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SUN CITY GRANDMAS: A Force to Be Reckoned with... Page 9
Schroeder: Sourcing Sun City For Georgetown's Success
On January 7, Georgetown Attorney
Mayor Ross Not Seeking Re-Election P
resident George H.W. Bush said, "Public Service is a noble calling and we need men and women of character to believe that they can make a difference in their communities, in their states and in their country." My wife, Mickie, and I believe this is true. We have had the honor of serving the citizens of Georgetown for almost nine years; three years as a member of the Georgetown city council and almost six years as mayor. I intentionally use the word “we” because anyone that has held elected office knows the office holder cannot effectively serve and lead without the support and sacrifice of their spouse. Another key driver for our public service comes from the scripture. Luke 12:48 states, in part, “from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” The community of Georgetown has given us so much and we have attempted to repay this generosity in a small way by giving our time and talent to make our city better for all its citizens. I will not seek re-election for mayor when my current term expires in May. I believe it is time for others in our community to have the opportunity to serve and lead. I am proud to leave the next mayor with a clean slate and a firm foundation to build upon our continued successes. In 2017, the Georgetown City Council created a new vision statement for the city. Georgetown: A caring community honoring See Mayor, page 5
and community leader Josh Schroeder announced his candidacy for Mayor to a capacity crowd on the Square. Former Georgetown Mayor, Tim Kennedy, says, "Josh is, above all, a man of faith and a family man. Josh will treat any citizen who comes to talk to him with respect and dignity. Being Mayor of Georgetown was one of the great honors of my life, and Josh has earned the opportunity to be the leader of this town." Schroeder has personal investment in, and great love for Georgetown. He told AdvocateNews he is eager to be in a position to seek out and make use of the resources available, among Georgetown residents, to bolster the success of the City. His campaign team has scheduled a series of Meet & Greets in Sun City to do just that. "I am really looking forward to getting to know all the experts here," Schroeder says. "I became aware of what an amazing resource Sun City was when I
Josh Schroeder and Tom Burdett at a Sun City Meet & Greet this week was board president at The Caring Place. There are more than 400 volunteers there, from the boardroom to the sorting room. All these people come here with lifetimes of experience; they are super qualified,
and they are happy to serve our city in any capacity." He also notes the foundation of volunteer management is not about asking people See Schroeder, page 5
Shawn Hood Running for Open District 2 Seat
Shawn Hood, founder and owner of
Shawn F. Hood Design, Planning & Consultation announced his plans to run for the Georgetown City Council District 2 seat in 2020. Councilmember Valerie Nicholson released a statement regarding her intent not to run again; “I’ve been honored to serve our wonderful community, but my three-year commitment is coming to an end and so I’ve chosen to focus on my top priorities: family, health, and career. I look forward to supporting a candidate for Councilmember District 2 who shares my values and who will embrace our
vision of a caring community honoring our past and innovating for the future.” Mr. Hood has been designing homes from his office on the Georgetown Square for nearly 20 years and is known for his artistic style and ability to build new homes with historical character. "It's been a privilege to be on the Square for the past 20 years. More so because about 70 percent of my business is
clients relocating to Georgetown. We work on their project, then walk out the door to go to lunch and, invariably, they stop and look at the courthouse and Square and say, 'I can't believe I get to live like this.' I believe all of that, the charm of our Square and all of downtown, is worth protecting and preserving for generations to come." Mr. Hood has not only been a small business owner, youth league coach, and church elder, he recently served two terms on the Historical Architectural Review Committee (HARC) and several other city appointments. "My children are nearly grown and living in Round Rock, I've been a man without a country. I finally found the perfect property in Georgetown—I can walk to my office—and I'm now in a position to put my hand to plow; I can't wait to give back See Hood, page 6
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Candidate filing period for May election
The first day to file for candidates who wish to run for mayor or for a seat on the Georgetown City Council was Jan. 15. Candidates for mayor as well as for City Council districts 2 and 6 will be on the ballot for the May 2 election. The filing period is Jan. 15 through Feb. 14. Completed applications for candidacy should be submitted at City Hall, 808 Martin Luther King, Jr. St. Valerie Nicholson is the current council member for District 2, Rachael Jonrowe for District 6, and Dale Ross is mayor. To see maps of council districts, go to maps. georgetown.org/council-district-maps. Georgetown City Council members serve three-year terms representing one of seven single-member districts. The mayor serves a three-year term representing the whole city. A candidate for city council or mayor must be at least 18 years of age on the first day of the term of office and a citizen and qualified voter of the state of Texas and the City of Georgetown. Candidates for council district seats must be a resident of the council district the member
AdvocateNewsTX.com would be representing for a period of six months as of the last legal date for filing. Candidates for mayor must be a resident of Georgetown for a period of six months as of the last legal date for filing. The last day to register to vote in the May election is April 2. Early in-person voting is April 20-28. In the early voting period, voters may cast ballots at any early voting location in Williamson County. Early voting polling places, dates, and times will be listed at wilco. org/elections. On election day May 2, voters may cast ballots at any vote center location in Williamson County. Polling places, dates, and times will be listed at wilco.org/ elections. For details about the city election, go to government. georgetown.org/city-secretary/elections.
