Commentary

Thu
31
Jan
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Senate Finance panel starts work on state budget

BY ED STERLING, TEXAS PRESS ASSOCIATION

AUSTIN — Jane Nelson, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, on Jan. 22 said she would follow an aggressive agenda to deliver a budget ready for floor debate by the end of February.

“There are a lot of things this committee and the full Senate will decide to add, subtract, change, before we actually recommend out of this committee a budget,” she said. At the top of the list are school finance and property tax relief.

Nelson, R-Flower Mound, has chaired the powerful committee for three consecutive sessions. On Jan. 15, Nelson filed Senate Bill 1, a base budget for the 2020-2021 biennium, and scheduled daily meetings for the panel to consider the particulars that go into a document that typically exceeds 1,000 pages in length.

Thu
24
Jan
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2 Cents Worth

By Carol Greenway -Holland

Joe and I made it home Saturday evening about 4:00 and we were glad to be home, We had indented to stay over night in the hill country somewhere and we got on that road and Joe said, "Let's just go home!!!!' When we got here we got a nice surprise my youngest son, Lance, was waiting for us and he helped us unload that pickup. I told him just to put it in the third bedroom, and I'd get it put up sometime this week, I was give out.

We enjoyed our stay, the dolphins are so fun to watch escorting the old big ships down the channel, and I mean Friday they were coming down that channel just like it was a highway. One of them came on in without the piolet boat loading our man on, so I'm sure they got in a heap of trouble, but we got to see them lower the ladder down and our American piolet get on the ship,.

Thu
24
Jan
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Faces & Places

BY MEG GRUBEN

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” ~ Thumper

If its simple enough for a rabbit to understand, why can’t we human beings with such elaborate and wonderful brains figure it out?

When I was a kid growing up in Hot Springs, Arkansas (Go Razorbacks!). Sorry, I kind of got carried away for a moment. We kids’ played outside all day until we heard a voice calling our name followed by the word “supper.” If you didn’t get your call, you ran with the one who got theirs. Everybody was as poor as Job’s turkey and sometimes you got turned away. Now Job probably never saw a turkey, but the saying means if he did have one, it probably only had one feather and had to lean against a fence post to gobble. And get this, if you did something wrong and another parent saw you do it, your parents would know about it before you got home.

Thu
10
Jan
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Faces & Places

“Silence, too, can be torture.” ~ Justina Chen Headley

I’ve about had all I can stand and can no longer be silent. It’s the same feeling I get in my stomach if I drink cow’s milk and the lactose intolerant gene gets activated. Is it just me or is about half of America so anxious and emotionally bankrupt that we must take our animals to movies, shopping, church and every place we go?

Thu
10
Jan
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The Texas Country Music Hall of Fame

Tommie Ritter Smith of Carthage is kin to legendary country musician Tex Ritter. “Tex and my dad were first cousins,” says Tommie. “Their dads were brothers.” Tommie has been the chamber exec in Carthage since 1982. Her office is in a historic old antebellum home. In the early 1990s Tommie got the idea to start the Tex Ritter Museum upstairs in the chamber building. She gathered a lot of Tex’s memorabilia and put it on display. Tex was born in Panola County. So was Jim Reeves, another giant in country music. “We think we’re the only county that can lay claim to being the birthplace of two country music hall of famers and international country music stars.” So some Jim Reeves memorabilia was added to the Tex Ritter items.

Fri
04
Jan
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Faces & Places

“Life is like a ten-speed bicycle…some of us have gears we never use.” ~ Linus

Congratulations! We made it through another year, the old is gone and behold, the new year is waving and inviting us to the dance. Get up, dress up and show up. Forget the mistakes you made, forgive yourself and start over. Mistakes and failure make us stronger and wiser. Here’s the good news: For some reason unknown to any of us, the Creator has decided we are worth another chance and has provided us 365 blank pages, pens, and pencils, or whatever we need to write a new chapter in our lives. I like it!

If you haven’t figured out that I love quotes, I’m about to tell you that I do. Quotes and affirmations are powerful. They are the wind that pushes our little sailboats through the choppy waters, those days when it’s all you can do to put one foot in front of the other.

Fri
04
Jan
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Daffodils and Crepe Myrtles

When Donna Albus threw her hat in the ring for the Abilene City Council, she announced her candidacy in a leather shop owned by her son. She is a flamboyant woman who wears outrageous hats and clothes that give the appearance she’s always in costume. She is known as Abilene’s biggest cheerleader and two years ago was voted Abilene’s Citizen of the year. She has won the Mrs. LBJ Award for environmental and community involvement and is past president of Keep Texas Beautiful. She has worked on several preservation and clean up projects in Abilene.

If you haven’t been to Abilene lately you need to go. The city has become a garden spot filled with art. The city has several parks, museums, theaters, a zoo, downtown murals, a philharmonic orchestra and other attractions. It is home to Dyess Air Force Base and three universities.

Fri
28
Dec
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Whitley succeeds Pablos as Texas secretary of state

BY ED STERLING

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Dec. 17 announced the appointment of David Whitley as Texas’ 112th secretary of state. In his new role, Whitley will act as Texas’ chief elections officer, as protocol officer for state and international affairs, and will serve as liaison for the governor on Mexico and border affairs. Whitley’s appointment fills the vacancy left by outgoing Secretary of State Rolando Pablos, who served in the post for two years.

“David has been an invaluable member of my administration for over a decade, both in my time as attorney general and during the entirety of my first term as governor,” Abbott said. “He has a keen understanding of the election process, and has served as a top advisor for international relations within the Office of the Governor. I am confident that in his new role as secretary of state, David will continue to safeguard the integrity of our elections and maintain Texas’ standing on the international stage.”

Fri
21
Dec
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Texas’ top lawyer cheers court ruling against Obamacare

AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded a Dec. 14 Fort Worth federal district court decision declaring unconstitutional the U.S.

Affordable Care

Act, widely known as “Obamacare.”

Ten months ago, Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel led a 20-state coalition lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law, arguing that Congress rendered all of Obamacare unconstitutional by doing away with the tax penalty in Obamacare’s individual mandate when it enacted President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul.

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Fri
21
Dec
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2019 and the Status Quo

Essays from West of 98

Today, I’m thinking about 2019. I know it’s still several days away and we’ve all got lots of things to do between now and then (boy do I ever). But as 2018 draws to a close, I think it’s important to reflect on the year that has passed and the year to come.

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