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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
August 25, 2010     Hays Free Press
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August 25, 2010

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Page 4A THEY REALLY SAID THAT? " ese actions are unaccet table and sho o. . the irrest onsibility. . . and lack of transparency thaQustify legislation. - State Rep. Patrick M. Rose on PEC's recent firing of its general manager , Hays Free Press August 25, 2010 EDITORIAL ~the start of the fall ool semester, Hays CISD members are tryingto make sure students have the correct schedules, keep the flow going, get everyone to school on time. It's a massive job. The student count for the first day of school at Hays CISD was 14,755. That's an increase of more than 200 students over last year, with statistics [~ showing the first day of class is never the largest. With the district grow- ing at least 37 percent in the last five years, it is a logistical nightmare just keeping up with the information. It is incredible, though, that parents of Hays High students had to stand in line for hours, trying to get their children's schedules and fill out paperwork, while Lehman students breezed through the pro- cess, even picking up textbooks in less than one hour. Sure, Hays High was trying to accomplish the actual completion of that interminable paperwork by teqnifing parents to come with their student and fill out forms before the student could get his/her schedule. It was good in theory. It failed in actuality. The district requires repetitive information that should easily be made available to any teacher through its student information sys- tem. Why should parents have to fill out insurance information and par- ent/guardian address and phone numbers three, four, five times? Parents should be able to go online, possibly through some program like the Discovery Portal, fill out "paperwork", make sure information is correct, and quickly approve it. Most govemmental entities these days require most of , ithe paperwork be done online - to save time and money. Schools, though, still require repetitive forms, making parents take off work to pick up schedules and more. It is, quite simply, a waste of time, of manhours, of resources. Another byproduct of us- ing online information systems is that teachers, coaches and district officials could all get the information they need Years ago, Hays CISD was on a quest to make sure students were at the forefront of the technology boom. Maybe we should put this problem to our brightest students and see if they can figure out a solution. It can't be anyworse than hun- dreds of parents standing in line for more than a thousand cumulative hours, waiting to get schedules, permits and photo lDs. LETTER TO THE EDITOR THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP I wish I were fluent, but I'm not. There is no way I can adequately thank all the wonderful people who have befriended us. We lived in Abilene forl3 long years. We knew our neighbors on either side and were close to one couple from adjoining Tye. I want- ed to move to a small town, make friends and become involved but ~elt like I was probably dreaming. ' We have met many people who are not Kyle natives but who moved here at retirement to be near family. We did not. We moved to a dot on the map, but I found what I was looking for- in spades! From the moment Wally fell, we were flooded with offers of help, food, visits, respite, lawn mowing, etc. I even had to learn how to put gas in the car. Thanks, Donnie. There is no way I can list and thank everyone but I do want to rec- ognize Gary Alvarez and Tom Aguilar from Pedernales Electric who saw him fall, picked him up and called 911; and his buddies at the VFW who came and built us a ramp. Thanks also to everyone for the many cards, flowers, memorials, food, visits, and for attending and participating in the memorial service. Everything from everybody is so overwhelming and heartwarm- ing. Words fail me. I cannot believe our great good fomme to have acquired so many wonderful Kyle and Buda friends in so short a time. Please know I appreciate everything. Norlene Razak Bludworth. W~buen I read about bicyclists going t for a night ride in nothing ut their underthing6, it did not occur initially to me that the United Na- tions was behind it. That was before Dan Maes, the Repub- lican nominee for governor of Colorado, convinced me it was so. Forces of darkness and one-wofldness are behind these night riders in their BVDs. Maes, a product of the Tea Party movement, surely would say as much. He has Denver Mayor ]ohn Hicken- looper pegged, for instance, as a one- world