Commentary

Wed
13
Sep

State Capital HIGHLIGHTS

By Ed Sterling

Texas begins long march toward recovery from Hurricane Harvey

AUSTIN — As contaminated waters receded and mountains of debris from flooded homes and ruined belongings grew last week, a picture of post-hurricane Texas developed and the process of weighing impacts to lives, property and infrastructure began.

Gov. Greg Abbott delivered a series of announcements and proclamations related to catastrophic flooding and wind damage brought by Hurricane Harvey to more than 50 Gulf Coast and inland counties in late August and early September.

 

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Wed
06
Sep

State Capital HIGHLIGHTS

By  Ed Sterling

 

Flood-related suffering, relief efforts grow in Harvey’s wake AUSTIN — Emergency relief operations expanded and intensified last week as floodwaters caused by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey-generated rains inundated and overwhelmed Harris County and dozens of other stricken counties.

 

While damage estimates continue to increase, at least 45,000 people have moved to public shelters, more than 100,000 homes have been destroyed and the death toll is rising.

 

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Sat
02
Sep

‘Greasy Spoon’ Lingo…

Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury 

They were called “greasy spoons,” those folksy diners of yesteryear. Printed menus were limited, but waitpersons had their slang menu “down pat.” The one I remember best had a single line of stools, and patrons typically waited in outdoor lines for weekday “lunch runs.”

Admittedly, I’ve already used this week’s quota of quotation marks, but strong in my memory is how the “waitperson” yelled food orders to the nearby cook, who had to be “quick on the uptake” of verbal orders.

The system has given way to numbers, and this is regrettable. Numbers can include various cadences, of course, but words can sing, rhyme and humor, sometimes all in the same food order….

 

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Wed
30
Aug

Hurricane Harvey assaults coast, then batters inland counties

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Hurricane Harvey slammed the middle Texas coast on Aug. 25, hammering the region from Rockport to Palacios before continuing inland as a tropical storm and causing widespread catastrophic flooding.

With wind speeds in excess of 130 miles per hour before landfall at Rockport, the National Hurricane Center in Miami gave the storm a rating of Category 4. As rains and flooding worsened, Harvey was widely reportedly to be the strongest hurricane to hit Texas since Carla in 1961.

Before the storm hit, Gov. Greg Abbott requested and received a presidential disaster declaration, receiving approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The declaration cleared the way for individual assistance, public assistance and hazard mitigation to communities in affected counties, where high winds, torrential rains, flooding, tornadoes, power outages and more weatherrelated troubles affected millions of Texans.

 

Sat
26
Aug

How’s That Again?...

By Dr. Don Newbury

 

It hit with the impact of “breaking news”—the kind that smacks us in the face on the front end of most newscasts. I felt faint—and my cell phone “clammy”—as my Uncle Mort’s words seared my brain.

 

“I’m going to be okay, nephew,” he said. “But Maude had to take me to the emergency clinic today, right after I rolled a joint.” Rolled a joint? My 105-yearold uncle? No way….

 

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Wed
23
Aug

A Cup of Joe...

By Joe Gonzales

Well, Tuesday was the day.
What am I talking about?
Tuesday, Aug. 22nd, was one year to the day since I began working out and trying to become a healthier Joe Gonzales.
One year ago on that day, I had hit my breaking point.
I decided enough was enough. It was time for a change.
At the time, I weighed 262 lbs., and I wasn’t happy.
I had no energy, no confidence and most of all, I felt terrible.
I remember sitting at my desk and my jeans being so tight.
I felt miserable.
One morning, I knew it was time to work.
A voice in my head, and I know it was God, said to me, “Get up and get to work Joe!”
I did.
I went to Snap Fitness.
I still remember how I felt the first morning I ran on the treadmill. I did five minutes and thought I was going to die. It was horrible, but I kept pushing.

Sat
19
Aug

A Cup of Joe...

By Joe Gonzales

Okay, folks, or just those who still don’t understand.

Repeat after me.

“The water rate increase has nothing to do with the construction of the city pool.”

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Wed
16
Aug

Abbott signs 3 bills with few likely to reach his desk in final week

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Three bills reached Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk last week, with the 30-day special session of the Texas Legislature set to expire Aug. 16.

Abbott signed all three into law on Aug. 11:

— Senate Bill 5, increasing criminal penalties for voter fraud, by Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and sponsored in the House by Dan Huberty, RKingwood;

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Sat
12
Aug

A Cup of Joe...

By Joe Gonzales

 

Well, it’s done. All three kids are registered and ready for a new year of school. This past Wednesday, I took on the task of getting the kids ready for school. In the past,

Jessica has always done this, but I decided to stepup and help her this year. “How hard could it be?” Yeah, she can have it back next year! Jessica tried to get the day off Wednesday to register the kids, but was unsuccessful.

That’s when SUPER DAD stepped in and said he’d do it!

 

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Sat
12
Aug

State Capital HIGHLIGHTS

By Ed Sterling

 

House passes bills to give retired teachers relief from rising costs AUSTIN – The Texas House on Aug. 1 approved House Bill 20, legislation appropriating $212.7 million from the “rainy day” reserve fund to help defray rising healthcare costs for retired school employees.

Primary authors of HB 20 include: Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin; Drew Darby, R-San Angelo; Gary VanDeaver, R-New Boston; John Zerwas, R-Katy; and Donna Howard, D-Austin.

The House also approved HB 80, legislation that through the Teacher Retirement System of Texas would make a one-time cost-of-living adjustment to the retirement benefits paid to certain retirees, disability retirees and survivors. To be eligible for the increase, the annuitant must have retired between Aug. 31, 2004 and Aug. 31, 2015.

 

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