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Republicans Win Big on Election Night

Central Texas’ Award-Winning Local News Source

Generations Celebrate Veterans Day

Feeling Blue over Precinct 1 Returns

It's no headline that Donald Trump orchestrated the biggest political upset since "Dewey Defeats Truman" to be the 45th President, but many Wilco results were noteworthy and just as surprising. With one exception, every Republican candidate on the ballot in Williamson County was victorious. In Precinct 1, Republican Landy Warren lost to Terry Cook; the first Democrat on the Commissioners' Court since Jerry Mehevec left Precinct 4 in 1998. Cook is also the first woman Democrat to win the post. Congressman John Carter was re-elected to his eighth term and Commissioner Valerie Covey (photo) will serve her third term, winning in a landslide over Anthony Rector. Running unopposed in the General Election and accepting early at the Republican watch party in Round Rock were District Attorney-elect Shawn Dick, Sheriff-elect Robert Chody, Texas Representative-elect Terry Wilson and Judges Donna King, Betsy Lambeth, Ryan Larson, and Laura Barker. While much of the county maintained its strong Republican fervor, in Precinct One every Republican contested by a Democrat failed to earn more than 50 percent of the vote; including Mr. Trump, Congressman Carter and Representative Tony Dale. Among the factors in this perceived flip is straight ticket voting. In this election, Democrats in Pct 1 took a 52.63% – 47.37% advantage in straight ticket voting; Mr. Trump received just 40.03 percent; nearly ten points lower than McCain in 2008, and almost 11 under Clinton in '16. In Pct. 1, Democrat Straight Ticket voting increased 53 percent over 2012 returns while the needle on Republican straight tickets scarcely moved, up 6.7 percent. Democrats are pleased at what Commissioner-elect Terry Cook calls "promising times," especially in the southern part of the county, while Republican insiders report renewed efforts to register new voters and focus against the trending blue in the upcoming 2018 cycle.

Residents across Georgetown—from the youngest to The Greatest Generation— honored members of our Armed Forces, past and present in many diverse ceremonies on November 11. Georgetown ISD held events at 11 schools, and invited parents and family members to attend with their students to be recognized for their service. Pictured directly above are the K-5th graders at Carver Elementary, all holding signs with individual and personal messages to thank our veterans. The Georgetown High School orchestra, band and choir all performed at the Williamson County Veterans Memorial Plaza in Sun City for a crowd of approximately 2500 people. Despite the gray weather and a little bit of rain just before the event began, the musical performances were as stellar as they were moving. Choir director Joey Lowrance led the entire crowd in a chorus of "God Bless America" to close the ceremony. Elsewhere at Veterans Plaza, veterans from all wars were recognized from the


dais, from World War II to the Global War on Terror. Many who are typically too humble to want attention for their service, were proud to stand and accept the applause of those in attendance. British Major General Douglas Chalmers was the keynote speaker. Gen. Chalmers is the Deputy Commanding General at Fort Hood and, having served at the pleasure of the Queen for more than 30 years, his experience, poignant words and admiration for veterans of all nations was as impressive as the decorations on his own uniform. "The diversity of ages, services and experiences make this one of the most vibrant Veterans Day celebrations that I've ever had the privilege of attending." Major Chalmers also spoke of the universal need for soldiers to protect our society and mentioned the red poppy he had affixed to his cover. He was pleased to know that Georgetown has an entire weekend dedicated to the flowers that are descended from the very same poppies that grew in the European trenches he referenced in his speech.


Top: General Chalmers with Purple Heart recipient and Veteran Memorial Advisory member Erik Stoeckle. • Above: Dean Higgenbotham and granddaughter Ava (16 mos) await the opening ceremonies at Sun City. • Bottom: Members of the Georgetown High School orchestra keeping the rain off their instruments. The rain stopped just moments before 11am.



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Office Closings Nov 24 -25 for Thanksgiving Holiday

Williamson County offices will be closed on Thursday, November 24, and Friday, November 25, for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Commissioners Court meeting that is usually held on Tuesdays will not be held on November 22. The next Commissioners Court meeting will be Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

Collection Box for Expired Medications

A safe way to dispose of unwanted or expired medications is now available in Georgetown on a year-round basis. A secure medications collection box is located in the lobby of the Public Safety Operations and Training Center at 3500 DB Wood Road. Lobby hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Georgetown Police Department is the first police station in Williamson County to offer controlled substance collec-

tion via a collection box. Collecting unwanted drugs keeps them from being poured down a drain, flushed down a toilet, or put in the household trash. Pharmaceuticals put in our wastewater system can affect water quality and aquatic life in our creeks, rivers, and lakes. Gary Hertel with Texas Disposal Systems explains why medications shouldn’t be put in household trash. “If a customer throws medications in the trash, that trash is put into large 18-wheeler trailers here in Georgetown and hauled to the landfill,” says Hertel. “In that process at the transfer station, if it’s raining or we have more water in the waste, those items can leach out into the drainage system and it winds up in the sewer system.” Removing unwanted prescriptions from your home also reduces the risk of overdose or misuse by someone in your home. “Williamson County is not immune to the drug abuse problem,” says Rosana Sielaff with LifeSteps Council on Alcohol and Drugs. “Children are

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accessing drugs from the medicine cabinet in their own home or in the homes of friends or grandparents. We are very happy to see this permanent drop-off box, because we know that we need a place here that the community can bring their unused or expired medication,” says Sielaff. Last year more than 1,200 pounds of medications in were collected in Georgetown in Drug TakeBack Day events sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency. When the collection box is full, it is shipped to a location in Texas where the medications are incinerated, according to Jordan Fengel, solid waste and recycling coordinator for the City of Georgetown. “The medicines are destroyed. So we completely eliminate the environmental hazard and concern.” The medications drop box is for unwanted or expired prescription med-

icines, over-the-counter drugs, supplements, or pet medicines. Items not accepted in the collection box include thermometers, needles, syringes, IV fluids, medical devices, or illegal drugs. Medications cannot be accepted from businesses such as nursing homes, doctor’s offices, or other institutions or businesses. The medications collection box was funded by a solid waste management grant from the Capital Area Council of Governments. For additional program information, go to the City of Georgetown website at recycle.georgetown.org/ medsdropbox.

