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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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April 14, 2010     Hays Free Press
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April 14, 2010
 

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Page 4A EDITORIAL II I Open the parL please he flowers are in bloom the river is running. What a special time to spend outdoors! There are few weekends with such blissful weather as this area has seen during the past month. Families are searching for a place to spend time out- side, where they can teach youngsters to fish, walk along the water and relax in nature. Luckily, the cotmty owns its only park, Five Mile Dam, just outside of Kyle, along the idyllic banks of the Blanco River. Luck- lly, local folks have a chance to experience the outdoors in this wonderful setting. Except for one small problem - county park officials seem to think that just because they are making renovations and building concession stands and more, that the entire park needs to remain closed. Hogwash! Open the park and just cordon off the areas under construction. Right now there is a security guard stop- ping anyone from getting close to the river, saying that the park must remain closed during construction. If park of- ficials are so concerned about residents "making a mess" of that construction, have that same security guard keep would-be intruders out of construction areas of the park. These days will not last long. By mid- summer, the water will be drying up. The heat will be overbearing. Everyone will be searching for air conditioning, not outdoor air. And local families will be thinking how wonderfnl it would have been to have taken their kids out to the park when all the bluebonnets were in bloom. Park officials, please open the park. It just makes for happier residents. The end of a wild ride i00iiiiiiiiiiiiiii00ii00 can't say that I'm surprised at the outcome of the city council meeting last week. There have been rumblings about the city manager's arrogance and tenacity for years but he was powerful and nobody seemed willing to cross him. The sentiment has been gathering mo- mentum and building steam since Lucy Johnson threwher hat into the ring for the mayor's seat last winter and promised to make the changes necessary to unveil our city government and make it more accessible to the citizenry. It was time for a change, from top to bottom, and I think that most folks could feel it coming, welcomed it, and respected that a politi- cian was actually getting the ball rolling on a campaign promise. Now the search begins for a new city manager who will be able to share Kyle's vision for the decade stretched before us. If I'm not mistaken, our general election on May 8 ends one of the wildest rides our city government has taken in years. Early voting begins on Monday April 26 to replace the final two council members on our revolving carousel of a dais. Both seats are at-large (the whole city votes for each candidate) and everyone votes down- town at City Hall. Long-time city servants Michelle Lopez and David Salazar will be moving on to the next phase in their careers. Life outside Kyle city govemment, oh what will they do with themselves? Luckily, Brad Pickett and Diane Hervol . have agreed to step up and fill the remain- ing seats on the council. Both are mem- bers of the Planning and Zoning Commis- sion, have been actively involved in city government and are local leaders in the community. Both are fiscal conservatives and will finally set the missing pieces to the puzzle in place, which will round out this group of councilmembers represent- ing us and leading us into the new decade. Pickett is nmnlng unopposed, and Her- vol will take on candidate Jason Welch. For the first time in a long time you've got folks in the chamber who are actually interested in your ideas and opinions and they are the ones who are going to be making the decisions about your taxes and your quality of life. Let them know what you are thinking. Get involved. Or quityerbitchin. brenda@haysfreepress.com THEY REALLY SAID THAT? "For me, I think that this is a possible floodgate that I'd be happy with." - Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson, regarding the possibility of allowing mobile food vendors into the city Hays Free Press = April 14, 2010 = H, YEAH, I HEA00 IT ALL CACAgFOONg.COM Public flogging of teachers continues blame my mechanic - the fact that I don't change my oil often enough, don't check my fire pressure regu- larly, and don't know my carburetor from my glove compartment. I'm sure you will agree with me that my mechanic is solely to blame for any malfunction of my car. It can't be that I invest too little in it, or that I take only passing interest in its in- terests - that is, until it doesn't motor me to every chosen destination. We need new accountability stan- dards for mechanics. Assemble the lawmakers. I'm serious here. lust about as seri- ous as some policy makers are about education. Those policy makers, and the citi- zens for whom they posture, blame teachers for all