and fiction has grown so smeared and indecipherable as to allow climate change to still be questioned and corruption has been radically normalized to the point of borderline decriminalization.

Unavoidably, this international tendency to believe what we want as often as what’s factual has bled into moviemaking, both in regards to increasingly untenable productions in the big studios and in innumerable filmic takes on major (and minor) historical events seen in narrative films and, perhaps even more so, documentaries.

This is what makes docs like Waltz with Bashir and Tower, both of which rely heavily on animation to convey the tricks of memory that corrode and aggrandize the truth, so important. Then there’s more narrative-based tricks, such as the anxious shell game that is Banksy’s exuberant Exit Through the Gift Shop or the more existential narrative questions at the heart of Jafar Panahi’s This is Not a Film. Beyond the testing of boundaries between fact and fiction, these movies are infectiously curious about the importance and meaning of truth in movies. Outside of documentaries, one could see this concept being tossed around in the late Abbas Kiarastomi’s Certified Copy, one of the best films of this century full stop.

Nevertheless, these advances don’t discount the power of reinventing more classical stylistic choices in the documentary form. Frederick Wiseman, America’s greatest documentarian, has honed his own no-frills aesthetic over his many decades as a filmmaker and he has made the best documentary of the century thus far. Similarly, elder masters like Steve JamesClaude LanzmannWerner Herzog, and Errol Morris arrived high on my (very rough) list of the 25 best documentaries of the century thus far. Truthfully, had I not limited myself to one movie per director, Wiseman would have dominated a quarter of this list between Boxing GymNational GalleryAt BerkeleyDomestic ViolenceState Legislature, and the upcoming Ex Libris.

Perhaps a list with those titles would be a more honest collection of the most revelatory documentaries that the last decade and this one have produced. More titles from Herzog, Morris, Chinese master Wang Bing, and several others would have also likely made the final cut. In doing that, however, one might not see the staggering breadth of transformation that the genre (or is it style?) has been going under since we all survived the millennium’s imagined doomsday.

View As: One Page Slides


25. “Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno”

25.

Henri-Georges Clouzot

A thrilling tale of cinematic obsession found amongst the wreckage of an unfinished thriller about romantic obsession. Clouzot, who perfected the art of nerve-rattling with Diabolique and The Wages of Fear, had planned to make a tense, diabolic melodrama called L’Enfer with Romy Schneider in the lead as the beautiful bride to a vacationing bourgeoisie Frenchman who grows ravenously jealous of local male attention. Directors Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea find vast, feverish undercurrents of paranoia and self-obsession in the remnants of Clouzot’s footage but, more importantly, finds even stronger and stranger visions of the dark side to imagination and creative control in the story of Clouzot’s inability to fully realize his vision. In conflating the stories, this wildly entertaining near-masterwork evokes the infectious spirit of artistic creation, for better and worse.

24. “Zero Days”

24.

Magnolia Pictures

Consider Alex Gibney’s latest work – one of the prolific filmmaker’s very best – as an alternate history of the Iran Nuclear deal, one in which the watchful Western eyes get poked by their own sharp stick. In this metaphor, the stick is StuxNet, a computer worm manufactured by Israel and the USA in secret to keep a leash on Iran. Things did not quite turn out that way, as Iran eventually utilized the cyber-weapon to their own advantage to give us our own national security hair-mussing. At once an engrossing, detail-oriented cyner-thriller and a brilliant primer on the era of cyber warfare, Zero Days renews and reinforces the argument that Gibney is one of the most thoughtful and direct political filmmakers out there.

23. “Bright Leaves”

23.

First Run Features

Ross McElwee is primarily known for Sherman’s March, a poignant masterwork that conflated the director’s fascination with General Sherman’s destructive campaign through the South during the Civil War with McElwee’s own chaotic, ambling romantic life. There’s a similar rousing intermingling between geography, the crimes of history, and personal reflection in 2004’s Bright Leaves, which finds the filmmaker studying his family’s connection to tobacco – his great-grandfather was the man behind Bull Durham – while also studying the poverty and desperation that followed in the wake of the cash crop’s plummet in popularity. Obviously and tragically, the insights and images that McElwee stirs up while rambling around North Carolina still resonate in the age of Trump.

