COURTS MAKE NEW FAMILIES ON ADOPTION DAY p. B1 DECEMBER 1, 2016
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Christmastime in Georgetown
November 25, Georgetown celebrated the official start of the City's holiday celebration. Mayor Dale Ross had help from about a dozen local children to pull the switch and light up Texas' Most Beautiful Town Square. Entertainment was provided by the Austin Carolers, also with help from more than 100 youngsters. The Austin Carolers joined forces in 1994, and have been performing year-round for many years, but most notably in Georgetown for this annual event. At 6pm, Williamson County Commis-
sioner Lisa Birkman and Georgetown Mayor Ross led the crowd in a "Santa!" chant to bring the big red man to the stairs. The mayor wished all a Merry Christmas before turning on a million-plus lights, supported by Georgetown Utility Systems. The recent growth of the holiday lighting project was spearheaded by a joint fundraising collaboration between city leaders and the Main Street Advisory Board. Downtown businesses continue to
Christmas Stroll December 2-4 Details on Page B-2
support these efforts through beautification and lighting additions of their own, and private contributions are always needed and welcomed to continue the expansion. Santa took photos and accepted donations for needy kids throughout Georgetown and Williamson County for the Blue and Brown Santa programs respectively. (Wilcobrownsanta.com for Brown Santa or Bluesanta.georgetown.org for Blue Santa.) Both programs are still accepting toy donations. Look for donation barrels at the Courthouse and at All Things Kids on Main Street.
WOLF RANCH CENTER
Santa made another special appearance at the Wolf Ranch shopping center Saturday night. Escorted by the Blue Knights, their spouses, and members of the Gunslingers' Club, he arrived in style for the Brown Santa Gala to take photos and encourage donations for needy families. The Blue Knights are an international motorcycle club, founded to maintain brother/sisterhood of law enforcement personnel, promote traffic safety and child advocacy. They have been participating in the Wolf Ranch gala for the past four years as part of their efforts to give back to the community. Chapter Vice-president,
Deputy J.C. Weaver, says "We have done well this year with our donations, but we want more. We are fortunate to live in a prosperous area so we often don't see the need; but it's there."
Coming December 2-4 is the Annual Christmas Stroll, which begins Friday night with booths and late retail hours and continues Saturday morning with the parade on Austin Avenue and another exciting visit from Santa. Saturday and Sunday, visit Bethlehem village, kid-friendly activities, and specialty shopping. The Holiday Home Tour in Historic Georgetown follows December 10th-11th. Five Georgetown homeowners open their doors to a glimpse of the past for all to see. See p. 2 for home locations. Top: Moments after the switch. • View from the courthouse balcony as thousands of visitors filled the Square. • Santa and Blue Knight Mark Katz prepare for their sleigh/Slingshot ride to the Brown Santa gala in Wolf Ranch. • Mike Ferrier introduced daughter Fiona (6-1/2 months) to Santa for her first Christmas ever.
L-R: At the Lighting of the Square; Carolers Director Mady Kaye • Roots Bistro's entry in the Best Window contest. • Lenina Henderson (center) with her family enjoying their first Georgetown Christmas; having moved here from Virginia in August. • Mom Debbie with Ellie (7) and Josie (3) waiting eagerly to see Santa emerge from the courthouse. • Santa is joined by the Blue Knights at Wolf Ranch Shopping Center Saturday night for the Brown Santa Gala.
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Christmas Trees in Town
Boy Scout Troop 155's Christmas Tree lot is open M-F 4-8pm and weekends 10am-8pm. Located at 2427 Williams Dr.; next to The Pit. They offer Free Delivery too.
The following downtown homes are on the Heritage Society Holiday Home Tour. • Michael & Samantha Walton 1406 E. 15th St. • Teri & Tobin Carpenter 1405 E. 18th St. • Katherine & Jay Dalton 1501 E. 17th St. • Grace & Jared Pyka 1001 E. University Ave • Teresa & Jeff Miller 1402 E. 16th St. Hours are Dec 10th 1-8pm and Dec 11th 12-5pm. In Sun City, the Kiwanis
Club of Sun City is holding its 16th annual tour. Tours are Dec 2; 4-7pm, Dec 3, 10am-5pm and Dec 4, 12-5pm. Guests receive a program and information on local services. • Jemme Lynn & David Wilks, 428 Star Mountain Lane • Tina & Bob Bishoff, 119 Golf View Drive • Walter Freitag, 508 Davis Mountain Circle • Betty & Mert Darling, 114 High Trail Drive • Arlene & David Schinke, 161 Scissortail Trail • Patty Griewe, 115 Butterfly Cove.
DECEMBER 1, 2016 THE ADVOCATE
P.H. Dimmitt Ornament closer to a 100 percent renewable energy supply. The PV solar electricity plant near Fort Stockton will supply energy to Georgetown through a 25-year purchased-power agreement that starts in July 2018. The solar project, formerly known as Buckthorn, was acquired by NRG Energy from SunEdison, who owned the plant through a subsidiary corporation. The solar plant is one asset being sold by SunEdison under chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The acquisition of the solar plant by NRG Energy was completed last week after approvals by the Georgetown City Council and the respective boards of NRG Energy and SunEdison. “The sale of this solar project to NRG Energy marks an important milestone in our plan to provide fixed, competitive costs to our utility customers for the next 20 years,” says Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross. “Securing this agreement for solar power and allowing Georgetown to become one of the first cities in the nation with 100 percent clean renewable energy is good for our customers, good for economic development, and good for the planet.” Under the agreement with NRG Energy, Georgetown’s fixed cost for electricity from the solar plant is less than the cost under the original agreement with SunEdison.
Solar Power Deal Finalized
The sale of a 154-megawatt photovoltaic solar project to NRG Energy last week moves the City of Georgetown electric utility a step
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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.
Georgetown Utility Systems will be the sole wholesale customer for energy from the solar project under the agreement with NRG Energy. Electricity output from the solar plant that exceeds demand from Georgetown will be cleared to ERCOT for sale to other utilities. Construction on the solar farm, which began last year, will resume next year. The NRG Energy solar project will be the second renewable energy plant to power Georgetown when it comes online. The Spinning Spur 3 wind project owned by EDF Renewable Energy has been supplying the city with energy from 97 wind turbines since it began operations in October 2015. The wind farm located 50 miles west of Amarillo is under a 20-year contract to supply 144 megawatts of energy to Georgetown. While Spinning Spur 3 was projected to meet 90 percent of Georgetown’s energy needs, over the last 12 months, the electricity output from the wind plant has exceeded Georgetown’s consumption, making Georgetown 100 percent renewable for that period. The excess energy has been cleared into the ERCOT market. To learn more about Georgetown Utility Systems and the move to 100 percent renewable energy, go to gus.georgetown.org/ renewable-energy.
A limited-edition collectible brass Christmas ornament featuring the P.H. Dimmitt and Co. Building at 801 S. Main Street is now on sale. The 10th annual ornament sale is a project of the Georgetown Main Street Program. Only 400 of the ornaments are available. Ornaments may be purchased at the Visitors Center, 103 W. Seventh Street. The cost of the ornament is $20. Built in 1901 as a hotel, the P.H. Dimmitt & Co. Building was later occupied by mercantile stores, a movie house, auto agency, drug store, dental office, and bus depot. The building was remodeled in 1960 by Georgetown Savings and Loan Association. Notable architectural features include Spanish arches, columns, and turrets of native stone.
