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Mayor & Council Members Take Oaths
As his last action as Mayor Pro Tem, Councilman Steve Fought nominated Anna Eby as the new Mayor Pro Tem. Her appointment was unanimous.
Councilwoman Valerie Nicholson, surrounded by family, was sworn in for her first term by Judge Bill Gravell. Pictured with her husband Blake and their three sons. In a special City Council session, Mayor Dale Ross, Councilwoman Rachael Jonrowe and Councilwoman Valerie Nicholson took the oath of office for terms ending in 2020. Jonrowe began serving her third term on the dais; Ross, a second, and Nicholson will be a freshman member. Mayor Ross ad libbed his comments about an incredible previous
three years and gratitude for a city council as talented as ours. "The last three years are what people can do when you have a unified Council and a world-class city staff who execute the vision and the policies as delineated by the City Council." He then listed achievements and successes in growth and development, as well as emergency services and the stunning growth in the Parks department. Councilman Keith Brainard was recognized for his service and experience on Council. In his emotional comments, Mr. Brainard noted, "We are always heirs and beneficiaries of those who came before us...we do our best and we hope that those who follow us will find we were good and faithful stewards of the trust the public has placed in us." Judge Bill Gravell administered the oath for Council member Nicholson, saying "You boys, you should be proud of your mom and she is going to be great for our
Outgoing Councilman Keith Brainard shared emotional and poignant comments from the dais before joining his family in the gallery.
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community. You need to help your mom when she's away, you need to listen to your dad... mostly." He also thanked husband Blake for giving his wife to the community. Nicholson, also emotional at times, promised to find her own unique way to continue Mr. Brainard's legacy. "People have told me that winning a hard-fought election will make me a better Council member. I think that will be true. I look forward to serving with an open mind and a servant's heart." Council member Jonrowe gave an impassioned speech thanking her supporters through a difficult race. She reiterated her goals and commitment to the trust placed in her. Full commentary from the meeting is available at http://georgetowntx. swagit.com/
Above: Councilwoman Rachael Jonrowe got help from her daughters to take the oath from City Secretary Shelley Nowling. Top: With wife Mickie at his side, Mayor Dale Ross takes the oath for his second term from County Court Judge John McMaster.
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City Desk PAGE A2
MAY 18, 2017 THE ADVOCATE
State of $avings. Outstanding GISD Benold Teacher Wins Butler Prize
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) named twelve Texas science teachers winners of its 2017 Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching. TMA recognizes elementary, middle, and high school teachers for helping to create tomorrow’s physicians by inspiring students in the field of science. Terri Henry, Benold Middle School Science teacher, was among the first-place winners for the Butler Award. TMA awarded Henry
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a $6,000 cash prize, and Benold Middle School received a $2,000 resource grant to enhance science classroom learning. Congratulations, Terri!
Archery Advances to Nationals The Georgetown High School Archery Team advanced and competed in their 5th consecutive National Archery Tournament in Louisville, KY. Since 2011, the GHS Archery Team has continued to serve student interest and provide opportunities in this area of competitive outdoor recreation. Congratulations, GHS Archery Team!
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SeaPerch Teams Advancing to Nationals
The Richarte High School Manta Rays and the East View Narwhals will be heading to nationals at Georgia Tech University on May 19-20. Good luck to both SeaPerch teams!
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featured is by Forbes 8th grader Sebastian Urban (above). His design was selected as the winner of the 100-Year T-Shirt Design Contest.
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Pop-up Performance Applications Middle & High School Music Students with vocal talent, instrumental talent,
or play in a garage band are invited to sign up to perform unplugged in downtown Georgetown on selected Sundays in June and July in a pilot program sponsored by the City of Georgetown and the G ISD Fine Arts Department. Visit MainStreet.Georgetown.org to notify the city when you or your group would be interested in performing.
GISD has 100-Year Anniversary t-shirts and accessories available. Visit GISD.threadless.com to view the selection of 100Year merchandise. New designs and items will be available throughout the
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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Georgetown PAGE A3
MAY 18, 2017 THE ADVOCATE
Transplant Recipient Grateful for Life, Family & Career Brad Hill shares his story on the Square. Once again a probationary firefighter, he's happy to be back "home" in Georgetown. "Chief Sullivan is a firefighter's Chief and GFD is just like family already."
by Ann Marie Ludlow
Brad Hill is a firefighter, a medic, husband and dad. Underneath it all, he’s simply a fighter. A native of Round Rock, he decided at age 32 he wanted to become a firefighter. He was a member of the Dallas Fire Department for six years and rode the third busiest ambulance in the nation; 60 percent of their time was spent running calls, vs. the national average of 6-7 percent. Now, at 38, he is a probationary member of the Georgetown Fire Depart-
ment. Unusual, but maybe not exceptional, y'think? Oh, and he did all of that after having a kidney transplant, so... As an organ recipient of less than two years, his enjoyment of his career, family and his life is palpable when he tells his story; “There were so many things that God put in my path to make my life as great as it is today." As a young married father, he wasn’t sure about his career path and worked in retail management, successfully, for several years. A single conversation sent
him to the web to look at firefighting opportunities, and just reading about it was the spark that he could finally have a job with true fulfillment in service to people. He spent the next year working to get hired on in Dallas and was disappointed at the last minute by budget cuts. Undaunted, he went through the year-long process again, was hired and stationed at Dallas Station 18. “Being a firefighter means being part of a real family, and I was never so happy in my life. And, it
Georgetown firefighter talks organ donation, health awareness, and appreciation for the job he loves turns out, the fire department saved my life.” At his yearly physical, this young, robust, and very fit young dad was told his blood test was concerning. “I felt like a million bucks, but after more tests found out I had IgA nephropathy, and I would eventually need dialysis or a new kidney. Being an EMT, I knew dialysis was not the answer. So for the next two years we watched my blood and hoped for a donor. God had plans for me, and my brother happened to be a match, so my big concern was whether I could come back to my job.” After that operation was delayed and ultimately shelved, Hill was disappointed but not done. He and his wife Crystal reached out on social media and a friend from his daughter’s softball team visited him in the hospital while he was waiting and basically said, “Well I’ll just go get tested.” Miraculously, he was also a match, and the surgery was
scheduled Thanksgiving Day 2015. His simple message from the experience is to just go to the doctor, period. Even knowing he was "ill" he didn't feel sick until his kidney was nearly gone. Hill gradually recovered and couldn’t wait to get back to work. “I didn’t realize how sick I had been until I felt better. I was always tired, but I figured a firefighter should be. It was hard to be patient about recovery and getting back in shape, but my captain was great and let me pace myself. I started back on light duty in February and was back on the truck in March.” Getting back to work was an uphill battle and, he says, the medication he takes to ensure his continued good health is challenging at times, but it is a small price to pay to do the job I love and be with my family. "I felt completely normal again, like I did before any of this started." Hill was again in his
element and enjoying the job, but always felt a little tug of Central Texas and coming home to family. When EMS director Ryan Ramsey called and suggested he consider a move back home to Georgetown, Brad initially declined, but Ramsey kept at it, and Hill finally relented. Not surprisingly, the process to hire Hill went pretty quickly. He and his family are home again in Central Texas and he is now on duty at Station 5. "I didn't mind the big city and I loved the crew I was on, but once again, things just seemed to work out for me, and God put things in place. I'm back to being a probie, but I plan to be here for a long time so it doesn't bother me one bit. People in Georgetown are great; it's a different demographic, but people smile and say hello and thank you. I love the small town and I wanted that for my daughter. It's home, again."
