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Annual BBQ set for October page 3

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News-Dispatch Volume XXXVI No. 48

Serving Western Hays County, Texas since 1982

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Lower county property taxes may be coming

Memorial rodeo raises money for local youth Bryce Ann Duckett, of Wimberley, speeds around a barrel and readies to round the bend during a run in a barrel racing competition at the Gunner Thames Memorial Rodeo, which was held at the Chester Franklin Arena in Wimberley. Cowboys and cowgirls braved the weather this weekend as they took part in the fifth annual rodeo, which is put on by the Gunner Thames Memorial Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to raise funds for scholarships to deserving youth rodeo athletes, purchase area youth 4H and FFA projects, and raise funds for a crisis fund benefitting area youth. Organizer John Thames said the contestant numbers keep growing every year. He said total prize money between jackpots and the rodeo was $68,750, with $5,000 in vouchers during the calf scramble.

LAGNIAPPE Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a 6-week educational series designed to help family caregivers take care of themselves while caring for a loved one or friend. Caregivers develop a wealth of self-care tools to reduce stress, communicate their needs while making tough care-giving decisions. Registration is required and class size limited. Classes will be held at Chapel in the Hills, 14601 RR 12 in Wimberley, on Tuesdays from Sept. 27Nov. 1, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Class tuition is covered by St. David’s Foundation and Alzheimer’s Texas. To register, contact Rose Rodriguez at rrodriguez@ txalz.org or (512) 241-0420 x10. For additional info contact Linda Germain, volunteer for Alzheimer’s Texas, at 512 924-3661.

Dripping With Taste

Come out to Dripping Springs Ranch Park Event Center from noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 10 for this

LAGNIAPPE, 8

75¢

STAFF REPORT

PHOTO BY NANCY WILKINS, SPUR OF THE MOMENT PHOTOGRAPHY

Wastewater connections at a premium in Dripping BY MOSES LEOS III

News-Dispatch Editor

As development moves along in Dripping Springs, the business of adhering to city standards for wastewater collection also continues.  For some attempting to develop new businesses in the downtown sector, attempting to enter into the city’s wastewater system hasn’t always been an easy process.  Pam Bosco, who owns a piece of property along Old Fitzhugh Road, said in July that she had planned to start a new restaurant on property she had purchased. But during the process, Bosco realized she needed a commercial size septic system to start her business; the property only had a residential grade septic tank.  She presented her plans to city staff on the possibility of receiving a Living Unit Equivalent (LUE), or a sewer connection, to the city’s wastewater system.  Bosco’s plans were put on hold because of the cost and rules and regulations in place for historic buildings. She said she was told she couldn’t develop the property without following “rigid historic district compliance issues” before starting work.  “We were stuck in time in that street and that area in downtown,” Bosco said.  She and several other new downtown business owners were concerned that new development nearby might be using up available wastewater service capacity. Bosco, whose property is across the street from a new hotel to be developed in the area, believes the city “gave the hotel all of the LUEs.”  “I understand that everything is fair, but you’re not developing a unique city when you allow a wide range of businesses, but put constraints on businesses in the downtown section,” she said.  Bosco believes the downtown sector is “stuck in the moment.”  “Either you let us develop at the same rate of surrounding areas, or we’ll never develop,” she said.  Ginger Faught, Dripping Springs deputy city administrator, said due to the city’s limited wastewater capacity, the city looks at each potential project on a case-by-case basis. 

NEWS-DISPATCH FILE PHOTO

“An overwhelming majority of the projects that are currently under construction have had wastewater secured through wastewater utility agreements for many years,” Faught said in an emailed response.  But Faught said the existing wastewater infrastructure in the Old Fitzhugh area is capable of serving the existing downtown.  She said currently the city has approximately 60 wastewater connections on Old Fitzhugh Road and Mercer Street.  Faught said the city has had conversations with residents regarding wastewater availability and the city’s wastewater treatment plant expansion project, which the city submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  The city in October 2015 submitted a proposed discharge permit with the TCEQ to expand the plant to a capacity of 995,000 gallons per day. The plant has a current capacity of roughly 348,000 gallons per day.  Faught said the city has additional capacity because the staff realized that the typical wastewater LUE is using 175 gallons per day instead of the formerly projected 215 gallons. “This has provided a little bit of extra capacity that we have been able to use for some existing businesses that are remodeling or expanding as well as a few new businesses like the Marriot Courtyard,” Faught said. “The issuance of the discharge permit will provide a large volume of LUEs.” 

Dripping Springs wastewater by the numbers 60

Approximate number of wastewater connections on Old Fitzhugh Road and Mercer Street, according to the city of Dripping Springs

215

Gallons per day of water at which a living unit equivalent is rated

175

Gallons per day of water a typical wastewater LUE has, which was found by the city of Dripping Springs

995,000

Gallons per day capacity the city of Dripping Springs is looking to expand its wastewater treatment plant to

$9 MILLION

Approximate cost to expand the city’s wastewater plant, according to city officials in Oct. 2015

162,000

Gallons per day capacity over three permit phases the city of Dripping Springs is currently permitted for its treatment plant

118,000

Gallons per day of treated effluent Dripping Springs provides Caliterra for irrigation