plotter over Denver's quest to encourage bicycling. The "well-disguised" idea is to "convert Denver into a United Nations community." This is part and parcel of Denver's participation in the Interna- tional Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. Says Maes, it all spells a threat to our freedoms. How so? Well, look at where I live, Fort Collins, which like Denver is one of 600 U.S. communities that have joined in the international sustainability effort, considering it a great thing locally and globally. Fort Collins is where in July a local bike club staged its Buck Moon Underwear Ride. OK, so how does this event bear on the state or our liberties? This: Except for control by outside forces, or the full moon, why would barely garbed bike riders cast off into the Colorado night? Consider us all warned. Without vigi- lance,, all shall be stripped (almost) bare of their liberties. YOUNG-AT-L All the while, I've been admiring how Fort Collins people love their bicycles, how the city has bike paths galore. It turns out that ours is a city pedaling op- pression, and Dan Maes is not alone on this. A local woman affiliated with the so- called 9/12 movement challenged Fort Collins for joining the U.N.-linked green effort She even passed petitions to recall a Fort Collins City Council member for violating the oath of office by ceding free will to U.N. environmentalists and global warming theorists. For reasons inexpli- cable, the effort came up afew signatures short. Back to Denver, which under Hick- enlooper, Maes' Democratic rival for governor in November, has arrayed 400 red bikes around town for rent. Yes, red. Moscow red. Belling red. Better-off-dead red. Here you were thinking: great idea-- less pollution; less gas guzzled; healthier people. Well, it's just what the forces of one-world earthiness and near naked- ness want you to think. And here I was thinking: In Fort Col- lins, it's great to see average people get on bicycles just to get somewhere. (No offense to enthusiasts in Day-Glo Span- dex and wind-tunnel helmets, but I like the notion in the new motto: "Bicycling: Not just for torture.") But, then, I wasn't thinking. That's Dan Maes' department, along with Tea Party adherents, from whose legions he arose out of total and wholly deserved obscu- rity. You may think it's nutty that Maes calls Denver's bicycles a harbinger of oppres- sion. Whatever the case, it is the kind of talk that's becoming the GOP party line. The Tea Party in 2010 is what the Christian Coalition was for Republi- cans in the 1980s and '90s: the life force. Remember that Pat Robertson, who says prayer can reroute hurricanes, won one GOP presidential primary and outpo- lied George H.W. Bush in the 1988 Iowa caucuses. Now we have people stirring the GOP's cocktail like congresswoman and Tea Party heroine Michelle Bachman. She wonders aloud why swine flu outbreaks seem confined to Democratic presiden- cies. And, there's Sarah Palin, whose endorsement- of candidates, or of zero- points Scrabble words- has become the party's most dear currency. Mark their words. If the Obamas and Hickenloopers have their way, we'll all be chafing on our bicycle seats, in our skiv- vies, in the dark, under a full moon. Don't laugh. It happened right where I live. Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. ee "t's getting harder and harder to find something nice to say about this gu- .bernatorial race, so I guess I'll bow to my southern roots and not say anything about it at all. lust for today. I can't make any promises about tomorrow. Ironically, the single nice thing I could say about the Perry reign, is that he brought the vaccine Gardasil into the public debate in Texas. Now, I know that it was not an altogether altruistic venture (I'm fishing for words and bit- ing my tongue here to keep the above promise) and surely mandating that the vaccine be given to public school girls was wholly unpopular and a curious blunder for this career politician, but it did open the door for discussion. Recently, however, I was taken to task for not covering "both sides of the story" in a column in which I chafed at Bill White's poke at Gardasil in a campaign commercial last month. So, let me begin with some basic informa- tion from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Gardasil is a vaccine, produced by drug company giant Merck, that has been proven to prevent certain types of " human papitlomavirus (HPV) associ- ated with about 70 percent of cervical cancer. Both males and females can be infected with HPV and can therefore, pass the virus on to partners through- out their life-span if not vaccinated before infection has occurred. As of February, 2009, 40 million doses of Gardasil