Commentary

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.
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.

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