Free Electronic Tax Preparation
United Way of Williamson County will be offering free electronic tax preparation at locations across the county. Starting January 27 and running through April 15, 2020, IRS-certified tax preparers will be available in Georgetown, Hutto, Leander, Liberty Hill, and
Taylor to provide assistance to wage-earners through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). VITA volunteers will complete and file federal tax returns to households earning $55,000 or less annually, and to older adults of all income levels. In addition to the sites managed by United Way of Williamson County, AARP Tax Aide, and Foundation Communities will also offer free preparation assistance for the upcoming tax filing season at locations in Cedar Park, Georgetown, Leander, Round Rock, and Taylor. Information for all Williamson County sites including locations, dates, and times is available at www.WilcoFreeTaxPrep.org or by calling 2-1-1. “Tax laws change regularly and we strongly encourage wage-earners to meet with a preparer at one of the local free tax preparation sites,” UWWC Chief Executive Officer Jodee O’Brien said. “Our volunteers are trained and certified by the IRS to identify qualifying tax credits to answer questions, navigate through the new system, and maximize each person’s federal tax refund.” O’Brien goes on to state that the goal of the program is to help low-to-moderate income workers increase
their financial security. By offering this service free of charge, clients can keep their hard-earned money, avoid unnecessary fees or high-interest loans, maximize their tax credits, and submit more accurate returns. Free tax preparation services are available in English and Spanish. Tax preparers are certified through the IRS annually and returns are filed electronically according to IRS standards.
Junior Police Academy applications now available
Applications for the Georgetown Police Department’s Junior Police Academy summer camps are now available. There will be a one-day registration event from 9 a.m.-noon March 28 at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 DB Wood Road. The free summer camp is for Georgetown students ages 8 to 12 years old. During each session, junior cadets will be introduced to physical training, such as obstacle courses, self-defense tactics, hand-cuffing, marching, and rappelling. Each session has 35 slots available, and registration is
on a first-come, first-served basis. Camps are MondayThursday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Camp sessions are: June 8-11 (age 8-10) June 15-18 (age 10-12) June 29-July 2 (age 8-10) July 13-16 (age 10-12) July 20-23 (age 10-12) July 27-July 30 (age 8-10) Visit pd.georgetown.org for more information.
Draft 2030 Comprehensive Plan update open house Feb. 12
The City of Georgetown Planning Department will host an open house from 4:30-7 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St. on the draft 2030 Comprehensive Plan update. The meeting is come-and-go, and presentations will be made on the hour. During the meeting, residents and property owners will be able to learn more about what’s included in the plan and provide feedback to staff. City staff presented the draft plan to City Council at its Jan. 28 meeting. The plan is expected to be adopted by the council this spring. The 2030 Plan acts as a guide for the City’s growth and development decisions,
and components of the plan include land use, Williams Drive Gateway Plan, gateways and image corridors, housing, and plan implementation. The implementation plan will guide how the City uses the 2030 Plan during the next 10 years. The implementation plan outlines three major strategies: • Regulatory framework • Decision framework • Plans, programs and partnerships Each strategy relates to the goals outlined in the 2030 Plan update, which were drafted using public input from community surveys including the first “On the Table,” in which more than 1,400 people participated in conversations to envision Georgetown’s future, and an accompanying online public survey taken by an additional 1,460 people. To see the full draft plan, visit 2030.georgetown.org. Feedback should be sent to email@example.com. The Planning Department also is offering office hours by request. To request a meeting or to have a planning staff member present at a community meeting, call (512) 930-3575 or email 2030@georgetown. org.
February Events in Georgetown Mural dedication
Several events will happen in Georgetown throughout February in recognition of Black History Month.
Come to the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St. for a screening of “The Best of Enemies” followed by a discussion facilitated by Courageous Conversations of Georgetown at 2 p.m. Feb. 2. The PG-13rated film, based on a true story, focuses on the relationship of a civil rights activist and a Ku Klux Klan leader who co-chair a community meeting on school desegregation in 1971. Sensitive topics may be discussed, and a guardian’s discretion is advised for those age 18 and younger.
Georgetown Art Center
The Georgetown Art Center will have a variety of events related to the “Tignon” by artist Chelsey Antoinette exhibit running Feb. 14-March 15. Tignon is a French word that can mean cloth or handkerchief and is used to reference the headwraps of Creole women. Events include workshops, as well as an artist reception and a talk. For details on the events, visit georgetownartcentertx. org.
The City will celebrate the dedication of the “Preserving History” mural at 2 p.m. Feb. 15 at the back of City Hall, 808 Martin Luther King Jr. St. The mural features the work of Georgetown artists Devon Clarkson and Norma Clark. Clarkson painted the portrait of Mary Smith Bailey, the founder of the first preschool for non-white children during the period of segregation, which later became the Mary Bailey Head Start Center. Clark painted the colorful, abstract imagery based on the people who live in the Track, Ridge and Grasshopper neighborhood as well as people who attended the historic Marshall Carver neighborhood school. For more information on the mural, visit arts.georgetown.org.
Georgetown Cultural Citizen Memorial Association
The Georgetown Cultural Citizen Memorial Association will host several events in Georgetown to celebrate National Black History Month in February. The group will host a workshop “Heart of the Headwrap” from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Georgetown Art Center, 816 S. Main St. Seating for the workshop is limited. The suggested donation for tickets is $25. For ticket information, contact Regina Durden at (512) 636-4576 or firstname.lastname@example.org. View art by African American artists
in the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St., through Feb. 22. GCCMA will host a meet the artists and panel discussion event from 1-2:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at the library. A panel discussion “The Black Vote” will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. Feb. 22 in the library. This year’s annual Black History Month Banquet on Feb. 29 will include a presentation entitled “African Americans and the Vote” by Audrey Selden with Selden
Consulting. The 38th annual banquet is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Southwestern University. The banquet is open to the public. The suggested donation is $25 per person or $250 for a table sponsor. For more information about the banquet, contact Regina Durden at (512) 636-4576 or email email@example.com.
