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November 9, 2011     Hays Free Press
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November 9, 2011
 

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page 4A THEY REALLY SAID THAT? "It's just a juicy, old homestyle burger. Not like the dry stuff you get at the rest of'era." With those other burgers found closer to his home in Del Valle, "you need to super-size your drink just to che o 'era." - Alvin Gattis on why he chose Dan's as the best hamburger in the area Hays Free Press November 9, 2011 + [] [] vebeenobsel ng=d sometimes participat- of congressional, legisla- five, county and more recently, city governmental bodies, on a once every decade basis since 1960. Like many old geezers, I have an inclination to judge current fights along these lines more harshly than I did in my youth. But, by jingoes, there is considerable justification in my current reactions. Redistricting fights are now dominated by com- puter geeks whose loyalty is to their bosses - well- paid consultants. Their only duty is to tirelessly seek ways to advance the fortunes of the politician who pays them big bucks to map out their route to higher office, and perhaps fame and fortune. Not many folks, regard- less of their party affilia- tion, can argue that we are going in the right direction when it comes to how elec- tions are conducted, espe- cially when you consider the heavy flow of poorly identified funds from con- their own, while the drew up only one or Result? Considerabk feelings still linger al the Interstate 35 con over the county's dec while Kyle's redistricl went down smooth. On the state front, congressional and le tive redistricting pro are in bad shape. Th~ islature itself did a hq job on both. As a res~ two sets of judges - San Antonio and an( in Washington, D.C., almost certain to ma serious changes in tt laughable plan that ~, Hays County into thl outrageous congress districts. That same ] creates a 210-mile lo state senatorial distr runs along the Inten, corridor and is serve Laredo incumbent. mblic TWO. hard mg idor ision ing both gisla- msals leg- ~rrible fit, ne in ther are ke e plit ee [onal fian ag ct that tate 35 bya tributors with heavy vested Two Republican interests, be U.S. Senators hay On the local level, Kyle decided to go for les: city redistricting went state posts because i smooth as silk. There are can no longer comp, only three single member for contributions wil districts compared to four at-large, so the stakes aren't as great. But a bigger factor involves the non-partisan aspects of city elections. We need to expand this non-partisanship to all of our county and state judicial selections. State Senator JeffWentworth has long pushed for this change, but it is violently opposed by all the big law firms and corporate enti- ties that currently finance the campaigns. " A big positive factor in our money bag lieut, governor who is scar competitors becans~ a rich man. As for Democrats, Republicans in Austi doing their best to el nate Congressman i Doggett once again whole raft of prior fa They have deviously ed a wet-behind-the San Antonio Hispan: happens to be the tv that city's mayor. Ch are that this scheme work. After all, Dogg anna- :er hey ~te h mant [ng off he is the n are [mi- loyd Lfter a ~ures. enlist- -ears c who in of mces won't ~tt, Kyle was a galore of public who a decade ago w, hearings and a city council re-election against a that did not interfere or mandered Hispanic seek special treatment,the Rio Grande Valle Hays County Commission- no pushover. ers could take some les- Ah, the legislature sons from their Kyle neigh- greedy !itfle buggers bors. The Kyle redistricting just admit that persc committee drew up four political advanceme proposals for the council to outweighsany thou[ choose from; elected coun- community service, cil members themselves you:could think a litl drew up zllch. By contract, ter of the majority ol the County commissioners as we await the close drew up more than 20 of gerrymandering sea )n gerry- Yom 7, ain't If the would nal ~t iht of :hen le bet- them of the ;on. "A NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM" My father-in-law was adept at saying what he meant and meaning what he said with a new twist of an old word. Sometimes he would say stuff com- pletely "off the wall" but there was no doubt as to what he meant. For instance: when Dad was particularly unhappy with someone or something he would emphatically announce that he was "re- gusted" with the whole situation. And, if he were really"torqued" he would emphasize his utter contempt for what was going on by saying"how regusting" those circumstances where. Now, Webster would not appreciate dear old Dad for taking such liberties with his definition of tile English language. And I'm sure "spell check" is having a "conniption fit" about now. But Dad's point was clearly made. He was more than unhappy with things as they were. As I think about it, I know a lot of Americans who are much more than"re- gusted" with those elected to represent us in government. In fact, a lot of Americans see congressional maneuvering and deal making as clearly"regusting". If I'm not mistaken, most, ffnot all, "true blue" Americans long for what Abraham Lincoln telxned ". .. a new birth of freedom..." in the midst of delivering his Gettysburg address November 19, 1863. Today we need freedom from par- tisan politics and bickering, self-serving politicians; freedom from greedy CEOs and failed