The Exceptional Nurses of an Exceptional Hospital
L-R: Patient Care Technician of the Year, Humberto Valenzuela, and Nurse of the Year, Christy Fry. • CEO Hugh Brown with Daisy Award winners, Meredith Morrow and Katherine Williams, and Chief Nursing Officer Mike Lopez • "Judge" Erica Wilson set bail for Director of Pharmacy Robert Moore and CEO Hugh Brown, after Ami Hanson arrested them both. Both "officers" work in St David's Quality Coordination.
St. David’s Georgetown celebrated Nurses’ Week with several events honoring a critical component of the care they provide, the nurses. On Tuesday, May 9, the hospital hosted an opening ceremony for Nurses Week with remarks by Scott Alarcón, CEO of the Georgetown Health Foundation, and award presentations for Nurse of the Year, Patient Care Technician of the Year and DAISY award winners, which is an international program that rewards outstanding skill and compassionate care given by nurses. Chief Nursing Officer Mike Lopez said "We could not be an exceptional hospital without great nurses."
On Friday, May 12, the hospital hosted the annual Jail & Bail Day. Hospital leaders were “arrested” and put in a make-shift jail in the lobby all in good fun to raise money for a local charity voted on by the nursing staff. Managers, Directors and C-level employees were incarcerated until they could raise appropriate bail amounts to benefit the selected charity. Visitors could also pay $20 to have someone arrested (without interrupting patient care!). This year’s event benefits Texas Baptist Children’s Home in Round Rock. Texas Baptist’s Amanda Keeter said, “We are honored to have been
chosen for this fun event. It’s a big help to have a large organization like St. David’s to help provide awareness of our services. This will help us continue to provide opportunities for hope for kids and single mothers in trouble or in need.” At day's end, the hospital raised approximately $5,202. "Bail” was set at $500 for Hugh Brown and other hospital executives, and Brown alone raised $1,272. This was the most successful fundraiser yet. Last year, the hospital donated $3,374 to ROCK (Ride On Center for Kids).
Texas Author Shares Perspectives on History; Dan Moody
The Williamson Museum hosted a conversation and book signing with Patricia Bernstein, author of Ten Dollars to Hate May 17, at the historic Williamson County Courthouse. Bernstein's most recent book tells the story of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s—by far the most “successful” incarnation
since its inception in the ashes of the Civil War— and Dan Moody, the first prosecutor in the nation to successfully convict and jail Klan members. Bernstein is the author of The First Waco Horror: The Lynching of Jesse Washington and the Rise of the NAACP, and she is President of Bernstein and
Associates, in Houston. About 75 people filled the historic 26th District courtroom while Bernstein talked about her admiration for early 20th-century heroes; suffragettes, civil rights leaders and Moody himself. Museum Executive Director Mickie Ross says Bernstein visited Georgetown while she was researching the book. "Between us and the County, we were able to provide primary resources and she was able to do some work here rather than visiting the courthouse. We're very pleased to have her here and her book will be avail-
able in Willie's General Store at the museum." Bernstein said "It is daunting to speak to you in the very courtroom that I wrote about; this is like a sacred space. But I think it is so important in the history of Texas and really the whole country." The idea for her book was inspired by a conversation she had about the millions of members of the Klan in America and she couldn't believe the data was true. But she researched the widespread and diverse nature of the group and wanted to clarify who the good, bad and ugly really were. She also fielded questions from guests about the city's Confederate statue, despite being a private citizen of Houston. "I wish more cities would follow Georgetown's example and
erect statues, like your Dan Moody, that reflect and celebrate those who fought for civil rights." Ross added the museum has developed a packet of information about the trial
and the 1920s that will be distributed as part of Texas history at the national level. Visit WilliamsonMuseum. org for events and info.
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MAY 18, 2017 THE ADVOCATE
Dale Hand honored as 50-Year Banker The Texas Bankers Foundation,
the philanthropic arm of the Texas Bankers Association, honored Dale Hand of Schwertner with the 50-Year Banker Award during TBA’s 133rd Annual Convention on May 12 in San Antonio. This prestigious award honors bankers with a half century or more of service and dedication to the banking industry. Hand, who resides in Schwertner is executive vice president and banking center president of R Bank’s Schwertner Banking Center. He started his banking career in 1963 as an outside adjuster with Associates Financial Corporation in Lake Charles, LA. Hand became president and CEO of Schwertner State Bank in 1988, a position he held for almost 28 years. After the
bank merged with R Bank, he stepped into his current position at R Bank’s Schwertner Banking Center. He is a member of the Jarrell Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Economic Development Board for the City of Jarrell. Steve Stapp, CEO and President of R Bank said, "We are very proud of Dale for this huge personal accomplishment and we are honored to be able to continue to work with him. His is a great banker and a fine gentleman. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to him and his family." Serving Texas banks since 1885, the Texas Bankers Association is the largest and oldest state bankers association in the nation.
5th Annual Safety Symposium Special Training for Dispatchers
Austin Attorney Newest Wilco Magistrate
368th District Judge Rick Kennon, Brenda Izaguirre, Magistrate Edgar Izaguirre and Head Magistrate Nicole Warren On May 16, District Judge Rick Kennon swore in Edgar Izaguirre as the newest Williamson County Magistrate. "This is an important ceremony because our Magistrate offices are now fully staffed and there will be no unusual burdens on Justices of the Peace or Judges to keep the
Focus on the Communicators
booking process running smoothly." Magistrates are an important part of the process, often working night shifts, as defendants can not be released from jail until they see one. The Magistrate, or Associate Judge, is a civil officer who may oversee criminal cases such as minor alcohol violations, traffic cases, and minor tobacco violations in criminal court. When a person is arrested, he or she appears before the Magistrate to find out the specific charge, what the bond will be set at and how that person can go about getting on with life while a case may be pending. Mr. Izaguirre has been an attorney for the past 19 years and says he has aspired to the position for some time. "I am very proud to join a team that is looking to make Williamson County a better place." As a new attorney, he clerked in the municipal court in Austin and always hoped to have the job someday. He was most recently a practicing criminal and general attorney in Austin. Already at work, observing, the day before he took his oath, he will begin his full time work May 22.
Williamson County Emergency Services held the 5th Annual Public Safety Symposium May 9-11 at the Expo Center in Taylor. The training focused on Telecommunicators and for three days, emergency responders received training and support on everything from trauma to leadership. Gene Smith, Assistant Director for Williamson County Emergency Communications, coordinated the training and also provided leadership instruction to the group. “We focus here on the telecommunicator but we were happy to have others from our surrounding counties and agencies to provide training that is not only comprehensive but beneficial to the responders themselves as
well as their job performance.” Smith says the event is designed to be relaxed and even fun and he received great feedback from attendees. Judge Bill Gravell (pictured) was invited to speak on the relationship between first responders and the Justice of the Peace. The Judge spoke a little off topic to reach out to dispatchers about how the job may affect them. “These emergency communications dispatchers are truly our first line of defense. They are heroes and we need to make sure we help them manage their own emotional and mental well-being. Their jobs put them in the unenviable position of hearing the worst parts of someone’s experience and never knowing the outcome or having resolution at the end of the day. As a Judge, I see these incidents in graphic detail but at the end of the day, I can go home with closure. These operators are disconnected literally and emotionally from something that makes a difference in people’s lives and I only hope that by speaking here today I can give them a little help to cope.”
