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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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February 2, 2011     Hays Free Press
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February 2, 2011
 

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Hays Free Press February 2, 2011 I Page 5A + A~thwas a dark and stormy night_ biting wind swept e sandybead The night was so cold the stars woukin~ even come out from their beavenly abode. Tbe bitter cold hadWmter Texans pull- ing out their maps in seamh of a more tempemm location for their four-month hflxmation. These migmtory pilgrims had visions of warm, sunny days walking along the beaches of Mustang Island while their neighbors up in %r~comin. lViin- nesota or some other ungodly state are shovding snow and breaking hips on ice-painted stel~ These poor, tlansient souls must're been cursing the fligid weather that suddenly swept into their southem retreat. welcome to Texas, y' Earlier that afternoon, as Maw and I were waidng to board the ferry, I wondered if this would be a wasted weekend at the beach. It was supposed to be cold and wet in Port Aransas that weekend, but w~ didn't care. R would be even colder back in Hays County, and this a-ip was mainly phnned for rest and recovery after working everyweekend since Christmas on a house makeover What's more restful than a cold day at the beach? Besides, this is Terns. If you don't like ttxiay's weather, just wait lil tomotraw. It'll change. I have lived in three different states over the past half-century the majority of those years here in the Lone Star Stat~ In Ten- nessee and Kentucky as I reck- on it is in most states north of the Red Rivm; once a cold from, or as we Texans call it. a northei; blows in, it stays cold fl~e for a spdL I myfour up m Knoxvi smdyi al Science and looking for female companionshilx not at the same time or place I might add, once Old Man Winter moseyed on down from the Smoky Moun- tains for a visit, be rarely ~mt home unti late March. During one winter, might've been in 78 or '79, it mowed every sfinkin' Thursday for six week~ no joke2 It would snow on a Thursday and byTuesday most of the snow and slush wtmld be gone, just in time for another inch or of fresh powder on the ground by the time I had to walk to the Thu~lay morning das~ off z my razoo og sUpping on icy and sledding down "The Hill" on born cafeteria tmys Six weeks of not seeing file pmRy faces or figures of gals on cam- pus because they are bundled up like the little brother in =A Ouristmas Story." YUP, once win- ter settled onto this Tennessee town, it stayed cold fomvefl Down here in Texns, where an acctwate weather fore(x~t is as rare as a politician with nothing to say there's no tdling what's in store forns tomorrow. It can be bitterly cold one nighL laying frost upon our pumpkins, allowing us South Texans to see a snow-like scene the next mornin Then by early aider- noon, the jackets come off and shirt sleeves are rolled Ull Here lll in Texas, this is a common oc- currence, but unfortunately, the other extreme is jnst as familiar. I recollect one afternoon in March a few ~ aso, as l was mowing a pasture of dead grass and rock-hard cow patties, wearing pJst a pearl-button shirt since no jacket was needed on that warm, cloudy day I noticed a stark change in the northern sky. A mean-looking sUetch of dark blue clouds was fnst-approaching over the northern horizon. For you folks who ast inigrated to Texa this blue streak of ugly douds is what we natives call a'blue norther" Some farmers call it other names, but I'm a southern gentleman who R~ains f~m such profanity. I'm not exacdy sure why it is tailed a qalue norther" Perlmps it's due to the dark blue clouds that precede the blustery, cold wind, or maybe it's due to the crystalline Caffbbean-bine skies we have after the strong gusts push all our gloomy gray clouds out into the gul Personally I thinkifs named a blue norther after the bluish tint of our lips and tminsulated toes once the front passes through. Backto that particular afternoon perdmd on that old Iohn Deem, I wimessed an abmpt temperature change. The ma~m~-oold wind chilled me to the bone~ causing me to crouch bd l the rear wheelg warning my staining fingers in the tractor's exhaust. Once the wind died down a tad and my tears meRed, allowing me to see, I called R a day and &m,e back to the barrL I tigured I could finish the mowing the next day once old Man Wmter was dullin' on the beach of South Padre and our daywould be cool but sunny. As for myweekend in Port Arans siUin8 on the balcony donning a warm sweater and sip- pingpiping-hot cc6e I was able to rdax and watch sh ps m|ise between the fes. I listened to the waves crashing and the sea gugs chattmi~ I watd~ some ek f swa .wrapped up in coats you can~ find at any Kohl in South Tem conversing in a language similar to English lint with a strange accent that my Southern brain couldn dedphe~ l~n not sure what they were discussing, but I bet it had something to do with the cur- mt dimate. I wanted to holler at them and say "Ify'all don like this weather, just wait until tomorrow. Welcome to Texas~" ~J~ Younts tries to outrun those blue nonhe by run- ningfor the sand. He works at a em ycUnicwhiterunnine, ~de on his property beava~ Kyle and Buda. maqm@m mhoo. m WPhth a $27 billion rojeeted revenue ortfall boring a hole into the state's fiscal years 2012 and 2013, it was generally assumed that both houses of the Texas Legislature would move with all possible speed to devise a budget to maintain state government functions on slimmer rations. But the Senate put that task on hold last week and instead devoted the time to passing a voter identifica- tion bill, SB 14. Democrats lost a battle to keep the bill from advancing to floor debate, and lost again on a final 19-II party-line vote. The bill was written by.Troy Fraser, R-Marble Falls, and co-authored by the other 18 Republican members of the body. It passed with nine amendments and now moves to the House for consideration. During the Senate floor debate, when pressed as to why voter ID should take precedence over the state budget this early in the 140-day session, the answer given by Fraser and other co-authors was that they consider the matter high priority because their constituents believe voter fraud is widespread and they wish to protect the in- tegrity of the voting system. Democrats argued that voter fraud is rare, that