Keepsake Gift Texas Department of
Transportation’s world-famous, anti-littering slogan "Don't Mess with Texas" is now available as a commemorative coin that not only makes a unique gift, but also reminds its recipients and admirers to keep Texas roadsides beautiful and litter-free. “Don’t mess with Texas has been a point of pride for three decades and we couldn’t be happier to have it minted into such a
Gingerbread Vote '16
Entries for the most festive culinary creations are on display in the lobby of the Georgetown Public Library. Submissions may be built by a single master or by groups. They may be from scratch or from a kit with creative embellishments. Public voting takes place December 5-11 and winners in several categories will be announced December 12 • Kits and enhanced kits • Original designs made by one person in age groups: 8 and younger; age 9-12; age 13 and older. Prizes for the winners in each category are a $25 gift certificate.
In the Nov 17th issue we incorrectly listed Veteran Erik Stoeckle as a Purple Heart Awardee. Major Stoeckle is a Disabled Veteran/Wounded Warrior but did not sustain his injuries due to enemy fire.
Carol Light Honored
Artist Carol Light’s contributions to arts and culture in Georgetown were recognized earlier this month in a proclaCopyright © 2016 Fidelis Publishing Group, LLC- All Rights Reserved mation at a City Council meeting that Writer acknowledged her career and lifetime of Ann Marie Ludlow service to the arts. Mayor Dale Ross remarked on Light’s Graphics Elysia Davis contribution as an artist at the meeting. 2013 Best of Texas General Excellence “Carol Light is a very talented artist and Address of Record: a wonderful representative for George181 Town Center Blvd. Suite 500 town’s strong arts community. She has Jarrell, Texas 76537 helped to build the art community here 512-746-4545 over the decades through her teaching info@FPGTX.com and encouragement of other artists, and Convenience Subscriptions: she has enriched life in Georgetown by delivered via U.S. Mail sharing the inspiring body of work she $52.00 / 26 issues 2012 & 2015 has created in her 45+ years in GeorgeThe Advocate Media Honor Roll P.O. Box 213 • Jarrell, TX 76537 town as a professional artist. She is a or online at: person who inspires creativity and joy www.WilcoOnline.com "To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge, to find the will of God through the arts,” said Mayor Ross. click on “Subscribe” is the greatest discovery, and to do the will of God is the greatest achievement." Lightxcollaborated with Sue Bishop ~AuthorSize: Unknown George’s On The Town Quarter Page Horizontal Holiday Ad for The Advocate. 6 col. x 5” (10.25”w 5” h) a publication of Fidelis Publishing Group, LLC Publisher: Mike Payne • Editor: Cathy Payne
meaningful keepsake,” said Executive Director James Bass. Coins are available in silver and gold, and bear the world-famous “Don’t mess with Texas” slogan on one side and the Texas State Seal on the other. The Commemorative Coin also helps offset the costs of litter pick-up services. On average, Texas spends more than $30 million annually on litter pickup. To purchase the “Don’t mess with Texas” Commemorative Coin, visit www.dontmesswithtexascoin.com
Spahn on a 14-footlong painting called “Grazing the Fault” that hangs now behind the reception desk in the upscale hotel. Light, 86, says, “I am still making art, mostly mixed media lately. I work on paper and canvas, and I love handmade papers and collage. It’s so much fun to be in the creative process—it’s a different world. It transports you like books and reading do, but putting color down on paper is a special joy for me.”
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Blue Santa Collects Toys for Kids Blue Santa’s elves are busy working to provide toys to children in need in Georgetown. Like they do every year, Blue Santa and his elves need your help. A program of the Georgetown Police Department, Blue Santa provides toys to more than 1,500 children in Georgetown during its annual toy drive and distribution. You can help Blue Santa by donating a toy at the Christmas Stroll Parade on Saturday, December 3. The parade starts at 10 a.m. New, unwrapped toys will be collected by Blue Santa Elves along the parade route, which is on Austin Avenue from Ninth to Sixth streets on the downtown Square. New, unwrapped toys also may be dropped off in donation barrels in businesses and offices in Georgetown. Monetary donations to purchase toys also are accepted. Checks to “CPAAA Blue Santa” should be sent to the Georgetown Police Department, c/o CPAAA
Programs, 3500 DB Wood Road, Georgetown, TX, 78628. Donate $15 or more to Georgetown Blue Santa and you’ll receive a collectible Blue Santa Elf lapel pin. December 1 is the application deadline for assistance from Blue Santa. Applications are available at The Caring Place at 2000 Railroad Street and the Georgetown Police Department at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center at 3500 DB Wood Road. Children who qualify for Blue Santa are age 18 or younger, live in Georgetown city limits, and qualify for free or reduced lunch program at school or meet federal poverty guidelines. For information about donation events and donations to Blue Santa, go to BlueSanta.Georgetown.org.
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EDC Director Michaela Dollar, CEO Dr. Christine Chmura, Mayor Dale Ross and City Manager David Morgan • Photo Garrett Dollar
EDC Inaugural Symposium a Success The Georgetown Economic Development Corporation held its inaugural symposium at the Sheraton Nov 29. Economic Development Director Michaela Dollar said, "This is our way of showing the business community we are open for business and we are eager to work with you." Approximately 160 regional commercial brokers, business leaders, and government officials gathered to hear Dr. Christine Chmura speak on "The Election Economy" and bring some insight to some of the short- and possible long-term impacts of upcoming Trump Presidency. Before the keynote address, city officials took the opportunity to share "The Georgetown Story" with visitors from all over the region. Many are aware and agree that our region continues to be one of the fastest growing and most business-friendly in the nation. Of the 11 fastest growing cities in America, five are in Central Texas; Pflugerville, New Braunfels, Georgetown, Cedar Park and San Marcos. Mayor Dale Ross was also pleased again to visit the Sheraton; "Having this Symposium is one of the reasons the Sheraton is already such a game changer.
Celebrate the season with
Christmas Open House Monday, December 19, 2016 8:30 am - 2 pm
Now we have the facility to enable us to share the city with the world at a higher level. We are no longer a sleepy little town; major realtors and developers are seriously considering us because we can prove that we are the greatest city on planet Earth. We have a world-famous speaker and a respected expert in her field and we are very fortunate to have her so soon after the election." Mayor Ross' opening remarks highlighted all the reasons people are coming to Georgetown and why those who haven't yet should consider it; public safety, great parks and schools, "all with a Mayberry RFD" feel. "Although you'd expect that with our level of growth, our taxes and crime would too. But they haven't thanks to our City Manager and Police Chief. We're simply blessed and safe." He also mentioned our move to renewable energy and the city can now boast at least one global company who chose to move to Georgetown for being Green. City Manager David Morgan reviewed our growth trends; "Georgetown welcomes 13 new people every day; we've grown 40 percent since 2010 and there's no debate about whether that growth is over but how to manage it. We have 1500 projects at least in the planning phase and we continuously make
investments in the unique features that make living here attractive; strong services and great schools."
Dr. Christine Chmura is the Chief Economist for Chmura Economics & Analytics. She and her firm provide applied economic consulting for workforce development, modeling, and education, among others. She is also Professor of Economics at the University of Richmond and is among the 50 most influential Virginians. Many were eager to hear her take on the recent election and what it will mean for Texans. To sum up nationally, she said a Trump Presidency is going to boost short-term growth, but there is no long-term prediction until some of the short-term policies flesh out. • Texas growth has slipped slightly under the national average but Williamson County continues to grow more quickly than the state / nation for the foreseeable future. • The Texas economy dipped with depressed oil and gas prices but the state will benefit from an increase in defense spending (third after California and Virginia). • Corporate tax cuts should stimulate more investment and productivity and decrease price of oil. • Tax cuts will create an
increase in consumer spending; to add to savings or pay off debt. • Texas employment will outpace the state and the nation. National unemployment is under 5%; Williamson County is 3.6%. • Williamson County has high, "nearly unheard of" salaries in manufacturing; contributes to a "nice mix" of well-paying jobs countywide. • Data show an increase of 5000 retail jobs, 5700 healthcare jobs, and 5000 in manufacturing in the past five years. • Over the next year workforce retirements will create 7000 openings. • Growth and demand will create 8500 healthcare jobs in next ten years. In general, Williamson County continues to outperform the U.S. and the Austin region. For the first term, we can expect a 2 percent growth in employment across all major industry sectors. We will add 58,000 jobs due to the current industry mix and we can also expect to replace 48,000 due to retirement. The highest number of jobs will appear in retail, then education, hospitality and food services, healthcare and professional/scientific occupations. Next up for the EDC, and for the first time, the Williamson County Growth Summit will be held in Williamson County; at the Sheraton December 15.
