Page 1

VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Tuesday, August 28, 2012 — B3

VictoriaAdvocate.com

VIEWPOINTS

C

ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Editorial page editor: Lauren Hightower-Emerson, 361-580-6590, lhightower@vicad.com

– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

FROM US

Preventative action could keep away virus I ■ Topic: West Nile virus ■ Our View: It’s best to take steps to protect from infection

t’s official. Cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed in the Crossroads. One case has been confirmed in Lavaca County, and another in Wharton County, which, sadly, resulted in a death. While there may not be an epidemic of West Nile virus in our area, its presence is definitely cause for concern, and we encourage all of our readers to take precautions when going outdoors. Just like dealing with any other disease outbreak, the best way to fight it is to not catch it in the first case, and we encourage all area

residents to follow some simple step from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stop or limit the possibility of being infected with this virus. West Nile virus is transmitted via mosquito bites, so the first step for prevention is getting rid of any standing water, which is a breeding area for mosquitoes, as well as installing or repairing well-fitting screens on your home. It’s hard for the mosquitoes to bite you at home if they can’t get inside. When going outside, make sure you use an EPA-registered insect repellent, such as those with

DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. The hours from dusk to dawn are the peak hours for mosquitoes, so be extra cautious when going outside during those times. Also, during the cooler hours of the day, such as early morning or late evening, wearing long sleeves and pants can help prevent bites. But mosquitoes can still bite through thin clothing, so you can also take the precaution of spraying your clothes with repellant. Just make sure the clothes are made of material that won’t be harmed by the chemicals and can be washed easily. The CDC also

surfaces every summer. Sometimes there is hardly any outbreak, but this year is different. Dallas has begun aerial spraying to try and stop the spread of the virus, which has infected hundreds and killed 12 in Dallas County alone. So we encourage Crossroads residents to take every precaution to protect themselves. The best way to fight the virus is to not get it in the first place. Stay safe and healthy.

warns people not to spray repellent on skin that will be covered by clothing. As with many cases, there are some people who are typically more vulnerable to infection, including seniors and young children. So we encourage seniors and parents to take extra precautions to protect from this disease. Not everyone who is infected will have severe symptoms. Mild symptoms include a small fever and flu-like symptoms. More severe cases can result in permanent neurological damage or even death. West Nile virus is a concern that

FROM OTHERS

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

FROM YOU Obamacare will save money, not take it away Editor, the Advocate: I feel compelled to respond to the belief that President Obama is TAKING $716 billion from Medicare. Because of the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, $716 billion is being SAVED. Fraud and waste have been reduced. The “donut hole” has been closed. If you believe the Romney campaign that Medicare will not change, you are sorely mistaken. He will put back the “donut hole” and cause seniors to pay more out of their pocket. Eventually, seniors will get a voucher to buy their own insurance instead of having Medicare. Try listening to something besides Fox News. Try MSNBC or CNN. I have myself tried to watch Fox News, but it is too biased. By the way, Paul Ryan takes the same $716 billion savings and uses it to give tax breaks to the rich and increase the military budget. I can’t really say what Romney plans to do. He won’t say. We have to TRUST him?

Gayle Mireles, Port Lavaca

Thank you for joining family in time of grief

Contest Entry

GUEST COLUMN

Education changed Dad’s life, broke family cycle

D

ad was born at home with a piece of skin covering his face. His mother said the doctor called this a caul and indicated the skin had some meaning, such as good luck, intelligence and even the ability to predict the future. Although she repeated the story for many years, my father, as a child, never saw much of a future for himself beyond the wrong side of the tracks in Topeka, Kan. He hated the first few grades of school. In the second grade, a teacher slapped him on the face because he and some other boys were chasing girls around the playground. That teacher’s angry face burns in his memory almost 80 years later. He flunked second grade. In fifth grade, a different teacher provided his first shot of confidence in school. This teacher knew Dad had learned to divide by fractions and asked him to go to the chalkboard to demonstrate to the rest of the class. Along with this boost from a mentor, societal changes helped my dad. Born in 1930, he was one of 11 children during a time when students commonly left school after completing the sixth grade. This era was changing at the same time

as my father was beginning to advance in school. Before his birth, his family had moved CHRIS from the farm to Topeka, where his father worked various hard-labor jobs and leased a small acreage next to the Kansas River just east of “Little Russia.” One of my dad’s chores as a 10-year-old was to carry two buckets of garbage from their home to feed the pigs each morning before school. Because the family had moved to town, Dad could continue in school. All of his seven older siblings, born a little too soon for this change, dropped out before completing high school. Dad was the first in his family to graduate; his three younger brothers followed. Still, Dad didn’t see college as any sort of reality. At 18, he landed a job at Morrell Meat Packing, pulling carts of meat around for a year and a half. One day, he looked at two old guys – they must have been 40 – walking down the hall and thought, “These guys have been here for 20 years and don’t make make much more than me.” He quit the job and decided education could lead to a

COBLER

Dan Easton,

Hamp Rogers, Circulation/

John M. Roberts,

Becky Cooper, Local Editor Tony Balandran,

Catherine R. McHaney,

Lauren Hightower-Emerson,

Chris Cobler,

Jessica Puente, Interactivity Editor

President, Chairman of the Board Secretary-Treasurer

Editor, Vice-President of Content

through Washburn University and later opened his own CPA firm. As a kid, I heard these stories, but they remained a long way from my reality. My three siblings and I never doubted we would go to college – it was expected. My two children, both in high school, carry forward this gift. I could go on a long time about my hero – he found the strength to carry on even after his wife had to be hospitalized with a mental illness and later left him. He took sole custody of their children and found the love of his life – they will celebrate 50 years of marriage on Valentine’s Day 2014. But I share his story to explain why I believe in your Advocate’s education project, “A Community Commitment.” Countless people have stories to share about how education changed or is changing their lives. During the coming year, we hope to celebrate those with you and inspire more to make a difference. This project can seem overwhelming in scope, but I think of Dad when pushing forward. Chris Cobler is the editor of the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached at ccobler@vicad.com or at 361-574-1271.

WORDS

EDITORIAL BOARD Publisher

better life. Even still, he couldn’t imagine a university as an option, so he enrolled in a one-year business college program and learned bookkeeping. A few months later, he was drafted into the Marine Corps during the Korean War. For the first time, Dad realized he was intelligent after he scored the second-highest on an IQ test given in boot camp and was chosen as the outstanding member of his platoon. His business training kept him from the front lines; instead, he was put in charge of accounting for the 1st Marine Air Wing officers’ clubs in Korea and Japan. The Marines offered Dad a commission to stay in the service, and his fellow servicemen warned him he’d starve to death out on his own. By then, though, Dad was convinced he needed to complete college and become a certified public accountant. The GI bill and incredible determination helped Dad achieve his dreams, even though he already was married with a small child when he left the Marines. While the GI bill provided a third of his income, Dad worked multiple jobs to make it

Marketing Director

Delivery Desk Editor

Community Conversation Editor

Opinions published on this page under the heading “From Us” represent the consensus views of the editorial board of the Victoria Advocate, whose members are named above.

Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people; The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him. Jeremiah 28:7-9 “In the arts of life man invents nothing; but in the arts of death he outdoes Nature herself, and produces by chemistry and machinery all the slaughter of plague, pestilence and famine.” George Bernard Shaw, Irish literary critic, playwright and essayist

Editor, the Advocate: On behalf of the Carrion family, we would like to thank everyone for attending the rosary and funeral on our recent loss of Mr. Rene Carrion. Words cannot express what it meant to us for all of our friends and family that attended, for the words of consolation, for the prayers, flowers and food that all of our friends took their time to prepare, especially the Ladies’ Club from St. Patrick Church in Seadrift, for Deann Al Calzada, Pan de Vida Choir of Our Lady of the Gulf, and Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Bauer Jr., Mrs. Consuelo Garcia of Goliad, Mr. Gilbert Sanchez of Knights of Columbus, for the Masses offered for my husband Rene Carrion, for the donations that were sent, for the building fund of the new hall in Seadrift. Again, I thank you and many blessings to each of you from my family and myself.

Mrs. Rene Carrion and family, Port Lavaca

YOUR VOICES Callers talk about Medicare, other topics Hooray for Peter and B.J. Bunch. And Clara Ramos is totally wrong and Howard from Yorktown is right. Wake up Beatrice, Obama is taking $716 billion from Medicare.

May, Victoria In response to Beatrice: President Obama has taken $716 billion out of Medicare and put the money in Obamacare. This is a fact. The money did not come from insurance companies, it came out of Medicare. And Obamacare is already going to cost twice as much as first projected. There is no savings in Obamacare.

Mike, Victoria To Beatrice of Port Lavaca: There are not a bunch of insurance companies that this money is coming from sweetheart. It will not be going to the provider, that is true, but he is going to try to wreck Medicare to save his Oba-

macare. I watch Fox News because it is the only national news where I can get a fair and balanced understanding Phone 361-580-6587. of what is going Voice your on.

opinion.

Quincy, Victoria

I was just wondering, does downtown Victoria really need to have a pub crawl?

Marilyn, Victoria Concerning all the people who are fighting about who belongs to where and who belongs what and who belongs here: In all honesty, this land doesn’t belong to anybody. It belongs to God, the Great Spirit, whatever. It is so funny that we fight for land that in the end is going to be covering us up. If you want to be honest about who the true Americans were, it was the Native Americans. Everybody else, we are all immigrants.

Victor, Victoria

WE WANT YOUR LETTERS We want your letters because we value your opinion on issues in the community and region. We have few requirements and will help you meet these if needed. We will need your name, home address and daytime telephone or cell phone number so we can contact you to verify you want your opinion published. When sending letters by email, and if you do not hear from us within a couple of days, you should call us to see if we received your letter because, sometimes, our email filter will not let a letter through. Our letter lengths are 150 words for thank-yous, 200 words for election-related letters and 350 words for all others. We ask that letter writers submit one letter per 30-day period. Letters may be delivered at the Advocate, 311 E. Constitution St.; mailed to P.O. Box 1518, Victoria 77902; faxed to 361-574-1220; or emailed to letters@vicad.com.


B6 — VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Contest Entry

VictoriaAdvocate.com

VIEWPOINTS

C

ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Editorial page editor: Lauren Hightower-Emerson, 361-580-6590, lhightower@vicad.com

– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

FROM US

Community can help education succeed ■ Topic: Victoria College bond, education in Victoria ■ Our View: Residents can make a difference

E

ducation has a nearly unquantifiable value in life. Its value cannot be measured in money invested, hours spent studying or even in drops of blood, sweat and effort. If there is any way to measure education, it is in the effects, changes and progress it gives those who reach for it and support it in others. We are proud that Victoria voters seem to understand this and approved the Victoria College bond by an overwhelming 66 percent, which VC President Tom Butler called a real vote of confidence. The bond will be used to build an Emerging Technology Center,

which Butler says will be used to train a competitive workforce for the industrial companies coming to Victoria. Butler also says, provided everything proceeds according to plan, the center will be be finished after 18 months at the earliest. There is a shortage of skilled workers across the nation. And we applaud Victoria College for being part of the solution by taking a proactive approach to education. Their commitment to training the workforce of tomorrow will be an amazing boon to the Victoria economy, both by increasing the area’s skilled workforce, but also by providing an incentive for businesses to come to Victoria. Businesses

are much more likely to choose a town that has a trained workforce readily available, rather than a place where they must bring workers in from the outside. And it is this proactive stance that we would like to see the rest of the community imitate. Last month, the Victoria Independent School District started a community involvement project, which developed seven items to focus on. The Victoria Advocate is also developing a project that will focus on building community support for education. These are long-term projects that will require a large support base from the community to be successful.

What can you do to support education in Victoria? There is something everyone can do, if they are willing to give a bit of their time to invest in the next generation. Perhaps churches can offer weekly tutoring sessions to struggling students. A group of local businesses could form to create a scholarship fund or participate in field trips and career day events to help students decide where they want to go in life. People familiar with Spanish or other foreign languages can tutor students in the English as a Second Language program. There are many creative ways any member of the community can contribute to the education sys-

FROM OTHERS

tems in Victoria, if they are only willing to invest the time. Victoria has an amazing higher education system, for its size. But we would love to see the support shown for Victoria College in the recent election extend to younger students in VISD and other schools as well. Community support could be one of the crucial ingredients to see our local schools reach a whole new level of progress. Will you take the time to find a way to make a difference? We hope you will. This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

FROM YOU Jack Marr has respect, knowledge for court Editor, the Advocate: Judge Pat Kelly is one of the most well respected judges in the State of Texas. He will be missed by not only the lawyers who practiced in his court, but more importantly, by the citizens who appeared before him and found that regardless of the outcome their case, they received a fair trial. However, voters in the 24th Judicial District have an opportunity to elect a successor to Judge Kelly, who will maintain the reputation, integrity and efficiency of that court. That person is Jack Marr. I have handled cases with Jack Marr for almost 30 years. While Jack Marr is a tough, no nonsense litigator, he has always treated his adversaries with professional courtesy while maintaining his principles of fairness as an advocate for his client. Every family law lawyer in not only the Victoria area, but in the State of Texas, recognizes Jack Marr’s knowledge of Texas law. Our law firm has a great deal of respect for Jack Marr and we believe he is the right choice for District Judge of the 24th Judicial District Court.

