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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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July 17, 2013     Hays Free Press
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Page 2A NEWS Hays Free Press • July 17, 2013 The Hays Free Press (ISSN 1087-9323) published weekly by Barton Publications, Inc., 122 N. Main St., Buda, TX 78610. Periodicals postage paid at Buda, TX 78610 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Barton Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 339, Buda, TX 78610. ISSN#1087-9323 NEWS TIPS If you think it's news, we probably do too! • Newsroom phone: 512-268-7862 • E-mail: news@ haysfreepress.com • Mail: P.O. Box 339, Buda, Texas 78610 CORRECTIONS Any erroneous reflection upon the character, standing or reputation of any person, firm or corporation which may appear in the pages of the Hays Free Press will be corrected upon being brought to the attention of the publisher. DEADLINES • The deadline for display advertising and any contributed news copy in the Hays Free Press is 5 p.m. Friday the week prior to publication. • The deadline for Letters to the Editor and classified word advertising in the Hays Free Press is noon Monday the week of publication, though we encourage readers and advertisers to observe the Friday deadline. LETTERS GUIDELINES We welcome locally written letters to the editor on timely topics of community interest. We ask that you keep them to about 350 words in length and that you not indulge in personal attacks on private individuals. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. All letters should be signed by the author and include a daytime phone number where the author can be contacted for verification. Letter writers are limited to one letter per month. Letters can be emailed to csb@haysfreepress.com HISTORY Founded April 10, 1903, by Thomas Fletcher Harwell as The Kyle News, with offices on the corner of Burleson and Miller Streets in the town's oldest remaining building. It merged into The Hays County Citizen in 1956. The paper consolidated with The Free Press in October, 1978. During its more than 100-year history the newspaper has maintained offices at more than a dozen locations in Kyle and Buda. STAFF REPORT without traffic signal equip- capacity ment in which traffic flows • Time savings (less delays The Texas Department around a center island. This experienced due to signal tim- of Transportation is host- intersection design only has ing) ing a meeting with property eight potential conflict points, In any situation, proper owners to discuss proposed opposed to a signalized inter- signage, pavement markings, plans to construct a modern section which has 32 potential and roadway geometry help roundabout at FM 1626 and conflict points, guide a driver through an in- Kohlers Crossing in Kyle. The There are several benefits of tersection. come-and-go meeting will a modern roundabout, which A second meeting will be take place from 4:30 - 6:30 include: scheduled in the city of Kyle, p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, at • Up to a 90% reduction in with the date and time to be the South Travis Area Office, fatalities determined. To learn more located at 9725 South 1-35 in • 76% reduction in injury about the proposed intersec- Austin. crashes tion at FM 1626 and Kohlers The purpose of the meet- • 30-40% reduction in pe- Crossing, go to theAustin Dis- ing is to provide information destrian crashes trict Project Studies page, or about modern roundabouts • Advantageous to older and watch a short demonstration and answer questions from novice drivers onYouTube. the public. • Reduces the severity of For media inquiries, contact A modern roundabout is a crashes Kelli Reyna at kelli.reyna@tx- one-way, circular intersection • 30-50% increase in traffic dot.gov or (512l 832-7060. Gun Rights: Can you openly carry a rifle? Continued from pg. 1A to test Texas's open carry laws. The individuals, one male, one female, videotaped the interac- tion with the officer and a Hays County Constable who arrived as backup. Buda Police Chief Be Kidd confirmed that he received a call from a concemed citizen that there were two people walking along Goforth Road with long guns strapped to their back. In addition, a call was made to the Hays County Sheriff's 911 center about the guns. As the scene opened up, as shown on the video, Femandez approached the individuals and initiated the conversation by asking for their identification. "You got a driver's license or ID?" he asked. The male said, "Um, I choose not to present that to you, offi- car." Fernandez replied, "Just to let you know, you have every right to do that, you also