Many thanks

We at Friends for Life acknowledge the generous people of Waco who have helped with our Christmas gift program, Gifts for Grannies and Grandpas. Our gift list is an extensive one and we have many generous donors who assist us with our work. Not only do they furnish actual gifts for our clients but they also make cash donations we use to purchase items that help make Christmas happier for many deserving seniors and people with disabilities.

We also thank those who volunteer to wrap and deliver Christmas gifts during the holidays and we appreciate those who drive our clients to doctors’ appointments and deliver gifts throughout the year. There’s always a need for volunteers who give their time and make donations.

Thank you, Waco, for all you do to make our programs successful each year for hundreds of our friends.

Joyce Stokes, Volunteer, Friends For Life

What could go wrong?

With Republican members of the Senate and House tinkering with tax legislation the past several weeks, what could possibly go wrong? For one of America’s last pristine wildernesses, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the answer is: plenty. For more than 40 years, repeated attempts by various GOP lawmakers to pass stand-alone legislation that would permit oil-drilling in the 19-million-acre ANWR with its fragile ecosystem were rebuffed by environmentally conscious members of Congress and/or the president. Well, with passage of the tax-reform bill, that’s about to change.

If asked to put a monetary value on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, “priceless” would be the response of most Americans. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the senior U.S. senator from Alaska and a Republican, evidently thinks otherwise. Breaking new ground for political craftiness, she slipped an Arctic refuge oil-drilling provision into the tax-reform bill. She estimates that oil production will generate more than $1 billion over a 10-year period. So, motivated by monetary greed, this slippery politician sold out to Big Oil the Arctic refuge which belongs to all Americans, not just the residents of Alaska.

According to a Dec. 15 New York Times article, in 1985 an exploratory oil-drilling platform was permitted within the Arctic refuge where it operated for 18 months. Thirty years later, the delicate tundra on the drilling site has yet to recover. Infrared images show, even after three decades, the well’s footprint is “easily distinguishable from the undisturbed tundra around it.” It won’t take Big Oil long to despoil this fragile wildlife refuge, home to thousands of caribou, muskox, polar bears and countless wildfowl. This is an ecological disaster in the making. A few GOP lawmakers with backbone objected to this sell-out. Regrettably, none were from Texas — a shortcoming worth remembering when you vote.

Waldo Montgomery, Belton