A Tribute to Betsy Stockard-Odeneal

I didn't want the day to pass without writing a few words about former Decatur councilwoman Betsy Stockard. She passed away on Sunday.  I always admired how she handled herself on the city council. In fact,  I never paid much attention to local politics, until Stockard's time on the council. She had led several walks aimed at ending senseless violence within the city and was the first female African American councilwoman elected in Decatur. She served during a time when the council was at odds over nearly every issue. I loved it because the city...

Gay Marriage: The End of the World As We Knew It

After the supreme court ruling legalizing gay marriage throughout the United States, I read many people's reactions, from those completely supportive and happy, to those ready to set themselves on fire in protest, but the reaction I saw the most was based primarily on fear. I think most of us still have that story of Sodom and Gomorrah ingrained in our minds and it makes us extremely hesitant to accept homosexuality.  Even I have a hard time.  I wasn't comfortable "coming out" in full support of the ruling for several reasons.  One, I didn't want...

Big Creek Trade, What Happened?

A few weeks ago, I noticed that the Big Creek Stables property that the Decatur Park District traded to a local developer is now apparently the hands of another developer.  At the time of the trade to the original developer, it wasn't revealed what the plans for the property were exactly.  I found this unacceptable being that it was public property.  I felt the public had every right to know the intentions of the developer before a trade was approved, maybe not every single detail but at least a general plan. The park district did...

Eleven Years

I probably drive down Pershing Road dozens of times a week, usually with something on my mind, an errand to run, homework, singing along badly to a song on the radio.  But a few week ago, I was stopped at the lights in front of Miles Chevrolet and I happened to look over.  It was where my mom worked for over 20 years.  The large overhead door was open and I could see the office where my mom had worked for many of those years.  It was a sudden kick in the gut.  That's how...

Genetic Test Results Can Leave More Questions Than Answers

A few weeks ago I had genetic testing performed to see if I tested positive for any genetic mutations that would make it more likely for me to develop breast or ovarian cancer.  My mom and four aunts developed breast cancer and both of my grandmother's died of ovarian cancer.  I also have a cousin who tested positive for BRCA-2 after she developed ovarian cancer.  Several other family members have died from other various forms of cancer. I was tested for:  BRCA-1, BRCA-2, TP53, PTEN, CDH1, STK11, PALB2.  I tested negative for everything but a...