have one thing - let me tell you right now, if you fail to identify to a police officer, you can also get arrested for that, OK?. Do you have a DL or ID?" The volley went on for the next several minutes, with the officer asking for ID and the male saying he did not need to provide it unless he was being accused of committing a crime. Texas is an open carry state, which means it is legal to carry a long gun, i.e., a shotgun or rifle, out in the open in public spaces. The law also says that a peace officer does not have the right to ask for an ID unless the person is suspected of committing, or is about to commit, a crime. In the video, the young man with the gun asked questions of Fernandez such as, "Have I done anything wrong, officer?" and "Do you suspect me of being a felon, officer?" At one point, the male asked if he was being detained and Fer- nandez told him he was. Kidd said in reviewing the sit- uation and the video, the officer did not have enough informa- tion to determine if a detention was appropriate. "We should have requested more information from dis- patch," he said. Under state law, Kidd said while it is legal to carry a long gun, officers need to deter- mine if those who choose to ex- ert their rights are doing so in a manner that doesn't violate and state law or city ordinance. For an officer to detain some- one, Kidd said, they must have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed. He said there are two laws Buda officers have to work with in regards to displaying firearms violations. State law requires that an ac- tor "displays a firearm or other Brown v.Texas, 443 U.S. 47 (1979) KNOW YOUR ruled that suspicious activity does not satisfy the requirement GgN LAWS to detain and demand ID. In- Citizens can educate stead the officer must suspect themselves about the laws you of aspecific crime, which he by reading the Texas Penal can articulate and substantiate Code Chapter 46. http://www, with objective facts. The exercise statutes.legis.state.tx.us/ Docs/PE/htm/PE.46.htm of a right cannot be converted into reasonable suspicion of a crime." deadly weapon in a public place Still Kidd said he thought the in a manner calculated to alarm" manner in which the confron- for peace officers to detain the tation took place would have person, worked better as an educational "Our [Budal city ordinance experience ff the protesters had requires that a person displays a simply let his office know they firearm in a threatening manner were going to be walking around or in such a manner as to tend to with long guns. cause the victim to reasonably That way, Kidd said, the dis- believe that he or she is In dan- patcher could inform worried ger of imminent bodily harm," callers about the situation. Kidd said. "If their goal is to educate or Walking along the road with promote the right to carry there guns displayed, while uncom- are more sensible ways to do so men and perhaps alarming to ... Consider other options such some, does not necessarily meet as simply cooperating with pro- the criteria under either law. viding identification to the of. The video made by the two ricer. Then any additional calls individuals in Buda, along with that came in we could advise the dozens of others in similar situ- caller that we had checked on ations, is on You Tube, along the individuals and they were le- with sometimes hundreds of galin their actions," he said. comments from those who view "Or, they go into their local them. law enforcement office and ad- In many cases, commentary vise them that they would be against the police, including the promoting the right to carry in Buda officer, uses phrases such an area prior ... not that they as ignorant, moron and liar. have to ... but rather, to avoid According to Kidd, Fernandez problems because they will like- didn't handle the case as well as ly draw attention and concem he could have, yet believes the from people if they are carrying individuals were trying to pro- rifles through subdivisions or yoke a police response, near businesses. I believe their "There is a coordinated effort tactics will likely result in more nationwide by second amend- gun control not less." ment groups such as OpenKyle Police Chief Jeff Bar- Carry Texas," Kidd said. "They nett said that is what happened say they're doing it as a means to about a year ago in his jurisdic- educate people but it's in a cal- tion. culated manner. .... We had an individual who Kidd, a firm supporter of the wanted to make a purposeful second amendment right to walkwithafirearmdownCenter bear arms, thinks the groups are Street. But he called us ahead of using tactics that may backfire, time to let us know what he was 'Tm a second amendment going to do," he said. 