Krystal restaurants – the longtime home of the tiny hamburgers is filing for bankruptcy. They have remaining open at the bankruptcy filing - 182 company owned restaurants and 116 franchisees. 4890 employees are impacted in the company stores alone. In the mid 1950s it was not unusual for five or six of us teenager boys, newly away from home, to make a late-night trip to Krystal and each order a dozen Krystal burgers at one setting. They were a dime apiece and a discount on a dozen. The burgers were good and teenage boys never get enough to eat. It is hard to believe that after all these years their problems are money.

Alabama legislature is headed back into session . . . hold your breath! When the lawmakers are in session, we watch with our fingers crossed and hope they don’t go off the deep end and pass some bill(s) that will be crippling to the state’s economy or to the citizens.

The legislature is to again have a lottery bill on the table this year – actually probably more than one. Representative Steve Clouse has announced he will be introducing just such a bill this year. In the past several months we have heard of other lottery proposals that are designed to benefit one particular group while they are all being praised as “for the people.” The Atmore Indian folks are good Alabama citizens and are doing lots to benefit tribe members and at the same time improve the economic wellbeing of the areas in which they are operating. They have reportedly offered to put some serious money in the state coffers each year for the ‘rights’ to operate expanded gambling endeavors. None of that means we should give them exclusive rights to lotteries, gaming casinos, etc. Past casino bills have all carried some sort of favoritism for one group or another and such a clause is the death sentence in our book.

This may get us in real trouble, so we word it carefully. There are groups of Americans who are exerting great efforts to get more women candidates on the ballots, mainly within the Republican Party. Our concern is not over ‘electing women’, not at all. Elect men or women, white, black, brown, etc., for their abilities to do the job and not their sex, race, religion (nor favorite football team). Using any of those reasons is using a bias to cure a bias and will never be a permanent solution to any problem. Oh, we believe that term limits are probably the best way to get and keep diversity in public officials’ thinking.

Politicians don’t always do things to suit our ideas of ‘best way.” However, we pause to salute Elba officials, technical advisors, etc. on the plan to replace water mains on a couple of downtown streets slated for resurfacing. All our adult life we have heard jokes about urging the street pavers to “HURRY UP we need to dig into your new paving work and replace some water, sewer, gas lines”. These folks are destroying our oft laughed at joke by doing it right – actually planning to replace the lines BEFORE the much needed repaving work!

There is a growing movement in the U. S. to pay college athletics. States are passing laws on the issue. Rep. Wes Allen, R-Troy, who played wide receiver at the University of Alabama reportedly believes the government should stay out of the matter. “It’s called amateur sports for a reason,” Allen said. When the subject is mentioned, our thought goes mostly to football and basketball stars. We guarantee any move in that direction will face the gender issue of males getting more pay than females. That is no problem when the pay is your college scholarship . . . and only the scholarship plus maybe the training and experience to justify a pro contract.

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