NEVER AGAIN

Dear Editor:

Much is being said today about guns and their use/misuse. To follow is a story about an event involving a gun and me that changed my life. I grew up in West Texas where guns are a way of life. I have had a gun or guns since age 10 or so, and I often went hunting. At age 18, my cousin, his family and my mother and I went to the family ranch outside of Marfa. My cousin said that he would cook dinner for us if I would go kill some quail. So I got my 20-gauge shotgun and off I went. As I was walking through the pasture looking for quail, I saw what I thought was a coyote running from my left to my right. I could not see it clearly for all the tall grass, mesquite and other brush, but I shot once and down it went. I walked over to it, and there lay dying was a fawn. I looked at that beautiful little baby deer, and I instantly thought to myself, “What right have I to deny that beautiful little creature a full life?” The answer was clear: None! I returned to the ranch house without any quail. I recounted that story, and I said, “That’s it for me. Never again will I go hunting.” That event occurred 59 years ago, and I have not fired a gun again at anything but some tin cans for target practice. Now I strive to protect wildlife of all sorts: birds, dogs, cats, horses, etc. My next story will describe the eight days I spent caring for a baby mockingbird that I found in the middle of my driveway. It’s an interesting tale.

Bill Bailey

Kingwood

PICK A SIDE

 

Dear Editor:

I recently asked Ted Poe’s office in Kingwood AND in D.C. why he hasn’t endorsed former Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw for Congress, as Ted claims to be a big supporter of our military? Both responses were the same: “He doesn’t want to take sides.” WHAT? Poe is supposed to make decisions and take actions as our congressman! He is still our congressman until January 2019 and we expect him to do exactly that for which he has been elected. Speaker [Paul] Ryan is not running for re-election and neither is Poe, but Ryan is endorsing his fellow Republican McCarty as his replacement. If Poe won’t endorse Dan Crenshaw, we need a better explanation than “… he doesn’t want to take sides.” That reply reminded me of Obama’s statement early in his presidency when asked why he doesn’t wear a U.S. flag pin on his lapel. He also said that he didn’t want to take sides nor offend anyone. That told me a lot about Obama’s patriotism, or the lack thereof.

Robert L. Gabler

Kingwood

PARK PROGRESS

Dear Editor:

As I walk through our beautiful Precinct 4 parks, I’m often impressed by the towering canopies of live oak, pine and bald Cypress trees. I can’t help but imagine the great histories these trees lived through and the many people they’ve served, from the Akokisa tribes to some of Texas’ earliest settlers. With this in mind, I began the Historic Trees Project in 2015 with just a few saplings donated from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Since then, my staff have collected cuttings and seeds from famous trees across Texas to grow in our greenhouses. I’m proud to announce that we recently planted the first five trees. I’m excited to watch these trees grow and share their important history with you and future generations.

I’m also happy to announce that Precinct 4 plans to purchase its first airboat, thanks to a $60,000 donation from Houston Northwest Church. This donation is truly amazing and will ensure that high water won’t limit our crews during flood events. While the airboat will help during a flood, flood prevention continues to be the top priority. The Harris County Flood Control District recently started work removing sediment from bayous, creeks and tributaries. With the financial backing of the state, Harris County took the lead in first agreeing to undertake dredging the San Jacinto River and then negotiated to get the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to undertake the endeavor. While a third reservoir and improvements to the current flood control system take priority, my colleagues and I also continue to explore new flood mitigation options, such as drainage reuse and underground stormwater conveyance tunnels.

Jack Cagle

Precinct 4 Commissioner

 

WHAT WILL $60 MILLION GET YOU IN HUMBLE ISD?

