Columns/Opinions

Wed
13
Apr

Stirring up memories

By Genie Ellis Zacharias

This past winter wasn’t particularly frigid. I know this because Zack’s intake of sweet tea never diminished. He had his share of hot chocolate and chocolate coffee. But by the time lunch rolled around, was ready for a cold glass of sweet tea. Dr. Pepper was my drink. It’s now one of the many, many things I’ve mostly given up. Self-deprivation’s the only way we’ve found to keep extra weight off and feel healthier. It’s not fun, but it works. My son tells me to think of food as fuel not fun. I’m trying, I’m trying.

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Wed
13
Apr

Supreme Court rules in ‘one person, one vote’ case

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — On a unanimous vote of 8-0, the U.S. Supreme Court on April 4 affirmed that states may continue to draw legislative districts based on total population. In the Texas case, Evenwel v. Abbott, the question presented to the high court on appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas was whether the one-person, one-vote principle of the Fourteenth Amendment creates a “judicially enforceable right ensuring that the districting process does not deny voters an equal vote.”

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Wed
06
Apr

Senate Finance chair confirms health budget

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — The Texas Health and Human Services Commission will have some $6.7 billion to fund the state’s behavioral health services efforts during the 2016-2017 fiscal biennium. Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson, at a March 30 meeting of the committee, confirmed the $6.7 billion, using figures provided by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the 10-member Legislative Budget Board. In the 2014-2015 state budget the amount for behavioral health funding was an estimated $6.2 billion.

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Wed
06
Apr

Frontier Texans found something to laugh about

By Bartee Haile

On Mar. 31, 1879, A West Texas judge fined a local hell-raiser five dollars for a drunken spree that left a bystander short an ear and ordered the inebriated victim to fork over five cents for winking at the sharpshooter, when he bent down to pick up the body part. What little law that existed on the Lone Star frontier was often dispensed with a humorous touch. The most gruesome event could tickle the funny bone of those adventurous souls living on the edge of civilization. Well aware the next day might be their last, they found a way to laugh to keep from crying.

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Wed
30
Mar

DPS chief reminds citizens to be vigilant

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Following news reports of coordinated, terroristic bomb attacks in Brussels, Belgium, on March 22, the Texas Department of Public Safety posted a reminder to Texans to remain vigilant and to report suspicious behaviors.

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Wed
30
Mar

Littlefield gave UT more than the Texas Relays

By Bartee Haile

The first-ever Texas Relays, a co-creation of University of Texas track coach Clyde Littlefield and athletic director Theo Bellmont, were held in Austin on Mar. 27, 1925. In the history of college athletics, rarely have iconic stars returned to their alma mater to put their largerthan-life reputations on the line as coaches.

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Tue
22
Mar

Paxton seeks halt to regional haze rules

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on March 18 asked an appeals court to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from implementing new regional haze regulations until a trial of the state’s pending lawsuit challenging the new rules. Paxton filed the 328-page motion in the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

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Tue
22
Mar

Before you reject the system, understand it

By Lee Hamilton

Politicians who insist on purity impede solutions. There ought to be a healthy tension between idealism and realism; we have to find a pragmatic way to combine them. It’s challenging to reach agreement on complicated issues, but it’s necessary to keep the country from coming apart.

If there’s a theme that sets this political season apart, it’s the voters’ utter disdain for most of the people who practice politics. They’re fed up with politicians, they’ve lost faith and confidence in the political elite, and they don’t believe that the realm where politicians ply their craft — government — works.

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Wed
16
Mar

Full Fifth Circuit to hear Texas voter ID case

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — The entire U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will review Texas’ controversial voter identification law. A majority of the judges of the Fifth Circuit on March 9 voted in support of an “en banc” rehearing of oral arguments in Veasey v. Abbott, a case challenging the law. No date for the rehearing has been set.

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Wed
16
Mar

Disgraced politician tries to settle the score

By Bartee Haile

Mar. 14, 1882 was the date and the Dallas County courthouse was the place a former mayor of three Texas towns chose to have it out with the man he blamed for his latest fall from political grace. It was no coincidence that James Thurmond went out west in the late 1850’s. Like other youths of draft age, the Kentucky native wanted to put as many miles as possible between him and the soon-to-come Civil War.

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