the ills of the school- ing machine. It couldn't be any outside influ- ences that affect learning- not the inattention of parents, not whatever roiling events outside school walls might make it difficult to learn, not too-crowded classes, not adminis- trators and policy makers who don't really get what teachers do. Something very detrimental to leaminghas'been happening under the guise of education reform for nearly two decades. Americans have been convinced that standardization is education. They have been con- vinced that the wayto "excellence" is to treat children's minds like one treats tomatoes during canning season. In the process, too manyAmeri- cans have swallowed the propaganda that those who don't buy the stan- dard (King lames?) version of school accountability employed by state after state don't support excellence. In Florida a pitched battle rages over one more quest to reduce educa- tion to tomato paste on the butcher block of standardization. Reformers seek to pin teacher pay increases to test scores. The bill would require school districts to set aside 5 percent of their entire budgets starting in 2011 for "performance" pay increases. If they have any leftover mone5 they could use it to develop new tests, like end-of-course exams. Otherwise, they would have to give it back to the state. The bill also would essentially re- write the rules for teacher contracts. And in telling districts how they can pay teachers, it would wipe out considerations like advanced degree and experience. The most offensive thing about this is that it's not really about educa- tion. It's about a political vendetta. The party of Bush and Cheney and Limbaugh and O'Reilly has had it out for "teachers' unions" from the day some marginally educated focus group said the term was disparaging enough to be gold. So, we have people stepping up saying they know how to "fix" educa- tion. Even if they confuse teaching with conveyor-belt work. Even if they consider Sarah Palin learned. Ah, standardization. I once heard a person say, seriously, that if only schools would be like the Army, our problems would be solved. You see, all enlistees have to learn how to as- semble a rifle. Have to. And will. But, then, education isn't training. Education is a higher quest. Or, so we once assumed. Unfortunately, our political system has instituted a con- cept of schooling that casts students across a sea of bubble-in questions. You say teachers oppose assess- ment? That's the most ridiculous claim of all. I have a book that has 450 pages of really great assess- ments - classroom exercises that show if students are using critical thinking skills. It has activities which can make school fascinating and truly challenging. No one craves assessments - quality, diagnostic assessments - more than a teacher, or at least the vast majority of true classroom professionals. The same goes for most mechanics. But I'm holding mine accountable for my inattention. If my oil pan ends up empty, heads will roll down at the shop. John Young writes for Czc Newspapers. jyoungcolumn@gmail.com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR GIRLS NEED A FUNDRAISING SPOT My name is Mike Blackwell, and myself and fellow Kyle resident John Wipff coach a 10U girls' softball team, the Hays Thunder, that has been invited to the Platinum Nation- als tournament later this summer in Round Rock. We are in the process of fund-raising, and I wanted to make Kyle and Buda residents aware that we have had an AWFULLY difficult time finding a place - preferably a retail outlet - who will allow our girls to stand outside their stores with signs, giving folks an opportunity to help. If you are a place of business who is will- ing to help a GREAT bunch ofg- and 10-year-old local girls, please drop me a line at mikeblackwell3@gmail.com. Our parents spend A TON of money at the big retail and grocery outlets in our cities, and I'm surprised at how reluctant these big businesses are to reciprocate and help be a part of our great community. Thanks for your help! Mike Blackavell Kyle SUPPORTING WELCH Recently, by request of a friend, I visited the FaceBook page of Jason Welch, candidate for Kyle City Coun- cil District 1. Upon reading his most recent status update, I knew imme- diately I had found a candidate I was going to be enthusiastically voting for as opposed to the "lesser of two evils" which so often was the case for me. I instantly sent him a friend request and asked him to put a sign in my yard. After a few days, I had the pleasure of meeting Jason and knew in a flash, he was the best person for the job. Although only vaguely familiar with Jason's politics at the time, his confi- dent introduction told me everything I needed to know about thi s impressive candidate. His strong, commonsense conservative values combined with his diverse and admirable experiences in the U.S. Army reserves while work- ing in sales and management left me no doubt Jason is the ideal candidate for that seat. So often, especially here in Kyle, it's WHO you know as opposed to WHAT you know when nmning for office and trying to get elected. His strong faith in God, love