Ronny Collins, El Campo

Good manners, morals are things of past

GUEST COLUMNS

Victoria College helped me break the cycle The Victoria Advocate will be publishing student essays from the Victoria College “What’s Your Story?” scholarship competition during the next few weeks. Students were asked to write an essay answering the question, “How has Victoria College changed your life?” Winners of the contest, who will receive a $1,000 scholarship funded by the Victoria College Foundation, will have their essays published last. We welcome letters and columns from all students.

H

ow has Victoria College changed my life, you ask? It has changed my life significantly. I’m excited for what my future holds. It has given me dignity and pride. I have a purpose, a drive within myself that I have never had before. I wake up every day with the knowledge that today I’m bettering myself, educating myself and becoming somebody that I’m proud to be. Victoria College has changed my life in a way that no one could ever imagine. It’s taking me in a direction where the sky is the limit, and as of now, I’m on cloud nine. My name is Stephanie. I’m 25 years old. I was born in East Texas. I’ve moved around from place to place with no real stability as far

back as I can remember. I’ve been surrounded by poverty, violence and abuse my enSTEPHANIE tire life. It seems since the very beginning, the odds were always stacked against me. My mother suffers from bi-polar and is a victim of domestic violence; she was very abusive and beat me on a regular basis. She lived off of welfare, food stamps and any handout that she could get. Often, I remember my mother not being home at night while my sister and I were home alone. We were always hungry. My father, who has had run in after run in with the law, was also a victim of domestic violence. Neither of them graduated from high school. From a very young age, I felt hopeless. I carried a heavy burden and I was ashamed. I didn’t feel like a normal kid. I thought being poor and afraid was just the way life was. At 17, I found out I was going to be a mother. I was terrified and alone, so I moved in with her father. I graduated high school with my daughter there to watch me walk with my class. I began to have hopes and dreams of becoming a nurse, but quickly realized that wouldn’t be happening. My daughter’s

MILAM

EDITORIAL BOARD Dan Easton, Stephen McHaney Co-Publishers

Hamp Rogers, Circulation/ Marketing Director

John M. Roberts,

Becky Cooper, Local Editor Tony Balandran,

Catherine R. McHaney,

Nick Rogers, Senior Copy Editor Lauren Hightower-Emerson, Interim

President, Chairman of the Board Secretary-Treasurer

Chris Cobler,

Editor, Vice-President of Content

Delivery Desk Editor

Community Conversation Editor

Jessica Puente, Interactivity Editor

Opinions published on this page under the heading “From Us” represent the consensus views of the editorial board of the Victoria Advocate, whose members are named above.

father began to abuse drugs, alcohol, and shortly after, me too. I quickly found myself caught up in the vicious cycle. I was just another statistic on a piece of paper. It was six years before I got the strength and courage to say “NO MORE!” and put an end to the abuse for good. As of today, I have started a new chapter in my life. I’ve been living in Victoria away from the violence and substance for two years now. Even though the violence hasn’t been around, my life still seemed empty. I felt like I was stuck going nowhere. One day last winter, I was getting my blood drawn when I overheard a phlebotomy student from Victoria College talking about how great the classes were and how excited she was to graduate. I was interested, and since I was in the area, I decided to go check it out. Immediately, when I spoke to an advisor, I was shown such respect and enthusiasm for my decision to start school. I was encouraged to go all the way and not to stop until I have that degree in my hand. I got excited the more I was shown. When the advisor spoke, the thoughts of “I can do this” exploded through my brain. I left feeling more motivated than ever. Right away, I got down to business and did what I needed to do to get enrolled

and registered for classes. I even took the phlebotomy class waiting for the spring term to start. I have earned my certificate in phlebotomy, learned more math in eight weeks than I ever have in my life, and I feel valuable. It’s only my first semester at Victoria College, but I know I’m headed somewhere and the journey is going to be great. I am ecstatic. I’m someone I never thought I’d be: a college student. My story is, that I’m ending the cycle of abuse today. Not as a statistic, not with the stigma of a battered child and wife following in my shadow, but as an educated woman breaking that mold, that God awful hold that abuse and poverty had on me. Victoria College changed my life by giving me direction, hope and self-esteem. I now have a future; a better life waiting just over the horizon because Victoria College believed in me. After recently relocating to Victoria from Wyoming, 26-year-old Stephanie Milam is pursuing a degree in nursing. After she completes her associate degree at Victoria College, she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree and hopes to one day work in an emergency room as a surgical nurse.

YOUR POEM

WORDS

Silently Persistent Monks

Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 23:12

Silence reigned in the monastery. Persistence carved a haven in the wilderness. Monks in the fields planted, harvested, and shared the fruits of their labor. Copyists bend over beautifully illustrated manuscripts. Prayer hemmed the day and studded the night. Sr. Frances Cabrini Janvier, Victoria

“Night’s darkness is the bag that bursts with the gold of the dawn.” Rabindranath Tagore, Indian poet, playwright and essayist

Editor, the Advocate: I totally agree with Bette Andrews Noble’s letter of May 17. Good manners and good morals are things of the past. When I was young, if a girl was pregnant out of wedlock, she was shunned; now it is common practice because the government will subsidize your income. What a shame our self-respect and morals have dropped so low. Way to go, Bette.

Kathryn Roese, Yoakum

What Warrior’s Weekend means to a veteran Editor, the Advocate: This past weekend was Warrior’s Weekend in Port O’Connor, a way to give back to veterans who have sacrificed so much for their country. I served alongside men and women like these fine warriors and knowing that I live in a community that will come together and show its appreciation for their service to their country means a lot. I was fortunate and during my tours in Iraq I did not receive any wounds that physically prevent me from day-to-day tasks. It’s hard to see a fellow veteran that was not as fortunate, but I can count my blessings and know that good people care about those who were wounded in combat. From a combat veteran to the organizers, volunteers and people who just go and shake hands with these extraordinary men and women, I would like to say thank you.

Michael Allen, Seadrift

YOUR VOICES Callers talk about class ranking, other topics I don’t think any changes should to be made to the way that valedictorians are selected. There are winners and loser in all things throughout life. Students should have learned this by the time they have reached the age of 17 or 18.

of his life.

Mary, Port O’Connor

From a traffic safety point of view, ex-mayor Phone 361-580-6587. Littleton could Voice your not have picked opinion. a worse place in five points to put his electronic sign. It has five stop signs controlling the intersection. It is the only Linda, Port Lavaca thoroughfare in Victoria with outdated narrow lanes, no No matter what the court’s left turn lane. To boot, this is verdict was, his conduct was the only stop sign on U.S. 59 inappropriate. The former from Texarkana to Laredo. Rutgers student will have to live with his actions the rest Ray, Victoria

WE WANT YOUR LETTERS We want your letters because we value your opinion on issues in the community and region. We have few requirements and will help you meet these if needed. We will need your name, home address and daytime telephone or cell phone number so we can contact you to verify you want your opinion published. When sending letters by email, and if you do not hear from us within a couple of days, you should call us to see if we received your letter because, sometimes, our email filter will not let a letter through. Our letter lengths are 150 words for thank-yous, 200 words for election-related letters and 350 words for all others. We ask that letter writers submit one letter per 30-day period. Letters may be delivered at the Advocate, 311 E. Constitution St.; mailed to P.O. Box 1518, Victoria 77902; faxed to 361-574-1220; or emailed to letters@vicad.com.


H2 — VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Sunday, August 26, 2012

VictoriaAdvocate.com

VIEWPOINTS

C

ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Editorial page editor: Lauren Hightower-Emerson, 361-580-6590, lhightower@vicad.com

– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

FROM US

Things are coming together at the airport ■ Topic: Improvements at Victoria Regional Airport ■ Our View: Changes are step in the right direction

T

he Victoria Regional Airport is seeing plenty of changes recently, and we are excited to see these developments taking

shape. The new air carrier Sun Air International is tentatively set to begin service on Sept. 17. The company will bring Victoria two planes with four flights a day to and from Houston with consistently low prices. Victoria’s enplanements were up before the previous carrier left, so we hope this new carrier will encourage Victorians and other Crossroads residents to take advantage of a local airport when

it’s time to make their travel plans for business or holiday travel. In addition to a new carrier, the airport is also planning to replace the water and sewer systems, which are remnants of the airport’s history as a military base, meaning the current systems are well over 60 years old. According to Airport Manager Jason Milewski, the old clay pipes are laid in a complex, web-like network with obsolete designs and mapping. Some of the pipes run to buildings that aren’t there anymore, and there are several valves buried that are frozen open, causing pressure flow prob-

lems. In addition, there are meters placed on both the water and sewer systems, which often get flooded during heavy rains. Milewski says there have been times when the airport had monthly water and sewer bills of $18,000 after heavy rains seeped into the systems. These are serious issues that need to be fixed. They present not only safety and environmental issues, but also are an unnecessary drain on the airport’s funds. We are pleased that the airport is able to take advantage of a grant to begin this important work to improve the water and sewage

systems. The $1.75 million project is paid for by a Texas Department of Transportation grant, as well as and additional $175,000 from Victoria County. Milewski said the money can only be used to repair the aircraft rescue and firefighting water system along the runways and flight lines, but eventually the entire system will be replaced, resulting in a significant amount of annual savings in utility costs. We are happy to see the airport getting this major boost to help begin replacing this obsolete system. This is a good starting point that can be expanded to include other systems as progress is

FROM OTHERS

made and the funding is made available. We encourage the city and county to look for ways to prioritize this need and help this important piece of Victoria’s economy replace all of these defunct systems. The better equipped the airport is, the more successful it will be, which in turn will help grow the economic success of the area. We look forward to seeing the new systems installed and working, giving the airport another boost toward success. This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

FROM YOU Store employees should not be treated like this Editor, the Advocate: I am disturbed by the hurt that the D&D Novelties employees are being subjected to. Three first degree felonies on each individual for selling a product they felt was totally legal by Texas laws. They were never informed or told not to carry this product by any persons of law enforcement. I really feel they were a pawn. Almost 12 years in business I know they would never jeopardize their business or themselves. Why, if the city felt they were doing was wrong, Why didn’t they let them know, instead of taking it to such an extreme on these good people? Why make such a big show for Victoria? Did they really need to waste thousands of tax dollars when they could have just talked to them? These people would have complied immediately. They are the most Compassionate, Generous and Charitable business in Victoria that I and several other people know. Giving to several events, sponsorships and donations like, medical benefits, runs, veterans, fire departments, animal rescues, music events, military, fire victims, schools, haunted houses and so much more. I feel the City has put a black cloud over these people unfairly. Given harsher charges than some known murderers and rapists. Please show your support by advocating this business. Do we really want to lose our rights to have this store here?