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DECEMBER 1, 2016 THE ADVOCATE
Texas Downtown Association Awards 600 Degrees
H-E-B Grand Re-opening
Sammy Marsden and Mark Thompson, owners of 600 Degrees Pizza, and Shelly Hargrove, manager for the Georgetown Main Street Program. 600 Degrees Pizzeria and Drafthouse was named winner of the Downtown Business in a community over 50,000 population. Winners were announced during the Presidents Awards Gala, held in con-
junction with the 2016 Texas Downtown Conference. The Best Downtown Business award recognizes an outstanding business that contributes to a downtown. Judges were impressed by the business and how
it supported downtown activities and local charities. The panel also felt the addition of 600 Degrees to Downtown Georgetown contributed to after-hours nightlife and downtown pedestrian traffic.
Opening Grand Oysters at Scott's Grand Opening
Scott's Oyster Bar owners Misty and Lex Janes make the official cut. Scott’s Oyster Bar celebrated its official grand opening and ribbon cut November 18 with members of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, family, friends and well-wishers. This family-owned business is across from Hat Creek between the two rivers on Austin Ave. Scott's offers a variety of Gulf Coast flavors; fish and shellfish with a taste of creole, gumbo, Old Bay, hot sauce, and citrus. And of course, lots of oysters. Owner Lex Janes says, “Gulf oysters
have been part of Texas forever and I am excited to have customers try them. They have a good texture and just a little bit of brine in them. We have some with a very mild flavor all the way up to the bold ‘big mouth’ briny types.” Janes is happy to let customers have a taste before they order. Scott's is open Mon 3pm-8pm; TuesThurs 11am-8pm; Fri-Sat 11am-9pm; Sun Brunch 11am-4pm. Visit ScottsOysterBar. com for daily specials.
After years of customer input and planning, H-E-B cut the ribbon for the grand re-opening of Georgetown H-E-B November 18th. While the busy hum of pre-Thanksgiving shoppers elsewhere in the store filled the air, more than 100 guests gathered at the front door to get all the details. Director of Retail Operations (Austin West) Mark Hauerland opened his remakes with a happy exclamation “It’s finally here, and I don’t know that we could have cut it any closer. We are seeing big baskets come through here buying turkeys and yams and all the fixins and it’s very exciting. We are humbled and indebted to you as a community for sticking with us.” The $12 million project added 12,500 square feet to the store, allowing for many products and offerings not previously found in store. The redesigned store includes a new Scratch Bakery with artisan breads, tortillería and gourmet fudges; a new Blooms floral department with a floral designer and flower delivery; an extra 3,200 square feet in the produce department with Fresh Squeezed Juice and Fresh Cut Fruit Bars; and an expanded service checkout experience with new check stands. “Everything about the newly remodeled store, from its modern layout to its expanded fresh varieties is specifically tailored to this community and
HEB Senior Vice President Jeff Thomas complements H-E-B’s commitment to providing unsurpassed quality and service with everyday low prices,” said Michelle Krzywonski, Unit Director for H-E-B Georgetown. Mayor Pro Tem, Steve Fought said “HEB is a good citizen. Not only do they employ a lot of people with good wages and good benefits, they also provide high quality products at reasonable prices so everyone in the community has access to good food.” In keeping with their role as a good citizen, and in honor of the H-E-B’s 15-year Anniversary and Grand Re-Opening celebration the company donated $1,500 each to The Caring Place, the Boys and Girls Club of Georgetown; and the Literacy Council of Williamson County. “We are honored to have served Georgetown residents for so long and are pleased to both create an enhanced shopping experience for them and to give back to the community through organizations that make a difference,” added Krzywonski. “It’s an
integral part of how we do business and how we treat our neighbors.” The larger store format offers customers expanded offerings including a Texas Backyard outside the store; grills, patio furniture, plants and more. Other expansion includes: • Larger beer and wine department a variety of local and imported options. • Sushiya sushi bar will offer fresh, delicious, handrolled sushi available for take home. • Cooking Connection with in-store cooking demos, and shoppers can stop by anytime with questions or to get recipes and cooking ideas. • Olive Bar with and extensive olive selection from around the world as well as tapenade and antipasto salads. • H-E-B Meal Simple, chef-inspired recipes, and restaurant-quality ‘Ready to Cook’ and ‘Ready to Eat’ solutions for streamlining home-cooking. • Business Center with two service windows for customers. • Pharmacy Patient Education room offers immunizations, screenings and education for customers wanting to manage their health. • A lengthened Service Check-Out Area with an additional 3,500 square feet for 22 new, full check-out lanes. • Nine new electric shopping carts, for a total of 38 carts.
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High School Students Building a Plane
Mid-Year Motivation for Students and Educators
What the finished product will look like: A two-seat RV-12 airplane Students from Georgetown High School and East View High School are building a fully functional airplane as part of the Georgetown ISD's Aerospace Engineering course. The Aerospace Engineering class is a new dual college and high school credit course offered this year by Georgetown Independent School District. The STEM course offers high school students the opportunity to participate in building a functioning two-seat metal RV-12 airplane. The project is a partnership between GISD, Project Lead the Way and local Georgetown non-profit TangoFlight. The City of Georgetown also provided some initial funding for the project. The course is unique in providing a college level curriculum with hands on experience building an airplane. The two seater airplane will be built using kits purchased through Van's Aircraft, an aviation company in Aurora, Oregon. East View High School teacher Dan Weyant leads the class composed of 24 students, 12 from East View High School
and 12 from Georgetown High School. Due to the complexity of the build, the course is housed at East View High School in the Career and Technical Education center. The goal of the course is to give students a unique once in a lifetime experience: real world hands-on experience building an airplane. Working together, students will build a functioning airplane with the guidance of teacher Dan Weyant, and a group of advisors from the community.
A local group of 30+ advisors outside the district are helping guide students as they build the aircraft. The advisors have a wide range of aeronautical experience and come from varied backgrounds. Advisors include former military pilots, commercial pilots, local business owners, and involved parents. Advisors will provide help in the classroom, as well as help in the actual construction of the aircraft. More to come on their progress later in the school year.
(StatePoint) The school year can seem long for students and educators alike. However, a mid-year infusion of new technology and tools can provide just the motivation needed to ace the rest of the year. Here are several tools and technologies that can pave the way to better, more enthusiastic learning at home and in the classroom.
Teachers are increasingly communicating with students and parents over social media, whether it is tweeting updates about today’s lesson or field trip or using Pinterest to share ideas and student work. Seventy-one percent of teens use more than one social media site already, according to recent Pew research. However getting comfortable using these tools in a more formal capacity can have real world implications for students, as more industries and professions require social media proficiency.
ment, according to the National Association for Music Education. Be sure your tools of the trade are up to the task. For students learning to play a keyboard, be sure their instrument features the same sound quality as a traditional piano, but with the additional benefits a higher-tech option brings. For example, the Privia PX-160 from Casio, an 88-key digital piano that boasts the sound of a 9-foot concert grand, features left and right audio outputs, making it easy to connect to other devices for external amplification or recording purposes. Additional features include dual headphone jacks, 18 authentic piano tones, duet mode, a USB port and a two-track recorder. Whether you are outfitting a home or a classroom with musical instruments, additional information can be found at CasioMusicGear.com.
