Commentary

Thu
10
Oct

Are Miller and Fraser liberal?

Ridiculous statement by fringe group slights two solid legislators

 

By Ken Esten Cooke— We received a breathless mailer at the Standard-Radio Post offices asking “Did Doug Miller fight for your conservative values?” Then it answered its own question with a “NO!” in giant red letters.

The group making this claim is Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, run by the self-important Michael Quinn Sullivan, who has made even conservative legislators tired of him by insisting on a purity test and adherence to unrealistic expectations on his own ideas of the state budget.

Wed
02
Oct

Memorializing an MIA and two former POWs

By Richard Zowie— On Thursday, Sept. 26, I covered the POW/MIA remembrance ceremony here in Fredericksburg. Jack Ledford, whom I wrote about two weeks ago, spoke of his 555 days as a prisoner of war in the Korean War.

These ceremonies are always very emotional, when you consider the physical, psychological and emotional pain the survivors went through and when you wonder what happened to those still officially listed as Missing in Action.

At home, I have a bracelet of an MIA helicopter pilot, Chief Warrant Officer Frederick Cristman. His chopper — hit by enemy gunfire and losing transmission oil pressure —crashed in Laos on March 19, 1971.

When I was younger and very naïve, I thought perhaps he was still alive in a prison in Laos. Now, I believe it’s as simple as this: his remains have yet to be recovered. Most likely, he died immediately in the crash.

Wed
02
Oct

Questions about ACA? You are not alone

Love it or loathe it, 'Obamacare' signup is under way

By Ken Esten Cooke— Police patrol the streets, and if suspicious behavior or crime occurs in plain sight, officers do their jobs.

Other times, search warrants can be obtained and executed, if justified.

Records of our electronic communications, by definition, are not in plain sight. And simply making a phone call does not rise to the level of suspicious behavior.

This is what is so disturbing in the Obama administration’s latest overreach in the name of national security.

Wed
02
Oct

Way to go, Libby and FHS

By Ken Esten Cooke— Frequently, what we read about young people is less than flattering. We worry about them texting while driving or experimenting with the wrong things.

But on Friday night, students and fellow nominees shone brightly as the sun when they crowned Libby Klein, a 19-year-old senior born with Down syndrome, as the FHS Homecoming Queen.

The good feelings made by this gesture have resonated throughout Central Texas as word has gotten out about Klein and our local students’ classy gesture. Other homecoming queen nominees gave their votes to Klein in a selfless act.

Everyone who was present at the halftime of the FHS-Llano football game likely teared up when Klein’s name was announced. It was a special moment to witness. And football player Lane Williams is to be commended for escorting the burgundy dress-class Klein onto the field.

Wed
25
Sep

A posthumous tribute to town's Renaissance man


Kenn Knopp

By Ken Esten Cooke— Having been here less than two years, there are few local gentlemen who have moved on to the afterlife that I wish I had gotten to know, or at least know better. My predecessor in this job, Art Kowert, was, by any measure, a heck of a community newspaper man. I would have loved to have bent his ear about how this town came to make such great strides.

Hans Hannemann was another, and by all accounts, had his hand in the development of so much of what makes Fredericksburg successful.

Another was Kenn Knopp. Though I got to meet Kenn and had a few conversations with him, I only got to know him as his health deteriorated. Still, the mark he made on this community and beyond was substantial.

Wed
25
Sep

Time to put Main Street ahead of Wall Street

Job growth, tax policies, education opportunity key to leveling playing field

This editorial ran in the Sept. 20 Dallas Morning News.

Two years ago, Occupy Wall Street grabbed headlines with street corner protests and sit-ins against wealth and income inequality. Even if their strategies were wrong, they got some stuff right.

Every American should be greatly disturbed that income and wealth gaps are the largest since the Roaring Twenties. It’s time for Washington policymakers to focus on solutions instead of partisan polemics. Smart regulation, better tax policies, education, functioning free markets and access to economic opportunity are the answers, not Robin Hood policies of income redistribution.

Wed
25
Sep

Welcome, Ranger Center

By Ken Esten Cooke— Fredericksburg is envied by other municipalities for its attractions, from retail stores, to wineries, to museums and more.

On Tuesday, ground was broken on the Texas Rangers Heritage Center. The new $12 million facility will offer one more attraction for visitors who are taken by the Texas Hill Country, and those interested in learning more about its history.

Last week, the Standard-Radio Post ran a list of Gillespie County residents who had served in the Rangers during the 1800s, during this area’s nascent days of settlement. Many younger residents can barely fathom the hardships faced by the settlers in this new land, and the Texas Rangers were called to help protect these early families who were striking out to carve out a better life. With little protection other than their own personal weapons, the help was appreciated by settlers. Fredericksburg’s German settlers negotiated a peace treaty.

Wed
18
Sep

Thanks, 'Dr. Marc'


Dr. Marc Williamson

Williamson will leave district in solid position academically, financially

By Ken Esten Cooke— To say that stability and tenure in leadership positions benefits an organization is a huge understatement.

In light of his announced retirement, we thank Dr. Marc Williamson — or simply, “Dr. Marc” to his staff — for 16 years of guidance and expertise in leading the Fredericksburg Independent School District.

Williamson will leave after the fall semester, another decision that will benefit the district as his successor can get to know the staff and have input on the next year’s budget.

Wed
18
Sep

Would it be better if we could control the weather?

“Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” — Mark Twain, American humorist

If we could heed Mr. Twain’s complaint, would we be any better off? If we could control the weather, would this be a better world?

Current technology and our understanding of meteorology haven’t let us control this phase of our lives with any meaningful certainty. We’re no better off today in trying to tinker with the weather than we were back in Ben Franklin’s day. But, in a way, maybe that’s a good thing.

Our meteorologists might have a better handle on when storms are coming or when the temperatures might dip below freezing. But as far as actually controlling the atmospheric conditions, we pretty much still are back to Square One.

Wed
18
Sep

'It's not easy being green'

By Ken Esten Cooke— Two events in September can help raise our awareness of the environmental challenges that everyone in the nation faces.

Saturday’s Sustainable Homes Tour, sponsored by Fredericksburg SHINES, saw nine homeowners open their doors for people to look at a variety of green building initiatives, from simple recycling bins and rainwater catchment systems, to solar panel and advanced green building techniques. While only in its first year, the event showcased what locals are doing to use less energy and save water — laudable goals in most any corner.

The 13th Annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair will be held Sept. 27-29 at Marktplatz and will showcase the latest in green initiatives. It’s a great place to learn more, if you’re already up on the subject, or start your education, if you are not.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Commentary