Contest Entry

Donna Gandy, Victoria

Obama is taking money from Medicare

GUEST COLUMN

You can make a difference, as my mentors did

W

e’ve heard the statistics – too many students are dropping out of high school and even fewer are going on to college. Let’s not even talk about the stories that detail how our students are falling behind, especially when compared to those from China or India. There is no doubt that when it comes to our education system, there is lots of pessimism. So to some of you, it may seem a bit Pollyannaish, that on the eve of the first day of school, The Victoria Advocate is launching a campaign to get us thinking about education as a community commitment. I believe Victoria is just the right kind of city to embrace this challenge. It is also imperative that we do so. Our city can only continue to thrive as it grows if we ensure that all children have access to opportunities. I became interested in education issues after I spent a year teaching at my alma mater, La Joya High School in the Rio Grande Valley back in the late 90s. That experience helped me realize that while I could not control parent incomes and education levels – factors that largely predict a student’s academic success – there was lots that I could do. In fact, many studies highlight the importance of mentoring relationships between educators and stu-

dents. When students know that there are others invested in their future, they MACARENA become more invested themselves. I also learned that we all needed to start encouraging kids to pursue higher education while they were still in elementary school. Unfortunately, by the time some of my sophomore students showed up at my English literature class, they had already decided that college was not for them. A good number of those students had never had an adult – at home or at school – tell them college was a possibility. Later, as a reporter and columnist, I wrote about education issues and interviewed educators from all over. One teacher’s approach stayed with me. Marcia Niemann taught immigrant teenagers in Dallas. Because they often come to U.S. schools not speaking English and having skipped years of schooling back home, immigrant teens are at the most risk of dropping out. Even though Ms. Niemann knew about half of her students would leave Adamson High School without a diploma, she stressed life-long learning. She wanted her students to know that you were never too old to learn and that ed-

HERNANDEZ

YOUR POEM

EDITORIAL BOARD Dan Easton,

Hamp Rogers, Circulation/

John M. Roberts,

Becky Cooper, Local Editor Tony Balandran,

Publisher

President, Chairman of the Board

Catherine R. McHaney, Secretary-Treasurer

Chris Cobler,

Editor, Vice-President of Content

ucation did not end with a high school diploma. She hoped they’d eventually preach the same message to their own siblings and, one day, their own children. So she saw her job as an investment across generations. I realize that at this point in this column, some of you may be thinking I’m sounding naively optimistic. But I can only speak from experience. As a child of immigrants – my father had a second-grade education, my mom went up to fifth grade – I know not all families can do it alone. My father and mother provided a healthy home environment and my teachers helped me navigate worlds foreign to my Mexican-born parents. In fifth grade, it was Mr. Pedro Mendoza, my Spanish U.I.L. poetry coach, who exposed me to Latin American literary giants like Gabriela Mistral and Amado Nervo. What I also learned from that experience was that Spanish, my parents’ native language, was beautiful and that I should work at keeping it. In middle school, it was Dagoberto “Betto” Ramirez who taught me how to analyze poetry and short stories and no doubt influenced me to become an English major in college. Throughout my years at La Joya Independent School District, it was Nena Garza,

Marketing Director

Delivery Desk Editor

Nick Rogers, Senior Copy Editor Lauren Hightower-Emerson, Community Conversation Editor

Jessica Puente, Interactivity Editor

Opinions published on this page under the heading “From Us” represent the consensus views of the editorial board of the Victoria Advocate, whose members are named above.

Vanished into the Night The sunset vanished into the night. The owl vanished into the night. The grazing deer vanished into the night. The grey fox vanished into the night. Night swallowed it all. Sr. Frances Cabrini Janvier, Victoria

who was then the director of the district’s University Interscholastic League office, who encouraged me along and was an amazing role model – a strong and assertive, compassionate woman who seemed to always get what she wanted. They are just a few examples of those who helped me. To list all my mentors and role models, I’d need a book. What exactly, you may be wondering, can you do? So many possibilities! Maybe you can organize a school supply drive at your office. If you own your business, maybe you can donate books for kids who don’t have any at home. But you don’t need to organize events or big donations to get started. You can commit to taking your children to the library more often. You can always volunteer at one of the local schools. Or, you can start by sending a letter to the editor thanking that teacher or mentor who made a difference in your life. It may seem like baby steps as opposed to the sprints needed to steer us clear, but we’ve got to start somewhere. And, most importantly, we’ve got to start now. Macarena Hernandez, the Victoria Advocate Endowed Professor in Humanities at the the University of Houston-Victoria, teaches in the Communication Department.

WORDS Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. Matthew 1:19 “Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other – it doesn’t matter who it is – and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Albanian-born Indian missionary and founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity

Editor, the Advocate: People don’t understand what’s going on with Medicare. For one thing, for Obama to take money from privately owned insurance companies to fund Obamacare, they would have to be not only created by the federal government, but also funded by the federal government, which of course they are not. The money was pilfered out of Medicare by Obama for his precious Obamacare. I’d rather watch Fox News than Chris Matthews (the Panama Canal is in Egypt). At least their reporters aren’t given written scripts on what to say and what not to say about Obama, by his administration.

Dwain Boehl, Victoria

SPOTLIGHT LETTER ose the Youth Thank you for helping Lo

cate: d Editor, the Advo ng businesses an thank the followi h to ut e Yo lik e d th ul e os wo e Lo W nations to the do r r (D ei s th r ge fo ra ls ve individua : Better Be ce held July 9-13 e, Burger King, en er nf Co p/ m Ca yk kes, Mr. Bob Bo icken Pepper), Bill’s Bi ili’s, Church’s Ch Ch e, Ol sa Ca , n Exo’s ro rin ar Ca m Ci ny ), hn ns Jo rro locatio va Na N. d untry an Co t, an ie Bouque (Ben Jord and Easley; Cook el, Dick’s Food le Co , le Co s; es tz pr ni , Der Weinersch Stop, FoBakery, Culligan’s nut Palace, Fast Do , ry te Ea s J’ idle le ub Br . Do rs , M es s, or ie St ok eat American Co liage Shoppe, Gr ard and Rachel Heard, H.E.Bs, lch Greeson, Drs. Ri Jerry Ir vin, Jason’s Deli, Las Pa . s, rs rie M st d du an In r. IHop, M d’s, Magic PiFloral, McDonal , s en m rd da Ga cA M ive , Ol os m ace, , Mumphord’s Pl Rainbow-Sno, Montana Mike’s com, le Te l na sio es of co de Gallo, Pr Ramirez, Ms. rant, Mr. Ismael Ramsey’s Restau d Mrs. Bill Russell, Sam’s, an Susan Rivas, Mr. d Mrs. Bryce Scott, the an r. M ’s, ky Schlotzs y Foundation, Tast in kl an Sh a sh ar M cle Un n, ive-In Donuts, Texas Dr racruz, Victory , Ve a’s ur nt Ve , t’s ut M d Wendy ’s. Inn, Walmart an u all. s May God bles yo

niPastors Walter and Bo the e os Lo , rd ta Fo Youth Founders, Victoria

WE WANT YOUR LETTERS We want your letters because we value your opinion on issues in the community and region. We have few requirements and will help you meet these if needed. We will need your name, home address and daytime telephone or cell phone number so we can contact you to verify you want your opinion published. When sending letters by email, and if you do not hear from us within a couple of days, you should call us to see if we received your letter because, sometimes, our email filter will not let a letter through. Our letter lengths are 150 words for thank-yous, 200 words for election-related letters and 350 words for all others. We ask that letter writers submit one letter per 30-day period. Letters may be delivered at the Advocate, 311 E. Constitution St.; mailed to P.O. Box 1518, Victoria 77902; faxed to 361-574-1220; or emailed to letters@vicad.com.


VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Wednesday, August 29, 2012 — B5

VictoriaAdvocate.com

VIEWPOINTS

C

ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Editorial page editor: Lauren Hightower-Emerson, 361-580-6590, lhightower@vicad.com

– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

FROM US

Thank you for choosing Victoria for plant

■ Topic: Caterpillar plant grand opening ■ Our View: Looking forward to seeing company prosper as part of community

A

fter a long wait and lots of work, Victoria’s Caterpillar plant is finally open. The plant was already starting production before the official opening ceremony on Aug. 23. And now that the formalities and pleasantries are done, we are excited to see Caterpillar is up and working in earnest. The grand opening ceremony was an exciting event, with more than 550 in attendance, including local officials, company executives and even state Rep. Geanie Morrison and Gov. Rick Perry.

The plant currently employs about 200 people, but hopes to have more than 250 employees by the end of the year and 800 by 2015. That is an exciting number and we hope to see plenty of Crossroads residents take advantage of this opportunity. Caterpillar chose Victoria as the home for their excavator plant for many reasons, including Victoria’s educational facilities and the opportunity to raise up a locally-trained workforce to meet the plant’s needs. We are proud to have two upstanding higher educa-

tion providers such as Victoria College and University of Houston-Victoria in our community and thank them for their part in bringing Caterpillar to town. We are looking forward to seeing Victoria College’s Emerging Technology Center and the opportunities that will come from offering specialized training for the area’s workforce. With a training facility this big in the works, who knows what other companies could join Caterpillar in their search for the perfect home for future growth. According to Doug Oberhelman,

Caterpillar’s chairman and CEO, the opening of Victoria’s plant will put the company in a position to begin to lead the business worldwide. We are honored that Caterpillar chose Victoria to be the home of such an important ratio of their production and we hope our city and the Crossroads will prove up to the task of helping the plant to succeed. As Oberhelman said at the opening ceremony, companies today need help from the government and individuals to keep the market competitive. And we applaud Victoria’s government from

FROM OTHERS

both the city and county levels for their willingness to invest in this major economic development. But most of all, we want to welcome Caterpillar to Victoria. We are proud to see the long-anticipated excavator plant finally, officially opened, and we hope to see a long future of production and economic growth. We hope this is the first of many more partnerships to come. This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

FROM YOU Thank you for help with group’s fundraiser Editor, the Advocate: The Concerned Citizens for the Safety and Health of Victoria wish to thank all the people who helped, mainly the owners of Club Westerner, the Majestics and the people who helped organize and worked in making our fundraiser a huge success. Also, thanks to all who attended, those who gave from their heart and to all the speakers. Special thanks to my wife, Emily. The Concerned Citizens are not funded by taxpayers’ money to pay for our legal defense. We have fought a good fight for three years, and we will continue as long as our Lord wants us to go. I also want to congratulate all the Hispanics who did not win their races to represent Victoria. We do not consider you as losers. We want to thank you for running for office. We consider you leaders of our community. Our congratulations go to Annie Ramos, Chris Rivera and Gabriel Solis. We need you to keep working for our community. To Mr. Frank Salazar, you didn’t fall down; you were pushed down. We still support you. We consider you one of our leaders.

Henry Perez, Victoria

Comments about immigrants are wrong

Contest Entry

GUEST COLUMN

Mentoring can make a difference for local kids

W

hen Charles was a junior at East High School, he was struggling in Algebra. He felt like he just would not be able to get the concept of this type of math. He was advised to visit the Sure BET Mentor Program master teacher at his campus to get some help from a mentor who could share with him the tools they had in understanding his problem. Within 3 weeks, with the help of his mentor who visited him every week for 30 minutes or more, Charles grasps the concept and understands the processes of algebra. Charles was so excited that he was finally able to understand his math problems, he asked to become a mentor himself. Now Charles, a student at East High School, is helping his peers understand the math that was once a challenge for him and is now much easier. Mentoring can play a powerful role in reducing drug abuse and youth violence, as well as boosting academic achievement. By mentoring a child, you help build character and confidence in that student that will always play a helping role to make good choices. These mentor partnerships help students expand their universe by sharing stories of life experiences and helping them navigate a path to success. Despite these benefits, however, the gap between the number of mentors and the

number of young people who need a mentor continues to grow. VBEC is a non-profit orLANELL ganization dedicated to helping provide students with mentors who will give them guidance to improve their academics and instill in them confidence, as well as encouraging them to stay in school. Currently, we have about 188 active mentors in VISD schools. We have approximately 5, 300 students (out of approximately 14,000) in our VISD school system we try to serve. We have five campuses: Hopkins Elementary (506 students), Patti Welder Middle School (713 students), Stroman Middle School (821 students), East High School (1693 students), West High School (1529 students). We have a serious shortage in the number of mentors needed if we hope to reach just these students at the schools in which we have established mentoring programs. All mentoring is done through the support of VISD by having a teacher with you at all times to help you in helping the child you are working with. Once a week, you visit that child at one of the five locations (Hopkins, Patti Welder, Stroman, East or West High School) for 30 minutes during the school year. All the

MANTEY

YOUR POEM

EDITORIAL BOARD Dan Easton,

Hamp Rogers, Circulation/

John M. Roberts,

Becky Cooper, Local Editor Tony Balandran,

Publisher

President, Chairman of the Board

Marketing Director

Delivery Desk Editor

Catherine R. McHaney,

Lauren Hightower-Emerson,

Chris Cobler,

Jessica Puente, Interactivity Editor

Secretary-Treasurer

Editor, Vice-President of Content

materials are provided and the time of day to mentor is flexible during the school day anytime during the week. Through this process of mentoring, we seen success in our students each time this relationship is built. The students enrolled in the reading mentor program have shown a 97 percent improvement and 84 percent improvement of the students enrolled in the math mentor programs. At the end of 2011-12 school year, 3,123 30-minute mentor session have been held to assist about 200 total students in need. Every year, we host a Mentor Appreciation Dinner and ask the mentors what do they enjoy about helping a student. The response is “it has been one of the most rewarding times of the week to be able to help that child.” Robert Loeb is one of our mentors. He is a local business leader who has been a mentor for several years. At the beginning of the school year, the Mentor Master Teacher approached Robert and said, “I have a challenge for you this year.” Robert smiled and replied, “Bring it on.” the Mentor Master Teacher told Robert about a young child who had a very rough life. His mom passed away when he was very young, and his father was in and out of jail.

