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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
March 23, 2011     Hays Free Press
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March 23, 2011

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THEY REALLY SAID THAT?. Hays Free Press 23,201i "Nobody is happy oitb any of this." - Hays CISD superintendent Jeremy Lyon on layoffs implemented this week Page 3A + OF CABBAGES IlblvinhaVe fond memories of Hays County ack when there were fewer people g within our 680 square miles than now dwell within the city limits of Kyte. But crowded into those pleasant recol- lections are sobering flashes of reality, like the horrible crop years in 1927-1928 that resulted in Hays County farms being taken over when residents couldn't pay their loang Before there was a recoveD; 1929 rolled around and the Great Depression plowed under more Hays Countians, along with many middle-sized merchants and mon- ey-lenders. Happy Days were not here for years to come. Roosevelfs New Deal brought us hope and some economic security, parriculary for elderly dtizens who qualified for sodal Se- curi~ Later Eisenhower's national highway system made it feasible for folks to live here and commute to Austin for their jobs. By the end of Wofld War Two the number of folks living in Hays County had grown to 17,840 (a 3,500 person increase from 1900). We rocked along on a slightly higher growth scale for 20 years, and tipped 40,000 in the 1980 census. The ensuing roller coaster ride since then brought us to 157,107 Hays Countians, according to the final 2010 census figures. Hays County is now in 24th place in population among 254 Texas counties. Any- one who doesn't believe we need more and bigger roads, particularly in the Interstate 35 corridor and along the northern Hays boundary between Dripping Springs and Aus n, need to have their head examined. It's a no bralner. Our county commissioners are level- headed folk and most have deep Hays roots. I don't think they'll go against the will of people who spoke clearly during the 2008 mad and parks bond election. For those who feel they just can't stand the growth, I can supply them with the names of the 67 Texas counties going downhill- population wise. There are good bargain homes and farms in those locales, and might prove to be paradise for folks who don't like what is happening here. On a slightly different matter, I am deeply disappointed to mad that. effective imme- t sthe long-mn g Ution of the Office providing complimentary funeral escorts has been cancene According to local reliable sources the new fee is $100 bucks an hour.WowS. I .ollect a few years hack when the county bought fancy motomydes, with the selling point beingthe big dollar"hogs" would be ideal for fonerm escorts. I don't expect funeral homes to absorb the cost, but I do question our Sheriff's Office for not doing so. It's a custom that complements an agency that could use some good PR. Those ofus living in the three largest dries have dty-funded police departments, so we are already paying a sizable stipend for public safety that lowtax smaller city and rural residents don't fund. The new decree won't drastically affect those living in the Buda-Kyie area. That's because constables James ~hier of Kyie and Matt Mancillas of Buda will keep pro- vidlng escort sennces without charge. Public servants providing aid to folks at a difficult time in thek life. Hooray for the~ The Sheriff's Office isn't the of- fender when death occurs. Some newspa- pers began charging for obituaries a w~e ago; the Hays Free Press does not. I believed 58 years ago when I first became a publisher that such a policy was cold hearted. I still dot I can understand word limits if obituaries are long and we In- sist on ultimate conttol in case some family feud causes problems. We don't charge for obituaries and we lose several thousand dollars a year because of our rule. It is a commitment we are sticking with! Effective law enforcement is enhanced by public good will. Killing a helpful tradition in time of hardship is a'hNrong direction" mow It's not too late to put this policyinto reverst~ Consider it Sheri~. LETTER TO THE EDITOR CELEBRATING THE ANNIVERSARY Wednesday, March 23m, marks the one year anniversary of the passage of landmark legislation in this country. While many fear and revile the Affordable Health Care Act, for me, it represents a major step in the right direction.Anyone whose child has been turned down for health insur- ance due to an existing condition, or any- one whose adult children were dropped at age 20 or 21 from the family's health insurance, surely recognizes the advan- tages of this legislation. Those who are so adamantly against it must have unlimited funds for health care. ]udy Burns Buda Ttheaee dere is a $1,100 billion hole in e federal budget. Our so-called rs are squabbling over how to