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May 31, 2017     Hays Free Press
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+ QUOTE OF THE WEEK "If you are lucky enough to continue toplay a sport, embrace it ... Doors that close will always lead to something new." -Naud Garcia, former head Lady Lobo soccer coach. See story on page 1 B. Hays Free Press May 31,2017 Page 3A rT'lhe clouds that stormed the region last week por- |tended a dark time for PEC members. The co-op's .L general manager, John Hewa, resigned, citing harassment from board members. Hewa has beenac- claimed fo~ the fresh air he injected into PEC manage- ment. Smart, forward-looking, hard-working and with an unimpOachable air of integrity, Hewa has helped moderniz our electric cooperative- one of the nation's largest- while restoring trust between members, em- ployees anti management. That trust was sorely lacking during the bad days of scandals that rocked the co-op under the tatorial gex fraud, insi( long reign. board met him, helpe port from; Now, a Garza was reasons. Tc than knuc] ethical be~ the co-op's board's pro [on his wel a rope," in the shooth person is a police offic accusedb; use of lang when blac] due proce, Oakley judge, wiff Bumet Col rimanded the co-op, having hin sure from remained q ed, paid a e oversight :orrupt leadership of Bennie Fuelberg, a dic- teral manager convicted of what amounts to ler-dealing and self-enrichment during his Fuelberg kept secrets from members and lbers alike. Hewa, like Juan Garza before d rebuild the co-op's reputation, with sup- , reform-minded but fractious board. ew board majority seems to be backsliding. given the boot by a previous board for poor see his replacement, Hewa, resign rather :le under to what he clearly considers un- avior is startling to those acquainted with past. The background is this. Last fall, the sident, James Oakiey, published comments )site] that said, "Time to find a tree and get response to the arrest of a black suspect in tg of a policeman in San Antonio. No serious nything but outraged by the shooting of a er but Oaldey's rush to judgment of a suspect tt not yet convicted was compounded by the uage that called to mind - for many- an era suspects were lynched in Texas, without s and sometimes without evidence. Worse, ; at the time, and still is, a sitting county both policy and judicial responsibilities in mty. The state board of judicial conduct rep- 3akley but he remained as county judge. At some employees expressed concerns about t as the face of the organization. Under pres- rafious fronts, he resigned as chairman but m the board (PEC board members are elect- ;alary with benefits, and expected to exercise nd set policy for the co-op). Hewa seemed to handle the affair gamely enough, standing up for his employees without over-sensationalizing the affair. He helped exa be no retrf to voice co Fuelberg e cal questic direction. Oakley happen to pushed by ct promises from the board that there would )ution against staffwho had come forward ncerns - an important concept, since in the :a staff faced punishment ffthey raised ethi- ns or dared even modest disagreement with replaced by allies on the board, who also generally belong to a faction that has been fossil fuel groups questioning the co-op's turn toward more wind and solar energy, and by the Republican Party, with unprecedented funding and partisanship in recent co-op elections. Hewa says some board members did indeed seek to exact revenge on employee , and also turned against him for defending employee from intimidation, making his position un- tenable. It' quite a statement for someone until now seen as a I ridge-building diplomat. As with most of "real life," 1 his story isn't simple. Oakley is a fairly parti- san consel vative Republican- his Facebook page fea- tures a ph( tograph of him standing with Donald Trump and he's b~ ~en ferocious at times in Burnett County. But - though been criticized for holding two paid public positions mard member and county judge) -hes been a construe ive board member, generally at least some- what open to new technologies, more open accounting of co-op ft nds, and to the use of alternative energy. His remarks al pout lynching were insensitive and worthy of reprima nd, but do not define him- or would not, if he had sin Lply apologized and moved on. Oakley's re- placemenl as chair of the board is one of his allies and a fellow G( )P activist, Emily Patald, daughter-in-law of George i ?ataki, the former Republican governor of NewYork ~ nd Republican presidential candidate. Pa- taki is brig at and (at least until now) she has not worn her partis nship on her sleeve at PEC; like Oakley, she has chaint,ioned single member districts. But in the end, the fi, Republican members of the board seem lined up .'hind Oakley 5-2, against two of the original reformers, both of whom happen to be Democrats, to the detern tinant of good management and openness. Employee: are once again being told they can't speak up hones or so it seems. (The board members rep- resenting 1 he Buda-Kyle area, Amy Akers, and the Drip- ping Sprin gs area, Jim Powers, are part of this majority.) While it wq )uld be an oversimplification to say this is R vs. D, it's disappointing to see what resembles blind partisanship blossoming at the co-op, and even more disappointing to see an otherwise successful GM leave because b~ mistakes, q There's on at PEC will overst the board for years tc out bullyiI stories ant managem and trigge many in tt )ard members can't accept criticism of their even the mistake of a colleague. t lot of good to be said about what has gone 9ver the past several years. This latest episode adow that for now and, depending on how :esponds from this point forward, perhaps D come. The Hays Free Press helped ferret Lg and corruption at PEC a decade ago, with [ editorials that contributed to changes in the mr, bylaws, and goveming statutes of PEC :ed a legislative investigation. Since then, like .e co-op, we've been less focused. To the graduates: Oh man, are you in for a treat. Realizing once I got into college how much I hated high school, I found the freedom of college to be what I was longing for. From the time I entered college to the time I graduated, it was the best time of my life so far. I'd like to pass onto you some of the best things I learned while in college. 