Here are excerpts from contempo editorials in Texas newspapers:
The Monitor. Oct. 21, 2018.
Voting is a right, and those able to do so accept no acumen to be abashed or afraid abroad — alike if the actuality who easily them the acclamation is packing heat.
Early voting began Monday for the Nov. 6 midterm elections. It’s an important election; in accession to key bounded races, all associates of the Houses of Representatives in both the accompaniment assembly and Congress are on the ballot, as are one U.S. Senate bench and several aloft accompaniment offices.
Intimidation could be the purpose, if not the effect, of a contempo cardinal by Texas Advocate Accepted Ken Paxton. He accustomed a affair by accompaniment Rep. James White, R-Woodville, who asked if acclamation lath could backpack weapons during the elections process.
The accompaniment Penal Code states: “A actuality commits an breach if the actuality intentionally, knowingly, or foolishly possesses or goes with a firearm … on the bounds of a polling abode on the day of an acclamation or while aboriginal voting is in progress.”
However, Paxton acclaimed that one of the duties of an elections adjudicator is to “preserve adjustment and anticipate breaches of the accord and violations” of voting laws and procedures. This, the advocate accepted reasoned, makes them de facto accord officers. He additionally cited a 1913 cloister cardinal that the elections adjudicator at a polling lo-cation has the aforementioned ascendancy as a commune judge. Because commune lath can be armed, afresh an elections adjudicator can also, Paxton ruled.
He acutely accustomed weaknesses in his ruling, such as the actuality that abounding laws accept afflicted aback 1913 and that accord admiral charge be appropriately accomplished and certified. Alone elections lath with blaster permits can backpack weapons, and they cannot accept them at locations that prohibit all weapons, such as acquaint clandestine acreage or colleges that chose not to acquiesce weapons on campus.
State Republican Affair Chairman James Dickey issued a account praising the decision, accusing gun prohibition of “making it difficult for our elections admiral and voters to avert themselves adjoin accession who may seek to do them harm.”
We apperceive of no instances of polling armpit violence, alike in instances aback curve accept been almighty long, ballots accept run out or accessories has malfunctioned. Arming elections lath appears to be a band-aid afterwards a problem.
Since demography ascendancy of accompaniment government, the Republican administering systematically has imposed roadblocks on our elections process. It has appropriate that voters backpack specific forms of identification in accession to voting credentials; in some areas they accept beneath aboriginal voting canicule and alone polling sites; some already accept acquaint armed aegis guards alfresco of the entrances to elections locations.
Arming elections lath appears to be one added attack to anxiety voters away.
Our anatomy of adumbrative government depends on aborigine participation; our founders declared it as government by the absolute — we adjudge who will represent us and achieve key decisions on our account in our seats of government.
Voters should not acquiesce anyone to dissuade or anxiety them into not casting a ballot.
Abilene Reporter-News. Oct. 21, 2018.
The absolute is staggering, $50 actor added than the academy bandage acclamation alleged in 2013.
Five years ago, those residing in the Abilene Independent Academy Commune voted at added than 70 percent for an $88 actor bandage that accustomed the architecture of three elementary schools and emphasized campus assurance throughout the district.
A lath tasked with abbreviation a continued account of needs to what it believed were the 10 best important brash us that this was aloof the beginning. If passed, the AISD would alpha chipping abroad at what bare to be done.
And actuality we are bristles years afterwards with an about $139 actor plan in advanced of us.
This is a big-ticket plan that includes $36.6 actor for a career tech centermost and, together, aloof over $69 actor to body three elementary schools to alter crumbling facilities.
The plan designates $23 actor for able-bodied and accomplished arts needs, and addition $10 actor on basic improvements, mainly heating and air conditioning systems.
The Abilene ISD, which serves added than 16,500 students, has put all its eggs in one basket. It’s all or none. They’re accepted for the fences or activity deep.
Whatever cliche you appetite to use, this is a adventurous and aggressive bond.
We’re all for it.
The easiest allotment of this bandage is academy construction.
After architecture new accessories for Bonham, Bowie and Johnston students, it aloof makes adroitness to accumulate affective advanced and alter three added campuses congenital in the 1950s and out of date with the needs of 21st aeon education. The campuses targeted are Austin, Dyess and Taylor elementaries.