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FEBRUARY 2020 ï‚« AdvocateNewsTX.com
THE RICH LOWRY COLUMN
Mitch McConnell is Master of the Senate
by Rich Lowry
Every hostile nickname that
Mitch McConnell gets is further confirmation of his effectiveness. The latest is "Midnight Mitch," a reaction to his resolution setting out the road map for the Senate impeachment trial. The measure stipulated that House impeachment managers could make their case over two days of 12-hour sessions, possibly pushing the presentations into the wee hours. Hence, the latest alliterative moniker for McConnell, also
known to his enemies as "Moscow Mitch." McConnell relented slightly on the resolution, giving the managers—and the president's team—three days, instead of two, for opening arguments. But he still got his way on the broader question of how to run the trial— unsurprisingly, because McConnell is a master at what he does. When all is said and done, he'll be remembered as one of the most effective Senate majority leaders in the modern era. A portion of an early Democratic presidential debate was devoted to asking candidates how they'd get around McConnell as president—and none of them had a good answer. He now looms as a hate figure for the left at the same time he's won the grudging admiration of conservatives who once scorned him as too establishmentarian. Nancy Pelosi has gotten more than her share of good press as a powerful and shrewd speaker of the House. Yet her one false
move in the impeachment saga was to believe, on the basis of sheer wishfulness, that she could somehow force McConnell into shaping the Senate trial to her liking by withholding the articles of impeachment. Since McConnell never panics, knows his caucus better than anyone and understands who has leverage in any negotiation, the contest with Pelosi was a mismatch from the start. McConnell held his Republican senators together and waited Pelosi out, giving her no choice but to transmit the articles to the Senate after getting exactly nothing. The majority leader returned to the Senate's rules for the Clinton impeachment. They had passed unanimously in 1999, so they had legitimacy as precedent while still serving McConnell's purposes. They created the predicate for an expeditious trail, with the potentially divisive question of witnesses put off until later. McConnell is so sure-footed because he is truly a creature of the Senate. He's an institutionalist in the best sense. He loves the Senate, and serving in it has always been his ambition. He has
absorbed the rules, the tempo and the role of the institution. In the main, McConnell doesn't care about what the media says about him. He's been called Darth Vader and worse for a long time, at least since his days killing off ill-advised campaign finance legislation earlier in his Senate career. He's not afraid to wield his power, and proved it with his opposition to President Barack Obama's legislative agenda, his block of the Merrick Garland nomination and his historic bout of judicial confirmations over the past three years.
If McConnell is careful and calculating, he's not a cynic. Operating within the realm of the politically possible, as a Senate leader with a narrow majority must, he seeks the public good as he understands it within those constraints. There will be more nicknames to come -- perhaps before the Senate trial has ended. Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review. © 2020 by King Features Synd., Inc.
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munity well for decades to come. Continued investment and new job opportunities were a constant over the last half-decade. Downtown had $11 million in private investment in 2019 alone. Additionally, we saw the opening of the Sheraton Hotel and Convention Center, Randall’s, Holt Cat, Academy, Wolf Crossing, and we are looking forward to the opening of Costco and Wolf Lakes Village. Fourteen years after Jack and Cammy Garey announced that they would donate their ranch and home to become a public park, the City of Georgetown held a grand opening celebration for Garey Park in 2018. An estimated 12,000 people came for the grand opening event. This 525 acre green oasis will forever be a beloved community treasure. In 2015, the voters approved a $105 million bond package for roads and sidewalks, the largest transportation bond in the City’s history. The bond package was expected to take a decade to complete, however, we are
on track to complete these projects within seven years, including the Southwest Bypass, the Rivery Boulevard extension, the soon-to-be-completed Northwest Boulevard Bridge, as well as $10 million in sidewalk improvements. It no secret that Georgetown gained incredible fame and remarkable infamy based on our renewable energy contracts. Despite the challenge and increased cost to customers, in my view, our electric utility is on a stable path, with a renewed focus on safety, reliability, and cost-competitive rates. I look forward to seeing the good work and
GOOD HEALTH FOR SENIORS DEAR DR. ROACH: A family friend has just been diagnosed with bile duct cancer. She is a breast cancer survivor and is 75 years old. The tumor is said to be the size of a quarter, and it was discovered after she complained of heartburn symptoms. Are there screening tests that could have detected the condition before the heartburn symptoms? Are there things that she could have done to avoid the cancer? My family members are frightened and want to avoid her condition. ~Anon. ANSWER: Cholangiocarcinoma, cancer of the bile ducts, is a rare cancer that is, unfortunately, associated with a high mortality rate. There are no symptoms in most people until it is advanced. Since the cancer is in the bile ducts, the most common symptoms are caused by obstruction of the bile ducts: jaundice (yellow in skin/ eyes), generalized itching, dark urine and light-colored stools. Abdominal pain, fever and weight loss are other symptoms. Cholangiocarcinoma is not a disease that's amenable for screening; it is rare in North America (it is more common in East Asia, where there are screening programs). Further, the available screening tests, such as blood tests and imaging studies, are not
very sensitive, meaning the tests will miss cases. And they are not very specific —a positive result on the screening test does not necessarily mean cancer. For these reasons, screening is not currently recommended for people at average risk, although it may be considered in people at high risk, such as people with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a chronic liver disease that puts people at high risk for cholangiocarcinoma. Other risk factors for cholangiocarcinoma are mostly beyond a person's control: other liver diseases, parasites and genetic conditions. There is some evidence that obesity and diabetes increase the risk of this cancer; however, it does no good for you or your friend to look backward. Never blame the victim. She should concentrate on getting treated. I don't have enough information to comment on her prognosis, but the fact that it was diagnosed early -- apparent-
ly before obstruction of the bile ducts -- and with a tumor only the size of a quarter, are favorable. Treatment may include surgery and chemotherapy (before or after surgery). DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife is 69 and in very good health, exercising at least two hours a day. She has suffered from "knots in the back" for over ten years. It comes on suddenly at any time of the day or night, and lasts hours, days and occasionally weeks. She has tried chiropractic, massage therapy, prescription and OTC painkillers, stretching and home massage, all to no avail. A glass of wine is the only reliable relief, and it lasts only a few hours. Is there any recourse to this condition? ~ J.P. ANSWER: I am sure you and your wife must be frustrated. The fact that it comes on suddenly, can be felt as tightness and gets a bit better with alcohol makes me strongly suspect she is having muscle spasms. These most often come on in the legs and feet, but they can affect the back too. Two hours a day of exercising sounds like a lot, and she may be overexercising some muscles, while possibly not exercising others. This can lead to imbalances in muscle strength.