reduce that hole by a mere $61 billion. They seem to have agreed that the best way to do this is to let poor people fzeeze to death. What a bunch of geninse Democrats figured out long ago that big spending is good politics. Government spending creates jobs, and the Congressman or woman who "brings home the bacon" to his or her constituents tends to get re-elected. Starting In 1980, Republicans figured out that tax cuts are good politics. Letting people keep more of their pet priorities. The result is a na- tional debt so large that there is a dear and present danger the global bond had a free ride for much too long. Wealth and income shifted to the very top strata of our society in a way that we've never seen in history. What prosperity we have seen in the past 30 years has been debt-fueled and bubble-based. To get the economy back to health, we're going to have to reset the basic parameters of our economy. This is about cleaning up the mess the morn- after, from a 30-year binge that markets will downgrade ourdebt to wasunsustainable. Inpart this means junk status. That would mean disaster, placing a much higher tax burden on in the form of high Interest rates that the upper incomes. strange economic growth. But an this is just the ran gs of some their own moneyappeals to the basic When Ronald Reagan took office greed of the American people, and 30 years ago, the nationm debt stood the distrust of government which the at about $1 trillion. Now it stands at Republicans have been selling for the last 30 years has become a self-ful- filling prophecy. After 1985, the GOP decided that deficits didnt matter and tax cuts were the solution of first, second and third resort. That cate- chism has been taught to all incoming Republican congressmen ever since. Both parties have been reckless and irresponsible. Like selfish children, neither party has bothered paying for naive socialist liberal, right?Wrong. Vh'mally every word of the foregoing was uttered by David Stockman. about $14 trillion, and rapidly growing. Who is David Stockman? He was Ronald Reagan's Budget Director. The economy has not grown 14-fold Thafs right. Ronald Reagan's Budget in those 30 years. Public and private indebtedness in the U.S. stands at $50 Director. He is known as the Architect trillion, giving us our highest leverage ratio in the country's history. We must cut spending and raise taxes. It is foolish to extend the tax cuts for the richest two percent of Americans in light of our current circumstances. The rick have already of Reaganomics. Even he is now saying that "Supply Side" economics will not work in our current situation- ff R ever did. It's t~e to take the rich offwelfare. Wake up, America. The hour is get- ting very, very late. ie who wrote the global warminq A anndrew Dessler is as dispassionate academic should be- pt about things he knows to be beyond dispute. In the first sentence, first chapter, of"The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change," that passion shows through. "Of all the environmental issues that have emerged in the past few decades, global climate change is the a greenhouse gas, yes, but"carbon most serious, and the most difficult to dioxide is the dominant greenhouse manage. It is the more serious became ofthe severity of harms that it might bring." The book, which the Texas A&M climatologist authored with Edward Parson ofthe University of Michigan, is one of the nation's leading college texts on the subject. It's advertised as a"guide to the debate," but Dessler doesn'tgo so far as to assign each side of the debate equal weight. He leaves no doubt that industrial-era pollution is contributing to Earth's heating. Certain~, how rapidly climate change might occur and how it will affect life on the planet are matters of conjecture and projection. He does not, for instance, blame global wanning for the kiner gulf storms of recent years. But relative to the central issue, carbon dioxide emissions, Dessler says no one should be cowed by any number of distractions. Take the claim that ca~e flatulence is just / as significant a factor. Methane is gas by a factor of four." Additionally, what cattle emit will dissipate after 10 yearn The CO2 we are adding to our atmosphere is there for our lifetime. Don't be comforted, he said, by cherry-picked data, such as the recent cold snap in the south. A"temperature anomaly" chart shows a spike of 1.3 degrees In water surface temperatures since the 1900s, after a relatively constant stretch of 300 years. For anyone who thinks 1.3 degrees to be a pittance, Dessler points out that the Ice Age was precipitated by a 5-degree drop. And if today's pace continues, a 4-degree rise over the next century is not out of the question, with coastal areas submerged and life- sustaining finshwamr sources the Himalayan gladers decimated. "We'll look pretty stupid in 100 years ifwe essentially destroyed the