for family and country are just a few examples of character traits that cross party lines and every one can relate to. Please visit ]ason's website at http://www.. jasontwelch.com for more informa- tion. loin Jason in remming power and freedom back to the citizens of Kyle and directing it away from the government officials. Rose Quintero-Holloway Kyle KANE'I7.KY FOR TRUSTEE Marty and I met when our children were in elementary school at Buda El- ementary and she was volunteering in the PTO. We became friends when she and 1 served together on the PTO board several years later and worked on Buda Elementary/Primary's Annual Carnival. We have been working together on PTKs, fundmisers, and school and dis- trict committees ever since. Although her children have graduated from the Hays schools, Marty continues to serve as a volunteer on two district commit- tees and attends most school board meetings to stay abreast of current district issues. I believe that Marty has the knowl- edge, passion and sheer determina- tion that it takes to be an excellent school board member. She and her husband Don have raised three won- derful children that have all attended Hays CISD and gone on to college, She has high expectations for her own children and believes that the district and parents need to have that same vision for all students. Marty believes in accountability at all levels and will continue to support our district to improve our children's education and insure that our tax dollars are used wisely. If you would like to leam more about Marty, please go to her website at www.martykanetzky.com. Even bet- ter, contact Marty through her website with your questions or concems. She has my vote. Sandi Kornfuehrer Buda DOES CENSUS MAKE SENSE? One of my pet peeves are statistics. No matter what any statistical results are going to be, what's the chance of any result being 100% accurate? Was there anything intentionally left out, hidden, or kept secret? Take for example the percentages of people who supposedly"failed to retum their Census" forms. I received two Census forms myself. The second which I received shortly after fillingout and remming the first one. And I'm 100% sure I'm not the only one who expe- rienced this. So what's the statistical result for people who received more than one Census awareness notice? What's the statistical result for the Census forms that were filled out and returned, but were obviously misplaced somewhere between the point of being sent by the United States Postal Service, to the destina- tion of where the information would be accounted for? I'm still wondering if people will receive a "ThankYou Let- ter" for taking the time to fill out and return the forms that were received. Bruce Moreau Kyle IN SUPPORT OF JOE I am writing this to confirm my sup- port for Joe Munoz Hays CISD Board of Trustees Place 5. As a former repre- sentative for the Hays CISD Board of Trustees Place 51 appreciate the needs of this quickly growing are loeis a personable, people-person who knows howto get along with all sorts of people. His 10 plus years experience makes him an excellent consensus builder who can bring together the many divergent view- points that the various trustees bnng to the school board. Walter "Wally" Rudzinski Mountain City POLL QUESTION THIS WEEK'S POLL QUESTION Did you file your taxes on time this year? A, Sure, I had them in with plenty of time to spare. B. It was down to the wire, but I got them done. C. No, I'm going to have to file for an extension or blow the deadline all together. LAST WEEK'S POLL QUESTION Do you think the Kyle City Council should have pushed City Manager Tom Mas to resign? A. Yes. He has too much power in the city and it needed to be checked. 20% B. Maybe. I do#t know what went on behind closed doors between Matfis  the council. 50% C. No. He was an effective leader and the council is shooting themselves in the foot by pushing him out. 30% TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WEEKLY POLL GO TO WWW.HAYSFREEPRESS.COM MANAGEMENT Barton Publications, Inc. CO-PUBLISHERS Bob Barton and Cyndy Slovak-Barton OFFICE MANAGER Connie Brewer busine@haysfreepress.com NEWSROOM Managing Editor Jen Biundo news@haysfreepress.com STAFF REPORTERS Scan Kimmons Brad Rollins School Reporter Jim Cullen Community Reporters Sandra Grizzle Myrtle Heidernan Pauline Tom Brenda Stewart Sports Editor Jason Gordon Sports Reporter Mark Caul COLUMNISTS Bob Barton Bartee Halle Phil Jones Svea Sauer Clint Younts Donn Brooks John Young Brenda Stewart PROOFREADERS Jane Kirkham Brenda Stewart ADVERTISING Tracy Mack tracy@haysfreepress.corn CIRCULATION Circulation Mgr Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfreepress.com CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfmepress.com DISTRIBUTION Gigi Hayes Carolyn Harkins Pete Sizemore PRODUCTION Production Mgr David White Assistant Designer Jorge J. Garcia Jr. Hays County Commissioner Jeff Barton is a minority owner of the Hays Free Press CONTACT US: HaysFreePress.com news@haysfreepress.com business@haysfreepress.com BUDA 512-295-9760 KYLE 512-268-7862 METRO AUSTIN 512-262-6397 www.haysfreepress.com