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June 8, 2011     Hays Free Press
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June 8, 2011
 

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+ THEY REALLY SAID THAT? Kyle resident Christopher Bealand on his family's mission to Joplln~ Mo. ) to help victims of a deadly tornado Page 4A Hays Free Press June 8, 2011 + OF CABBAGES Tcn years ago the Hays County mmissioners Court spent much the summer in harde between its four Republican members over m- districting the 36 bailiwicks from which commissioners are elected. Once again, hearings on the once- a-decade redistricting chore are under way. Plans are not fully developed yet because many decisions can't be final- ized unffi the state legislature completes the task of revamping Texas House and Senate districts as well as the soon-to-be 35 Congressional districts. They won't be final until the state leg- islature concludes at the end of June. Supervised by the Rolando Rios law firm of San Antonio, which also did the 2000 commissioners court redistricting, the current study committee is com- posed of commissioners Will Conley of Wunberley and Debbie Gonzales-Ingals- be of San Marcos, joined by city council veteran Sandra Tenorio of Buda and Republican County Chair Kent Wymore, also a Buda resident. A decade ago, infighting, mostly between County Judge Jim Powers and commissioners Bill Bumett, Russ Molenaar and Ingalsbe on one side and combative commissioner Susie Carter of Precinct 2 on the other, centered on alleged attempts by her fellow Repub- licans to put together a redistricting map that would force her to move from her home near Uhland if she wanted to continue to serve. She preferred to instead shift several strong central Kyle boxes, which have been traditionally Democratic, to Democrat Ingalsbe's precinct, thus giving her a better shot at re-election. This stirred up a rebellion by the ma- jority of the Kyle City Council and then- Mayor James Adldns effectively led a del- egation to a hearing in the opposition to the change. Eventually large numbers of citizens off FM 150 East were placed in ingalsbe's precinct and Carter succeeded in keeping her home in Precinct 2. She won another four-year term in 2002, but lost the seat to Democrat Jeff Barton in 2006. Mark ]ones of Kyle won the post last November and will serve through 2014. This year's commissioners court realignment must be in place by the be- ginning of the year and willbe in effect until 2020. Action Monday night in the State Sen- ate that establishes three congressional seats in Hays County may speed up en- actment of the redistricting of our four commissioners' precincts. It will make ' the job more complicated, since divid- ing our county into three congressional districts complicates all sorts of things. Affirmation of the these within the county win certainly zip through the Texas House and be signed by Governor Perry. Unless the Federal Election folks intervene, as they did five or six years ago, no other Texas county with a popu- lation less than a million is split this much to suit the desires of the powerful political class. The new decision puts all of us who live east of Stagecoach Road and FM 1626 in the Buda-Kyie area and San Marcans who live in Debbie Ingalsbe's precinct, into a new Congressional Dis- trict 35. It reaches into heavily Hispanic areas of San Antonio and will attract one or more promising politicos from that area. It also includes parts of Guadalupe, Caldwell and Comal counties, generally Democratic strongholdS. Next spring's Democratic primary will almost surely bring on a gigantic battle. The gerrymandering in Austin will force Co~man Lloyd Doggett to move into the new district. Even nmning against a popular San Antonlan, he will probably be a slight favorite to hold onto a seat, albeit a new one. Because of District 35's heavy Demo- cratic base, the next congressman will be decided in the Democratic primary. Not so coincidentally, the battle for District 21 in the middle of Hays (includ- ing a big part ofBuda), Comal and Bexar counties wm be in the Republican pri- mary in which incumbent Co--man Lamar Smith will easilywin. And, lest we forget, Wimberley and Dripping Springs voters will help, not very materiali~ choose the congressman from District 25 that stretches westward through countless counties all the way to the Fort Worth suburbs. Ain't democracy with a little "d" great? Our betters in Austin let us apply the window dressing to their seLfish machinations that surely feather some- one's nest[ y!lsterda as I was cruising the ackroads to Drippin', I had a ose encounter with a Ford truck FROM whose driver apparently hadn't heard that texting while driving is unsafe and megal in parts of Texas. I'm sure this fella (this was a grown man, not some