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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
November 2, 2011     Hays Free Press
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November 2, 2011

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THEY REALLY SAID THAT? "We've seen a lot of opportunities that oere lost because didn't have the full (ability} to attract certain businesses like microbre oeries or high-end restaurants. Ibis initiative oill allo o those to happen." -Laurie Cromwell, Better Business for Hays committee member + Hays Free Press Page 3A [] [] [] [] rrlhe power to lock up : | citizens is a necessary one, ~ HISTOR!G~ .l. but when a jurisdiction gets a conviction wrong society is diminished. InWilliamson ~iig~i~' ,~V~:~:~i~i:~i~i~ County the state has released Michael Morton from custody after determinations were that he was wrongfully convicted. This miscarriage of justice could According to appearances, Ken have been avoided had the Anderson, or his staff, profaned good district attorney exercised due diligence. It ~Jl be hard to trump Michael Morton's powerful statement, "Thank God I only got life." If he had received the death penalty the DNA evi- dence exonerating him would have arrived too late to help the poor man. Twenty-five years locked up is a long time, longer if you are innocent, but it beats the office of the prosecutor, and perforce, the entire system of justice in Central Texas. Wflliamson County justice has had a bad reputation for a long time. From what I am able to de- termine, most of the complaints come from people who think the police are too aggressive if they arrest dnmk drivers and speed- ers. Whether or not the bad reputation is deserved is another being put to death, argument for another day. But I carried a gun and badge for the stench from the Morton case many years, and for more than will impact the entire system of 40 years I have studied police Central Texas justice. administration. Today we have The Austin American-States- well-trained officers with a man argues that the State Bar boatload of education. Police should investigate Anderson depamnents enjoy state of the and his role when he was dis- art technology. As good as all trict attomey. That is appropri- that may be, it is not adequate. I am nervous. The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure holds prosecutors responsible as follows: It shall be the primary duty of all prosecuting attor- neys, including any special prosecutors, not to convict, but to see that justice is done. They shall not suppress facts or secrete witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of the accused. It appears that theWflliam- son County system of criminal justice has failed and, because ate. Also a good idea is for the attorney general to study the case. R is refreshing that John Bradley, the W'llliamson County district attorney, has asked for help by the state. Anderson has been a good man, a good prosecutor and a good judge. But that is not enough. Anybody who is so insouciant as to ignore good evidence is unfit to hold public office and a well-crafted inves- tigation should be conducted post haste. But Anderson does not deserve to be pilloried in the of that, Michael Morton was, press without an opportunity locked up unjustly for 25 stink- tO defend himself. Fairness is a ingyears, double-edged sw and His Now, I have contempt for Honor deserves ~: ~ess even if prosecutors who will not pros- he denied it to otti.;s. Hearings, ecute.We had a long-standing though, should be conducted problem in Texas by which prosecutors were not full-time employees and had a private practice on the side. Most of these people were honest, but the prosecution of criminal cases took a lower priority than their private practice, so the standard procedure was to at- tempt to reduce the charges to misdemeanors. The public wants low taxes and commissioners are loath to provide prosecutors with neces- sary staff. We rely on police officers and deputy sheriffs to investigate cases and turn the matter over to the prosecutor fait accompli. If the prosecu- tors are to dispense justice, they need staffto assist in the inves- tigations and get cases ready for the grand jury and for trial. The evidence is mounting that in the Morton case, inWfl- liamson Coun~ prosecutors deliberately withheld evidence that could have exonerated poor Morton. This is patently inexcus- able. A thorough investigation needs to begin there soon. This is not a case of lack of resources. It is a matter of lost priorities. Ken Anderson has been a dis- trict judge there for manyyears. He has a reputation for having been a zealous prosecutor. I have no problem with aggresive prosecutors. That is what they are paid to do. But when they deliberately withhold evidence, fail to follow through on leads, they have crossed over the line. under oath and pain of perjury. R is eas~ a quarter of century later, to simplify this investiga- tion to two or three proposi- tions that should have been investigated. But criminal investigations have all sorts of nooks and crannies and Ander- son deserves the opporttmity to explain why his office did what it did. Unlike the federal system, state judges must stand for re-election every four years. For Anderson, this means that the Morton case might well become the frontispiece of his next campaign. Let's draw this analogy: Richard Milhous Nixon was forced out of office. That much we know. What we do not know is how many public officials woke up to the reality that tithe president of the United States can have his feet held to the fire, then an ordinary sheriff, trustee, councilman or constable had better keep his business straight. That being the model, we may never know how many public servants will clean up their act, but we know that the proverbial rising tide lifts all