Statewide Ridesharing On the Way?

November 14 was the first day to file legislation for consideration during the 85th Legislative Session, which begins January 10. Citing free market and

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Writer Ann Marie Ludlow Graphics Elysia Davis Address of Record: 181 Town Center Blvd. Suite 500 Jarrell, Texas 76537 512-746-4545 info@FPGTX.com Convenience Subscriptions: delivered via U.S. Mail $52.00 / 26 issues The Advocate P.O. Box 213 • Jarrell, TX 76537 or online at: www.WilcoOnline.com click on “Subscribe”

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NOVEMBER 17, 2016  THE ADVOCATE public safety concerns, Senator Charles Schwertner filed Senate Bill 176 to bring fair and consistent regulation to ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. SB 176 would establish fair, predictable, and consistent statewide regulation of transportation networking companies. "By eliminating the patchwork of inconsistent and anti-competitive regulations that exist in cities across the state, Senate Bill 176 will give the free market a chance to work and guarantee that ridesharing companies in Texas have a clear and consistent regulatory framework under which to operate." Senator Schwertner first called for a statewide ridesharing solution in May after the Austin City Council agreed to impose new regulations pushed by local taxi companies to restrict competition from transportation networking companies like Uber and Lyft. Both companies have since withdrawn from the city of Austin. Related efforts to eliminate or otherwise restrict competition from ridesharing companies has led to similar conflicts in cities like Houston, Midland, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi. Transportation networking companies have also shown great potential to reduce drunk driving in cities where they’ve been allowed to operate. As a result, ridesharing has earned the enthusiastic support of national organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), as well as local law enforcement officials like Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton. If passed, SB 176 will see Texas join 34 other states that have already successfully addressed the regulation of ridesharing at the statewide level.

The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of The Advocate, administration, staff or contributing writers. The views expressed in all letters to the editor and signed opinion articles are those of their authors. All letters to the editor must include a name, address and phone number for verification. Anonymous and unverified letters to the editor will not be printed. The Advocate reserves the right to edit letters for length and journalistic style, and has a recommended length of 300 words.

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Best of...2016

The City of Georgetown announced its annual "Best of..." list November 3, which highlights the best Georgetown vendors, retailers and service providers in 43 categories. See the complete list at Visit. Georgetown.org.

"So Happy" School Menu App

Georgetown ISD is using the So Happy app to help parents and students see ingredients, nutrition and allergen information. Students will also be able to give instant feedback on menus and entrées. Users may download from the Apple Store or Google Play. So Happy shows parents and students everything served in the cafeterias and the details of what they are serving during that week.

Fire Dept. Gains

In light of budget increases in the proposed city budget Georgetown City Council voted 7-0 to augment Fire Department staff by three positions and provided full authority to Chief John Sullivan to begin recruitment. The Department also received additional money from the general fund ($525,000 over projections for sales tax) to accommodate employee overtime.

Brown Santa Needs You

The Brown Santa program collects toys and donations for children in Williamson County who are not part of city or other gift programs. Toy collection continues through November 27. Toy drop locations, include the Sheriff's office on S Rock Street, Acro-Tex Gymnastics, Austin Telco Federal Credit Union, Gabriel's Funeral Chapel and Crematorium, Georgetown Jewelry, Schlotzsky's, Williamson County Central Maintenance, Williamson County Courthouse, Williamson County Inner Loop Annex, and the Williamson County Justice Center. They continue to recruit volunteers to pack gift boxes. The final date is Thursday, Dec 1 from 1-4 pm.



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The Georgetown Police and Fire Departments played the third annual Battle of the Badges softball game Nov 13 to raise money for our local Blue Santa. With help from Century 21 and Sun City Softball the event raised an impressive $4021 to purchase toys for kids. The Police team was victorious 8-3, which puts the Blue team up 2-1 in the record books so far. Blue Santa provides toys to underprivileged children annually during the holidays but the program is not just for Christmas, although that is their main focus. Monetary donations and new, unwrapped toys are welcome any time residents have lost their belongings in fires or natural disasters. Boxes are posted at local service and retail locations around the city already. Please call (512) 930-2747 to donate or for more locations.

Members of the Bravest and Finest relax after the game. Bottom: Renee Jantzen (Century 21) and Henry Schuessler present the check to PD Chief Wayne Nero.

