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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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September 17, 2014     Hays Free Press
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September 17, 2014
 

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THEY SAID THAT "Just because you can doesn't mean you should... I have no idea ohat you're afraid of that oouM make these regulations, and l believe these regulations are unconstitutional." -Lila Knight, Kyle resident commenting on proposed election rule changes, pg. 1A Hays Free Press 17, 2014 Page 3A IS a ythoOhn Sharp is one of ose people to whom u take an instant Iiking. He is down-to- earth but brilliant and is truly devoted to public service. Two opportunities to view the Texas A&M Uni- versity System chancellor revealed a man who seems to always be re- laxed and at ease talking to anyone. My first introduction to Sharp came in Lock- hart in 1982. An energetic state representative, Sharp was running for the Texas Senate and, of course, did so success- fully. That intro made me a Sharp fan and I have remained an admirer of the man for his down- to-earth manner and his every-man's-Mend appearance. Pat Patton of I.ockhart introduced me to Sharp. Patton was a longtime Democrat and served the party on county and state committees and was active n a number of political campaigns. Of course, he was a strong supporter of Sharp's political career. After being named "Outstanding Freshman" of the Texas House of Representatives, Sharp was elected to the Senate in 1982. He continued his successful mn of election to office in 1986 when he was chosen to the Texas Railroad Commission. He then was elected to two terms on the Texas Railroad Commission, then voters tabbed him for state comptroller where he followed up on his pledge to make government work more like our more successful businesses. Sharp's administration of that agency made it a high-quali , low-cost customer service opera- tion and saved taxpayers billions. He helped steer the state away from a state income tax and his agency became a model operation. While I found him to be affable and willing to talk to a member of the press in a very informa- tive and informal way. our meeting several years later in Jasper was a treat for me. He came there with a group to fish on famed Lake Sam Raybum and I took their pictures as the comptroller loaded up on chewing tobacco and fishing gear for a fun excursion with some friends and a guide. Sharp's success at Tex- as A&M has come as no Webb's Wisdom by Willis Wobb surprise to me. He seems to always have both feet solidly on the ground and while his head is not in the clouds, his mind and spirit coincide on lofty goals and accom- plishments. A&M's board of regents chose him as the university system's chief executive officer to oversee the 11 tmiversi- ties, seven state agencies, two service units and comprehensive health science center. This system, under Sharps direction educates more than 131,000 students and makes more 22 million educational con- tacts through service and outreach programs. Outside funding fi- nances the operation for $820 million in research and makes the A&M sys- tem a significant factor in the Texas economy. In order to continue to be a Sharp admirer, I've had to put aside my lifelong propensity to tell Aggie/Maggie jokes and to generally badmouth Aggies. It has always seemed that everyone who WASN'T an Aggie had a joke to tell about A&M students. R was a lot easier to "badmouth" the Ags be- fore several major things happened to tone down me and a lot of other jokesters on this Aggie joke thing. First, it was fun to add the tag "Maggie" to the assortment when Texas A&M relented and let women attend school there. For years, A&M was seen as an all-male mili- tary school in that mem- bership on the Corps of Cadets was mandatory. Then, dadgummit, two brothers got im- mersed in the maroon sea and became Aggies. Neither went all the way with the corps thing and such but, make no mistake, they are Aggies through and through. Brother #3 in order of age (I'm #1, the eldest), Clydell, transferred to A&M after a freshman year at North Texas State. Brother #2, Kem, actually got his bachelor's degree from Sam Houston State (some sayA&M East) but WEBB'S WISDOM, 4A LOCAL COMMENTS I saw about 10 cops in San Marcos going towards Kyle when I was going to work this morning about 645. Now I know why. -Lydia Hardison on Facebook re: According to local news reports a 3- hour 18-wheeler chase beginning in the vicinity of Live Oak, Texas ended in Kyle near Dairy Queen approximately at 7 a.m. no late nights at Walrnart! ! -Becky Marquez Cuevas on Facebook re: San Marcos police are asking for the public's help in identifying and locating a man they say attempted to kidnap two girls over the weekend. Back in the '70s as a reporter for the college newspaper, I went to a faculty nutrition expert for a story about hunger in America. Sounded relevant, right? Well, "hunger" had barely escaped my lips be- fore the professor turned the pretext of my visit around. Not to dismiss hunger, he said, but the nation had a bigger problem in the works: obesity. How prophetic he was, way back then before "low- fat" and "high-carb" were even in our vocab- ulary, way before losing pounds was grounds for a reality TV show. That prescient profes- sor's words come to mind when I think of Michelle Obama's crusade for leaner, livelier children. She has latched onto the central health issue of our times, and good for her, and for us. She has campaigned with Carrie Nation vigor for healthier school lunch- es and the purging of junk food from schools. The first lady's inten- tions are true and her objective righteous, but something about her cam- paign brings me back to the initial topic that took me to that college profes- sor: hunger in America. Principally, I'm con- Young- At-Large by John Young cerned about mounds of celery sticks and the truck- loads of baked squash going into the dumpster when kids decide they'd