1. It's a fresh start. In high school, if you werecool or a nerd, a nobody or a BMOC, an overachiever or an un- derachiever, a focuser or ADHD-ish, you get to start over. After one semester nobody cares what you did in high school. And in that light don't wear your letter jacket anywhere on cam- pus. People will mark you for a dork. 2. qYy your best to talk to upperclassmen about who the good teachers I could be wrong by Ray Wolbrecht are. I hear there are online sites where students do reviews of teachers. Some of the best teachers you'll ever meet in college never had an education class. 3. On the 1st day of class get to your classes early and get a front row seat. Don't allow distractions to come between you and the lecturer. Learn to take notes. For mercy's sake don't sit in the back and put your feet up on the chair in front of you. 4. Study your buns off to make anA on that 1st test. The professor will notice you and think you care. 5. NEVER skip a class, even if you're sick. 6. Visit the professor with valid questions a few times, even if you already know the answers. Note: Numbers 3, 4,5,6, will definitely work in your favor ffyour fi- nal grade is something around 88 or 89. Go to the professor and make a case (schmooze him) that you deserve an A. He saw that you were always in class in the flout row, you asked questions and showed interest, and you're just a nice person. Odds are about 90 % you'll walk out of there with a 90. I promise you it works. If not you lost nothing by trying. 7. Form a study group with one or two other serious students. There is hardly no other more effective way to learn the test material. 8. Major in something challenging. The harder the subject the more likely an employer will be looking for you. Most of all you'll respect yourself for meeting such a chal- lenge. 9. Study first, play later. There's nothing wrong with starting college a year after graduation. Get a job leaming to build houses, fix appli- ances, handle livestock. Work with a plumber or an electrician. Good way to learn Spanish is in the construction trade. Learn what it's like to go home after work swea~, dirty, exhausted, yet with achievements which build confidence. Learning how stuff is put together goes a long way to knowing how to fix it. Later you may build your own house(s) and fix your own appliances and save wads of money, not to mention the aggravation of finding a decent repair- man that'll show up when he says he will. All this goes for men and women both. Confi- dence and self esteem are not gender selective. Bi6n Suerte? Donald John Trump is keeping people busy. He's got staffers, lawyers, stream- ing news alert editors, impeachment historians, ethics investigators, hair spray manufacturers, Pu- tin watchers and real-es- tate interpreters, who all frantically flapping and squawking like a flock of seagulls outside a sardine plant at low tide. Watch any of the network or cable news broadcasts and you in- stantly note that all the anchors are exhausted. Their "Breaking News" graphic.., broke. Half of Washington has gone deaf, what with all the bombshells exploding with little or no warning around their tiny Beltway heads. A majority of the president's problems seem self- inflicted. Bro- ken-racketed unforced errors. The Apprentice Chief Executive has made more missteps than the last place fin- isher in a drunken hop- scotch tournament with a watch cap pulled over his eyes on cobblestones. Raging Moderate by Will Durst Every time someone escorts the blonde bull out ofYe Olde China Shoppe, he sneaks around back and butts his way through another wall just because he loves the sound of breaking crystal. Immediately after fir- ing FBI Director James Comey, the president called him "a nut job" and shared classified intelligence with two Russian diplomats. But then the White House assured the country that Mr. Trump was never in possession of any intel- ligence he could have shared. And America is totally willing to believe that whole "not in pos- session of any intelli- gence" part. In defense of this dis- closure of classified Is- raeli intel, Trump claims he can say anything to anybody at anytime because as President he has special powers. Ap- parently he was bitten by a radioactive spider. But the biggest and best and most beautifulest of any radioactive spider that anyone has ever seen. This was a huuuuuuuge radioactive spider. Every- one is talking about it. To say his last week was rocky is like intimat- ing the glove compart- ment of a car crushed by a compactor is not the best place to store beer. Inexplicably, Trump told the Economist magazine he invented the phrase "priming the pump" which according to Web- ster's has been in general usage since 1933. He's King of the Inexplicable. Next he'll maintain he's responsible for the phrase "out of control dumpster fire" as well. Of course, he has provided one heck of a high bar for all future comparisons. Deputy Attomey General Rosenstein felt compelled to appoint a Special Prosecutor to get to the bottom of possible Russian collusion and obstruction of justice and all-round, random mendacity. The fastest any president in history has been targeted with a special prosecutor. Ever. In less than 4 months, he's gone from zero to Nixon. Getting the hell out of Dodge, the President embarked on a 9 day, 5 city foreign tour visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bel- gium and the Vatican. For a guy who hates to travel and goes off script like a five year old at "Everything's Free Day" at Disneyland, visiting the centers of 3 world religions offers more hidden minefields than walking barefoot in the dark through the western sand dunes of Egypt. POTUS 45's first over- seas trip culminates at the G- 7 conference in Taormina, Italy. The G- 7 used to be known as the G- 8 until Russia was kicked out for annexing Crimea. But now that they've annexed us, are they back in the loop? Perhaps that's a question better suited for the spe- cial prosecutor. Time to take the Fifth. Of Scotch. Barton Publications, Inc. News tips: news@haysfreepress.com Opinions: csb@haysfreepress.com 113 W. Center St., Kyle, TX www.haysfreepress.com 512-268-7862 78640 + Publisher Cyndy Slov News and Moses Leo ak-Barton Sports Editor III Reporters Samantha Smith, Lesly De Leon Columnists Bartee Haile, Chris Winslow, Pauline Tom, Clint Younts Proofreaders Jane Kirkham Marketing Director Tracy Mack Marketing Specialist James Darby, Daniela Arriaga Production Manager David White Production Assistant Christine Thorpe Circulation/Classifieds David White Distribution Gabe Ornelas Tanya Ornelas +