Community Conversation Editor

Light Upon the Lilies The morning light shines Upon the lilies fair. White, yellow, orange – And array of colors In the light of the morn. Sr. Frances Cabrini Janvier, Victoria

Opinions published on this page under the heading “From Us” represent the consensus views of the editorial board of the Victoria Advocate, whose members are named above.

The child was starting to make some bad decisions, and he was placed in the mentor program to try to redirect him. So Robert began meeting with this child, who was very distant with Robert, but showed up every week right on time. One day, the teacher looked over and Robert was showing the student how to tie a tie. When Robert came back to mentor the student a couple of weeks later, he discovered the child had made some bad decisions and subsequently was disciplined by school officials. One Monday, The Mentor Master Teacher came to his classroom early in the morning and there was the student. He looked a little anxious and asked the teacher, “Was Robert mad at me for getting into trouble?” This child had no one to care that he had been in trouble except for his mentor, Robert. This child is an example of how a “once weekly session for 30 minutes” can have such an impact on a child’s academic accomplishments. Be a mentor and help change ONE child’s life. To volunteer, you can call VBEC at 361-572-8232 or go to the website for more information at vbectx.org. Lanell Mantey is executive director of Victoria Business and Education Coalition. Email her at lanellmantey@sbcglobal .net

WORDS But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:20 “I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.” Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. President

Editor, the Advocate: I know Mr. Joseph Paul “Pat” Petrisky to be an educated and intelligent person. However, he got it wrong when he compared the accident that occurred near Goliad/Berclair (Letters to the Editor on Aug. 21) to what might happen to a person trespassing in Area 51. That analogy can best be compared to a person jumping the fence and trespassing on White House property – the intrusion will be dealt with immediately and forcefully and any threat, whether real or presumed real, eliminated by any means necessary. The people that died in the wreck did not die because they were in the U.S. illegally. They died because they were victims of a terrible traffic accident. Many factors contributed to the accident, but it was an accident just the same. Therefore “accident victims” is appropriate. Before passing judgment, let’s remember that they were members of the human race and children of God. I’m sure the Almighty will not attach a label to them when they stand before Him and neither should any person on this earth.

Jose Contreras Jr., Victoria

YOUR VOICES Callers talk about Lance Armstrong, more To David in Cuero: You have no idea what Mitt Romney can do for the U.S.A. in the next four years. We all know what Obama has done for American in three and a half years. We cannot afford another four years of this.

And even if he was doing something illegal, I think that he is intelligent enough to do it where no one would see him. Phone 361-580-6587. It is easy for Voice your these other opinion. people to start rumors.

David, Victoria

Dorothy, Victoria

The puzzle of life: This comment is for atheists to think about. Life is so complex and you still believe that life began by chance. Well it couldn’t have happened that way. For example, take a jigsaw puzzle and dump it out on the table. No Frank, Olivia matter how many times you dump it out, it will never put I think the decision against itself together by chance. Lance Armstrong is just a Life is like a puzzle. It has to be put together. witch hunt. He took more than 500 drug tests and Marvin, Bay City passed every single one.

Sarah Ramos and Mr. Howard, of Yorktown, are both off target because the Karankawa, Tonkawa, Apache and Comanche owned this land a long time before the Spaniards ever set foot on it.

WE WANT YOUR LETTERS We want your letters because we value your opinion on issues in the community and region. We have few requirements and will help you meet these if needed. We will need your name, home address and daytime telephone or cell phone number so we can contact you to verify you want your opinion published. When sending letters by email, and if you do not hear from us within a couple of days, you should call us to see if we received your letter because, sometimes, our email filter will not let a letter through. Our letter lengths are 150 words for thank-yous, 200 words for election-related letters and 350 words for all others. We ask that letter writers submit one letter per 30-day period. Letters may be delivered at the Advocate, 311 E. Constitution St.; mailed to P.O. Box 1518, Victoria 77902; faxed to 361-574-1220; or emailed to letters@vicad.com.


VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Thursday, August 30, 2012 — B5

VictoriaAdvocate.com

VIEWPOINTS

C

ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Editorial page editor: Lauren Hightower-Emerson, 361-580-6590, lhightower@vicad.com

– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

FROM US

Holiday drinking and driving: Don’t do it! ■ Topic: Labor Day weekend ■ Our View: Make sure to be safe while enjoying day off from work

T

ypically, Labor Day is associated with the anticipation of cooler temperatures, a time to cut back on wearing white, and most importantly, giving working people a break from the daily grind. And while people enjoy their long weekend, perhaps with a barbecue, taking a trip or just relaxing at home, we hope residents will remember to have fun, but stay safe while doing so. We know Labor Day weekend

tends to be a time for fun and relaxation, but we also know many people include alcohol in that mix. We encourage our readers to be responsible when drinking this weekend. The Texas Department of Public Safety has announced plans to have every trooper on staff working during Labor Day weekend to cut down on drunk driving in Texas. And Trooper Gerald Bryant said DPS will have a zero-tolerance policy for the offence. The Victoria Police Department

and Victoria County Sheriff ’s Office are planning a similar approach to keep drivers safe this year. According to Bryant, there were no fatal crashes in Victoria or surrounding counties during the 2011 Labor Day weekend, and we hope to see similar results this year. According to a Texas Department of Transportation news release, convicted drunken drivers could spend up to $17,000 for bail, fines, legal fees, court appearances, court-ordered classes, in-

surance increases and other expenses. Knowing just the monetary costs for drunk driving, we hope residents will think twice before getting behind the wheel this weekend. This total could be much worse if the drunk driving results in an accident. Then drivers would face hospital bills, vehicle repairs and possible lawsuits from any other victims, as well as the ultimate loss – a person’s life. Seeing the possible results here, we wonder, is “having a good

FROM OTHERS

time” really worth all this? We say no, and we hope others will agree. So enjoy yourselves this weekend, but please remember to appoint a designated driver or call a cab if you’re going to drink. It may be an inconvenience, but a trip to the hospital or going to jail for hurting someone else is much worse. This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

FROM YOU Obama gave favors to the cooperative states Editor, the Advocate: While traveling in California this summer, I came upon several road construction projects funded by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (aka stimulus). I don’t remember seeing similar signs in Texas. My nephew lives in Lancaster, California and every public school I saw in that town had solar panels; also courtesy of the same act. The Obama administration used the stimulus to reward it’s supporters and not to stimulate the economy. Large chunks of the stimulus went to pay the salaries of teachers, fire fighters and police that had gotten sweetheart contracts during good times. I think that these workers should be well paid and I am not against collective bargaining. When a government entity has trouble honoring a labor contract that problem should not require Federal bailout. Such a problem is a local or state issue and should be handled either by raising local taxes and/or re-negotiating the contracts. Why should a taxpayer in West Texas go on the hook for borrowed federal funds for contracts that were too liberal, were signed in California and where the unions refuse to renegotiate? The Obama Administration is borrowing money to pay off its supporters and I am tired of it. President Obama has been running for re-election for three and a half years rather than dealing with the economy.

Carleton K. Thompson Jr., Hallettsville

Don’t know what you have until it’s gone

Contest Entry

GUEST COLUMN

Education is key to finding success in life

I

’ve known some things about my life since I was old enough to remember. I’ve always known I would be married and have children. I’ve always known that my husband would be older and taller than me. And I’ve always known that I would go to college. Not just any college. I knew I was going to go to Baylor University, just like my parents and grandparents before me. Even when I was growing up in North Carolina and everyone was talking about Duke or UNC-Chapel Hill, I somehow knew Baylor was where I was meant to go. Maybe it was the passion my parents had for their alma mater. Whatever the reason, when I reached my senior year of high school in San Antonio, graduating ninth in my class, I only applied to one school, and I got in. Education has always been a priority in my family. My parents taught me to be driven and work to be the best I can be. They always encouraged me, pushed me and supported me. As I grew and matured, I started to understand how important education is and hunger for knowledge. I was the typical smart kid. I was

inquisitive, an avid reader, the “good girl,” the teacher’s pet, the choir nerd and the LAUREN geek with an overactive imagination. Looking back, I really haven’t changed all that much. It was an amazing, eye-opening experience when I moved to Victoria almost five years ago. I was a college-educated young woman in my first real job since graduating. I had no delusions about going out and changing the world, but I did want to make a difference wherever I was. Of course, going to an expensive school like Baylor, then becoming a journalist meant things were very tight financially for a few years, and I did some substitute teaching to fill the gaps left by student loans. That’s when I really began to understand how important education is, and how many children don’t understand that. There were good days and bad days. Typically, I taught classes filled with children who wanted to learn. They were smart, they knew it and were willing to stretch themselves. Teaching them

HIGHTOWER -EMERSON

Dan Easton,

Hamp Rogers, Circulation/

John M. Roberts,

Becky Cooper, Local Editor Tony Balandran,

Catherine R. McHaney,

Lauren Hightower-Emerson,

Chris Cobler,

Jessica Puente, Interactivity Editor

President, Chairman of the Board Secretary-Treasurer

Editor, Vice-President of Content

much time has been wasted. Every person follows their own path through life. And we all face barriers. But there are some skills we can pick up along the way to help us overcome these obstacles. That is why education is so crucial. We live in a world where just having a high school equivalence will give people an advantage. College is not for everyone, but those who don’t want to go to college still need training for whatever career they choose. That’s why I am excited to take part in the Victoria Advocate’s “A Community Commitment” education project. In this project, we hope to tell the stories of those whose lives were changed by education and find ways to encourage others to invest in their futures by embracing education. With the right education, anyone can find success, but first we have to teach people, starting when they are children, how important their education is. Until they understand that, we’re wasting time. Lauren Hightower-Emerson is the community conversation editor for the Victoria Advocate. Email her at lhightower@vicad.com.

WORDS

EDITORIAL BOARD Publisher

was a fun experience and I came home feeling like I accomplished something that day. But there were other classes where the kids just didn’t seem to care. It was so alien to everything I had ever known or thought. How could they not understand how smart they were? How could they not see how fun learning could be or how important it was? I did my best to teach them with the one or two days I had. I tried to plant a seed of curiosity in their little minds. But I also knew, more often than not, that just one day of encouraging them to do something they didn’t care about wasn’t going to change much. On those days, I felt exhausted and depressed, like I’d been pulling a heavy weight all day and only moved a few inches. My heart hurt for these kids. I knew they will more than likely miss out on so many chances for success because of their attitudes and lack of understanding. Often, I wished I could have looked into the future and shown them where they could be, if they would just try. It is so important to make this impression on them while they are still young and able to devote time to school. If we wait until they are adults, so

Marketing Director

Delivery Desk Editor

Community Conversation Editor

Opinions published on this page under the heading “From Us” represent the consensus views of the editorial board of the Victoria Advocate, whose members are named above.

Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and brake it. And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way. Jeremiah 28:10-11 “As the traveler who has lost his way, throws his reins on his horse's neck, and trusts to the instinct of the animal to find his road, so must we do with the divine animal who carries us through this world.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet, lecturer and essayist

Editor, the Advocate: Our 32-month-old dapple doxie was struck and killed by a car on Aug. 22. I didn’t realize what we had until he was gone. Hug your four-legged friends a little tighter and strive to keep them as safe as possible. I realize the neighbors, cats and squirrels are probably rejoicing. And when it comes time to adopt again, I’ll strive to give all the love I can, even if it is a normal puppy.

Kelly Shiller, Bloomington

YOUR VOICES Callers talk about rent prices, other topics I would like to know why the apartment rents are so high in this city. Victoria does not pay their people enough to afford an apartment that is $1,600 a month. And I think that it is ridiculous that just because Caterpillar and the oil and gas people are coming to town that they are raising the rent when the people that already live here can’t afford to pay for an apartment to begin with. I think it is crazy.

fact, $716 billion is not taken away from Medicare. They are actually getting it from the insurance companies and Phone 361-580-6587. fraud wasting Voice your abuse. And also opinion. Quincy, if you really think that Fox News is fair and balanced, I have some ocean side property in Arizona that I would like to sell to you.

