Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
March 6, 2003     Hays Free Press
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March 6, 2003

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Pa|e 4;The Free Press EdltOLlil P'ag6 ...... March6,2003: Recalling the mayor is ignoring the issues by Bob Barton Publdler gness it was inevitable. * Kyle, a placid, slow growing community for an overwhelming portion of its 123 year history, is now expanding faster than State Comptroller Carole McClellan Strahom's list of ex-husbands. It took 100 years to become a town of 2,500 souls and less than five to quadruple that. No doubt it'll be close to quintuple by the end of 4his year. During '*'these dozen-plus we have had almost 30 ors and perhaps 150 city coun- c" ,dme. Some have been quite tdK. g World'* War I1, I6 Hartson, a direct descendent of the family for whom thtown was named, headed an all- W.azmeCil, a rarity that won tactdar portrait in Life A copy of it, showing h carrying a hoe and wearing a sulJ-bonnet as she performed her moral duties, hangs in our lvllhmmin City office. mental spats in the past between some council members, including law suits and vetoes. A council meeting regarding the location of the prison in Kyle required the presence of law enforcement offi- cials to keep fisticuffs from occur- ring. One former mayor served a prison term for an infraction that was not related to her city duties and we elected a bright and articu- late woman who was of Hispanic origin. One of our mayors served a term in the legislature, another Sported a bright red beard and sev- eral buckled up and served more than one hitch at the post. For 120 of those 123 years, none of them got paid a red cent. Since we adopted our city charter a little over two years ago the mayor gets $200 bucks a month and the council members receive half that much. These aren't positions that bring fame or fomme to those who serve in those capacities. The city charter was written by 15 local citizens, including three current city council members. Kyle residents overwhelmingly adopted the document, which also provides the right for the public to recall officials, as well as initiate legisla- tion. General law cities don't have those patlicular powers, but we are masters of our own destiny now and some Kyle citizens, greatly bearing grudges against some council members and the city man- ager, have decided they want to recall Mayor James Adkins before his term is completed. The fact that he ran for office less than a year ago without an opponent is of small matter. These folks are in a huff and patience isn't their long suit. Adldns a tall, athlet- ic middle-aged man who is a Wackenhut prison employee and happens to be African-America, is their fall guy. These impatient folk are trying to blow a disagreement between the seven member council into some sort of major crisis. I first came to Kyle 50 years ago and have participated in or reported on 50 city elections. This disagree- ment about the settlement regard- ing the overuse of Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District water was complicated, contentious and multi-faceted, but it doesn't war- rant a recall election. Instead, the council needs to be concentrating on continuing to implement the strict controls on the kind of rampant growth that was encouraged before Tom Mattis was chosen as the city manager by a majority of these current council members. The moratorium that was placed on new residential growth on the recommendation of Mattis the best thing that has happened to Kyle in at least a decade. The deci- sion by the council in recent months, on recommendation of Mattis and his staff, that requires subdividers to give the city $200 a lot for parks instead of allowing them to claim an eroded gully or a muddy stock pond as a greenbelt, is a good example of good steward- ship. Yeah, the Mayor and Council Chris Martinez had a spat, but it was just that. Politics, particularly at the lal level, is not tidily- winks. It ain't the end of the world and it is celtainly no reason to try to remove either from office before their terms expires. Unfortunately, there are some forces at work trying to mm this incident into a crisis. One non-resi- dent is mad because her pet histor- ical district gotwaylald by a wide ranging coalition of people who. feared that she was