JISD Recognizes Locals in the Business of Helping Schools
Jarrell ISD Superintendent Bill Chapman recognized several businesses "who have helped us over and over again" at the regular Trustee meeting May 15. Troy Clawson (above), owner of Clawson Disposal and a graduate of Jarrell High School himself was recognized because
they don't even call for his help because he is already there. He built the school's band tower and they support the students at every campus. Dr. Chapman thanked Rotary of Sun City for their continued EAFK character education program, "because they make
good people and we are grateful to be one of their major annual beneficiaries." Pictured: Harold Bergh and Bob Elam. The Assistance League of Georgetown (right) helps students with projects all year, particularly their summer reading program. Jarrell's Early Act First Knight
students were inspired by their service to create a quilt based on The Giving Tree to demonstrate the kids appreciate the time and resources they receive from this giving group. Pictured, Linda Ledbetter, Linda Meehan, Jana Springer, Shelley Holliday, Sandra Hunt and Shirley Williams.
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Community PAGE A5
MAY 18, 2017 THE ADVOCATE
Second Helping Open for Business As Georgetown’s population grows, so too does the number of residents who are in need. But, to keep up with that growth, The Caring Place is growing as well. On May 15 at 10am, they opened the doors to a second thrift store called Second Helping. Located at 3700 Williams Drive (next to The Oaks), it is an extension of their super-successful thrift operation in downtown and the organization hopes it will provide even more revenue for services. The Caring Place thrift store has funded operations for the organization for many years. Earning more than $1 million annually, their business model allows for 100 percent every dollar
donated to case management to be given to clients who qualify for services or aid. Communications Coordinator Alecia Jones says, “The more we generate in revenue, the more we’re able to give away the money donated to us. Having two thrift stores is a beautiful thing.” Jones says the organization has been looking to expand, specifically to the west side of the city and the property, which was previously an antique and collectibles store, was the perfect match. The building is a converted home and each room features appropriate decor from the shop’s donated goods. “The new store really focuses on vintage and classic
items,” Jones says. “The kitchen is full of culinary items and so on through the living room, family room and there is even a music room. It has a very eclectic feel.” The store had a preview sale for employees prior to opening and will have a grand opening and ribbon cutting June 1 at 12:15. Some of the theme setups include linens, antique teddy bears, vinyl LPs, outdoor furniture and living room furniture from multiple decades. “Our volunteers have done a remarkable job with the selection and layout. We even have open space to sit and peruse the library of vintage and classic books.” The building also has an upstairs, which will be open soon, and
there are jewelry displays on the way for the main entry. “We have been blessed to have so many loyal and committed donors,” Jones says. “People know we are serving everyone in the community and we continue to benefit from their generous commitments. We also want to thank our current and new volunteers for helping us care for our neighbors.” Second Helping is open Monday-Saturday 10-4 for retail purchases and every Tuesday everything is 10 percent off. They do not have storage at the facility so donors are asked to continue taking goods to the main drop off at 2000 Railroad Avenue in Georgetown. For more info visit CaringPlaceTX.org.
Veteran Appreciation at the Delaney As Memorial Day approaches, thoughts turn to Veterans and their many sacrifices for independence and freedom. The Delaney at Georgetown is no different. On May 10, this local retirement community held a special Veteran Appreciation Luncheon, complete with JrROTC presentation and top-notch Texas barbecue. Communications Director Tiffany Enos said, "Most of our male residents at the Delaney are veterans and we wanted to celebrate all those who live here and we invited the community to participate." About 60 attendees enjoyed live music and stories about their time in the armed services. Howard and Barbara Konetchy have been Top: Caroline Thomas and RET Captain William Furman at the Delaney for six celebrate his birthday and Veteran Appreciation day. • Bottom: months. Howard served in Director of Community Relations Tiffany Enos, Barbara and World War II in the Coast Howard Konetchy Guard and after the war, General Electric as a program manager decided he wanted deeper before settling in Georgetown. waters and joined the Navy. Retired Army Captain William Furman Resident and retired Air Force Mamoved to Texas for the golf and is one of jor General Robert Palmerton moved the most recent new residents at the Delto Georgetown to be near his children. aney. He was doubly pleased to celebrate He is one of those valuable and unique his birthday during the luncheon. individuals who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He later worked for
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We-Rent-It Comes to Georgetown
We-Rent-It (WRI), a Texas-based, family-owned business with locations throughout the state is opening its newest store May 22 to provide equipment rental and safety supplies for Jarrell, Georgetown and surrounding areas. WRI is the leading source for rental equipment and contractor supplies in Texas. The company has been providing large, heavy, and small equipment for commercial and home construction projects since 2001. The new Georgetown location— just south of Ronald Reagan Blvd on IH-35—will focus on rentals, and the company is eager to become a primary and valuable resource to builders and contractors in the area. Marketing Coordinator Mallory Mobly says, “We rent everything from excavators and boom lifts to generators and hand tools. While commercial construction is our bread and butter, we have plenty of quality products for a home-owner's weekend project.” WRI also provides repair services for heavy equipment. We Rent It’s technicians will keep rentals working smoothly, and, where possible, they can even help with maintenance on outside equipment to keep crews up and running.
WRI is also excited about being part of the significant progress in Central Texas. “We are expanding into Georgetown because we saw a lot of growth in the area and we want to be a resource,” says Mobly. “Georgetown and Jarrell are in the center of a lot of growth on the I-35 corridor; no matter which direction you go, there is something big going on.” Mobly estimates the new location will also mean 10-15 new jobs locally, including drivers, inside sales and mechanics. Customers say WRI is “the place to go for all your rental needs. The staff is very knowledgeable and friendly… excellent customer service, with good people and great equipment.” The company also boasts some very socially conscious employees who are encouraged and supported to provide outreach in their communities. “We get calls from employees all the time with ideas and projects to give back,” Mobly adds, “and we are always pleased to back their efforts in any way we can.” Customers can visit the new store at 8810 N IH-35 in Georgetown, on the web at We-Rent-It.com, or call them at 512-746-1800.
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Editorial PAGE A6
MAY 18, 2017 THE ADVOCATE
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SB2 & Property Tax Reform As we come to the close of the 85th Texas Legislative Session, some of the larger issues that have been under consideration are finally coming up for a hearing; most importantly, Senate Bill 2 (SB2), which would make large scale changes to the state’s property tax system. I want to take a moment to go over some of the provisions in both the House and Senate versions of this bill and how they would affect our district. The key difference between the House and Senate versions of SB2 is how much a city or county can raise its property tax without an expensive election. At the core of the property tax discussion is the “effective tax rate” which the house version will rename the “no new revenue rate”. The effective rate is calculated by taking the amount of revenue received by the city or county in the previous year, looking at the new calculation of property values in the city or county, and, if the values have gone up, find a lower rate that will not raise the property taxes but will keep the revenue constant. That rate is their “effective tax rate”. Currently, a city or county can’t raise its effective tax rate more than 8% in a year without having to hold an election to approve the increase. The legislature placed that limit on local governments to keep them from running wild with tax increases, but we also have to respect local control and the ability of elected officials to make the decisions the voters elected them to make.