Shawn, Victoria Regarding Union Pacific

Kim, Victoria Railroad: Sixteen months

and counting, that is how long you have left your rotting ties in the ditches in Victoria County. Ronald Reagan would have said it this way: Mr. Union Pacific, clean Beatrice, Port Lavaca up your trash.

Thank you Gayle. The problem with Fox News is that its viewers are consistently misinformed.

Quincy, you had better wake up. Man, smell the roses. Fox News lies about everything. MSNBC is the only news channel that gives you the accurate news.

Ray, Victoria

Police and firemen should be at the top of the list in the salaries. They are protecting us every day with their lives. Also, the military B.J., Port Lavaca should be tops in their salary. And all of them I am just responding to May should be able to vote first. Mike and Quincy’s call in the June, Victoria paper today. Take a look at the

WE WANT YOUR LETTERS We want your letters because we value your opinion on issues in the community and region. We have few requirements and will help you meet these if needed. We will need your name, home address and daytime telephone or cell phone number so we can contact you to verify you want your opinion published. When sending letters by email, and if you do not hear from us within a couple of days, you should call us to see if we received your letter because, sometimes, our email filter will not let a letter through. Our letter lengths are 150 words for thank-yous, 200 words for election-related letters and 350 words for all others. We ask that letter writers submit one letter per 30-day period. Letters may be delivered at the Advocate, 311 E. Constitution St.; mailed to P.O. Box 1518, Victoria 77902; faxed to 361-574-1220; or emailed to letters@vicad.com.


VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Friday, August 31, 2012 — B3

VictoriaAdvocate.com

VIEWPOINTS

C

ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Editorial page editor: Lauren Hightower-Emerson, 361-580-6590, lhightower@vicad.com

– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

FROM US

Sportsmanship is important part of game S

■ Topic: High school football ■ Our View: Please be courteous and respectful while enjoying the season

chool is back in session and September is here. Everyone knows what that means. Football is back for another year of crushing impacts, Hail Mary passes, quarterback sacks and kickoff returns. This is Texas, and in Texas, high school football is king. Texans love the rough-and-tumble quality of the sport; the blood, sweat and tears of a tough battle for athletic supremacy. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and emotion

of it all. But despite all the screaming and cheering that goes on at games, we want to encourage our readers to remember to treat the players and fans with dignity and respect. Sportsmanship is an important quality in athletics and both athletes and coaches should keep this in mind when on the field. According to kidshealth.org, sportsmanship is defined by: playing fair, following the rules of the game, respecting the judgment of referees and officials and treating oppo-

nents with respect. Many see it as a sports version of the Golden Rule. Treat the opposing team the way you would like to be treated. But this does not only apply to athletes and coaches. We also include the fans in this appeal. We understand that emotions run high when watching a game, and fans are expected to cheer and shout at the top of their lungs. But we hope fans will show respect to each other and the opposing team’s athletes and fans as well. By showing courtesy to others,

parents and families will be a good example for their children and friends. High school games are about more than winning. They are about coming together as a community to enjoy friendly competition and share school spirit. Football is a competitive sport, but competitive is not the same as cut-throat. Competition is not just a way for opposing teams to determine who is the best. The players also hone their skills by competing against other teams. Because of

FROM OTHERS

this, win or lose, both sides deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and we encourage our readers to keep this in mind as they attend area football games. So please, as you enjoy this season, remember to show good sportsmanship. The games will be a lot more fun for everyone, if you do. This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

FROM YOU Highway underpass needs another traffic signal Editor, the Advocate: With the accident that occurred last week at the intersection of Nursery Drive and Loop 463 that injured many, and with school at Victoria West High School beginning, the city needs to address a potential traffic hazard: that being the westbound traffic on the access road of Loop 463 rushes to the red light at Cuero highway, blocking southbound access from Nursery Drive that is crossing to go under the Loop 463 underpass and head east on Loop 463. Some traffic, being polite, will not block this intersection, yet half or more crowds forward, thus confusing any southbound Nursery Drive drivers, who then wonder, is it safe for me to cross three lanes of traffic so that I can go under the overpass? As soon as the driver starts forward, unbeknownst to the driver, comes someone not paying attention to any crossing traffic, and thus causing a possible accident with the car crossing through the three lanes of traffic. I suggest that a flashing yellow light be posted at the intersection of the Loop 463 access road and Nursery Drive and also that signs be posted for stopped traffic not to block the intersection, relieving congested traffic coming from the high school on Nursery Drive and allowing them to cross unimpeded.

Barbara Mickan, Victoria

Thanks for helping Quail Creek Fire Department Editor, the Advocate: The Quail Creek Volunteer Fire Department would like to thank everyone that helped in making our recent BBQ Cook-off a success. This includes prize money donations from many businesses, volunteer judges, everyone that purchased raffle tickets, and the BBQ teams that participated in this event. Your support enables our department to continue to respond to emergencies in our district.

Quail Creek Volunteer Fire Department members, Victoria

Contest Entry

What’s wrong with saying abortion is wrong? GUEST COLUMN

Teachers are leaders for success in education

W

hen I taught high school in the Victoria school district in the 1950s, I faced challenges, but I suspect I was allowed much more freedom than my counterparts of today. What was the same, though, was a teacher’s unshakeable belief that sharing knowledge can lead to a student’s success. Even though Victoria was much smaller then, I had students at all levels of intellectual commitment. Periodic testing (mine, not the state’s) revealed quickly who grasped the information. Throughout the year, the school offered opportunities to help those who needed to catch up. And, by the end of the year, I knew full well who knew the material and was capable of moving on. I had my own mentor, Miss Margaret Cline, a teacher who had taught many years in my subject:

biology. She not only knew the subject completely, but also had complete control of her CATHERINE classes. That meant the full time in the class was a positive learning experience. That was my goal as well, as a young teacher. I spent my break time in the teachers’ lounge trying to soak up her advice. Her talents enlightened and enriched me throughout the year. She made it clear her genuine commitment to educating students was not about the pay. Nonetheless, I strongly believe great teachers, those who love the profession, should be paid well so they will continue in the classroom. No one is more important to our society than a great teacher. My experience in the classroom also taught me

McHANEY

Dan Easton,

Hamp Rogers, Circulation/

John M. Roberts,

Becky Cooper, Local Editor Tony Balandran,

Catherine R. McHaney,

Lauren Hightower-Emerson,

Chris Cobler,

Jessica Puente, Interactivity Editor

President, Chairman of the Board Secretary-Treasurer

Editor, Vice-President of Content

showed me what talented teachers could make of any subject. As a teacher, parent, volunteer, private school board member and Victoria College trustee, I have been exposed to the tremendous challenges that present themselves at each juncture. Each of these points presents a complicated set of circumstances, followed by possible solutions. My hope for your Advocate’s education project, “A Community Commitment,” is modest, yet lofty: Monitor the course we are taking. Sound a warning when needed. And delight in cheering successes. Catherine McHaney is the secretary/treasurer of the Victoria Advocate and a member of the newspaper’s steering committee for its education project. She may be reached at kmchaney@ vicad.com.

WORDS

EDITORIAL BOARD Publisher

all students have the ability to learn. Many will succeed even beyond expectations. But oftentimes, it takes a wise and trusted teacher to help recognize a student in need. Since my time in the classroom, I’ve examined education at all levels and from various angles. I’ve been a part of both public education and private schooling through my own education and that of my four children. All of these experiences led me to advocate for opportunities for all children. My educational journey began as a student in a one-room schoolhouse in Pettus before we moved to Victoria. Memorable teachers who stand out, even decades later, made Latin come alive and geometry shapes exciting. They

Marketing Director

Delivery Desk Editor

Community Conversation Editor

Opinions published on this page under the heading “From Us” represent the consensus views of the editorial board of the Victoria Advocate, whose members are named above.

Then the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron. Jeremiah 28:12-13 “No-one gets an iron-clad guarantee of success. Certainly, factors like opportunity, luck and timing are important. But the backbone of success is usually found in old-fashioned, basic concepts like hard work, determination, good planning and perseverance.” Mia Hamm, American female soccer player

Editor, the Advocate: I read that Rep. Todd Akin made a very bad statement about women. However, the response from the Democrats was not only that he was wrong about what he said, but that it showed his opposition to abortion in all cases. Well, I am sorry, but what is wrong with opposition to abortion in all cases? Nothing. So on that point, I agree with Mr. Akin.

Diane Faxlanger, Victoria

FROM YOU Callers talk about politics, other topics Regarding ethanol: I just wanted to let everybody know that you can make an alcoholic beverage out of it. And that means anything from mustang grapes to sugar cane, you can make ethanol out of it. There is a lot of usable material out there.

of God, in reference to the billboard on Navarro?

Michael, Victoria In addition to

Phone 361-580-6587. Fox News, I

Voice your watch CNN, opinion. and CSPAN,

particularly Washington Journal. I do believe that President Obama’s health care plan is not good Frank, Olivia and will result in medical rationing for the elderly based Yes, I will be using the new on age. Victoria Airport when and if it gets started. Doris, Victoria

Frank, Victoria Sandra from Yoakum needs to read the Bible. How can it be a curse when it is a quote from the word

No, I have never attended a high school reunion. I don’t care to see all those old people.

Mary, Port O’Connor

WE WANT YOUR LETTERS We want your letters because we value your opinion on issues in the community and region. We have few requirements and will help you meet these if needed. We will need your name, home address and daytime telephone or cell phone number so we can contact you to verify you want your opinion published. When sending letters by email, and if you do not hear from us within a couple of days, you should call us to see if we received your letter because, sometimes, our email filter will not let a letter through. Our letter lengths are 150 words for thank-yous, 200 words for election-related letters and 350 words for all others. We ask that letter writers submit one letter per 30-day period. Letters may be delivered at the Advocate, 311 E. Constitution St.; mailed to P.O. Box 1518, Victoria 77902; faxed to 361-574-1220; or emailed to letters@vicad.com.


VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Tuesday, September 11, 2012 — B3

VictoriaAdvocate.com

VIEWPOINTS

C

ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Editorial page editor: Lauren Hightower-Emerson, 361-580-6590, lhightower@vicad.com

– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

FROM US

Generations-old ministry still going strong ■ Topic: Hebron Baptist Church’s 160th anniversary ■ Our View: Glad to see piece of Texas history still thriving

T

he Crossroads holds a rich history. Not just in our Spanish missions and historic areas of the various towns. Tucked away in different corners of the Crossroads are bits and pieces of Texas history that should be valued and preserved. One of these special places is Hebron Baptist Church in Yoakum, which celebrated 160 years in the ministry this past

weekend. The church was founded in 1852 by settlers who came to the area via wagon train. The building was originally a one-room building made of logs with split log benches. Today, the church is a Texas Historical Marker. We are impressed to see this small church has survived through all of the trials and tribulations of the past 160 years. The generations of this congregation have endured the Civil War, the

Great Depression, both World Wars and countless other tough times both nationally and locally. And through it all, as evidenced by the many stories we were told by former members, the congregation pulled together and helped each other to survive whatever came their way. We applaud the church members for their commitment to each other and to their faith. By coming together the way they have and

passing their faith from generation to generation, they are not just preserving a building or historical landmark. They are taking care of their community and the people, which is what really matters. Of course, we are happy to see this historic church still standing, but we are most in awe of the legacy of love this congregation is passing from generation to generation, as the stories of love and care shared by past members

FROM OTHERS

showed us. So we applaud the congregation of Hebron Baptist Church for its ongoing ministry, the history it has and protects, and the legacy of love members are teaching to future generations. We are glad to see Texas history protected and embodied in your congregation. This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

FROM YOU Movie shows what president’s plans are for US Editor, the Advocate: “2016” is a must see documentary for all who want to understand this president and his vision for our country. His background shapes our future. See how his hate of colonialism passed down by his father will dictate the direction he will take America. A more left, liberal, secular, weaker, defenseless, financially bankrupt, economically crippled, divisive, socialist America that will be well positioned for our enemies to pounce on. That is the promise of 2016- it’s message is not delivered “in between the lines.” The President has been caught on open microphone promising others even more of these destructive policies when re-elected. Rabbi, Priest, Pastor, preach to the people these truths: A presidency that promotes abortion as birth control, same sex marriage, failure to acknowledge God or support Israel seeks another term. As persons of faith, do we not heed the warning of Genesis 12:3? We are endowed by our Creator, Mr. President. If we are not a nation under God, we are a nation under. It’s your vote. “2016” is now showing in Victoria. Don’t miss it.