22. “The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu”

22.

Andrei Ujică

Many discussions of Christopher Nolan’s recent Dunkirk revolve around the film’s visual power on the biggest screens imaginable, whether in 70mm prints or IMAX. It’s hard to dispute that but Nolan’s bloodless technical exercises are no match to Andrei Ujica‘s cumbersome assemblage of footage of the wildly corrupt former Romanian president of the title. To watch the grand exhibitions thrown in his honor, the massive echoing chambers of legislature, and even his intimate meetings with other leaders on the big screen is to at once understand the power Ceausescu wielded and witness the empty pageantry that often passes for leadership. And when the movie turns toward his grievous misdeeds and widespread use of unlawful detainment, torture, and murder, it makes his inevitable fall as a weak, exhausted old man all the more grandiose.

21. “Leviathan”

21.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

A visceral experience that never leaves the confines of a massive fishing boat at sea. The camera is tossed into pits of fish guts and other detritus, strapped to the helm of the boat, and turned upward at a crooked angle to catch a flock of birds fluttering away. Nature begins to take on a uniquely chaotic tone here, scrambled into an assemblage of sounds both harsh and delicate, immediate images of churning waters and the labor of fishing for a living. The chosen style of the directors, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel of the influential Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab, which also helped produced major works like Foreign Parts and Sweetgrass, creates a symbioses between the filmmaking and the work and atmosphere of the boat, getting at the bedlam of the process and the fractured yet feverish beauty that can come about through it.

20. “Exit Through the Gift Shop”

20.

Revolver Entertainment

A document of the clandestine operation of high-grade graffiti artists becomes a searing indictment of the capitalistic systems that provide backing for many artists. Narrated wryly by Rhys Ifans, this wondrous and often hysterical history of modern art in micro follows the likes of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and the French-based Zevs before trading their urgent, demanding, and criminal doings for preperations for the first major show for Mr. Brainwash, a.k.a. Thierry Guetta. Was Brainwash created for the movie or genuine? Is his work genius or garbage? Does it really matter when it’s all said and done? Banksy undermines and ridicules a culture that values the aesthetic of taste over actual taste on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, creating a boisterous, incisive riot that’s never quite as deep or flippant as it seems.

19. “Lenny Cooke”

19.

Shopkorn Productions

From the outset, the story of the promising teenage basketball player Lenny Cooke doesn’t seem particularly unique. A star at his New York public school, Cooke short-circuited his career when his anti-authoritarian streak curdled into outright cockiness and stubbornness, making him comfortable with skipping practice and focusing more on carousing or goofing around then honing his skills alongside the likes of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.

What the Safdie brothers brilliantly lock onto in Lenny Cooke is the demands of maturity and focus in talented, young black athletes as contrasted against the brash, enviable freedom of sports celebrity that is impossible to escape. Cooke sees himself as the next Michael Jordan, but the work that goes into building a career like Jordan’s never occurred to the young player, and the disconnect sent him into obscurity. Years later, the Safdies catch back up with him – overweight and under-employed – and Cooke remains a hypnotic showman, even as his personal life seems to be quickly deteriorating.

Whether purposeful or not, the inventive and thoughtful fraternal directors create a distinct, intimate behavioral portrait of a would-be world-class athlete,and give Cooke his starring moment years after the one he hoped for slipped away.

18. “The Unkown Known”

18.

Errol Morris

Could any other director other than Errol Morris get Donald Rumsfeld to talk so candidly? Can anyone make people talk the way he does? It’s a question that comes to mind in Morris’ Tabloid and Standard Operating Procedure but it’s never been more front and center than in The Unknown Known, in which Rumsfeld gives an abbreviated but no-less mesmerizing account of his life and times. There are no bombshell moments of political revelation, though his time in the President George W. Bush’s administration is the centerpiece of the film, but Morris gets a handle on something bigger: the way he thinks and expresses himself. By seeing Rumsfeld as a seasoned, evasive communicator and an unpredictable thinker first and foremost, the director finds the unexpected art and wonky philosophy of the two-time former Secretary of Defense while simultaneously condemning where his thinking and actions led us.