As I have said before, local control is an essential tool for good governance. It allows cities and counties with different economies, populations, infrastructures and other varied characteristics to make decisions based on their needs. One size does not fit all in these matters, and property tax reform is a perfect example of how the same set of rules will have very different effects on urban and rural areas of the state. Take the example of Milam County. In the last two years, a major industry in Milam, Luminant Energy, decided to challenge their property value assessment, and thereby their overall tax bill. As a result, in 2015, Luminant’s assessment went from just over $470,000,000 to $315,000,000. That one change caused the county to lose $1,200,000 in revenue that year, 10% of the revenue for the entire county government. An 8% increase in the effective tax rate, from $0.65 to $0.70 ended up raising $600,000, only half of what was lost. Larger metropolitan areas have their share of challenges, to be sure, but having one property assessment change cost you 10% of all revenue isn’t one of them. The idea of reducing the property increase cap from 8% to 5% came from the attempt to bring cities and counties in line with school districts, which have a 4% cap. However, this is another place where things just don’t scale the same way between districts. While school districts have a 4% rate increase cap, they also have an effective tax rate of around $1.17 per $100 taxable value, where counties often charge a fraction of that rate.
The more robust economies of major metropolitan areas produce hundreds of times more revenue than do more rural areas, and they are not subject to one event devastating their revenue. The bigger problems in these areas are the disconnects that exist between the people and their elected officials. In rural Texas you are highly likely to know most if not all your elected officials. You can have a meeting with them easily to express your frustration or needs, and you can more easily vote them out of office if you don’t like the job they are doing. Larger cities and counties don’t really have that connection, and so, for them, automatically triggering an expensive special election when a large increase in taxes in proposed is a great idea. It gives power back to the public who don’t really have as much of a voice in their representation as do people in more rural areas. Even though the original bill exempted nearly all cities in our district from its provisions, Burnet, Milam, and Williamson counties themselves, along with the city of Georgetown, were still subject to the new caps. As a result, I like the changes the House made to SB2, eliminating the automatic elections, keeping the tax rate increase cap at 8%, and adding in provisions to keep taxpayers in the loop about how their local governments are handling their tax rates. The original provisions from the Senate are excellent ideas for Houston, Dallas, and other big cities. But when it comes to rural and suburban Texas, we should be able to handle these things on our own.
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OP-ED: CONGRESSMAN JOHN CARTER Keeping Our Promise by Rep. John Carter
House Republicans have long promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, and earlier this month we delivered. After voting more than 60 times to repeal and replace Obamacare, I supported the American Health Care Act (AHCA) when it passed the House of Representatives on May 4, 2017. The AHCA replaces Obamacare with a patient-centered system that expands choice, lowers costs, and provides freedom and flexibility to states. This legislation is a victory for families and small businesses, providing long-awaited relief from Obamacare’s mandates that rob Texans of the freedom to make their own health care decisions. The AHCA empowers individuals to purchase an affordable healthcare plan that fits their priorities, not those dictated by Washington. It protects those with pre-existing conditions, expands health savings accounts, and allows young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26. It strengthens Medicaid to help those most in need, eliminates the individual and employer mandates, and dismantles the Obamacare taxes that have prevented too many people from accessing the care they need. Additionally, the AHCA defunds Planned Parenthood, and
ensures no tax payer dollars are used to fund abortion. We’ve cut back on the burdensome taxes imposed by Obamacare, repealing the prescription drug tax, the “medicine cabinet” tax, and the health insurance tax. These taxes have increased the cost of health care and placed an unnecessary financial burden on individuals and families. Through major entitlement reform to Medicaid, the AHCA will save $840 billion and provide nearly $1 trillion in tax relief. Alongside President Trump, House Republicans promised protections for those with pre-existing conditions. The AHCA upholds that commitment, guaranteeing coverage and the renewability of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. It also ensures no insurance company can deny coverage due to a pre-existing condition. The AHCA contains two additional layers of security for these individuals. It allows states to apply for a waiver from certain federal insurance regulations that increase premiums, but specifically clarifies they cannot limit coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. This waiver will only be given to states with high-risk pools and other protections in place. For states seeking a waiver, the AHCA also provides an additional $8 billion,
on top of the $130 billion available to states through the Patient and State Stability fund, for those with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained continuous coverage. Obamacare is on a downward spiral where one in three counties across the country only have one health insurance provider, and the American people want and deserve relief. The AHCA takes vital steps towards lowering costs and expanding coverage, empowering Americans to choose a plan that’s right for them. This bill is the first step in providing a more consumer focused marketplace, not a government mandate with burdensome taxes. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and the Trump Administration to make other important policy changes that will help reduce health care costs and improve the quality of care for all Americans. Rep. Carter represents Texas District 31, which includes Fort Hood, the largest active duty armored military installation in the free world. He serves as Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations, co-chairman of the Congressional Army Caucus, is on the Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice and Science and the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
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The Last Word
MAY 18, 2017 THE ADVOCATE
Advocate Supports Emily Pataki For PEC Board District 2 Online Voting Begins May 18, Election June 17
Lower PEC Rates At Stake by Mike Payne
If you live in the Georgetown area and are a member of the Pedernales
Electric Co-op, this election will determine whether your monthly bill rises, or continues on a downward trend. The election process starts online May 18, 2017, with the option to vote by paper ballot by mail, or at the Annual Meeting in Leander on June 17, 2017. Your representative on the Board, Emily Pataki (District 2 Director) is running for re-election. Since Pataki was originally elected, member bills have been reduced by 17%, a rarity in today’s electric market. Pataki explains
this welcome but uncommon trend; “It’s taken a lot to shift from that of the ideological left pushed by Austin environmentalist groups to one of fiscal conservatism and Texas hill country values. We’ve been able to pull together seven consecutive rate reductions and maintain top notch reliability because we’ve made members our top priority. In addition, now that PEC has Single Member District elections instead of ‘at large’, it brings local control to co-op members.
This encourages your Board representative to build stronger relationships with the communities and members of their districts.” Do not miss this opportunity to be in control of your electricity costs by voting for Emily Pataki for PEC District 2. Pataki’s endorsements include Texas Senator Dr. Charles Schwertner, State Representative Terry Wilson, Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody, among others. The Advocate also steadfastly endorses Emily Pataki.
