There has been a massive public relations type flooding of the news media recently over the dangers of smoking e-cigarettes (or vaping). We expect this to ultimately lead to some sort of restrictions on the e-cigarette itself or maybe tight restrictions on the flavor additives that are at present largely unregulated. Last weekend we were reading news of a medical study that indicates the heating of some of the various flavorings in the e-cigarettes causes terrible lung damage when the hot fumes from the flavored e-cigarettes become toxic and can kill cells lining airways. We don’t know which side of this issue the tobacco companies are on, but this unfolding saga has a long way to go before things are actually resolved, even as respiratory illnesses and deaths continue to increase.

Political fund raising is no true gauge of political success. Back in the middle of the summer we saw some polling numbers compared with fund raising. The charts did not include personal funds ‘loaned’ to the individual’s campaigns nor Senators transferring millions from their legislative ware chests. In the Democrat field Buttigieg with 1% to 6% support in different polls but is number three in fundraising with $32 million. Democrat John Delaney of Maryland has put a whopping $24 million dollars of his own money into his campaign and barely holding on to any votes. The Democrat candidates as a group had reported $281 million in campaign contributions (up by $63 million over what was raised four years go by Democrat candidates. At the same time Republican President Trump had raised $124 million and already spent $75 million of it.

Gov. Kay Ivey has been very open with her ongoing treatment for lung cancer. “God is Good” she said publicly recently and added that treatments are ongoing and “it's a good prognosis.” We admire her for being so open with her personal and very private life. Of course it is a slap in the face to that very active social media group that gets great pleasure and actually thrives on ‘whispering’ such information they have heard or read elsewhere on the internet.

Between 2015 and 2017, Alabama’s football program generated $134 million in average annual revenues with $61 million in average annual profits.That was only fifth in the nation! Auburn topped out at $117 million average revenue and $64 million profit. It is probably common knowledge that college sports is a lucrative business but . . . it is hard to wrap our arms and brain around those numbers for just one university sports team. It brings back an incident in our life years ago and sheds light on the closing comment we heard. At some sort of long meeting at the University of Alabama, oh probably back in the seventies or early eighties, we walked out into the hall to get a soft drink and maybe a cookie from the refreshment table. The then president of the university had the same idea about the same time. Well the story was that the football coach (a real nice straight arrow) was on his way out and we didn’t like that idea and said so to the big man. His response was, “Ferrin I agree with everything you just said, but remember I have a university to run and that takes money. Winning football teams generate money and lots of it.” We knew right then that our good words about the coach was hitting a brick wall and sure enough in a couple of months he was gone.

We have heard all the recent talk surrounding the Elba football program. Any action or inaction prompted from these much-publicized events will be the decision of the school superintendent and school board. They are burdened with educating our children and they then must make the hard decisions. They meet Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. in a special meeting and we assume it is to address this issue. Our prayers are with all concerned.

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