TxDOT to Host Open House for I-35 at Williamson Drive The Texas Department of Transportation hosted an open house for proposed improvements of I-35 at Williams Dr Nov. 17. Those unable to attend the meeting in-person can offer input online at a virtual open house available

between until December 1 at Mobility35OpenHouse. com. The purpose of the Williams Drive project is to improve safety and mobility for all users of I-35. Proposed improvements on the approximate


$67 million project include reconstructing the Williams Drive interchange to a diverging diamond intersection (DDI). To create a DDI, twophase traffic signals are installed at the roadway crossover points. Once on


Wurstbraten We are most grateful for your continued loyal support as shown by the thousands of meals we serve each year at our annual sausage supper. Mark your calendar for November 6, 2017 the first Monday in November for our 46th Wurstbraten feast and Christian fellowship. If you have no church home, join us for Sunday services at 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. or 6:00 p.m. Bible and Sunday School classes are 9:30 a.m. Our accredited Christian Day School classes encompass Pre-3 through 8th grade.

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the left side of the road, drivers can freely turn left, rather than waiting for oncoming traffic to clear or for a left turn signal. Or, drivers can continue straight and will switch back to the right side of the roadway once they’ve cleared the intersection. U-turn lanes are also included in a DDI, making left-turns from the crossstreets safer and more efficient. Through-traffic on the frontage road bypasses the intersection via a collector-distributor lane, or intersection bypass lane, and proceeds straight through the cross-street intersection, allowing drivers to avoid the traffic signal. A DDI enhances safety and mobility by reducing potential crash points at intersections and by allowing

I-44 / Kansas Expressway in Springfield, Missouri. First of its kind in the U.S. Photo: Missouri DoT. more cars to move through an intersection. This means a reduction in delays and travel time. • Motorists are able to bypass the intersection without stopping at a traffic signal • Improved travel time because additional “green time” at traffic signals allow more vehicles to pass

through the intersection • Additional sidewalks will increase safety and better accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists Finalized schematic and environmental documentation should be delivered next summer with final construction, if funded, to be complete in Summer 2022.

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Child Advocacy Center Training First Responders on Signs of Abuse

WCCAC Executive Director Monica Benoit-Beatty

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Seeds sown during the Williamson County Community Child Care Forum last February are now yielding fruit. Williamson County’s Senior Director of Emergency Services John Sneed, EMS Director Kenny Schnell and Children’s Advocacy Center Director Monica Benoit-Beatty discussed the need for first responders to be able to recognize signs of abuse. On Nov 1, Williamson County EMS rolled out a video called “Recognizing Child Abuse for First Responders” for all medical responders in the Williamson County EMS system, including fire departments and law enforcement. “We felt it was important to increase awareness of what could be going on at a scene if there was child abuse and how kids and

parents might be reacting. We hope this helps first responders to look at a scene through new eyes,” states Benoit-Beatty. “Williamson County EMS and other first responders are good at recognizing and treating physical injuries. We develop a gut instinct about heart attacks and we know how to treat a bruise. This training helps us recognize emotional and behavioral signs of child abuse that will help us develop that same instinct about the cause of an injury. If a parent calls about respiratory problem, we can treat the symptom and possibly ascertain if the child is in distress because of fear. We can notify the experts who can investigate and possibly root out the cause of that fear,” states Dan Cohen, Williamson County EMS clinical practices captain and producer of the video. Cohen affirms what WCCAC says; that one child is too many but one adult is not near enough to be a safety net. "Everyone in the community, people who want to help others, need to be a part of this; the paid personnel can not do it alone so this video will help everyone recognize those signs." Last year, 770 children were interviewed at the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center

for suspected child abuse or as witnesses to a crime. Almost 9,000 children have come through the CAC’s doors for services since it began 20 years ago and they have many more events planned to celebrate the anniversary of this support. Sadly, more than 60 percent of child abuse cases are sexual abuse and may not show external injury normally recognized by care givers. The CAC uses colors, furniture, toys and other items to make children comfortable while they are questioned by a forensic interviewer to investigate a situation. Since 2013, the CAC’s outreach coordinator has conducted 465 trainings for 13,588 individuals in the county on how to recognize and report child abuse. The new 43-minute educational video is an attempt to reach and train even more people, specifically more than 500 first responders. Benoit-Beatty emphasizes that abuse training should be on everyone's agenda. “Any person age 18 and older in Texas is required by law to report suspected or known child abuse.” “In Texas, you can call 1-800-252-5400 to report child abuse or go to TXAbuseHotline.org.” More information can be found on their website at WilcoCAC.org.

Captain Dan Cohen, EMS Clinical Practices and video producer.

Top: Judge Laura Barker, County Court-at-Law 2, presides over the Veterans Court graduation ceremony. • Below: Congressman John Carter, District 31, was a special guest speaker at the Veterans Court graduation.

Judge Barker's Veteran Court Grads

November 7, Judge Laura Barker recognized seven graduates of the Williamson County Veterans Court. This is the fourth graduation for the program, and the second with Judge Laura Barker presiding. “I’m truly honored to be a part of the Williamson County Veterans Treatment Court,” states Judge Laura Barker. “It’s especially meaningful with Veterans Day upon us. Our veterans have sacrificed so much for us. This Court provides our county a way to support our veterans and help them become more productive members of our community.” Williamson County opened its Veterans Court in March of 2015. Men and women with prior military service who have committed a misdemeanor offense are eligible for the

program, which offers substance abuse or mental health treatment as an alternative to incarceration. Many of the veterans have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Williamson County currently has 22 veterans in the program. A team including the Prosecutor, Defense Counsel, Mental Health Professionals, Veterans Administration representatives, Adult Probation officer, Specialty Courts Coordinator, and the

Judge determine if a person is eligible for the Veterans Court. Then the team determines what the planned path for that individual will be. When starting the program, the veteran is required to report weekly to their probation officer and every two weeks in front of the judge. They gain more independence as they progress through the year.