Noise Canceling Headphones
Students and teachers of music know the varied benefits of a high-quality arts education. Learning music can help develop math and pattern recognition skills, increase coordination and foster left brain develop-
Peace and quiet are not always available during crunch time, particularly for students with many siblings, or college students living in a dorm room. Help scholars achieve greater serenity with a good set of noise canceling headphones that don’t
compromise the quality of the audio.
Many schools are looking to go green and save some money while upgrading technology. By combining a laser and LED light source, Casio’s LampFree projectors are a unique, high-brightness, mercury-free tool that uses half the amount of power per unit than its traditional lamp-based counterparts. They save educators time and money because they require minimal maintenance and eliminate the cost of replacement lamps, as they have a 20,000 hour lifespan. The XJ-F210WN model features Intelligent Light Control, which senses ambient light in the room and automatically adjusts the projection brightness accordingly. This can be particularly beneficial to teachers, who may be using their projectors in classrooms with a lot of natural sunlight. You can help make the school year feel new again with educational tools that revamp learning. PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Syda Productions - Fotolia. com
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Flu and Flu Vaccines: What’s New This Year The cooler weather marks the start of fall—and the beginning of flu season. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, flu season officially runs from October through May. In Texas, most flu activity occurs during the months of December, January and February; however, it can strike at any time. That’s why it’s important to get vaccinated now—before flu season is in full swing. It is recommended people get the influenza vaccine every year, not only because protection
decreases over time, but also because a new vaccine is developed annually to match the specific strains of flu expected to be circulated. One of the main differences for this year’s flu recommendations is related to the FluMist. After data showed it wasn’t effective, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted against using the nasal vaccine for the 2016-17 season. With the potential for more demand on the flu
vaccine due to the absence of the FluMist, it’s recommended you get your shot early. In addition to the flu vaccine, it’s important to take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of germs. Those actions include: Wash your hands often with soap and water Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with
your hands Clean and disinfect surfaces that could contain germs Other populations who are at an increased risk of flu complications include the elderly and people with chronic illnesses. Of
course, even healthy adults can benefit from getting a flu shot, as they may spread the virus to others who are particularly susceptible. In general, the CDC recommends a flu vaccine for anyone who is 6 months to 4 years or 50+
years of age, or those who have chronic pulmonary (asthma), cardiovascular, renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic or metabolic disorders, as well as people with a suppressed immune system. Additionally, women who are or will become pregnant during the flu season should get an influenza vaccine, as well as healthcare providers, residents of nursing homes and other caregivers. Visit the CDC’s website (www.cdc.gov/flu) for a look at the full list of populations who should get a flu vaccine. Gina DeSanto, M.D., is a hospitalist at St. David’s Georgetown Hospital
VFW Operation Turkey Feeds Hundreds for the Holiday
It's the season of giving. And cooking. And giving away the cooking. During Thanksgiving week, the Leander VFW Post 10427 fed more than 700 people with donated turkeys, potatoes, pies and more as part of Operation Turkey. With help from volunteer preppers and drivers, hundreds of local Meals on Wheels clients, Head Start families and Veterans received special holiday meals. VFW Operation Turkey Director Christine McCarty is a VFW member and Meals on Wheels volunteer. She organized the event, which included signing up families for weeks ahead of time, arranging hundreds of pounds of donated food; and coordinating the cooking, prep work and
Clockwise: Hundreds of pounds of donated food waiting for Leander and surrounding families to pick up to prepare their holiday dinner. • Joe Smith and his Cookshack crew. They traveled to Louisiana after recent flooding to help the Salvation Army feed emergency and cleanup workers. • "Mascot" donkeys are a fixture at the Leander VFW, adding ambiance to the outdoor smoke work. • Joe Smith and Operation Turkey director Christine McCarty. packaging to make it all happen in a single day. Cedar Park businessman and VFW member Joey Smith provided the smoking skills to cook 200 turkeys in a single morning. Smith is a competitive cooker who spends a lot of his free time giving back by cooking—his food truck can cook 27 turkeys at a time in about 2-1/2 hours. He is looking forward to getting his new truck, which will handle 60. He frequently supports
non-profits and charity events and travels to disaster areas to help feed emergency workers. "We love to cook and we love to give back to the community. This is what I do instead of playing golf. My wife and I run the truck and my friends take off work every year to be here and help us get the turkeys ready. With all the sponsors we have been able to work with, I am able to feed a person for $1 so a $20 donation will feed 20 people." (Jo-
esCookShack.com) McCarty says the VFW has been providing the meals for three years, and they have doubled their meals each year. "Just over 100 Meals on Wheels clients will receive a fully-cooked hot Thanksgiving lunch, which our volunteers will deliver over nine different routes. Then tonight, we have Head Start families and other local families in need who come to us through Hill Country Ministries and pick up a
whole, cooked turkey and all the fixings to take home and prepare their own meal." The VFW has been collecting donations of cash and food since September to prepare for the big day. Cash donations purchased the turkeys and Joe's Cookshack did the cooking in a matter of hours. On top of that, HEB helped the helpers by donating a full lunch for all the volunteers working to feed others. VFW Commander Dave Walden said, "This would
not have happened without Christine. Christine epitomizes what our organization stands for and she is are a shining example of our great organization." Annually, 2.1 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary contribute more than 11 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week.
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The Last Word PAGE A7
DECEMBER 1, 2016 THE ADVOCATE
PUBLISHER'S CORNER they claim; mine comes from about ten thousand feet—a lot closer to home for most of us. The reason that Donald J. Trump won this election actually transcends every justification that I’ve heard so far. By the way, the explanation I am about to submit is not exclusively mine; I have heard it, though marginally, opined by a few others. You see, it became clear to American voter that now was the time to decide who would determine the cornerstone of our governance. Would we elect a person with a clear “globalist” attitude, or would we elect an unconventional and unlikely candidate with a solidly traditional American platform?
they now have control over the world wide web. That, in and of itself, did not entirely constitute the backlash the globalists received at the ballot box. But, if we ever had anything to thank Barack Hussein Obama for, it would be for his laser-like focus on changing us from a capitalist system to one based on socialism. From his, “you didn’t build that” speech to his capitulation to dictators such as the now deceased despot Fidel Castro, he has led our country precipitously close to globalist rule. At his last speech at the United Nations in September 2016, Obama “urged the world’s leaders to ‘go forward’ on the ‘existing path of global integration,’ in spite of the challenges, which he blamed on ‘religious fundamentalism, aggressive nationalism,’ and ‘crude populism.’” The ball is now firmly back in the court of common sense, and the Superman proverb is once again within reach. America elected Donald J. Trump to return us to the values of truth, justice, and the American way. Now, we expect him to get to it, post haste.