boats. Daylight in abundance in the case of Ken Anderson and the conviction of Citizen Morton is essential to the assurance of the integrity of the judicial system in Central Texas. dbmoks7@aus' O Recently Maw and I were .... :~ ::::: watching"The Amazing :~ ......... . ace" where a group of : mOM E : stressed-out couples are trying to win a million bucks without ....... ~i~: :ii~i~i~i~i~:~::~i~:~:~ killing themselves or strangling their p~ers. Theres this one guy, an ex-pro football player, and his ~fe who were currently in last place and falling timber behind.As they realized they messed up, he yelled, "Dad gummit!" as he was running through a rice field. "Dad gtun- mitT' How refreshing is it to hear a curse word these days that isn't crude and downright offensive? It seems like TVis full of real- ity shows where angry chefs and spoiled, rich housewives are shouting words in front of a camera that end up getting bleeped. I'm not talking about one ortwo naughtywords but an endless onslaught of exple- fives. As I was walking into the den one night that Hell's Kitchen was on, there were so many bleeps, I thought our smoke detector was going off. IfI was sitting in Chef Ramsey's restaurant and heard that kind of language coming from the kitchen, I'd be a little leery of what was in my soup d'jour. The overabundance of foul language isn't just on TE. It's in our schools, public gatherings and workplaces. It pops up on Facebook and can be seen on T-shirts and bumper stickers. Profanity is so common in movies that it's hard to find a show suitable for kids to watch. TV networks and sensors allow words and innuendos in prime lime programs that once were limited to cable TV shows. Car stereos are blasting offensive and derogatory sttiff (I refuse to call that crap "music") out through their windows into the neighborhood. All I Want to know is why? It's been many moons since I was in high school. Although I was an excellent student, I have forgotten much of what my teachers said. I vaguely re- call the Gettysburg Address but can't recall where it to0k place. I knowwhy the War of 1812 was fought, but don't ask me in what year did it occur. What I do remember with crystalline clarity are the words of a brilliant English teacher. One day during class, a student let a certain four-letter word escape within earshot of Mr. Powell who glared at the boy and said, "Son, you are show- ing your ignorance." Whatever subject we were studying that day was pushed aside for a les- son that I not only still remem- ber, but one that embraced the lessons taught by my parents and grandparents. Profanity is a poor substitute for speaking intelligently. Now, don't go thinking I'm some prude. I have often been observed being crude, some- ' times rude and even occasion- ally nude, but definitely not prude. I may tell a dirty joke on occasion, and I am a master at innuendos, but you will never hear inappropriate expletives exit my mouth. I still recall the taste of a bar of soap after my mother heard me say some word that apparentlywas not appropriate for a six-year old. Even today, ifI cuss a little after watching a strand of barb wire snap while applying one last pull on my Come-Along, I can still taste Dial soap. So, if Mr. Powell was right and the reason for so many people and script writers using excessive profanity is a severe lack of literary creativity, allow me to give y'all a lesson on Southern cussin'. You see, southerners have a tasteful vernacular where folks in less fortunate states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, tend to have a more caustic vo- cabulary. Some folks only have a handftfl of cuss words in their personal glossary so they use them frequently to fill gaps in their lackadaisical articulation, believing more is better. True Texans, such as myself, have a way with words, and cussin' is considered an appendage of our vivid vernacular. Let's begin our lesson with words that can be used when your hammer misses the nail and lands on your thumb in- stead. Some folks up in Brook- lyn, NY (do they have hammers and naris in Brooklyn?) may holler words so vile that mrs flee into sewers. Texans are known to mutter "Dad bum it!" or "Gawl-dang it!" If it hurts real bad and no women or children are nearby, I might even shout "Gosh darn!" Anything worse than that and suds mysteriously bubble from my mouth. There is one 4-letter word that phonologically-deficient folks frequently use that is crudely synonymous to fecal matter. Oh, my, there are so many imaginative terms that we can substitute that will make the curse much more colorful, such as "cow patty" or"horse biscuit." If some surface is slippery, then say "It's slicker'n goose poop on a tile floor." If the subject matter is the speed of some moving object, then we say it is "as fast as a duck on a June bug." Instead of inflicting enough pare upon someone, causmg a voidance ofhis bowels, we can use the term "beat the tar out of." Much nicer visual, huh? Here are some other Southemisms that can be used instead of vulgar vocalizations: "For crying out loud!" and "Lord a'mercyf' You can use ei- ther of these sayings to empha- size your frustrations without causing harm to sensitive ears. I also like the idiom, "What in tamation..." I'm not sure what "tarnatioff' is, but I think beat- ing the "tar" out of someone is derived from this term. Here is an example of what a nice Southern grandmother might say when she walks into her living room to see her grandsons had just re-enacted a bar fight from an episode of Gunsmoke: "Lord a'mercy~. What hi tamation happened in here? If you boys don't dean up this God-awhtl mess, some- body is dam-tootin' gonna receive a whuppin'. For crying out loud!" Now, I don't expect people who read this to go out and clean up their vocabulary.. Perhaps some folks like to use vulgar language while others