trying to genlri- fy sections of town that are quite satisfied with the way they live now. Another one, who lives closer to Caldwell County than Kyle, pro- claims she is a political kingmaker and that the mayor has disappoint- ed her. Another, a newcomer who has true concerns abut the environ- ment, has perhaps jumped to some conclusions under the influence of folks who have other fish to fry. The Wlmberley-owned and pro- duced flee newspaper, which some crucify the city manager, ought to open a office in Kyle instead of Wmaberley and restrict their editor- ial comments to the editorial page. Jerry Kolacny, who served on the council for a term before get- ling beat, (making him eligible to join the loser's club that includes yours mdy, along with a couple of dozen other local once-wuzes) should file for office again and let the voters decide whether he ought to be calling the shots from a coun- cilman's chair instead of a front row seat in the audience. Give us a choice, not an echo. These folks have every right to seek the recall of James Adldm. It's their judgement that I seriously question. There were times in the slow moving past when that kindof political brouhaha would have taken folks minds off a drought or a depression. This is not one of those times. I believe we will be foolhardy ff we take our eyes off the struggle to control the umtricted growth ' that existed in Kyle before the current city council and the cunent city manager started addressing the issues in a serious and systematic manner. If you want to be self-indulgent and sanctimonious, then sign the petition. If you want to be a respon- sible, fair-minded citizen, take a pass and express your opinion through the regular election Tbere have been some menu- aided by several non-residents and unanimously by the council is time ago embarked on a crusade to process. ?: .::... : : Miami murder myste]'y was made in Texas Bartee Halle Florida jury reached a ver- st  ict on Mar. 6, 1966 in the sensational made-in-Texas mur- der trial of Candy Mossier and her nephew Melvin Lane Powers. Candy always claimed her Georgia birth certificate had it all made her 12 instead of 19, when kinfolk pressured her into marry- ing a much older man in 1939. By 1948, Candy was divorced and living with her two children in New Orleans. It was in the Crescent City that the successful model and fashion designer met wrong and that she was born io Jacoues,MOssler, a 53 year old 1927 not 1920. Thatwodd have Rumanian refugee who had made a fortune in auto sales and financing and commercial bank- ing. Six months later, they mar- tied and moved into the groom's 28-room mansion in the exclu- sive River Oaks section of Houston. M0ssl wRed Intil aft erthe honeymogn to tell.his bde, wh9 had her heart set on a big family, that he was sterile. Candy made him promise to adopt, and eight years later they took in four sib- lings between the ages of two and six, the survivors of a crazed father's killing spree in Chicago. In 1962, the Mosslers wel- comed a new houseguest ,- Texas History, page S J t,s'tice delay, is still justice U ],:overing tim(,l iq:an crimes against humanity man's death diminishes ,tite because I am involved. ? . in mankind. i',,:-. , ' --John I)omae 1967,, Ernest Avants, a mber of the Ku KIux Klan, was acquitted of the murder of Ben Chester White, an elderly African-American farm hand and Baptist deacon Just last month, Avants was convicted of the very same crime in an American version of the Nuremburg trials. We all know about Nuremburg. In the aftermath of World War II when the civilized nations became aware of the atrocities' committed against those whose only crime was to be not-Aryan, the civilized world demanded justice. But justice for what? Murder? Homicide? None of the avail- able words could convey the immensity of this evil. We had to invent a' new tenn. So ,at Nuremburg, Nazi leaders were ____ At;ROSS 4"; TXns born 'tween 1 UT coach Brown July 23 & Aug. 22 5 TXism: "at the drop 48 Mavericks sport (abbr.) of _ __ -- '. $0 TX Morse 6 this Calhoun was in 'Red Sundown" with TX Hyer 7 TXism: "liquid " (perfume) 8 TX Sly's 'Every- _ _ Star" 9 Jeff Davis Go. seat 16 TXism: "kicked over a hornet's 18 TXIsm: "top rung on "(bast) 21 Gov. Culbertson (1894-98) TXIsm: "he has , short __ and deep pockets" ,3 TX "Turtle Lady' i Loetscher 24 __ City, TX 0 UT has large