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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
January 18, 2017     Hays Free Press
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January 18, 2017

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:+ Hays Free Press January 18, 2017 Page 3A + BY ANNA HEROD Kyle Police Chief ]eft Barnett is set to meet with the district attorney's office and other Hays County officials to discuss the best path to update the department's two "outdated" in-car video camera systems. Besides updating the existing systems in two of the department's patrol cars, Barnett said he hopes the ci , in part- nership with the count, can find a cost effective avenue that would allow them to outfit the mental health officer and the war- rant processing officer's vehicles. Both of those vehicles do not have in- car cameras. Barnett said the move is to transition to the Data 911 system, which the department switched to in 2014. The two units, however, are on the older and out-of-date Coban system. "We're going to meet with the district attor- ney's office and the Hays County government and see ffthere is any pre- ferred camera system that they would like to see the police department move toward," he said. also "Today's jury members want to see video and when it's available and officers are able to capture evidence on video, that certainly more meaningful to a jury than just hearing an officer testify what they saw or heard." - Jeff Barnett, Kyle Police chief we're going to see if there's any opporttmities for us to work together with them to perhaps reduce the costs for purchasing any system that we decide to go with." Barnett said work- ing with the county to determine which camera system is best for the cars is important as Kyle police regularly provide the dis- trict attorney's office with in-car footage. Police agencies are required by Texas law to have in-car video camera systems in vehicles which are regularly used for traffic stops. Bamett said the cameras help support information that's also tracked through the annu- al racial profiling report. "Cameras also help show transparenc that's another big thing. Lastly; they provide evidence that is needed in today's pros- ecution of cases," Barnett said. "Today's iury mem- bers want to see video and when it's available and officers are able to capture evidence on video, that certainly more meaning- .ful to a jury than just hear- mg an officer testify what they saw or heard." Upgrading the two existing camera systems is a "project in the works," he said. And although Kyle police hope to be able to add cameras to two more vehicles, no final deci- sions have been made. An estimated cost for the project has yet to be determined, but depend- mg on the size of the project, Barnett said the department might need to ask the council for additional funds for the systems. QUOTE OF THE,WEEK "Providing the incentive to expand its operations is a positive way for Kyle to continue to attract firms that will bring high quality jobs and more sales tax to the city." -Scott Sellers, Kyle city manager, on the city giving RSI economic incentives. See story, page 1 D. i il T ooking around the I ballroom, the first thing Young-At- .L.dyou notice is the lack of regalia-no tuxes, no flowing LallJe [ I gowns, no shiny footwear, no by [ clinking jewels. John Young Nor should there be, for this is the Inaugural Consolation Ball for the people of Not won by 91,000 compared to Tnunp Nation. Romney's 208,000-vote margin. There is nothing to celebrate Speaking of Arizona, one for them - for us - when of the guests of honor at our into the Oval Office strides Inaugural Consolation Ball meanness and venality in the is Paul Penzone. You may place of grace and dignity, not have heard of him, but It's bad. But some things about the Inaugural Consolation Ball are quite heartening. One thing is how many people are there, nearly 65.8 million, the number who voted for Hillary Clinton (contrasted with the winning 62.9 million for you-know-who). And something about all those not-Tromp voters: A whole bunch weren't interested in dancing when the inauguration rolled around. They were interested in marching- hundreds of thousao, ds in Washington, D.C., hundreds of thousands in the nation's capitals, hundreds of thousands overseas. The Women's March in Washington looked to be one of the largest political protests in our history. No consolation, I know, but keep looking at the facts and the numbers: Some observers are saying that this was one of those historic, old-fashioned COP political routs. Not true. The Democrats claimed two additional seats in the U.S. Senate - meaning Republicans were actual net losers. The Dems added House seats. The COP also could not prevent the Congressional Black Caucus from growing to its greatest number ever: 49. (And let's say that, based on Trump's sandbox blast at civil rights icon Congressman ]ohn Lewis, this is not the beginning of a beautiful friendship.) Not Trump Nation flipped control of four state legislative chambers (the New Mexico House, Nevada Assembly and Senate, and Washington Senate) compared to three for the COP. Continuing the theme of a rout that wasn't: In the very red state of Texas, Trump won by 600,000 votes - a tremendous shift, and not in the GOP's favor. Four years ago Mitt Romney beat President Obama there by 1.2 million. In very red Arizona, Trump you probably have heard of Joe Arpaio, the profiling, rights-trampling demagogue Penzone ousted as sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County. Joining Penzone at our consolation ball is Stephanie