A slight reduction in Hays County’s ad valorem tax rate could be forthcoming for property tax payers in the next fiscal year. As the county’s tax rate is proposed to go down by a little over a half-cent, county officials are also proposing a $179 million budget for 2016-2017. On Aug. 30, the Hays County Commissioner’s Court proposed a tax rate of $.4600 per $100 assessed valuation for the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget. The total rate is a .7¢ decrease from last year’s tax rate of 46.70¢. The change in the tax rate affects the county’s maintenance and operations rate, which is

PROPERTY TAXES, 7

Property tax rate on hold in Dripping Springs BY MOSES LEOS III

News-Dispatch Editor

A continued focus on infrastructure is what’s driving Dripping Springs’ proposed budget for the 2017 fiscal year. But as the city continues focusing on road and utility improvements, the city is looking to maintain its ad valorem tax rate at $.17 cents per $100 valuation. Gina Gillis, Dripping Springs city treasurer, said the city will not raise its property tax rate this coming year. “We know that we will not raise the rate. We may lower it, but we’re not sure,” Gillis said. She added the city has one more workshop to work through prior to adoption of the budget later this month. The city’s focus will center on road improvements across the city, which was also the focus for the city during last year’s budget session. Dripping Springs is planning to spend roughly $900,000 on transportation improvements, with more $700,000 going to improvement projects. In addition, the city is also planning to spend $150,000 on improvements to city hall, in order to

DRIPPING SPRINGS, 3


Page 2

News-Dispatch

Guest Column

NewsDispatch PHONE: 512-268-7862 FAX: 512-268-0262 PUBLISHER Cyndy Slovak-Barton csb@haysfreepress.com EDITOR Moses Leos III moses@haysfreepress.com REPORTER Samantha Smith news@haysfreepress.com PRODUCTION David White Christine Thorpe ADVERTISING/MARKETING Tracy Mack tracy@haysfreepress.com Pam Patino ads@haysnewsdispatch.com Jim Darby ads@haysfreepress.com Paula Pulley dallaspaula@yahoo.com PHOTOGRAPHERS Wayland Clark Paula Pulley PROOFREADER Jane Kirkham CIRCULATION MANAGER/ LEGAL NOTICES David White paper@haysnewsdispatch.com News-Dispatch (USPS 011 - 401) is published weekly except for the weeks following July 4 and Christmas by Barton Publications, Inc., 113 W. Center St., Kyle, TX 78640. Subscription price: $32 local, $45 county, $56 out of state. Periodicals Postage paid at Driftwood, TX. Email paper@ haysnewsdispatch.com for subscriptions and address changes. POSTMASTER: send address changes to NewsDispatch, PO Box 339, Buda, TX 78610

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We welcome locally written letters to the editor on timely topics of community interest. We ask that you keep them to about 350 words in length and that you not indulge in personal attacks on private individuals. Letters may be edited for brevity and clarity. All letters should be signed by the author and include a daytime phone number where the author can be contacted for verification. Letter writers are limited to one letter per month. Letters can be emailed to csb@ haysfreepress.com.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Support DSISD, support the tax swap referendum

D

ripping Springs is a robust, growing community, and one of the best places in the country to live and raise a family. This growth is inevitable for a variety of reasons, chief among them being our exceptional public school district.  By any measure, the Dripping Springs Independent School District is exemplary. On the one hand, the state recognizes DSISD as among the very best in the state with the FIRST and FAST ratings, and the two major bond rating agencies have awarded the District AA and Aa2 ratings.   More importantly, people rate DSISD among the very best. They do this by the simple act of moving their families to Dripping Springs, as every parent wants their child to have the very best educational opportunities possible. The quality of DSISD is unquestionably the engine that drives the growth and economic success of our community. And the caliber of a DSISD education isn’t an accident. For years the district has been fortunate to have school board members, administrators, teachers and parents who shared a common vision and worked hard to anticipate, plan for and

manage the growth that district will be sending a great district always approximately 2 million generates.  dollars of tax revenue  The district has to the state, rather than experienced an average using it here in Dripping growth rate of nearly Springs.  4.5% since 2010, and  Fortunately, the board even grew during of trustees can mitigate the recent economic this challenge with downturn. As something a fast growth called a ‘tax district, swap’.  The tax DSISD faces rate for the a number of school district Election Day challenges. is composed voting will be These include of two parts held Saturday, attracting the first (the Sept. 10, from and retaining maintenance 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The voting highly and operations, location for qualified or “M&O” rate) Precincts 333, teachers services items 337, 440, and staff, like salaries and 441 and 449 ensuring consumables; is the DSISD fiscal and the second Administration integrity (the interest Building and, to handle and sinking, or for Precincts current and “I&S” rate) goes 236, 238, 308, 316, 442, future facility to retire debt.  443, 444, it needs, and Replacing the 2 is Rooster involving all million dollars Springs stakeholders the district Elementary. in the must send development to the state and requires only execution of the plans to that a few pennies of the address these challenges.  debt tax rate be shifted Not insignificantly, from the I&S rate over to the District has to the M&O rate. accomplish all of these  The district board of goals while operating trustees has adopted a within the constraints tax rate that is identical of our state’s school to last year and shifts finance system. With those pennies from the unusually fast one rate to the other growth of property - hence the term ‘tax values in Hays County, swap’. This opportunity DSISD has once again is made possible by crossed the “property the low interest rate wealthy” threshold environment we under the school finance experience as well formula. This means the as swifter and more

