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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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January 25, 2017     Hays Free Press
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4r Buda rejects sign height variance request, again. - Page 1D HaysFreePress.com January 25, 2017 Page lC WsAbout Thyme by Chris Winslow This fourth week in January puts us very close to tomato season. Success with this popular and sometimes difficult crop begins with a little planning. First, one needs to find a location with till sun exposure and great drainage. Next comes soil preparation. Adding copious amounts of compost is your best bet. I happen to like Happy Frogs soil con- ditioner because it comes loaded with beneficial bacteria, mycorrhizae, bat guano, earthworm castings and humic acid. All of these ingredients come to life when water- ing in with horticultural molasses. Getting an early start is very important because warm weather normally sets upon us by around May 15. Temperatures are important for fruit set. Once the mid-May day time temps hit the mid- nineties and at nighttime the mid-seventies, large fruited tomato varieties flowers fall offwithout setting fruit. Sam Lemming of Buda, one of the most suc- cessful backyard tomato farmers I have known, always plants his tomato seedlings out in early February so that his crop has a chance to beat the heat. Choosing the right to- mato variety is important also. Determinate hybrids work best in our central Texas climate. Determi- nate tomatoes grow and set their fruit faster than their in-determinates. Determinate tomatoes also take up less space in the garden. Some of my most favorite determinates: BHN 602, BHN 444, Celebrity, Bobcat, Valley Cat, Tigress, Tycoon, and Phoenix. There are tons to choose from. Make your backyard a trial gar- den and figure out which variety is best for you! Sam's favorite for years was Celebrity. This has been America's most popular backyard tomato since its introduction in the mid-eighties. Heirloom tomatoes have also become very popular. Being inde- terminate 'vining type,' they are going to set only their early flowers before the heat spoils fruit set. Expect smaller crops, but maybe more flavor and an appealing texture. The most popular and successful variety for us has been Cherokee Purple. Some others to look for are Brandywine, Black Krim, Mr. Stripey, Old German, and Home- stead. It's always good to add a few cherry tomatoes into the mix. These small fruited varieties set well in the heat making them an insurance policy if all else fails. Sungold, Red Cherry Large, ]uliet, Red and Yellow Pear, Matt's Wild Cherry, and the Grape Tomatoes are all good choices. Roma and San Mar- zano are two mid-size tomatoes that set well. Another strategy is to plant a variety that sets fruit fast. Most tomatoes need 70 days plus to ripen. The fastest tomato IT'S ABOUT THYME, 2C PHOTOS BYANNAHEROD BY ANNA HEROD news@haysfreepress.com t'rlhe dream of extending the II .Kyle Public Library beyond ,L its physical structure on Scott Street is now a reality. Earlier this month, four Little Free Libraries were installed and open across Kyle. More than 50,000 Little Free Libraries exist across the Word in 70 countries from Iceland to Pakistan, according to Ayne Ray, librarian at the Kyle Public Library. Now, Kyle residents can "take a book, leave a boolC at their own LFLs in Steeplechase Park, Gregg-Clarke Park, Lake Kyle and the Historic Kyle Depot. Although they typically exist as small, front-yard book ex- changes owned and operated by private citizens, the Kyle Public Library teamed up with the Parks and Recreation Depart- ment to create and maintain four Little Free Libraries as a new city program. Rand said the library has sought ways to reach LIBRARIES, 3C Where are the Little Free Libraries? The city of Kyle installed four Little Free Libraries in city parks. Libraries can be found at Lake Kyle, Gregg-Clarke Park, Steeplechase Park and the Historic Kyle Depot BY MOSES LEOS III news@haysfreepress.com PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS III Kyle resident Jim Nelson holds a protest sign in response to the incoming Donald Trump administration prior to Inauguration Day this month. Nelson, who is the Hays County Democratic party Pct. 221 chairperson, has cho- sen to hold his silent protests near the corner of Center and Main Street. For several days in early January prior to Inaugu- ration Day, Kyle resident ]im Nelson sat on a bench near the intersection of Center and Main streets and waited. Through cold and warm weather and everything in between, Nelson sat on the bench with a sign in hand that featured various slogans. Through it all, Nelson, who is the Hays County Democratic Party Pct. 221 chairman, hoped to generate a response, posi- tive or otherwise, for his views and concerns on the incoming Trump administration. "It's because I'm a 78 year- old man and I have a deep in- vestment in this country," Nel- son said. "What else am I going to do other than this?" The inspiration for the si- lent protest came from Gabby Moore, who is a real estate agent in San Marcos and is one of the "more important people in the Hays County Democratic Party," Nelson said. From there, Nelson gathered the assistance of his wife, Rose- NELSON, 2C ThbWeek in Texas History by Bartee Halle The news out of Brazil on Jan. 30, 1977 was that a 19-year fugitive from Lone Star justice, had been arrested for financial misdeeds in his extradition-proof sanctuary. Long before the sav- ings and loans scandal of the 1980s, there was Ben]ack Cage, scam artist supreme. The six-foot four-inch former football player could size up a sucker across a crowded room, or as one of his many victims observed, "He can take your pulse at 20 paces." Six decades ago, any Texan with $25,000 and a gift for gab could get into the insurance racket. Tak- en in by BenJack's stirring promise to erect "a living memorial to the working people of Texas," gullible labor leaders helped him launch his own company in 1952. The AFL-CIO went so far as to encourage locals and members to invest in ICT Insurance. The unions complied by pur- chasing more than half of the $15 million in stock that flooded the market. Benlack was soon going great guns and by 1955 had opened 1CT offices in 22 states and Alaska. The 50,000 policies already in force were, he boasted, merely a drop in the bot- tomless bucket. The sky did indeed seem to be the limit until that judgment dayin September 1955 when the Texas Board of Insurance Commissioners finally cracked down on fly-by- night policy peddlers. ICT headed the list of 51 suspicious operations that came under scrutiny. Panic-stricken labor officials tried to beat the regulators to the punch in early 1956 by forcing Ben- lack to resign and seizing control of ICT. To their horror they discovered that the enterprise was an insolvent shell more than a million dollars in the hole. According to the com- pany books, BenJack had generously compensated himself with $8 million in commissions and an un- limited expense account that he milked for every possible penny. The re- cords did not show, how- ever, what had happened to a missing $600,000 in ITC funds. Union sleuths also learned that Ben]ack had squandered thousands on several bizarre inventions. People in those simpler times were not in the mar- ket for a fly repellant for cattle, a mugger alarm or a home pregnancy test. As ICT slid into bank- rupt oblivion, Ben]ack became the high-profile target of belated investi- gations by the attorney general, state legislators, various grand juries and the Intemal Revenue Service. Testifying before a House committee in September 1957, he clammed up and refused to shed any incriminating light on the ICT collapse. When the star witness re- vealed only his name and TEXAS HISTORY, 2C # li l ',E: ~ '4', ! ]