few if any cases of it have led to conviction and that enhanced identification CN'ITAL requirements pose an un- fair burden on the poor, the aged and on citizens who are not white. But no Republican senator was persuaded to change their vote. SB 14 features a new public awareness campaign and other requirements, but in brief, it would re- quire election judges to post a list of identification options outside of voting polls, and to vote, a citizen would be required to pres- ent their voter registration card in addition to a state- issued photo ID card. The forms of official photo ID include these: an unexpired Texas driver's license or Texas personal identification card, an un- expired U.S. military ID card, an unexpired U.S. passport, a certificate of U.S. citizenship, a Texas Department of Public Safe- ty-issued concealed hand- gun carry permit. LIST OF SENATE CANDIDATES OROWS Texas Railroad Commis- sioner Michael L. Williams last week resigned from his seat and declared himself a candidate for the U.S. Sen- ate seat that will be vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison. On Jan. 13, Sen. Hutchison said she would not seek another term. Her current term expires on Dec. 31, 2012. Williams, who is a Re- publican and the fourth African-American to hold a statewide office in Texas, joins a field of other Repub- licans who would like to be Hutchison's successor, including Railroad Com- missioner Elizabeth Ames Jones; Ted Cruz, a former Texas solicitor general; and Roger Wdliams, a former Texas secretary of state. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said he is exploring a run for the Senate seat and U.S, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson, reportedly has indicated interest in seeking the seat, tOO. Hutchison, a former Tex- as state treasurer and state representative, has held the Senate seat since 1993. DPS: AVOID TRAVEL TO MEXICO Baptist missionary Nancy Davis, 59, was killed last week as she and her hus- band attempted to escape from gunmen in the state of Tamaulipas, about 70 miles south of McAllen. The incident prompted the Texas Department of Public Safety on Jan. 28 to warn against travel to Mexico, and (~ov. Rick Perry to reiterate the need for in- creased border security. DPS Director Steve Mc- Craw said, qf violence does occur, we cannot guarantee that anyone will be brought to justice for those acts." This was the fourth time in the past year, because of spikes in violence, that the DPS issued a warning against travel in Mexico. AG PROMOTES FINANCIAL LITERACY When most students graduate from college, the debt for years of tuition, books, fees and living costs comes home to roost in a big way. Even with a college diploma attesting to their fitness for an array of life responsibilities, how to pay off the debt can be a daunt- ing conundrum. That's why Texas Attor- ney General Greg Abbott was in San Antonio ]an. 27: to provide credit card and debt education materials to the University of Texas at San Antonio. This was a gesture in support of a new law that requires state colleges and universities to edu- cate their students about personal financial man- agement. The attorney general's office developed the money-management materials. Ed Sterling works for the Texas Press Association and follows the Legislature for the association. edsterling@texaspress.com LETIrERS TO THE EDITOR IS A BARGAIN ACC is one of the best bargains for the taxpayer. Look at the tax bill at right and see the taxes paid in Austin for ACC is less than three percent of the total bilL At present the ACC rate is at its maximum and can ouly be raised by consent of the voters in the entire ACC district. Edward S/edge Kyle S HOI~/S~IOR THISISYOUR ;~n]o PROPERTY TAX NOTICE. THE APPPAtSED VALUE IS: ]~'~ a:* = '~ AUST~ ISD i 50,090 ili, 098 1.2270 925.91i CITY OF &USTI~(~P.~V~ 51,000 TIUtV~S ~ 97,220 I~.J~Ttl 97,220 ACC (TR&WIS) 120,000 110,098 63,878 63,878 41,098 R~nark; .4571 ] .465S I 503.26 ~ 8 ! 297.54] 61&INGNO, i 45.93i .0?]9 i .0951 [ CORG~A 1422 DR 1 I LOT 27 BLK N D~ 4[ SEC B } I 39.0s~ i HOW CAN THIS BE THEIR EXIT? I live in Pecanwood South and will be affected by the apartments being built off of Amberwood South, in the Amberwood Subdivision. I am con- cerned as I recently found out that the apartment complex will be using Red- wood Drive, the one-way portion of street that intersects both Pecanwood South and Maplewood South (both being on a circular-type, cul-de-sac), as their emergency exit. Considering that these streets dead- end at Redwood Drive and that given a "true emergency" situation, whereby an evacuation of some or all of the bldgs, are necessary and that police, ambulance, fire trucks are dispatched to the area, this approved "emergency- only exit" for first responders will surely guarantee a "chaos in the mak- ing," not only for "trapped" residents at the apartments but also for those residents in both Pecanwood South and Maplewood South. If that wasn't bad enough, being that the frontage road of IH35 is a one-way, north- bound road, I doubt that residents leaving such an emergency will be prompted to use the only north-facing exit they have been provided out of the complex. Furthermore, I have yet to see a non-black, painted water- hydrant anywhere along Amberwood South, Amberwood Loop (east- bound) or either Pecanwood South and Maplewood South. Finally, why didn't anybody see the design flaw in the complex not having their OWN emergency/alternate exit or force the owner/builder to purchase private land-use rights for such use, and one which would address this potentially major, "safety hazard" for everyone!? Can someone please tell me who/ when/how/where and a time-line during which all of these plans were approved and proper notification to affected residents were made? I can one obtain copies to such tascus- sions? And please do not add insult to injury by telling me that I should have attended any of the Wednesdays only neighborhood association meetings that have been so poorly posted on non-standard, smaller-than-able-to- read signs along Amberwood South or Amberwood North... which do not even afford someone the ability to read on both sides of the so-called "signage". The way I see it, the approval of this site-plan has set a legal precedence for any future developer that wishes to engage in this non-ethical standard of practice and allows for on-going, under-handed business practices that affect all concerned Kyle citizens. Amelia Palacios Kyle i +