NOTICE OF TAX REVENUE INCREASE The Hays County ESD #6 conducted public hearings on August 24, 2016 and August 31, 2016 on a proposal to increase the total tax revenues of the Hays County ESD #6 from properties on the tax roll in the preceding year by 5.16 percent. The total tax revenue proposed to be raised last year at last year's tax rate of $0.0795 for each $100 of taxable value was $3,199,257. The total tax revenue proposed to be raised this year at the proposed tax rate of $0.0795 for each $100 of taxable value, excluding tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year, is $3,358,473. The total tax revenue proposed to be raised this year at the proposed tax rate of $0.0795 for each $100 of taxable value, including tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year, is $3,534,308. The Commissioners of Hays County ESD #6 is scheduled to vote on the tax rate that will result in that tax increase at a public meeting to be held on September 14, 2016 at Hays County ESD #6, 400 Sportsplex Drive, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 at 5:30 PM. The Commissioners of Hays County ESD #6 proposes to use the increase in total tax revenue for the purpose of funding apparatus replacement, maintenance, as well as volunteer and career retention and recruitment to continue to provide high-quality firefighting services throughout Hays County ESD #6.

Vote

significant property valuation increases than we expected – both of which allow for us to service existing debt with less I&S burden than previously projected. Importantly, this tax rate is not an increase. It is the same tax rate as last year, simply reallocated between the two rates that make up the overall rate. And this solution provides the district greater flexibility to address the state financial requirements while continuing to meet the challenges faced by the district.  Dripping Springs thrives because our public schools are exceptional.  If our community is to continue thriving, the district requires as much financial flexibility as possible in order to operate under the constraints of our current public school finance system. Fortunately, this can be achieved by voters approving the tax swap – a yes vote on Saturday, September 10th is a fiscally responsible vote for our students, our schools and our community.   Submitted by the City of Dripping Springs Economic Development Committee, including Melanie Fenelon, Keenan Smith, Rex Baker, Whit Hanks, John Kroll and Patrick Rose

With the unusually fast growth of property values in Hays County, DSISD has once again crossed the “property wealthy” threshold under the school finance formula. This means the district will be sending approximately 2 million dollars of tax revenue to the state, rather than using it here in Dripping Springs. 

Notice of Public Hearing on Tax Increase The North Hays County Emergency Services District No. 1 will hold two public hearings on a proposal to increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding tax year by 25.52 percent (percentage by which proposed tax rate exceeds lower of rollback tax rate or effective tax calculated under Tax Code, Chapter 26). Your individual taxes may increase at a greater or lesser rate, or even decrease, depending on the change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change in taxable value of all other property and the tax rate that is adopted. The first public hearing will be held on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. at the District Building, 111 EMS Drive, Dripping Springs, Texas. The second public hearing will be held on Monday, September 19, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. at the District Building, 111 EMS Drive, Dripping Springs, Texas. The members of the governing body voted on the proposal to consider the tax increase as follows: FOR:

Walt Krudop, Lynn Alderson, Bob Chaffee, Walter Biel AGAINST: None PRESENT and not voting: None ABSENT: Walt Graner The average taxable value of a residence homestead in North Hays County Emergency Services District No. 1 last year was $373,740.40. Based on last year’s tax rate of $0.0252 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed last year on the average home was $941.83. The average taxable value of a residence homestead in North Hays County Emergency Services District No. 1 this year is $404,430.68. If the governing body adopts the effective tax rate for this year of $0.0239 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed this year on the average home would be $966.59. If the governing body adopts the proposed tax rate of $0.0300 per $100 of taxable value, the amount of taxes imposed this year on the average home would be $1,213.29. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the hearings and express their views.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

www.HaysNewsDispatch.com

Page 3

Friends Foundation preps for annual romp

Sheriff ’s Report

DRIFTWOOD

Burglary/Vehicle 7:58 p.m. - 2XX Bristle Cone Dr - Sept. 4 Theft 9:58 a.m. - 98XX Buckskin Trl - Sept. 4

STAFF REPORT

Duchman Family Winery, Dripping Springs Vodka, and Live Kombucha in Live western swing the welcome area. music, famous Salt Lick This annual fundraiser BBQ, a silent auction and is critically important much more await those in providing services to who attend the Friends Foundation’s 23rd annual the needy elderly in the greater Dripping Springs BBQ fundraiser at the Salt Lick Pavilion Oct. 13. Area. All monies raised help The award winning support The Friends Hot Texas Swing Band, Foundation’s proudly programs playing such as Our Western DON’T MISS OUT Daily Bread, Swing, the The Friends which is a state music Foundation’s hot meal of Texas, will 23rd annual BBQ delivery proprovide mufundraiser will be gram for the sical enterheld at the Salt homebound. tainment. Lick Pavilion on Support Guests are Oct. 13. also goes to encouraged Phillips Lifeto arrive line medic early to alert devices for sumpreview items in the live moning help in an emerand silent auction, voted gency, provide financial No. 1 in Central Texas, assistance in times of and purchase tickets for dire need, and special three fabulous prizes to events at Hill Country be awarded. Care for its residents, and Radio personality and other worthy programs Dripping Springs resbeneficial to seniors. ident Bama Brown, of Contact The Friends KVET 98.1 FM radio, will Foundation if you would be the event’s Master of like to help by becoming Ceremonies. a sponsor for this event BBQ buffet tickets are or to donate an item for $25 per person (children 6 and under are free) and auction. Visit the web site at: available at the door with www.thefriendsfoundapayment by cash, check tion.org or call (512) 592 or credit card. Guest may also enjoy 1345. The Friends Founsample tastings featuring dation is a non-profit Thirsty Planet Brewery, 501(c)(3) organization.

