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+ Page 4A THEY REALLY SAID THAT? "Our smface and groundwater sources of water are already stressed and it in our best interest to take steps now to make out-of-area water available." - Hays County Commissioner Ray Whisenant, on county's search for other water resources Hays Free Press May 1,2013 Ill/ It's easy to deride U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's double standard. In fact, he is only observing a tradition of great duration. Former Sen. Phil Gramm was truly a mythical bird, decrying fed- eral spending at every stop, then racing at the speed of an arclight to the nearest microphone to take credit for any federal dollars trick- ling Texas' way. Such a phenom was he that the tactic earned its own term: Grammstanding. Now, a new term of similar feather: hypocruzy. Cruze is a tea party darlin', he who in one of his first votes in Washington opposed federal emergency aid after Hurricane Sandy. Now he stands before you as Sen. Two-Face, saying he'll pursue: "all available resources" to assist after the explosion that struck the Texas town of West. Was Cruz careful not to mention the word "federal" when speak- ing of said resources? One angry observer from NewYork presumed so. He said Cruz and his Texas fiscal disservatives "should ask the NRA" for disaster funds. (Won't happen, of course. NRA funds are committed to keeping an obstructionist bloc in Congress. That investment grows pricier each year when 10 times more Americans die from gun violence than perished on 9/11.) This commentary could be all about the two faces of Cruz, and the principle it takes to toss one's principles out the limo window. Actually, it's about the thing that he and fellow tea partiers assail daily: that evil thing called government. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is a fine fiddler to that tune. Just the other day he was in Chicago beckoning businesses to Texas, where the regulatory climate is as barren as a gila monster's habitat. But let's be honest, because Perry won't be: While many com- panies would be drawn to "less government," more are interested in good schools for employees and effective public services, like highways that work. Each of those involves government. Texas law- makers have dedicated themselves to less of that. As a presidential hopeful, Perry said he would eliminate up to three federal agencies, one of which he could not name. That comment makes him the embodi- ment of fiscal disservatism- mak- ing sport of cutting government first, and figuring out how it affects people later. Perry says that a lack of regula- tion didn't contribute to the West explosion. So, we can assume he and "anti-gummint'" Texas policy- makers will do nothing to prevent the next disaster. To that end, let's think of anoth- er disaster that affected the region in many ways, Hurricane Katrina. When almost nothing went right with the response to Katrina, we were to assume it to be an indictment of bungling govern- ment. In fact, it was an indictment of bunglers who didn't believe in government. Katrlna was a test-run, for instance, of a wholly privatized Federal Emergency Management Agency. Talk about system failure. A chain of featherbedding good ol' boys assigned to be responsive to human needs turned over in bed and hit "snooze" when the alarm sounded. Now we have the disaster in West, at a fertilizer plant that, reports the Houston Chronicle, contained substances that would have brought federal inspectors ff state agencies had notified them. In the aftermath, Republican Congressman Bill Flores, in whose district the disaster occurred, has asked for federal help. Like Cruz, to earn his own tea party merit badge, Flores also opposed Hur- ricane Sandy reliefi So Texas' junior senator isn't the only one guilty of hypocruzy. Without question, the taxpayers of Texas and West deserve the help. They pay federal taxes. Unfortu- nately, they are represented by a breed of posers and posturers who denounce and despise govern- ment, until they need it. Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. jyoungcolumn@gmail.com .er me "ey, I'm a bit curious how many of y'all out there are reading this column from a real newspaper, one made of paper and ink, or off some form of electronic gadgetry. Personally, I prefer reading from books and news- papers than off some computer screen. I really hate trying to read texts from my phone with that tiny screen and even smaller words. Besides, by the time I find the right button to push to bring up the text message, I've brought up my address book, calculator and called some confused resident of Bangkok. No sir, I don't like spending much time in front of a computer screen when l'm away from my job. We rely on the computer a lot at work, and after a week of staring at a fuzzy screen and clicking a dadgum mouse, I'm ready to sit out on the deck and look out into trees and wildflowers, watching the deer and antelope for a few hours. I might even grab a paperback book to read or work a NewYork Times cross- word puzzle