OP-ED: NURSES' WEEK It has been said that the only constant
in life is change. The same can be said for healthcare. During our combined 74 years working in this field, medical advances have revolutionized healthcare, allowing us to provide patients with an unparalleled level of care. At the same time, these changes have presented new challenges. Regardless of what happens with our nation’s healthcare system, one thing has not changed—the steadfast support provided by nurses. Nurses remain on the front lines of providing patient care, and they are driven largely by the desire to help others. According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), nurses make up the largest clinical subgroup in hospitals, with more than 200,000 nurses in Texas alone. Registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) represent about 31 percent of total hospital employment, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects hospitals will remain the primary employer of RNs/APRNs. As such, nurses potentially have the opportunity to make the greatest impact on healthcare in our country. They play an essential role in improving patient outcomes, increasing access to care, coordinating
Amid Shift in Healthcare, Nurses Remain a Constant by David Huffstutler and Sheila Fata
care and reducing healthcare costs. While nurses continue to be the first and most frequent healthcare professionals encountered by patients, the nursing profession has evolved over time to meet our nation’s current healthcare needs. Once in the shadow of physicians, nurses now work collaboratively with physicians—and independent of, not secondary to, other healthcare disciplines. Today’s nurses are capable of delivering a growing array of services, including primary and preventive care by advanced nurse practitioners. Additionally, nurses can specialize in a variety of areas, from the administration of anesthesia to nursing informatics—a specialty that combines nursing with information management and analytical sciences to improve care. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine published recommendations aimed at the future of nursing and its pivotal role in supporting our country’s growing healthcare needs. The recommendations encouraged
more nurses to pursue advanced educational degrees to improve patient outcomes. As a result, many hospitals invest significant resources in nurses—and in the future of healthcare—through training and tuition reimbursement programs. With more than 500,000 seasoned RNs anticipated to retire by 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need to cultivate 1.1 million new RNs. While the nursing profession continues
to evolve, the public’s trust in nursing has not faded. In fact, in Gallup’s annual poll of the most trustworthy professions, nurses have topped the list for the past 15 consecutive years. Every year, the nation recognizes nurses for their contributions to the betterment of healthcare during National Nurses Week (May 6-12), which coincides with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Although the definition of “modern” nursing continues to change, a nurse’s role is constant. On behalf of St. David’s HealthCare, thank you to all nurses for your unwavering compassion and steadfast commitment to caring for others. Your worth is truly immeasurable. David Huffstutler is the president and chief executive officer of St. David’s HealthCare, and Sheila Fata, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, is the chief nursing executive for St. David’s HealthCare, which employs approximately 3,600 nurses in Central Texas. Photo: St David's Georgetown 2017 Daisy award winners Meredith Morrow and Katherine Williams
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MAY 18, 2017 ï‚« THE ADVOCATE
SPORTS FACILITIES BANNERS MEDIA GUIDES FLYERS YARD SIGNS
SECTION B • PAGE 1
MAY 18, 2017 THE ADVOCATE
"Dark Prince of Barbecue" Now Serving in Georgetown by Ann Marie Ludlow
An Austin legend has
come to share his culinary delights with the good people of Georgetown. John Mueller's Black Box Barbecue opened for business over the Red Poppy Weekend and has been selling out ever since. Located at the corner of 9th and Church Streets, just off the Square, the new eaterie consists of a black food trailer and another pit for cooking. But, Mueller says, he and his partners have big plans to make it a patio dining experience very soon. Their current city permit only allows them to be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday for lunch, but they expect to have that rectified soon to be able to serve every day. "The line gets pretty long on Saturdays," Mueller says. "I know it's hot out here so I give drinks to the people in line while they are waiting. I'm glad to have their business and I appreciate their patience." Brothers Gary and Justin Boles are working with Mueller since his most recent restaurant closed in Austin. Justin Boles is the owner and operator of Union on 8th. “We are all intertwined in the business,” Mueller says. “I am the cook. I was never really good at the other side of the business and it is great to be with a good group of men who know how to run the business and let me do what I do best. Over time, you learn what your limitations are, and after 17 years of the rigors of Austin, it's a fun situation out here in the box. I'm happy working the pit in the quiet hours and letting them be in the front.” Mueller has been working in the barbecue business since he was six years old. His family tree includes some of the biggest names in Texas barbecue and he worked on and off for the family business for many years. He has been featured in Texas Monthly, and, he says, “I’ve probably been interviewed 4000 times.” His colorful past is well known to many, as is his nickname, The Dark Prince of Barbecue which,
Top: Randy Boles, John Mueller and Justin Boles taking it easy at the end of the cooking day. • Above: Partners Justin and John • Line-up for lunch outside the Box. at this point in his life, is great branding and makes for curious customers. "People call me the Dark Prince because I'm not nice. But I'm really just kind of sarcastic and not everyone gets me." Mueller said he was hesitant to put his name on the business because he knew it would bring media and perhaps some attention he wouldn't want to have again, but he is enjoying this honeymoon phase. "I really do love my customers; I love interacting with them and talking at the tables. I just don't want to cut meat any more." With so many people new to Georgetown every
Medici ne the w ay i t
day, and Central Texas in general, his reputation need go no further than the peppery slab of tender brisket they walk away eating. No question though, his food is worth a visit to the little piece of park land. “The biggest challenge is coming into another business venture with so much baggage, but I still know how to cook great brisket and that’s what matters to me.” Mueller's past is unlikely to shadow his current friendly demeanor. In fact, I told him I would ruin his reputation a little by saying he's a nice guy who seems to be living a grateful life and enjoys working with good friends.
Mueller and the Boles are planning to build a brick & mortar restaurant on the site, with a large patio and outdoor seating with misters. His normal workday begins around 3:30 am in the rain, cold and summer heat. He cooks alone, which he enjoys, at the pits. He prepares all of the sides for the customers and is on his own for the first six hours of the day. Lunch begins at 10:30am and the other employees handle the nonstop lines until the food runs out, which it normally does.
"I was going to be whatever my daddy was," Mueller says. "And he was a barbecue man. If I couldn't do this job... well, I'd probably try to do this again, although I really like it here. I think this may be the last business venture." After lunch, they all decompress and start getting ready for the next day. Once the restaurant is built and they are operating fulltime, he expects to work about 90 hours a week. "I think it's always up to me if it will work out, but I have good people here to support me. It will be a good place to get food to go, but then
not go anywhere." Black Box is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 am until the food is gone. Mueller says the lines are long, but never more than a 15 minute wait, "I just keep the meat coming off the pit. People are getting used to the picnic style and relaxing out here. Hopefully the city will bring in those permits and we'll be open the rest of the week soon." Look for them at 201 9th Street. BlackBoxBBQ.com
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Towns Around PAGE B2
MAY 18, 2017 THE ADVOCATE
ments to the Williamson County Courthouse Lawn, 710 S. Main St. Or pick up dinner at one of the Downtown Restaurants or bring your picnic (no glass please).(Rock, Country, Oldies). June 16 – Jeremy McBee (Rock, Country,
EVHS Murder Mystery Dinner & Silent Auction
Make your reservations now for this year's exciting murder mystery dinner and silent auction, "Death in a Ball Gown!" Taking place in the East View High School's Black Box Theater on May 20, a night of mystery, intrigue, and murder awaits you. Georgetown Police Chief Nero will be joining the investigation with a special guest from Sun City and the Georgetown Palace Theatre. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. and will feature a full 3-course meal with award winning BBQ chicken and brisket. Enjoy this amazing dinner and dessert, participate in our silent auction, and enjoy the show for only $40. For more information or to buy tickets go to EVHSTheater.com.
Festival of the Arts
MAY 27, 8pm: Grace Episcopal Church, 1314 E University Ave, . Festival 2017 is a Festival of Music by Elgar, Vaughan Williams, and Britten. Lynn Parr Mock, soprano Dale Dietert, piano Hai Zheng, cello Toby Blumenthal, piano Virginia Dupuy, mez-
zo-soprano David Polley, organ Jessica Mathaes, violin Three Songs by Edward Elgar. Six Studies in English Folksong by Ralph Vaughan Williams A Charm of Lullabies by Benjamin Britten. Three Preludes Founded on Welsh Hymn Tunes by Vaughan Williams Sonata for Violin and Piano by Elgar. For a complete festival schedule of events and details, please go to: GtownFestival.org
CASA at Rentsch Brewery
JUNE 2, 4pm: CASA of Williamson County and Rentsch Brewery invites the community for a fun evening where volunteers, staff, board, and our cities and county are celebrated while sharing the story of what CASA of Williamson County does for our abused and neglected children. Event will be held Friday, June 2 from 4pm 8pm and Rentsch Brewery will give $1 to CASA for every beer purchased. When a child enters the foster care system because his or her home is no longer safe, a judge may appoint a committed volunteer to help them. That volunteer is called a Court Appointed Special Advocate®, or CASA.