DRIPPING SPRINGS

Burglary/Vehicle 8:19 a.m. - 4XX Goodnight Trl - Sept. 1 Burglary/Vehicle 8:11 a.m. - 1XX Shawnee Trl - Sept. 1 Burglary/Vehicle 1:41 p.m. - 7XX Green Oak Dr - Sept. 1 Burglary/Vehicle 2:30 p.m. - 7XX Green Oak Dr - Sept. 1 Burglary/Vehicle 7:25 p.m. - 7XX Green Oak Dr - Sept. 1 Theft/Vehicle 6:19 a.m. - 1XX Glosson Rd - Sept. 1 Burglary/Vehicle 10:19 a.m. - 2XX Goodnight Trl - Sept. 2 Minor In Possession 1:05 a.m. - 3XX Judy Dr - Sept. 4

WIMBERLEY

PHOTO BY WAYLAND D. CLARK, WFOTOS.COM

The Hot Texas Swing Band will perform at this year’s Friends Foundation BBQ Oct. 13.

Dripping Springs Continued from pg. 1 accommodate a growing staff. Dripping Springs is also allocating roughly $3.1 million in wastewater expenditures for the coming year. Of that amount, approximately $750,000 will go toward legal and engineering for the city’s current proposed discharge permit application it submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The city is looking to obtain a Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permit from TCEQ for the expansion of its wastewater treatment plant, which would increase its current capacity to 995,000 gallons per day. Dripping Springs’ proposed budget also has roughly $269,000 in its hotel occupancy tax fund for the coming year.

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PROPOSED TAX RATE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2017 $.0017

REVENUES – $4.27M • Ad Valorem revenue $620,669 • Sales tax revenue $1.97 billion • Total revenue from development fees $1.12 million

EXPENSES – $4.13M • Total transportation improvements $900,000 • City hall improvements $150,000 • Salaries $1.08 million

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Texas Crossword

Dripping Springs budget highlights by the numbers

Burglary/Habitation 12:06 p.m. - 1XX Campfire Cir - Sept. 1 Burglary/Habitation 5:35 p.m. - 2XX Blue Heron Run - Sept. 1 Accident/Major 7:35 a.m. - Wimberley Vet Clinic - Sept. 2 Accident/Major 5:21 p.m. - Jacobs Well Rd At Woodacre Dr - Sept. 2 Criminal Mischief 10:12 a.m. - 4XX Rolling Hills Dr - Sept. 2 Criminal Mischief 11:25 p.m. - 1XX Donna Dr - Sept. 2 Theft 8:33 a.m. - Wimberley Zip Line - Sept. 2 Theft 8:57 p.m. - Kwick Check #57 - Sept. 2 Theft/Service 9:58 a.m. - 3XX Ridgeoak Dr - Sept. 2 Theft/Service 11:43 a.m. - 16XX Pump Station Rd - Sept. 2 Theft/Vehicle 6:49 p.m. - Wimberley Substation - Sept. 2 Assault/Bodily Injury 2:42 a.m. - 10XX Mt Olive School Rd - Sept. 3

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Worship in a church of your choice Call 512-268-7862 to join the church directory today.

St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church Mass Schedule Saturday: 5 p.m. Sunday: 8:15 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m. Spanish Mass Sunday: 1:30 p.m.

512-858-5667

Rev. Charlie Garza, pastor Located at the corner of RR 12 & Post Oak in Dripping Springs

www.stmartindp.org

Sunset Canyon Baptist Church 8:45 AM

Sunday Morning

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Wednesday Meal

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www.sunsetcanyonchurch.org

(512) 894-0480

4000 E. HWY 290


Page 4

News-Dispatch

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sports Lady Tigers fall to Cougarettes At right: Dripping Springs senior Maya Clausen (19) and junior Ava Pritchard (20) try to block a kill attempt by Hays Lady Rebel Kaitlyn Krafka during a match played earlier this season. Dripping Springs is currently the No. 13 ranked team in Class 5A state poll. Eight kills from senior Alex Smith and six kills from junior Graceyn Tippens wasn’t enough to launch the Dripping Springs Lady Tigers past the New Braunfels Canyon Cougarettes, who are ranked No. 6 in Class 6A, in a straight set 22-25, 27-29, 22-25 loss Friday. With the loss, Dripping Springs falls to 16-14 overall in the 2016 season. Despite the loss, the Tigers on Tuesday maintained positioning within the Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) Class 5A poll. Dripping Springs is currently the No. 13 ranked team in Class 5A, making them the only 27-5A squad to crack the list. Tiger senior Karen Crews finished the match with 18 digs, while freshman Avery Kalsu had 11. Dripping Springs junior Brianna Morrow had 15 assists. Canyon senior Skyler Clark finished with a game high 13 assists. Dripping Springs begins district play Sept. 9 when it travels to play at Medina Valley. The Tigers host Lockhart at home Sept. 13. (photo by Moses Leos III)