to kill some time before I declare it's happy hour out on the Crow's Nest. I must confess that I check my Face- book page and my emails every day, but I'm rarely on the home computer for more than 10 minutes. OK, I do write this column on my computer, and I av- erage about five words a minute, less if I'm buzzed on beer, so to type an entire column, it takes me about three days and a case of Lone Star. It seems everybody is addicted to electronic communication and social networking. Everywhere I go I see peo- ple texting on phones, surfing the web or playing internet games. I've sat at restaurants and watched a table of four all messing with their phones. I see a kid walking to his bus stop every morn- ing with his eyes glued to his phone and not looking at approaching vehicles. He might be playing Angry Birds, but as I watch him, I am reminded of Frogger. According to my extensive research, the average American spends 33 minutes a day just on Facebook alone. That's almost 8 hours a month. And according to some further data I un- earthed, the average Pinterest fanatic )A FROM THE spends 98 minutes per month perus- ing that site. Sixty percent of Pinterest addicts are women and the other 40% are men with LowT or ones who took a wrong turn cruising down the internet highway. The average American spends 32 hours per month online. Collectively, Americans spend the equivalence of 100,000 years surfing the web each month. If you add up all the time in- ternet users throughout the world are online each month, it equals 4 million years. That sounds like a lot of lost time and a ton of wasted electricity to me. How'bout a few facts on cell phone usage? There are approximately 4 bil- lion cell phones in the world, and 25% are smart phones. In 2012, 9.8 trillion text messages were sent worldwide, mostly from people between 18-29 years of age. Here in the U.S., folks who text regularly send or receive on average 35 messages a day. It is re- ported that 95% of text messages are opened and read within minutes of receiving them. I'm not quite that fast. I keep my phone set to vibrate, es- pecially when I'm out on the tractor or running a chainsaw. It takes me several minutes to retrieve my phone from my pocket once I realize that humming and vibration didn't come from a rattler in the tall grass and I'm finished jump- ing around like a jack rabbit on meth. After pulling my phone out, I have to remove my safety glasses, put on my readers, and step under a shade tree to cut out the glare on the screen. Once I see who sent me a message, I spend another 5-10 minutes trying to remem- ber how to retrieve the message and not call Chin Cheng Chung again. He's really getting annoyed at me. I prefer to ignore my phone until I get back home, or when I have to sneak behind a tree to relieve myself. Then I have the dilemma of how to safely hold all business at hand if you catch my drift. So if one ofy'all texts me and I don't reply right away, either I'm on my tractor or I just dropped my phone and peed on my foot. I never text behind the wheel wheth- er I'm on a Ford tractor or my Chevy truck. Over one-third of all drivers text while driving, and 13% surf the internet while cruising down busy highways at high speeds. Statistics show you are twenty-three times more likely to have an accident while texting, and even more likely to crash if you are surfing porn sites. One reason I won't text and drive is I have no desire to kill myself, fellow passengers or innocent people. I won't text while driving my tractor because there's no market for plowed beef. I just don't understand why folks feel they have to be in constant contact with friends and family. So many peo- ple can't help but look at their phones every five minutes. Is the world moving so quickly that your life may change if you don't check your phone every few minutes? Your life would drastically be altered if you see a new Facebook post and not that red light ahead. Won't that post still be there in 15 minutes when you arrive safely at home? What's an extra fifteen minutes? Maybe the life of some young mother and her precious child, or a traffic cop trying to warn drivers of an accident ahead. I don't like wasting time and energy seeing what other people are doing when there's so many things for me to do elsewhere. For that one hour a day one spends online, think of what you could've accomplished. The lawn could've been mowed, the bathrooms could've been cleaned, or you could're spent the time using your phone to call and actually speaking to your mother instead of texting her to wish her a happy Mother's Day. My free time is too valuable to waste in front of a com- puter. I'd rather spend that extra time wasted out at the Crow's Nest. crowsnest78610@yahoo.com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ISAAC NOT LISTENING On April 24th, a delegation of con- cerned officials from Hays County and the City of Wimberley appeared at the State Capital, along with several citi- zens, before the House Special Purpose Districts Committee. They addressed their concerns with the