CASA volunteers are screened and highly trained and then appointed by judges to represent and advocate for a child’s best interests in the child protection system. CASA volunteers are each assigned to help one child or set of siblings at a time, so they can focus on giving that child or sibling group the individualized advocacy and attention they need. CASA volunteers save taxpayers money and children’s futures by helping children find a safe, permanent homes as soon as possible. www.casawilco.org
Hops for Hounds
at 2500 NE Inner Loop. Tickets are $5 per person, and admission fees and a portion of beverage sales will go toward supporting the animals at the Georgetown Animal Shelter. The venue is child- and dog-friendly so bring the whole pack to enjoy Rentsch’s beautiful new taproom and 5,000-squarefoot beer garden and patio. Ticket fees include admission to this private event. Once in, beer from Georgetown’s first local brewery and delicious cuisine from Jimmy Vega’s Smokehouse food truck will be available to attendees for purchase. Only 250 tickets are available. Shelter T-shirts will also be on sale. Beginning in May, tickets will be available at http://friendsofgtownshelter.org/hops-for-hounds and at the animal shelter at 110 Walden Drive. (across from McMaster Athletic Fields). Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.
Music on the Square Summer Series JUNE 8, 5:30-7:30: Friends of the Georgetown Animal Shelter is hosting another Hops for Hounds event at Rentsch Brewery, located
JUNE 9, 6:30pm: The Williamson Museum summer concert series begins with Roland Waits and The Wayward Travelers (Rock, County, Oldies). Bring your blankets and refresh-
JUNE 24: The goal of the Georgetown Animal Shelter free spay/neuter clinic for cats is to reduce the cat population in Georgetown. This is the sixth year the shelter has offered free spay/neuter clinics for cats, and it seems to be making a difference. Spay and neuter surgeries and a rabies vaccination will be provided at no charge. Appointments are required for the free clinics, which are offered on a firstcome, first-served basis and are not necessarily for low-income cat owners. Cats or kittens must be at least three months old. Held at the City of Georgetown Animal Shelter at 110 W.L. Walden Drive near the McMaster Athletic Fields. Contact (512) 930-3592 or by email at animalsvc@georgetown. org. The City of Georgetown Animal Shelter website is pets.georgetown.org.
Oldies, Jazz) The Summer Music On The Square Concerts are sponsored by The Georgetown Convention and Visitors Bureau and The Williamson Museum. For more information, please call (800) 436-8696 or email cvb@georgetown. org.
Dive-In Movie at Williams Pool
Round Rock Express Day
JUNE 25, 1:05pm: Round Rock Express and Chasco Constructors are sponsoring Partner of the Day as the Express take the field against the Iowa Cubs. Opportunities for Williamson & Burnet Counties will be onsite to promote programs that benefit residents of Williamson & Burnet Counties; Meals on Wheels, Head Start, Affordable Housing and Community Services (Case Management). To support this non-profit, purchase tickets for the game and use code "opportunities". You will get a discount rate and can help your neighbors in need. Purchase at MILB.com/tickets/
JUNE 17, 7:30pm: Shark Tale (PG) will be on the big screen at the movies. Please bring your own flotation device (must be translucent and smaller than 4 ft.). We will be capping this event. Please plan to arrive early. Please bring small bills only. The pool will open at 7:30 p.m. and the movie will be shown at sunset. Infants (0-3 Years), free; youth (4 – 18 Years) $2; adult (19 – 54 Years) $3; senior (55+ Years) $2.
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Schools MAY 18, 2017 THE ADVOCATE
Outstanding at Jarrell ISD
The San Gabriel Masons presented this year's Mirabeau Lamar Awards to three Jarrell ISD teachers. The Award of Excellence was established in 1988 under the leadership of Grand Master Graham Childress and was named for Mr.
Lamar for his commitment and dedication to public education in Texas. The Lamar Medal is awarded to students and educators in recognition of outstanding personal achievement in academics, citizenship, community service, or sports. This year's recipients were Jennifer Williams at Jarrell Elementary,
Liz Boyd-Jarrell Middle School, and Marlena Brown High School teacher and track coach. Members of the JHS track team initially accepted Coach Brown's award on her behalf from Lodge past-master Eric Sims. Brown shared the team's remarkable achievements at the local and state level. Chief among them is senior Destiny Fairley (top right, holding frame) who won the Texas UIL 400m for the
second year in a row. Runner Lily West (second from left) broke the school's 20-year old mile record this year by 3 seconds and was 5th in the regional meet in a very tough field. The relay team placed 7th at State and broke the school record with a new time of 4:00.8. L-R: Lamar medal recipients Coach Marlena Brown • Liz Boyd and Eric Sims • JHS Track team and Eric Sims • Jennifer Williams
GISD Takes Top Prizes in Annual TX-31 Congressional Art Contest The Competition
What were your inspirations? Mikaela: I really like realism and this was just a simple moment. My mom bought some cherries at HEB and when I saw them on the table I really just liked the way the light touched them. So I took a picture and worked from that. With still life, it works great to take a photo of it because the best things are apt to change alot before you finish the painting. Ezri: I was driving at sunset and I loved the way the sunlight caught the ring on my hand and I suddenly had a sense of being unrestrained by the scene and freedom you get behind the wheel of a car. I also took a photo rather than park in the middle of the road to draw!
Every spring, high school students from around the nation have the opportunity to enter their artwork in the Annual Congressional Art Competition, An Artistic Discovery. A panel of distinguished artists from each district selects the artwork of one talented artist from each of the 435 Congressional Districts. The winner is awarded two round trip airline tickets with accommodations to Washington, D.C. where they will be recognized at the annual award ceremony. Additionally, their artwork will represent the district and will be on display for one year at the U.S. Capitol. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. Top: Best in Show, "Cherries on Top" by Mikaela Simmang Bottom: Ezri Sullivan and Mikaela Simmang On May 6, Rep. John R. Carter (R-TX-31) held an award ceremony to announce the winners from the 31st District of Texas of the 35th annual Congressional Art Competition. This year, the Best in Show winner, was also the Facebook Fan Favorite, Cherry on Top by Mikaela Simmang of East View High School. “As always, I have been very impressed by the artwork submitted by the talented students in District 31,” said Rep. Carter. “Especially during this time of year, Central Texans are surrounded by much natural beauty that I have no doubt inspires such great creativity in our young artists. I’m proud to announce the winners of this year’s competition, and commend all students who submitted artwork for their outstanding talent and dedication.”
What is in your Art future? Mikaela: I really want to go to a university and continue painting as part of my education. Right now I would love to work in restoration because I also love chemistry and that is a great way to blend the two industries. There are prizes to help pay for that and there are even some colleges that provide incentives to attend for art.
Ezri: I am planning to go to the Ringling College of Art & Design in Florida. I really enjoy digital art and I think I can have a great career in animation or gaming. Playing Minecraft since I was five could really mean something someday.
Georgetown ISD Winners
Best in Show / First Place Paintings • Cherry on Top, Mikaela Simmang, Paintings • 3rd: Dante, Augustus Helpert, GHS Drawings • 1st: Crystal Still-Life, Katherina Spikes, GHS • 2nd: Worn, Emilie Burnham, GHS • 3rd: Unrestrained, Ezri Sullivan, EVHS Mixed Media • 1st: Obstruction, Megan Betancourt, GHS Photography • 2nd: Matriarch, Skylar Epstein, GHS Collages • 1st: Not So Sunflowers, Courtney Mahannah, GHS • 3rd: Shed, Katya Tanis, GHS
The Advocate visited award winners Mikaela Simmang and Ezri Sullivan at East View High School about their works and love of art. Simmang, a junior, has been painting and working with other media since middle school when her teacher encouraged her to compete in on-site drawing contests. Although she has only been working in oils for about two years, her Best-in-Show entry is only one of many wins for her. She has earned more than $2000 in scholarship money this year alone. Sullivan, also a junior, was third place in Drawing for "Unrestrained" (a graphite of her hand on the steering wheel of her car) has been drawing since she was young but finds high school schedules quite busy and is really able to focus on art during class but is eager and confident she will have a great career in the creative arts.