col- lection of this poet 4 "yes' so, of the border 5 this Eliseo went on '83 rampage 'cross * southeast "IX 16 song "Whatever  Wants"  Jonas Go seat Cowboys, in NFC 8 dinner breed or ela car TX Kowalski dir- *, scrod this P, obr! Blake seflas 46 dir. to Dallas from San Antonlo 46__ and reel sang "Cow-Cow Boogie" 53 __ Brown and his Band of Renown 54 "United" movie co. (abbr.) 55 this Sarandon wants to avoid TX in "Thelma & Louise" 56 TX RangerNorris film: "An Eye' ' The Original 59 film segment 60 cable TV net. 61 Mrs. Hobby of Houston (init.) 62 Aransas Pass festival "Shrimpo " DOWN 14 TXism:" have 1 Falls Co. seat to get bettor to die" 2 TXism: "like _ 15 George W. now __ afire' (hurry) calls this the NMD 3 "El Senor" who led (Nat. Missile Def.) longest siege in 17 commissioner for TX prison history Cowboys & Texans 4 a natural radio 19 Spanish newspaper: station in Tye, TX '  __ Texas" ] __ Worth (abbr.) 20 Emery is seat of 10 TXIsm: 'busier this county :armed 24 TX Jim Reeves' paper hanger" " I Losing You?" t 1 TXism for "darn" 25 famous TX case: 12 Yale is TX George __ v. Wade W.'s __ mater 26 Gulf crustacean 13 TX poet Miller or an o1' grouch TEXAS CROSSWORD by Charley & Guy Orbison " Copya 2o03 by Orbison m. 11 14 5 55 P-585 18 Ted Adams was Tom __ In "Rio Grande" film 40 TXism: "dab _ on" 41 "Alley Oop" TX creator _ _ Hamlin 42 '93 TV special: "Willie 27 TXism: ' Big Six-0" beer and no foam" 49 at the moon" 28 chicken fded steak 51 fish bait 29 cowboy exhibitions 52 TXism: =crooked _ 31 Mexican "two' barrel of snakes" 32 LIT grad Wallach 57 lessa is seat 53 TX George H.'s of this county general:_  58 TXism:" talk" Schwarzkopf (gossip) tried for Crimes Against Humanity. It's a huge idea. Some acts are more than mere viciousness, more than passion gone awry, more than the desire to acquire"* that fuel ordinary crimes. Some acts, by their very nature, touch each one of us. Such are crimes against humanity. The most devastating aspect of these crimes is that the per- petrators believe they are pro- tecting humanity. Nazi Germany convinced itself that Germans were victims of a vast Jewish conspiracy. They used* this bit of disinformation to jus- tify mass murder as "self- defense" Avants and his kind thought the same way. They somehow managed to convince them- selves that they were heroes, saving white America from the threat of dark skin. Men of little imagination and less self- respect, they felt threatened when AfricanAmericans demanded American rights and dignity. So threatened that they felt it necessary kill the civil rights leader, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So they decided to commit a crime so spectacular that Dr. King would come to their com- munity, where they could easily assassinate him. And why did they choose to murder Mr. White? Not because he was a civil rights activist or leader of his community. No. Mr. White was convenient. As far as Avant was concerned, Mr. White was bait. So Avants and his kind invit- ed the elderly gentleman into their car. They offered him work and bought him a soda. They shot him 15 times Or maybe 18. And then, as Avants told former FBI-agent Allan Kornblum, "I blew his head off with a shotgun?' Avants wasn't ashamed. He didn't fear conviction. After all, he told Kornblum, "You can't be convicted of killing a dead man." And sure enough, the 1967 jury bought the story, bought into the insanity that would excuse such unmitigated evil Despite Komblum's testi- mony and the dictates of com- mon sense, the 1967 jury acquitted Avants. And there the story would have ended, ff the crime hadn't been committed on government land. But it was, so double jeop- ardy doesn't apply. Thus we brought Ernest Avants, Klansman, to trial. And we con- victed him. Some say that when Avants is sentenced this May, we should have mercy. After all, he's an old man, 72. He's had a stroke. No one in his condition could be considered a threat to society. After all, the crime was so long ago, 39 years. It's ancient history, by today's fast- paced standards. After all, Ernest Avants isn't likely to kill again. But mercy must not seem to condone Avants' twisted think- ing. In 1966, Ernest Avants reduced an irreplaceable human life to the status of bait. And that is a crime against humanity. Ana McDonald (ana@san- drew on reports published by the New York Times and ABC News.