Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
May 4, 2011     Hays Free Press
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May 4, 2011

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+ Page4A THEY REALLY SAID THAT?. There's so much more thah what I went through. " -- Former Navy SEAL Larry Burchett on the increased sophistication of the units that took out AI Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. c-~ree ~re~ Hays Free Press = May 4, 2011 + oes it really have to be that nasty?. Would you say that to someone's face? That's the question that adults and teenag- ers all have to think about, as more and more conver- sations are held online, on Facebook, on Myspace, with emails, with texts, with tweets. There is a mean mob mentality out there, and ]lucia and Kyle are not immune. This change in attitudes has been attributed to something called "drive-by anonymity." The viuiolic responses seem to be posted without thought. There is the instant gratification factor of challengin8 someone, rather than thiuidng through an issue. Maybe it comes from the "me-me-me" mentality. In years past, when someone wanted to voice their opinion through the Hays Free Press letter to the editor section, they had to sit down ~wite about a subject, print it out, put it in the mail. That all took time- and resulted in a cooling off period. Now, the vitriol that spews is faceless and instan- taneous. The comment section of the newspaper website is supposed to encourage "meaningful dialogue" - a discussion about the story, about issues. But instead, a lot of recent Comments have gone offthe deep end, turning into slams, pi ".t~. one sid~ against another, Hays vs, Lehman, Republican vs. Democrat, me vs. you. The crassness of the responses has driven the Hays Pree Press to take down messages, or publicly reprimand the public"messase-senders" that their comments are inappropriate, hurtful or downright ~sty. We have had to remove posted comments ut individuals. What needs to happen, whether on intemet comment sections, on Facebook, in rextin~ is a bit of space- a breath, a slowing down period, a visual of the person who will be receiving the message. Because, yes, there is an actual human being on the other end of the message, who can and wig take the slights personally. Hays CISD has put on workshops for parents and teachers ~ike, explaining the problems and perva- siveness of cyber-bullying. But students/earn this attitude. If parents spew hateful messages, why not the students? If they post harsh words, something they would not say to an- other parson's face, then a child will follow suit. Maybe that's the message here- take a breath. Before posting comments, count to 10 - or even 20. Wait. Think. Imagine receiving such a message and think about how it would feel. TM tom0t tool, It way to about changes in a nation. There is an_ intercounec- flog that brings old friends from around the world together. But it must be used responsiblg. We teach by ex- ample. And by our posts. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR I 1.1 LUCY Iwould like to take a quick moment of your time to tell you about my fiiend and colleague, Lucy Johnson, the Mayor of Kyle. Over the past year we believe she has proven to be an intelligent, caring and effective leader. Ms. Johnson has helped to manage Kyle's explosive growth while keeping her promise of stopp,mg big property tax hikes. She has fought for Kyies needs, and represents her city well at Commissioner's Court and the Capital Area Council of Governments. Mayor Johnson brings a high level of profes- sionalism and respect to her office and has a clear vision for Kyie and Hays County. I know Mayor Johnson wants to move Kyle forward, bringing in quality jobs, attracting commercial develop- ments, improving city roads and delivering more sophisticated city services to help make this city a better place to live. Her intimate knowledge of the city and the county she was born and raised in, together with her experience in municipal gover- nance and commitment to public service, make her the best choice for Mayor. Will Conley County Commissioner Rm mIDA Bobby Lane has been an integral part of Buda's growth since 2000 with a vision towards the com- munity's future while still managing to preserve its past. Lane is a straight-talking public servant who has untiringly served all the citizens of Buda. Lane recognized the City of Buda needed sus- tainable drinking water options for future genera- tions, as well as continued improvements to its wastewater treatment facility, and has achieved both. He was part of the team that brought Ca- bela's to Buda while continuing to support efforts to maintain the charm of Historic Downtown Buda. Commercial growth and job opportunities continue to call Buda home. Lane served as a vital cogin implementing the newly formed Buda Police Department and strengthening the roles of the various city depart- ments. He and his colleagues on the City council, obtained state and federal funding so vital to com- pleting major mad improvements along 1-35. Lane supports actions to minimize the impact of local property tax increases while maintain- ing quality services. He supports and encourages citizen input for the Comprehensive Plan update process and pledges to retain the beauty and ap- peal of the city for all Buda citizens. Bobby Lane's experience in policy-related mat- ters, as well as maintaining an open line of com- munication with local and state officials, would continue to ensure an atmosphere of openness and cooperation throughout all of Buda, Hays County and this region. Bobby Lane is undeniably the clear choice for Buda Mayor. Steve Etheridge Buda This is what passes for good government in a seriously retrograde moment in the 21st century. Texas Gov. Rick Perry the other day declared a three-day period of prayer to bring rain. And not just for that, but (clear throat) for "the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the resto- ration of our normal way of life." He did this with a straight face. Texans were left to wonder: If it doesn't mist after Day 3, what then? Blame government? Or God? On the straight-face front, Congressman Tom Price, R-Ga., has defended Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to voucherize Medicare as giving individuals "greater liberty, greater choices." With, urn, $&400 a year in extra out-of-pocket costs apiece by 2022. Never you mind, says the GOP. Sloughing Medicare onto the pri- vate sector will lower health-care costs. Look at how competition in health insurance has resulted in lowered premiums. Oh, wait. Americans