Williamson Museum Education Program Coordinator Danielle Houck escorted teacher Sara Ohlgren's fourth grade class from Founders Classical Academy in Leander around the Square May 17. Danielle manages a variety of education programs all over Williamson County, and she led and entertained more then 12,000 students last year; often hundreds in a day.
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MAY 18, 2017 THE ADVOCATE
ASK THE CHIEF
Let's Argue Semantics (Again)
It's no secret that if you want to be famous in the Information Age, you just need to make people mad. The news cycle is once again abuzz because someone voiced an opinion that others disagree with. I don't see how that is news though; happens all the time. This week it's the new Miss USA, Kara McCullough, who has the nerve to think health care is a privilege. Not only are we arguing about the anti-feminism of pageants in general (again), we are also up in arms because she has a conservative view on something. Egads. Well, good for her. Now she will not just be another Miss Whatever, she will occupy the news cycle for a few days, much longer than the normal four-second clip on HLN while she tearfully accepts the crown from last year's winner. First, I think pageants are great. Maybe not the tiny tot type where baby girls need a bag full of inhalers to deal with overexposure to hair spray, but I do think women should be able to use whatever the good Lord gave them for positive results. Serena Williams makes a few million dollars a year using her natural athleticism, working hard, and winning at tennis. No one gets mad when she also uses her face to get $60 million more in product endorsements. So why shouldn't a nuclear chemist also take advantage of the fact that Nature was real, real good
to her and win a pile of scholarship money in a gown? Yeah, she's a scientist so take that, haters. McCullough, now famously, said she thinks health care is a privilege because she has a good job with the Federal government and it comes with benefits. Progressives, as we might have expected, had a hissy. I guess she was supposed to say it's a right, because the Left always says so.
I agree with her to a point. If we're talking about entitlements, it's appropriate to say we have a right to access health care. Having someone else pay for it is a privilege. They are called health "benefits" for a reason. Yes, it is not ideal that everyone does not have those benefits, but Miss USA was not asked for a solution, nor did her answer take health care away from anyone. If policies of any kind were determined by pageant winners, world hunger would have been stamped out decades ago. And why do people seem to be crying for universal health care when nothing about health is universal? Last week I went to the hospital with a grave concern but thankfully it turned out my problem was not serious. I am grateful that I live in a place where I can walk in and see a doctor and have people take care of me. Go USA. But, the fact is; the reason I went in there is because I broke myself by making bad choices. Shouldn't I be the one to pay for it?
I am, in fact. I pay ten percent of my monthly income, which earns me the right to expect an insurer to assume the risk of my potential for needing care. If my boss, or the government paid for that policy, it would be a privilege. See how that works? If I smoke for 50 years, is my neighbor supposed to be happy that his taxes are paying for my lung transplant? Should you pay for my diabetes medication because I won't stop eating donuts? The quandary exists because there are innumerable deserving people who use up vastly bigger resources and have greater needs through no fault of their own; people born with congenital heart defects or the devastating childhood cancer. Nothing about that is universal and we have no omniscient advisors to tell us authoritatively that this or that person deserves the benefits, while I and my donuts should pay my own bills. That doesn't change the fact that it's not unreasonable for society to expect me to take care of the problems I create for myself. Why should everyone else foot the bill when I let my health go? Let's try it another way. I have the right to work. I am not entitled to a job. Get it? Taxes pay for national defense, education, disease control, and things like water and land management. I have a right to expect those services and provisions. I don't believe I have an absolute right to demand any more. Perhaps I've lived in Texas, among Texans, long enough to assimilate that it's really up to me to take care of myself. To that end, I quote a famous Virginian who said we only have the inalienable right to pursue happiness. No one owes us actual happiness, not even an insurance company.
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When I get pulled over by an officer, what are my obligations, or courtesies, to let the officer know I have a CHL and/or a firearm in my vehicle? Texas Government Code 411.205 mandates that if the license holder is carrying a handgun on or about the license holder’s person when a peace officer demands that the license holder display identification, the license holder shall display both their ID or DL and their handgun license. Is there an easy way to tell if someone is flashing a fake badge or impersonating an officer? Not necessarily. Often times fake police cars tend to not have the same level of emergency lighting that real police cars have. The fake might have a single flashing light. Even our unmarked cars, mine included, have a significant amount of emergency lighting. Badges are also a challenge because real badges and replicas are readily available on the Internet.
If you're behind me with the lights on but I am speeding to the hospital, should I stop? Yes! We of course would have no way of knowing that you are going to the hospital. It is going to look like you are fleeing! If you have a medical emergency in your car, it is better to let us assist you than you risk the chance of crashing and creating a new or worse medical emergency. What would you say is our most under-reported crime in Georgetown? I am not sure I can pin point the most under-reported crime. Reasoning for not reporting is an important factor. That reasoning usually comes down to embarrassment, fear,
or uncertainty. The sexual assault victim doesn’t report because she/he is embarrassed the crime happened to them. The victim of family violence doesn’t report because they fear their abuser. The victim of a property crime doesn’t make a report because they are uncertain that their report will make a difference or matter. We constantly struggle to remind people that they don’t need to be embarrassed, afraid, or uncertain. We are here to help! How annoying is it when you pull someone over and they make stupid jokes to lighten the mood? Um... no comment! What is the best way for Georgetown to celebrate/ recognize National Police Week? We would just ask that the public either in their prayers, thoughts, or reflections just take a minute to honor those men and women who have paid the ultimate price in their law enforcement service to their communities!
Social Media and Technology by Julianna Washburn and Haley VanderHaar
Our Millennial generation has discovered the many different uses of new technology. Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are a few of the several ways we choose to communicate, share, and express our daily lives as teenagers. Recently, social media trends have flourished exponentially, causing us to obsess over what our own feed looks like to others. “We constantly check social media to see if something new comes up, or if there’s a new trend. In a way, we are worried about what other people are doing,” explained GHS sophomore, Ryan Odom. The validation of another’s approval is what a teenager seeks within these
mind-controlling apps. For some, a ‘like’ will suffice, for others a ‘retweet’, but most will strive for a high count of followers. In doing so, Millennials will take and post selfies, memes, or their random thoughts, in the hope of humoring others. Using apps on the phone creates a virtual getaway from reality, “I am addicted to my phone because I play games to escape what’s happening in real life,” says GHS junior, Sean Eichol. Therefore, the ultimate goal in using games or social media apps is to entertain ourselves or our followers while finding an escape from school and work life along the way. “People stay connected, but sometimes social media stops actual conversations and physical interaction with people,” says Reagann Striedel, GHS junior. The addiction to technology has escalated to teenagers routinely checking their
phone over 74 times per day, on average. Constant checking is included during the school day as well, for most students are seen staring at their phone screen rather than at the whiteboard. As of the 21st century, technology runs businesses, schools, and even relationships. Is the world capable of functioning without artificial intelligence? Today’s Millennials grew up with considerable technology advances, learning to rely on them as if they are a guide to the rest of our lives. We will make a choice to either continue the influence, or find an alternate way to express our communications for generations to come. “I don't think it's possible to live without our phones because technology is such an integral part of our lives, we can't communicate without them, and there's no point in going back to letters or carrier pigeons. Why would we want to when we have this convenience?” GHS sophomore, Abbey Burn said. The Millennial View is a regular feature giving readers a look at what the younger generation thinks about current topics. Haley and Julianna are students at Georgetown High School.