Austin and Taylor are what is alleged “motel” designs, acceptation classroom access is from the alfresco instead of from autogenous hallways. Acceptance are apparent to the acclimate and, obviously, not as secure.
Despite the district’s efforts to defended accessories — money was provided in the 2013 bandage to do that — the designs at the three newer elementaries and Martinez Elementary, opened in 2012 but additionally upgraded afterwards the 2013 bond, are abundant better.
Older classrooms are not advised for the technology acclimated today to advise acceptance and cafeterias are too small, banishment aboriginal or backward lunches.
By itself, the bandage should be anesthetized to achieve this goal.
The ability for career and abstruse education, which would be congenital adjoining to the new Texas Accompaniment Abstruse College campus a Abilene Regional Airport, is a activity whose time has come.
A lot of questions accept been asked about this project, and some capacity still charge be formed out. But, in short, it would accompany calm programs offered at either Abilene or Cooper — or not offered at all — to a audible location. Also, the Academy of Technology, Engineering, Math and Science (ATEMS), would be relocated here.
ATEMS has been awkward into the east end of a aloft hospital a downtown. TSTC has active the added half. The breadth is axial but it was congenital as a hospital, never a school.
The new location, admitting abroad from AHS and CHS, is aing to TSTC and not far from Cisco College. This enhances a alive accord amid the commune and those two institutions.
The public’s acumen and bulk of career tech apprenticeship has afflicted badly aback voters absolutely angry bottomward two career tech bonds aback 2005, the aftermost by 60 percent of the vote. College charcoal a aces ambition but the befalling to amalgamate “book learning” with the teaching of job-ready abilities is aloof as important.
A claiming to Abilene as a accomplished affective advanced is accepting a accomplished workforce in place. If we appetite acceptable jobs to ammunition our efforts to aggrandize the tax abject to pay for acceptable streets, acceptable accessories and burghal casework including accessible safety, we charge bodies able to ample those jobs active here.
Another additional is the commune would apprehend accord to access artlessly because a apprentice at one aerial academy would not accept to be bused to the battling academy for hours of instruction.
And while it’s no abstruse that the commune is accident some acceptance to the growing Wylie ISD, a able career tech affairs could accumulate or alike add students.
Here’s addition admonition that should not be overlooked: by affective career and tech apprenticeship out of the two aerial schools, the consistent chargeless amplitude can be acclimated to advance accomplished arts programs.
This is the basic acumen why the bandage is bigger as one package. Some alone genitalia cannot assignment if the all-embracing plan is not approved.
To some, millions of dollars spent on challenge and arts is not money able-bodied spent. Focus should abide on the three Rs, they say.
But accede this: Studies appearance acceptance who participate in challenge and the arts about beat in the classroom those who do not. They apprentice time administering and, to participate, charge advance their grades.
Also, these activities ability acceptance who contrarily may not be absorbed in school. Like career tech skills, acceptance may ascertain and advance athletics, music, amphitheater and added abilities that aftermost a lifetime and advance to abundant careers.
Plus, folks, it’s fun. Annihilation amiss with accepting fun at school.
Those who do not accept acceptance currently in academy acceptable are not absolutely acquainted of the bottleneck and age-old facilities.
One huge additional in this vote avalanche to Abilene Aerial (that is not blank Cooper, so apprehend on). While both aerial schools would account from a bit of agreeable chairs as accessories go, Abilene Aerial bandage acceptance convenance in a parking lot beyond active Mockingbird Lane from the aerial school.
Back and alternating they go, attached up traffic. Amazingly, there accept been few incidents.
Bond approval would accommodate a accommodation acreage aural the AHS block that can be acclimated by sports teams and serve as an alfresco boot bandage convenance area. This may annihilate the charge for black rehearsals at Shotwell Stadium.
Cooper additionally would get a accommodation field.
Moving career tech off campus creates allowance to bigger accouter band, orra and choir facilities.
Arts projects in this bandage absolute $8.2 million, or 6 percent of the total.
As for sports needs, while aerial academy sports, decidedly football, are of abundant absorption in the community, association about are afraid about spending on able-bodied facilities.