Out of Space, Out of Time For the first time in six years, the Williamson County Animal Shelter is very close to making a euthanasia list for their resident cats because the shelter is and has been overcrowded for months. At greatest risk right now are their barn cats. If you would like to help you can: 1. Adopt a barn cat for free. 2. Adopt a house cat or kitten to help open kennel space. (Adoptions are

Name-Your-Price during this campaign.) 3. Foster kittens too young for adoption. 4. Spread the word to family, friends, and neighbors. The shelter is reminding supporters, "You have saved the animals before, we hope you will save them again. Visit Pets.Wilco.org or visit the shelter at 1855 S.E. Inner Loop in Georgetown.


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SU Students Argue Age Discrimination in Mock Court Jarrell Enrollment Tops 1500 Jarrell ISD announced November 4 that district enrollment has reached 1505 students; a 50 percent increase over the past five years. Superintendent Dr. Bill Chapman reports current projections show there is no sign that the growth rate is slowing. According to a report provided by Templeton Demographics, Jarrell is growing so quickly, the inventory of available homes is not even keeping up. Data indicates more families are moving to the Jarrell area for the reasonable cost of living, while working elsewhere in Williamson or Travis Counties. Jarrell added 70 students this year alone, and Dr. Chapman expects to reach at least 100. "While we can predict growth, there's no way to tell which grades they will be in. In any case, we are blessed to live in a location that is attractive to prospective teachers and we are adding new positions,1st and 2nd grades." If the housing growth remains constant, and with three active subdivisions right now, JISD can expect

an increase of approximately 950 students during the next five years and enrollment will grow by another two-thirds by 2021. Chapman explains that tax base revenues generally lag population growth by about two years and the district is constantly evaluating additional courses and programs at all grade levels. Right now, the Facilities Committee is discussing a bond issue in Spring 2017 to provide

more space. "Every building has a life span and if we do not expand, we project we will be out of room in the 2019 school year. Our senior class is the only one with fewer than 100 students, and in keeping with all of Central Texas, our growth shows no signs of slowing." The Demographic study is available for public view at JarrellISD.org

Aerial view of a portion of current construction in Jarrell.

Left: Junior, Team Captain Maddison Elliott manages the Defense during pre-competition practice. • Above: "Plaintiff" Kai Knight-Turcan gives testimony about why he believes he lost his fictitious job. • Below: Junior Esteban Woo Kee and Sophomore Co-Captain Samantha Pentecost listen to coach direction prior to arguing the case for the plaintiff.

Ten Southwestern University students are studying and practicing for regional and, hopefully, championship mock trial tournaments as part of the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) season. AMTA sponsors events across the country and provides complex case materials for academic use. As one of approximately 600 teams from 350 universities nationwide, Southwestern attended this year's first competition Nov 12; developing critical thinking and public speaking skills and brushing up on their knowledge of legal practices and procedures. The majority of the students are pre-law but they also work with communications and theater students; taking all of those skills into account. Captain Maddison Elliott, certain that her future is in the Bar, says, "For most people, the hardest part is the actual performance. We are expected to act exactly the way a lawyer would. We look the part, we use the correct language (legal

terms when speaking to a judge; layman's terms when addressing a jury), and witnesses do the same. We have to become a character—playing doctors, scientists, elders, children, and CEOs." The team has four coaches, which has helped the school's ability to recruit enough members to have a full team. Coaches and mentors keep track of the process and make sure everyone is following procedure. This year the team is mentored and coached by lead Judge John McMaster (County Court at Law #1) Judge Rick Kennon (368th District Court), Tom King and local trial attorney Bill Sterling. This year's practice case involves age discrimination in the workplace. A fictitious non-specific employee was fired, he/ she believes, due to age. The discovery and damages are provided as part of the script and team members play all of the legal roles in the courtroom and even flip-flop from plaintiff to defense throughout the trial.


At the regional competition in Waco, Emily Tesmer won a Top 5 Witness award for her turn as CEO of a Spotify-type company. The majority of the people on the SU team have little to no experience so the team goal this year is to get the organization on track, get students experience in the court room, and work toward nationals by next spring. Elliott continues, "If you have any intention of becoming an attorney, this is something you need to do at some point. It is a rare opportunity to practice the career you are planning to do the rest of your life, and that is exactly what we get to do when we enter the courtroom to compete." Students agree the experience has exceeded all expectations. "We are not just a team, we are friends. We work hard in practice and on our own time. It is a big commitment but the memories we share, the stories we tell, and the family that we have built make it all worth it."


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What's News at St. David's? Growth

Last month, St. David’s Georgetown Hospital completed the construction of a new driveway and signs along I-35 between Rt 2243 and SR29 (photo) to provide improved, more visible access to the hospital for emergency vehicles, patients and employees. On November 10, the hospital announced a $1.9-million capital investment for the construction of a helipad and 81 additional parking spaces. A new helipad will save

time and resources in transporting critical patients to and from St. David’s Georgetown Hospital. Additional parking spaces are necessary to meet growth in volume of patients and employees. These projects are expected to be complete in early 2017. “We have patients from all over the state transported via air ambulance to St. David’s Georgetown Hospital, and a new helipad will allow us to better serve these critically ill or injured patients,” Hugh Brown,

chief executive officer of St. David’s Georgetown Hospital, said. The helipad and additional parking are among the latest capital investments for St. David’s Georgetown Hospital. Currently, renovations to the emergency department are underway, including five additional treatment spaces. This project is also expected to be complete in early 2017.


