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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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February 3, 2010     Hays Free Press
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February 3, 2010
 

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THEY REALLY SAID THAT.&apos;/ "If we're not encouraging our seniors to. take a more challengingfu load to get them ready for college, then we're not doing our job." - Hays High School Principal Pierce, regarding a push to get seniors to take seven classes instead of fi Page 4A February 3, 2 EDITORIAL Your fight to write ee the large word at the top of the page? Opinion. Yep, that's the word. Our opinion page is just that - the opin- ion of the writer. The editorial is the opinion of the editorial board of the newspaper. This board includes a few stockholders and the publishers. No, the editor and reporters do not get to dictate what the editorial is about. Those writing editorials might ask for opinions from the editor on a particular issue, but it is simply a request for opinion. Our columnists, in addition, are given a wide range in what they can write about. We want them to make their columns about local issues, if possible, with the exception of our out-of-town columnists. But, we don't tell them what their opinion on a particular issue should be. We just ask them to write. Why do we point this out? Because some folks in the community have taken us to task for allowing columnists to voice their opin- ions. That's fine. We want you to feel good about taking us to task for something. We also want to point out that you can write a letter to the editor about any issue, as long as it is not libelous. That's your right to write. And it is also the right of the columnists to write their opinions. Whether you or they are for or against an issue, we will protect your right to say it. That's our promise. Hold letters for now This is the last week that letters to the editor will be printed about the Kyle City Council spe- cial election. We always allow one week of quiet on the letter front. Why? We took this idea from Canada, which actu- ally doesn't allow political ads immediately be- foTe an election. Our thought is that candidates should have time to address any issue that is brought up about them. By not printing the let- ters two editions before an election, candidates then have one newspaper edition to make their case about last minute issues brought up in letters. We also have to limit letters, when we have space constraints. Like any business, we have to pay for our merchandise. In our case, it is the printing of these pages, and that costs money. So, if we get several letters about the same is- sue, we will choose one that falls within our 375-word limit, and one that is written by a subscriber, if possible. So, with that in mind, refrain from sending letters next week about the Kyle election. How- ever, the March 2 primary is upon us, so those letters may be submitted through Friday, Feb. 12, 2010 for publication in the Feb. 17 Hays Free Press. CHISPAS A STREETCAR NAMED DESERTION The city of Kyle's trolley system has hit another dead end this week, after its only driver quit to pursue another job, city officials say. Last month, one trolley began providing free rides to local eateries during the lunch hour after months of delays. City officials say that two other drivers are being trained and the free trolley system should be back on track as soon as possible. / 00ERAL Tom DeLay likes it "' .'y rackets," Al Capone IV1 once told an interview- .er, "are run on strictly American lines and they're going to stay that way." That's the line Tom DeLay will try on a judge now that five mem- bers of the U.S. Supreme Court have ruled that previously illegal corporate campaign contribu- tions are protected free speech. "lust facilitating freedom, yer honor." That's all the former House majority leader was doing when, as his felony indictment alleges, he laundered illegal corporate donations to enhance the electability of a handful of Texas lawmakers. They, in turn, got elected and set out to redraw Texas congressional districts to DeLay's liking. Oh, my. Hear the violins now that the court has spoken. What high minds, those of the propo- nents of opening the floodgates of corporate giving. "For too long, some of this country have been deprived of full participation in the political process," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. Tears flow like Cabernet, think- ing of the dispossessed players unable to buy a friend over the table because of federal law and proscriptions in a host of states, some dating back a century. Yes, it's clear as day that cor- porate hegemony always finds a way. That, however, does not mean states and the federal gov- ernment should not attempt to blunt business' role in campaign spending. ili00iiiiiiiii00 iiiii First Amendment rights? Equating campaign largesse with free speech, as the Scalia-Roberts wing did on the court, is akin to saying that bribery is akin to cof- fee talk. Legislature after legisla- ture, court after court, Congress after Congress, each has affirmed the function of limiting corporate "speech" in said fashion. It is a le- gal principle underpinned by the fact that political campaigns are a joint public endeavor. To enter the fray with campaign dollars, you play by rules agreed upon by the electorate. Pshaw, says a Supreme Court majority sculpted by those who decried "judicial activists" - you know, judges who make law and ignore the will of legislatures. Yeah, what about those judicial activists - Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy? They certainly told lawmakers where to stick it. This brings up a matter that those who actually pay attention to the courts have pointed out. The so-called conservatives in our appellate courts have been just as inclined to overtum laws as their liberal counterparts, though a steady hard-right rallying cry is "out with activist judges." Syracuse University political scientist Thomas Keck has the numbers to silence the pitchfork bearers. In his 2004 book, "The Most Activist Supreme Court in History," he points out that the late Rehnquist Court had the highest score of overturning laws since the country's infancy. Yes, the Warren Court was the second most activist, signaling as it did dramatic shifts on behalf of civil rights and setbacks for states rights. "Modern conservatives," Keck wrote, "tried to curtail the liberal activism they inherited from the Warren Court, while simultane- ously seeking to develop a new conservative activism of their own." This just shows that appel- late courts are empowered to do what courts do: write law. It also shows that the legislative branch sometimes needs to rise to the occasion to make right with the popular will relative to what courts might do. That's what President Obama and Democratic leaders say they will do by tweaking campaign finance laws. All should acknowl- edge, however, that until full public financing is the rule of the land, the AI Capones of campaign finance