spend more on health care- $5,711 per person- than any others on the planet, twice what the British pay. America's "competitive" health care market has seen two decades of double-digit inflation. A cogent essay in Time maga- zine, quotingYale School of Man- agement's Fiona Scott Morton, explains why the elixir of the free market hasn't and won't bring health care prices down. First, health care is not a "substitutable" commodity like, say, consumer electronics. We don't plan to have appendecto- mies. They aren't discretionary purchases. And we don't shop for providers like we would flip-flops and sunscreen. Second, under those circum- stances, industry consolidation, and with it soft-shoe collusion, conspires to keep prices, and profits, artificially aloft. Rewarding consumers with ChOices? Not at all. Ryan's plan would "ration demand rather than expand coverage," says Time. That brings us back to that figure: $6,400 a year. The Congressional Budget Office projects Ryan's rem- edy would cost Medicare benefi- ciaries that much to match today's benefits in 2022. In other words, it isn't about choices or competition. It's about cutting Medicare at the knees, starving it of tax dollars, and awarding what's left to industry scavengers. Look at what the Republicans intend for Medicare, Medicaid, and the lusted-for slaying of "Obamacare." Imagine a time when the U.S. government revs the helicopters, Saigon-style, and evacuates the healthcare theater altogether, leaving millions in despair. As pointed out in a New York Times editorial calling Ryan's cost controls "sketchy," the Republi- cans are determined to torpedo an independent board built into health care reform to monitor how money is spent on Medicare. Believe'it or not, the GOP argu- ment is that such a board would be in a position of"rationing"" health care under Medicare. Yale's Morton says Ryan's pro- posal "is not solving the problem" of healthcare costs, "it's solving the cost of government's health care. You'll have people who can't afford it. They'll just die." Emasculate Medicare. Ditto Medicaid. Repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. Blow away mea- sures to control health-care costs. This isn't about improving health care ("choice") or lowering costs. This is about sounding the retreat on health Coverage for the elderly, the poor and the working poor. By no stretch of the imagina- tion, with their prescription, can today's Republican envision a day when Americans are healthier and when fewer are on the cusp of health-care catastrophe every day of their lives. This brings to mind, on the straight-face front, a $2.3 mil- lion study once funded under the Bush administration to see if prayer proved therapeutic against clinical illnesses. And so, under a state-federal partnership: We pray for wetness and wellness for us all. Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Early voting to decide who A will be major players on the Kyle political scene for the OF CABBAGES next three years began Monday, with about 70 of the more than ]0,000 eligible voters casting bal- lots. Using last February s special election as a guide, most prog- nosticators are suggesting that total turnout next Saturday won't exceed the 1,013 voters who chose Lucy Johnson to fill the unexpired term of then Kyle Mayor Mike Gonzalez. Voters this time will decide whether Mayor Johnson will win a new three-year term and addi- tionally whether councilmembers Becky. Selbera and David Wilson will also be returned to office. Johnson has been impressive in her first 14 months in office. She has displayeda strong work ethic during that time and an even more impressive ability to repre- sent the city in functions both big and small. She does her homework, inter- acts well with area community and political leaders, and is not an ideologue. Attempts to stir up some opposition to her re-elec- tion by a couple of self-branded conservative leaders fell flat when she received open support from numerous established Republican party leaders. City elections in Kyle have a long record of non-partisanship, similar to those in most area cit- ies, large and small. Although our growth spurt has subdued a bit, our location on the busy Interstate 35 cor- ridor demands an attentive and talented mayor. We've got one. By all means, let's keep her. There are also two council posi- tions to be filled for new three- year terms. Last year we added three brand new members to our governing board and they have added new perspectives to many of the deliberations. We also have a new city man- ager and Lanny Lambert is off to a very good start. He has a depth of experience in the field that is proving valuable to our entire council. I am convinced we need to hold on to the two councilmem- bers who are seeking re-election. Becky Selbera is a Kyle native with deep roots in the community and an independent mind. David Wilson is a longtime resident who grew up in San Marcos where his father pastored the Methodist church. Wilson also is a Vietnam War veteran, a combat survivor of infantry warfare that was deadly and dangerous. He and Selbera have proven themselves under fire in the field of public service by performance. That's important when there is so much happening here. Now is not the time to speculate on the unknown. Their opponents, like the may- or's, appear to be good citizens interested in the welfare of the city. But this is a time when good intentions are not enough. We have a diverse and energetic city council with strong wills and di- vergent opinions. There is already a good mix of talent. Three of them are up for re- election. I'm strongly advocating a vote for Mayor Lucy Johnson and councilmembers Wilson and Selbera sometime between now and May 14. EDITOR'S NOTE In keeping with our elections policy regarding letters to the editor, we will not be accepting any more letters addressing the May 14th election. COMMENIS FROM THE WEBSITE "Leaving your dog chained up 24/7 is already against the law, them is no need for a new law to make that ille- gal. This law makes chaining them up for any length of time illegal, unless certain criteria am met." -- Mike Fulton on =No chain- ing law to go into effect in Kyle" at "Tonight it became about politics and votes, not about the perpetually chained dogs we were trying to save." -- Vanassa Harris on "No chaining law to go into effect in Kyle" at haysfmepress. com. The ordinance was defeated on second read- Ing when Becky Sell)era switched her vote to 'no' ree rrss MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. 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