Healthgrades—a leading online resource—evaluated nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide and identified the 100 best-performing hospitals, the top 2 percent in the nation, across all conditions and procedures evaluated. St. David's Medical Center—including Heart Hospital of Austin and St. David’s Georgetown Hospital—was recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 100 Best

Hospitals™ for the third consecutive year. The hospital was also a recipient of the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence. This is the sixth consecutive year for St. David’s Medical Center—including Heart Hospital of Austin and St. David’s Georgetown Hospital—to earn this distinction. These awards recognize facilities rated among the top 5 percent in the nation for treatment of common inpatient conditions and

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Seniors in Georgetown have a new safety net when it comes to feeling assured and included. The Georgetown Police Department has, as part of its Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program, a group called Silver Shields, which provides services to homebound citizens and a sense of security for those who live alone. In the beginning they were called Silver Bells and they made calls to

seniors at Christmas time. “When we renamed it ‘Shields,’ we felt it was more focused on all the things we could do with and for our seniors yearround. In cooperation with the police and fire departments, we provide safety materials, newsletters and education on scams to help people identify and handle a variety of situations independently. We also make safety and well-check calls; phone calls or visits at a certain time just to see how people are doing. We also do home inspections to look for things like fall risks and check fire alarms.” The program is designed for seniors who live alone,

or are homebound and perhaps have no family nearby to check on them. “We appreciate making people feel safe and secure in their own home,” Lipscomb says. “And it’s a great way to help people understand how police in our community work alongside our citizens.” Silver Shields is not a community action agency like Meals on Wheels or Drive a Senior, but they do provide referrals to those and other social programs as needed. “We are not trying to duplicate or replace any of those great programs. Silver Shields provides a specific function for safety because that’s what we are good at.”

procedures. Similarly, patients treated in hospitals achieving Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals Award have, on average, a 27.1 percent lower risk of dying, as measured across 19 rated conditions and procedures where mortality is the outcome. The Distinguished Hospital Award means an average 26.2 percent lower mortality risk. The complete report can be found at Healthgrades. com/Quality.

The program has finalized processes and procedures, so much of the Georgetown coverage area is in a “beta test phase.” Volunteers are being trained to manage areas in Georgetown and once they generate enough work data and refine the program, they will launch in additional areas through 2017. Lipscomb says the goal is to be prepared for any unique situation—as long as the resources are there, they will do whatever they can to help. “It’s all part of our support for the Department and continuing the community outreach programs.” If you are interested in being a part of VIPS to expand coverage please contact Linda at GPD or Lex Shaw at 512-930-2747.

The Last Word PAGE A7



Who Are We Thanking on Thanksgiving? by Mike Payne

How important was

Thanksgiving to the founders and leaders of our country? Based on their own words, apparently, it was very important. In 1621, Mayflower pilgrim, and later governor of the newly formed New England colony, Edward Winslow wrote, “Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together.” Evidently, these first “Americans” thought it was important to offer thanks to our creator. In 1782, The Continental Congress declared, “…the inhabitants of these States

in general, observe Thursday, the twenty-eighth day of November next, as a day of solemn Thanksgiving to God for all his mercies; to testify to their gratitude to God for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience of his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness. Done in Congress, at Philadelphia, the eleventh day of October, AD, 1782.” This declaration was signed by John Hanson, President, and Charles Thomson, Secretary. Just seven years later, on October 3, 1789, our first president, George Washington, issued his own Thanksgiving Proclamation, “whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly implore his protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of pub-


lic thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.” A mere 75years later, President Abraham Lincoln added, “I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States…to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. Done in the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three.” As I ponder the indignant claims that the United States was not intended to be a Christian nation and that prayer has no place in the public square, I have to wonder, what haven’t our children been reading, and, as importantly, why not? These exhortations seem to be as plain as the nose on our collective faces. Is it possible that our public schools, through Federal mandates, are attempting to deny the authenticity and clear intent of historical documents, signed by the most important figures of American history, in order to be “progressive” or politically correct? I won’t even bring up the notion of social engineering… May God bless the United States of America and may we be ever mindful of the blessings and responsibilities God has bestowed upon us.

In Central Texas, Every Day is Veteran’s Day by Congressman John Carter As we paused last week to honor our Veteran’s on Veteran’s Day, I believe every day we should honor and thank our Veterans. In Central Texas we have a treasure that is not hard to see, but can be easily overlooked. This treasure surrounds us; we interact with it every day, sometimes unknowingly. This treasure represents the very best of our community, of Texas, and what it means to be an American. This treasure is our Veteran community. Central Texas is fortunate to have over 80,000 warriors from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf Wars, extending to recent Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom and subsequent campaigns. We must also remember the thousands of men and women that served during times of relative peace – from the end of Vietnam to the Global War on Terror – who also stood on foreign soil or sailed international seas to keep us safe. Some spent four, others 40, years of their lives in service to us, and they deserve our eternal gratitude. Eliseo Recheverri (5) and his hero (dad), Army InfanSome wear their service proudly, tryman Jairo Recheverri at Carver Elementary Nov 11 sporting a service or unit shirt or hat, For a moment, they might open up and displaying combat tours, ship assigntalk about their trials and tribulations. ments, or awards earned. Others, once Some may laugh, and others cry; some they take off the uniform for the final time, might show very little emotion at all. Do blend into society, and their service and not be surprised if their stories are not sacrifice is not always easy to find. about themselves, but rather retell the They are our neighbors and friends. merits of their friends, the acts of heroism Some are teachers, public workers, and that few know about, or a short story about small business owners; others continue to those that did not come home. serve our community as police, firefightFor one moment there will be a pure ers, and first responders. Many, well into connection between those who have served retirement years, can be found volunteerand the citizens they fought to protect. ing in continued service to our community. In that moment we might also be able to While I continue steadfast focus on the understand, if even briefly what it is like national issues facing our Veteran comto be a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine; munity, tirelessly working to ensure we what drives these brave individuals to put preserve Lincoln’s promise to care for their personal safety and comfort aside to those that ‘borne the battle’; as we come answer the call and serve our Country. If off the Veteran’s Day weekend, I encourthis moment occurs, cherish it, because for age you to do a little more than just thank many this small gesture makes their sacria veteran. This year we should all take a fice worth it. This connection — a genuine moment to hear their stories, listen to their attempt to understand — is the greatest pain and joy, and if they are willing, how “Thank You” we can give our Veterans. they felt or what they thought during their service.