Another common problem stemming from exercising is inadequate stretching. Stretching is the first place to start for many people with muscle cramps. A physical therapist or physiologist may be of immense benefit, and your wife should explain in detail what her exercise regimen is. We are taught to think carefully of the mechanism of injury, and I am concerned the exercise may be that injury. Abnormalities in electrolytes (blood salts, especially potassium, sodium, magnesium and phosphate) are only rarely the cause, although many people write me that they have been helped by taking one or more of these. Primary muscle diseases, side effects from medications and inadequate hydration are possible, but also unlikely. In absence of detailed knowledge about her exercise regimen, I'd recommend she try backing off a bit, maybe using ice after exercise, stretching the back under supervision and trying a hot bath or shower before bed. Dr. Roach regrets he is unable to answer individual questions, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med. cornell.edu.
positive results from our new General Manager and our new portfolio manager, Shell Energy of North America. Finally, even with the incredible growth and challenges in our utilities, the city still offers electric, water, wastewater, trash, and a tax rate, which ranks as the lowest in Central Texas. The cost of these services combined ranks as the fourth lowest in the region – currently about $25 per month more than the lowest ranking city, Round Rock. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the good people of Georgetown. However, it is time for me to focus my time on the significant growth that continues in my CPA firm, to work on getting healthier, and to take Mickie on vacations. I also look forward to spending more time at home relaxing with friends and getting to know our two new kittens, Maggie and Willie. It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later… most likely in one of our great restaurants in town or on the Square. Thanks for the opportunity to make history in the Greatest City on Planet Earth.
SCHROEDER from Page 1
Schroeder Meet & Greet hosted by Ron and Barbara Garland in Sun City to fill a space, "It's about discovering what their strengths are and finding the best place to plug them in for the greatest benefit. We have this vast wealth of knowledge and experience in Sun City; people who are truly looking to help." He recalls a volunteer at the Caring Place who found the utility bills were unmanageable who also happened to have retired as facilities manager for a Fortune 500 company. "He walked in, fixed the HVAC, and saved us $5,000. It is definitely one of my goals to tap Sun City for this kind of expertise on our city boards and commissions." Schroeder says he has also seen similar leadership skills at work in his church. "We have committees for
everything, and the same people who serve on many of them are the same people who support the non-profits in our community. We have this vast wealth of skills and experience, and Georgetown is getting to be a place where boards and commissions are making big decisions, with big dollars attached. We need to find these experts to volunteer. In simplest terms, don't we want the GUS board to be made up of experts on utilities? We have to find those people, and do a better job of connecting with them. I've met some and I can't wait to be able to ask." The Mayoral election is May 2 in Georgetown.
HOOD, from Page 1
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Photo courtesy of Shawn Hood to Georgetown." The Hoods purchased a home near Wolf Ranch, and Shawn says he loves the neighborhood and the people in it. "I am equally familiar with the life changes that bring about growth and downsizing, and I've found people will do whatever it takes to live in Georgetown." Hood, a native Austinite and 4th generation Texan, says while he began his practice in northwest Austin, he realized he did not want to continue working in a city that did not recognize growth and
how to manage it. "I moved to Georgetown because this city is pro-growth, friendly, and people here recognize the need for both; we don't stick our heads in the sand. I manage growth properties, and I always appreciated being able to have conversations with city planning staff, get things approved, and get the work done. We never got much work done in Austin because we would spend months doing prep-work and then not get approved." Hood says the Georgetown process is well-oiled, and, while they may be
overwhelmed with the volume, they are good communicators and keep things positive. "In Georgetown, we recognize growth, embrace it, and channel it in the direction we want it to go." Hood believes he is worthy of the voters' support because he has spent 20 years creating dreams for people in Georgetown; communicating their ideas as a consultant, and delivering those plans as a consultant. "I am wellversed in building bridges. My firm works with developers on deed restrictions administration, and it's not easy to tell a client a house doesn't comply or won't look good. I spent those 20 years maintaining good relationships between homeowners, architects and developers. It is my hope to continue to build bridges in Georgetown between the constituents and the City. "My goals as a City Council member also include maintaining Georgetown's reputation as the third safest city in the state. We need to be conscientious about growth, but maintain the good response times we are known for. We have a great city and it shows in our police and fire, and in the Square."