rebellious teenager) thought he had a good view of both the road and the 2" screen on his iPhone, but he kinda missed seeing the rather large white Chevy barreling towards his left front fender as he was ~ over the yel- low stripe. Lucki~, I still have reflexes like a geriatric rattlesnake, and I missed nary farms, cities and animals~ It's OK Numerous people are completely addicted to Facebook or other on-line sites. One of my most loyal fans sent me a Facebook posting from her niece that reads: "Think...we have imagi- this texting fool by several inches. I to pokepeople and write on wails... wonder if his next text message read: "I Facebook is a mental hospital and we are all patientsl!!" Ain't that the truth? We are hooked on electronics and most of Us can't live a day without a fix. To paraphrase a great Eagles song, we are all just prisoners here of our own devices. Cellphones and home computers aren't the electronic narcotics that have people glued to LCD screens. Video games are still extremely popu- lar amongst the younger generations. just messed in my drawem" Why are people so obsessed with electronics? Seems like everyone between the age of 10 and 70 has a cell phone. Folks over 70 may have electronics, but they have been in- serted in their chest cavity. I bet most of you reading this colunm have your phone within easy reach or damped to your ear like a tick on a basset hound. Some of you may be reading this on your iPhone or home computer, while others have the newspaper in one hand and their cellphone in the other, calling your wife to bring you a new roll of toilet paper. Does anyone besides me like to sit out on the deck I enjoyed playing Atari and Nintendo with my kids back 20 years ago, but I wasn't crazy about the games. I never stood in long lines at midnight, waiting for a new computer game to go on sale. I never spent the night outside a in the mornings, reading a newspaper WalMart with a belly filled with turkey whiledrink coffee, listeningto birds and dressing just to purchase a new instead of the obnoxious buzzing and Xbox that will go on sale at 5 o'clock chimes of some ceilphone receiving a the next morning, And I never sold text message? I wonder how many people check their email or Facebook page dozens of limes throughout the day. Hey, I'll check my email at least once a day just to see if some prince in Timbuktu died and listed me as an heir to his estate. I'll even go to Facebook to see body organs so I'd have enough money for an iPad 2. That's what some teenager over in China did so he could afford the new iPad. For 20,000 yuan, or about $2000 bucks over here, this poor 19-year-old boy sold one of his kidneys just so he'd have the newest electronic. Had the if a friend or family member is having boy never heard of mowing lawns 0r a birthday today, or if it's our anniver- getting a paper mute? This kid, whose sary. Maw gets mighty riled if I forget, brain has probably been fried by taking r too many calls on his cell phone, acre- ally sold an essential organ in his body just to own a small piece of plastic and wires. How stupid is that? Oh, by the way, his mom was furious when she found out. She would've whacked his backside, but she was afraid of damag- ing his remaining kidney. When I first read this, I, too, thought it was stupid at first. Then I started thinking. I know, I know~. Thinldng leads to trouble, but hear me out. I just turned S0-something, and I still have both of my kidneys, but I don't have a plasma T~. Why not Wade one of my kidneys in for some Hi-Def 60" plasma T~. So, after extensive research, I tracked down that kidney broker and tried to strike up a deaL Well, appar- ently kidneys depreciate over time, and my 1958 kidney isn't as valuable as the 1992 model. After some bickering, I received an offer farm the broker. For one kidney, I would receive a 19" black & white RCA television plus a transistor radio if I tossed in a retLrm. I had to de- dine his generous offer since I still own Grandpa's Zenith, and with aluminum foil wrapped around the rabbit-ear anteuna, R works wem I hope none of our recent sChOol graduates have to resort to selling body parts just to afford luxuri- ous cellphones and computer games. This is America, and there are still jobs available for hard-working folks, but those jobs may require you to get off your couch and put away your dec- tronic toys. And while you are driving to your new job, please don't text. And watch out for a large white Chevy. Clint Younts wants to add a 60" plasma TV to his collectiovL Alas, he has to work at a veterinary clinic to keep up with his electronic junMe ways. On May 18 of this year the mom- ing news was just unbeliev- able. On the Mexican side of the border with Guatemala, two semi tractor-waUer rigs were x-rayed after they crossed into Mexico and the