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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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June 26, 2013     Hays Free Press
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June 26, 2013
 

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Page4A THEY REALLY SAID THAT? "I love the game offootball and everything about it. The contact, the physical aspects of the game, I enjoy every bit of it." - Conner Lanfear, Hays High School junior who verbally committed to the university of Texas at Austin Hays Free Press June 26, 2013 HIP CZECH Going to association con- ventions is a good way to learn about your business. Counties, schools and cities send their employees to conventions; various groups require continu- ing education hours, which forces key personnel to attend training classes. But it's not always what you learn in the sessions that is most important. Last week, I travelled to the Texas Press Association annual executives retreat in Houston. I drug along my daughter, thinking that someone in the family needs to start thinking about the newspaper business. Both of my children have at- tended conventions and worked in the newspaper business in one way or another- from sweeping the floors, to running newspaper racks, to starting special editions, to doing payroll. I have to say, they have learned to work- and work hard for little pay. But being at a convention also teaches them to think and to understand the demands and rewards of the business. Sitting in a cold room with other publishers, talking about circulation ideas, what makes a good newspaper, how business advertising contracts should be set up, the best methods for collecting old accounts.., this is pretty boring stuff for a 19-year- old. While a lot of discussions were over her head, or just not really sinking in, she did notice that newspaper people take their jobs seriously. Weekly newspaper publishers and editors want to give their communities the best. They strive to walk that fine line between giving in on sensitive stories and knowing that the public has the right to know. It's not always an easy job, and to a 19-year-old, that message seemed to stick. It wasn't until later that night, when she and a friend from col- lege sat around in the hospital- ity suite with a bunch of us "old folks" as all of us talked about politics, funny stories, mistakes made, and misunderstand- ings - all the while laughing at ourselves - that her friend piped in. He found the conversations interesting. Wow. Not many times that 19-year-olds want to hang out with us, but this time, they seemed to enjoy it. Then, on Saturday morning awards were announced, honor- ing the best newspapers in the state in each of their classifica- tions. The Hays Free Press was named the best medium-large weekly in the state of Texas. It's really something this staff should be proud of, as there is a lot of com- petition in the category. But the greatest honor came when my twitter feed lit up, with a message from my daughter. Her tweet? ~,. "People don't understand the maportance of newspapers, and how hard these families work to get where they are." It makes me happy that she gets it. Congratulations to the Hays Free Press staff and thanks to my children, who put up with my long hours - at meetings, on the sidelines, in the office. They get it. The Hays Free Press won: Best Medium-Large weekly in Texas 1 st - General Excellence 1st - News Writing 1st - Page Design 1 st - Editorials 2nd - Sports Coverage 3rd - Advertising Design 3rd - Headlines 3rd - Best Website csb@haysfreepress.com Lmegislation to revise redistricting aps, regulate abortion and change unishment guidelines regarding youths convicted of a capital felony oc- cupied state lawmakers in special session last week. Called by Gov. Rick Perry on May 27, the 30-day session ends on June 25. Drawing the House floor spotlight through Sunday night and early Monday morning was Senate Bill 5, relating to the regulation of abortion procedures and providers. Citizens for and against crowded Capitol corridors and the House gallery. SB 5, tentatively approved on a 97-33 vote at 3:24 a.m., faces a final vote before moving back to the Senate. The legislation proposes to amend the Health and Safety Code and the Occupations Code regarding regulation of abortion procedures, providers and facilities, prohibiting abortions at or after 20 weeks post- fertilization and adding a violation related to abortions performed after the same time window to the list of prohibited practices by physicians or license applicants. Included is an excep- tion that allows an abortion in the physi- cian's reasonable medical jud~nent that so complicates the medical condition of the woman, to avert