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Wednesday Services: 7 pm Adult Bible Study RA & GA(Boys & Girls 1st - 6th grades) Youth Group (7th -12th grade)
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People MAY 18, 2017 THE ADVOCATE
Hunt & Fish Club Fish Fry The Sun City Hunting & Fishing Club hosted the 17th annual Fish Fry May 6 at the Sun City Ballroom. As one of Sun City’s largest resident clubs, it was no surprise the capacity crowd raised nearly $15,000 dollars. Funds raised are donated across Georgetown and Central Texas to many groups that support and promote outdoor sports and activities. Last year the group donated nearly $15,000 to Deployed Soldiers Kids Fishing Fun, Boys and Girls Clubs, Parks & Rec, Boy and Girl Scouts, and provide seats to local college football games for active duty military and their families. The event was sponsored by the Schwertner Ranch Event Center, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Hewlett Auto, Jim Key Memorial and Georgetown Jewelry.
Many thanks to the Round Rock Masons for cooking up catfish for the 15th year in a row. The Masons donate their time and equipment to support the Hunt & Fish Club and their beneficiaries.
Above: Bill Smith, member, Terry Harstad, Event Chair, John Aldridge, Event Co-Chair • Left: George & Cookie Poe, Georgetown Jewelry Sponsors
SAVVY SENIORS Nifty Gadgets Help Seniors with Hearing Loss Dear Savvy Senior, What types of products can you recommend to help people with hearing problems? My 65-yearold husband has some hearing issues, but doesn’t think he needs a hearing aid, so I’m looking for some alternative devices that can help. Loud Talker Dear Loud, If your husband feels he’s not ready for a hearing aid but needs some hearing help, there are dozens of “assistive listening devices” on the market today that can make a big difference. Assistive listening devices are over-the-counter electronic products (they are not FDA approved hearing aid devices) that can amplify and improve sound to help your husband in different listening situations. It’s also im-
portant to know that these products are best suited for people with mild to moderate hearing impairment, and they usually aren’t covered by insurance or Medicare. Here’s a breakdown of some of the different devices that can help. Personal amplifiers: For better hearing, especially in noisy environments, there are personal sound amplification products that can be worn in the ear like a hearing aid, and are designed to amplify sound while reducing background noise. Two top rated products to consider that were recently recommended by Consumer Reports are the SoundWorld Solutions CS50+ and the Etymotic Bean. The CS50+, which costs $350, looks like a Bluetooth cell phone headset, and has customizable settings that can be programed with a smartphone. The Etymotic Bean, which costs $399 a pair or $214 for one, is ready to use right out of the box and is best suited for those with high-frequency hearing
loss. If these are too pricey, there are also a number of small hand-held or bodyworn amplifiers – like the Williams Sound Pocketalker ($139) and Bellman & Symfon Mino Personal Amplifier ($188) – that have a microphone and headphones or earbuds that are very effective too. TV amplifiers: To hear the television better, there are TV listening devices that will let your husband increase the volume and adjust the tone to meet his needs, without blasting you out of the room. Some of the best options include wireless infrared, radio frequency or Bluetooth devices that come with standard or stetho-
scope headphones. Sennheiser makes a variety of quality products with prices running between $130 and $450. Or, for a more affordable solution, consider the Serene Innovations TV Sound Box for $120. This is a wireless amplified TV speaker that would sit near your husband, and provide clear stereo sound from the TV without the need for headsets. Amplified telephones: To have clearer phone conversations, there are a wide variety of amplified telephones that offer enhanced volume and tone adjustments, and they usually come with extra loud ringers and flashing ring indicators to alert him when a call is coming in. Some top makers of these products are Clarity, ClearSounds and Serene Innovations, and a top seller today is the Clarity XLC2+ Amplified Phone ($144), which is a cordless phone that provides three tone settings and 50 decibels of amplification. Alerting devices: There are also a variety of alert-
ing devices that can help people who have trouble hearing the doorbell, phone, alarm clock, smoke detector or even weather radio. These products use flashing lights, multi-tone ringers or vibrating devices as a means to alert you. Some popular products in this category include: The Bellman & Symfon Care Home Alerting Solution that provides door and phone notification with a flashing alert ($198); the Silent Call Weather Alert Radio with strobe and bed shaker ($165); and the all-in-one Serene Innovations CentralAlert CA-360 Clock/Receiver Notification System, which
provides alarm clock, doorbell, phone, motion and storm warning alerts ($180). To locate these and any other hearing loss products visit Harris Communications (HarrisComm.com, or call 866-476-9579), which offers more than 2,000 assistive devices and provides customer support services to assist you. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.
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Texas Roundup PAGE B6
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MAY 18, 2017 THE ADVOCATE
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well as 11 deep-water ports and 10,425 miles of freight rail, more than any state. “For the 13th straight year, Texas proudly assumes the mantle of being recognized as the best state for business by America’s CEOs,” said Governor Abbott. “Companies in Texas, around the country, and across the world are relocating and expanding in the Lone Star State at a rapid clip due to our business-friendly policies."
“Texas continues to offer the most conducive environment to business growth with moderate tax rates and an accommodating regulatory environment.” “I like Texas’ small business startup incentives which have been significantly streamlined for people. I believe many businesses will find multiple opportunities for growth and stability in particular, as it concerns technological, aerospace, engineering, scientific, and military defense.”
New Texas Plates Support Wildlife Texans can help the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department keep the state’s rivers healthy and flowing through their purchase of the new Texas Rivers conservation license plate, available now at www.ConservationPlate.org/Rivers. “The new plate design features a Texas river cascading over boulders and past cypress trees while gently carrying a kayaker downstream past a fly fisherman casting into a yellow sunset,” said Janis Johnson, the Conservation License Plate program manager at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “We expect this plate will appeal to a broad group of people, including swimmers, tubers, anglers, canoers and kayakers, water conservationists and all of the people who love and appreciate Texas rivers.” The Texas Rivers plate sells for $30, with $22 going directly to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to help conserve Texas rivers. This revenue will help fund the Department’s “Conserving Texas Rivers Initiative,” a public-private partnership that helps
build and sustain capacity among local landowners, communities, and non-governmental organizations to conserve their hometown rivers. Since 2010, the initiative has helped restore more than ten thousand acres of springs, creeks, and streamside habitats for fish and wildlife. It has also helped restore Guadalupe Bass, the official state fish, in rivers of the Hill Country. Plate revenues will also help expand opportunities for nature-oriented recreation on Texas rivers through the Department’s River Access and Conservation Areas Program. Since 2012, the program has established 19 public river access areas on 10
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rivers. These access areas provide opportunities for bank, wade and kayak/ canoe fishing, wildlife viewing and other forms of nature-oriented recreation on more than 150 miles of Texas rivers. To learn more about these programs and how revenues from sales of the Texas Rivers conservation license plate will be used, please visit: http:// www.conservationplate. org/projects.phtml. The Texas Rivers plate is one of eight specialty plates that support the Department’s mission. Others include the horned lizard, rattlesnake and hummingbird plates benefiting wildlife diversity; the whitetailed deer plate benefiting big game management; the large-mouth bass plate benefiting bass fishing; and the camping and bluebonnet plates benefiting state parks. To buy the new Texas Rivers conservation license plate or one of the other seven designs available, visit www.conservationplate.org or your local county tax assessor-collector’s office. You do not have to wait until you receive your renewal notice, you can order at any time and the cost will be pro-rated. All conservation plates are available for cars, trucks, motorcycles, trailers and RVs.
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