Tigers steamroll Vista Ridge 45-7 BY MOSES LEOS III

News-Dispatch Editor

Worrying about overall records isn’t what Dripping Springs quarterback Reese Johnson and the Tiger football team are focusing on this season. Making sure they are 1-0 every time they walk off the football field is their overriding goal. Such was the case Friday, as the Dripping Springs Tigers finished the week 1-0 after steamrolling past the Vista Ridge Rangers in a 45-7 route. But for Johnson and the Tigers, getting a win in the final home opener in the current Tiger stadium, along with exacting revenge for a close loss to Vista Ridge last year, was paramount. “Winning our home opener was big for us,” Johnson said. “We were ready to go. We wanted to get at them after last year. We had something we were wanting to get.” Spearheading Dripping Springs’ success Friday was Johnson, who accounted for 315 of the Tigers’ 464 total yards on the night. Johnson also accounted for four of the team’s six touchdowns on the evening. Dripping Springs head football coach Galen Zimmerman said Johnson’s success was based on him being a “strain on a defense.”

“Winning our home opener was big for us ... We were ready to go. We wanted to get at them after last year. We had something we were wanting to get.” – Reese Johnson, Tiger quarterback

Time and again Friday, Vista Ridge defenders struggled to corral Johnson, whose dual threat capabilities allowed the Tiger offense to thrive. “They’ve got to account for him,” Zimmerman said. “It puts a strain on the defense.” He added Johnson’s decision-making was good and spot on. Both Johnson and Zimmerman credited the play of the team’s offensive line, which not only provided Johnson ample time in the pocket to throw, but also spacious running lanes. It allowed the Tiger offense to quickly capture momentum in the first quarter and never let go. Dripping Springs led

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14-0 after a quarter, then exploded for an additional 21 points in the second quarter. The salvo was highlighted by a 51-yard touchdown run by Johnson. “Our offensive line was outstanding tonight,” Johnson said. “They were driving off the ball early and often. They were driving off the ball and didn’t stop. It was impressive what they were able to do.” Also propogating success was the team’s ability to convert on third down situations. The Tigers went 6-for-6 on third down situations in the first half, with the team scoring three times on third down plays. Johnson credited a drill that both the offense and defense participate in, which prepares them for third down situations. “It’s a competitive drill and it’s fun,” Johnson said. “It gets us started. The offense and defense pride ourselves on our offense converting, or our defense holding. It’s something we work on and try to be great at.” Meanwhile, the Tiger defense smothered Vista Ridge’s offense, limiting the Rangers to 276 total yards in the game. Zimmerman said the defense had a strong game plan to take away “what they do well” on the field. He said the team was well prepared defensively and executed their game plan. 
They did so as Vista

PHOTO BY WAYLAND D. CLARK, WFOTOS.COM

Teo Brinckmann looks for running room around Vista Ridge’s Mark Jones en route to scoring Dripping Springs’ first touchdown of the game with 7:45 in the first quarter. Brinckmann led the Tigers ground game with 59 yard rushing.

Ridge had Kyle Kirby, who was listed on the roster as a wide receiver, starting at quarterback. “The kids played assignment football,” Zimmerman said. “They did a good job of that tonight.” Dripping Springs now

sets its sights on in-county foe Hays, which it hosts 7:30 p.m. Friday at Tiger Stadium. The matchup marks the first meeting between the schools since the 1970s. Continuing to maintain the energy found in their

Texas hometown friendly bank

512-858-5159

401 E. Hwy 290W. P.O. Box 1243 Dripping Springs, TX 78620

win over Vista Ridge is imperative for Zimmerman. He said mental preparation during the week is the key. “If you don’t mentally prepare yourself, it makes it difficult,” Zimmerman said.

Go Tigers!! 100 Creek Road Dripping Springs 512-829-2243


Thursday, September 8, 2016

www.HaysNewsDispatch.com

Page 5

Education DSISD teachers say no to homework BY MOSES LEOS III

News-Dispatch Editor

A desire to change the way students’ perspectives on homework led a group of Dripping Springs ISD educators to take a radical approach this fall. Jolene Kokemoor, along with Olivia Martinez, Kristi Fout and the entire fourth grade class at Walnut Springs Elementary are opting to not assign traditional “homework” for the coming year. Students instead will have the choice to take work they don’t finish during the school day and complete it at home, a concept that the fourth grade is calling “Above and Beyond work.” “We wanted them to develop a desire to practice what they have learned at

school while they are at home,” Martinez said in an emailed response. Reasoning behind the move was the group’s belief that students should “continue to practice what they learn at school while at home,” Martinez said. The group also believes parents and teachers should have an education partnership throughout the school year. “Sending schoolwork home provides a bridge between concepts learned at school and practice at home,” Martinez wrote. “Practice at home could also be an extension [of] what is learned at school, as parents can offer a different perspective and their own insight into the subject matter.” According to a letter sent to parents, the reasons for

