Commentary

Wed
13
Nov

Proposed city ordinance means RV, vehicle owners need to find a space for them

By Ken Esten Cooke— Ask any visitor to town — and there are more than 1.2 million of them each year — and they’ll tell you they like Fredericksburg because it is a “clean, orderly” town. Junker vehicles and permanently stationed trailers, recreational vehicles and boats detract from that perception.

We find the mayor’s caution in “not wanting to create a city-wide homeowner’s association” refreshing, to paraphrase him from a recent meeting. Still, there is a fine line between balancing one person’s “property rights” or “liberty” with creating a neighborhood eyesore.

                The city is currently reviewing a proposed ordinance that would disallow the parking of recreational vehicles, trailers and boats without a proper surface or screening.

Wed
06
Nov

Teaching, tradition of hunting pay dividends

Lessons learned, land managed, business benefiteed: hunting important in many ways

By Ken Esten Cooke— Old-timers will remember when sacks were placed over parking meters in downtown Fredericksburg to welcome hunters during opening weekend. These were the days before visitors packed the streets every weekend to shop or attend the festival-of-the-week.

Today, hunters descend on Gillespie County for action on leased land or perhaps a family ranch. Yet in their days here, they do as much as any visitor to a winery to help our local economy.

Here at the paper, we usually receive a few scoffs for running deer photos, though that comes with the territory. But let there be no doubt, we think celebrating the milestone of a first buck on a family outing is worth noting.

Wed
06
Nov

Give school buses a break

By Ken Esten Cooke— It shouldn’t even need a reminder, but when a school bus is stopped with lights flashing or its driver’s-side stop sign out, motorists need to stop.

The Texas Department of Public Safety issued a reminder of the law that should have been engrained in us during high school driver’s education courses.

Drivers must stop — traveling in either direction — when approaching a school bus that is stopped and operating a visual signal. The driver should remain stopped until the bus resumes motion, the bus driver signals to proceed or the visual signal is no longer activated.

If the road is divided only by a left-turn lane, drivers on both sides of the roadway must stop for school buses with alternating red flashing lights activated. However, if the lanes are separated by a median or other physical barrier, only motorists going in the same direction are required to stop.

Wed
30
Oct

Penman's tale: Fiction writing is favorite hobby

By Richard Zowie —

 

My cousin Greg once saw a picture of me with my thick, dark-brown hair and Coke-bottle glasses. Greg, always the biggest joker among the infamous five Burris brothers, replied, “Rich, you look just like Stephen King!”

That headshot is probably where most of the resemblance ends: King is 6’4”, and I’m 5’8”.

However, both King and I love to write fiction. He’s had enormous success, and I’m hoping to someday.

So, after a period of limited inspiration, I have returned to one of my favorite hobbies: writing fiction.

I have written several unpublished horror stories, some of them might be published someday, and some probably not. Some have been thrown away because they are far too abysmal for even their sentimentality to save them.

Wed
30
Oct

Water issues: All need a seat at the table

Prop 6, other issues discussed about state's most precious resource

By Ken Esten Cooke—

Last Thursday’s Texas Water Symposium at Schreiner University in Kerrville brought up important water issues that go well beyond Proposition 6, the issue of the day in light of the pending Nov. 5 general election.

Proposition 6 is important, and we agree that its passage is a key part of the overall water picture in Texas. Among other things, Prop 6 will help small towns get affordable loans from the Texas Water Development Board at affordable rates. A town with only thousands or even hundreds of residents can’t afford to rip up and replace water lines that were laid nearly a century ago in some cases. And fixing municipal water leakage — up to 50 percent in some towns — is the easiest, cheapest water to find.

Wed
23
Oct

Tournament underscores this coach's commitment

Last weekend was one I wish I could have recorded on my DVR, so I could experience it all over. Perfect weather and a full slate of enjoyable tennis — and little work-related activity — made good for a breather. And Sunday evening’s slumber came easily after a lot of time on the tennis courts at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park.

A tip of the visor to Coach Randall King for putting together another smoothly run tournament in last weekend’s Dr Pepper Open. In the two years I’ve known Randall, I can say the kids who learn from him are fortunate to have him in their lives.

It is safe to say one of Randall’s mentors was Coach Paul Smith of Mason, whose talents I was exposed to from the other side of the net in team tennis. My senior year, we finished third in team tennis in Class 3A and under to Marble Falls and the ever-present Mason Punchers.

Wed
23
Oct

HCM Foundation Gala marks year of successes

Funds wil go toward new CT scanner at an 'America's Best Hospital'

By Ken Esten Cooke—

To be named “America’s Best” at anything is an achievement. Attendees and donors at Saturday’s Hill Country Memorial Hospital Foundation Gala XV can be sure their investments are being well spent.

Hill Country Memorial is coming off another week of national recognition, having received the 2013 Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s Best Hospitals for patient experience and its obstetrics offerings. HCM also was one of 20 small hospitals named in the Top 100 in the nation list by Truven Health Analytics, marking its second such distinction in a row. (Truven analyzes more than 3,000 hospitals around the nation.)

Wed
23
Oct

A toast to Texas wine

October is time to pay tribute to heritage, benefits of industry

By Ken Esten Cooke—

It is no secret, particularly in these parts, that wine is growing in popularity. Texas, and especially our little Eden here in the Hill Country, is benefitting from increased interest and the explosion of growth in the industry.

Our 30-plus wine facilities in the region draw visitors from all over the state and nation, and that is a boon for local retail merchants, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Even seemingly unrelated industries, like our antiques businesses, are benefitting from the growth in that shopper demographic. (See our story on the Business page.)

Wed
16
Oct

'Thanks, Uncle Sam' for my vacation shut down

A recent extended vacation back to my home state of North Carolina was certainly a mixed bag, but that tends to be the way things go sometimes, right?

My wife and I learned an important civics lesson during our trip — the recent shut-down of the federal government was not a pretty sight.

During our trip, we visited the Outer Banks area of the Tar Heel state. One check box on our bucket list was to visit some of the lighthouses that are found along what’s known as “The Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

We stopped at a local convenience store to get a tankful of gasoline and a couple of snacks before leaving for the closest lighthouses. When we asked the guy behind the counter for directions, he said that the Bodie (pronounced “body,” referring to all of the dead bodies that have washed ashore in the “Graveyard”) Island lighthouse was right down the road a few miles, with the always-popular Cape Hatteras lighthouse about 30 miles further on.

Wed
16
Oct

Learn about Texas vote with this guide

Issues facing state are important, and here are pro, con views

By Ken Esten Cooke— Included in this week’s edition of the Standard-Radio Post is a League of Women Voters of Texas Voters Guide. The supplement, published as a public service by this newspaper, outlines the nine propositions facing Texas voters in unbiased language and presents the arguments for and against each.

It is hoped that this guide will be useful for voters to read over, then make their choices and taken to the polls with them.

 

Voters also should be aware of new identification requirements passed by the state legislature. As outlined on the front of the guide, IDs like driver’s license or a new election identification certificate will be allowed, but not a student ID or an employer ID.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Commentary