bill (HB 3918) sponsored by Rep. Jason Isaac to cre- ate a Municipal Utility District across most of the 5,000 acre former O'Quinn Ranch, now renamed the Needmore Ranch by new owner, south Texas busi- nessman Greg LaMantia. Among those appearing and speak- ing against the Isaac bill were Commis- sionerWill Conley, County Judge Bert Cobb, Wimberley Mayor Bob Flocke, and Wimberley Council Members Thurber and McCullough. Several of the House Committee members were blatantly disrespectful of these elected local officials and the citizens who spoke, interrupting them constantly with taunting questions. I wondered if they had been coached in advance of the Public Hearing. I understand that Mr. LaMantia was in the audience at the Public Hearing. He did not speak. Rep. Isaac closed the Public Hear- ing before the House committee with a statement that demonstrated his lack of concern for the input from these local elected officials and citizens. His exact statement was, "Thank You Mr. Chairman and Members, I APOLOGIZE ABOUT THE DIRTY LAUNDRY GET- TING AIRED FROM WIMBERLEY--". Isaac then appeared before the 400+ assembled citizens of Hays County on Thursday at the Town Hall meeting in Wimberley and continued to support his special interest legislation designed to benefit Mr. LaMantia. I felt this performance by Isaac and others at the Capital on Wednesday was a sad commentary on the leader- ship exercised by some of our elected State officials. I think Isaac owes our local elected officials and citizens, who sincerely addressed their concerns, a written apology. Jim McMeans Wimberley IN SUPPORT OF MARRY The School Board Election is upon us, and I am writing to support Marty Kanetzky for the District 5 position. She is running for her second term, and in the many years I've known her, I've seen her consistent dedication, tenacity and determination to improve educa- tion for the students in our district. I served as Board President for the majority of her term, so I can say with certainty that she is one of the hardest workers I know. You can be absolutely sure that she knows everything in her board agenda, and asks for backup documentation that will support the requests for funds and anything that will affect student achievement. She is a tireless advocate for improvement in reaching the highest level of education possible through technology, programs, and most importantly, curriculum. Marty is deeply concerned with fiscal responsibility, and she will do whatever it takes to make sure our tax dollars are accounted for and spent in a way that will accomplish the best return for our investment. Couple that with her pas- sion for student achievement, and you have a winning combination. She takes her job as a trustee for Hays CISD very seriously. I offered to donate financially to her campaign. She said she was not accept- ing monetary contributions, but would appreciate my help and my vote. Please join me in supporting Marry to win the District 5 seat on the Board of Trustees. She will be transparent and available to all stakeholders and will work diligently for you and for our children our future. Patti Wood Kyle COMMENTS FROM THE WEBSITE One of the quafifications in my mind to fill the vacant council seat is finding a citizen who has the time available to attend the frequent council meeting and attend the workshops, public forums ,and other meeting were he or she can hear from the citizens as to what they feel on any particular item. we are for- tunate this time around in having 3 citizens who have graciously offered to fill the seat 3 position on our city council. - John Atkins on letter supporting Kyle council candidate I don't know that any set of policies is going to help significantly as long as par- ent participation is woeful Just about any meeting with an academic focus will generally draw just a hand- ful of parents whereas you trot out Dixie or the Rebel Flag and you draw pas- sionate feedback from the masses. When that same group of parents cares as much about graduation rates or curriculum as they do about symbols then we'll be headed in the right direction. - Will McManus on "Do we need a choice?" MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. Publisher Cyndy Slovak-Barton NEWSROOM Editor Cyndy Slovak-Barton csb@haysfreepress.com Sports Reporter Moses Leos III Features & Education Editor Kim Hilsenbeck kim@haysfreepress.com Staff Reporter Andy Sevilla Community Columnists Sandra Grizzle Pauline Tom Columnists Bartee Halle Clint Younts Will Durst John Young Proofreaders Jane Kirkham OFFICE MANAGER Connie Brewer business@haysfreepress.com ADVERTISING Tracy Mack t racy@haysfreepress.com Dioni Gornez ads@haysfreepress.com CIRCULATION/CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfreepress.com PRODUCTION Production Mgr, David White Assistant Designer Melinda Helt Distribution Pete Sizemore Contact Us: news@haysfreepress.com business@haysfreepress.com FAX: 512-268-0262 BUDA 512-295-9760 KYLE 512-268-7862 METRO AUSTIN 512-262-6397 www.haysfrsepress.com 113 W. Center Street Kyle, Texas 78640 i ] '