Commentary

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.
Wed
17
Sep

School, police work together with threat

When children’s safety is in question, it seems information can never come quickly enough. But during last week’s bomb threat and subsequent evacuation at Fredericksburg High School, officials at Fredericksburg Independent School District, the Fredericksburg Police Department and first responders all worked hand-in-hand to calm fears as quickly as possible.

When a bomb threat is phoned in, chances are it’s a hoax, and, thankfully, it was in the case at FHS last week. But school officials and law enforcement must act quickly to secure areas in these days when domestic and foreign terrorism are real issues and schools are targets for disturbed individuals.

Wed
10
Sep

Finding a hat that's not kid-cringeworthy

By Richard Zowie

 

The last time I owned a cowboy hat was 31 years ago. My parents gave me a gray felt cowboy hat for Christmas when I was 10. Being new to Texas at the time, I felt too embarrassed to wear it to school and would only occasionally wear it at home.

In the rare times I’d wear it, I think I did so while acting out scenes from the prime-time drama “Dallas.” I was J.R. Ewing and enjoyed firing imaginary employees and hiding funds in imaginary dummy corporations.

I have an unusually-large head (now, a size-8 hat), so I soon outgrew the hat.

Finally, the opportunity came to get another cowboy hat. During Christmas 1991, my family and I played a White Elephant gift exchange game. I opened a gift and, sure enough, it was a cowboy hat.

I tried it on.

It fit.

I was very excited.

And then, it was a certain relative’s turn. Instead of going for a new gift, he took the hat from me.

Wed
10
Sep

Crime Stoppers works together for good of all

As the rains began to fall on Saturday night, the Crime Stoppers fundraiser at Pat’s Hall was in no danger of being canceled.

Even though the band and patrons had set up outside, once the skies opened, everyone pitched in to move tables and musical equipment to the interior. The party went on as our town got a needed soaking.

That teamwork exemplifies working together for the betterment of everyone, and that, in turn, sums up the Gillespie County Crime Stoppers organization. The group that takes anonymous tips to help deter crime is a low-cost, volunteer-intensive effort that pays huge dividends to our town.

Crime Stoppers programs around the U.S. are nonprofit organizations led by citizens against crime. Many Crime Stoppers programs, such as the one in Gillespie County, offer cash rewards of up to $2,500 to persons providing anonymous information that leads to the felony arrest of criminals and fugitives.

Wed
03
Sep

My sister a model for community papers

Maybe a celebrity’s sibling is used to seeing his sister on the cover of a magazine, but I was not. No, it wasn’t the staple through the navel kind of magazine feature. My sis, Kathy Cooke Martin, was the cover girl, along with our dad, on the front of Texas Co-op Power Magazine this month.

In an article titled “No Stopping the Presses,” Kathy and others point out that community newspapers are doing just fine, thank you, in spite of the doom and gloom you hear about the fate of our metropolitan brethren. (And we’ve heard all the same things since the advent of radio, television and the internet.) More about that later.

My sis is a strong woman. Where our father and grandfather steered the town’s paper through its good times, she has run the business and weathered our town’s challenging times. She, my dad, Editor Mike Brown and Kathy’s sports writer husband, along with a couple of other dedicated employees, have plowed ahead in the face of adversity.

Wed
03
Sep

Texans speak out for scenic highways

The message: “Don’t Mess with Texas Roadways.”

More than 900 Texans spoke out against a Texas Department of Transportation proposed rule change that would have allowed billboards along federal highways to be taller. After receiving the comments, TxDOT removed the item from consideration at its Aug. 28 Texas Transportation Commission agenda.

Thank you, Texans. There was zero cry for this rule change, except from the billboard industry. Texans, it seems, prefer scenic roadways around their diverse and beautiful state and not clutter provided by taller billboards.

We wrote against this change on July 9, joining a chorus of voices from around the state. In the Hill Country region, our voice was joined by the Gillespie County Economic Development Commission, the Hill Country Alliance, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the City of San Antonio and many others.

Wed
27
Aug

Who is Philo T. Farnsworth?

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the name Philo T. Farnsworth. It’s a rather unusual name for a man who invented something decades ago that’s extremely important here in the 21st Century.

His is a name that sounds like he’d would have been a college science professor. Well, that’s close.

Philo T. Farnsworth is the person who invented the first all-electronic television, an accomplishment that will forever endear me to him.

For me, the Farnsworth name is one I’ve fondly known about for quite a few years. I’ve enjoyed his invention for many years, and I plan to use it for as long as possible.

He came up with the idea of how to build the TV when he was in high school, a pet dream of his that he brought to fruition a few years later as an adult.

When Philo was about 12, he and his family moved from Utah to Idaho. It was at the “new” house that he gained much knowledge in the field of electronics and its practical applications to real life.

Wed
27
Aug

Some perspective on local wage study

People will get out of or read into what they wish when a study or data is released. But last week’s report on the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce jobs survey gives a look into our local employment picture.

It is a good sampling of local employers, but by no means a complete picture (and did not claim to be). The survey was sent to Chamber members, employers who are more engaged in their community and, frankly, more likely to support their employees better than most in the areas of pay and benefits. Ninety-one answered in a town that has hundreds of businesses.

The survey showed that the average wage for all industries was $15.23 an hour, a figure that would make many job-seekers jump.

Thu
21
Aug

Perry's faults many, but he's no criminal

EDITORIAL

Political moves embarrass state, further entrench dysfunction between parties

Some might say it was karma, but last week’s indictment against Texas Governor Rick Perry was unneeded and sideshow theater.

Perry was indicted by a special prosecutor for coercion and abuse of power by a Travis County grand jury for threatening to veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit. The PIU was looking into a case involving the Cancer Prevention Institute (whose creation Perry pushed).

But the funding veto threat seems to have been aimed at ousting a bad district attorney and suffered from bad timing, not criminal activity.  

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