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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
April 27, 2011     Hays Free Press
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April 27, 2011

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mllllilll m . --  _ . Page 4A GUEST COLUMN Until the rains return (Editor's Note: The following editorial was printed in the Freder- icksburg Standard-Radio Post last week, and seemed applicable to the Buda-Kyle area.) y this time during an average year, the Fredericksburg area has accumulated a little more than six inches in rain. But at this point in 2011, the to- tal through mid-April has amount- ed to only about half that amount. And sadly, judging from "mod- els" frequently cited by Central Texas weather forecasters, the outlook- at least in the short term- does not look all that promising. So, rather than wait until Gillespie County's drinking water reservoirs and underground aqui- fers subside to near-drought levels, perhaps now might be a good time to take a look at cutting down on dailywater use. For those willing to make a co- mitment in this direction, the Texas Water Development Board has a few suggestions... INDOOR TIPS IN "n.lE 8A1HROOM: • Instead of a bath, take a shower with a water-effident showerhead, making sure to get in right away after the water becomes warm enough and then taking only short showers. Also, wash hands using only as much water as is really neeeded. • Replace old toilets with high- efficiency models that save as much as four gallons per flush. In addition, while leaks can Crab up anywhere around the house, they are frequently found in toilets be- cause hard water can rain rubber parts over time. IN THE K]TCHBq: • Only nm the dishwasher with a full load, thereby saving not only water but also energy, detergent and money. Dry scrape dishes instead of rinsing and let the dish- washer take care of the rest. • Install faucet aerators to cut sink water consumption in half. • Instead of wasting water by running the tap until cool, drinking water will be much more refreshng if kept in a refrigerator container. IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM: • Wash only full loads. However, if a partial load is needed, match the load setting with the amount of laundry to be washed. If clothes are not heavily soiled, use a short wash cycle. 0Um0ORTI • Don't over-water the lawn. One inch of water per week in the summer will keep most Texas grasses healthy. Also, don't scalp lawns when mowing during hot weather; taller grasses (three inches high) hold moisture better. Don't cut more than one-third of grass length at one time, and leave clippings on the lawn instead of bagging. • Don't abuse the benefits of an automatic sprinkler system by over-watering. Set it to provide thorough but infrequent watering and never water on windy days. Use drip irrigation for bedded plants, trees or shrubs and use low- angle sprinklers for lawns. As for plants that need more water, use a hose or watering can. • Use lots of mulch around shrubs and trees to retain mois- ture, reduce run-off, moderate soil temperature and help with weed control. To avoid over-fertilizing get a soil kit to determine what nutrients are needed. Applying fertilizer only in the spring and fall will produce healthy grass that uses less water and needs mowing less frequently. • Finally, instead of wasting water to clean patios, driveways or sidewalks, use a broom or blower. ffwashing the car at home, use a bucket of soapy water and a hose nozzle that shuts offwater during scrubbing. By themselves, many of these suggestions may only seem like the proverbial "drop in the bucket" when it comes to saving water. But taken together, little drops can add up enough to keep our water sup- ply flowing- no matter how hot or dry the weather may become. THEY REALLY SAID THAT?, "00at's better than that water never being reused." -- Attorney Lance Lackey on his client's application to use treated wastewater to irrigate landscaping in the proposed 1,400-home Cantere Ranch west of Buda. Hays Free Press = April 27, 2011 ;.HI ..... ' I 'I The 'thirders' are voting onald Trump leads other Repub- I licans by nine points in a new Public Policy Polling presiden- tial survey. That tells us this much: Democrats, you haven't had as bad a year as you think. If Tromp is the Republicans' offer- ing to lead us, Walter Mondale at last may be able to surrender that traveling trophy for worst modem-day Electoral College pummeling. But, wait. It says here that Trump is a dead-solid lock to get at least 33 percent of the popular vote, if not a vote more. How can I make that preliminary prediction? That's easy. Based on any number of polls, one of three Americans could be led to believe anything - particularly if damning about Barack Obama. And they would vote for anybody else - even a body in the late stages of decomposition. If asked, "Do you believe President Obama was Patient Zero for Chagas disease?" One third of Americans would answer "yes." And then fearfully look the ailment up. "Birthers" like Trump are only a curious subset of a curiouser set. They are among the "thirders," one third of us - those who defy most logic, and most evidence, supplying their own brand of it at every turn, often aided by Fox News and rabbit holes of hoax, innuendo and pseudo-information on the Intemet. • What defines a thirder? Assertions like these: • A thirder believes that Saddam Hussein was tied to the 9 ! 11 attacks. sttu. • A thirder believes that the WMDs were found. The media are just cover- ingitup. • A thirder believes that Sarah Palin, George W. Bush and lee the Plumber It's a fascinating parlor game to see are well-mad. what this particular third of the nation • A thirder believes that if Mike is asserting- or buying, as it were. Huckabee says Obama was born in The most recent poll I find on the or- Kenya, that settles it. igin of Obama's birth- and since when : • A thirder believes that despite every do said matters come down to polling nation of every founder in designing data? - finds that, sure enough, roughly 4LIltmework for many faiths, what they 30 percent of Americans don't think he i' had in mlndwas a Christian nation. was born here. It wouldn't matter what  • A thirder believes-still that AIDS is a (type in "Obama birth"), punishment from God for being a male or even the righter-than-right National homosexual. Review say in ridiculing the notion. • A thirder believes that evolution These people believe what they believe, is a lie, as is climate Change and most of whatever most scientists say- and where are their birth certificates? • A thirder