Columns/Opinions

Wed
17
Apr
Edgar's picture

Top officeholders join together in push for funding solution

STATE CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen on April 10 released a joint statement promoting a twofold method for the 86th Texas Legislature to curb property tax increases across the state.

“Texans are fed up with skyrocketing property taxes. At the beginning of the legislative session, the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker laid out an agenda for property tax relief through the passage of Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2 to limit property tax growth,” the state’s top officeholders said.

Wed
17
Apr
Edgar's picture

I Hate The Internet

IT’S THE PITTS

A few years ago Pete Gnatkowski from Carrizozo, N.M., wrote me, I hope in jest, and wondered which Lee Pitts I was. He’d Googled my name and found that there was a Lee Pitts African American comedian, a well known preacher, champion fisherman and a murderer. Talk about identity theft!

If you think you’re important or have accomplished anything in life just Google your name. I did and found there were 17,600,000 results for Lee Pitts. I think Pete must have wandered down the list a ways because when I Googled my name the numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, results were me. Number 4 was a black guy from Fort Meyers, Fla., who was on TV. I once gave a speech in Fort Meyers and while I was there I watched that Lee Pitts on TV and found myself wishing I was half as entertaining as he was.

Wed
17
Apr
Edgar's picture

A tale of two counties

TEXAS PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION

While the debates over property taxes in the Texas Legislature are mostly held out in the open, the same can’t be said of negotiations surrounding property tax abatements under Chapter 312 of the Texas Tax Code. This controversial economic development incentive is brokered behind closed doors, even though it costs Texas taxpayers millions in foregone revenue.

Residents of Concho County learned this the hard way last summer. They found out about a special tax deal for the subsidiary of a big corporation when they read through a meeting agenda posted at the county courthouse 72 hours before the meeting.

Wed
17
Apr
Edgar's picture

Keeping cool and finding trustworthy AC repair

BBB COLUMN

Slowly but surely, that famous Texas heat is returning, and will be back in full force before we know it. It’s important to be prepared in case you begin experiencing problems with your air conditioning unit or just need a preventative maintenance check.

According to energy.gov, furnaces and air conditioners need their filters cleaned and changed every couple of months. A dirty filter can also increase energy costs and damage equipment. So, while your allergies may be caused by cedar or mold, regularly maintaining your home’s heating and cooling systems can improve the air quality of your home, cut energy costs and help alleviate allergies.

Common air conditioner problems include a low or leaking refrigerant, issues with the thermostat, a clogged drain or a dirty filter.

 

 

Wed
10
Apr
Edgar's picture

United Way of the Concho Valley supporting West Texas

UNITED WAY

Here are two reasons I give to the United Way of the Concho Valley: Breadth. And depth.

After months of painstakingly reviewing grant applications, visiting local and area nonprofits, and thoroughly vetting those organizations, the United Way has agreed to contribute $755,000 to 19 programs administered by 16 agencies.

Those groups include the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Angelo and Menard, the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Concho Valley Regional Food Bank, the local family shelter, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of the Concho Valley, The Ozona Community Center, West Texas Counseling and Guidance, and the YMCA. The full list is available for viewing at uwconhcovalley.org .

Wed
10
Apr
Edgar's picture

Russia is a threat: ‘We can’t fall into their trap of eroding trust in our democratic institutions’

HURD ON THE HILL

Here’s something you won’t hear on cable news: Special Counsel Robert Mueller, our intelligence community and Republicans and Democrats in Congress all agree that Russia is a threat. For over two years in Congress, I’ve fought for my friends in the intelligence community as a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Russia has been a primary focus of the Committee’s work because of repeated and persistent attempts by Vladimir Putin to challenge international norms and undermine the United States and our allies. Russia has one goal: to erode trust in our democratic institutions.

Wed
03
Apr
Edgar's picture

What about food sensitivities and allergies?

HERE'S TO YOUR HEALTH

The symptoms of food intolerance or sensitivities, and food allergy are similar, but the differences between the two are significant. Eating a food to which you are intolerant can leave you feeling badly but a true food allergy could be life-threatening.

A food intolerance response takes place in the digestive system. It occurs when you are unable to properly breakdown the food. This could be due to enzyme deficiencies, sensitivity to food additives, genetic expressions, or reactions to naturally occurring chemicals in foods. Often, people can eat small amounts of the food without causing problems.

According to an article by Ryan Andrews, MS, MA, RD, RYT, CSCS, appearing on the Precision Nutrition website, “A food intolerance, or a food sensitivity occurs when a person has difficulty digesting a particular food. This can lead to symptoms such as intestinal gas, abdominal pain or diarrhea.

 

 

Wed
03
Apr
Edgar's picture

House, Senate continue to move closer to passing budget

STATE CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS

AUSTIN — Last week, with 60 days remaining until the end of the 140-day regular session of the 86th Texas Legislature, the House and Senate vaulted closer toward finalizing a state budget.

On March 27, the House of Representatives voted 149-0 in favor of HB 1, its version of the state budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. The lower chamber’s bill allocates some $251 billion to cover the two years and puts $9 billion more than the current budget into education reform, including a teacher pay increase and pension funding, and property tax reform.

SB 1, the Senate’s version of the state budget, is scheduled for more early-April hearings in the Senate Finance Committee before coming to a Senate floor vote.

 

 

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Wed
03
Apr
Edgar's picture

The Cuddling Kind

LEE PITTS

Every once in awhile I’ll hear about an idea that makes me slap my forehead and say, “I wish I’d have thought of that.” Cow cuddling is one of those ideas.

According to writer Linnea Zielinski, people are paying big money to cuddle and play with cows. She says it’s all part of something called “animal centric holistic health.”

To which I say, “Huh?”

Linnea says that cow cuddling is for people who just can’t get into meditation and she insists that cuddling with a cow will slow down your heart rate. “They will pick up on what’s going inside and sense if you are happy, sad, feel lost, anxious or are excited and they will respond to that without judgement, ego or agenda.” She also says cows are sensitive and intuitive characters.

 

 

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition http://etypeservices.com/The%20Ozona%20StockmanID57/

Wed
03
Apr
Edgar's picture

Making a better Texas

PETER FLORES

We have passed the halfway point of the 86th Texas Legislature; under 70 days remain to make a better Texas. Through my work as a Texas Senator, I try to embody Sam Houston’s definition of leadership: “A leader is someone who helps improve the lives of other people or improve the system they live under.”

That’s my goal this Legislative session: leave Texas better than I found it. In this effort, the Texas Senate has already passed almost 30 bills––most with unanimous approval. I was a coauthor on six of those bills (Senate Bills 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 12).

Senate Bill 500, the supplemental appropriations bill, was among the bills with unanimous support. This appropriation comes on top of the general appropriations bill we are crafting in Senate Finance Committee. Every session, this bill gives the legislature the opportunity to address specific issues the state is facing with onetime appropriations.

 

 

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