Nanette Foster, Victoria

President says he has goals, but what is plan? Contest Entry

GUEST COLUMN

Screen time and what it means for children

N

ot long ago, I spent an extended weekend with two preschoolers. Over the course of three days, I taught the children to play Go Fish and Slap Jack while they taught me to play Angry Birds and to download free princess applications on my iPad. Their mother warned me not to let them see me input my user name and password in any application, or my password protection would be null and void. To say that I was amazed at the comfort and ease with which these children maneuvered from application to application on my iPad and smart phone is an understatement. The experiences of that weekend have since made me pay closer attention to the interactions I see daily between children and technology. From the 10-month-old baby on the plane listening to animal sounds on her mother’s iPhone to the 6-year-old watching Shrek 3 on a DVD player during a family dinner at Cracker Barrel, these interactions are not hard to spot. I have always supported the use of technology with young children. As a public school kindergarten teacher back in the late 1980s, I wrote a grant to Apple computers and was the first

teacher in the school to have a classroom computer for the children to use. Technology is very JILL much a part of our lives in the here and now, and will be increasingly a part of our lives in the future. It is important that children learn to appropriately access and use technology. The key word here is appropriately. We want children to see technology as a tool for enriching their futures and we want them to use technology to their benefit, rather than for their detriment. “Screen time” is the term used to describe the collective time children spend engaging with various technology devices, including TVs, computers, DVD players, smart phones and tablet devices. Current studies indicate that American children under the age of 2 have, on average, more than two hours every day of screen time and most preschoolers have even more. This is problematic. During the preschool years, the primary developmental task for children is to learn to interact positively with others by controlling their behaviors and emotions and by using language to communicate. Considering that children

FOX

Dan Easton,

Hamp Rogers, Circulation/

John M. Roberts,

Becky Cooper, Local Editor Tony Balandran,

Catherine R. McHaney,

Lauren Hightower-Emerson,

Chris Cobler,

Jessica Puente, Interactivity Editor

President, Chairman of the Board Secretary-Treasurer

Editor, Vice-President of Content

children between the ages of 3 and 5 years are non-passive and supportive of social relationships and that daily screen time, including television viewing, is less than two hours. Draw and paint programs and word-processing programs that encourage children to think originally are strongly recommended for preschoolers, while video games are strongly discouraged. Indeed, the research on video games for young children is alarming, identifying negative effects on relationships with peers, parents, and teachers. Children are a blessing, but, as any parent knows, they are also a responsibility. As parents and teachers, it is important that we make informed decisions about the ways in which our children interact with technology. I encourage you to read the position statement at NAEYC.org and to carefully consider your child’s screen time. Make sure that technology is supporting your child’s future and not just occupying time in the present. Jill Englebright Fox, Ph.D., is a professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Houston-Victoria School of Education and Human Development.

WORDS

EDITORIAL BOARD Publisher

under the age of 2 sleep for 12-16 hours of every 24, two hours is a large chunk of their day. Playing Angry Birds and watching Shrek 3 does not contribute to their development in any way and, in fact, undermines it in some very real ways. The National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media have issued a position statement titled “Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age Eight.” This statement recommends that for children younger than age two, screen time should be limited to that which will support and encourage the child’s interactions with loving adults. Skyping with a parent deployed overseas, reading a story on Kindle with Grandma, identifying electronic photos of family members on the computer – these are examples of technology interactions that support the development of children under the age of two. The position statement further encourages parents and teachers to ensure that technology interactions for

Marketing Director

Delivery Desk Editor

Community Conversation Editor

Opinions published on this page under the heading “From Us” represent the consensus views of the editorial board of the Victoria Advocate, whose members are named above.

And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive. Because ye have said, The Lord hath raised us up prophets in Babylon; Jeremiah 29:14-15 “I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” Thomas Paine, English-born American writer and political pamphleteer

Editor, the Advocate: While members of the DNC cheered President Obama on, I was reminded of the hype of four years ago. This charismatic man stood before them and us “promising” goals for the future but never telling us how those goals were going to be reached. We can set all the goals in the world, but if we don’t plan to reach them, that is all they are – just goals. Every time he would state a plan to create jobs, expand employment opportunities, better our economy or help senior citizens with health care, I would ask, “How?” but the answers never came. What are the steps he is going to take to reach the goals he set out to the nation in his address? Or, will it be another four years of the mess we’re in? “Forward” to what?

Barbara Yanta, Victoria

YOUR VOICES Callers talk about speed limits, more I feel the highest speed allowed on an interstate or toll road should be 70 miles per hour. I feel that the higher the speed, the greater chance of a fatal accident.

Dorothy, Victoria You can bet that whatever the posted speed limit is, there will be those who will want to go faster and speed.

Mary, Port O’Connor In Obama’s speeches, he has said that he wants to fundamentally change America. Look up fundamental. He also said he wants to rebuild America from the ground up. Now he says that he wants to take us down a new path. The path that we have been on for the last 200 years has taken us to many great places. Let’s not change America into something that we don’t recognize.

ried about people being rich. It is when they are so tight that they want to cheat the government and they don’t care Phone 361-580-6587. to help the Voice your small people opinion. that makes them mad. Romney is not going to help anyone in this country. Help them get along and get a job. He doesn’t care about them.

B.W., Port Lavaca I don’t believe that we need immigrants or refugees from any foreign country in America chasing the American dream of hope, peace and prosperity. We have enough Americans of our own doing that.

Mary, Port O’Connor

That story about grandparents raising their grandchildren in Saturday’s Advocate was kinda incomplete. It never gave an explanation as to why grandparents Marvin, Bay City have to raise their grandchildren. I would like for James to unJames, Yoakum derstand that nobody is wor-

WE WANT YOUR LETTERS We want your letters because we value your opinion on issues in the community and region. We have few requirements and will help you meet these if needed. We will need your name, home address and daytime telephone or cell phone number so we can contact you to verify you want your opinion published. When sending letters by email, and if you do not hear from us within a couple of days, you should call us to see if we received your letter because, sometimes, our email filter will not let a letter through. Our letter lengths are 150 words for thank-yous, 200 words for election-related letters and 350 words for all others. We ask that letter writers submit one letter per 30-day period. Letters may be delivered at the Advocate, 311 E. Constitution St.; mailed to P.O. Box 1518, Victoria 77902; faxed to 361-574-1220; or emailed to letters@vicad.com.


HEAD CASE

AUTHOR STEVE TOMASULA KICKS OFF UHV’S AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW FALL SERIES, CROSSROADS, B1

VICTORIAADVOCATE.COM Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Locally owned since 1846

75¢

167TH YEAR NO. 127, 20 PAGES, ©2012, VICTORIA ADVOCATE PUBLISHING CO.

MEMORIAL

PORTRAIT of patriotism

AIRPORT

Service delayed until next month BY MELISSA CROWE MCROWE@VICAD.COM

Commercial air service to Houston from Victoria will start later than anticipated. Victoria Regional Airport Manager Jason Milewski said the new start date for Sun Air International, Victoria’s new air carrier, is Oct. 1, pushed back two weeks from the Sept. 17 estimated date. Milewski spoke during the Victoria County Commissioners meeting Monday, updating the court on changes. He said the later date is “just part of the process,” and he hopes details regarding booking and traveling are finalized by the week’s end. “They’re looking forward very much to starting Oct. 1,” Milewski said. Pinnacle Airlines Corp., parent company to Victoria’s former carrier, Colgan Air, announced in March plans to pull essential air service from Victoria. Although the plan called for flights to continue until a replacement was up, the company discontinued service June 30. The airport commission selected Sun Air in mid-June. Sun Air will make four daily flights between Victoria and Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. Tickets will range from $29 to $69 each way. Contest

EDUCATION

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY MORGAN WALKER/MWALKER @VICAD.COM

Karen Burleson, of Goliad, has painted a special tribute to the 9/11 victims, which will be displayed at the Victoria Art League through Oct. 13. Burleson, who is the Art League’s September artist of the month, created these paintings because she was looking outside her window when she learned about the attacks. Each photo represents the mood throughout the day. The first at 7:15 a.m. The second at noon, and the third at 6:20 p.m., when Burleson said, “Everyone was patriotic and emotional for their country.”

Former VISD art teacher creates 9/11 images BY CAMILLE M. DOTY CDOTY@VICAD.COM

Karen Burleson gazed outside her windowsill on a sun-filled and calm Tuesday morning 11 years ago. The 65-year-old Goliad resident’s dreams of serenity were shattered when terrorists attacked the United States. At that moment on Sept. 11, she realized life would never be the same for the nation she calls home. The warm, fuzzy feeling of

security vanished as fast as the blink of an eye. “That whole day, we were all afraid, you didn’t know what was going to happen next,” she said. The retired teacher took a lesson in her own page book to express herself through three paintings, merged into one through the eyes of her kitchen window. Each one

Memorial stripped of political speeches, A3 Residents share how they remember, B4

SEE BURLESON, A4

Students share tales of success Community gathers to talk about ways to keep kids in school, lower dropout rate BY CAROLINA ASTRAIN CASTRAIN@VICAD.COM

Allie Adams had a lot on her mind as she walked up to the lectern Monday night. In front of about 100 community members and Victoria school district staff members, the 17-year-old shared her tumultuous family history to illustrate how much teachers have changed her life for the better. Allie’s mother moved out when she was 4 years old. “I can’t really remember why,” Allie said. At one point Allie tried living with her

SEE VISD, A4

YOUR STORIES

COMING SOON

GAS PRICES

Project Pink: Honoring cancer survivors We want to hear your stories or the story of a friend or family member who has survived cancer. Please upload your photo and story to Your Photos at VictoriaAdvocate.com; pick category “Project Pink.” You also may mail to Victoria Advocate, Attention Project Pink, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, Texas 77901 or hand deliver your submission to the newsroom at 311 E. Constitution St. Please include a daytime phone number so we may call to get more information if necessary. Submission deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1.

UNLEADED GAS:

$ 3. 5 5 DIESEL:

Murphy Express

In Wednesday’s Advocate

8508 N. Navarro St.

$ 3. 8 5

Does it make sense to go for a second rice harvest this year?/A1

(As of 10 p.m. Monday. Prices are subject to change)

If you know of any lower gas prices in the region, call 361-574-1222, or e-mail newsroom@vicad.com

WEATHER TODAY: Mostly sunny

TONIGHT: Mainly clear

Complete weather, A6

HIGH

93 LOW 72

INSIDE Calendar........... A2 Classifieds..... D1-6 Comics.............. D6 Crossroads....... B1 Crosswords...... D5 Horoscope ....... D5 Lottery ............. B1

Money&Markets ....................... A5 Nation&World .................... A3,6 Obituaries...... B2 Poll results.... A2 Puzzles.......... D5 Sports ........... C1 Viewpoints ..... B3 Weather ........ A6

To subscribe Reader services

574-1200 To report news:

580-NEWS

LOCAL EDITOR: BECKY COOPER, BCOOPER@VICAD.COM, PRESENTATION EDITOR: KIMIKO FIEG, KFIEG@VICAD.COM, PAGE DESIGNER: LUIS RENDON, LRENDON@VICAD.COM, COPY EDITOR: TONY BALANDRAN, TBALANDRAN@VICAD.COM

Entry


A4 — VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Tuesday, September 11, 2012

VictoriaAdvocate.com

COVER STORIES

PAGE DESIGNER: LUIS RENDON, LRENDON@VICAD.COM, COPY EDITOR: TONY BALANDRAN, TBALANDRAN@VICAD.COM

BURLESON: ‘It’s sad that it takes a war or something like this to pull us together’ CONTINUED FROM A1

Contest

represents her feelings as the hands of time changed. The Victoria Art League selected the award-winning artist to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Burleson looked at the paint can half-full, even in the light of tragedy. “We were a united people,” she said. “It’s sad that it takes a war or something like this to pull us together.” Burleson used a wooden blind with a canvas backing to merge the paintings into one with one twist. A calendar, candlesticks, coffee mug, hummingbird figurine, apple, and alarm clock were all in tact at daybreak, but are scattered in the noon hour to display the chaos and trauma. The portrait later becomes red, white and blue in the evening to evoke a feeling of patriotism. Bill Bauer, president of the art league, described Burleson’s work as amazing and pleasing the palette. “The public would enjoy this,” Bauer said. Bauer and Burleson worked together in the Victoria school district for 27 years. The two former colleagues blended well together. Bauer focused on pottery; Burleson taught drawing, painting and design. Although the grandmother of three hung up her apron in the classroom, her love for art Entry remains. She entered almost every possible contest because she could devote more

IF YOU GO: ■ WHEN:

1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday up to Oct. 13 ■ WHERE: Victoria Art League, 905 S. Bridge St., Victoria ■ HOW MUCH: Free ■ TO LEARN MORE: Visit Victoria Art League’s Facebook page or call 361-572-0825.