Murphy, the firstVietnamese- American woman elected to Congress. The Democrat said she was driven to run for Congress by the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. She won in Florida's 7th District. Nevada's Catherine Cortez Masto, who held on to Harry Reid's Senate seat for the Democrats, became the first Latina senator and boosted the ranks of Latino lawmakers in Congress to 38. That's not all that was heartening for progressives Nov. 8. Voters endorsed stronger gun laws in three of the four states where they were on the ballot. The minimum wage was raised in Colorado, Arizona, Maine and Washington. You see, a lot of progressive notions and candidates succeeded in that Election Day conservative rout that wasn't. Of course, dire straits for progressive policies are self- evident with GOP control of Congress, with the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act in favor of a conservative cliff- dive. Yes, things couldn't be worse, except for indicators like the independent emails I have received from people who plan to march - in the nation's capital, and their state capitals - to protest. None has even done this before. All say the Trump presidency has moved him or them offtheir comfy sofas. No shiny shoes at the Inauguration Consolation Ball; instead, footwear for marching. Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Can someone remind me why we can't,chop down every stinkin cedar tree in Texas? Yep, you're right if you are thinking I must be suffering from Cedar Fever. As soon as that first cruel conifer let loose of its hellish pollen, a buck- et-load of the sinister seed flew directly up both nostrils, and I have been miserable ever since. My eyes have been watering like I've been watching "Old Yeller", and my nose is nmning like a beer tap during happy hour. In the past week, I have coughed up enough crud to fill a Big Gulp. I haven't felt this bad since I mistakenly made S'mores with Ex-Lax instead of a Hershey bar. So, back to my question about cutting down all cedar trees, and, yes, I know they are actually Ashe junipers, but "luniper Fever" sounds like the name ofa pom star. We wouldn't have to remove all cedars, just the ones pollinat- ing. I can't recall if it's the male or female trees that produce the wretched pollen, but I suspect if you were to ask any woman, she'd say it's the male since we men get blamed for everything. Anyhow, couldn't we just chop down the troublemakers and leave the other sexto live in celibacy? I recall a while back a few residents out in the Hill Country wanted to remove all cedars in the area. Besides being the most allergic tree in Texas, cedars also suck up more ground moisture than any oth- er tree, so some folks thought removing cedar trees would be beneficial. Well, some environ- mental group stepped in and From the Crow's Nest by Clint Younts Look, if scientists can eradicate small pox and polio, why not work on fighting my allergies? claimed cedar trees are the nesting place of some rare bird. I believe it's the orange-crested tweeter. No, that's the dodo bird who was just elected president. It must've been the golden-cheeked warbler. So, these tree-hugging, bird-lov- ing folks made a big fuss, the cedars and birds were saved, and thousands of mucous-lad- en Texans spend a fortune on allergy medicine and Kleenex every winter. My idea of just chopping down the pollinating cedars might be a good plan, but I'm no tree expert. I have vast experience in trimming trees and have spent countless hours drinking cold beer beneath them, but I don't know if it is feasible to get rid of all male cedars. And if we were to kill all male cedars, would the females survive? Again, most women would say yes. So, if we were to chop down a mess of cedars here in Texas, what will we do with all that wood? Well, I pondered some over that while I was rehydrat- ing after blowing out enough snot to fill a rain barrel, and I have a dazzling idea. We can donate all that lumber to Mexico for them to build Mr. Trump's wall along the Rio Grande. It would save Mexico a fortune in building supplies and eradicate Cedar Fever to boot. As for those warblers, they fly to Mexico for the win- ter anyways, so next summer, they'll stop at the border along with all those northbound immigrants. Tell me if this plan isn't sheer brilliance! I suspect I might ruffle some feathers of bird lovers, and arborists might say I'm barking up the wrong tree, but I think my idea merits more research. Look, if scientists can eradicate small pox and polio, why not work on fighting my allergies? just think how popular Pres- ident Trump would be ffhe were to stop illegal immigra- tion and help eradicate Cedar Fever. He might end up ranking somewhere between Andrew Johnson and Millard Fillmore in popularity. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to dump out my spit can and rinse out my bandana. Clint Younts' acreage is covered in cedar trees, but occasionally one or two might be used as a Christmas tree, or fence post, or crafl project.., or whatever else he can think of to legally get rid of the suckers. Barton Publications, Inc. News tips: Opinions: 113 W. Center St., Kyle, "IX 512-268-7862 7864O Publisher Cyndy Slovak-Barton News and Sports Editor Moses Leos III Reporters Samantha Smith, Anna Herod Logan Proofreaders McCullough Jane Kirkham Columnists Bartee Haile, Pauline Tom, Chris Winslow, Phil Jones Marketing Director Tracy Mack Marketing Specialists James Darby, Pam Patino Production Manager David White Production Assistant Christine Thorpe Circulation/Classifieds David White Distribution Gabe Ornelas Tanya Ornelas + q-