Columns

Mon
29
Aug

Some things change, others remain

Take a moment to think back about your life.  What has changed in the past 16 years for you and for your family?  No doubt just about everything.  Kids grow up and move on (if we're lucky and have raised them right) - there have been births and deaths, relocations, so many things.  But one thing is sure:  nothing stays the same.

We can't say that for our dog and cat situation here in Van Zandt County.  16 years ago our organization was founded because a woman in Grand Saline recognized the problem and worked very hard to make it better.  Her name is Caroline Edwards.  She and her husband no longer live here (one of those changes), but her work is carried on by several people who share her vision. 

Sun
28
Aug

Story time starts again Sept. 9


Library volunteer, Abigail Muse, shelving children’s books at the Van Zandt County Library

The librarians and volunteers are enjoying a small lull in action between summer programs and fall programs. This would be a great time to volunteer and learn various jobs to help support the smooth operation of the library.

Speaking of volunteers, this week's Volunteer Profile is about junior volunteer, 15-year-old Abigail Muse. Abigail began volunteer work about two years ago at the “ripe old age” of 13.

As a home school student in the Classical Conversations Home School Co-op, she has a more flexible schedule that allows her to fit in about one hour a week volunteering at the library. Usually she spends her time shelving books along with her mother, who also volunteers.

Abigail's interest in volunteering was sparked by a love of books. She said that she loves this library, especially the librarians.

Sat
27
Aug

Defending yourself without guns

Many people in Van Zandt County think first of guns when they think of self-defense. When I was a kid, I started to open the screen door to go to school. There was a rattlesnake coiled in front of the door. I called for my mother, who got a .22 rifle and shot the snake through the head, through the screen door. I kicked the dead snake off the porch, went to school, and had to patch the screen after school.

But not everyone can handle a gun. I know some old ladies with trembly hands who might not be able to handle the recoil from a handgun and are too shaky to aim a rifle. Believe it or not, there are people who are afraid to shoot any kind of gun.

How could someone defend himself without guns? Many guys I know would use their fists. I also know some people with black belts in karate, judo, or other martial arts. There are other ways, too.

Thu
25
Aug

State Capitol Highlights

Court relaxes Texas voter ID law in time for fall election

AUSTIN — Voters will have more options when presenting personal identification at the polls for the November 8 general election, Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos announced last week.

Pursuant to an Aug. 10 federal court order, Cascos said, if a voter is not able to obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID, the voter may vote by: (1) signing a declaration at the polls explaining why the voter is unable to obtain one of the seven forms of approved photo ID; and (2) providing one of various forms of supporting documentation.

Supporting documentation can be an original, certified birth certificate, a valid voter registration certificate or one of the following:

- Current utility bill;

- Bank statement;

- Government check;

- Paycheck; or

- Other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.

Tue
23
Aug

School’s in, so is the library


Shawn Moyers

Can you believe that school is back in session?

Backpacks, school supplies, lunch boxes and back- to-school clothes have been acquired. Also, teachers and administrators have been working diligently to have the facilities ready and lesson plans written. It's now time to move from laid back days to a busy schedule.

As students are given assignments, the library is full of resources to help complete them: books on many subjects to check out; or for use in the library, resource materials, periodicals and computers are available. Of course, if a quiet spot to work is needed, what could be better than a comfortable work space in the library.

This week's Volunteer Profile is about Shawn “Murdock” Moyers.

Sat
20
Aug

Gun Free Zones Safe?

Gun-free zones have become hunting preserves for Islamic terrorists and psychopathic murderers, who have declared open season on innocent civilians.

As I have articulated before, it is no surprise that terrorists and criminals seeking to commit mass murder target gun-free zones. Businesses that establish themselves as “gun-free” provide a guaranteed path of least resistance for terrorists and psychopathic murderers by ensuring that all of the law-abiding patrons in their establishment, including those licensed to carry a firearm, have surrendered their right of self-defense at the door. Ironically, there is no evidence to suggest that terrorists or psychopathic murderers have ever surrendered their ambition to kill patrons upon notice that the business had designated the premises “gun-free.”

Thu
18
Aug

Capitol Highlights

Parties to campus-carry lawsuit to return to court

AUSTIN — Three University of Texas professors are seeking a temporary injunction “to at least retain the option of maintaining their academic classrooms as gun-free zones when classes start again.”

In a motion filed in connection with a federal lawsuit filed July 6, the professors are asking the court to bar enforcement of the law when the UT fall semester begins Aug. 24. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a brief in opposition.

In an Aug. 4 hearing, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ordered the university to clarify its campus-carry policy on Aug. 8 and for parties present their arguments again on Aug. 10.

Tue
16
Aug

Library needs support to continue to provide support

It’s been a whirlwind of a week at the library. 

This time last week we were just finding out that we needed to go to Commissioner’s Court for our funding.  We used the last couple of days of July to think and plan before we started out August with the kind of bang that no one wants to hear. 

All this week we have been asking for your support and we have been overwhelmed.  There is not a day that goes by that we do not get at least one heartfelt thanks or someone telling how much they love and appreciate the library so we should not have been surprised at how you have come through for us.  Multiple people have copied us in on their emails and every single one of them have helped motivate us to continue this fight. 

More than one of these letters has brought us to tears.  We can only hope that the commissioners listen to what you have to say. 

This year marks the 50th year anniversary of the Grand Saline Public Library. 

Mon
15
Aug

Cool off with a trip to the Library

Hot! Hot! Hot! It's August in Texas. Fortunately, we have things to cool us down: swimming or playing in the sprinkler, going to a movie, shopping in a mall, or, if your pocketbook is running low, come to the library.

There are lots of things to do that cost you nothing. New books come in often, so look for your favorite authors on the New Release kiosks. Or sign up to be a volunteer. You might make a difference in someone's day or make a friend for life.

This week's volunteer profile features a young man who will be a junior at Canton High School this fall. Austin Lomas will soon turn 17, which would officially classify him as a Junior Volunteer; but there is nothing junior about him. Having worked with him this summer during Summer Reading, he is willing to do whatever is asked: taking photos, handing out door-prize tickets to children, making a list of winners for the paper and moving carts of books that have been returned.

Thu
11
Aug

State Capitol Highlights

State rolls out revised women’s health program

AUSTIN — A women's health program is in effect and ready to deliver more care to more women statewide who are 15 to 44 years old and whose income is up to 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Charles Smith, in a joint announcement on July 25, said they expect the “new and improved” Healthy Texas Women program to serve some 300,000 women, while earlier programs served 270,000 women. Participation for minors will require parental consent.

Nelson, current chair of the state Senate Finance Committee and former chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said the program combines and streamlines two of the state’s previous women’s health programs to provide a full range of women’s health services, including: 

- Pregnancy testing and counseling;

- Family planning;

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