financial systems, freedom from government policies and programs that strangle American ingenuity and enterprise. Freedom from character bashing, political debates that waste our time and confuse us even more. And how aboutjus self-accla listswho I don't: freedom 1 helpful a~ sued. Sor to the oct infamous Suffice it doms I'd, space prc Every highway ',drive fri~ living frk care ofiti "me first' us. Let's officials. resent us Once suring w, America birth of ment of ! for the p, Kyle HCISDIS Despit hiring on students federal st ress for 21 the boarc We will n in so to s] same $2. History t~ sgJe~i'[ooi~s.oom hit first glance, ngthing ustified the re~ake of .I. Footloose." THen again, if we examine the po landscape, whether 1 is dancing or this nal ing like an adult on t scene, we all need to of the price of provir Know without a dc parochialism and rel are the itches that th has scratched. A common theme ed States should cea~, aid as a grand gestur, austerity. Of course, such claims spring fr rance of how much ~/ foreign aid represent That would be les, percent. The tea par1 less than that. Ask th That would result actly the opposite of magazine describes focused on the succc the ObamaStateDel and SecretaryofStat Clinton. The subject: power." The New York Tim scribes it as emphasi "diplomacy and dew to complement U.S. power." Don't expect any c with daggers drawn: to admit he has dora much as one smart t the world. But Time i what the administra Libya, and: In the Nt tion that toppled Mc Gadhafi, the State D~ engineered a coalitk players as diverse as League. France and ] while convincing Ru veto in the U.N. Sect cil. This, Clinton say,' efficacy of"convenir - building up one's LETTERS TO 1 a little freedom from all those aned, political pundits and any "arely get anything right. :now about you, but I want the o be friendly and neighborly and ain without the fear of getting a' like those dear folks who rose asion in the aftermath of the Bastrop fires of September 2011. o say` there are many more free- race again enjoy but time and hibit me from listing them. ,nce in a while I still see a Texas agu encouraging everyone to ~ndly". Personally, I'd prefer us ndiy and ou[ driving will take elf. Let's rid ourselves of the selfish attitudes that control gain think about our elected kfter all, we chose them to rep- and maybe they really are! gain borrowing from the as- ~rds of Abraham Lincoln. may ndeed experience...a new eedom..., so that this govern- he people, by the people, and ople shall not perish from the we don't, it most certainly will! rtdgens OVER-SPENDING enormous budget support employee for every 5.71 new n 2009/10 HCISD missed the mdard for adequate yearly prog- I11. No matter.We gave across raises in this economy of 4-7%. )t have enough money coming tpport all of this so they will con- million out of prior surpluses. ~ils us HCISD's representations Litical he issue ion act- le world be warned cialism. ,ubt that cession tea party The Unit- e foreign ; of budget ienerally )m igno- re federal than one iers want 3m. n ex- what Time n a report sses of mrtment Hillary "smart ,sde- zing ,lopment military fthose or Obama so ring in ooks at ion did in TO opera- anlmar ~partment nwith the Arab ~ritaln, ;sia not to rity Coun- is the g power" and with widespread support. This is in contrast. 73me observes, to the go-it-alone approach of the Bush administration, which believed that "too much inter- national cooperation weakens America." Back to the issue- no. the imperative - of foreign aid. It's a realm in which the United States has done great things worth its proclaimed status as a beacon of reason and compassion. One such matter was a credit to the Bush administration: monetary support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Just the other day the World Health Organization re- ported tuberculosis at a 20-year low. The world's second leading killer, TB works as executioner hand-in-glove with AIDS amid ~une suppression. An international player sup- po~ng this and other forms of foreigri aid that deliver much good for modest bucks is the organization RESULTS. Among its causes: the amazing power of "micro credit." where tiny loans spawn enterprise and hope in the world's poorest regions. Nowhere is "smart power" a more apt term than in one of RESULTS' current initiatives: support for the Global Partner- ship for Education. It couldn't address a more pressing issue -that as many as 67 million children in the Third World, mostly girls, don't go to school at all. A coalition of developed nations has convened to help build schools and pressure recalcitrant governments. The United States is in the coali- tion, but fiscally it is sidelines- bound, embarrassing for a na- tion that has so much. Forces in the Congress are trying to change this for the better. but right now all we hear are voices of a regression that has convinced them we don't have the resources to help in smart ways. It would be so good for Obama to express how much a little could do in this regard (8,000 children educated for every $1 million the fund adds) Don't have the resources, America? We had enough to wage two wars on the other side of the world, enough to have a military budget that dwarfs entire developed na- tions' budgets. At the same time, possessed of tax policies whose nltimate goal was to starve all but military spend- ing, federal taxes as a percent- age of Gross Domestic Product have shrunk to a rate not experienced since 1950. Yes, we have the resources to be smart overseas. Over the last decade we have invested heav- ily in the utility of war. Those who now denounce foreign aid sat mute while billions of dol- lars flowed to that enterprise like a great river. Never once did they appear to worry about war's staggering fiscal dimen- sions, the debt accrued, they waited until Obama became president. Smart. Not. Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. jyoungcolumn@gmail.com IHE EDITOR re often self-serving and deceiving. Nobody in their tight mind would give dses they could not afford. Right? So the 3in is we're in the black (on the Mainte- ance and Operations side of the budget) yen with the raises - that's how you buy apport from the staffand make it appear eing responsible to the taxpayer. But. put another way, across all funds, ~is year the school district will spend 1.1 million more than it takes in. Sound uniliar? They are preparing us: They may" have to raise the tax rate in the fu- are if property values do not "recover." Caste is abundant but they don't want ) look past a business as usual future ~xpayer bailout. (Former superintendentl Kirk London aid: "I don't know why anybody would e against these bonds [2008 bonds]. 'here is no tax rate increase." Running p to the bond election, they never isclosed their assumptions were based n even more property value increases. 'hey never said their assumptions were ased on balloon payments, paying atemst only on the bonds for 22 years. he short term interest of the "fat cats" verrode the future wellbeing of us all. ~re're learning all of this after the fact. Accountability has ceased to exist. Aminis~'ators easily discount counter ,oints of view with in-school early voting nd architect and developer-funded get- ut-the-school-parent-vote messaging. hey surround themselves with likemind- d people to protect their vested interest. is not about education- at all. Superintendents making well over 1,000/day can't relate to taxpayers and an achieve only fleeting non-sustainahle hort term success. That's why they never ray anywhere too long. This system has crowded out what is best for STUDENTS. A reckoning is coming. Bryce Bales Manchaca THANK OUR VETERANS This week. in observance of Veterans Day, communities nationwide will be hosting parades, ceremonies, and other events to honor and thank those men and women who have served our country in time ofwar. Surviving militaryveter- ans from all eras will be represented, as participants and honorees. It is fitting that we honor them and show respect for the sacrifices they have made. It is "also fitting that those events are supported by various patriotic organiza- tions, many of which are non-military. For example, this Friday's parade in Austin wi]linclude members of the Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, and Children of the American Revolution, where membership can be based on other service in the cause for independence. While it is not these groups' intent to "occupy" Austin, they do intend to show their patriotic pride in this country` One participant, Tom Ridpath, of Cedar Park, will be showing his gratitude to our veterans dressed as an ancestor of his who served this country during its very first war- Benjamin Franklin. Descended from Franklin's only daugh- ter. Sarah. affectionately called "Sally," Rid- path is a member of the Sons of the Ameri- can Revolution. Patrick Henry Chapter. Although Franklin did not serve in the military, he certainly played a significant role in securing our independence. David Allan Smith Buda COMMENTS FROM THE WEBSITE Geeze, it's not like we're look- ing to put in strip clubs, we're talking about restaurants where the citizens can go and have a couple of beers without having to get on 1-35 and be put in harms way! -Denise Rozier on "Night- clubs for Buda, Kyle on tap?" If you honestly think there are not drunk drivers on the roads today, you are sadly mistaken. The sad fact is, because these types of establishments are not locally available to our citizens, R means our residence have to drive a further distance to go have a beer and enjoy a good football game. Having a local sports bar, not only would bring additional revenues from the business, but would also make our com- munities safer and possibly spark additional new business such as taxi services or pubfic transit. - Rick on "Nightclubs for Buda, Kyle on tap?" wow with all of the talk about having to cut back, R would have been nice to have at/east 5.5 million in the general fund - donde11 on "County settles for 11% of missing guru's jail bond" MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. Co-Publishers Bob Barton and Cyndy Slovak-Barton Office Manager Connie Brewer business@haysfreepress.com NEWSROOM Editor Wee Ferguson wes@haysfreepress.com Staff Reporters Bean Kimmons Jonathan York School Reporter Jim Cullen Community Reporters Sandra Grizzle Myrtle Heideman Pauline Torn Brenda Stewart Sports Editor Jason Gordon Columnists Bob Barton Bartee Halle Phil Jones Clint Younts Donn Brooks John Young Brenda Stewart Proofreaders Jane Kirkharn Brenda Stewart ADVERTISING Tracy Mack tracy@haysfreepress.com CIRCULATION/CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfreepress.com Distribution Gigi Hayes Carolyn Harkins Pete Sizemore PRODUCTION Production Mgr. David White Assistant Designer Jorge J. Garcia Jr. Contact Us: HaysFreePress.com news@haysfreepress.com business~hayefreepress.com BUDA 512-295-9760 KYLE 512-268-7862 METROAUSTIN 512-262-6397 Fax: 268-0262 www.haysfreepress.com