17. “Three Sisters”

17.

Wang Bing

Had Wang Bing only directed West of the Tracks, his immense three-part study of China’s industrial realms and the people who inhabit them, his name would already be primed for the history books. The works that come after, however, have revealed him to be one of China’s greatest political artists, from Fengming, a Chinese Memoir to this devastating, no-frills look at a community of poverty-ravaged denizens on the Sino-Burmese border in Yunnan. Abandoned by their mother and only occasionally under the same roof as their father, who travels to nearby cities for low-pay work, the titular siblings roam the desolate terrain, watch TV in a communal home, and enjoy the scarce amounts of food that they can find. Purposefully slow and unerringly focused, Bing at once gives a bleak report of what it’s like in the more rural sections of his homeland while also exploring the endearing ability for children to imagine and find scraps of joy, even in realms left forgotten by the privileged masses.

16. “No Home Movie”

16.

Zuegma Films

The last film completed by the late, irreplaceable Chantal Ackerman is eerily confrontational about the idea of death. Much of the film features Ackerman hanging out at her elderly mother’s home in France, where they talk about everyday struggles, living under Nazi occupation, and personal stories from Ackerman’s youth. She punctuates these with long takes of traveling through Israel and her mother’s idle apartment, and one can feel Ackerman holding onto these last moments, these images of her mother’s various materials and spaces, even in the rush of daily life and travel. It’s not exactly for the impatient, but those who key into the harrowingly personal world that Ackerman captures here won’t be able to shake this one for a long while.

15. “13th”

15.

13th

Though largely celebrated upon its release, there were more than a handful of critics who seemed to condescend to Ava DuVernay’s furious documentary for its seeming straightforwardness and lack of style. These people clearly didn’t watch the movie. Though not radical in her compositions, DuVernay’s exhilarating and unrelenting pace packs in a living history of America’s black population in the aftermath of the 13th amendment, creating a stark, convincing argument that slavery went away in name only in the U.S.A.

She places major figures, from Van Jones and Michelle Alexander to Angela Davis and, yes, Newt Gingrich, in places of work, scenes where you can fully sense the labor that went into building an abandoned warehouse or a towering building filled with dimly lit offices. The observations that DuVernay catches in her interviews may not be anything new to those who have read “The New Jim Crow” or the works of Ta-Nehisi Coates, but deployed as a barrage under DuVernay’s direction, a full-throated demand for equal rights and respect for black labor emerges. It’s not easy to shake, nor should it be.

14. “Approaching the Elephant”

14.

Wilder Films

Where many documentaries have strived and failed to encapsulate the issues facing modern public education, Approaching the Elephant takes a bolder route. Director Amanda Wilder spent a year in New Jersey’s Teddy McArdle Free School, a democratic school where classes and subjects are voted on and attendance is optional. Her black-and-white footage of Alex, the head of the school, and his students reveals a fascinating experiment in education and a study of the democratic process and regulation in micro. Alex must deal with concerned parents, unruly and attention-hungry students, and the not-so-grounded structure of his distinct schooling on the fly, and Wilder’s grainy, black-and-white imagery reflects both the purity and amateurish nature of his venture. In the classrooms of the Little Falls-based school, the director brings out an unexpectedly challenging vision of freedom of choice as both a crucial and emblematic part of America and an element of democracy that allows the stubborn and under-educated to often baselessly halt progress.

13. “And Everything Is Going Fine”

13.

Sundance Selects

The monologist Spalding Gray seemingly took his own life in 2004, when his body was found in the East River after he reportedly jumped off the Staten Island Ferry. There is not much about his death in Steven Soderbergh’s graceful assemblage of footage of Gray from throughout his life – in movies, on stage, being interviewed on TV, etc. – but he certainly gets at his struggles with depression and disease. He allows the late artist to speak for himself and to tell the story of his life the way that he wanted it to be presented to the public. Some footage shows tracking damage while other snippets feature blown-out color and light balances, suggesting different sides of his personality as well as a brief visual history of how performance is recorded, leading all the way up to the advent of digital cameras. Professional and societal insights abound in Gray’s monologues and extended exchanges but what makes And Everything Is Going Fine so moving is the story of a man who could seemingly talk endlessly about anything until he seemingly lost the will to face himself and what was happening to him.

