Thank you for supporting our 2017 Junior League of The Woodlands Holiday Market! The Tribune Newspaper helped promote our event and we are eternally grateful! We look forward to working with you again in 2018.
JLTW Market Media Chair
From Precinct 4
What’s your goal for the New Year? For many of us affected by Hurricane Harvey, simply recovering all that was lost during the storm may be a lofty enough goal. As a commissioner, my goals for 2018 are simple in concept and yet monumental in scope. My colleagues and I dedicate ourselves to improving our flood control system to make sure the county can withstand the next big storm. This will take more than a year to accomplish, yet I plan to make 2018 a year of progress for our flood control system. Your local commissioners’ court already approved additional floodplain regulations for new construction, and we work closely with the Harris County Flood Control District on innovative flood mitigation projects throughout the region. On a lighter note, I hope you had a chance to enjoy the recent snow, a much more fun form of precipitation! Precinct 4 transformed into a true winter wonderland, and our staff enjoyed capturing the beauty of it. Check out some of their photos on Facebook and Flickr. Please note that the Public Storm Debris Drop-Off site, located at 13928 Humble Rd. in Tomball, reopened Jan. 3. This site takes the place of the old Spring Maintenance Facility dumpsters, which will remain closed until further notice.
Precinct 4 Commissioner
Just the facts
I am very tired of hearing how unfair the tax code is and that corporations and the rich get all the benefits of the tax cuts. People have been lied to by the DNC and media in the U.S.A. for so long that they have turned off their brain and stopped thinking for themselves. In the first place, +/- 88 percent of the ownership of major corporations in America is by individual stockholders, mutual funds (54 percent), pension and retirement funds (16 percent), and international investors and EFTs (18 percent), many of which just happen to be taxpayers. As for the rich getting all the benefits of the tax cuts, do they even know who pays the taxes in the U.S.A.? According to the IRS and based on the existing tax plan, the top 10 percent of earners (+$138,031.00) pay about 70.6 percent of federal income tax. This is about 1.7 million Americans, or less than one percent of the population, paying over 70 percent of all taxes! The Democrats think this isn’t fair and that they should pay more. The bottom 50 percent of income earners, those with adjusted gross income of $39,275 or less, pay 2.83 percent of federal income taxes. Thirty-seven million tax filers have no taxes due, or 45.5 percent of American households do not pay federal income taxes. Yes, many of those yelling the loudest say they have taxes withheld from their paychecks, but they forget that much of this deduction is for their SSI to secure their retirement. Hopefully, the Trump Tax Plan will stop the mass exit of corporate America from the U.S.A. due to the excessive tax cost, and if we can encourage those to come back and/or bring their foreign earnings home, it will mean more jobs for Americans. I was employed close to 50 years of my life and there is one thing I can say; I was never employed by a poor man.
Sid B. Nice
To what end?
John Lister (Letters, 12-6-2017) has an explanation for everything: GOD. One can explain everything by invoking God. But what has he gained? Nothing, in my opinion, for he has replaced one unknown with another unknown. All we know about God is what someone has told us either in person (Sunday school, perhaps) or in print (such as the Bible). To learn about God, I read the Old Testament (it tells us about God; the New Testament tells us about Jesus). The Old Testament portrays God as a ruthless, cold-blooded killer. If you doubt me, then read it for yourself. It’s right there (Deuteronomy 13:6-11 and 1 Samuel 15:1-3) in black and white. Science was born the day someone had sense enough to say, “From now on, I’m not going to invoke God to explain natural events.” God is not part of the germ theory of disease, Einstein’s theory of relativity, or any other scientific explanation. If an explanation of a natural event (a forest fire, an earthquake, a volcanic eruption, a car that won’t start, or the cause of Down’s syndrome, etc.) invokes God, then the explanation is not scientific; it’s religious. Einstein believed in God, but he disbelieved in prayer, souls, an afterlife, a religious basis of morality, and free will. He believed that everything that happens (including the actions of humans) does so in accordance with natural laws (created by God). That’s why he did not pray (“a wish addressed to a supernatural being”―his words). The Bible has a virgin birth, Jesus walking on water, and Moses parting the Red Sea. Baloney! Like Einstein, I don’t pray, and without a doubt, morality does not require a religious basis.
Two years later
Two years ago today, I had the privilege of being sworn in as your mayor. Doing the job continues to be the honor of my lifetime. I opened my remarks that day with words my late mother said often in my youth: “Tomorrow will always be better than today.” She was right then and she is right now. My mother was optimistic and forward-looking, kind and generous, determined and unstoppable – and so is the City of Houston. The spirit of Houston was on display for all the world to see during and after Hurricane Harvey, but we see it every day: a city where neighbors help neighbors, where everyday people are heroes, where we work hard and always keep an eye on a brighter future. I am most proud to lead a city that works every day to blast through barriers that could divide us – race, class, age, gender, orientation, ability, education, partisanship – so that we can build a city of opportunity for our children and their children. That can-do approach helped us solve the pothole crisis that was dominating headlines when I took office. Little did we know at the time how easy that first big test would seem after the challenges that followed. With the same action-based attitude, we broke through 16 years of gridlock to solve a pension crisis that threatened to bankrupt our city and leave retired city workers without their hard-earned benefits. We’re rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and becoming more resilient before the next storms, with the same mindset – working across party lines, taking care of our most vulnerable neighbors, and creating a stronger city for all of us. And in middle of it all, we showed the world what we’ve always known: we’re a city of champions. Our hometown Astros won the World Series. It could never have meant more than it meant in 2017. And that was after Houston put on an amazing Super Bowl. Houston still faces huge challenges. But I know we can solve them by working together – because, for a people who come from all over the globe, who engage in all walks of life, and who have a generous spirit and unlimited gifts in our hearts and minds, tomorrow will always be better than today. I closed my remarks two years ago with words from the American poet R.L. Sharpe. I will end this letter with the same words, because they are as true today as they were then: “Isn’t it strange that kings and queens, and clowns that caper in sawdust rings, and common folk like you and like me, are builders for eternity? To each is given a book of rules, a shapeless mass and a bag of tools. And each must shape, ere life is flown, a stumbling block or a stepping stone.” The Bible says to him whom much is given, much is required. Houston, this is our city, let us preserve it. Houston, this is our home, let us protect it. Houston, this is OUR Houston, let us invest in it. And together, let’s move forward to make this the best city that this world has ever seen. God bless us all!