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Boys to Men of God: A Knight to Remember Boys to Men of God is a Christian organization in Georgetown that exists to provide mentor-ship opportunities to boys between the ages of 4 and 12 who have experienced the absence of a father figure in their lives.

Robert Hall used to be a small business owner. When he began Boys to Men of God a few years ago, he never imagined the calling would become his new career, but the success of his project inspired him to manage Boys to Men of God as a fulltime job. Hall’s vision for Boys to Men of God derived through his leadership in a church small group named ‘Boys to Men’. The group was geared towards fathers and sons who met as a group and bonded through Bible study, outdoor activity, indoor fellowship, and of course, food. “It’s like the big brother/big sister program on steroids. These kids are learning honor, value, integrity and the virtues of good men and women through their mentors, as well as getting help with school and family difficulties,” Hall explains. The group personifies the phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a kid’ and took it to a different level, in which God-centered Christian fathers grouped together to help raise boys of the next generation.

After Hall’s father left, when he was just 5 years old, he lived with an abusive stepfather and then in a foster home away from his family for an entire year. Today he is using those experiences and reaching out to boys in the community who do not have fathers at home. He connects them with mentors he never had through troupe outings and activities that “help them understand and identify the great love of God, their Heavenly Father.” Boys to Men of God is not affiliated with a specific church or faith and is open to all boys. He also launched “Daughters of the King” in 2015 for girls who need mentor-ship from positive role models as well. “God has blessed me and I just can’t sit back knowing these kids are out there with needs and no one is there for them.” Hall says his life is fueled by scripture verses, “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33), and “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and

lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5-6).

A Knight To Remember

“Children without a father is the saddest epidemic of our current generation,” Hall writes. Our current goal is to fund a building project so these awesome kids have a safe place to call their own for meals, activities and hang-outs. To reach this goal, BTMOG is hosting its first major fundraiser, Tuesday, December 6 at the Georgetown Community Center. “It will be a festive, relaxed, but unforgettable night of dinner, drinks, live music, capped off with an exciting live auction featuring David Ackel and includ-

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ing vacations, hunting packages, craftsman furniture, guns, and custom made collectibles.” Hall says. The event will feature more than 200 local executives, community leaders and friends. Musical entertainment will be provided by local favorite, Amy McClure. Short of a new building, proceeds from the event will help meet some needs in fatherless homes by providing mentorship, relationship, and an environment of love and acceptance to both boys and girls in our community. Tickets are $50 (available at EventBrite. com) and include dinner, two drink tickets, entertainment and access to live auction items. Visit BoysToMenOfGod.com.

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groups with other campers similar in age. Camp is from 9am-4pm each day; the cost is $35-45 per child.

Adaptive Basketball

ONGOING: Sign-ups for the Georgetown Dribblers at Exceptional Georgetown Association have begun. The team will meet on Saturdays January through March. They are excited to report the East View Varsity Boys Basketball team will help out again this year! Cost is $20, which covers the shirt and trophy. Send email to exceptionalgeorgetown@gmail.com to sign-up.

Holiday Goodwater Camps

NOV 21-22: Parks & Recreation’s Camp Goodwater offers single-day Camps on GISD Inservice Days, Holidays, and Bad Weather Days. Mini-camp activities may include swimming, gym games, trips to local parks, seasonal arts and crafts, and much more. Camps are in session during the Thanksgiving week break at GISD; Nov 21-22 and again Dec 1929. Campers are placed in

Lighting of the Square

Georgetown square become a holiday wonderland. From 6 to 8 p.m. children will be able children will be able to make a luminaria at the Museum or take a photo with Santa inside the courthouse from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Photo proceeds benefit the Brown Santa program.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) NOV 25, 5:30pm: Time to kick-off the holidays with the annual Lighting of the Square in Georgetown, traditionally held at 5:30 p.m. the Friday after Thanksgiving. Sing along with the Austin Carolers to favorite holiday tunes and warm up with cookies and hot chocolate as the historic courthouse and downtown

NOV 25, 7pm: The Historic Globe Theatre presents the Oscar Award winning The Wizard of Oz (1939) on the big screen featuring Judy Garland. Come out and enjoy this movie in a 1935 art deco single-screen theatre with friends and family. Popcorn, pretzels, candy, and your favorite beverages available in the lobby.

NOVEMBER 17, 2016  THE ADVOCATE Locals Neighborhood Grub food truck will serve Pulled Pork Tacos, Burgers, and Brisket Nachos 6-9pm just outside the theatre.