the woman's death or substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, other than a psychological condition. The legislation also directs the Texas Medical Board to assess penalties on physicians for improperly distributing or prescribing abortion-inducing drugs. And, the legislation would create a new minimum standard for abortion facili- ties licensed by the Department of State Health Services. Such a facility would be required to meet the new standards by Sept. 1, 2014. Republican members, leveraging a 40- seat majority of over Democrats, moved bills forward to comply with the wishes of CAPITAL Gov. Perry, but Democrats brought their arguments to the fore through proposed amendments, although all failed on votes to table them. Two among many arguments were the adverse and disproportionate effects of the great distances women from rural and remote areas would have to travel to get to one of five facilities that currently could be qualified to perform abortions under the bill and that 26 percent of Texas women do not hav'e health insurance. The House on June 24 preliminarily passed SB 23, relating to the punish- ment for a capital felony committed by an individual youl~g~r than 18 years of age. The bill prop0se~'to allow a 17-year- old offender serving a life sentence the eligibility to apply for parole after serving 40 years. The House also tentatively approved SJR 2, a proposed constitutional amend- ment to change how dollars are moved from the state's general revenue fund to the so-called rainy day fund on transfers based on oil and natural gas production taxes. Votes on the preponderance of special session legislation have been along party lines, with Democrats voting in opposi- tion. Some lawmakers who challenged bills said that ultimately the abortion- regulating legislation would not stand up to scrutiny by the courts, nor would bills revising certain redistricting maps and limiting a jury's ability to mitigate parole in capital murder convictions of certain juveniles. One bill already on its way to the govemor's desk is SB 3, relating to the composition of Texas House districts. Ten- tatively approved by the Senate earlier in the week, the bill came back to the Senate with several amendments passed to allow certain Democratic members in abutting House districts to tweak boundary lines in small and mutually beneficial ways. In a vote on final passage, the Senate accepted the changes adopted by the House. JOBS RATE STAYS POSITIVE Texas' seasonally adjusted total non- farm employment expanded by 19,500 jobs in May for a total of 324,700 jobs added since May 2012, the Texas Work- force Commission reported on June 21. Positive every month since May 2010, the state's annual job growth rate in May stood at 3.0 percent and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly in May to 6.5 percent, from 6.4 percent in April. "The addition of 324,700 jobs over the past year, with private sector employers adding 299,800 during this period, is good news for Texas," Texas Workforce Com- mission Chairman Andres Alcantar stated in an agency news release. OFFER: FERAL HOG GRANTS Texas Department of A4griculture on June 18 announced it is accepting grant applications to assist regional efforts to control feral hog populations through its new County Hog Abatement Matching Program. Selected applicants will receive funding on a cost reimbursement basis of up to $30,000. Ed Sterling works for the Texas Press Association and follows the Legislature for the organization. edsteding@texaspress.com enlers. A Liknd so it begins again, and On cue. Department of Atmospheric Sciences is e an Incendiary device on a co-author of The Science and Politics of J. ]ktimer, summer has turned patches YOUN6- Global Climate Change. of Rocky Mountain paradise into scenes '~,s time goes on, climate skepticism of fiery hell. becomes further and further divorced The people of Colorado are beginning from reali~," he told me. "If you look at to wonder if for the foreseeable future the temperature record, 2005 and 2010 they are locked into four seasons: fall, were tied for the two warmest years of winter, spring and wildfire, instrumental record. I really don't under- A year to the day after the state's worst cumulative fire season began- a season that stretched almost into December- the fires began again. A year after the most destructive fire in state history; consuming 346 homes in the foothills west of Colorado Springs, a successor on the northeast outskirts of town dwarfed it. The Black Forest fire destroyed more than 500 homes. Two people died. Much like a year ago when they burned in the Rockies from Idaho to New Mexico, wildfires have burst out in multiples. I know this isn't what some readers want to hear, particularly if Fox News