believes that global warm- ing is AI Gore's theory. The fact that a third of Americans believe these things explains why Glenn Beck can rustle up a crowd verg- ing on huge at the Lincoln Memorial. One-third is a lot of us, and many of those people have day privileges. It's enough, for sure, for "tea parties" to form and to rivet the media's and Republican politicians' attention, and for many to believe that in the sound, fury and quaint signs like "Obama's plan: white slavery" these people speak for America. Well, they do, for one third of America. Check the polls. Karl Rove understood this. He knew that if his party focused on keepingone third of us in a froth based on hot-but- ton issues like abortion, gay marriage and, of course, menacing Muslims, all a candidate need to do is win a rela- tively small portion of the reasonable, or reasoned vote, to have the one-vote majority to hold office. Even if that one vote was in the Supreme Court. Donald Trump can do the same. Or Sarah Palin. Or Mike Huckabee. Or Newt Gingrich. Which of them will be the first to try out that "white slavery" slogan? Come on, candidates. Listen to the voice of the people. Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. jyoungco| Signs of the times igns, signs, everywhere there's signs, blocking up the scenery, breaking up my mind." Have y'all noticed how many road signs there are lining our streets and highways? I'm not talking about billboards. There aren't as many nowadays as there were back when I was a kid playing the alphabet game as we were driving across Texas to Grandmother's house. I'm not sure why there's the decline in billboard advertis- ing, but I'm sure not complaining. What I may harp on today is the abundance of traffic signs that litter our roads. Most are essential to our well-be- ing, like the speed limit sign. It's always good to know the posted speed limit so we can do some quick math and speed up another seven mph. There are other helpful signs out there, but some are useless and others are outright confus- ing. Like one I passed yesterday that read "Hill Blocks View." Well, duh! All hills block your view. SO do mountains. Valleys, not so much. And what view is this here hill goIng to block? Once I crested that bad boy, I didn't notice any scenic panorama, just a bunch of wilting oak trees and a couple of homes. Nothing calling for a Kodak moment. Another sign that gets my goat is the one that warns "SLOW Children at Play." Why is TxDOT mocking slow children? Not all kids are fast and agile. Some children are a little chunky and not so quick. I don't think we should post signs telling drivers that there are some kids who'll never win a game of Freeze Tag or rarely make it to first base. That's just mean! But I suppose if there's some fast- footed kid out in the street, more'n likely he's,quick enough to dodge cars and we dent need to watch out for him. I guess that's the reasoning behind this sign. Another Sign that we don't really need anymore here in Texas is the one that reads "Watch forWater on Road." I haven't seen water on road since I scared the pee out of that bicyclist who was in my lane as I was coming over a hill. I supposed that would've been a good spot for a "Hill Blocks View" sign, huh? And how about the sign that warns "SlickWhen Wet"? Did some speed- walker spill his Big Gulp? Yep, as long as this drought continues, these two signs should be replaced with one that reads "Keep Your Butts in Your Car" to help prevent grass fires. Returning from Port Aransas up Interstate 37 last week, I saw two identi- cal signs that stretched high over the highway that read "You Talk, You Text, You Crash." I reckon this was appropri- ate, but like a gal from the Ozarks, it was simple and unattractive, To catch • a glimpse from texting speeders, your signs need to be catchy. How about this instead: "You're Texting and Driving. LOL. You Crash Doing 85 mph. You're SOL." What TxDOT should put up on those signs is "If You're Reading This, Who's Watching the Road?" Now, as some of you may recall, I am always coming up with brilliant ideas to help the economy and the environment. I have devised a scheme to do both. By having businesses sponsor traffic signs instead of erecting unsightly billboards, we will reduce the number of signs along Texas highways and produce revenue. I know, some ofyou are scratching your head, wondering what I'm sipping on out at the Crow's Nest, but stay with me here. Imagine yourself driving down RR 12 on your way to the Backbone Tavern and you see this sign: "Curves Ahead" with a placard below it that reads "Sponsored by Hooters." See, you'll be warned of a winding mad and have a hankering for hot wings from just one sign. There are several other signs that could use a sponsor. Like "Gas Ahead" sponsored by Rolids, or what about a sign out in west Texas that warns "Next Gas Station 60 Miles" courtesy of Depends. How about "Pass With Care" sponsored by Preparation-H? When approaching an old bridge, a sign may warn "Weight Limit" sponsored by Nutrisystem. We could have a sign that reads "Speed Zone" brought to us by Red Bull, or this one often seen in residential neighborhoods and large parking lots: "Speed Hump Ahead" sponsored by Cialis. I can't believe someone hasn't come up with this idea before. Gosh, there is so much mon’r to be made if Gov. Perry would just read my column instead of the sports page and the comics. Heck, he can sponsor his very own sign: "Keep Right." Clint Younts sometimes lets his wi’ drive while he thinks up interesting " I comments on interstate signs. When : [ actually working, he does SO at a 'J nary clinic. ' " fi t ',i :;(" ] COMMENTS FROM THE WEBSITE =The little rain we received in Leisurewoods was a marvel itself. Please bring us more." -- Pam Kaye on "Roiling cloud captivates Hays Coun- ty" at A cumulonimbus cloud formed over Hays County just before sunset on Tuesday drawing the attention of thousands of county residents. "If you cannot afford to care for a dog properly, which means quality food, daily exercise, love and attention, and living indoors as part of the pack, then you shouldn't have one at all. There is absolutely no reason to tether or chain a dog outside for extended periods .... I am so sick of the "let people raise their pets as they see fit" crap. That would be OK ff so many people were not ignorant morons, but some cannot be trusted to do the best thing for their pets so we must have a law." -- Kimberley Schena on "No chaining law to go into effect in Kyle" at haysfreepress. com MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. 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