Celebrating the Delaney at Georgetown
Construction • Builder Spec Farm & Ranch • Lot/Land Tommy Sladecek, Senior Vice-President-Eagle Bank Eagle Bank, A Branch of Round Top State Bank - Jarrell 512-746-2531 or TSladecek@eagle-bank.com Johnnie Mikeska, Regional President-Eagle Bank Eagle Bank, A Branch of Round Top State Bank - Round Rock 512-218-3903 or JMikeska@eagle-bank.com Regina Wharton, Senior Vice-President-Eagle Bank Eagle Bank, A Branch of Round Top State Bank - Round Rock 512-218-3903 or RWharton@eagle-bank.com Robert Randig, Senior Vice-President-Eagle Bank Eagle Bank, A Branch of Round Top State Bank - Round Rock 512-218-3903 or RRandig@eagle-bank.com
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The Delaney at Georgetown hosted a
celebration for residents and their loved ones to celebrate the community having achieved 100 percent occupancy. The Delaney at Georgetown Village offers service-rich independent living, assisted living and memory care. The community features 120 private independent living residences, 55 assisted living residences and 36 memory care suites all comprised in a beautifully designed community adjacent to Georgetown Village. It serves more than 240 residents and 100 team members. The management company for the community, Life Care Services, has earned the
highest ranking in customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Senior Living Study. The Delaney’s management company achieved the highest score in all seven study factors: resident services and activities; community staff; food and beverage; new resident orientation; resident cost; community and grounds; and resident apartment unit. Life Care Services, the nation’s second-largest senior living operator, scored 843 on a 1,000-point scale, a full 49 index points above the second-highest performing senior living organization. Visit TheDelaneySeniorLiving.com/ for more.
The Last Word FEBRUARY 2020 AdvocateNewsTX.com
The Silent Middle T
here’s no way to know everything about everything. But somehow, a couple of decades of social media has created a society where everyone's opinion seems to be equal. I think that is a shame. I don’t know the exact moment it happened, but I don't understand how the ability to share our opinions in the wide world has somehow given some the idea that they are more valid, or necessary. They are not. And instead of telling us the truth, giving us facts, some of our politicians, and a lot of the media we have today, placate the ignorant and play to the extremes. They try to trick us into thinking opinions just need to be loud, without necessarily having any basis in fact. Those are the notions that get noticed, rather than the ones that are well-researched, or evidence-based. I, for one, miss the news that told me what happened and let me make up my own mind about it. In a country of this size, we are never all going to agree. What politicians and news outlets have capitalized on is turning us against each other. But, there are an awful lot of people in the middle who probably have lots of opinions. We don't say them out loud because the loud people will eat us alive. In the past, the "other side" meant another country; an enemy of our Republic. Now, those words refer to opposing political parties and value arguments in the United States. Haven't you already been unfriended, or done the same to someone because you go to Facebook for funny GIFs, rather than constantly hearing about how wrong you are in life? So many of our leaders aren’t taking care of us; they are taking care of themselves, while telling us they are doing it on our behalf. Here in the middle we don't pick sides because there are selfish people everywhere. Sadly, some of those people have recognized that the more divided (and scared) we are, the more political capital they have. It's no longer a given that the free press—organizations that employ educated journalists who adhere to standard practices—is not fake, or at least heavily biased. Are uninformed opinions, or those poisoned by organizations with no journalistic intent at all, just as valid as well-researched ones. They are not. Even if they are delivered with humor or a crazy cat picture. And while we are busy fighting amongst ourselves, some politicians are pushing agendas that keep themselves rich and powerful, at our expense. I wish I had an answer. Right now I am losing hope that, as a regular quiet American going to work and raising a family and paying taxes, I don't mean anything to any of them if I'm not loudly pushing for
their cause. I'm just a single vote among the millions who can't take time off work to protest the latest tweet or some imagined hate-think, and have better things to do on the Internet than pick fights with strangers. Still, I do wish the media could understand that I actually am smart enough to understand facts and not just following the loudest person in the room. I got flamed three times last month over a comment I made about climate change. I honestly don't know if I'm being more hard-headed believing we have 12 years to Armageddon, or if the "crisis" is a trillion-dollar fraud designed to make money for people pushing green energy. Do you? Doesn't matter. And don't write letters to the paper about it; I'm making a completely different point. People in the middle are the ones who educate themselves, using many sources and listening to many voices, and gain an understanding of the subject. I'm not going to blow up an oil refinery but I can stop picking dandelions and spraying Roundup on my yard. I'm doing something that simply makes sense to me and I'm not going to scream at my neighbor for not doing it. That simple method translates into nearly any controversial fightin' words you can think of... guns, babies, vaccinations, whatever. The problems arise when we start debating things that are not simply moral-based choices and resort to arguing based on information we can never be certain is factual. I know what I think about guns and vaccinations but I won't argue with someone who is sourcing a different set of data. We both have facts to back up our argument and neither of us can say for sure that we're right. My point is this; how can we somehow start demanding ethical information sharing? I don't, for a minute, think we will earn integrity in politics just by asking for it. There are many who are experts in a field. As a middle person, I'd like to hear what they have to say but it doesn’t mean they’ve got enough expertise to lead the city, or the state, or the federal government. I do wish our leaders would listen to those experts instead of each other. I'd much rather hear what Neil DeGrasse Tyson has to say about artificial intelligence over the guy who saw "The Matrix" 100 times. If someone is telling you facts, it’s important to get their source. From where does their statement originate? Read about the issue. Take the time to investigate the sources. If I read an article, I look a little further to see whether the organization has a partisan slant. I use a variety of sources, and I knew which ones are trying to convince me for their own agenda. It is painstaking work. However, because I take the time, I can sometimes establish that what I hear—repeatedly—is truthful or not. Ignorance isn’t something to celebrate, and it's certainly not more valid simply because more people heard or read it. I just wish we would take greater responsibility for our opinions. (Are you listening, Hollywood?) Here in the middle, we fancy a good compromise now and then. Compromising based on facts is hard enough. Compromising when facts and innuendo and bad journalism and uninformed opinion are at play is darn near impossible.