Santa Arriving at Wolf Ranch

NOV 26, 6pm: Santa will be accompanied by The BLUE KNIGHTS® Motorcycle chapter, a non-profit fraternal organization consisting of active and retired law enforcement men & women who enjoy riding motorcycles. Kids will get to visit with Santa Claus, enjoy fun craft activities, holiday snacks, and beverages-getting everyone in the Spirit of Christmas. Kids and Families may also photos with Santa. Proceeds support the


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Symposium “The Election Economy”

NOVEMBER 29, 11:30AM-1PM: The City of Georgetown is holding its inaugural economic development symposium at the Sheraton Georgetown. Dr. Chris Chmura, CEO, Chief Economist and principal of Chmura Economics & Analytics will be speaking on the impact of the Presidential election on local and national economies and what we can expect in the year to come. Tickets are $20 and are available at Invest.Georgetown.org.

Upcoming Conference for Moms


Help us collect

Williamson County Brown Santa Organization. Arrival and photos at Shade Plaza near Kohl’s.

The Caring Place Food Pantry provides a 10-day supply of food to families in financial crisis.

Alecia Jones, founder of Mom Care Network with gift baskets donated by Zion Lutheran Church

Georgetown is known for

its altruism and reputation for giving and it seems there is no group that can’t use a little lift or some outside help every now and then. Including moms. To that end, Alecia Jones is the founder of Mom Care Network, a non-profit that offers resources and encouragement to all moms, especially those with young children. “There are many groups that focus on the health and well-being of families and children, and the elderly and animals. What I found is that moms themselves do a lot of that outreach. All of these organizations are doing great work but I felt there was a gap in the car that moms take for themselves. It’s easy for them to get

You can help by donating non-perishable food or by holding your own community food drive. We’ll even provide the collection barrels!

Thank you! For further information, please visit www.caringplacetx.org or contact David Earl at 512-943-0700

2000 Railroad Ave., Georgetown www.caringplacetx.org

overwhelmed while they are taking care of everyone else.” Jones explains motherhood is a huge job and statistics show 10-20 percent of new moms experience postpartum depression or other mental illness symptoms; particularly young, single or low-income moms. “It’s the one job that breaks every barrier there is; color, age, demographic—every woman is or has the potential to be a mom and it makes us all part of a sisterhood. What we want to do is encourage moms.” In light of this, the Mom Care Network is working on its first conference for moms, which will be held September 23, 2017 at the Cowan Creek Amenity Center. Moms will be able

to listen to speakers on educational, humorous and well-being topics like how to exercise while you’re at home, or hear crazy anecdotes that will likely sound all too familiar. “We encourage people to share their best and their worst. There is nothing better than hearing your presumed ‘fails’ are more common than you think. We want to disprove some of the myths of what a ‘good mom’ should do.” Jones is providing outreach to all moms to make sure women know how important it is to take care of themselves mentally, physically and emotionally. Right now she is in the process of forming micro-networks within neighborhoods so moms don’t have to go across town for meetings, or feel guilty about taking time out to have lunch with friends. She is also hoping to find more sponsors and participants for the Conference next fall; recruiting anyone who would like to volunteer to help, no matter their skill set. “Everyone has a mom and can help but we hope to enlist folks with marketing and fundraising backgrounds. Sponsors are welcome as well.” The Mom Care Network Vision is that every mom in Williamson county will be taken care of. They will be able to know and experience well being. More information about the network and the conference is at MomCareNetwork.org/





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Georgetown FD Pipes and Drums Hosts State Band Clinic The Georgetown Fire Department Pipes and Drums Band hosted a two-day Bagpipes and Drums clinic at First Baptist Church in Georgetown Nov 3-5. Members from fire department pipe bands across Texas attended. The number of pipes and drums bands in fire departments has grown to more than 30 in the last several years.

In the event of a fallen public servant, pipes and drums bands from across the state gather to pay tribute at the funeral by playing a common repertoire of music. Georgetown Fire Department Pipes and Drums provide the attendees with elite instruction as part of their mission statement.

Attendees received instruction from three piping instructors and five drumming instructors. The band has a fund established with the Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation to accept tax deductible donations to help pay for instruments, equipment, and uniforms.

Georgetown Pipe & Drum snare drum instructor Stephen Cameron leads the blended group through a rendition of Amazing Grace .

No-Hate November

Teachers and more than 700 Pre-K to 5th grade students at Carver Elementary stepped outside to "hug the school" November 15. The school theme for the month is “No Hate November – Honoring Others”, and they held several events to reinforce the theme. They honored Veterans Nov 11, created a Tree of Respect in the cafeteria, and talked about bullying issues during “No Name Calling” week. Georgetown ISD is a No Place for Hate school district. Nationally, the Anti-Defamation League believes children live and work in a world that is much more diverse than the one we grew up in. Preparing them for success requires providing students with an education in which social, ethical, and academic development are inseparable goals. No Place for Hate helps create and sustain inclusive school environments where all students feel valued and have the opportunity to succeed by promoting respect for individual difference.