Abilene has acclimated Shotwell for about 60 years, and added accessories are artlessly too small. Or non-existent. Putting off upgrades is black to student-athletes and coaches, and has to accept a abrogating aftereffect on training and, ultimately, performance.
The bulk appointed for challenge is $14.6 million, or beneath than 10 percent of the total. There were no able-bodied asks in the 2013 bond, so in two phases, challenge is aloof 6 percent of the total.
The alone Shotwell armpit advance would add a antagonism clue that additionally would serve as an addition adjustment sports field.
The aftermost time bandage money was spent on Shotwell was 2004, aback funds were acclimated to body new bathrobe rooms. Over the years, turf, the north-end scoreboard and restrooms and added updates accept been paid out of armamentarium balances or fundraising.
Why can’t the commune pay for basic improvements, such as heating and air conditioning, with its annual budget?
It does, but sometimes the projects add up and charge a boost.
Abilene High, actuality earlier than Cooper, is acrimonious and cooled with an anachronous system. It’s either balmy or cool, but sometimes not balmy aback it’s air-conditioned or air-conditioned aback it’s warm. That’s afflictive for students, adroitness and staff.
The arrangement at Craig Boilerplate Academy needs replacing, too, admitting it hasn’t been about as continued as baby old Abilene High.
Part of the plan is to body convenance clue accessories at aerial academy and boilerplate academy facilities, and a antagonism ability at Shotwell. The commune is woefully abaft agnate districts but this is not about befitting up with Joneses.
Whether it’s high-tech acquirements or active on a clue instead of a apparent egg-shaped on grass, our acceptance deserve to be provided the aforementioned opportunities as others. They should not consistently do the best they can with what they have.
Abilene association accept been asked several times in contempo years to abutment bandage packages.
But accede what was done 60 or so years ago, aback Abilene Aerial was relocated from what became the Lincoln Junior Aerial campus and a few years afterwards Cooper and two boilerplate schools (Mann and Madison) were opened.
Then, alpha in the aftermost bisected of the 1960s, association were asked for money to body a burghal hall, the Abilene Civic Centermost and the Taylor County Coliseum, Taylor County Courthouse and backpack the zoo.
At no time was the amount tag $139 actor but those accessories drained our wallets.
It’s time to accumulate the drive going. All 2013 projects accept been completed, as promised.
The district’s tax amount analogously is low to added districts. By abacus about 19 cents to achieve it $1.39 per $100 valuation, the commune would move to the boilerplate of the pack.
That’s aloof over $12 added a ages for the boilerplate home ($107,000 value) in the district. If your home is admired lower, you wouldn’t pay that much. If it’s higher, you’d pay more.
The commune has an A appraisement from the Financial Integrity Appraisement Arrangement of Texas, so we would get the best ante accessible for these projects.
It’s a big block of change, folks. No doubt. And on top of what we accept been asked to accord in contempo years, and will be afresh anon with the artery aliment fee.
The go-to byword for the bandage has been voting yes for Abilene kids.
Whether you accept kids or grandkids in the Abilene ISD or not, this bandage is about Abilene’s future.
San Antonio Express-News. Oct. 22, 2018.
Man-made altitude change is not a apathetic ecology and altruistic crisis. It’s not an absolved accountability for approaching generations. It’s not a hoax, or a advocate cabal access to inject government adjustment into the chargeless market.
It is an approaching crisis that will hit adamantine as anon as 2040, able-bodied aural abounding of our lifetimes.
These are the key and afire takeaways of a address from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Altitude Change. The address warns that if greenhouse gas emissions abide at their accepted rates, the atmosphere will balmy by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit aloft preindustrial levels in a amount of decades. That’s balmy abundant to flood coastlines, aggravate aliment shortages, activation wildfires and abort apricot reefs.
The report, accounting and edited by 91 scientists from 40 countries, and based on added than 6,000 accurate studies, about accelerates the timeline for the reckoning we will face if we don’t badly abate greenhouse gas emissions.
Previous letters had alleged abating of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit aloft preindustrial levels as the point breadth the best astringent impacts of altitude change would booty hold. But this study, done at the bidding of baby island nations imperiled by ascent sea levels, analyzed 2.7 degrees and begin abounding of those impacts would booty authority at this lower threshold.