Shriners Shine in Sun City: Holiday Lights Bring Hope & Healing For nearly a century,
the Shriners International organization has been known for their support of sick and hurting children in need. Today, as the world’s largest philanthropic organization, their benevolence projects fund by Mike Payne 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children worldt’s been nearly one month wide to the tune of now since America elected nearly $2 million per our next President, Donday. Founded in 1922 ald John Trump. Since to help combat polio, the pundits, pollsters, and Shriners Hospitals talking heads missed this for Children treat election result worse than children up to age 18 that last pitch in Mighty with no expectation Casey At The Bat, I thought of reimbursement for you might appreciate an the cost of treatment It was obvious that this alternative opinion. or care. Locally, election would deterRemember how, beTexas is the home of mine whether or not as a fore the ballots were cast, two Shiners Hospicountry, we would have Hillary was going to crush tals for Children; the to justify ourselves to the Trump—and somehow Houston location treats orthopedic and United Nations and a host after the election, this spinal cord injuries and/or birth defects, as of other full-blown and smug inevitability turned well as cleft lip and palate surgery and requasi- communist dictato shock and disbelief construction, while the Galveston location tors and banana republic and then to the fact that is the world renowned center for burn care regimes. After all, we now “fake news” had obviously and recovery. have global governance of skewed this election to With growing numbers of children in the Internet since we gave Trump’s favor? My opinneed of treatment, the Sun City Shrine its control to ICANN, to ion, you see, doesn’t origiClub, a unit of the larger Ben Hur Shrine whom we will now have nate from the “thirty-thouin Austin, is doing their best to do their to explain ourselves since sand foot” perspective as part, while bringing holiday cheer to their own backyard as well. The club of 50 members established in 2003 is the brains, heart, and even some of the brawn behind the holiday lights and decorations 1103 Rivery Blvd., Georgetown that spring up (almost miraculously) overnight on the Visitor Center, along the 512-869-3035 Williams Dr. and 195 entrances to Sun City, as well as on several of the bridges LY AI D ED ER FF O within the community. Along with other ET FF U B philanthropic fund-raising throughout the year, the Sun City Shrine Club uses the Monday-Friday Saturday/Sunday SalsasRestaurants.com decorating project which started in 2005 as 11 am - 3 pm 10 am - 3 pm a festive way to raise funds for the Shiners Hospitals for Children locations in Texas. Monday-Friday By way of four donation boxes placed 11 am - 9 pm throughout the Sun City community, the Saturday/Sunday ALL DAY - EVERY DAY! club typically raises between $6,000 and 10 am - 9 pm $8,000 or more each year, according to 2017 club president-elect Ray Devries. Breakfast-Saturday & Sunday 15% Senior Discount 10 am - 2 pm The light project itself is a labor of love Available Every Day! Just Ask! and the result of a coordinated effort of about 25 club members and several of any purchase their wives, led by Bob Tolley, Chairman of $25 or more of the Christmas Lighting Program. Tolley Excludes alcohol. Not valid with other discounts. points all the kudos to former Sun City resident and Shriner Bob Campbell who Expires 12/31/16 did all the original design and engineering work, bringing ever-more detailed and updated schematics to the project every year but, Tolley says, “We W are excited JE e W Bu Home • Auto • Life • Commercial to give the
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Sun City residents what they like so we are decorating this year with the same quantity and quality merriment-by-lights.” Tolley and Devries also praise the Sun City Community Association, and Director Jim Romine, for underwriting the project. “Thanks to the CA, no matter how large or small the donation, 100 percent of the donation box proceeds go directly to the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Houston and Galveston.” Additionally, for the last several years, Suddenlink and The Christmas Light Pros have donated the equipment and man-power to install the lights on the Visitor Center. Like a precisely coordinated dance, installation day takes place the Monday after Thanksgiving with club members’ ladies fluffing wreaths and men stringing lights along the fences and bridges. The highpoint, both literally and figuratively, of the decorating takes place around the Visitor Center with the arrival of Suddenlink’s bucket truck. This donated assistance from the professionals in reaching the high spots is “safer than having old guys on ladders,” quips Tolley, and The Christmas Light Pros volunteers their expertise “on the low spots, from the gutters down.” Humor aside, Devries and Tolley applaud the assistance of both companies, and say their efforts are integral to the success of the project. For anyone who appreciates the festive luminescence in Sun City, or just wants to help a child during this holiday season, you can donate cash or checks at Sun City Shrine Club Holiday Lights donation boxes at Member Services (2 Texas Drive); at each fitness center (Texas Dr. / Cowen Creek); and at Wriggley’s Pub. Donations can also be mailed to: Shriners Light Collection, 2 Texas Dr., Georgetown, TX 78633. All checks payable to: Shriners Hospitals for Children.
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SECTION B • PAGE 1
DECEMBER 1, 2016 THE ADVOCATE
ADOPTION DAY 2016
by Ann Marie Ludlow
Seven Williamson County families welcomed 13 new members on Adoption Day, November 22, in the 395th and 425th District Courts. Adoptions are done all the time in both courtrooms, but November is National Adoption Month and many clients and families who work with Child Protective Services choose to formalize the occasion in a public celebration. Thanks to the combined efforts of Williamson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Child Welfare Board, and Bar Association, the annual event featured more then $2500 in donated toys and books for the adoptees, lunch and cake, as well as several superheroes to visit with and entertain the families throughout the day. Judge Betsy Lambeth (425th District) and Judge Ryan Larson (395th District) presided over the cases and ensured family members testified aloud what was written on all of their faces, mostly in tears; they were already family and just needed to judges to make it so, legally. Denise “Wonder Woman” Hyde is a family law attorney and has been partici-
pating in Adoption Day for nearly 20 years. “Every adoption is wonderful but being able to do these as part of Adoption Day is incredible. Every family is unique and wonderful and all of these families are opening their hearts and homes and making a commitment to these children to be their Forever family. It’s magic.” Hyde says Adoption Month brings awareness to the great many children across the country, in Texas, and here at home who are waiting for their forever homes. “Getting this message out is so important so we are honoring and celebrating these families but we’re also bringing the needed visibility to these kids. These are all our kids.” Judge Betsy Lambeth is celebrating her fourth Adoption Day as a judge and explained all the cases in the annual event are managed by CPS. “It’s so great to hear the stories of the families. Today a little
boy being adopted has had a lot of trouble in his life and it’s just amazing when they get with the right family, and how patient these families are with these kids. So much of what we have to do sometimes breaks up families. This is the one time we get to make families.” New Mom Tracy Waters has been waiting two years for this very emotional day. Her response was “[Speechless grinning pause] I just feel like a big weight has been lifted. And I now I just get to be a mom.”
Clockwise from top: Attorney Denise Hyde in superhero attire • Mike “Superman” Guevara is a family law attorney and organizer of this year’s event • Erizon (16) leaves her handprint for the Judge’s chambers • Judge Ryan Larson presides over his first Adoption Day case; making the Waters family official. • Tracy and Chanda Waters had the biggest courtroom contingent celebrating daughter Shae and son Evan, of whom Chanda says “I have never been more committed to any living being than these children.” • Judge Lambeth got some help from Alan Barnes to bang the gavel on his new family.
Don’t Miss the 36th Annual Christmas Stroll
The 36th annual Christmas Stroll is this weekend in downtown Georgetown around the Courthouse Square. This holiday festival, sponsored by the Downtown Georgetown Association, is: 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, December 2 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec 3. Event details at DowntownGeorgetownAssociationTX.org.
The Stroll is a rain or shine event. In the event of severe weather conditions such as lightning or high winds, festival activities will be adjusted as warranted. Check the City social media pages for updates. Saturday begins with a parade at 10am, live entertainment on three stages, and
holiday shopping at 150 booths as well as downtown merchants. The Bistro Food Court offers hot chocolate, funnel cake, and other seasonal treats. Enjoy Santa’s Village all day Saturday; photos and visits with Santa from 11am-3pm and 4-7pm. In the Whoo-Village children’s area Friday night and Saturday 10am-5pm, you’ll find rides for kids, the popular Whoohair booth, and the Grinch himself. Visit Whoo-Village on Friday night from 6-8pm for a special Dessert with the Grinch. Bethlehem Village by Georgetown Church of Nazarene features booths, displays, and performers in costume from the time of Jesus of Nazareth. Look for the Kids Zone and Craft Area with hands-on fun such as ornament making, cookie decorating, Home Depot kid’s construction area, and Hula Hoop lessons. The Kids Zone is open Fri/Sat. Admission to Stroll is free. A donation of a new toy to Blue Santa or Brown Santa is appreciated. Look for collection barrels on the Square.