rather starve than eat the "healthy foods" that new federal initiatives are dish- ing their way. The first lady is defend- ing with vigor the tight restrictions on school lunches in the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. However, reports from school cafeterias indicate a lot of students are opting for hunger rather than what's healthy. Critics say the stan- dards have resulted in less participation in school lunches. As a supporter of school lunches dating back to the first steaming tray I carted to my table in first grade, this troubles me. Similarly troubling are reports of staggering amounts of food thrown away when children turn up their noses at it. For, what would be a nutrition- ist's dream can be a sec- ond-grader's nightmare. Sure, it's not good for children to have excessive- tritious" is considered an ly fatty and sodium-satu- affront. rated foods for lunch. It's If federal guidelines worse, however, for them can dislodge these play- to have no food at all. ers from the scene, then Naturally, this has be- much good will have come come a partisan tempest, from them, with more nu- Republicans in Congress tritious lunches and less want to jettison anything profiteering at children's that smells of Obama, of expense. course. Nonetheless, the first The first lady vows not lady needs to retool her to give an inch. But she pet initiative to focus first should, on getting children to eat. I think of school lunches That was the case with the a little like I think of public school lunches I remem- schools themselves: mag- ber. They were hot; they nificent in concept, but were wholesome; they had susceptible to crippling vegetables; they had good dictates from afar. entrees; they had dessert. Against a backdrop of Result: We returned to childhood obesity, ini- class without the sound tiatives that take away of cats serenading in our anything sweet or salu- bellies. tary-- special-occasion Oh, and after lunch we cupcakes, for instance had recess, something else -- smacks of the mental- the school micromanagers ity that says it is schools would take away to carve alone that must solve all more time out for tests the social ills of our world, and test prep. Daily phys- Get real. ical activity is something Just as teachers should the first lady advocates not be expected to be with the same vigor; so social workers, neither again, good for her and us. should schools be expect- What children eat day ed to be fat farms, and night is a very valid However, if unhealthy concern, but it's foolish food is our focus, let's and wrong to assign to acknowledge the role of school lunch the weight of profit-first policies by the world. which school cafeterias have become proxies for Longtime Austin-ar- fast-food corporations, ea newspaperman ]ohn Those venders make big Young lives in Colorado. bucks dishing out fare for which the term "nu- jyoungcolumn@gmail.com LETTER TO THE EDITOR Well meaning people can poison your well attended a forum in Hays County Thursday .put on by the Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development. Hays County Commis- sioners, Will Conley and RayWhisenant, with San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS) Senior VP CEO, Steven Clouse, peddled their respective plans to drain the Simsboro formation of the Car- rizo -Wilcox Aquifer in rural counties just east of Austin where I happen to live. The blather of the Hays County Commissioners had many scratching their heads. But it was the scientists on the pan- el who really got to me. They began with a con- clusion - that our growth with Forestar Real Estate district - an average of rate in central Texas will Group for 45,000-acre- 200 feet- with a much continue for decades, feet per year. This con- slower recharge rate. I al- ignoring the truism we tract came after the Lost ready know the answer is learn in Biology 101: The Pines District (Bastropno, or more likely, hell no. number of organisms will and Lee counties) grant- Any organization with increase exponentially ed Forestar a more rea-"responsible develop- until an essential nutrient sonable 12,000 afy based ment" in their name must is exhausted. In this case, on a desire not to mineunderstand that respon- that nutrient is water. (and harm) the Simsborosible development is im- It is important that Aquifer. possible without taking citizens understand Hays County doesn't on the real estate lobby the projects being sold have the capacity to de- and land speculators who represent a virtual siege liver, much less need, for are forcing us to pay with by water marketers and this much water until our tax dollars and our some municipalities on maybe 2060! Ask the Hays water for in-migration an aquifer that serves Trinity Groundwater (1,000 people per day) to Burleson, Milam, Lee, Conservation District Texas. Let's make them Bastrop and other nearby that represents you if they take their foot off the counties. It surprised me would ever agree to thegrowth pedal and stop that no one from Hays amount of drawdown on building in areas without County took on their their aquifer (currently their own local water commissioners for using about 30 feet) as is being supply. their tax dollars for a asked of (forced on) Lee Linda Curtis "reservation agreement" and Bastrop counties' Bastrop Barton Publications, Inc. News tips: news@haysfreepress.com Opinions: csb@haysfreepress.com 113 W. Center St., Kyle, TX 78640 512-268-7862 300 Main St., Buda, TX 78610 512-295-9760 www.haysfreepress.com Publisher Cyndy Slovak-Barton Editor Kim Hilsenbeck kim@haysfreepress.com Moses Leos III, Sports Editor, News Reporter Andy Sevilla, Senior Reporter Ashley Hughes, Reporter Columnists Sandra Grizzle, Pauline Tom, Bartee Haile, Clint Younts, John Young Proofreaders Jane Kirkham, Travis Wilson 1"racy Mack, Marketing Director David White, Production Manager Debbie Hall, Marketing Specialist Christine Thorpe, Production Asst. Emily Fry, Maketing Specialis Distribution Connie Brewer, Office Manager Pete Sizemore, Cosme Cuellar Suzanne Hallam, Circulation/ Classifieds + Ti [[ 1 I I[I I