Commentary

Wed
18
Jul

State Capital HIGHLIGHTS

By Ed Sterling

Governor welcomes establishment of Futures Command in Austin

AUSTIN — The U.S. Army on July 12 announced its new Futures Command would be headquartered in Austin “to better partner with academia, industry and innovators in the private sector, while providing a good and affordable quality of life for Futures Command personnel.”

After the announcement, Gov. Greg Abbott said the state of Texas “is proud to partner with the U.S. Army in establishing the Futures Command to harness the cutting-edge technologies needed to build an innovative, researchbased foundation for our national defense.”

 

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Sat
07
Jul

Rain on Priceline Parade…

by Dr. Don Newbury

The fingers of one hand are more than enough to count the disparaging columns I’ve written about online purchases that I feel warrant “red alert” warnings.

There’s a current issue, however—intended to be a “let-thebuyer- beware” suggestion— that could save travelers both money and grief.

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Wed
04
Jul

U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of Texas redistricting maps

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — The United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 on June 25 to approve 10 of 11 disputed Texas House and congressional redistricting maps used in the state’s 2014 and 2016 elections. The court ruled that only Texas House District 90 in Fort Worth was gerrymandered along racial lines and therefore must be redrawn.

Except for the case of HD-90, the high court reversed findings issued by a three-judge panel of a San Antonio U.S. District Court in two cases known as Abbott v. Perez. Plaintiffs argued that Texas legislators intentionally gerrymandered certain districts to dilute the voting power of Hispanics and blacks, and in doing so violated the federal Voting Rights Act.

 

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Sat
30
Jun

Can You Spare a Bible?…

By Dr. Don Newbury

She’s persuasive without being pushy, soliciting Bibles with resolve like the late Clara Peller. You’ll recall how Clara continually questioned, “Where’s the beef?” in Wendy’s long-ago hamburger commercials.

The comparison to Peller ends with “resolve,” however. Dallas’ Jo Witte—staring 90 in the face—isn’t seeking fame or fortune.

 

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Wed
27
Jun

State Capital HIGHLIGHTS

By Ed Sterling

 

Parents, children separated at border gain widespread attention AUSTIN — Although bordercrossing issues are largely federal matters, the Lone Star State has been a center of news reports about authorities separating children from their parents at detention centers along the Rio Grande. President Trump on June 20 ordered a cease in the forced separation of family members who are in detention, but the fate of more than 2,000 minors who were taken away from their parents remained unresolved. On June 21, a contingency of the non-partisan

 

United States Conference of Mayors, including Austin Mayor Steve Adler, gathered at a border detention center in Tornillo, near El Paso. The mayors were not allowed to enter the facility where children reportedly were being held.

 

Wed
20
Jun

A Cup of Joe...

By Joe Gonzales

You ever have a moment that you just want to freeze in time and hope it never goes away?

Well, last week during our vacation, I had a lot of those, but one stood out over the rest.

It was day two in San Antonio, and we had just returned from walking the River Walk.

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Wed
20
Jun

Senate panel conducts hearings on school violence, safety

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — A panel of Texas Senate members on June 11 and 12 received input about ways to improve security on public school campuses.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate, formed the legislative body’s Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Safety following the May shooting at Santa Fe High School in which a student shot and killed 10 people and injured 10 others.

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Wed
13
Jun

Top officials join in briefing about hurricane preparedness

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 6 joined President Donald Trump, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, FEMA Administrator Brock Long, White House cabinet members and governors from across the country for a video teleconference briefing on hurricane preparedness.

Along with Abbott in Austin were officials from various state agencies that oversee emergency response. The briefing was held to review lessons learned after the 2017 hurricane season. FEMA provided an overview of evacuation zones, clearance times, decision timelines, forecast uncertainty, responsible decision makers and public messaging.

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Sat
09
Jun

Marriage Vows in Concrete…

Dr. Don Newbury

I want it clearly understood up front. My wife and I would invite my Uncle Mort and Aunt Maude to church again if they ever visit on a Sunday.

We both wish—as does Maude—that Mort’s“monetaryitis” dominating his adult life would loosen its grip on the Lord’s Day.

He may—or may not—remember what the preacher said, but his antenna went straight up when he overheard four ladies discussing their upcoming 65th wedding anniversaries. Yes, four couples—all in the same Sunday school class—exchanged vows in the summer of 1953.

 

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Wed
06
Jun

Governor offers safety plan designed to prevent shootings at schools

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on May 30 joined state and local leaders in Dallas and San Marcos to unveil his School and Firearm Safety Action Plan.

The governor’s plan came 12 days after the Santa Fe High School shooting in which 10 people were killed and 10 people were injured. It contains 40 recommendations, including proposals that call for:

— Increasing law enforcement presence at schools;

 

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