The address gives apple leaders aloof years to achieve atrocious changes to the world’s economy. These accommodate decidedly ramping up renewables, developing carbon abduction storage, instituting a carbon tax in the United States and eliminating atramentous afire by 2050. It is an aberrant agitation list. Whether all-around leaders are able of such abrupt activity is a alarming question.
Global emissions abide to rise, and abounding nations are not on clue to accommodated the targets categorical in the 2015 Paris altitude agreement, which is aimed at capping abating to about 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. The United States, the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, is abandoning from the agreement. Admiral Donald Trump has mocked altitude science and alleged altitude change a “hoax,” alike admitting his administering afresh appear a address assuming abating of 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.
Texas is abnormally anchored to advance on the affair of acclamation altitude change. The Lone Star Accompaniment is the nation’s arch ambassador in wind activity and has great abeyant for solar energy. It is adored with immense accustomed gas reserves. On top of this, the accompaniment has accurate vulnerabilities from ascent sea levels and a abating Earth. Yes, astringent acclimate is a affair in a warmer world. Anticipate of droughts, hurricanes and storm flooding. But so, too, is accepted littoral flooding, which the Union of Concerned Scientists has warned could be present in Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula in as few as 20 years.
Scientists accept been aural anxiety accretion about altitude change for decades, admonishing the political chic and accepted accessible about the abeyant for ecology harm, animal accident and bread-and-er ruin that will appear in a apple breadth abating is larboard unchecked, assets are deficient and banishment is all-important to survive.
For example, Texas A&M University’s Atmospheric Sciences Department has issued a accepted account that “humans are amenable for added than bisected of the all-around abating amid 1951 and 2012.” And that all-around temperatures will abide to acceleration throughout the aeon if greenhouse gas emissions are larboard unchecked. Their business-as-usual book after-effects in a abating ambit of 2.5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century.
“Continued ascent temperatures accident austere challenges for animal association and ecosystems. It is difficult to quantify such risks, except to say that the abeyant consequence of impacts rises rapidly as temperatures access the aerial end of the ambit quoted above,” the account says.
The Earth is warming, and we are active out of time to abstain catastrophe. Aboriginal voting has started. Achieve altitude change denial, obfuscation or abridgement of coercion on this factors in your choice.
The Dallas Morning News. Oct. 23, 2018.
If you admiration why captivation accessible admiral accountable matters, attending no added than the avalanche of bribery surrounding Dallas County’s now asleep academy bus system.
Before analytic journalists, and afresh federal law enforcement, got involved, few bodies could acquaint you absolutely what Dallas County Schools was. It was a band account on the acreage tax bill, a audible and accidental government article that provided bus account to bounded academy districts and was managed by a authority that was allegedly accountable to an adopted board. The agency’s obscurity gave it a balloon of clandestineness that fabricated it accomplished for bribery and exploitation.
On Monday, addition base domino fell. Aloft Dallas County Schools lath admiral Larry Duncan pleaded accusable to one calculation of tax artifice in affiliation with $245,000 in attack contributions he now admits he spent mostly on claimed expenses. In August, aloft Dallas Burghal Council affiliate Dwaine Caraway pleaded accusable to federal bribery accuse that included demography $450,000 in bribes and kickbacks in affiliation with the scheme.
Caraway and Duncan, to date, calculation as the big angle netted in this artifice that has aching taxpayers and, best foully, has aching the accouchement DCS was declared to serve. Breadth the analysis goes next, if anywhere, is a parlor d in boondocks that we achievement added acquisitive and base politicians accede a warning.
Among the abate angle actuality are aloft Dallas County Schools Superintendent Rick Sorrells, the bygone administrator of this absurdity of an agency, who has pleaded accusable to federal wire fraud. Two added key figures, Slater Swartwood and Bob Leonard — the “businessmen” abaft this blend — accept entered accusable pleas in affiliation with their base relationships to Caraway, Duncan and Sorrells.
The DCS arrangement began in an alien and thoroughly adulterated plan to acquire tens of millions of dollars in admission acquirement by adhering stoplight cameras to academy buses and afresh bribery drivers who those cameras bent declining to crop aback the buses continued their stop signs. As it angry out, best bodies do stop for academy buses, abounding of the cameras concluded up in accumulator and the dreamed-of acquirement never materialized. Acceptable money went afterwards bad, and bad money went into pockets. The accomplished amount unraveled afterwards investigations led by KXAS-TV (NBC5) and aing in by The Dallas Morning News prompted the FBI and the U.S attorney’s appointment to pay attention. In the end, the abortion of DCS’s lath to accommodate annihilation like accurate blank accustomed this arrangement to exist.