simply aren't creative enough to find alternate, more ap- propriate words. Maybe some of you don't realize you are showing your ignorance. Per- haps some of my colorfifl curse words will become part of your vocabulary or you make up some of your own. And I am afraid there are some folks who will curse me for writing this column. To those misinformed societal misfits, you can purse your lips and osculate my snowy-white gluteus maximus. Clint Younts' mouth is rarely foaming with soap suds, unless his column gets skipped. TO THE EDITOR CITIZENS BEWARE If you have been towed at the request of the City of Buda Police Department you may have been over- charged. The BPD officers working accidents/arrests are requesting a par- ticular tow company to tow your car. Since the onset of the BPD until Oct. 1, 2011 they have been using the Hays County Rotation List and Policies. In those policies the fee set for the tow- ing of vehicles from an accident/arrest scene was $140. Also set forth is that YOU as the vehicle owner/operator have the right to request the towing company of your choice, if YOU do not choose a wrecker, the next wrecker on the rotation list is to be dispatched. The officer on duty does not have the right to request a tow company for YOU!! When the request has been coming from the BPD, against Hays County protocol, the tow company has been charging a fee of $165, a $25 overcharge. The preferential treatment given to this tow company by the BPD was brought to the attention of Chief Kidd in June. With nothing done, it was again brought to the attention of Chief Kidd in September when the BPD set it's own wrecker rotation list and policies. The overcharging issue was brought before the Hays County Sheriff's office and it was investigated and although there is evidence to support both the overcharging and the preferential treatment nothing is being done by either the Hays County Sheriff's office or the the City of Buda Police Dept. In the new wrecker policies set by the BPD and the Buda City Council it is mandatory for all wreckers on rotation to haveVehicle Storage Facilities in the City of Buda (3 eligible companies) and to have two tow trucks (one conventional and one flatbed) that cannot be over 12 years old. Amazingly enough that rule requiring newer trucks eliminates all tow companies except for the tow company that they have been request- ing and allowing to overcharge. If you have been overcharged, please file a complaint with the Texas Department of License and Regulations (TDLR) on their website http://www.tdlr.state., at the bot- tom of the page. Lori Fitch Buda (Editor's Note: Lori Fitch and her hu- sand Richard own A and E towing.) IS STARVING WORSE THAN SLAUGHTER? One sometimes hears lame jokes about the Hays Free Press not being free. Even the ads cost money. Well I sold a donkey by a Free Press ad the other day. I took the money and went to pay for the ad. I even got some money back. A Republican could tell you that's better than free. That's a profit. The reason horses and donkeys are so hard to sell is that the PETA people, because of misguided sentiment and or nostalgia, have gotten a law passed outlawing horse slaughter. The result of this is that old or unwanted horses and mules are dumped on country roads just as city people dump dogs and cats. They are often left to starve or die of diseases too expensive to treat. These animals could be feeding hungry people that would gladly eat horse meat. A quick death in a slaugh- ter house looks to me to be better than a slow painfull one. Bad laws are hard to get changed. Think prohibition or the war on drugs. Show me where I'm wrong. Albert Busse Uhland COMMENTS FROM THE WEBSITE I've worked in the child welfare field for many years, and this story makes me sad. It appears there was some very bad parent- ing here. CPS may have moved slowly to take action, but they are damned if they do, damned if they don't, People will complain no matter what they do. I am glad the children are safe now. The justice system will take care of the parents. -Anonymous on "Police: Kyle dad severely abused toddler" As a Rebel band parent I can attest to how hard these kids work and I am sure it is the same at Lehman. I am proud of both of these schools and wish them all the best .,, - Will McManus on "Lehman, Hays bands roll into 4A Area competition" I thought the water restrictions only applied to people on city water. You're totally right about the "safe" water, though. That's pretty much a joke. I don't have a sprinkler system and live on a weird shaped lot in a cul-de-sac, so it takes almost 5 hours to water my lawn. I don't really want to stay up until 1am watering my stupid lawn and I have to work in the morning during the other time we're al- lowed to water. I understand you shouldn't water during the heat of the day because of evapora- tion, but I think waiting until after 8 p.m. is a little excessive. - Cam Mosier on "Enforcing city water codes: A day in the life of a Kyle utility coordinator" MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. Co-Publishers Bob Barton and Cyndy SIovak-Barton Office Manager ..... Connie Brewer business@haysfreepress,com NEWSROOM Editor Wes Ferguson Staff Reporters Sean Kimmons Brad Rollins Jonathan York School Reporter Jim Cullen Community Reporters Sandra Grizzle Myrtle Heideman Pauline Tom Brenda Stewart Sports Editor Jason Gordon Columnists Bob Barton Bartee Halle Phil Jones Clint Younts Donn Brooks John Young Brenda Stewart Proofreaders Jane Kirkham Brenda Stewart ADVERTISING : i Tracy Mack CIRCULATION/CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hallam Distribution Gigi Hayes Carolyn Harkins Pete Sizem0re ..... PRODUCTION Production Mgr. David White Assistant Designer Jorge J. Garcia Jr. Contact Us: BUDA 512-295-9760 KYLE 512-268-7862 METRO AUSTIN 512-262-6397 Fax: 268-0262 +