Concerns raised on allergy med price hike BY SAMANTHA SMITH

News-Dispatch Reporter

In the wake of drug manufacturer Mylans’ price spike of their EpiPen epinephrine auto injector devices by 400 percent, area residents wonder how they can cover the exorbitant cost. In a CNBC article last month, Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan, attributed the rise in the company’s epinephrine auto injectors to a rise in cost of “manufacturing the product, distributing the product, enhancing the product and investing.” Dr. Coburn Allen M.D., who is the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship Director for UT Austin Dell Medical School at Dell Children’s Medical Center, said the price spike is “disturbing.” Allen said the price spike for the name brand EpiPen auto injectors worries him for his patients, even though he is not too sure how the elevated price will affect the hospital. Allen, who serves at the front lines of the medical field in the emergency room, said they typically use zero to one EpiPen a day, since most patients experiencing anaphylaxis receive an EpiPen injection in the ambulance en route to the hospital. “I know that we (Dell Children’s Medical Center) have them on hand, but the price spike is disturbing,” Allen said. Allen said the number of epinephrine prescriptions written every year at Dell Children’s Medical Center can average 3.4 million. But a very small percentage of individuals actually use them yearly. Allen said he is very

“pro-generic unless there is compelling data otherwise,” but he is unfamiliar with Adrenaclick and any other generic form of epinephrine auto injector delivery devices that could substitute for the name brand. “I have never seen the Adrenaclick used by anyone,” Allen said. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the generic epinephrine auto injector devices are not up to snuff, but that Mylan has done a good job in making the EpiPen auto injector brand synonymous with anaphylaxis emergencies, Allen said. But the sudden price spike in the popular auto injectors shouldn’t alarm parents sending their children with lifethreatening allergies to school without an injector. According to the CNBC article, Bresch said that the Mylan Company has funded the EpiPen 4 Schools program, where the company gives school campuses one EpiPen 2-Pak and one EpiPen JR 2-Pak each year at no cost since 2012. Hays CISD public information officer Tim Savoy confirmed that all Hays CISD school campuses participate in the EpiPen 4 Schools program and receive the maximum amount of EpiPens allowed for each campus. Savoy also said that the Mylan program offers free replacement EpiPens for any that have to be used in an anaphylaxis situation for staff or students. Dripping Springs ISD Communications

EPIPEN, 8

Texas Crossword Solution, from pg. 3

According to a letter sent to parents, the reasons for the new policy stemmed from research which was “unable to show any benefit or prove there is a link” between homework and student performance for elementary students.

the new policy stemmed from research which was “unable to show any benefit or prove there is a link” between homework and student performance for elementary students. “On the contrary, it has shown an increase in promoting negative feelings about school,” the letter said. Teachers instead encourage students to be a

part of the AB Club, which students have the option to take part in. 
 The concept takes away from the typical homework load fourth graders have, Martinez said. Homework includes reading for 20 minutes with a response to answer, math fact practice, and daily math concepts. She said the advantages of the new policy could

harbor a more “positive” view of “at home” practice. Teachers are attempting to accomplish this by incentivizing completion of AB work during the class period. Students who finish their work are able to participate in the “AB Club” at the end of the week. Students who choose not to complete AB work practice math facts, read or complete any incomplete class work, Martinez said. Students are not penalized for not completing their work during the class period. “The thought is that this will encourage students to want to practice their work and they know that they will not be penalized for not completing the work,” Martinez wrote. “They just won’t get to do the activity

for the AB club. Another advantage of AB work is that the amount of work has been reduced so that students are not feeling overwhelmed.” But there are disadvantages to the system, Martinez said. While the system takes away the homework dynamic, she said there are students who will “choose not to do the work, or will not be able to” as they don’t have a support system at home. Whether a similar system could work for other school districts and classrooms is dependent on the school environment, Martinez said. 
“After much thought and discussion about our school population and students, we felt this plan would work for us,” she said.

DSISD advises caution towards anonymous smartphone apps STAFF REPORT Dripping Springs ISD parents are being asked to stay aware of what their children are downloading on their mobile devices after some students received invitations to an app that allows anonymous forum posts. According to a letter sent to parents, the district was made aware that some district students, mainly in middle school and high school, have been receiving invitations to download an app called “After School” via text message.

The After School app is labeled as being intended for those 17 and older, according to the district’s letter. However, the district believes many younger students have received the invitation to download it. The app provides a social media forum for posting anonymous messages, which “certainly can open the door for negative consequences for students,” according to the letter. After a district investigation, it was found that after the app was downloaded, it can access that

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student’s Facebook and Instagram contacts list. When an invitation is sent to those contacts, it says “DSMS” or DSHS” at the end of the text. The district said in its letters the invitation was not coming from DSISD or any Dripping Springs school. “We want to make sure that parents understand this invitation is not connected in any way to your child’s campus, nor is the information coming from the district’s student data management system,” the letter said. “The district’s student data is

secured behind a firewall and is completely compliant with CIPA (Child Internet Protection Act) standards. The district also asks parents to talk to their students about online safety and the potential dangers of such apps. “We ask that parents take a moment to discuss the potential dangers of apps of this nature with their children, while helping them determine if apps they choose to download are appropriate and constructive,” the district’s letter said.


Page 6

News-Dispatch

Thursday, September 8, 2016

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HELP WANTED FOR CONCRETE BATCH PLANT

Austin Ready Mix, a concrete batch plant, is now hiring for our new location in Blanco County (Henly area), for the following positions: Mixer Drivers, Cement Tanker Drivers, End Dump Drivers, Loader Position, Batch Operator. Contact us at 512-386-7187.