12. “Field N—–“

12.

Khalik Allah

It’s hard to encapsulate just what happens in Khalik Allah’s bracing 60-odd-minute masterpiece. The director took his camera down to the streets right below the main Harlem stop on the New York Metro North in the middle of the night to talk to those who roam the streets or live on them. He speaks with them about their homelessness and what they’re feeling, no matter how disturbed or angry they might seem on the face of it. What he captures is a harrowing document of those left forgotten by society on a daily basis without sentimentalizing them. The people he meets are not moral titans hidden under unwashed clothes, rather humans who are on the fringes looking for escape and, occasionally, redemption in any way they can find it. Allah doesn’t judge where they go searching for their needs or how they came to be homeless and poor, but he listens and watches them explain with a shattering intensity. In their pauses and silences as much as their actions and talk, the director finds distinct individuals within a community of wayward souls cast out by a system that has limited interest in treating and supporting the mentally disabled, addicts, and those who simply require a second chance.

11. “Of Men and War”

11.

Why Not Productions

There are three versions of Of Men and War floating around and I would suggest you find the longest version possible when hunting it down. The 142-minute version especially allows for a full immersion in the world of Yountville, California’s Pathway Home, a unique PTSD treatment facility that hinges on therapeutic talking between former and inactive soldiers. There’s little in the way of style in Laurent Beque-Renard’s direction but he brings a tonnage of experience covering and studying the effects of war – he reported heavily on the Bosnian War – to bear here. He captures the therapeutic discussions and meetings, the intermingling between the soldiers, and their home lives, which prove to be distinctly difficult gauntlets for many of these men. We may never see the end of our wars in the Middle East or, for that matter, movies about those myriad conflicts, but scant few will be so attentive to the direct psychological and emotional effects of serving one’s country.

10. “Waltz with Bashir”

10.

Sony Pictures Classic

Waltz with Bashir was the first Israeli animated film in over 45 years to secure stateside release or, really, release at all. It’s not surprising that the one place where the film was expressly banned was Lebanon. The film’s writer-director, Ari Folman, is a veteran of the Lebanon War, and the film recounts both his memories of those days and his present-day conversations with the men who lived through it with him. Here, the animated form offers a distancing mechanism, a way of conveying the slippery, unreliable nature of memory. There’s a pickled humor to Folman’s interactions with other former soldiers, and the flashbacks are boldly colorful, enthrallingly experiential, and wildly creative. It’s a wonder to behold, but the film hits like a sledgehammer, depicting not just the melancholy of age and fading remembrances but the horrors of war, as much for the dead as for the survivors.

9. “Actress”

9.

4th Row Films

Fans of HBO’s The Wire will likely remember Brandy Burre as Theresa D’Agostino, Carcetti’s campaign manager and one of many lovers of Detective Jimmy McNulty. She’s a talented performer and has found bit parts elsewhere but for all intents and purposes, The Wire was her swan song until the great Robert Greene decided to follow her domestic life for a few months for Actress, his 2014 sophomore effort. Greene is a graceful and audacious stylist but he allows Burre to take center stage here as she deals with a crumbling marriage to an upstate New York restaurant owner and attempts to rekindle her career after becoming a mother. Is she performing for Greene or just living her life? Is their a difference? Burre trusts Greene enough to show him the messiest, most impulsive, and personal sides of herself as a wife, mother, and actress. In return, she gives him one of the most intimate, fearless performances of this or any other decade.

8. “I Am Not Your Negro”

8.

