Commentary

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.  

Thu
21
Aug

Gillespie County Fair: 126 years of festivities


Then, just as now, the grandstands at the fair grounds were crowded with visitors gathered to watch the horse races. Around the turn of the century, it was common for the women to sit upstairs in the stands, while the men gathered in the area beneath. Daily musical entertainment was provided by a band that played from the platform extending from the upper story. — Standard-Radio Post historical file photo

A sure sign that autumn is just around the corner arrives tomorrow when the 126th Gillespie County Fair gets underway for a four-day run at the fair grounds on Texas Highway 16 South.

The Gillespie County Fair is the oldest county fair in Texas. It’s hard to believe that this year’s exposition is already the 39th year for the event to be held at the “new” fair grounds dedicated during the nation’s bicentennial on July 4, 1976.
Probably one of the most-often-asked questions is why is the fair not called an “annual” event, such as … the 126th annual fair?

Looking back at history, during the “war years” of World War II, the fair was cancelled in 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945, and was resumed in 1946 when Fredericksburg celebrated its centennial.

Therefore, the fair is touted as the “oldest” and not “oldest annual” county fair in Texas.

Wed
13
Aug

Home is definitely where the heart is

By Richard Zowie —

It’s been one full year since I returned home after nearly nine years of “living abroad” in Michigan.

My sons and I made it in one piece to Fredericksburg on Aug. 7, 2013, despite getting lost briefly in Memphis.

Before long, it felt normal again to deal with the scorching summer heat, mild winters and, though I have yet to see one, scorpions.

I actually prefer cold weather, but I hate driving in it. Thank you, Great Lakes State, but you can have your icy roads, and your crazies who drive fast even in a blinding snowstorm. I don’t miss losing control of a car and sliding into a ditch.

Last Labor Day weekend, my sons and I traveled to Beeville to visit with my family and to see the hometown. That Saturday, I grew nostalgic and drove them all over Beeville to give them a tour.

Wed
13
Aug

Gillespie schools make the grades

State accountability ratings released Friday showed that Fredericksburg Independent School District’s students are in good hands.

Only two scores were given this year’s ratings from the Texas Education Agency: either “met the standard” or “improvement required.” These are rated on standardized testing (STAAR tests), student progress, closing performance gaps and “post-secondary readiness” or graduation statistics, such as how many enrolled in dual-credit courses or career tech.

Every FISD campus met the mark for academic performance. And while the legislature will consider the value and wisdom of constant standardized testing, we are proud that FISD has “made the grade” in every aspect. Harper ISD also met all standards, as did Doss Common Consolidated School District, so Gillespie public schools still give a value to parents and their child’s education.

Wed
13
Aug

Dark skies are important

We congratulate Enchanted Rock State Natural Area for receiving its Dark Sky Park designation by the International Dark Sky Association. It is an achievement that bears recognition, and we hope it spurs continued interest for municipal efforts.

Dark sky programs are important in that they keep our nights starry, but more than that, they save money through efficiency and lower costs. And when lights are pointed properly, they light better as less light is pointed skyward.

On a macro level, dark skies help us continue to dream and explore and realize we still are pioneers on the space frontier.

Congratulations to ERSNA and all who helped with the application. Dark skies are an important issue for us all.

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