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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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March 20, 2013     Hays Free Press
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q- + CLASSIFIEDS PUBLIC NOTICES SERVICE DIRECTORY HaysFreePress.com March 20, 2013 BY KIM HILSENBECK kim@haysfreepress.com The Hays County food inspectors scored five Buda and seven Kyle locations in February. Four locations received an exemplary rating with zero demerits; Asadero Monterry (mobile) in Buda, Briana's Kitchen in Kyle, Taqueria Bri- ana's (mobile) in Kyle and Ilario's Italian Cuisine in Kyle One Buda restaurant, Pal- mar, received a below average rating with 17 demerits. In May 2012, the restaurant had 15 demerits. McDonald's of Buda received an above average rating with 6 demerits. In July 2012, that location received an average score with 10 demerits. The PAC-N-SAC on Jack C. Hays Trail received an above average rating with 7 demer- its. In July 2012, that location received an average score with 13 demerits. Papa John's Pizza in Buda also received an above aver- age rating with 4 demerits. In July 2012, that location received 7 demerits. Kyle had no locations with a below average rating. ABOUT THE SCORES: Hays County does not score on a standard 0 to 100 scale but instead tabulates total demerits. If no violations are found, a score of 0 demerits is achieved. Therefore, a higher score indicates more demer- its. If an establishment receives more than 30 demerits, a re-inspection is required and corrections must be made to bring the total score below 30 in accordance with the Texas Food Establishment Rules (Chapter 229 of the Texas Administrative Code/Health Services). Look for more inspection scores in the coming year as the county continues its work in the Kyle and Buda area. BUDA FOOD SERVERS Exemplary (0 demerits): Asadero Monterrey (mobile) Above average (1-7 demer- its): McDonald's, Pac-N-Sac, Papa John's Pizza Average (8-13 demerits): None Below average (14-20 de- merits): Palmer Restaurant Far below average (21+): None KYLE FOOD SERVERS Exemplary (0 demerits): Briana's Kitchen, Taqueria Bri- ana's (mobile), Ilario's Italian Cuisine in Kyle Above average (1-7 demer- its): Casa Maria Restaurant, Mrs. Corn in Lockhart, Sac-N- Pac at 6200 Jack C. Hays Trail, Texas Best Travel Center Average (8 - 13 demerits): None Below average (14-20 de- merits): None Far below average (21+): None PHOTOS BY DAVID WHITE Dr. Tom Traweek of Thyroid Cytopathology Partners (CTP) and head of the lab at Seton Medical Center Hays, analyzes about 30 thyroid tests a day to check for cancer. TCP works in partnership with Veraeyte, a biotech start-up in California. Traweek said the Veracyte test he and his TCP colleagues use has reduced unnecessary thyroid removal by about half. II Thyroid test eliminates unnecessary operations BY KIM HILSENBECK kim@haysfreepress.com The need for surgery to re- move a potentially cancerous thyroid has been significantly reduced, thanks in part to the former medical chief of staff at Seton Medical Center Hays. Dr. Tom Traweek, a board-certified pathologist, still works part-time at the hospital. But he gave up his position as chief of staff in January to spend more time at Thyroid Cytopathology Partners (TCP) - a local firm he and other doctors formed specifically for the business of thyroid analysis. TCP is the pathology partner working withVeracyte, a biotech start- up in San Francisco. "I couldn't do both well," Traweek said. In the medical commu- nity, Traweek said Veracyte is known as a leader in molecu- lar cytology. The firm devel- oped the Aftra thyroid FNA analysis; it's a test for thyroid cancer that provides patients with more accurate results and can substantially reduce the need for costly thyroid surgery and a lifetime of hor- mone replacements. The test, which patients can get at Seton Medical Cen- ter Hays, uses a microchip to more closely analyze the ex- pressions on the 142 genes of the thyroid. That microchip is about the size of the end of a little finger. In the not too distant past, Traweek said about 15-20 percent of thyroid tests came back with an "indetermi- nate diagnosis," meaning, doctors could not say for sure whether a patient had thyroid cancer. Erring on the side of cau- tion, he said many doctors recommended patients have their thyroid removed. Thou- sands of those removed thy- roids were tested and found to be benign, rendering the surgery unnecessary. The New England lournal of Medicine published a study with results suggesting the Veracyte test can reduce un- necessary thyroid