Parade 10am Saturday
The downtown Stroll Parade on Church Street and Austin Avenue starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday. For safety reasons, the Georgetown Police Department asks that no candy or any objects be thrown from floats or participants in the parade. Elves with Georgetown Blue Santa will be collecting new, unwrapped toys along the route of the Christmas Stroll parade. For donation barrel sites and more information, go to BlueSanta.Georgetown.org.
Free Event Parking
After 12 p.m. (noon) on Saturday, festival-goers may park in the City of Georgetown parking lot on the west side of Austin Avenue at Fifth Street. Parking is available at the Williamson County parking structure at Third and Rock streets and at the County lot at Rock and Sixth streets. The City parking lot at Ninth and Main streets will be used for handicapped parking and public parking on Saturday.
The City parking lot at Sixth and Main streets will be closed starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 1 through Saturday. This lot will be used for the food court. The small parking lot adjacent to Grace Heritage Center will be closed starting at 6 a.m. on Thursday through 1 a.m. Saturday.
Austin Avenue will be closed from 6 a.m. on Saturday until 1 a.m. on Sunday between Seventh and Eighth streets. The Austin Avenue closure will expand from Second to 11th streets on Saturday between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. (noon) to allow for the Stroll Parade. The Austin Avenue detour will be on Rock Street. Austin Avenue will remain open on Friday. Main Street will be closed between Eighth and Ninth streets at 7 p.m. on Thursday until 1 a.m. on Sunday. Go to DowntownGeorgetownAssociationTX.org for details.
DEC 10, 8am: The Locker is holding the 3rd Annual Reindeer Run at San Gabriel Park. There is a 5K (timed) at 9am and a Fun Run at 10am. Fee is $45 for the 5K; the Fun Run is $20 per family or one pair of running shoes for a needy teen. Shoes will be donated to students in need. Pets are welcome and there will be a costume contest. Free shirt with registration
through December 6. Visit TheLocker.info
DEC 8, 9, 10, 7pm: Georgetown High school Show Choir will perform “A Holiday to Remember” at the Klett Performing Arts Center. Enjoy a Broadway style musical revue. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online or at the door. They will also be collecting canned goods to make a holiday donation to The Caring Place.
DEC 10, 7am: San Gabriel Park, catch a fish and win a prize! This family-friendly derby is a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors. Parks & Rec will stock the river with 1250 rainbow trout. Registration begins at 7:00 am. Admission into the derby is $3. Spectators are invited to watch at no charge. Limit one pole per person, please. A fishing permit is required for participants aged 17 and older. Any trout caught wins a prize; first-come, firstserved. Anyone can fish, but anglers must be registered in order to win prizes. Prizes include fishing rods, tackle boxes, lures, gift certificates, etc. Bait will be available for purchase for $5 and bottled water for $1. Information,
October 1 - December 31
pounds of food by year-end!
You can help by donating non-perishable food or by holding your own community food drive. We’ll even provide the collection barrels!
DEC 16: Georgetown Recreation Center Indoor Pool Infant 0-3: Free • Youth 4-18: $2 • Adult 19-54: $3 • Senior 55 and up: $2 • Free for Georgetown Recreation Center members. Grab your suits and your camera and bring the entire family for a chance to swim with the big man himself! There will also be an Elf Quote-Along, so enjoy a great holiday movie. Hot chocolate and candy canes provided. Advanced registration is recommended (visit. georgetown.org). You may
SANTA VISITS Dec 16, 6-9pm Dec 18, 6-10pm Dec 21, 6-11pm This year will be the 22nd year the Harlien Family has decorated their Berry Creek home to bring joy to neighborhood kids and families. Inspired by a dear friend’s son and a neighbor who insisted the light show goes on, the Harlien family, Santa, and their supporters are embarking on their 3rd Annual Make-A-Wish light show benefiting Central and South Texas. With help from the community, they have raised nearly $50,000 in the past two holiday seasons, enabling them to sponsor
Help us collect
Swim with Santa
also register onsite at the Recreation Center any time prior to the event. For more information, please contact Melissa Trahan-Pecorino at 512-930-8459 or melissa. email@example.com.
Breakfast with Santa
DEC 17, 7:30am: The Rotary Club of Georgetown-Sun City and BWS partners, Georgetown FD and ISD, Assistance League of Georgetown and YMCA of Greater Williamson County are sponsoring the 16th annual “Breakfast with Santa” at the San Gabriel Community Center ($6). Provides help for needy children and families in our communities during the holidays; clothing, gifts
and food for 180 kids (60 needy families) selected by GISD, support the Jarrell UMC Out-Reach Program and provide clothing and other gift cards to GISD homeless teenagers served by The Georgetown Project’s “NEST”. Every dollar from sponsors and individual donors go towards helping needy children and families. All administrative expenses for this project are covered by contributions from Sun City Rotary Club members and the Club.
DEC 17, 7:30pm: “A Jubilant Christmas” at the Klett Performing Arts Center. Classical, contemporary and Christmas music in a “pops” style concert format.
Harlien Make-a-Wish Family Christmas
The Caring Place Food Pantry provides a 10-day supply of food to families in financial crisis.
contact Melissa Trahan-Pecorino at 512-9308459 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DECEMBER 1, 2016 THE ADVOCATE
nine wish trips. This year the goal is $20,000 to send four more children on a trip of a lifetime in 2017. The Harlien’s started an annual tradition 22 years ago, sharing the joy of Christmas with others by decorating their house with lights and Christmas decor. As each year we passed they added more lights to our home. As the family grew with two children, Coleson now age 19 and Chamberlain age 17, it became a family tradition.
You can find their Griswold-esque display at 400 Liscio Cove. For safety reasons they ask that all traffic enter Liscio Loop from Lancaster Drive & exit Liscio Loop at Champions and to be careful not to block driveways. “We appreciate your continued support and look forward to making more wishes come true for Central Texas families this Holiday Season!” ~Russell, Leslie, Coleson, and Chamberlain
Thank you! For further information, please visit www.caringplacetx.org or contact David Earl at 512-943-0700
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Court Coolness with G’town Granny Basketball Georgetown Parks and Recreation truly has someone for everyone. Including basketball for the over-50 set. The Georgetown Fire Ants are our local Granny Basketball League® team and they are nothing short of fiery in their attitudes and their play. Begun in Iowa in 2005, the Granny League is making its way around the nation and our local team of eight players is anxiously engaging in and looking forward to having more teams form up to give them some competition.
A little history
Iowa Founder Barb Tomlinson was helping her father, who had been a basketball coach in the 1940s and 50s, write his memoirs and they were reminiscing about how “prissy” the rules were back then. For instance, it was a foul (and is today) if a player’s uniform were to show bare legs or upper arms. Tomlinson pulled together some friends who were all looking for a way to exercise. They discovered that a “gentler” throwback style of basketball was just right for all their friends in the senior set. They set up an exhibition game that was so popular, and fun, more teams formed and the league was born. Today there are more than 200 players on 26
teams in eight states. Teams play exhibitions and tournaments and, together, have raised more than $200,000 for charities, boosters and micro-funds. They wear throwback uniforms identical to those worn in the 1920s; bloomers, knee-socks and loose blouses (kind of like a sailor shirt) with a bow or tie. Our local Fire Ants are age 55 to 81, and most have never played basketball before hitting the court
with our local team. They play four quarters of 4-8 minutes and there is no running, jumping or physical contact allowed. They joke that they are also not allowed to slam-dunk! Tina Wall played in high school, until 1957; “Of course the rules were different but a lot of the game is the same. The exercise is great and I love it.” And all the players agree with Dale Dickinson, “My favorite thing is meeting all these wonderful ladies; interacting and all the physical activity we get.”