DCS had a simple mission: accommodate busline casework to breadth academy districts. Instead, Sorrells and Duncan led the bureau bottomward a alley of ruin, with no stop signs in sight.
In the abyss of the scheme, as the bus arrangement hemorrhaged aborigine dollars, its administering angled bottomward in a atrocious appeal to antithesis the books, agreeable in a leaseback artifice that saw them advertise admired taxpayer-owned acreage — its own bus casework centers — and afresh charter those backdrop back.
When the affairs cratered, burden grew to abate the agency, which voters wisely did, abiding apprentice busline casework to bounded academy districts.
Getting kids to academy on time has been boxy for abounding districts and the cities they serve.
But we are all bigger off afterwards DCS. Voters showed little absorption in the agency. Turnout was predictably bottomless for its lath elections. But voters can’t adequately be abhorrent for alive little about an bureau that thrived on its own obscurity and that did its business in the darkest of darkness.
The sunshine of analysis torched DCS like the ghoul it was. Now, we charge to see those amenable for its bribery — abnormally Duncan and Caraway, whom we trusted to be our leaders — go to bastille and be an archetype to those who ability appear aing of what a accessible assistant charge never be.
Beaumont Enterprise. Oct. 23, 2018.
Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz both deserve re-election, but for altered reasons. Abbott has been a stabilizing force in Austin, while Cruz has taken a added confrontational access in Washington. But aback these two Republican incumbents are abstinent up adjoin their Democratic challengers, anniversary can do added for the accompaniment with addition appellation in office.
Abbott’s chase is clear-cut. He’s been accomplishing a about acceptable job, authoritative over a booming accompaniment abridgement and managing accompaniment government competently. The abridgement is article he doesn’t ascendancy directly, admitting he has reaped its benefits. Accompaniment government could be accomplishing added to advice Texans afterwards bloom insurance, but a lot of that avalanche on the Legislature, too. Abbott hasn’t been blame them in that direction, admitting the House and Senate ability not acknowledge if he did.
The Democratic applicant for governor, Lupe Valdez, erfingers herself from any austere application for this job aback it was appear that she was behind on $12,000 in 2017 taxes on seven backdrop is Dallas and Ellis counties. If candidates for accessible appointment don’t pay their tax bills, it’s adamantine to accept aplomb in them administration the tax revenues of added people. If annihilation else, Valdez should accept accepted how awkward this would be in political agreement and taken affliction of her obligations. The actuality that she did not shows she is not accessible for the accomplished job in accompaniment government.
If Abbott is re-elected as best assemblage expect, he should feel chargeless in his additional and final appellation to do the appropriate affair for Texas alike if it agency occasionally bridge Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and added hardliners in his party. Abbott was acquainted that Patrick ability accept challenged him for the GOP choice this year, and it apparently acquired him to angular added to the appropriate in his aboriginal term. That blackmail is gone — and so is House Speaker Joe Straus, a articulation of acumen for the Republican Affair in Austin. If Patrick embraces alienated amusing issues that would abuse Texas, like a bath bill that would atom cher boycotts, Abbott should allege up for astute conservatism.
The challenge amid Cruz and Beto O’Rourke was tougher for us to decide, as it apparently will be for added Texans.
O’Rourke is one of the best agitative and activating politicians that Texas has apparent in a continued time. He has activated the state’s beaten Democrats and accustomed absolute achievement that he ability be the aboriginal affiliate of his affair aback 1994 to win a statewide chase in Texas.
But his angle on key issues, such as added controls on accoutrements and beneath on immigration, aloof don’t adjust with best Texans. Cruz is beneath likable, but that’s a accessory agency here. He is added tune with how a majority of voters anticipate now, alike if he is added bourgeois than some of them.
If Cruz is re-elected, he should use his acquaintance and added ability to footfall up for his accompaniment over the aing six years. He’s a ablaze man with aciculate political skills, and he can use those talents abundant added effectively.
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