I Am Not Your Negro – Velvet Film Company

In a better, stranger world, Samuel L. Jackson would have been handed some kind of award for his voiceover work in this exceedingly eloquent yet raging look at the unfinished final manuscript by the iconic author and civil rights advocate James Baldwin. When he passed away, the writer and civil rights advocate was working on a book about the deaths of Malcolm XMartin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers, all of whom he was close friends with when they were murdered. The director, Raoul Peck, makes a staggering assemblage of footage of Baldwin, other civil rights leaders, and protests both new and old, connecting Baldwin’s forge to that of modern black leaders like Van Jones and DeRay Mckesson. What ties the film together is Jackson’s readings from the unfinished manuscript, neither trying to replicate Baldwin’s piercing, powerful voice nor relying on his natural rhythms. He responds to the material in a wispy, exhausted, and angry tone, allowing Baldwin’s words to reflect Jackson’s own experiences as a famous black man in America.

7. “Grizzly Man”

7.

Lionsgate

Did Timothy Treadwell have any idea that living amongst bears could lead to his death? It certainly doesn’t feel that way from the footage that Werner Herzog pieces together in Grizzly Man, only the most thematically potent of a handful of masterworks the director has released this century. He enjoys his work and feels already immersed in the world of the grizzlies when we first get a look at him. He’s respecting nature but he never fears it, and that’s where Herzog seems to buck against his subject. As the self-produced video diaries of Treadwell give us insight into his righteous environmental passions and his reasons for living in the wild, Herzog goes about studying just how alarmingly naïve it is to believe that humans can predict animal behavior or, even worse, control it.

Herzog’s main focus in filmmaking has often been the chaos of nature and the inherent weaknesses in trying to reason with beasts. In the film’s most memorable scene, the director listens to an audio recording of Treadwell being attacked and consumed by one of the bears but refuses to share with the audience. What he hears confirms all his suspicions about the unsentimental, uncaring violence of nature in one fail swoop but he’s also humanistic enough to know that there’s no good in sharing the frantic final moments of Treadwell’s life for his audience.

6. “O.J. Made in America”

6.

ESPN Films

Even when parsing the darkest passages of O.J. Simpson’s life in the sprawling O.J. Made in America, director Ezra Edelman is careful to also show how much of an innovator and groundbreaker that Simpson was, in terms of marketing and presenting himself as the quintessential All-American. Here was a man who starred in movies, appeared on TV and in a famous Hertz advertising campaign, worked as a sports commentator before moving into the daily news cycle as a accused murderer. He was good for all time zones, and yet there’s a continuous, eerie sense in this series that this denial of his own idiosyncrasies, personal turmoil, and relationship to his race and the black community led to him becoming so controlling, so vehement in the protection of his image. Or was he just an egomaniacal monster?

In a way, Edelman’s vision of Orenthal James Simpson is a classic tale of repression, of an expert image-maker losing hold of his facade, lashing out and finally crumbling in the aftermath. The vastness of what O.J.: Made in Americacovers, however, makes it clear that the feelings plaguing Simpson were not unique to him, and have not dissipated in the realm of sports or, for that matter, in America on the whole.

5. “The Last of the Unjust”

5.

Claude Lanzmann

Decades after crafting the quitessential cinematic document of the Holocaust with the monumental ShoahClaude Lanzmann returned in 2013 with this epic, endlessly provocative consideration of Benjamin Murmelstein. In 1975, Lanzmann sat down for a series of exchanges with Murmelstein in Rome, to discuss his role as the last President of the Jewish Council in the Theresienstadtghetto in Czechoslovakia and the fact that he was the only surviving member of a group that the Nazi’s referred to as the Elders of the Jews. Lanzmann’s film flips back and forth between these extensive, exhausting interviews and Lanzmann’s modern-day visitations to the places that Murmelstein spoke of in his interviews, while also reading aloud plans and descriptions of the original model ghetto and other places of grim importance. What Lanzmann gives here is at once a full-bodied portrait of a genuine, brilliant survivor, a severe consideration of time and history, and, in Murmelstein’s influence on Adolf Eichmann, a complex depiction of how one must be prepared to work with, fight with, and understand one’s enemies, in the name of saving thousands upon thousands of lives.