The Fire Ants are fortunate that there is a second team nearby, the Harker Heights Old Glories, to provide them a little outside competition. Their next closest rival is in Louisiana, which makes Away games rather complicated. Coach Linda Toerper says, “We want to get the word out and encourage people to play—needless to say—so we have someone to play with. About half of us live in Sun City and we know there are a lot of active former athletes out there who would build a great team.” Players need to be at least 50 years old, they do not need any athletic ability
COME SEE THE FIRE ANTS AGAINST THE OLD GLORIES HALFTIME, EAST VIEW HS GIRLS BASKETBALL DECEMBER 6 • 7 PM or experience but must be able to maintain the physical activity and, of course, be eager to play in front of crowds. Anyone who qualifies and is interested in playing, contact Linda at email@example.com. The Fire Ants play every Wednesday at 10 at the Georgetown Community Center and they invite everyone to their exhibition game at East View High School December 6.
Left: Fire Ants Team—Front row L-R: Captain Judy Hanes (2nd year), Kathy Usher, Dale Dickinson, Coach Linda Toerper. Back row L-R: Janice Stengel, Michele Signaoff, Diana Schultz (1st day on the team), Tina Wall. Their branded socks just below... • Top: Coach Linda Toerper watches the ladies run through their drills. • Bottom: Michele Signaoff trying to pass by Diana Schultz.
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Ups and Downs of Consistency
Doesn’t anyone appreciate consistency any more? I don’t watch or follow sports much and I’m sure I will be able to actually hear some eye-rolling, but I don’t see how UT firing its football coach after three years makes sense. One; if I were a donor and they were spending my money on the buyout for Charlie Strong to sit around for the next few years, I’d have to ask how much medical
research could have been done with that money instead. Two; at most, a college coach has four years to work with any given kid. Hard to build a dynasty with freshmen and sophomores. I’m sure I have a naive approach to it, but I’ll feel sorry for UT in another life when there are no hungry people in Texas who could have eaten rather well on $10 million. Turning to world news; Castro. So he brutalized his whole country for five decades. If consistency teaches us nothing, it’s that hey, you had 50 years and, still, no one is loving Communism. So at least we have our answer. Weren’t you paying attention when it didn’t work in the Soviet Union?
Angels Among Us Part I
by Patty Kramer
At Christmas, I worked long hours for
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UPS delivering packages. When my daughter Sharla was in kindergarten, I headed out to Valley Springs as soon as school was out to drop her off at Momma’s. At the farm, she happily exited the car with her suitcase and waved as she ran across the yard, acting as if I didn’t need to get out and even hug my own momma. Their days together at the farm were full. Momma had a winter garden to care for, old folks in the nursing home in Llano to see about, and of course, daddy, who had to have something fried for his dinner every night. As momma was usually behind on making our Christmas presents, she spent a lot of time at the sewing machine. She did plenty of demonstrating how the machine worked, but Sharla was always too busy playing boy stuff with her cousin, Matthew, to absorb the instructions. The amount of work and effort momma spent in sewing Sharla doll clothes each Christmas was pretty much wasted. Television was only watched at night on the farm. After daddy fell asleep in his chair by the fire, momma would search one of the few channels for a Christmas movie. Seated in a deep, soft chair, surrounded by the hum of momma’s sewing machine and the snores from Pap Paw’s side of the room, Sharla saw for the first time It’s a Wonderful Life. When I called to check on her the next day, she excitedly told me all about the part where the little girl said, “Every time you hear a bell ring, an angel gets her wings.” Another night at the farm passed by watching momma’s favorite show, Billy Graham’s Christmas Special. At the end of his uplifting service half of those in attendance would crowd down to the front of the center to accept the gift of everlasting life. Even though she was playing with her favorite toys, Sharla paid attention. That night when momma tucked her in,
NE F ISH IN
I am anticipating a great bit of consistency from the American Democratic party over the next four years. I’m sure over the holiday, tabletops across the nation were awash with dessert and discord, cranberries and crowing. I imagine most Republicans felt the same as me: The only thing worse than having to listen to all the whining about Hillary losing would have been listening to the gloating if she won. While I did go on a relaxing 24-hour news diet over Thanksgiving, I did not fail to imagine how the Trump Presidency will look from time to time. But I also realize that people will be people. So if, in four years, we have global peace, the keys to China’s checkbook, $10 college tu-
Sharla asked, “Granny Mac, what does enter-tain mean?” Receiving a clear answer, she asked another question, “Do you have any bells? I need bells ‘cause I’m making something for Christmas.” Momma dug through her junk drawers, old trunks, and leftover Christmas decorations. By the time Sharla was at the breakfast table, momma had six bells of varying sizes. Sharla was happy until she realized only four had handles you could run a string through. “But, Granny, this might not be enough bells. We need to buy more. If you’ll take me to the store, I’ll find some. You can pay for them until momma comes for Christmas. I know she’ll pay you back.” So, the next time they were at Bill’s Dollar Store, momma let Sharla pick out a package of quarter-sized, brass jingle bells sewn to a piece of cardboard, and after much begging, agreed to let her buy two miniature cow bells. Smiling all the way home, Sharla hugged the brown paper sack to her chest and rattled on about the surprise she and Pap Paw were going to fix. Once at home she sought him out, leaving her grandmother in complete suspense as to her need for the bells. Knowing her husband was a trickster, momma was a little worried about what they were going to do. But, she reasoned, at least he couldn’t hide all the bells inside the fruit salad the way he hid a tiny plastic lizard last year. On Christmas morning, driving to mommas was a continuous battle with the north wind threatening to blow me sideways off the road. The night before on Christmas Eve I’d worked late and hadn’t arrived home until 10:30 pm. All I really wanted for a Christmas present was a nice quiet place to spend the day. Knowing that wouldn’t happen at momma’s house, I resolved to put a smile on my face and act interested when one of the “strange” people momma had accumulated over the years showed up for Christmas lunch. Selfishly, I wondered why I couldn’t have been born into a household that fed only kin instead of every stray person found on the side of the road. I could only hope the strange little lady with the enormous hat that showed up last Easter for lunch would not be there again. Her loud voice was most annoying, and her outrageous hat smelled of mothballs. Arriving, I ran across the cold yard to the front door, all the while zipping up my sad state of mind and
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DECEMBER 1, 2016 THE ADVOCATE ition and a world-wide glut of polar bears and glaciers, Democrats will still counter with, “Well, Donald Trump touched a boob in 1984.” And to top off the list, let’s all celebrate the consistency, nay inevitability, of corporate greed. I know, complaining about that goes against my Republican grain, but go with me. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I discovered my debit card had been hacked, money stolen, and I couldn’t get a big Black Friday deal. (Apparently I’m greedy too). I have had a debit card since 1987 and I have never had my ID hacked on that card. UNTIL... they sent me the RFID chip card just two months ago. For some reason, 70 percent of all cards in America
have this ridiculous little chip. It’s a coin toss at every check out whether you have to swipe or chip depending on what store you’re in. And not only can you not demand to use the old stripe version, now you have to support the entirely new bustling RFID protection sleeve/wallet/foil hat industry to protect from all the hackers who need only breeze by in your vicinity to steal your money. So why, you ask, is anyone using these stupid things? Oh, because due to the reader usability, if your ID is hacked and a store sells the thief something with your stolen information,
tossing it into the wind. It was Christmas! Day of good cheer and thankfulness for Jesus! Once inside I had to hunt for Sharla, who was in hot pursuit of a cousin who was really a famous outlaw. Warning me as she ran by; I’d best get out of the way or I might get shot. I helped momma with lunch as she would hurry to the front door and then circulate through the kitchen to introduce soand-so she or daddy had met somewhere over the rainbow. Each addition caused much rearranging of tables and chairs to accommodate the whole bunch. To my great irritation the woman with the loud voice arrived just before noon. As I bent to give her the hug momma expected us to provide, the smell of mothballs on her coat nearly smothered me. Hurriedly I asked if I could take it from her, wondering if I could dash outside and bury it in one of mother’s dormant flower beds. The noise level in the house increased. Deer hunting stories were swapped in the living room, recipes in the dining room, and war whoops came from the small band of Indians playing in the bedrooms. Ugh, my head was starting to pound. I thought about sticking waded up tissues in my ears just to make it until lunch. Finally, someone spread throughout the house to gather us for prayer before the family served themselves buffet style off of the kitchen counters. I couldn’t help but wonder where I could find the quietest corner to eat my lunch, a place to get out of this madhouse and let my food digest in peace. I vowed that next year I was going to ask momma to please let us have a quieter, family-only lunch. Someday, when I took over the cooking, I was going to put my foot down and stick to a tiny section of the family when it came to invitations for lunch. Who needed all this noise and confusion on Christmas Day? As the group stuffed itself into the kitchen and living room, the crowd quieted. Finally, I thought, a moment or two of peace! As the question arose of who wanted to say grace over the food, we heard bells ringing on the front porch. Lots of bells. Bells with different tones. Donging greatly bells, tinkling lightly bells, jangling merrily bells. Noisy bells! I put my hands over my ears to drown out the sound. What in the world was going on? What kind of Christmas decorations did momma hang on the porch? As the crowd headed
the STORE is liable for the loss and not the credit card company. So those stupid little chips protect VISA and no one else. I am not surprised. What may surprise VISA is that all those cards retained the magnetic stripe and still have numbers on them, so I can take an Exacto knife and excise that little silicone mongrel and continue to spend. I’d at least like to think I’m consistent in outsmarting criminals even if I still have to owe my soul to the company store when the bill comes due.
