Columns

Thu
13
Aug

Invade some sweaty island

MARC ROBERTSON
Thu
06
Aug

Congressman Cuellar Celebrates 50 Years of Medicare and Medicaid

District 28 CongressmanHenry Cuellar issued the following  statement last week to mark the 50th anniversary of President LyndonJohnson’s signing of the Social Security Act Amendments  of 1965 into law, creating Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare provides health insurance for people age 65 andolder, as well as individuals with certain disabilities; Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health coverage for low-income individuals.

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Thu
06
Aug

Panel hears testimony in wake of jail death

The Texas House Committee on County Affairs met on July 30 to hear testimony on Sandra Bland and jail standards. Bland, 28, was pulled over by a state trooper in Hempstead on July 10. Soon after, she was placed in the Waller County Jail and was found dead in her cell on July 13. Investigators ruled the death a suicide. The story, covered by local, state, national and world news agencies, has emerged in the context of other tragic outcomes involving black citizens and law enforcement. “How does someone get pulled over for not signaling and end up dead three days later? It just does not compute,” said Committee Chair Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, in opening the hearing. Coleman called for discussion on how such an event might affect the Texas Department of Public Safety’s training of officers and how Texas county jails might adjust their practices in the incarceration of mentally ill inmates.

Thu
30
Jul

Mice eat holes in stuff

BY MARC ROBERTSON
Thirty years ago, I was managing a restaurant in a little Central Texas town and a waitress called me on the telephone five minutes before her shift was due to start, pleading to be excused from work because, and I quote, “The signal lights on my truck don’t work and I can’t exit off the highway.” She had used the truck to drive to work for as long as she could remember. It had been her daddy’s truck and now it was hers, and it was for driving to work. When it developed a fault, then it couldn’t do the job safely, which meant the woman obviously wouldn’t be able to work, either.

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Thu
30
Jul

Governor says family of woman who died in custody deserves answers

BY ED STERLING
Gov. Greg Abbott on July 22 issued a statement regarding the arrest and death of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old Illinois resident who had driven to Hempstead in response to a job offer from Prairie View A&M University. Bland was pulled over by a state trooper on July 10, arrested and placed in the Waller County jail in Hempstead. She was found dead in her jail cell three days later. Local authorities conducted an autopsy and reported suicide as the cause of death. Bland’s family ordered an independent autopsy.

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Thu
23
Jul

Environmentally responsible regulation benefits all Texans

By Christi Craddick
Texas Railroad Commissioner What’s in a name? When it comes to the Railroad Commission of Texas, the name says little about what this important state agency does on a day-to-day basis. With 125 years of history, the Commission was established to oversee the regulation of railroads. Today, it is recognized as a worldwide leader in the regulation of oil and gas.   

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Thu
23
Jul

Governor’s order enhances readiness on military basis

BY ED STERLING

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 18 authorized Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard to arm personnel at military facilities across Texas. Abbott’s action comes following the July 16 shooting on two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., that resulted in the deaths of four US Marines and one US Navy sailor. A suspect was killed at the scene. An investigation is in progress. “It is with a heavy heart that I issue this order,” Abbott said. “After the recent shooting in Chattanooga, it has become clear that our military personnel must have the ability to defend themselves against these type of attacks on our own soil.   

Thu
16
Jul

A seat by the window

Those summers seemed to last forever.  I know it’s a line from BryanAdams, but there’s a lot to be said for  ime seeming to slow down when the long summer holidays began for us as children. When we were finally let out of school   in my case mid-July, because that’swhen English boarding schools release their imps to the world - the two months that lay ahead of us were so much more than sixty days of nothingness. There were strawberries to eat, bicycles to ride,hills to roll down, friends to visit, forts to build, road trips to take and long Sunday mornings to spend doing very little indeed   
 
Thu
16
Jul

Comptroller says state will not borrow to meet budget

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar on July 7 announced his decision notto go the usual route to insure that Texas meets its budgetary obligations. The state’s chief financial officer explained that every year for the past three decades the  tate has issued a Tax Revenue Anticipation Note to deal with “periodic mismatches”between revenues and expenditures during the fiscal year and “anticipated mismatches” that result from the state’s providing nearly  50 percent of its payments to local school  istricts in the first three months of the fiscal year. According to the Office of the Comptroller, the state will not issue a Tax Revenue Anticipation Note for fiscal 2016 “as a result of strong fund balances, sound fiscal management and conservative budgeting.” And, Texas will fully repay its current  ax Revenue Anticipation Note ($5.4 billion borrowed last year to bridge budget gaps) on Aug. 31, the last day of the current fiscal year.

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