Columns/Opinions

Wed
21
Feb
Edgar's picture

Texas Independence Day Celebration

Pageantry. Canon firings. All kinds of Texas music. Historical dramas. Texas Aggie Singing Cadets. Musket gun salutes. Historical camps. 1836 crafts. Kids Zone. Texas- sized 182nd birthday party of Texas independence.

All of this—and much, much more—occurs at Texas Independence Day Celebration (TIDC). Presented by H-E-B, TIDC is a free admission, two-day living history experience on Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4, 2018 on the 293-acre Washington on the Brazos Historic Site in central Texas, halfway between Houston and Austin. It is there— on March 2,1836—that 59 men bravely met in Washington, TX to formally declare Texas’ independence from Mexico, making Washington on the Brazos the very spot “Where Texas Became Texas.”

The site’s three fascinating on-site attractions (Star of Republic Museum, Barrington Living History Farm and Independence Hall) can be enjoyed free during TIDC. Parking and shuttles are also free.

 

Wed
21
Feb
Edgar's picture

Hazard mitigation funding for Harvey recovery becomes available

By ED STERLING

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott traveled to Rockport and Houston on Feb. 13 to announce the availability of new funding for hazard mitigation projects along the Gulf Coast following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

Abbott invited cities and counties to submit applications for projects and said the funding would provide an estimated $1 billion for hazard and flood mitigation projects designed to both help Texas rebuild and reduce the risk of future damage from flooding and Hurricanes.

The funding, to be administered by the Texas Division of Emergency Management, can be used for:

- Buyouts and elevations of flood prone properties;

- Drainage and reservoir projects that eliminate future flooding;

-Projects to lessen the frequency or severity of flooding;

- Flood risk reduction projects such as dams, retention basins, levees, floodwalls; and

- Large-scale channeling of waterways

 

Wed
14
Feb
Edgar's picture

Legislation passed by Congress includes hurricane relief funds

By ED STERLING

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Feb. 9 lauded Congress’ passage of budget legislation that contains nearly $90 billion in hurricane and wildfire disaster relief funding for Texas, Florida, California and Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Harvey pounded Texas from Aug. 25-31, resulting in disaster status for some 60 counties. The federal Office of Coastal Management has estimated the total cost of Harvey at $125 billion. Cost estimates by various other organizations have reached as high as $200 billion.

 

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition https://www.etypeservices.com/Pittsburg%20GazetteID315/

Wed
14
Feb
Edgar's picture

Analysis: A cloudy day for sunshine laws in Texas

By ROSS RAMSEY

It might deflate your confidence in the state of Texas to find that the people protecting your access to government information have their thumbs on the scale. That they’re playing favorites. That they put requests from their enemies on the slow track. Or that they advise the agencies who come to them for advice to act that way.

But that might be your takeaway from a remarkable 10-minute-21-second video of Marc Rylander, director of communications for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, talking to a crowd at an open government seminar put on by the AG’s office in San Marcos last month.

 

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition https://www.etypeservices.com/Pittsburg%20GazetteID315/

Wed
07
Feb
Edgar's picture

Straus: Audit reveals need for stronger oversight at state agency

by ED STERLING,
Texas Press Association

AUSTIN — House Speaker Joe Straus on Jan. 31 said a new state audit raises questions about the management of the state Health and Human Services Commission and illustrates the need for legislative hearings.

A report released last week by the State Auditor’s Office found that HHSC allowed Superior Health Plan Inc. to report approximately $29.6 million in bonus and incentive payments paid to affiliates’ employees, even though those payments were not allowed under the state’s contract with Superior. The state agency also approved Superior’s request to report affiliate profits as costs without following the approval process contained in the state’s contract with Superior.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition https://www.etypeservices.com/Pittsburg%20GazetteID315/

Wed
07
Feb
Edgar's picture

The Electoral College

A column by ELLIS KNOX

Recently I had a discussion with an old friend of mine via messaging on Facebook about President Trump. He had posted a couple things that were generally off the mark about the President but the one I was definitely riled about was that Trump was not a legitimate president because he had not won the popular vote. I reminded him that the popular vote was irrelevant to the process of electing American Presidents, except on the county level, because the Electoral College elects the President of the United States.

I explained to him the popular vote did not actually reflect the majority of the country? Of course that really confused him. The framers of the Constitution realized that a popular vote may reflect the majority of a certain group but not the wishes of the country as a whole.

Thu
01
Feb
Edgar's picture

Governors urge congressional leaders to pass disaster aid funding

By ED STERLING

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and the governors of California, Puerto Rico and Florida on Jan. 24 asked U.S. House and Senate leaders to hurry up and pass supplemental disaster funding, and to send the legislation to President Trump.

“Over the past several months, we have received numerous assurances that adequate disaster funding was imminent,” the governors wrote in a joint letter. “Its continued delay only exacerbates ongoing uncertainty in devastated areas. Simply put, the communities devastated by these storms cannot be completely put back together until the federal government makes good on its promise to our citizens. If ever there was a time and role for the federal government to urgently help its citizens rebuild communities damaged by epochal disasters, now is the time to step up and fill that role.”

 

Wed
24
Jan
Edgar's picture

He has left his “footprint”

By Debby Knox

My phone rang around midnight and Roy and I were dead asleep. The call came during the week and we both had to work the next day. I could hear a big commotion on the other end of the line but the operator said, “Will you accept a collect call from Dick White?” Dick owned The Gazette at the time and I certainly wasn’t going to say no to that collect call.

To my surprise, however, it was Chuck (Johns) and Don (Reynolds) prank calling me. They were in Las Vegas. Oh what those two could think of when they were off together.

Don was reading the riot act to Roy at a wedding we all were attending. Don was proclaiming he wasn’t going to be in Roy’s column. He was talking to all of us but really Roy. So Roy just smiled and said nothing.

Don often said, “you never argue with people who buy ink by the barrel,” but clearly never took his own advice.

 

Wed
24
Jan
Edgar's picture

Hurricane recovery efforts continue with much still to do

By ED STERLING

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Jan. 17 extended for 30 days the state disaster declaration for counties affected by Hurricane Harvey, which pounded and flooded the Gulf Coast and moved deeply inland, spreading its destructive power.

“As long as Texas families are fighting to recover, they can rest assured that the State of Texas is fighting with them,” Abbott said. The 60 counties listed in the declaration will continue to be eligible for assistance as they recover and rebuild, the governor said.

Abbott, who remains in regular contact with congressional leaders and the Trump administration, said he has continued to request funds to rebuild Texas. On Jan. 19, Abbott said he shared Hurricane Harvey survivors’ aggravation over that fact that much-needed continuing federal disaster aid for Texas is bogged down in Washington politics.

 

Wed
17
Jan
Edgar's picture

DPS acts to prevent violent confrontations at capitol

By ED STERLING

AUSTIN — Enhanced security measures have been implemented at the state capitol complex and grounds, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced Jan. 11. According to the DPS announcement, “It has been observed that some individuals or groups seek violent confrontations during protests and equip themselves for physical combat.

To ensure the safety and security of the general public and those who seek to exercise their right to peacefully assemble and protest, effective immediately, certain items may be prohibited from the capitol grounds unless worn or carried by a licensed peace officer.” Open-flame torches, gas masks, helmets, pepper spray and shields were included on a list of more than 20 prohibited items provided by DPS. Furthermore, the DPS said, while citizens have a right to counter-protest within the capitol complex,

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