'And while guy," he said. "But they are hurt- that was not reqnired, we appre- ing their cause by alarming pad- ciated that the individual called ple." in advance. That way, emergen- The July 9 incident in Buda cy resources are not tied up." is one of dozens of videos of Barnett agreed with Kidd second amendment support- that dispatch staff should get as ers who walk along roads with much information as possible rifles or shotguns slung on their from those who call In to report backs and are confronted by law suspicious activity, such as, is enforcement officers who re- the person observing illegal ac- ceived calls from concerned citi- tivity? zens saying people are walking Both chiefs support the sec- around with guns. Inevitably, ondamendment. law enforcement officers show "Law abiding citizens of up after getting caned to inves- sound mind, legal age and no tigate, criminal background should "I understand what they are have every right to carry fire- promoting (2nd Amendment/ arms," Barnett said. Right to Bear Arms), but I think But when individuals are pur- most reasonable people would posefully being evasive or calcu- disagree with the manner in lating, he said, it makes officers whichtheyaregoingaboutthis," wonder what these people are Kidd said. up to when they get calls and One poster wrote, "The cop show up to investigate. says his reasoning for detain- "In the long mn, I think they'll ing them is 'suspicious activity.' hurt their cause," Barnett said. Easy changes can reduce your bill. There are simple steps to help reduce summertime electric costs. Check your air conditioning filter regularly, replacing dirty filters as needed. Set your thermostat to 78 degrees while you're home and higher when you're away. These tips alone can reduce your electric use -- and your PEC bill. ,¢0 YO(/ E II, OF COMMUNITY PEDERNALES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE 1938-2013 To learn more, go to www.pec.coop/diy_HVAC Distracting Signs Continued from pg. 1A As a result, PEC offered the city $25,000 in compen- sation to replace event ban- ners. On February 5, the city council approved the mo- tion to place an ERB at the corner of Old San Antonio Road and Loop 4. It wasn't until after the ERB was built the city real- ized it was breaking its own ordinance. Up until June 2, ERBs were prohibited within city limits. "It was a matter of putting the cart before the horse," said Mayor Todd Ruge. Plans were in the works to amend the ordinance to include the city's new ERB. However, the council strug- gled to find a way to make their sign legal, yet still leave room for future ERB's to be built. "We changed the ordi- nance to put us in compli- ance, but it wouldn't be fair to make an ordinance for only one sign," Ruge said. The solution: Create an overlay limiting the con- struction of ERBs to the IH- 35 corridor. ERB's along the corridor must also be free standing. Businesses cannot erect monument style ERBs. "We did not want [ERBs] to be up in the air and causing a distraction," Ruge said. "We want the signs to enhance and promote a business. We want to make the signs nice and neat; to make it so they are all the same size." The issue of ensuring future ERBs do not cause an influx in light pollution was also taken upon by the council. Future ERBs must have signs no brighter than 5,000 NIT during daylight hours and 500 NITs during the eve- ning. The boards shall not dis- play a solid white back- ground, nor can they in- clude animation or flashing/ multimedia video. Require- ments force boards to have static images display at a rate of six seconds per im- age, and must have public service announcements 25 percent of the time over a 15-minute period. Fears of repeating the im- age display boards in larger cities, such as San Antonio, caused the council to limit what is displayed on the boards. "We did not want the signs to be too busy," Ruge said. Buda also has an option for businesses that wish to have ERB's outside of the The new law concerning Reader Boards dictate the s!gns must be: • 350 feet away from a prop- erty with any residential zoning designation; • 750 feet away from historic property, such as land- marks; • No more than one per lot; • No off-premise signs can be converted to ERBs. • In addition, ERBs within the overlay district cannot reflect light into a property, nor can they be construct- ed larger than twelve square feet per sign face; a size similar to the city's own ERB. IH-35 corridor. However, the signs must meet the afore- mentioned criteria, along with approval from the council and zoning board to ensure the sign does not take away or interfere with other businesses. Currently, the city has not received any requests from businesses