4. “The Act of Killing”

4.

Dogwoof Pictures

Whenever you plan to watch this surreal, horrifying account of the military-led genocide of alleged communists, ethnic Chinese, and any and all intellectuals in mid-60s Indonesia, plan to take a day off. Joshua Oppenheimer’s radical, entirely singular feature not only summons the ghastly terrors of that time but visits the living men who were responsible for the firing squads who headed the genocide, who are asked to recreate their actions in their own style for Oppenheimer to film. What follows is visceral eruption of violent psychologies, rampant self-denial, discombobulating pop culture refractions, and, finally, something like awareness, in the movie’s final, breathless minutes. Oppenheimer, working with co-director Christine Cynn, creates something like a guided tour of the genocidal psyche, a devastating reflection of how the mortal crime of murder and needless slaughter is at once easy to enact and impossible to shake off. One might have hoped that the timeliness of this film might have been dulled in the four years since its initial release. No such luck.

3. “The Interrupters”

3.

PBS

Following his groundbreaking Hoop Dreams, the director Steve James returned to Chi-town to follow the members of the titular violence-prevention squad, made up of concerned community members and ex-cons amongst a myriad of other people who have come face-to-face with gang violence. They attend funerals and speak to children about what’s happening, roam the streets looking for disputes to settle without guns, knives, or fists, and council drug addicts or other former prisoners just trying to get straight. James, a master chronicler of race in America, sees the Interrupters as both a force for good and as individuals who are still recuperating and struggling on their own, but he never tips into exploitation or sentimentality. What he sees in this group is the very spirit of modern-day activism in all its contradictions, set-backs, and unmovable hope.

2. “This is Not a Film”

2.

Kanibal Films

Snuck out of Iran by way of a loaf of bread (or maybe a pound cake?) while it’s creator was under house arrest, Jafar Panahi’s This is Not a Film gets extra credit for somehow being even more exhilarating than the story of its release. Not that Panahi’s most excruciatingly personal work needs any extra points on the board. In his apartment, Panahi watches and analyzes his own movies on DVD, describes scenes from unfinished or unfilmed works, and plays with his pet iguana, all while kept in place by an ankle bracelet given to him by his government. If the idea of caging Panahi was to make him livid, the Iranian government succeeded but if they were out to shut him up or dilute his imagination, they made a staggering miscalculation. In This is Not a Film, he expresses more inspiring, unbound ideas about the process of filmmaking than any single one-location film ever made and his long takes show a seemingly effortless knowledge of where to put the camera and when to cut.

The title functions as a sarcastic response to the ban on filmmaking that his country slapped him with  and as a sincere statement about how his political woes have interrupted his creative process at once. The brilliance of Panahi is that he sees no reason to pick one, and his film could be seen at once as a furious siren’s screech against governmental suppression and undeniable proof that repression can be and should be undermined as often as possible.

1. “In Jackson Heights”

1.

PBS

A group of neighbors comes together to talk about plans for upcoming events around the neighborhood of Jackson Heights in New York City. A man prays with incense in an aged, gorgeously tiled sanctuary in the same area. A marching band stomps down a street in support of gay rights, while later that night, a community of Latin Americans discusses their horror stories about crossing the border and keeping up connections between family members.

These are only a handful of scenes that can be found within the extended, sublime runtime of In Jackson Heights. These  conversations about matters both urgent and everyday come out at once plainspoken and exceedingly eloquent. Wiseman’s great talent for knowing where to put his camera and when, as well as a honed, unparalleled talent for pacing with long takes, gives an unfettered backboard to the vast vision of close-quartered multiculturalism, celebrated and represented in a myriad of actions, discussions, or harmonious stretches of natural city sound – engines revving, footsteps, floating chatter, etc.

Wiseman may have never made a more progressive yet measured work in his career, but this is easily his most engrossing and lively study of society in micro since Belfast, Maine, one of the best documentaries of the 1990s and the last century. Here, he doubles down on his legacy as one of the greatest of all American filmmakers by seeing America without bias or filter, cluttered together, making noise, and mostly doing there own thing.