Commentary

Wed
22
Oct

Game is the same, but delivery is different

The last several weeks, there’s been no shortage of baseball on television as the Major League Baseball playoffs to determine who will be in the 2014 World Series have been broadcast each day.

And while I do not have the time to keep up with baseball during the course of the year, I’m trying to set time aside to watch the World Series which began last night when the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants met in the first game of the seven-game series.

So that I would be more knowledgeable about the two teams vying for this year’s crown, I went surfing on the Internet to learn the latest about the Royals and the Giants, and to my surprise, there were over 61 million options from which to choose.

I learned that the 2014 World Series will be the 110th time for Major League Baseball’s championship series, with this year’s teams being the National League champion San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals representing the American League.

Wed
22
Oct

Competency is key in comptroller's race

Who would you rather have farming your fields - a farmer or a Certified Public Accountant? Surely, a farmer. Now who would you rather have taking care of the state’s comptroller office - a farmer or a CPA? That’s the choice voters have this year.

About the biggest thing working against Mike Collier, the CPA who stopped by the Standard-Radio Post offices last week, is that he has a “D” by his name. Disgusted with the tone of politics, Collier (and a lot of other Texans) have switched parties. The former Republican is taking a chance that voters will be more concerned with competency than party affiliation.

The state comptroller’s office, like the land commissioner’s job, has come to be seen as a stepping stone by some politicians. We paid the price for that during the 82nd Legislature, when Susan Combs’ bad forecasting resulted in $5.4 billion in cuts to education and the layoffs of 11,700 teachers across the state.

 

Wed
15
Oct

With a new accent, a Texan turns British

By Richard Zowie

 

When it comes to speaking in different accents, some people can be described in two succinct words: brilliantly talented.

The late Robin Williams could speak a variety of foreign accents flawlessly. So can British actors Gary Oldman, Joely Richardson and Richardson’s mother, Vanessa Redgrave. You know a person’s accent is convincing when you hear them in an interview using their natural accent, and you can’t believe it’s them at first.

If I were to compile a list of Fredericksburg Theater Company actors who are excellent with accents, at the very top would be Dawn Hahn.

Hahn plays Madame Arcati in the FTC production of the English comedy “Blithe Spirit.” (She previously played Grandma Kurnitz in “Lost in Yonkers.”)

Arcati leads a séance that results in the manifestation of the ghost of Elvira Condomine, the deceased wife of Charles Condomine.

Wed
15
Oct

Cyber security is a shared responsibility

Target. Home Depot. JP Morgan Chase.

These are just three big names in a list of more than 1,000 businesses attacked by hackers using point-of-sale malware or server attacks to get customer credit card or file information.

But much of our lives is consumed by online activities — we use the Internet at work, at home, shopping for products and even swiping our credit card on Main Street or at the grocery store. But that constant online connection brings increased risk of theft, fraud and abuse. No country, industry or individual is immune to risks. As a nation, we face constant threats against our critical infrastructure and economy. As individuals, these risks can threaten our finances, our identity and our privacy.

Wed
08
Oct

A new app, and a new site promote the town

It’s National Newspaper Week, so I’d like to give you an update on some projects we’ve been working on here at the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post.

Our advertising director Kimberly Jung and I attended the National Newspaper Association Convention and Trade Show last weekend at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio. There, we met lots of talented newspaper folks from around the country, shared ideas and inspiration and treated visitors to some Texas hospitality. It is great to be around so many who are passionate about their jobs and this medium.

For all the bad press metropolitan newspapers get, community papers still are the most frequently used medium — providing information that is better-retained than television, radio or social media, and still serving up ads to customers who are “ready to buy today,” according to Entrepreneur.com.

Wed
01
Oct

A 'strong town' that has done things right

There are reasons Fredericksburg has been successful in growing and becoming a visitor destination. Some reasons are easy to identify, such as a proud heritage, cleanliness and a variety of businesses and recreational attractions.

Others, though, are harder to see to the layman. But last week’s Hill Country Alliance Leadership Summit keynote talk by engineer and planner Chuck Marohn gave some food for thought that validated this town’s slow but steady growth.

Marohn is an expert in small towns. He has studied their development and written a book, “Thoughts on Building Strong Towns.” His is a view you don’t hear every day either, as small towns jockey and compete for businesses and jobs.

Wed
01
Oct

Good Samaritan Center’s faith

Who would have envisioned that The Good Samaritan Center would have developed into what it has today?

What began as a dream of Sara Allerkamp has grown into an amazing facility where workers and volunteers have a mission to give back and serve the area’s needy. That is due to much prayer, volunteer service by doctors and dentists, smart decisions by its board and no small amount of elbow grease, blood, sweat and tears.

Now the center, located at 140 Industrial Loop, has added a Community Health Worker program. The new worker will actively seek out patients who need its clinic and other services.

With the ever-rising cost of healthcare and Texas’ huge number of uninsured patients, the center and its volunteers are an important resource for the area’s needy. These days, the center’s reliance on donors to fund its mission, as opposed to creating more government assistance, is both unusual and indicative of the generosity of spirit of many in our community.

Wed
24
Sep

I'm puzzled about those obscure words

What’s a nine-letter word for “puzzle that’s been a good friend for years?”

Oh, yeah; the answer is “crossword.”

For as long as I’ve been looking at newspapers I’ve enjoyed attempting to solve the various puzzles, primarily those of the crossword variety.

While there’s often been a note of frustration involved with this hobby, there’s also been the reward of not only coming up with the right answers but also learning new words and/or new meanings.

For example, a recent puzzle contained the clue “bar dance” for a five-letter word beginning with ‘L.’ I scratched my head for a couple of minutes, trying to come up with a dance a person might do in a bar. I thought of such possible answers as “line” (not enough letters) and “lambada” (too many letters for this forbidden dance).

I then readjusted my thinking and, in a few minutes, came up with the real answer, “limbo.”

Wed
24
Sep

The fine line between discipline and abuse

A sports star has been in the public eye in the past two weeks for abuse allegations. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, one of the best in the history of the game, was indicted for negligent injury to his four-year-old son.

Hopefully, we can use this situation to learn more about what it means to be a good parent.

In rearing children, there seem to be two camps: “spare the rod, spoil the child,” and “no spanking, a time out works.” Those who advocate the first are criticized for actions that sometimes elevate to abuse instead of discipline. The second group is criticized for not punishing bad deeds and leading to a repeat of those actions.

But both camps have the desire to raise well-adjusted children who are ready to go out into the world. Both have a desire to “get it right” and fear sending spoiled children out into the world.

Wed
17
Sep

For '64 school project, third time a charm

For many it may seem like it was just yesterday, but 50 years ago this week, the “new” Fredericksburg High School campus was dedicated.
A large crowd gathered Sunday afternoon, Sept.  27, 1964, to celebrate the completion of a project that had been five years in the making.
The drive to construct a new high school campus began back as far as 1959 when a group of citizens in the Fredericksburg Independent School District realized that existing facilities on the now Fredericksburg Middle School campus would prove inadequate before long on the basis of the area’s continual growth.

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