is their choice for information, but these events answer a question that by now should be beyond debate: Hell, yes, the climate is changing. We are cautioned, and well should be, about assigning temporal events to big-picture concerns like climate change. Temperatures spike. Cold snaps snap. But what's happening in the Colorado high country isn't transitory. It's long-term and caused by fundamental changes. The canary in this coal mine is a dead ponderosa pine -- or hillsides of them killed by the mountain pine beetle. The Insect thrives because of warmer temperatures. Without a few successive days of 40 degrees below zero each winter, the beetles live to eat and breed. They then convert lush forest to brittle kindling. In no way can one blame all these fires on said pestilence. Drought is the No. 1 villain, as Texas experienced in 2011 when 1 million acres and 2,862 homes were destroyed by fire. Texas, of course, is one of those places where global warming and global desic- cation do not exist, at least in the minds of policy makers. It's always interesting to hear from people who clip along without these concerns, like a reader fromVero Beach, Fla., who wrote the local paper to report that "true scientific minds are saying that the earth will be cooling for the next 10 years." Thinking I might have missed a big story;, surely"breaking" on Fox News, I bounced this off someone who pays closer attention to these matters than I do. Andrew De--the Texas A&M stand how someone can claim that Earth has either stopped warming or is actually cooling." Reality? Here's some: The Associated Press calls rising sea levels "a predicament facing the entire Caribbean." Hundreds of villages are threatened. Even the CEO of Exxon Mobile, Rex Tillerson, last June acknowledged that climate change is real. His suggestion as to what mankind should do? He said we should get used to it. Also in the Reality Department, scien- tists recently confirmed carbon dioxide levels of 400 parts per million in the Arc- tic, levels harking back to the overheated Pliocene era when sea levels were 60 to 80 feet higher. Troubling to you? Let's just say this: Come hell or high water, some Americans are going to ignore either matter. Longtime Texas newspaperman ]ohn Young lives in Colorado. jyoungcolumn@gmail.com COMMENTS FROM THE WEBSITE All of you who talk about how prisoners deserve what they get are missing the point. When prisoners are treated in an inhumane manner they become even more dangerous when they are released. - alfhiId1969 on Prison state of emergency in Texas? So good to see newcomers to Kyle taking an active part in insuring attendance at City Council meetings by City Councilmen. Those rightly critical of Chad Benninghoff were evidently not in town when Bred Pickett missed his many meetings or they would have spoken up. Attendance at council meetings is important. Thanks newcomers for chastis- ing Chad Benninghoff. Perhaps if you had been here earlier Councilman Pickett would have received the message and at- tended more council meetings and we would have all been ahead of the game. - Donn Brooks on Tax trou- bles? Kyle council member in fight with taxing entities Obviously, this IS a FAMILY matter which is none of yours or anyone's concern/ - Rebecca Perez on Tax trou- bles? Kyle council member in fight with taxing entities Good deal for Buda! They can use that extra money to pay for all costs associated with Kenneth Williams' masters degree, and more lights on Mike Beggs' tahoe. You'd think if you made over $I00k a year, you could pay your own way. How do us tax payers bennifet by him furthering his educa- tion? I guess when more than 200 of us show up to vote for city council seats, we may get people in there to make better decisions for us. - confused in Buda on Buda and Kyle sees uptick in sales tax revenue, San Marcos misses out MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. Publisher Cyndy Slovak-Barton csb@haysfreepress.com NEWSROOM Editor Kim Hilsenbeck kim@haysfreepress.com Sports Reporter Moses Lees III Senior Reporter Andy Sevilla Community Columnists Sandra Grizzle Pauline Tom Columnists Bartee Haile Clint Younts Will Durst John Young Proofreaders Jane Kirkham Christine Thorpe OFFICE MANAGER Connie Brewer business@haysfreepress.com ADVERTISING Tracy Mack tracy@haysfreepress.com Debbie Hall debbie@haysfreepress'cm CIRCULATION/CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfreepress.com PRODUCTION Production Mgr. David White Assistant Designer Nick Trussalo Distribution Pete Sizemore Contact Us: news@haysfreepress.com business@haysfreepress.com FAX: 512-266-0262 BUDA 512-295-9760 KYLE 512-268-7862 METRO AUSTIN 512-262-6397 www.haysfreepress.com 113 W, Center Street Kyle, Texas 78640 I il I i I II i il Ii II Ii