Friday, July 27, 2012

To Have the Pines or Not

First of all you must know that I believe when natural disasters occur, they happen for a reason.  Most of the time disasters cause the need to rebuild, which I am all for, but some disasters do not.  For example, the World Trade Center Towers do not need to be rebuilt.  Instead a memorial was built to serve a purpose of reviving the lost souls of that day.  The homes in Louisiana destroyed from hurricane Katrina needed to be rebuilt because people’s whole being was in that area.  Their business and lifestyles were able to be revived.  This introduction I present to you will all make sense once you have read about the “Pines” I mentioned in my title.
About a year ago in Bastrop county wildfires burned all but 240 acres of the 6,000-acre Bastrop State Park.  Anyone who drove down Texas highways 21 and 71 saw first-hand how crippling these fires were to the community, wildlife, and landscape.  The park was known for the tall Pine trees that housed a lot of forest wildlife, mainly the endangered Houston toad.  The wildfires burned all plant life but, native post oak and the Yaupon holly.
Greg Creacy, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's regional fire and natural resources coordinator said, "If we let nature take its course and do nothing, it won't be the Lost Pines anymore. It will be a post oak and Yaupon thicket."
Let’s pause right there.  Is there a con to having a post oak and Yaupon thicket that the public is unaware of?  Another question is what does the coordinator of the regional fire and natural resources department really in charge of?  Appreciating and letting nature naturally grow, or speeding up nature’s process?  This is a big issue for two reasons.  One, as I have said before somethings happen on this planet that we cannot control and that does not mean we should fix them.  Two, the county budget for repair and maintenance has now run out so supporters of this issue are asking for government funding to help speed nature’s process.
“It took more than $2 million to remove hazardous trees and repair erosion damage, such as fixing walking trails, using money earmarked for capital improvement projects,” Creacy said.  "Without active management of the pine forest, it will disappear."
True, the pine forest may disappear, but why are we so against new vegetation if it costs Texas less and is potentially equally beneficial for the environment?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

State Status

I agree with something Paul Burka wrote in this blog post a week ago.  The topic of the post was about a comment Obama made about Texas becoming a swing state.  In this post Burka mentioned that he could see this potentially coming true, but not until the year 2020.  His reasoning behind this is because of the large number of Hispanics who don’t go out and vote already.  I completely understand that this is a very large population that can make huge changes within government, yet none of them have come out to vote to be represented.  I do not have a clear understanding as to why there aren’t huge numbers of Hispanic voters either, but my guess is that they are complacent with how the government is run already.  Another factor could be that they are ill informed, or they do not have a vested interest in the candidates who are not of their ethnicity.
Burka’s audience is very broad reaching millions of Texans which could potentially push more people to vote or better yet speak up about their beliefs and influence a healthy debate with each other to support the candidate of their choice.  This could cause for Texas to become a swing state, but one thing is for sure- if there are more people talking about these issues and participating in the government, our system would become much healthier.  This would require both parties to really fight for their power and strength within our local systems which will ultimately give the people the presence they want to feel.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Who will take Hutchinson's position?

In this editorial in the Dallas Morning News, talk about our candidates for future Senator was presented.  Tom Leppert, former Dallas mayor and senatorial candidate, endorsing David Dewhurst, addresses all voters by trying to make a point the Dewhurst campaign should be making.  Leppert claims that Dewhurst’s accomplished resume and experiences make him out to be the better candidate between him and his word savvy running-mate Ted Cruz.  Dewhurst has 10 years under his belt as Lt. Governor, and Cruz is a lawyer, and as evidence shows a very good one.

I agree with Leppert on this issue of who the better candidate is just by what I read from his editorial.  (Maybe he should work with the Dewhurst campaigning staff.)  I also read the comments to this editorial and I found two things.  One, no one is a Dewhurst fan, or two, Cruz followers were very upset and were the only ones commenting.  On one comment I read how someone had watched the debate and saw how much passion Cruz spoke with, without notecards or any material while Dewhurst fumbled around his cards to find the right words to say.  My comment on this is, some people just don’t need written prompt to remember what their goals are-especially if they are a lawyer I would hope that they are quick enough thinkers to not need notecards.  Second, Cruz is a new political official on the scene he has much less to lose that Dewhurst does.  I believe that anyone who has been in a public spotlight for a decade and a political position needs to watch what they say.  Dewhurst is in a position where his whole reputation could be turned at a misinterpreted statement.  Will Cruz do what he says?  Or will he gain all of these followers because of his word magic and then not be able to perform his statements?  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"The citizens paying that fee … they don't know it's the state, they're going to look at the local official and say, what the heck are you doing?"  Said Elna Christopher from the Texas Association of Counties.  Budget cuts that are at the state level are directly effecting how local county governments are able to run.  In this article in The Texas Tribune these situations are recognized.  I feel this runs into the problem of people not knowing what is going on in government nationally, statewide, and locally.  By becoming aware of changes that will be made two things could potentially occur. 1-people can better prepare themselves to deal with these budget cuts, and 2-there could be less of a havoc when people are "surprised" some of their resources have been limited or cut.