Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
August 25, 2010     Hays Free Press
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August 25, 2010

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Hays Free Press August 25, 2010 Page 5A Nearly seven years ago, one cold November night in downtown Austin's warehouse district, a funny-looking guy in a bow tie and a bowler hat uttered one line that would change my life forever: "So, you wanna write some stories for my newspaper?" As you can probably guess, I said yes. My meeting with Hays Free Press editor Bill Petersen was one of those chance encoun- ters that, though you don't know it at the time, winds up marking a cataclysmic inter- section in your life. I was 24 years old, the ink getting dry on my undergrad- uate honors thesis from the University of Texas at Austin. For the past few months I had just enjoyed being finished with college, paying my bills by slinging lattes and bar- tending at a hip downtown car6 and lounge. There was plenty of fun to be had as a young downtown denizen, but I was getting rest- less for the next big challenge. Working on the side copyedit- ing electronic textbooks, I was trying to figure out how to get my foot in the door of the book publishing industry. Over the course of a few weeks, as I sat at the caf~ after my shifts, red pen in hand and working on my copyedit- ing, I struck up a friendship with Bill, who, judging by his impressive collection of saddle shoes and bow ties, could only be a journalist, l'm still not quite sure what made him think a random barista had it in her to be a good re- porter, but I'll always be glad he gave me a shot. As my early 20s gave wayto my 30s, I learned the ropes of journalism, rising through the ranks to the position of senior reporter, then managlhg edi- tor, becoming a mother and homeowner along the way. OnWednesday, as this paper ships offto the printer's, I'll be sitting in my first gradu- ate class at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. After so long covering public policy as a reporter, I've decided to give it a go myself. I'd be sad to leave behind a career that I truly love, but fortunately, we've come up with a wayto keep me from going into ink withdrawal. The eminently capable and experienced reporter Brad Rollins is taking over the reins as managing ed- itor, but I'll be sticking around as a part-time reporter, cover- ing the city of Buda and doing some feature writing. At some point in the last seven years, journalism stopped being just a job and became part of my identity. It's been a chaneng fascinating and rewarding career. Sure, there's the workaday meet- hag coverage, the municipal revenue bonds and wastewa- ter treatment plant expansions that occupy so much of a reporters waking life. But there was also the exciting and dramatic news, like the intrigue and corrup- tion at the Pedemales Electric Cooperative, a story we broke right here at the Hays Free Press. Then there were the tales of incredible strength that made me feel privileged to write them. Most recently, a rape and domestic vio- lence survivor named Nicole Salomon trusted me to tell her story, courageously breaking the silence that so often cloaks abuse and sexual assault. And of course, I got to cover our very own Hays County "news of the weird." I'm still partial to the tale of the kid busted for driving down the interstate with a large marijua- na bush cradled in his lap, and the story of the man who, after a presumably hemic night of substance abuse, decided that his girlfriend's pet Chihuahua was possessed by the devil and required an exorcism in the baptismal font at Santa Cruz Catholic Church. You can't make that stuff up. More than anything else, my seven years at the Hays Free Press have made me truly come to appreciate the institu- tion of community journalism. It's not always glamomns and the pay sure isn't great, but we small town reporters get in there and cover the news that matters to local residents. We're independent-minded, hard-working and we genu- inely care about our beat. Newspapers small and large are trying to figure out how to navigate the rapidly shifting landscape of journalism in the 21st cent, as readers move from a subscription and advertisement-based print to a free online medium. I don't know how that question will get resolved or what journal- ism will looklike a couple of decades from now. But I do hope that small town news- papers like the Hays Free Press keep tracking along covering their communities, and that readers and advertisers contin- ue to support them. Commu- nity journalism isn't something we should be without. Gov. Rick Perry on Aug. 19 the U.S. and Mexico repre- ailed for lawmakers to senting industry, government, al~ nact tougher penalties CAPITAL education and environmental for the crime of hnman waflick- organizations are expected to jo ing in Texas. attend, cc tawmakers win meet next when the 82nd Texas Legis- AGENCY REPOffrs NO UFrlCK lature convenes at noon on IN JOBS T~ Jan. 11, but more pressing is The rate ofjoblessness in Election Da~; Nov. 2, only two 20.8. months away. The Texas Education Agency Texas stayed at 8.2 percent in Former Mayor BlllWhite said 92,615 high school seniors lnly, the Texas Workforce Com- of Houston, a Democrat and incumbent Gov. Perry's main challenger, also says he wants ~atU~c~;nalties for human Even if Perry and White agree on human trafficking~ other topics of interest to Texans- the state budget, health care reform, highway construction, education, public safeW, pris- ons, border security and more topics of interest- remain undebated by the two. Well, they do manage to point out differences in their approaches to those subjects in press releases, but Perry is still standing back from White's call for a live debate untilWhite makes public more of his per- sonal income tax returns. White released his mayor- era tax returns in June, but the Perry campaign demanded Whites tax returns from the span of time in 1993-1995 when White served as deputy U.S. Energy Secretary in the Clinton Administration. ADVICE ON K~.EPING COOL For weeks, temperatures across the state have been hit- ting 100 degrees or higher and older people, young children, people with chronic diseases and those without access to air conditioning are most at risk of hem-related illness. The Texas Department of State Health Services is re- minding the public to take ac- tions such as these to prevent heat-related problems: Find ~nd stay in an air con- in May and June, the rate ;o was 8.2 percent. Texas has gained 168,900 ~s, total, since January, ac- rding to the commission. Ed Sterling works for the ras Press Association and !lows the Legislature for the ~ociation. ditioned area, either at home or in public places like malls, libraries or community centers. Never leave anyone in a parked vehicle, even for a short time. Call 911 if you see an unattended child in a vehicle. Check often on older friends, neighbors and family mem- bers. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks. 2010 SENIORS SCORE ON ACT Class of 2010 Texas high school seniors posted a higher average score on ACT math- ematics and science tests than any other class of seniors in the last decade, the Texas Educa- tion Agency reported on Aug. 18. The class of 2010 scored 21.4 on math and 20.9 on science. The average overall compos- ite score for the dass of 2010 matched the class of 2009 at NOTICE OF INTENTION TO ISSUE COMBINATION TAX AND REVENUE CERTIFICATES OF OBLIGATION "NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City Council of the City of Kyle, Texas, will convene at its regular meeting place of said City Council located at the City Hall, 100 West Center Street, Kyle, Texas at 6:30 p.m. on October 5, 2010, and, during such meeting, the City Council will conduct a hearing on whether to is- sue combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation. Upon conclusion of the public hearing, the CityCouncil will consider passage of an ordinance and take such other actions as may be deemed necessary to authorize the issuance of combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $5,000,000 for the purpose of paying contractual obliga- tions of the City to be incurred for (1) construction and equipping of a new City library (2) City sidewalk improvements; (3) City stme. t improvements; (4) wa- terworks and sewer system improvements; and (5) the payment of professional services and costs of issuance related thereto. The combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation will be payable from the levy of an annual ad valorem tax, within the limitations prescribed by law, upon .all taxable property within the .City and a limited pledge (not to exceed $1,000) of the surplus revenues of the City's Waterworks and Sewer System. The combination tax and revenue certifi- cates of obligation are to be issued, and this notice is given, under and pursuant to the provisions of the Certificate of Obligation Act of 1971, as amended, Local Government Code Section 271.041, et seq. Pursuant to Texas Local Government Code 271.049, an election on the question of the issuance of the combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation will be called if, before the time tentatively set for the authoriza- tion and issuance or if before the authorization of the certificates, the City Secretary receives a petition signed by at least five percent of the qualified voters of the City protesting the issuance of the combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation, the City may not issue the combination tax and rev- enue certificates of obligation unless the issuance is approved at an election ordered, held and conducted in the manner provided for bond elections. /s/Lucy Johnson Mayor, City of Kyle, Texas took the ACT this year, while 82,640 from the class of 2009 took the test last year. That's a 12 percent increase in the rate of participation. The ACT is a standardized test for high school achieve- ment and college admissions. mission reported on Aug. 20. LEGISLATORS PROMOTE TAX 'HOLIDAY' Texas Comptroller Susan Combs predicted shoppers would save $59.3 million in state and local sales taxes dur- ing the sales tax holiday. State Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and state Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, held a Capitol press conference on Aug. 17 to kick offthe statewide Back-to-School Sales Tax Holi- day, which ran August 20-22. Ellis and Strama said the state would realize a net gain in sales tax receipts because shoppers also ~ purclaase many items that are taxable. Ellis wrote the legislation to create the sales tax holiday in 1999, and Strama helped pass an expansion to the list of tax- free items. MEXICO HOSTS ENERGY FORUM Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson onAug. 18 promoted the 17th annual U.S.-Mexico Border Energy Forum to be held Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 in Chi- huahua, Mexico. The city of Chihuahua is about 215 miles south of Juarez, Mexico. Forum programs will focus on "clean" energy including natural gas, wind, solar and geothermal. "This forum is all about maximizing our energy dollars while minimiz2ng our envi- ronmental impacts and in the process, sharing our knowledge and expertise with our friends and neighbors," Patterson said. More than 200 leaders from LETTERS GUll)ELINES We welcome locally written lett, ;rs to the editor on time- ly topics of community intere~l. We ask that you keep them to about 350 words in ler gth and that you not in- dulge in personal attacks on pr vate individuals. Letters may be edited for brevity and .'larity. All letters should be signed by the author and illclude a daytime phone number where the author can I: e contacted for verifica- tion. Letter writers are limited :o one letter per month. Letters can be emailed to csb~ 906 CanyonWren Drive Buda, Texas : i~'~;~i;!~i~i~ .yourtexasattorne .com ii :,ii Tax Revenue Im The City of Kyle conducted public hearings on August 17, 2010 and August 31,2010 on a pro- posal to increase the total tax revent=es of the City of Kyle from properties on the tax roll in the preceding year by 2.48 percent. The total tax revenue proposed to year at last year's tax rate of $0.424 $100 of taxable value was $5,659,4( tax revenue proposed to be raised th proposed tax rate of $0.4539 for eac taxable value, excluding tax revenu from new property added to the tax is $5,552,467. The total tax revenue proposed to b, year at the proposed tax rate of $0.4 $100 of taxable value, including tax raised last ) for each )6. The total is year at the h$100 of to be raised ;oll this year, raised this 539 for each revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year, is $5,982,966. The City Council of City of Kyle is vote on the tax rate that will result it crease at a public meeting to be held ber 13, 2010 at Kyle City Hall, St., Kyle, TX 78640 at 6:30 pm. scheduled to t that tax in- on Septem- NN es't C emex