will figure out ways to carry far more power than you and me, and they'll find bag men in power who, like Tom DeLay, will always be there for a song. ]ohn Young writes for Cox Newspapers. jyoungcolumn@gmail.com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR BACKUS WILL REPRESENT US The time has come for young Patrick Rose to exit the State Legislature. Pat- rick has led a charmed life as a politi- cian. He is supported by big money interests in Houston and Austin. He has ignored the concerns of his Dis- trict, while doing special favors for his big campaign contributors. Andrew Backus, a resident of Drift- wood, has filed to run in the upcom- ing Democratic primary. The voters in District 45 can now choose a better candidate. Andrew has an analytical mind, the kind of thought process that we need at our highest leadership levels. He is trained as a scientist and holds two advanced degrees. He has served with distinction as the elected president of the Hays Trinity Ground- water Conservation District. Andrew has pledged to help protect our areas natural resources, to improve educa- tion and health care, to work to lower taxes, and to improve the efficiency of State government. But most impor- tantly, he will represent the interests of the citizens of District 45, not the interests of Houston politicians. I will be supporting Andrew Backus for State Representative District 45 in the March 2nd Primary Election. Jim McMeans Wimberley RUSS CAN FILL THEVOID Folks, early voting is upon us and Kyte is in for a whole bunch of changes. This is an incredible time to be a citizen in this great ci I wanted to write a letter to let you know why I think you should vote for Russ Huebner, myhusband. Letme start by saying he doesn't know that I am writing this, but I wanted to share some thoughts with you from the person that lives with him! Russ is a great man and he has been since the day I met him; and be- fore I'm sure. He has always shown a great interest in economic polic government issues and history. Because of him I find myself much more educated on world poli debt reduction and economic issues. I depend on him for the major- ity ofmyinformation when it comes to news and cmnt events, excluding pop culture, of course. Having said this, Russ takes great pride in being informed and creating plans whether it be in our personal lives, for the U.S. govemment or for our Simply Channing City of Kyle. I see a void on our City Council at the moment for a voice regarding fiscal responsibility, job creation and over all business poliq Thanks to his education and work experi- ence as a banker I feel that he can fill that void and be the voice that we need at this time. Our city council has accomplished many great things in the past several years and I don't want to take anything away from that, butI thinkwe need to start on a new path of strategic planning and debt reduction so that we can continue to live here affordably and enjoy what Kyle has to offer.We are voting for a mayor and two city council seats right now, no single election has been more important for our City in recent years, please get out and vote, vote for Russ and vote because it's your civil duty,. ]ohnell A. Huebner rile RHONDA COX HAS VISION We have been living in Kyte for 7 years and have been fortunate to be part of the tremendous growth the city has seen. We had the good fortune to meet many of the candidates while serving on local city committees and in our comings and goings at city hall. Our city is fornmate to have a talented pool of potential candi- dates to draw fromI With 2 great candidates vying for the District 6 council seat, Rhonda Cox and Russ Huebner, itwas a tough decision about who to support. What it came down to was whose vision for the future was most in line with ours. We are pro growth and we see all of the development within our city as a positive thing which has ben- efited our community. To put it simply we want to be able to see a movie here at our local movie theater and not drive to San Marcos or Austin, we want to get our groceries here, and we want to take our children to swim at our beautiful Kyle pool.All of this means growth, spending money to support that growth and having a vision for how this growth benefits our city and improves our tax base. We believe that Rhonda Co(s experi- ence, combined with her vision for the responsible growth of our city is what's best for our city as we go through so many changes. We have all experienced the traffic "challenges" facing our city and we need a candidate who understands that our growth must continue, will continue and that with that growth will come fiscal challenges that cannot be overcome by throwing a blanket on our growth. My concern about Russ Huebner is that his vision of blanket tax freezes and choking capital improvements will not be dealing with the reality ofthe growth that we are experiencing right now. Our mad network and transportation infrastructure will not be improved without spending mone and a healthy growing city  have a tax base which supports a responsible trans- portation network. Coxs background on the Transportation Master Plan Advisory Committee combined with her vision for growth has given her the edge, and given her our vote in this coming election. ]ames Mundt and Traci Torres-Mundt Kyle POLL QUESTI{ 111s vvs POU. QUES110N Do you think Hays seniors sh be allowed to take five cla rather than seven, if they've already accumulated enoug credits to graduate? A. Yes. They've worked hard deserve a break before colleg starts. B. Maybe. It might be good if it prevents them from getting burned out or frees up more t to work on college applicatior C. No. They should take advar of all the electives offered throu the school and focus on being prepared for college as possibl LASTM' OESll Do you think the state shot spend money on education and workforce training for I: inmates? k Yes. The community as a wt better off if convicts can find hc work after bng paroled. Sin4 B. No. In tight economic tim don't want my tax dollars be ing criminals. 28% C. Maybe. It seems like gov ment programs always get t expensive. 22% TO PARllOIPATE IN OUR WIIO.Y GO TO WWW.HAYSFRBEFREC MANAGEMENT Barton Publications, Inc. CO-PUBLISHERS Bob Barton and Cyndy Slovak-Bartol OFFICE MANAGEF Connie Brewer business@haysfreepress.c NEWSROOM Managing Editor Jen Biundo news@haysfreepress.cor STAFF REPORTER Sean Kimmons Brad Rollins School Reporter Jim Cullen - Community Reporte Sandra Grizzle Myrtle Heideman Pauline Torn Sports Editor Jason Gordon Sports Reporter Mark Caul COLUMNISTS Bob Barton Bartee Haile Phil Jones Darryl Jamail Jack Linden Svea Sauer Clint Younts Donn Brooks John Young Brenda Stewart PROOFREADER Jane Kirkham Brenda Stewart ADVERTISING Tracy Cannon tracy@haysfreepress.c< CIRCULATION Circulation Mgr Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfreepress.c( CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfreepress.cc DISTRIBUTION Gigi Hayes Carolyn Harkins Pete Sizemore PRODUCTION Production Mgr David White Assistant Design( Jorge J. 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