9/11 TRIBUTE ■ WHO:

Victoria Police Department, Victoria Fire Department, Victoria County Sheriff’s Office ■ WHAT: 9/11 Remembrance Program ■ WHEN: 8 a.m., Tuesday ■ WHERE: DeLeon Plaza ■ ADMISSION: Free

MORGAN WALKER/ MWALKER@ VICAD.COM

Artist Karen Burleson painted a three-panel tribute to the 9-11 attack. This panel represents the mood of the nation at 6:20 that evening when Burleson says, “everyone was patriotic and emotional for their country.” Her artwork remains on display at the Victoria Art League through Oct. 14. time to herself and won an “On My Own Time” exhibit. In 2011, she helped 50 children make spirit posters for Anthony Pedone’s film, “Roundball.” The 42-year-old filmmaker said Burleson was a tough, but caring teacher. Pedone, a self-proclaimed

teenage rebel, was excited to work again with his teacher. He described the reunion as magical. “I was able to show her that I could focus on something,” he said. The former art student said Burleson pushed him to succeed.

“She wanted to bring the best out of me creatively and not settle for mediocrity,” he said. Although the former Victoria High School instructor encouraged students for a quarter of a century, Burleson learned lessons of creativity from her mother,

Marjorie Maxine. The featured artist also will display work inspired in loving honor of her mother during her birth month. Burleson stored the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks into her mental Rolodex, as she had with the Oklahoma City bombings and

the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Those days were watermarked in her mind. She felt compelled to pay tribute to those who died, but she let the paintbrush speak for her. “Writers have words; artists have symbols,” she said.

VISD: ‘I’ve spoken with students who work close to 40 hours a week,’ says Miss Victoria CONTINUED FROM A1 mom again – but because of an inconsistent environment she moved in with her grandmother to get through middle school. And at the beginning of her freshman year at Adams Victoria East High School, her mother tried to get her to move back in. “I couldn’t do it. I refused,”

IF YOU JOIN

Allie said. “I did everything in my power to stay with my grandmother.” The junior credits the support from her middle and high school teachers for the strength she needed to stand her ground. “We have amazing Garza teachers who understand what we’re going through,” Allie said. “Mrs. Pam Edge was a motivator for not only me, but a lot

At the meeting Monday night, seven different committees invited the public to join their efforts to reduce the dropout rate in the Victoria school district. Communication and Partnerships WHERE: Chili’s, 5004 North Navarro St. WHEN: 5:30 p.m., Oct. 4 Character Education WHERE: Victoria West High School library, 307 W. Tropical Dr WHEN: 5:30 p.m., Oct. 9 Mentoring/Support Services WHERE: Victoria West High School library, 307 W. Tropical Dr WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Oct. 17 Compulsory Attendance Support WHERE: Victoria East High School library, 4103 E. Mockingbird Ln. WHEN: 5:30 p.m., Oct. 9 Educational Awareness for Parents WHERE: Victoria East High School library, 4103 E. Mockingbird Ln. WHEN: 5:30 p.m., Oct. 9 School Improvement WHERE: Johnny Carino’s, 4904 North Navarro St. WHEN: 5:30 p.m., Oct. 16 Career Preparation WHERE: Career and Technical Institute, 104 Profit Drive WHEN: 4:30 p.m., Sept. 19

of students.” In the auditorium Monday night, Allie’s speech was received with a standing ovation. The public had gathered to work on a plan to reduce the dropout rate and improve attendance at VISD schools. Flores For the past 10 years, attendance has been under 95 percent and pales in comparison to other

school districts, including Calhoun, Lukfin and Seguin. At the first meeting of this series, a state demographer presented the district with numbers that projected a dim economic outlook for Victoria if the dropout rate and low attendance numbers continue. This projection spurred the formation of seven focus groups dedicated to reducing the rate. The groups divided by sections are: communication and partnerships, character education, mentoring/support services, compulsory attendance support, education-

al awareness for parents, school improvement and career preparation. Victoria East High School Assistant Principal Reymundo Gomez took a phone call during his presentation to demonstrate how easy it is for kids to be distracted with technology. “There’s a lot of support available here in the community,” Gomez said. “There’s something important at stake here.” Other students that took the lectern were Jake Flores, a recent graduate from Liberty Academy, and Bethany

Garza, as also known as Miss Victoria. “The majority of absentee students are workers,” Garza said. “I’ve spoken with students who work close to 40 hours a week.” Parents and school board members all agreed that the main bulk of the students missing school are those working long hours to help their families pay bills. “There is a good work ethic in this town and kids see the need to make money earlier than they need to,” said school board member Lou Svetlik.


VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Wednesday, September 12, 2012 — B5

VictoriaAdvocate.com

VIEWPOINTS

C

ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Editorial page editor: Lauren Hightower-Emerson, 361-580-6590, lhightower@vicad.com

– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

FROM US

Thank you for working to preserve history O

■ Topic: Matagorda Island Lighthouse ■ Our View: It’s good to see community protecting landmark

ur history is not something we should take lightly. Who our ancestors were and the choices they made during their lives helped determine who we are today. But often pieces of our history are left alone and neglected. But this was not the case with the Matagorda Island Lighthouse, which has stood on the northern edge of the island since 1852. The people of Matagorda have

shown their appreciation for this important piece of the island’s history since its construction. It has survived an attempt to blow it up in the Civil War, then a total dismantling to keep it out of Union hands. It was rebuilt after the end of the war. Then in the 1990s, the Coast Guard decided to close the lighthouse because of budget cuts. But residents worked together and gathered enough money to put the lighthouse back to work

in 1999, then fully restored it in 2004. We are impressed to see the residents of Matagorda County stepping up to take care of this 160-year-old lighthouse. There are many who might see these efforts as wasted or futile. But we are happy these people understand the importance of historical places and what they can teach us. We would especially like to thank the San Antonio Bay Foun-

dation, which donated $9,000 at the end of August to help repaint the lighthouse with a special black paint that is designed to prevent rust. We also wish to thank the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and others who contributed to the upkeep of this landmark. As the people of Matagorda County know, taking care of a historic site is a continual process, and we hope the community will still be able to take care of the

FROM OTHERS

lighthouse for future generations to enjoy and explore. And we encourage the community to find a way to teach the next generations of the importance of this landmark to the area’s history. The lighthouse is not just important to preserve for today. It is also relevant to future Texans, and we hope it will be there for them. This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

FROM YOU Citizens need to know what is in Constitution

Contest Entry

GUEST COLUMN

Voters need to take stand for Texas education

W

e need to be doing more as parents and community members to fight for the strength of our public school system. We could focus narrowly on Victoria, but all of Texas needs our attention. We won’t belabor how much funding or how many programs have been cut; if you are reading this, you are aware of these issues. Instead, we will focus here on why we believe the public school system is so important and what can be done about supporting it. 1) There is no proven alternative to the public school system. Studies conducted in the U.S. and abroad since 2004 show mixed results in the success of charter schools – 70 percent perform at the same level or worse than public schools. Unless charter schools can be shown to be superior to public, we should not abandon the public school system. 2) Statistically, Texas ranks behind other states in education. It is disheartening that only 44 percent of Texas schools met the adequate yearly progress targets set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act in the 2012 report. Regardless of whether you agree with the targets, our progress is dismal and continues to decline. By recently asking for an exemption to NCLB, we open the door to positive change.

Texas public school teacher salaries were ranked 31st of 50 states in 2011 estimates (National EduJENNIFER cation Association), well below the national average. In spending per student, we ranked 40th of 50. And according to The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development 2009 report, the U.S. has fallen to average in reading and science, but below average in math, and ranks overall below at least 14 other countries. Texas is below average in the U.S. and the U.S. is below average in the world! 3) The emphasis on testing is troubling. Of 180 instructional days in a school year, at least 29 per district – more than 15 percent – are used for testing at average costs of $100 million per year. Too many accountability measures rely heavily on test scores. High-stakes testing has become the basis on which federal sanctions and school penalties are based. If adequate yearly progress is not attained, schools face possible sanctions up to and including the firing of all staff. Other metrics should also be considered: student improvement, ACT/SAT participation and scores, and employer-recognized certificates received from career and tech courses.

FOSTER

Over protests and requests to use the state’s “rainy day fund,” school funding was KATHY substantially cut last year to balance the budget. Now there is a good possibility that additional federal funding cuts could be coming in 2013; however, Congress did not also reduce mandated social services and special programs required of public schools. We need to restore school funding to reinstate programs and teachers before the decline in quality gets worse. Education is an investment, not a cost. 4) Most of all, though, it is that the students of today will be leading the country and making decisions for us tomorrow. It is quite discomfiting to consider that our leaders could be so ill prepared for running our country in terms of college and career readiness standards. Not all is wrong, though. The story seems very different when you turn from the numbers and talk to our students and educators. Inspirational stories appeared recently in these pages of political refugees whose education afforded them the opportunity to continue on to college. We see the pride in teachers’ faces as they welcome students back into classrooms after weeks of preparation. And we’ve

HUNT

YOUR POEM

EDITORIAL BOARD Dan Easton,

Hamp Rogers, Circulation/

Jubilee Day

John M. Roberts,

Becky Cooper, Local Editor Tony Balandran,

Catherine R. McHaney,

Lauren Hightower-Emerson,

Chris Cobler,

Jessica Puente, Interactivity Editor

Five Sisters celebrate service to the Lord. One, seventy-five years. Four, fifty years. Time glides into eternity Where one day fades into a thousand years. Sr. Frances Cabrini Janvier,

Publisher

President, Chairman of the Board Secretary-Treasurer

Editor, Vice-President of Content

Marketing Director

Delivery Desk Editor

Community Conversation Editor

Opinions published on this page under the heading “From Us” represent the consensus views of the editorial board of the Victoria Advocate, whose members are named above.

Victoria

seen the tenacity of our local administration in shaping policies that will make long-term improvements here. We’re lucky to live in a community with a dedication to public education. But we need to remind our legislators that education is a priority for our district and across the state or progress might stall. Two issues we influence with our voices and votes are testing and funding. We need to work with our legislators to promote adequate state funding for public schools, and changes in the state’s accountability rating system to make it fairer and less punitive. If you want to know what can be done, hear former educator Allen Weeks, now Executive Director of Save Texas Schools (STS) share information on STS’ work to build support for public education. Sponsored by a number of local organizations, this forum will be on September 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the University of Houston-Victoria Multipurpose Room. To RSVP, call 361-570-4375. Kathy Hunt is President of League of Women Voters – Victoria. Jennifer Foster is a member of the League of Women Voters-Victoria.

WORDS Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. Matthew 2:1-2 “Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped.” Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States

Editor, the Advocate: Daniel Webster charged us to defend the Constitution, because if it fails, there will be anarchy throughout the world. Very few people know the simple purpose of the Constitution is to limit the federal government and secure God-given rights to the people. Our founding fathers knew of the depravity of man and his propensity to abuse power. The checks and balances we so shallowly hear about in school is more than three branches of government, it also includes the checks of state sovereignty and the peoples morality and input. Referencing the Executive Branch (president), there are only 12 areas of authority, with three of these overseen or with the approval of the Senate or House. The only way the Executive makes laws is by approving the bills presented by Congress. I do not see any reference to proposing bills to Congress. You may get a different count if you divide the general responsibilities listed. The Legislative Branch (House and Senate) has 30 areas of responsibility and the only oversight is the veto power of the president. Congress is called the Legislative branch, because “ALL” laws originate there. Also, all spending has to be approved by Congress. Outside of the president’s veto, the intent of the writers was to have the moral and religious people oversee their legislator and the states had oversight of the Senate. This encouraged citizen involvement. The Judicial Branch (Supreme Court and inferior federal courts) has oversight of 12 areas, none of which is to make laws. There also is no explicit statement that they can deem laws constitutional. These are left to the other branches. A moral and religious people is what makes our Constitution viable. Sen. Sam Ervin said if people of this capacity do not become active in politics, they doom themselves to bad government. The Constitution still works if we use it in it’s moral context to call our elected officials to adherence. That right is spelled out in the First Amendment. Anarchist tactics must be overcome with moral input.

Tony Corte, Victoria

Listen to Obama’s words before you vote Editor, the Advocate: Voters beware, listen closely to Obama’s words. Remember, in 2008 he said “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” His policies and leadership lead to a bleak future for our country. In his acceptance speech this week, he spoke of the need for “bold, persistent experimentation” if elected to a second term. Experimentation? This man’s words cannot be taken lightly. Nor should he be allowed another chance to fundamentally transform nor to experiment with the United States of America.

