Columns/Opinions

Wed
22
Jun

Texas DPS urges citizens to report suspicious acts

by Ed Sterling
Political Columnist

AUSTIN — In the wake of the widely reported June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, the Texas Department of Public Safety called on Texans to pay close attention to what’s happening in their own communities. DPS Director Steven McCraw on June 17 said, “Amid today’s ever-present threat of terrorism and crime, we are reminded that members of the public can be law enforcement’s greatest resource.”

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Wed
22
Jun

Safe oil & gas nothing to complain about

by Jeff Stier

Geologists at the University of Cincinnati just wrapped up a three-year investigation of hydraulic fracturing and its impact on local water supplies. The result? There’s no evidence -- zero, zilch, nada -- that fracking contaminates drinking water. Researchers hoped to keep these findings secret.

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Wed
15
Jun

Austin gives in to larger-than-life folk hero

By Bartee Haile

Stephen F. Austin finally blinked in a tense stand-off with Strap Buckner and signaled on Jun. 10, 1831 that he would meet his stubborn adversary more than halfway. No one was more determined to take Texas away from Spain than the pugnacious son of a Virginia judge, who did not know the meaning of the word “quit.” Aylett C. “Strap” Buckner survived not one, not two but three doomed attempts to liberate the province.

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Wed
15
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.

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Wed
08
Jun

Trails far from happy for B-western cowboy

By Bartee Haile

The matinee feature at Waco’s Fox Theater on Jun. 4, 1948 was “Chicago Kid” starring Don “Red” Barry, the well-known cowboy actor, in a crime drama for a change. The future rider of the B-western range was born Donald Barry de Acosta in Houston in January 1912. Despite his small stature – five feet four and a half inches – he was good enough at football, presumably as a running back, to win a college scholarship.

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Wed
08
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.

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Wed
01
Jun

Ten states join Texas AG in bathroom lawsuit

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 Independent School District.

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Wed
01
Jun

Making the valid case for limited government

By Lee Hamilton

Our political leaders must pragmatically make the sometimes uneasy co-existence of the market and government work. We have to wring duplication out of the bureaucracy and rigorously pursue efficient, effective, and accountable government.

It has been 35 years since Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural speech as President — the one in which he said, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Over that time, hostility toward government seems only to have grown, led by politicians and embraced by millions of Americans.

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Wed
25
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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Wed
25
May

Three states seek clarity on federal transgender issues

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. Department of Education sent a nine-page letter to schools nationwide establishing guidelines for bathroom accessibility and other issues related to the treatment of transgender students, including: - A safe and nondiscriminatory environment; - Identification documents, names and pronouns; - Sex-segregated activities and facilities; and - Privacy and education records.

 

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