surgeries. Traweek said with the Traweek works with lab technicians Michael Hartman (above) and Paul Lewis (below) at Seton Medical Center Hays. The lab, which Traweek said is really the hub of the hospital, conduct a variety of blood and urine analysis every day. Veracyte test, the removal of thyroids has gone down by half. And while the test comes with a hefty price tag of about $3,500, thy- roid removal surgery costs anywhere from $12,000 to $18,000. Add to that a lifetime supply of hormone replace- ment therapy. Last year, Traweek said Veracyte contracted with TCP to conduct about 25,000 analyses submitted by doc- tors from 42 different states, which are sent to patholo- gists like Traweek by FedEx. He estimates the number of tests will double this year. That's a tot of FedEx boxes. Traweek said that means TCP will grow, as well. "We hired three patholo- gist last year," he said. "We ~11 hire three more this year." Traweek expects the need for shipping samples will go down with the opening of Veracyte's new lab in Austin later this year. Customer care and billing operations will also move to Austin, but some laboratory work and executive offices will remain in California. FINANCIAL FOCUS AcS you know, the U.S. ongress has adopted ome measures to help avoid the much-feared "fiscal cliff." At this point, important spending decisions have been put off, but new tax laws are in place- and, as an investor, you'll want to know just how this legislation will affect you. Let's look at the impact of the tax laws on three different income levels: Up to $200,000-$250,000 - If you earn less than $200,000 (if you're single) or $250,000 (if you're married and file jointly), your income tax bracket will not change, nor Hill the tax rates as- sessed on dividends you receive from stocks or long-term capital gains you receive from selling in- vestments that have appreciated in value. However, a 3.8% Medi- care tax will apply to the lesser of your net investment income or your modified adjusted gross income in excess of the $200,000 or $250,000 levels, respectively. $250,000-$400,000 - If your adjusted gross income is at or more than $250,000 (for single fliers) or $300,000 (for married couples), your item- ized deductions will begin to phase out, as Hill your personal exemption deductions, possi- bly resulting in higher effective tax rates. And the 3.8% Medi- care tax ~ apply to part, or all, of your investment income. But your tax bracket stays the same, as do the tax rates on dividends and capital gains. $400,00015450,000- If you earn at least $400,000 (if you're single) or $450,000 (if you're married), you will be subject to the phase-out of deductions de- scribed above. More importantly, however, your marginal tax rate will rise from 35% to 39.6%. Plus, taxes on qualified dividends and long-term capital gains will rise from 15% to 20%- or, actually, 23.8%, when the 3.8% Medicate tax is added in. Consequently. you may have some decisions to make; at a minimlma, you'll need to know how the new rates might- or might not - affect your investment choices. For example, ffyon rely on bonds to provide a source of income, be aware that your interest pay- ments- taxed at your marginal tax rate - will now be taxed more heavily. As for capital gains, the slightly higher rates now give you even more incentive to be a "buy-and-hold" investor, which is usually a good strategy for most people. And the increase in dividend taxes doesn't detract from the key benefit of dividends - namely the ability to provide a potential source of rising income that can help keep you ahead of inflation. Keep in mind that dividends can be increased, de- creased or eliminated at anytime without notice. Overall, the changes in investment-related taxes are probably less substantial than many people had anticipated. And in any case, taxes are but a single component of investment decisions- and usually not the most important one. Rather than let taxes drive your invest- ment choices, focus instead on whether a particular investment is appropriate for your individual situation, and if it fits your risk tolerance, and if it helps you diversify your portfolio. Diver- sificafion can help you reduce the effects of market volafili~, though it can't guarantee profits or protect against loss. Still, the new tax legislation is significant, so you should consult with your financial advisor and tax professional to determine what moves, if any, you may want to make. It's always wise to be up-to- date on what's happening in Washington - especially when lawmakers' decisions can affect your ability to achieve your important financial goals.