Columns/Opinions

Thu
01
Feb
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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
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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
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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
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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,

Wed
17
Jan
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How Intelligence Works

By ELLIS KNOX

How does an attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 happen? Or how does the attack on the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001? Or why didn’t we think the Soviet Union (USSR) would not put medium range ballistic missiles in Cuba? Why didn’t we see these things coming? In the case of Pearl Harbor, we did. However, no one thought the Japanese would attack the “most powerful” fleet in the Pacific.

The general thinking was the attack would come in the Philippines. There were plenty of signals, but most of these came only days and hours before the attack planes appeared over Pearl. Many writers say the signals were ignored, actually the information was just not understood. Intelligence is often a fleeting thing.

Wed
10
Jan
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FEMA clears way for public assistance to churches that aid in disasters

By ED STERLING

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Jan. 3 announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s approval of their request to allow churches and religious organizations to receive the same public assistance available to other nonprofits aiding in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

FEMA’s Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide previously offered assistance to private non-profit organizations, including zoos, performing arts centers and museums, and excluded facilities established or primarily used for religious activities. The revised policy is in force for any major disaster declared on or after Aug. 23, 2017.

 

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Wed
10
Jan
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Having time on my hands

By ROY KNOX

Wed
03
Jan
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Let’s look at 2018 mid-term elections

By ROY KNOX

The Democrats are predicting the Republicans will lose several seats in Congress during the mid-term elections because they (the Democrats) claim only the “rich” will receive any tax reductions. Big media and the Hollywood liberal celebrities are pushing the same narrative. A non-partisan financial group has studied the new tax codes and claims all the “middle class” will receive tax reductions starting with their first pay check in 2018. I`m not sure what the Democrats are going to do or say when that happens, many of them wanted to vote for the new tax laws but were not allowed to by Democratic leadership. So, which is worse, not having enough money to run a campaign (leadership controls the purse strings) or alienating your constituents? I look for the Republicans to pick up seats in the house and the senate.

• Debbie received a “Fitbit” for Christmas from our son.

Wed
03
Jan
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Texas waits for Senate agreement on disaster aid funding

By ED STERLING

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Dec. 21 released a statement applauding the U.S. House of Representatives’ preliminary passage of $81 billion in disaster aid to Texas, several other states and Puerto Rico.

Abbott called the House’s 251-169 vote in favor of the aid package “a step in the right direction” but added that “more needs to be done to ensure the funds Congress provides address the critical needs Texans are enduring from the largest natural disaster in our state’s history. We look forward to working with the Senate to improve the disaster funding to ensure it addresses the acute needs of Texans.”

The U.S. Senate went into recess on Dec. 22 without voting on disaster funding. The recess came after senators passed a continuing resolution to avoid a federal government shutdown for lack of a budget agreement.

 

Wed
27
Dec
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TO THE WORKING CLASS

By ROY KNOX

Congress has finally passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and sent it on to President Trump to sign. This will probably happen before Christmas. As expected, no Democrat voted in favor of the bill. Instead they are penning their hopes on a chance this bill will be a failure. The Democrats would rather see the working class suffer than see the Republicans be successful. The big winner here is the working class. They will make more money, pay a lower percentage of taxes, have more job opportunities and not be saddled with “Obamacare.”

• AT&T has announced its plans on a $1 billion in capital spending and a thousand-dollar bonus for 200,000 employees. I’m guessing this is not good news for the Democrats.

 

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