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Reporter positions are now open at the News-Dispatch. Call 512-268-7862 or email moses@haysfreepress.com.

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Looking for qualified service professionals in your area? Always start with the News-Dispatch Service Directory. Want to publicize your business? Call 512-268-7862 to join the drectory today.

See the directory and classifieds online at www.HaysNewsDispatch.com


Thursday, September 8, 2016

www.HaysNewsDispatch.com

Page 7

Is smart tech worth it?

D

ear Terese, I consider myself an analog man, but I’ve heard many buyers prefer “smart” homes. Should I invest in some of the new technology before listing my home? Ted

Dear Ted, There is a distinction between smart technology and home automation. Smart tech is something most people would use – doorbells, security systems, and thermostats. Higher end products include home automation – such as home theater systems. A recent finding from a GFK Research survey reported at the Sunbelt Builders Show, reported that 81% of homebuyers are more likely to buy a

Dear Terese

by Terese Perabody

home that includes “smart technology”. Although younger buyers are comfortable with the latest and greatest technology, unless it is something you would use if you weren’t moving, you may want to invest in something else you are comfortable with – upgrading fixtures, appliances, repairs, painting, and cleaning, etc. A builder, on the other hand, would most likely be installing some recent smart technology, so you may be competing against “smart” homes.

Dear Terese, Due to family obligations, I decided to delay purchasing a new home until the fall. Did I miss all the summer sales? Ella

Dear Ella, The fall season offers many opportunities in the housing market. Sellers that may have been on the market all summer that came out priced above the market may be tired and ready to negotiate or lower their price. There may be less competition and those that are ready to sale will most likely want to close before the fall and winter holidays. Professionals that are typically very busy in the Spring & Summer, may have more

time to devote to you – this includes Realtors, mortgage brokers, and general contractors. Tip of the Day: “Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” – Wilma Rudolph, Track & Field Terese Peabody, Broker Associate, Stanberry & Associates GRI, CRS, ABR, SRES, CNE, GREEN, CLHMS, 400 Hwy 290 W, B-101, Dripping Springs, TX 78620, terese@stanberry.com, www.tpeabody.com, 512894-3488 office, 512-6997711 cell

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SEPTEMBER 9 -11, 2016 PRE V I E W PA RT Y B EN EFITI N G PRE S ERVATI O N H O U STO N Thur sday, S eptem b er 8 N E W LO C AT I O N

Taxes: Could lower county taxes be on the horizon?

S I LV E R S T R E E T S T U D I O S

Continued from pg. 1

proposed at .2916. Hays County’s interest and sinking rate will remain the same at $.1246. According to county documents, Hays County is expected to pay $28.3 million in principal and interest toward $354.7 million in outstanding debt. Within Hays County’s budget are renovations to the Precinct No. 3 building, which total $1.5 million. The county will also allocate $900,000 to replace law enforcement vehicles and $222,000 for software to “address financial transparency, county wise custom reporting and electronic signature options,” according to a release. Hays County’s recommended budget will also include raises for eligible law enforcement positions under the county’s collective bargaining agreement. Roughly $18,000 would go toward merit pool for department heads, and a three percent merit pool for all other Hays County employees. Hays County’s budget does not include raises for elected officials. Hays County Pct. 3

“This is not something we can put out on the streets in 30 days.” –Wll Conley, county commissioner, on the urgency of low water crossing improvements in Hays County

Commissioner Will Conley said an item totaling $2.2 million for low water crossing improvements across the county was needed, in order to fund the project. Conley said if the county didn’t start moving quickly on the low water crossing improvements, it “could be a very long time before we get the assets out on the field.” “This is not something we can put out on the streets in 30 days,” Conley said. But setting a tax rate led to debate, as commissioners differed on what to propose to tax payers. The county’s original

proposed budget held a tax rate similar to fiscal year 2016. Conley, who proposed the county keep going with the rate, said it fit the needs of the court and all projects. “I feel comfortable the county can maintain its position, of which we stated to constituents, as we consider the bond proposal, that we can maintain a position with no (property) tax rate change,” Conley said. Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales-Ingalsbe, however, advocated for lowering the tax rate. While she appreciated the decrease, she advocated for lowering the tax rate further. In order to do so, the county made roughly $300,000 in adjustments to accommodate the move. “We’re asking our citizens for a lot this time around this year, asking them to support some bonds to build a new jail and roads,” Ingalsbe said. “If we can come back with a little more of a decrease, I’m in support of that.” But county officials reiterated their stance on

not issuing certificate of obligation bonds if voters deny proposition 1 or 2 of the $237 million total bond. “I will not issue COs in my position if voters turn down the bond on the jail,” Conley said. Hays County Judge Bert Cobb initially was concerned about lowering the tax rate too much and about how local growth would affect those who are disabled or on a fixed income. “I think sometime between now and the end of the year, we need to have a frank discussion on exemptions for property owners,” Cobb said.

HUGE ESTATE AUCTION ESTATE OF: STEVE WHITTINGHILL OWNER: DONNA WHITTINGHILL

Thurs., Sept. 15, 2016 | STARTS @ 9:02 A.M. Location: 2580 S. 85th Street | Muskogee, OK

CLASSIC CARS, BOAT, MOTORHOME, MOTORCYCLES, STORAGE CONTAINERS & 3 WHEELER, FURNITURE, PORCELAIN SIGNS, ANTIQUES, COLLECTIBLES AND MISC. RUNNING 3 AUCTION RINGS ALL DAY!

