Commentary

Wed
23
Jul

Up Cross Mountain in their Sunday best


A view of Fredericksburg from Cross Mountain, circa 1918. — Photo courtesy Geistweidt family

Family photo album shows slice of life in early 1900s

"TIME PIECES" - By Sherrie Geistweidt— There’s an old expression that every photo is worth a thousand words.

If there’s any truth to that adage, then an old family al-bum compiled by my grandmother Geistweidt’s family is worth hundreds of thousands of words.

Worn by years of use, that album is filled with pictures taken by my great-grandparents and show their children the life and times in the Texas Hill Country in the late-teens and early-1920s.

Wed
23
Jul

Golf course study shows it's an asset

Economic impact tabbed at $8 million-plus annually for renovated facility

By Ken Esten Cooke— The Lower Colorado River Authority’s Community and Economic Development department had good news last week for pros and duffers alike: The Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park Golf Course boosts the city by more than $8 million a year.

Seeing as there is a group that views any government spending as bad, this study should validate that the golf course and its recent renovation have been worthy investments.

We opined last year to give the golf course time and let the new pro Alan Wooley use his management skills. Wooley recently told the Standard-Radio Post that new tournaments have been added to the Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course schedule that will bring in even more visitors.

Wed
23
Jul

Low juror turnout a problem

Jury duty is a privilege that often inspires dread.

For many, the only thing worse than a bill in the mail is a jury summons, and the first instinct is to seek some way to get out of it. That mind-set needs to change or it could undermine our court system.

Some Texas counties report that as many as 80 percent of those summoned for jury duty report to the courthouse, according to a recent study released by Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. But for others, it’s less than 50 percent.

Jury summonses are mailed almost every week. Some are undeliverable because the addresses, culled from Texas Department of Public Safety and voter registration records, were invalid. Some potential jurors are excused or disqualified from jury service after providing documentation showing they are not U.S. citizens, are attending school or other exemption.

Potential jurors who ignore a call to service can end up in jail or be fined.

Wed
16
Jul

Better to watch soccer than golf, poker, auto racing

I’m not a huge soccer fan, but it’s fun to watch the World Cup.

Whenever the World Cup is played, I have my two favorite teams: America and Germany. It’s especially interesting when they’re in the same initial group.

As always, when the quadrennial world championship of soccer is played, two predictable questions arise here in America:

Will they ever create an Academy Award for soccer to recognize those who react as if shot with a .44 Magnum whenever an opponent barely touches them?

Both for soccer and the NBA. I’d suggest Best Flop, Best Supporting Flop, Best Choreographed Flop and Best Costume While Flopping.

Why is soccer so boring?

Famous sports talk show host Jim Rome has said he doesn’t talk soccer on his program because soccer’s not a real sport. Many Americans would agree with him.

Wed
16
Jul

City wise to pursue east side annexation

Kudos to city planners to thinking of this town’s image and its future.

Last week’s announcement that the city would pursue the annexation of more than 144 acres beyond its eastern city limits shows foresight and thoughtful planning.

The reasons for annexation are many. This will provide the potential for city services to be extended to those properties. It will increase the city’s tax base, enlarging the pool for base revenue. And, perhaps most importantly, it will help control growth at the busiest entrance into town.

Some property owners request annexation, as they prefer the city to handle utilities and don’t mind the cost associated with extending services. Fredericksburg’s most recent annexation was 15 acres in the Stoneridge subdivision, where 33 lots may house many future residents.

Yet annexing private property can be a touchy issue, particularly with owners who might not want it.

Wed
09
Jul

Taller billboards not a necessity in Texas

Part of the reason the Hill Country’s beautiful scenery is so revered is that its hills, brush and limestone are not covered up with advertisements.

Imagine taking a drive on the Willow City Loop during wildflower season, and having the setting interrupted with the latest promotional messages about fast food or cell phones.

The Texas Department of Transportation is considering proposed rule changes that would permit the height of billboards along federal highways to be increased 35 percent, unless they are located within a city having stricter standards.

A group called Scenic Texas opposes the rule, as it serves no public purpose. We agree. We feel like the industry is seeing an opening in rural areas where clearly written, enforceable standards have not been established. (Indeed, many towns do not have defined standards.)

Wed
09
Jul

Showing off our town on the Fourth of July

By Ken Esten Cooke —

Our big-city friends got a taste of small-town Americana last weekend. We invited Gus and Rochelle Gonzales to pack up their two boys, escape the big city of Austin and experience Fredericksburg.

My wife, Christine, and Rochelle had met in the mid-1990s while working at Hispanic and Moderna magazines. Gus and Rochelle had just begun dating, and Gus came to a party in his Navy whites. He had just left the service after being stationed in both San Diego and Norfolk. We attended their wedding a few years later, where Gus sang the Mexican love ballad “Sabor a Mi” to his bride and, to show his humorous side, had an ice sculpture of Batman.

Wed
02
Jul

Remembering famous births, deaths on July 4

July Fourth — commonly known as America’s birthday — is just around the corner. Of course, that’s when we Americans celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and breaking ties with Great Britain.

Question: Do they have a July 4th in England?

Answer: Yes they do; it’s on their calendar, too! They just don’t celebrate the significance of the day as we do.)

“I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, born on the Fourth of July” are the lyrics from a popular George M. Cohan song. What’s more patriotic than to have come into this world on July 4?

Not much, I’d say.

In 1872, America’s 30th president, “Silent” Calvin Coolidge was born.

Then, in the year 1902, an actor-turned-politician (no, not Ronald Reagan or Arnold Schwarznegger) was delivered. In this case, it was George Murphy, a film song-and-dance man who also served the people of California in the U.S. Senate from 1965-1971.

Wed
02
Jul

Public right to know a worthwhile agenda

Texas Press Association honors those who carry open government flag

By Ken Esten Cooke— Last week’s Texas Press Association convention in Corpus Christi served as a reminder to elected officials that We the People own the government. The reminder didn’t take the negative tone of a warning or a threat, but of positive reinforcement in recognizing four of those elected officials who defended the people’s right to a free flow of their information.

Wed
02
Jul

Longtime employees serve us well

By Ken Esten Cooke– With last week’s editorial about the challenges of finding good employees in a worker-short market, I am thankful to come to work every day and know I have a solid, reliable and experienced staff in the office.

At our recent summer company picnic, we recognized employees who hit five-year milestones here. Those serving 20 years were given some extra special recognition, and I want to post some brags about them as well.

Steven Cornehl has been with Fredericksburg Publishing Company (Pubco) for 20 years. Steven handles our “back shop” where he orchestrates the organization, insertion and delivery of all the sections and inserts in the paper each week.

You can hear Steven making proclamations in German a lot of days, including, “Ist Zeit für ein Bier,” which he told me means, “I love my job.”

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