police removed 513 people from those two trailers ... Guatemalans, Central Americans and some Asians. That's less than 2 square feet per person. Each person paid $7,000 to be trans- ported to the USA from Guatemala. That's $3.6 million. Can you believe so many people are so desperate to get here? What have they been told awaits them here? I, for one, have a high respect for these people. I respect their tenacity, their work ethic, their unspoiled ability to make do with very little, their want- ing a better life. I aLso believe we need them I have lost faith that Americans will do the jobs that the imported workers are so ready to do for us. I firmly believe that we need to revamp our immigration laws to make it safer for them to be here.., and satisfy the buwmucratic cost of their presence. Here's how At the border, they are finger- printed, leave a DNA sample and sign a paper stating under oath that they ~78~lOO~lmo.com come Immigrants to know the family again. When they | ~ E~ come back. the process starts over again. Limit the number of workers to the number stated in a survey of busi- nesses as to how many they can use. No taxpayer social services to non-citizens of the USA. Volunteer those fingerprints or DNA show up at a crime scene then we know who to look for. They pay $5,000 which covers income tax, emergency room care in- surance, paperwork processing, auto insurance on themselves whether they drive or not and with that; access to a driver's license exam. (Remem- ber, they are already being charged thousands of dollars by "coyotes.") They must go home for eight weeks per year, for a little R and R; get services are okay will go to a post office, driver's license No citizens bom to noncitizens. office or a sheriff's department in a This wiU retire the derogatory term six-county area in which they intend "anchor babieg" to work, and register. If they move Children must be enrolled in a from that area they will check out public or private school with tuition and recheck in at the new area. By paid to the school through private goll~ this is the computer age and a funding. Immersion English classes 16-year-old ought to be able to keep wlil have the children speaking Eng- up with them on a laptop using a pro- lish in two months. gram that his little brother created. If This would cut out those rapacious coyotes that so often cheat the aliens, putting their lives in danger and treating them no better than slaves, sometimes making them into actual slaves, too. It would help us prosper by filling those job positions that Americans are no longer willing to do - even at a living wage. This is where I would begin ifI were the emperor of the world. This is what I think, but I could be wrong, you know. LETTER TO THE EDITOR JURY DONATIONS I have written to our District Clerk and Districty Attorney's Office propos- ing that jury members and potential jury members be allowed to donate their fees to "innocence projects" to be established for those that are wrongfully convicted. I believe this would be a step in the right direction to help reestablish lives for those wrongfully convicted. We are all aware that there are many cases in Texas in which misidentifica- tion based on eye-witness identifica- tion is seriously called into question and many individuals who have been imprisoned based on false witness identification are cleared by DNA evidence many years down the road. R seems to me to be a good idea and sound public policy to provide for all victims of the criminal justice system, especially those who have been wrongfully convicted. David K Sergi, San Marcos COt BITS FROM THE WEBSITE "We, my kids and I, have per- ticipated in the Kyle Summer Reading Program for ~mrs. It is fantasticl The library does a great job of welcoming everyone and making everyone feel like they are at home. I am oRantirnes impressed with what they are able to pull off with both limited space and resources." -- I.~ on "Kyle Ubrary to Idck off surnmer reading ofub June 8" at ~com "This is what you get when you have a representative democ- racy. The representatives do what,; best for them and there political careers, ff The United States switched to a direct democrecy there would be no need for mpmssntatives or ar- tificial boarders that only seine the representatives interests. Our founding fathers felt a repmssntetive democracy was best 225 years ago before we had a literate public, all/dnds of news and media outlets, and a public education system. Now that we live in "The Informaffon Age" it~ time that we take the power back from the represen- ta~ves and give it back to the people." -- Kyle Reaident on =Hays County divided three ways in new congressionet map" nt ~.com ree___ ress MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. 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