toward the crescendo of the apparently windblown bells, little Sharla pushed her way through and ran ahead. Throwing open the door she gazed lovingly at the bells ringing in the strong wind, the three large cowbells the loudest of them all. It appeared Daddy had helped her tie each bell to heavy twine, and sometime late this morning he’d strung the line between the porch’s two metal support beams. In her loudest, most excited voice, Sharla shouted, “Angels, Pap Paw! We have angels here with us today!” “Oh,” I said, “I get it. The movie. You watched the movie about angels and bells.” “Yes,” replied Sharla. “And we also watched a big preacher talk the other night about how you could have angels with you at the dinner table and not know it! And I wanted to know how many showed up here at Pap Paw’s and Granny Mac’s.” Looking at her handiwork again, she caught her breath and then shouted, “Momma! There must be a bunch of angels here because all the bells are ringing! We have a whole house full of angels!” Everyone laughed and patted Sharla on the head, or gave her a hug. As we quieted down, the old man that had accompanied the mothball smelling lady lead the prayer as the bells jangled loudly in the background. “Lord, part of Billy Graham’s message was based on Hebrews 13:1; It says, Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Help us, Lord, to remember how lucky we are to have such a feast to sit down to today, a feast prepared by loving hands most assuredly owned by an angel.” He continued, “Help us to remember that your son Jesus is the reason we are gathered here today, and please bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies. Amen.” Secretly, I was proud of my daughter. She’d found a way to bring a Bible verse to life. The verse made me rethink my tackiness about sharing our table with a houseful of strangers. I was thankful I’d kept my selfishness hidden where no one else could see it. I was wrong. Someone else had been paying attention. Just how many angels were around that table? Find out in the 12/15/16 issue of the Advocate.
DECEMBER 1, 2016 THE ADVOCATE
Shea-Shea has been at the shelter longer than anyone. She is sweet and quirky and kind of a “cat-dog.” Does not care for other cats but low-maintenance, affectionate, short-haired. Current on vaccines, chipped, litterbox trained, and spayed.
Skipper (1.5) Listens well; loves to play with dogs and toys. Housetrained, and knows sit, stay, come, down, shake, crawl, and can even do agility. Fantastic running buddy too.
2-year old Robert, at only 40 pounds, this Black-Mouthed Stumperson is low to the ground and full of life. He is devoted and loves spending time with humans of all ages and other dogs. Housetrained, current on vaccines, chipped, and neutered.
4 year old Addie came to us as a stray. Super quiet meow. She prefers to be the only cat but coexists peacefully if she has to. Addie is not demanding but still loves attention. She is litterbox trained, chipped, current on vaccines, and spayed.
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(254) 947-8800 www.saladovet.com Paula (4) is a Catahoula mix at about 58 lbs. She is smart as a whip, typical of her breed, and knows all of the usual commands and then some. Paula enjoys her playtime just as much as her downtime, and she walks very nicely for you on a leash. Already house-trained, Paula will make an excellent companion in an adult household.
Sierra (8) is domestic shorthair mix. She is 12 lbs. and is the resident kitty diva. Sierra is a gorgeous cat with beautiful striped markings all over. Sierra is a sweet, mellow, introverted cat. She has lived with a dog and is hoping for a quiet place to stay. Sierra is front declawed so must be an indoor only cat.
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Molly is a pretty senior Havana mix. Very friendly and loves to play fetch with her cat toys and is more of a sit next to you cat than a lap cat but does love lots of affection. Owner states she has always been an indoor cat and has never been outside. Owner says she had a small Chihuahua and Molly did great with him.
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Sports PAGE B6
DECEMBER 1, 2016 THE ADVOCATE
Jack is Back: 38th Annual Basketball Tournament
The 38th Annual Jack
Frost Basketball tournament means sports fanatics can watch as many as 70 games Dec 1-3 at Georgetown High School and
Southwestern University. Since 1978, boys and girls teams have been competing in the three-day event, which has grown to a very prestigious destination event that draws teams from all over Texas. The tournament was named for Mr. Frost during his tenure as Georgetown ISD Superintendent, a post he held with great respect and success 1969-1988. East View and Georgetown High School games will also be covered on
Channel 10 Community Spotlight. Georgetown girls’ teams have won the tournament ten times and have been runners-up many times. The boys’ teams have won eight times, and also been runners-up several years as well. In the 2015 tournament, Georgetown teams placed four players in the All-tournament rants. Frost says, “The camaraderie between the boys and girls teams is inspiring. They don’t often get to see
each other play, and it takes their play to another level.”
About Jack Frost
The “real” Jack Frost is
90 years old and still runs every day. The son of a sharecropper, he loves sports, music, drama, and most of all, his family. He was inspired to be a teacher while he was playing sports in high school. He attended junior college on a football scholarship and always wanted to be a coach; so
they made him an administrator, which meant he could enjoy all manner of activities. As Georgetown ISD Superintendent, Jack Frost instilled a sense of educational excellence in the community. He demanded quality from his teachers and students, and was an avid supporter of all UIL activities. As an educational leader, he served on the Central Texas Music Committee and the UIL Legislative Council.
He now lives in the Dallas area and helps his daughter, a doctor, raise her own daughter, Lily, 10. He is also still heavily involved in Georgetown and its sports programs, and is thrilled that Georgetown has two high schools now. “All of them are Georgetown students and we love them all. Two schools; one community. We are happy to have both schools in the tournament.”
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DECEMBER 1, 2016 THE ADVOCATE
Offer Expires 01/31/17
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THURSDAY BBQ NIGHT! Ribs & Brisket Served 5 pm - Close
Dale’s will be closed December 24 - 26 for the holidays! Closed New Year’s Day! Merry Christmas from all of us at Dale’s!
DECEMBER 1, 2016 ď‚Ť THE ADVOCATE
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