Directions: From Muskogee, OK take the Muskogee turnpike to the Hancock St exit, then take Hancock St east 4 ½ miles, auction on left. Auctioneer’s Note: Steve loved going to auctions and collecting unique items. He has passed away and Donna is settling his estate. Cars will sell at 1:01 PM. Lots & lots of nice furniture, antiques and collectibles! Do NOT miss this auction, we will be running 3 rings all day, so bring your chair, a friend and spend the day with us. Lots of shade trees. Visit the website www.chuppsauction.com or follow us on Facebook as we unpack boxes and storage containers!. TERMS: Cash – Credit Cards – Check with Proper ID – OK Sales Tax Applies unless exemption is shown. NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ACCIDENTS. ANY ANNOUNCEMENTS DAY OF SALE SUPERSEDES PREVIOUS ADVERTISING.DAY OF SALE SUPERSEDES PREVIOUS ADVERTISING.

For full item list, more info & pictures visit www.ChuppsAuction.com

CHUPPS AUCTION CO.

Stan Chupp | (918) 638-1157 Dale Chupp, Realtor | Century 21, NEOKLA (918) 630-0495 E. J. Chupp | (918) 639-8555

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512- 833-3300 | 1- 800 -580 -3300 Loans subject to credit approval. Rates and terms subject to change without notice. The specific rate will depend on your credit rating and term. Home Equity Loans are available only on property in Texas. As a safeguard, a 12-day cooling-off period is required by Texas law before Home Equity Loans may be closed. There is also a three-day right of rescission after closing before the funds may be disbursed. Minimum loan amount is $5,000. Borrower will be responsible for certain closing costs, if required, such as title insurance, appraisal fee and survey costs. Hazard insurance is required. Consult a financial or tax advisor concerning your specific situation. NMLS# 583215


Page 8

News-Dispatch

Watch for goldfinches BY JERRY HALL

News-Dispatch Contributor

L

isten up, the first goldfinches of the year have been sighted. Bob Gillespie called me with the welcome news, reporting a flock of the yellow-hued birds at his home in Wimberley. He noted one bird in the group was an all-white variety, something quite rare. Goldfinches appear mostly in the winter in our area, so these birds are a tad early. But most welcome, nonetheless. The American goldfinch is a small, five-inch bird, sometimes called a “wild canary.” It will mob backyard seed feeders and is particularly fond of thistle seeds. Social and amiable birds, goldfinches get along well in large flocks and are common winter residents in most of Texas. They breed only sparingly in the northeastern corner of the state. In breeding plumage,

American goldfinch, we also have the lesser goldfinch, specifically the eastern “black-backed” form. It is glossy black above and yellow below with contrasting white patches on the wings and tail. The female is a dull yellow with a greenish back.

in Dripping Springs. For more info contact Patrick Reznik, founder, at 512773-9639 or preznik@ braungresham.com, or Steven Schultz, VP membership, at (512) 3488955 or stevenschultz@ me.com. The club is open to the community.

meal delivery program.  The current schedule has five routes in the area with meals delivered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Volunteer delivery drivers must have a vehicle in good operating condition, a Texas drivers license, a good driving record and pass a criminal background check to qualify. To volunteer or if someone you know could benefit from this program please contact The Friends Foundation at (512) 592-1345 or email: info@ thefriendsfoundation.org.

Continued from pg. 1

Toastmasters

Improve your communication and speaking skills with the Toastmasters while enjoying an hour of fun, growth and great energy. The group meets on Tuesdays from 6:307:30 p.m. at Pioneer Bank, 100 Creek Road

EpiPen

Continued from pg. 5 Coordinator Dale Whitaker also said that Dripping Springs ISD campuses participate in Mylans’ EpiPen 4 Schools program. DSISD has the maximum amount of EpiPens dispensed by the program at each campus, Whitaker said. But there are dangers when it comes to the price hike for individuals, Allen

said. The price spike could result in patients refusing to fill their EpiPen prescriptions in order to avoid paying the $600 price tag. “That would be a tragic circumstance,” Allen said of a patient’s gamble for their life resting on $600. Even though Allen has never used any other epinephrine

auto-injecting device, he said that following the directions on such a device whether it be the name brand EpiPen or a different one is paramount. “We are really adamant about teaching patients and families how to use it (EpiPen devises) before they leave the hospital,” Allen said.

HAYS FREE PRESS FILE PHOTO

the male is a bright, glowing yellow with a small black cap, wings and tail. He is the only yellow bird with black wings. The female is a soft yellow green above and pale yellow below, lacking the black cap. In addition to the

Lagniappe

annual event showcasing local food, drink and entertainment. Visit www. destinationdrippingsprings.com/p/events/ drippingwithtaste for more information.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Drivers needed The Friends Foundation is in need of volunteer drivers to deliver meals in the greater Dripping Springs area for the Our Daily Bread program, a hot

HELPING OUR NEIGHBORS RETURN TO HEALTH AND INDEPENDENCE DEER CREEK OF WIMBERLEY HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR OVER

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Sept. 8, 2016 News-Dispatch