OP-ED Congressman John Carter Statement on State of the Union Address
Representative John Carter (TX-31) released the following statement after President Donald Trump gave his State of the Union address to the nation. “President Trump is right, the state of our union is strong, and the best is yet to come. At this moment in time, there’s a lot to celebrate; wages are up,
unemployment is down, and overall, families are doing better than they have in decades. Tonight should serve as a wake-up call to the Democratic Party. While they focus all of their efforts on obstructing, Republicans are focused on delivering real results on the issues the American people care about. On top of all the good news, the President laid out an optimistic vision for our future with the expansion of career and technical education programs, a focus on providing paid family leave and a commitment to
bringing our troops home. “The President is absolutely right when he says that the only victories that matter in Congress are the ones that benefit the American people. It’s time for Speaker Pelosi to remember this and quit the political theatre that has consumed the People’s House for far too long. I look forward to continuing to work with the Trump Administration to deliver real results for the American people.” Rep. Carter represents Texas District 31, which includes Fort Hood, the largest active duty armored military installation in the free world. He serves as co-chairman of the Congressional Army Caucus and Ranking Member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Appropriations.
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Sun City “Grandmas” 2020 — We're Back!
The 2018 Grandmas prepare to knock on doors in Sun City for the general election.
When we introduced readers
to Betty Schleder in 2014, she had just singlehandedly raised $120,000 to send a contingent of Sun City veterans on an Honor Flight. Schleder is an advocate for strong conservative values and, since 2010, she has annually rounded up a group of respected and well-liked friends in Sun City to help her spread the word about qualified candidates for office in Williamson County. “It all started with a knee injury,” Schleder says. “I went to see Dr. Charles Schwertner and he asked me for advice on getting the word out in Sun City about his run for the Texas House.”
Schleder got busy and scheduled a Meet & Greet for all 52 neighborhoods in a two-month period. “I just came up with an idea to give a young doctor a chance to talk to people.” Soon after, Dr. Marsha Farney called to see if the Grandmas could help with her Board of Education race, and the rest—as in, dozens of other races—is history. In 2020, Schleder is again leading a dozen of Sun City’s most well-liked, informed and respected women called “The Sun City Grandmas”. The ladies gather at her house to meet candidates personally to get a sense of their character, platforms and leader-
ship qualities. "We want people to know that we not only do our homework, but we make every effort to get to know our candidates personally, so you can trust that we really stand behind our endorsements." Rather than schedule multiple meet & greets, the Grandmas now have an even greater reach. In the past, they did their homework, researched all the candidates and stuffed and mailed 6,200 letters to Sun City residents with their recommendations at the polls. Now, and every year since 2014, they have personally walked the neighborhoods; rain, shine or snow, to hand-deliver their slate cards.
“It takes a lot to reach every door, but we try to connect with every person we can. It’s hard for anyone to know for sure about all the candidates on the ballot and we feel this is a valuable public service, not just for the voters but for the candidates we truly believe in.” The Grandmas even carry voter registration cards just in case. Not surprisingly, the personal touch has had a tremendous impact. It is statistically significant for any candidate to win the Sun City precincts if he or she is to win county-wide. “We are very proud of people like Judge Rick Kennon, who won his first race by .08 percent countywide, but carried Sun City by a nearly 20 percent average. Our insights served us well—he was our county’s highest rated judge four years in a row. I am always delighted when people tell me how many voters they've seen at the polls carrying one of our slate cards.” The Grandmas are also big advocates of lawn signs. “When people are out and they see someone they know and respect displaying a sign, it matters. I even have people drive by my yard and take notes. If we know a race is going to be contentious we
make the effort to do the homework and, literally, the footwork to get the word out.” Schleder is delighted to welcome new Grandmas to each campaign season. Right now they are building a campaign to support Josh Schroeder for Mayor of Georgetown, and they have already committed to walking all the miles necessary for the November General Election. “We embrace people from all parts and interests in Sun City. It helps us reach out to and engage the diverse interests and opinions we have here. And, be on the lookout for more progress in our group as the median age grows younger and more social media-savvy. We will take on any challenges and challengers like we always have.”
Above: Miss Betty introduces Judge Bill Gravell ahead of his 2018 County Judge election at a Grandma meeting. Left‑: Betty firing up the troops.
MAYOR'S UPDATE • BY DALE ROSS
Enhanced Pedestrian Crossings Coming to Sun City
Construction is set to begin in
February for pedestrian safety improvements on the two main thoroughfares in Sun City. The project involves the addition of pedestrian crossing signs, button-activated flashing lights, and crosswalk striping at eight intersections on Del Webb Boulevard and Sun City Boulevard. These safety enhancements reflect the awareness that our transportation network serves pedestrians as well as vehicles. Dog walkers, runners, and others traveling on foot use the streets and paths in Sun City every day. Markers for pedestrian crossings on the two main routes will alert drivers to the presence of walkers on these busier roadways. Pedestrian crossings will be added to two intersections on Del
Webb Boulevard at Scissortail Trail and Texas Drive as well as six intersections on Sun City Boulevard: • Salt Creek Lane • Texas Drive (south intersection) • Whispering Wind • San Saba Drive • Texas Drive (north intersection) • At Sun City Park (softball fields, dog park, and community gardens) The upgraded crossings will include yellow signs with arrows on both sides of the streets. Each crossing will include solar-powered flashing lights with buttons that can be activated by pedestrians. The solar panels on the signs will be connected to batteries so the flashing lights can be activated at night as well as daylight hours. When pedestrians push a button
at a crosswalk, flashing lights on the sign will provide an additional alert to drivers that pedestrians are present. State law requires drivers to stop at a marked crosswalk when pedestrians are present. Vehicles must yield to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk, even when a flashing light is not present or activated. The project to enhance the crossings was the result of requests from residents as well as the involvement of Council Member Steve Fought and the Sun City Texas Community Association. A list of crossings to be enhanced with pedestrian safety improvements was compiled in 2018. Last year, the Community Association completed improvements to sidewalks for crossings at those locations. The City put the project out for bid last year, and in September, the City Council approved a bid of $632,132 by Choice Builders of Temple to build the project. Construction on the crossing signs, lights, and striping should start in February and be complete in April. To find out more about transportation and mobility projects in Georgetown, go to transportation. georgetown.org. TOP: Pedestrian crossing signs similar to this one on Austin Avenue at 10th Street will be added to eight intersections in Sun City. BOTTOM: Pedestrians can use a button to activate flashing lights to help alert drivers they are crossing the street.