world while we were arguing about tax rates, jobs, Bernie Madoff and rescuing the stock market," he said. Not surprisingly, Dessler, a Harvard graduate, occasionally finds pockets of doubt in Aggleland. One he faced a hostile audience of petroleum engineers. "This was a crowd of academics who were accusing me of fraud," he said. However, he said, by and large people get it. Dessler is openly disdainful of the economic scare tactics used by the "do nothing' crowd. That crowd said, for instance, that dramatic measures to curtail the chlomfiuorocarbous eating away the ozone layer would carry catastrophic costs. Wrong. What those measures brought about was innovation, another word for economic development. "Once people realize there's going to be regulation (of greenhouse gases) there's going to be innovation," he said. "Climate change is tougher than other issues, but there's a ]ot of evidence that people exaggerate the costs of the solution to scare people into inaction." The question: Will we say, 'Ah, let's adjust to a warmer planet"? Or will we sa~; "Let's adjust our economy and our consumptive lifestyles to lessen our imprint on the planet's future"? Which? Longtime Texas newspaperman ]ohn Young lives in Colorado. I~mnOeogam~omail.oom Tmm~ofime is here and most people besieged with pleas for ney. There are requests for help either from profit m king firms or non-profit agendes. They are working tirelessly in a troubled econom~ I don~ have any problems turning down the profit making organizations' requests for money. Nearly every pitch by mail or phone I can do without. We have all been hurt by the econo- my and who can saywhen things wi]l improve? In the mean ne, we have to say "no" time after time when the phone marketers call. I keep the pitch to a minute or less, knowing that their time is valuable and I'm not going to respond in any event. My real problem is having to turn down wOrthy non-profit organiza- tions. In a day when non-profit needs are increasing, most people have less money to give. How can we respond Pm w:ffrl m when our Income is less this year than last year? We feel a sense of guilt when we are lucky to be able to contribute as much as we did last year, but not able . to afford one dollar more this year. There is also the question of sup- porting many agendes with a li~e do- nation to each or a few agendes with a large donation to each? Hardly a day goes by that we don't receive# request to support cancer research which is a most worthy cause.We turn these down as all our support for cancer research goes to the James Cancer Hos- pital at Ohio State Universi~ When it comes to higher edueation we support a variety ofinstitution~Which method is best? Some of the agencies are doing a great job with the moneythey have. However, the needs ofthose whom they serve are increasin and there never seems to be enough resources to go around. Allwe can do is to make certain we support non-profits as well as we can and give our conscience a rest. Even Jesus recognized this truth when he said: "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. ~ I tell you: just as you did it to one of the least did it to me." (Matthew 25:35-36, 40) We must do the best we can in the midst of hard times and be at peace. COMMENTS FROM THE WEBSITE "You can research the Cypress Creek [developer] online and see they have developed sev- eral properties in Texas. They actually are really nice and high-end looking compared to some of these homes in Kyle with crap all in yard and broken down cars. I did not realize I live in such a closed minded city." - Tammy on "Council tabl~ Cypm= Creek projec' at oom "1 hate to burst your bubble but a $150,000 home is considered affordable hous- ing. Every community needs diverse housing, not everyone wants a single family home. So who is going to live here? Your typical workforce. HUD income limit for a 2 person household considered 'low income' is $47,250. A Hays CISD teacher with 15 years experience makes $46,855." - Mm'k on "CouncU tablu Cywem Cmek apartn nt project'at oom MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. Co-Publlahem Bob Barton and Cyndy Slovak-Barton Office Manager --- Connie Brewer NEWSROOM Editor Brad Rollins Staff Reporters Jennifer Biundo Scan Kimmons Wes Ferguson Feature= Writer Brenda Stewart School Reporter Jim Cullen Community Reporters Sandra Gflzzle Myrtle Heideman Pauline Tom Sports Editor Jason Gordon Sports Reporter Mark Caul Columnists Bob Barton Bartee Halle Phil Jones Clint Younts Donn Brooks John Young Brenda Stewart Proofreaders Jane Kirkham Brenda Stewart ADVERTISING Tracy Mack Delilah Reyee CIRCULATION Circulation Mgr. Suzanne Hallam C~IFIEDS Suzanne Ha,am Diatdbutlon Gigi Hayes Carolyn Harkins Pete Sizemore PRODUCTION Produation Mgr. David White Aulatant Designer Jorge J. Garcia Jr. Contact Us: BUD#. 512-295-9760 KYLE 512-268-7862 METRO AUSTIN 512-262 -6397 +