regarding ERBs. According to Ruge, the signs are cost prohibitive. "ERBs are a large invest- ment for smaller business- es," Ruge said. "I would think a large retail chain or a night- club would prefer to build them. The whole premise is information and drawing people to a business." In the future, council may address the issue of busi- nesses asking for larger signs. "Our sign is not big, so I would not be surprised in people asking for bigger signs," Ruge said. "That's why we have a variance sys- tem they can go through. It is not out of the possibility for there to be more signs, but there is a procedure they must go through." Yet, setting a precedent will cause Ruge and the council to exercise caution in the future. "The issue with variance is we would set the basis for precedence," he said. "If you let one person have a sign that is a little bigger and give them a variance, the next person will want a larger sign as well. It is walking a fine line." Phone and Internet Discounts Available to CenturyLink Customers The Public Utility Commission of Texas designated CenturyLink as an Eligible :Telecommunications Carrier within its service area for universal service purposes. CenturyLink's basic local service rates for residential voice lines are $5.70-$19.00 per month and business services are $11.35-$40.00 per month. Specific rates will be provided upon request. CenturyLink participates in a government benefit program (Lifeline) to make residential telephone service more affordable to eligible low-income individuals and families. Eligible customers are those that meet eligibility standards as defined by the FCC and state commissions. Residents who live on federally recognized Tribal Lands may qualify for additional Tribal benefits if they participate in certain additional federal eligibility programs. The Lifeline discount is available for only one telephone per household, which can be either a wireline or wireless telephone. A household is defined for the purposes of the Lifeline program as any individual or group of individuals who live together at the same address and share income and expenses. Lifeline service is not transferable, and only eligible consumers may enroll in the program. Consumers who willfully make false statements in order to obtain Lifeline telephone service can be punished by fine or imprisonment and can be barred from the program. Lifeline eligible subscribers may also qualify for reliable home High-Speed Internet service up to 1.5 Mbps for $9.95* per month for the first 12 months of service. Further details are available at centurylink.com/internetbasics. If you live in a CenturyLink service area, please call 888.833.9522 or visit centurylink.com/lifeline with questions or to request an application for the Lifeline program. • CenturyLink° i; *CenluryLink® Internal Basics Program - Residenlial c~lstomers only who qualify based on meeting income level o~ program partici0alloll eligibildy requbememSr and requires remaining eligible for the entire offer period ~irst bil~ will inclt~de charges fo~ Ibe firs~ lull rnonlh of service bilked irl advance¸ ~rorated charges Tar service from Ihe date of installation to bill date¸ and one time charges and fees described a bore Q ualifyi ng customers may keep Ibis program for a maxlmtkm el 60 ir, onths after service actlvabon ~rovlded customer stil~ qualifies durglg that time¸ L~sled High.Speed Ii~er~et rate of $9 95/mo applies for first 12 months of service laf~er which Ihe rate reverts to $14 95/ra0 fo~ the nex148 months of service)¸ an~ requires a 12 rno~tb term agreement CusLorner must ei~P~er lease a modem/router from CenluryLink for an additional monthly charge or independently purchase a modem/ro~te~ and a one-time High.Speed Inte~net acbvabon fee applies A one time professional instagati0n charge 4if selected by c~s~rner} and a one time ~hippil~g a~d handli~/g fee applies to customer's modem/router General - Services n~ avadab~e everywhere CentaryLink may change or cance~ services or substitute similar sewices a~ its sole discrefon without notice 0fferr plans, and s~ated ~ale~ are subject to change al~d may vary by service area Del~oSd may be reqtlired Adddiorla] restri~lons ap~ Tern~ end Conditions - All products and services gsced a:e governed by tariffs. ~erms el service¸ or terms and conditions ~osted at cen~urylink c0m "taxes, Fees, and Surcharges - Applicable taXeSr fees. and surcharges inck~de a carrier Universal Service charger ca:de~ cost recovery surcharges¸ state and ~ocal fees that var~ by area and certair~ ~n-state st~rcharges Cost recovery fees are r~ol taxes or gover nmel~t-r~qtJired charges for use Taxes¸ ~ees and surcbarges apply based e~ standard monthl~ not promotional¸ rates