Columns/Opinions

Thu
16
Jun

Governors confer about containing spread of Zika

By Ed Sterling
 
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 9 participated in a White House-hosted conference call for governors to discuss the Zika virus threat and what to do about it. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden led the call.
 
Thu
16
Jun

Buck Owens borrowed his name from family donkey

By Bartee Haile
 
“Hee Haw,” a country music variety show co-hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark, hit the airwaves on Jun. 15, 1969 as a summer replacement for the “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr. was born in 1929 on a farm near Sherman a short distance from the Red River. As a small boy, he declared that he preferred the name of the family donkey to his own. His parents went along, and after that everyone called him “Buck.”
 
Thu
09
Jun

Governor declares state of disaster in long list of counties

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 1 declared a state of disaster in 31 counties that have been hit repeatedly with severe weather and flooding in recent days. The counties named in the declaration include: Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Coleman, Colorado, Erath, Fayette, Fort Bend, Grimes, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Kleberg, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Lubbock, Montgomery, Palo Pinto, Parker, Polk, Robertson, San Jacinto, Tyler, Walker, Waller, Washington and Wharton.

 

Thu
09
Jun

Mosquitoes breed, Zika looms, Congress dithers

Tiny mosquitoes of the genus Aedes aegypti are helping to demonstrate why Congress so richly deserves its 11 percent public approval rating. Aedes mosquitoes carry the Zika virus, which is believed to cause serious abnormalities in fetuses and may cause debilitating nerve disorders in children and adults. In February, President Barack Obama asked Congress for $1.9 billion to fight the spread of the disease. Congress still hasn’t acted. Given its vacation schedule, it may not act until this fall.  

 

Thu
02
Jun

The common good, a divided nation we face in election

A New York Times/CBS News Poll conducted May 13- 17 found that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees, have seriously negative ratings on favorability and credibility. For example: --Trump was viewed unfavorably by 55 percent of the 1,300 adults (1,109 of them registered voters) polled nationwide; he was seen as favorable by 26 percent. (These numbers don't add up to 100 percent because of “don’t know” and “no answer” responses.) 

 

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Thu
02
Jun

10 states join Texas AG in lawsuit over school bathrooms

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on May 25 filed a lawsuit against the heads of the federal Department of Education, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Equal Opportunity Commission and other entities for issuing directives that would require public schools to open up restrooms and locker rooms to both sexes. Joining Texas in the lawsuit are the states of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Plaintiffs also include a diverse coalition of top state officials and local school districts, including the Harrold (Texas) Independent School District. 

 

Thu
26
May

World famous naturalist visits Texas Republic

By Bartee Haile

 

A resolution was introduced in the senate of the Lone Star Republic on May 25, 1837 to make a world famous naturalist and wildlife painter an “honorary Texan.” John James Audubon was born Jean Rabin on a Caribbean island in 1785 to parents from two very different worlds. His father was a rich French seafarer, merchant, planter and slave trader, while his mother was a Creole servant who died less than a year after giving birth.

 

Thu
26
May

3 states seek clarity on federal transgender guidelines

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — Attorneys General Ken Paxton of Texas, Patrick Morrissey of West Virginia and Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma are seeking clarification of the federal government’s guidelines regarding bathroom access and other issues involving transgender students. On May 13, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S.

 

Thu
19
May

High court rules school finance method is constitutional

By Ed Sterling
 
AUSTIN — The current method devised by the Texas Legislature in 2011 to fund public education does not violate the state constitution, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously ruled May 13. The lawsuit challenging the state’s education-funding method originally was brought in 2011 by more than 600 school districts identifying themselves collectively as the Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition.
 
Thu
19
May

Life of pioneer family on West Texas frontier

By Bartee Haile
 
Richard Franklin Tankersley enlisted in an all-volunteer company of “minutemen” on May 24, 1858 and spent the next 60 days combing the West Texas countryside for hostiles. While he was making the frontier safe for neighbors and perfect strangers, his wife and six children -- alone and unprotected -- faced the constant threat of attack from the same Indians. Either the head of the household minimized the danger or never gave his loved ones’ predicament a second thought.
 

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