had been distributed throughout the world. In the U.S. alone, approximately 29.5 million doses of the vaccine have been administered as of May 31, 2010. The national Vac- cine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) has received 16,140 reports of adverse events to date with 92 percent considered non-serious (fainting, pain and swelling at the injection site, head- aches, nausea and fever). Eight percent, however, were deemed serious (events that involved hospitalization, permanent disability, life-threatening illness or death). The CDC and FDA assert that each of these reports have been carefully analyzed by medical experts and there appears to be no pattern that would suggest that the event was caused by the administra- tion of the vaccine There have been 53 VAERS reports of death among females who have received Gardasil. A limita- tion of these reports, however, is that there is no proven association between the event and the vaccine, only that it occurred sometime after administra- tion. Past any potential health ramifi- cations, though, the fervor against Gardasil has conjured up some pretty unusual bedfellows. The Moral Majority and like-minded Christian conserva- tives have consistently proffered that vaccinating against HPV will somehow encourage their children to have sex, while various big drug companies feel scorned that they did not get a cut of this lucrative pie. The Libertarians and the "anti-any- and-all-vaccines" parent contingent, as well as the conspiracy theorists, all have their separate takes on this vac- cine. "Vaccines have raised concerns for similar reasons throughout history," said Greg Zimet, professor of pediat- rics and clinical psychology at Indiana University School of Medicine and a member of the Society of Adolescent Medicine's HPV Committee, which strongly endorses the vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Medicine, and the American College of Obstetri- cians and Gynecologists, among others, wholly support the administration of Gardasil and are confident of its effec- tiveness and safety. The vaccine, unfortunately, does not come cheap. It is administered in a se- ries of three shots, each costing $120 a dose, excluding doctor fees. Fortunately for local students, the HCISD WELL Clinic provides an array of quality and comprehensive medical care for all students regardless of socioeconomic status. The HPV inoculation is available to both male and female students for $6.00 per shot and the clinic encour- ages students and parents to contact them with any questions. In response to a comment about the controversy surrounding this vaccine, Candy Reeves, a nurse practitioner at the clinic, lamented, "There is a silent killer among us, and it's not Gardasil. It's cervical cancer." The American Cancer Society esti- mates that over 11,000 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer and, of those, 3,600 will die from this disease. Gardasil is the first and only cancer vac- cine available today and experts believe that it will cut cervical cancer deaths by two thirds. Franklin was right. An ounce of pre- vention is worth a pound of cure. POLL QUESTION THIS WEEK'S POLL QUESTION Do you agree with State Rep. Patrick Rose's recent com- ments on PEC? A. Yes, then is mort reform that needs to be done B. No, he's grandstanding for election season C. Not sure, the issues an complicated LAST WEEK'S POLL QUESTION Are you glad the U.S. Foods fight is overt Yes, it's been going on for too long and it has cost too much money. 67% Who cares? Businesses should be able to do what they want. 13% No, the development never should have been approved. 2O% TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WEEKLY POLL GO TO WWW.HAYSFREEPRESS.COM MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, iNC. Co-Publishers Bob Barton and Cyndy SIovak-Barton Office Manager Connie Brewer NL=WS ROOM Editor Brad Rollins Staff Reporters Sean Kimmons Jen Biundo School Reporter Jim Cullen Community Reporters Sandn Grizzle Myrtle Heideman Pauline Tom Brenda Stewart Sports Edltor Jason Gordon Sports Reporter Mark Caul Columnists Bob Barton Bartee Halle Phil Jones Svea Sauer Clint Younts Donn Brooks John Young Brenda Stewart 'Proofreaders Jane Kirkham Bnnda Stewart ADVERTISING Tracy Mack CIRCULATION Circulation Mgr Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfnepress.corn CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hallam Distribution Gigi Hayes Carolyn Harkins Pete Sizemore PRODUCTION Production Mgr David White Assistant Designer Jorge J. Garcia Jr. Hays County Commissioner Jeff Barton is a minonty owner of the Hays Free Press Contact Us: BUDA 512-295-9760 KYLE 512-268-7862 METRO AUSTIN 512-262-6397