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NEWS FOR PAWS & CLAWS AND SNOUTS & HOOVES
by Dr. Nathan Carlton, DVM
Last week I was called to a farm for a
down doe. The resident farmer raises sheep, and the doe in question, a Barbado, was close to lambing but wasn’t able to stand. I drove out to his place and he showed me to the sheep. She was on the ground with her hind legs straight out behind her in a splits position. I palpated her to see if her cervix was dilated; it was not. During my exam I found her pelvis had somehow been broken. After discussing treatment options with the owner, the decision was made to euthanize the doe. I sedated her and performed a cesarean section to see if the lambs were viable; one was dead but one was alive! I pulled her out of her mother and laid her on the ground, then euthanized the doe in accordance with the owner's wishes. I went back to the little lamb to make sure she was alright. She had a strong heartbeat but wasn’t breathing on her own.
I cleaned the amniotic fluid from her nose and mouth, then swung her back and forth a bit to drain the fluid from her airway. I took of my sweater, wrapped the lamb inside, and rubbed vigorously. She popped up and started bleating. I placed her on her mother’s teat to try and get her some colostrum; i.e., first milk. The farmer explained that he was unable to care for a bottle baby, so I brought her home to raise. Baby lambs are like all young mammals, they require regular feeding, a clean environment, and shelter. Colostrum is the most important element of a baby's nutrition. It is full of antibodies and is key to providing immunity for the offspring. If you have a bottle baby, be sure the lamb received colostrum for the first 12 hours and then mix milk replacer with the colostrum for two days before transitioning to milk replacer. Be sure to follow label instructions on the bag of products you buy as some offer slightly different advice. Usually lambs can be offered creep at 3-7 days of age and restrict the hay to what they will eat in an hour for the first week or so. After your lamb is born, clean the umbilicus with dilute betadine solution so you avoid poll evil, a nasty infection of the umbilicus. Be careful with amniotic fluid from sheep as it can contain infectious agents that can infect people so wear gloves and wash hands with soap and water after handling any bodily fluids. Lambs can suffer from hypothermia so be sure to keep it warm, and dry it off well. Be sure to have a vet around that you trust to help get your new addition off to a good start. Our little lamb is now a week old and doing great!
The Rev. Dr. Bill Pederson, Pastor
9:15 am Sunday School 10:30 am Sunday Worship Children’s chapel & nursery offered during worship 5404 Williams Drive | Georgetown | 512-868-0902 | www.sgpcgeorgetown.org
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Preserving History at City Hall and Across Georgetown
Mural Artists Norma Clark and Devon Clarkson Inset: Mayor Ross at the October painting party
The public is invited to
About Mary Bailey
celebrate the completed "Preserving History" mural, Saturday, February 15 at 2pm at the Georgetown City Hall and the African American Shotgun House. The program includes a welcome from Mayor Dale Ross, followed by statements from mural artists Norma Clark and Devon Clarkson and Georgetown Cultural Citizen Memorial Association (GCCMA); the program will conclude inside City Hall with refreshments and a viewing of the mural video and slideshow. The new mural is a beautification project that finished the screens at the
back of City Hall and is also the backdrop of the Shotgun House. The GCCMA chose local artists, Norma Clark and
Devon Clarkson, because they are Georgetown residents with strong ties to our community and the surrounding neighborhoods.
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Mary Smith Bailey was chosen as the subject of the “Preserving History” mural because she was an important local figure who helped steward many children in Georgetown through a period of historic growth and change. In 1953, Mary Bailey founded The West Side Kindergarten, the first preschool in the area to offer educational preschool services to non-white children. She believed “preschool children benefit most from an educational environment that helps them develop self-confidence, the ability to get along with and help
others, and the desire to learn." Today, hundreds of students and many changes later, the Mary Bailey [Head Start] Center continues to teach Georgetown children of all races the importance of learning. Devon Clarkson painted the image of Mary Smith Bailey as the focal point of the mural. Devon’s experience includes local art exhibitions, as well as being the selected poster artist for the 20th Anniversary Red Poppy poster. Norma Clark, a local artist and graduate from Southwestern University, created a montage of inspired abstract images that can be recognized
as children and students participating in athletic and educational activities. The collaboration of these two artists represents the integration of different artist styles to create something innovative and new while honoring and preserving culture and history. At left, on October 24th, the Arts and Culture Board hosted a community painting party for community members to come out and help paint portions of the mural. It was a huge success in engaging the community to tell an important Georgetown story.