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Nov 6, 2028

My dearest Son, As you prepare to go to the polls for the first time tomorrow, I want you to keep in mind the great power of your vote. Back in 2016, our Presidential election pretty much went off the rails and people lost their minds over mostly insignificant things. I say “insignificant” because the whole conversation was about the faces on the ticket and not enough about the philosophy of those of us who eventually had to vote for them. Yes, it is important that leaders have integrity and character. But the most important thing about leaders is that they lead, right? Can Person A inspire people to do things? Will things be better, in your opinion, if Person B is in charge? Still... if your person doesn’t seem to have a moral compass, or lies, cheats and steals, and— yet—is still in charge, what do you do? You don’t take it personally. Voting for a person does not make you that person. Just like the people who say “We won the Super Bowl!” —no, you

didn’t. The 11 people on the field did. Similarly, I’m glad Mr. Trump won; but I am aware that no Trumpday prize is going to show up in my mailbox any time soon. Although it would be nice, and would certainly qualify as a prize, if my health insurance had the nerve to put my monthly fee back up on their website. That can’t be a good sign. While President Trump demonstrated some disgraceful personal behavior in the past and Secretary Clinton doesn’t do much of anything without breaking a law, I never felt like voting for either made me a clone. I voted for the person who is going to protect the borders, build up the military and support domestic businesses. I wasn’t voting for father of the year. I was voting for your future. And I never considered voting for Hillary just because she was a woman. I think we are way past the point where a woman President is shocking. If she were gay, maybe. But women have certainly broken through the ceiling to a great degree and we just haven’t had one likable enough to make it to the White House. I’m really only annoyed any more when I see a sports report and it’s Wolves and Lady Wolves. Women have been in sports

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The 2028 ticket according to “Future-Wiki.com” long enough and I’m sick of the men’s team being assumed. But I digress. We have plenty of role models and opportunity as females without elevating a person with a uterus. I can succeed all by myself, thanks. It is not required that your choice for President be a universal role model for you or the kind of person you aspire to be. I would prefer that you emulate a person you do know, or might actually meet and have a conversation with one day. Fortunately, we have plenty of decent and wonderful leaders here at home whom I would be delighted for you to choose as a role model. There’s a Judge right here in your precinct whom I have never known to commission a study or convene a committee when there is real work to be done. He just sees a problem and fixes it without argument or fanfare. That is a man you might actually shake hands with and I hope you would look to him for advice. You can talk to him face to face rather than seeing what people on CNN think.

Or the Sheriff who went into law enforcement because he saw the weak being kicked around and it

made him mad. He is the protective Mother Bear of the people in this county now because his own mother wasn’t able to defend herself. He saw a problem and is trying to fix it. Or the Constable who took office while raising a teenage daughter alone. And she totally liked him! I wish I had called him more when you were a teen. You met these people and they touched your life in positive ways, even if you don’t remember. The person sitting in the Oval Office has a whole different job to do, so if he or she is not a combination of the Dalai Lama, Albert Einstein, Susan B. Anthony and Thomas Jefferson, it’s still okay to support that person. Do you prefer the country spends its money on tanks instead of social programs? Or if you someday think we should share our money and our trade in a different way, you can vote for some progressive people. It’s your call. That’s my biggest hope son; if you’re going to vote, decide what matters to you

New Hope Baptist ChurcH

“The Barn Church” Pastor Kevin Ross

and vote for that result, not that person. But when you do, make sure to know why you are doing it. Read and listen and find out what you need to know so when you’ve cast that vote, you can defend it and stand up for it. Many a time I made a statement and wanted to take it right back because no one wants to hear “because I think it’s better.” With a few facts, you can say “It’s better this way because...” This country continues to be a great experiment and we likely wouldn’t be where we are if the balance of power had not shifted a dozen or more times in the last 250 years. Even you can be President someday, if you want. Whether it’s the PTA or the United States, I hope you’ll ignore the bellwether yammering of what everyone thinks you should do, and you’ll choose for yourself whom you would like to emulate. No one will ever feel like they had to settle for you. Much love, Mom.

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Sports PAGE B6


GHS Eagles Commit to Run at Next Level On Tues Nov. 15th , at a signing ceremony in the GHS gym, senior McKenzie Hargrove and senior Jed Daniel both signed “Letters of Intent” to run cross country for each of their respective universities: Hargrove to Mississippi College in Clinton Mississippi and Daniel to Southwestern University here in Georgetown.

East View and Georgetown Send Qualifiers to State Meet

The 2016 Cross Country season displayed Georgetown, TX as a powerhouse in the sport as 12 runners from the two GISD high schools qualified to run at the State Cross Country

meet on Sat Nov. 12 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, TX In a historic year, and a first for their program, EVHS Cross Country sent three runners (individually)

to the state meet: Freshman Mia Rowe, Junior Guillermo Carrillo, and Sophomore Luis Andana. Leading up to the State Meet Rowe placed 6th at District, 10th at Regionals, and 70th at State. Carrillo placed 2nd at District, 6th at Regionals, and 70th at State. Andana placed 10th at District, 13th at Regionals, and 92nd at State. GHS Cross Country sent 9 runners to the State Meet-two individually: Junior Jazmin Hernandez, Senior McKenzie Hargrove, and the seven member Varsity Boys team, (Junior Jonathan Parks, Senior Mason Motakef, Freshman

Dan Arnold, Senior Tristan Raum, Junior Daniel Sawyer, Sophomore Ben Whittemore, and Senior Jed Daniel). Leading up to the State Meet: Hernandez placed 1st at District, 2nd

at Regionals and 24th at State, Hargrove placed 2nd at District , 8th at Regionals, however she couldn't compete at State due to injury. As a side note, the GHS Varsity Girls finished

3rd at District. The GHS Varsity Boys finished 2nd at District, 4th at Regionals, and 16th at State.

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Advocate November 7, 2016  

Advocate November 7, 2016