 Dear Editor:

According to the Humble ISD website, we will pay $60 million in debt service this year. How is this large debt obligation being managed? By requesting voter approval for an additional $600 million in bonds. The Humble ISD School Board repeatedly states the district is a “fast growing” district and there is a desperate need for additional schools; therefore, there needs to be a bond election for the building of schools to support added student growth. However, when looking into what the proposed bonds would be used for, the answer is not the building of schools. The bonds are going to pay for third practice gyms in current high schools, wood floors in gyms, turf for the baseball and softball fields at Turner Stadium, a new agricultural barn north of the river and renovations to the agricultural barn south of the river, and repairs and renovations to existing facilities. As for additional classrooms, the bonds are only going to be used for one new middle school, one elementary school and an additional 10 classrooms at one high school. To be fair, it is also going to pay to demolish and rebuild two existing schools which is more than questionable. Rather than adding additional debt, why doesn’t the school board propose to reduce our debt service expense and free up money for teacher compensation? Teachers have a far greater impact on our children’s education than new turf or additional gyms. If there is a need for additional schools, then present a bond issue to only build schools; I am sure the community would support this need for students. Please vote NO on the upcoming bond issue. It’s bad for students, bad for teachers, and bad for the taxpayers of Humble ISD.

Fred Flickinger

Kingwood

 

VOTE YES

Dear Editor:

On May 5, Humble ISD residents can go to the polls and vote for the bond referendum allowing the district to borrow up to $575 million to provide for the needs of our growing and aging school district. The challenges can be met, and – best of all – this bond package will not affect your tax rate. The demographic challenge is undeniable. Humble ISD a fast-growing district. The district currently projects that nearly 10,000 students will be added to district rolls through 2025. New schools are now being built and opened with funds approved in the 2008 bond election. The new bond request will finance a new middle school and a new elementary school. As new campuses are being built, older campuses are now in need of renewal. Some of our campuses are over 40 years old. This bond request will finance the rebuilding in place of Kingwood Middle School and Lakeland Elementary School because, in the long run, it is more cost efficient to build a new school up to modern standards than to continuously maintain aging facilities. Besides building two new schools and replacing two old schools, funds from the bonds will go towards a wide array of projects throughout our district. CBAC recommendations presented to the Humble ISD School Board sought to address equity issues across the district while addressing local needs. Bond specifics can be found on the Humble ISD website. Our students benefit from a quality education provided for in part by having great facilities. Let’s keep that going into the future. Join me and the other local community members of the leadership of Humble ISD Vote – Trey Hill, Crystal Kirby and Deborah Rose-Miller – in voting for the bond.

Paul Campbell

Kingwood

 

UNFAIR

 Dear Editor:

Local area community colleges find it difficult to staff faculty positions as full time Professors and Instructors for a rapidly growing Latino/Hispanic population. I, the founder of HESI or Hispanic Executive Society International, analyzed the latest IPED.GOV federal reporting agency for higher-education for the last full twelve-month period. A comparison of percentage of Latino students vs faculty indicate a major disproportionate amount of Latino faculty with the amount (expressed in an amount needed to reach 100 percent Latino parity).  The highest number is that of Lone Star College (402 short) followed by San Jacinto College (344 short), followed by Houston Community College (271 short) and then Alvin Community College (33 short). Recent information provided by IPED.Gov shows that the Latino/Hispanic faculty level is only 15 percent Latino/Hispanic faculty system-wide compared to a 40 percent Latino student population and the current Houston metro population of 50-plus percent (Houston’s largest majority.) The white/Caucasian faculty, conversely, is 56 percent against a white Anglo student level of 34 percent.  It is important to know that in the administrative executives area, there are all white/Caucasian, a few Blacks and no Latino/Hispanics represented in these positions of authority and high compensation within the faculty, In summary, Lone Start must fire 585 white/Caucasian faculty and hire 478 Latino /Hispanic faulty, to reach a 100 percent level of parity. Dr. Head, chancellor of Lone Star, does not believe in quotas, mandates, affirmative action, or a five-year goal to resolve the shortfall of Latino/Hispanic faculty over a five-year period. “Best effort” is the only thing that he could commit to. Discrimination is unlawful and it is a crime to be ignored.

Joe Ramirez

Kingwood

 

Author: Lori OjedaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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