CITY INSIDER slippery pile of clay. Salt can de-ice a sidewalk, but it definitely will kill plants, so be precise, and don't use too much of either. I carry a baggie of sand in my bag and keep a small bucket for the steps. It's not perfect, but it works." ~ T. in Pennsylvania
• Before removing a splinter, ice the area. There will be less fussing, and a wooden splinter might absorb some liquid, causing it to swell enough to pop out a bit more. • I used the mileage counter in my car to come up with several 2-mile routes for walking. Now I can vary my routine and be assured that I've walked 2 miles, which is my goal. I just drive from my house until I hit a mile on the trip odometer, and then I walk to that spot and back. ~ I.L. in Nevada • Use a tea infuser ball for aromatherapy. Apply several drops of essential oils to a cotton ball and place it inside the infuser basket. Then simply hang it to distribute the scent.
You can hang it from a light bulb or even in front of the air handler for your air conditioning or heating intake. • "If you're looking to give yourself a bit of traction on icy sidewalks, be careful what you use. While kitty litter is a much-recommended solution, when it melts, you're left with a
• "The knob came off my pot lid because it cracked. I grabbed a wine cork and threaded it on the screw. It stays in place and is never hot when I need to remove the top. Plus it looks cute." ~ E.T. in Alabama • To extend the shelf life of your bunch of bananas, try wrapping the stem tightly with a piece of plastic wrap. They also can be kept in the refrig-
erator if you don't mind cold bananas, like when you are slicing them into cereal or using them in a smoothie. The skins may brown, but the inside will not over-ripen to match. • "If you have extra books hanging around, why not contact your local nursing homes to see if anyone would like some new reading material?" ~ T. in South Carolina • H.W. in Massachusetts writes: I use a bathroom chair in my tub and always wash the exterior. One day, a tip came off one of the legs and when I turned it over to replace it, I was horrified to see black mold underneath. I sprayed it with cleaner and it cleaned up perfectly. Please offer this tip to my fellow senior citizens. Mold is really bad. • Energy saving tip for the kitchen: Use pots and pans that are the correct size for the burner. There's no sense in using the big burner for a small pot, and a small burner will have to work twice as long to heat up a large pot of water. Also make sure your pots are flat (not warped) and clean, so heat can
transfer more efficiently. • It's tax season and that means paper season. If you don't happen to have a rubber finger cover to help you leaf through papers quickly, you can always wrap a rubber band around your fingertip to offer a bit of resistance. It's better than licking your finger! ~R. in Indiana • If you enjoy puzzles and board games but like to keep them in their original cardboard boxes, be sure to reinforce corners with strong clear tape BEFORE they start to crack and fall apart. Use hook and loop tape to secure bags inside the box cover so that game pieces will stay with the game. There's nothing worse than pulling out a game to find that some pieces have slipped out. • This might not be revolutionary, but if you put a tennis ball into a long sock and knot the sock, your dog will really like it. If they play with it outside, you can even put it right into the wash. ~ K.R. in Alabama • Remove the neck end of a soda bottle to create a
disposable funnel. Use a 2-liter bottle for a large funnel and individual drink size for smaller ones. Rinse and recycle both parts when you are finished. • Baking soda can be used as a mild abrasive to clean, but it also can help clean your teeth. Sprinkle a little bit of baking soda on your toothbrush weekly to give your pearly whites a polish between professional cleanings. • Tuck fabric softener sheets in your luggage. You can use them to combat static cling or freshen the air by placing one over the air conditioner vent. It will keep your suitcase fresh-smelling between uses, too. • Have houseplants with dusty leaves? Grab a banana and eat it and keep the skin. Use the skin to clean the leaves. The dust will stick right to it, and the juice is healthy for the plants. • Keep your plastic wrap in the fridge. A lot of people find it much more cooperative and easier to use when it is cold.
150 Years of Defining Food Traditions (StatePoint) Think back on some of your favorite family meals over the years and it’s likely that Campbell Soup Company played a role during those important moments around the table. An American icon, Campbell recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. From tomato soup and grilled cheese on a cold day to green bean casserole, generations of home cooks have made Campbell food, snacks and recipes part Workers label and pack cans for distribution, c. 1905 of their daily and holiday food traditions. 1955, was served at 20 million dinners Here are some of the most interesting this past Thanksgiving. During the holifacts about Campbell’s place in American day season, Green Bean Casserole recipes culture: were viewed more than 6 million times • Campbell Soup Company was founded on the Campbell’s Kitchen website. four years after the Civil War ended in • Campbell’s tomato growers harvest over 1869 by a fruit merchant and an icebox 1.5 billion pounds of tomatoes per year. manufacturer. By the turn of the century, Eighty percent of Campbell’s tomato the company flourished as a result of growers and their families have worked several innovations -- including Dr. John with the company for more than two T. Dorrance’s invention of condensed decades. soup, which made nutritious soup more • Over the years, the company has grown affordable to millions of Americans at to include numerous other brands that are just 10 cents per can. staples in American households, among • Campbell food was served during WWI them Pepperidge Farm cookies, Goldfish and WWII, and during the Apollo crackers, Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels, missions, offering troops and astronauts Lance sandwich crackers, V8 beverages comfort and a taste of home. and Swanson broths. Today, 95 percent of • Campbell’s influence can be seen in U.S. homes have Campbell products in its American pop culture throughout the cupboards and fridges. years, from Andy Warhol’s iconic For more information, as well as recipes, paintings of Campbell’s Soup cans to the visit CampbellSoupCompany.com. enduring “M’m! M’m! Good!” jingle to Campbell’s history and American history other cultural icons like the Campbell go hand-in-hand. A part of American kitchKids and President Ronald Reagan’s V8 ens and culture for generations, its foods ad. reflect the trends and tastes of the country. • The Green Bean Casserole, invented by Campbell employee Dorcas Reilly in
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