Steve Fiedler, Victoria

FROM YOU Callers talk about politics, other topics Rosalee, Republican women don’t think like women, they think like Republican men.

Beatrice, Port Lavaca Religion does not play a part in how I vote for the presidential candidate or any other race. I vote on the man who I think is the best candidate, who will do the best job for the people. Religion plays no part in my way of thinking.

have insurance, that is the first thing that they ask for. I wish him the best of luck and I plan to make a donaPhone 361-580-6587. tion to him, Voice your since he is opinion. such a nice man.

Gay, Victoria

The religion of the presidential candidate should affect anyone’s vote. I don’t think that the common man should be able to make the Ray, El Campo decision on what religion the candidate is. They are trying very hard to separate the Thumbs-up to Maynard government and the church Scott, whose house burned down, for not asking for the to begin with. Red Cross. People whose houses burn down and don’t Mary, Port O’Connor

WE WANT YOUR LETTERS We want your letters because we value your opinion on issues in the community and region. We have few requirements and will help you meet these if needed. We will need your name, home address and daytime telephone or cell phone number so we can contact you to verify you want your opinion published. When sending letters by email, and if you do not hear from us within a couple of days, you should call us to see if we received your letter because, sometimes, our email filter will not let a letter through. Our letter lengths are 150 words for thank-yous, 200 words for election-related letters and 350 words for all others. We ask that letter writers submit one letter per 30-day period. Letters may be delivered at the Advocate, 311 E. Constitution St.; mailed to P.O. Box 1518, Victoria 77902; faxed to 361-574-1220; or emailed to letters@vicad.com.


H2 — VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Sunday, September 16, 2012 Contest Entry

VictoriaAdvocate.com

VIEWPOINTS

C

ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Editorial page editor: Lauren Hightower-Emerson, 361-580-6590, lhightower@vicad.com

– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

FROM US

We need to take responsibility to help kids T ■ Topic: Community forum with VISD ■ Our View: It’s for residents to get involved in education

he Victoria Independent School District is making some changes. We’ve already seen some of the positive effects of these changes in a tour of Patti Welder Middle School in late August. And now it’s time to talk about what more can be done. On Sept. 10, VISD hosted a community forum to discuss options to reduce the dropout rate and improve student attendance. At this event, students shared their stories of success despite tough circumstances. These stories were encouraging to hear, but the truth is, there is still a lot of work to be done. According to Diane Boyett, district communications director, VISD serves about 14,500 students and has about 1,000 teachers. That’s an overall student-to-teacher ratio of 14.5:1. And in many cases, Boyett said, some classes, such as Special Education, have smaller ratios while others have larger classes.

Obviously, the teachers are outnumbered, and if we truly want to see an improvement, the community needs to step up to provide reinforcements. During the community meeting, the district introduced the formation of seven focus groups aimed at reducing the dropout rate and improving attendance in VISD. These groups are divided into sections, which are: communication and partnerships, character education, mentoring/support services, compulsory attendance support, educational awareness for parents, school improvement and career preparation. Each of these groups are open for members of the community, and we encourage residents to get involved. People express many reasons why they haven’t volunteered before. They don’t have enough time. They don’t think their help is needed or wanted; or it’s best to leave this to the professionals. Perhaps they want to help, but don’t

know where to go or how to start. Now VISD is making it easy for the community to get involved. In fact, the district is calling out for it. Teaching our kids is an important job, but it’s not just something limited to the school campus. The lessons learned at school must be reinforced outside the classroom in real life. These focus groups give members of the community a chance to find an area they can help in and do it. We are excited for this chance to partner with the school district to make a positive change in the lives of Victoria’s students. And we encourage the community to come out and get involved in these seven focus groups. These children are the future of Victoria, Texas, and our nation. How can we not give them the best chance to succeed? This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

WHERE TO JOIN

These seven committees invite the public to join their efforts to reduce the dropout rate in the Victoria school district: Communication and Partnerships ■ WHERE:

Chili’s, 5004 North Navarro St. ■ WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 4

Character Education

■ WHERE:

Victoria West High School library, 307 W. Tropical Drive ■ WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 9

Mentoring/Support Services

■ WHERE:

Victoria East High School library, 4103 E. Mockingbird Lane ■ WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 9

Educational Awareness for Parents ■ WHERE:

Victoria East High School library, 4103 E. Mockingbird Lane ■ WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 9

School Improvement

■ WHERE:

Victoria West High School library, 307 W. Tropical Drive ■ WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17

■ WHERE:

Compulsory Attendance Support

■ WHERE:

FROM OTHERS

Johnny Carino’s, 4904 North Navarro St. ■ WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 16

Career Preparation

Career and Technical Institute, 104 Profit Drive ■ WHEN: 4:30 p.m. Sept. 19

FROM YOU Unknown Victoria firefighter comforts girl Editor, the Advocate: On Labor Day, our 2-year-old daughter sustained a concussion from hitting her head on our hardwood floors. We spent 5 hours in the Citizens Medical Center’s Emergency Room, which turned out to be a very busy place. As you can imagine, she was not only feeling badly from the side effects of the concussion, but she was also a bit frightened and intimidated being in such a strange place. Because it was so busy there, our room was actually a “hallway with a bed.” We were able to see Victoria’s Fire and Rescue/Paramedics at work bringing in patient after patient. Out of the blue, around 11 p.m., one of the firefighters/paramedics approached us and gave our daughter a stuffed lion. He went on to say that she deserved to have something like that since she had been waiting so long and so patiently to be seen. She immediately hugged onto the lion as she snuggled up against her daddy. We thanked him over and over again, as it brought tears to my eyes thinking how the kindness of a stranger brightened our daughter’s first trip to an emergency room. We asked around trying to find out his name and what fire station he works from, but no one knew. We hope he sees this letter and realizes what a profound effect he had on our baby girl and on the two of us parents who were also a little shaken and concerned about our daughter’s condition. He was definitely an angel sent by God to brighten our evening! Thank you, Mr. Victoria Fireman/Paramedic! May God Bless You!

Tara Childress, Victoria

SYNDICATED COLUMN

Chevy Volt is fed’s Solyndra fiasco on wheels

“I

absolutely love my Chevy Volt.” That’s what the smug guy in the TV commercial says when he’s praising the virtues of his plug-in hybrid and boasting that he hasn’t seen a gas pump in months. You might love your Chevy Volt, too – if you could afford to buy one. The GM Volt, aka the Green Edsel, is not just an overly engineered, overly expensive, overweight and impractical car than runs on electricity and gasoline. It’s a Solyndra on Wheels. The Volt only exists because it’s been so heavily discounted by GM and subsidized by the federal government. So far, the Volt has cost Government Motors about twice as much per car to develop and make than its sticker price, which is $40,000. On top of that savings, the consumer gets a $7,500 federal tax credit for being so green – or maybe so naive. Yet the Volt’s ultimate price – $32,500 for what is essentially an electrified and souped-up $17,000 Chevy Cruze – is still so high that only those in the top 7 percent of all income

earners will buy it. The average per capita income of Volt buyers is $172,000 – the MIKE income bracket that usually drives a BMW or a Mercedes. In other words, the average American – who makes less than $40,000 a year – is subsidizing a bunch of rich people so they can hug themselves for saving the planet (by buying a car that runs for about 35 miles on electricity generated by coal-fired power plants before Exxon premium gas has to take over). Despite these subsidies and low-cost lease deals, Volt sales so far in 2012 are 13,500, far below the 45,000 cars GM hoped to sell this year in America alone. Experts say GM will have to sell about 120,000 Volts in five years to begin covering its development costs. Good luck, GM. I don’t think there are that many celebrities in Hollywood who need a third car. After Romney replaces Obama this fall, let’s hope he’ll pull the government plug on the Volt and con-

REAGAN

YOUR POEM

EDITORIAL BOARD Dan Easton,

Hamp Rogers, Circulation/

John M. Roberts,

Becky Cooper, Local Editor Tony Balandran,

Publisher

President, Chairman of the Board

Marketing Director

Delivery Desk Editor

Catherine R. McHaney,

Lauren Hightower-Emerson,

Chris Cobler,

Jessica Puente, Interactivity Editor

Secretary-Treasurer

Editor, Vice-President of Content

centrate on making us energy independent. Killing the Volt and any other electric-car boondoggles would be a good thing, and not just because it’d save money the federal government doesn’t have. The popularity of electric-propelled cars that raise miles-per-gallon averages has given some of our more “progressive” governments some dangerous ideas. State and local governments worry that if gasoline sales decline, they’ll be deprived of billions of dollars in revenue from gas taxes that now are used to maintain roads or subsidize mass transit. To make up for lost revenues from hybrids and electric cars in the future, Oregon and San Francisco already have been looking into the idea of charging drivers a tax per each mile driven. Cars would be fitted with GPS navigation systems that track how far they drive. Then drivers would be billed accordingly – about a penny a mile, depending on where and when you rack up the mileage. Needless to say, this Orwellian idea came from Europe, and the Obama ad-

Community Conversation Editor

Opinions published on this page under the heading “From Us” represent the consensus views of the editorial board of the Victoria Advocate, whose members are named above.

Nothing Left to Fear The child fears the dark. Light proclaims there’s nothing left to fear. A student fears failure. Success says there’s nothing left to fear. A couple fears responsibility. The baby coos; there’s nothing left to fear. Sr. Frances Cabrini Janvier, Victoria

ministration has been exploring it, too. So let’s see what’s going on here. The government greenies want you to pay extra to drive an electric car that’s more fuel efficient, then they charge you for the miles you drive anyway? What red-blooded, road-loving American driver wants a government GPS implanted in his car with some bureaucrat looking at it to see how many miles he’s driving? Not me. I own a Ford Expedition. I get 12.5 miles per gallon. I love it. When it gets too old, I’ll buy a new one. The government is going to get us one way or the other. I say, go out and buy the biggest SUV you want. Enjoy your life. Light a cigar. Step on the gas. And don’t waste a watt on a Volt. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution.” Visit his websites at www.reagan .com and www.michael ereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@cagle cartoons.com.

New Colony Creek is full of good stuff Editor, the Advocate: “Hats off ” to the new owners of The Colony at Colony Creek. The grand opening festivities were delightful and the turn out was great! Watching and enjoying the renovations and revitalization of the golf course and facilities has been exciting. There is a renewed sense of pride in our neighborhoods and in the golf course (including the club, restaurant, pool and all those great employees). We are so proud to be a part of a great organization and look forward to the success and growth of The Colony at Colony Creek. Congratulations!

Kenny and Teresa French, Victoria

Bullying is still a very real problem in VISD Editor, the Advocate: Since last year, my daughter and i have been in a losing battle with bullying. I understand that THIS year, VISD is ALL about no bullying but the actions you have to take are ridiculous and useless. Since last year, my daughter has been picked on, made fun of, called names and stabbed in the hand with a pencil and yet the other child was only given a few days of ISS. This new school year has barely started and already my child has to be moved from her school. What I don’t understand is that when a child makes a complaint about bullying, THEY are given the option to move to another school. Tell me again WHY the victim must make the option to leave or stay. Tell me, VISD what is the point of this anti-bullying campaign when you do nothing about it. I understand certain steps have to be followed and I agree it helps to rule out the real accusations from false ones. But what then? After 10 days, a resolution is supposed to be provided and here we are, 12 days later, and still no resolution has been provided except telling my daughter to STAY away from the bully. Tell me, how is that physically possible when the bully is constantly looking for you. I am at my wits’ end and turn to you Victoria Advocate to get the word out about this anti-bullying campaign and expose it for the uncaring fraud it is.

WORDS When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. Matthew 2:3-4 “When a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.” Edgar Watson Howe, American editor, novelist and essayist

Carol Senclair, Victoria

WE WANT YOUR LETTERS We want your letters because we value your opinion on issues in the community and region. We have few requirements and will help you meet these if needed. We will need your name, home address and daytime telephone or cell phone number so we can contact you to verify you want your opinion published. When sending letters by email, and if you do not hear from us within a couple of days, you should call us to see if we received your letter because, sometimes, our email filter will not let a letter through. Our letter lengths are 150 words for thank-yous, 200 words for election-related letters and 350 words for all others. We ask that letter writers submit one letter per 30-day period. Letters may be delivered at the Advocate, 311 E. Constitution St.; mailed to P.O. Box 1518, Victoria 77902; faxed to 361-574-1220; or emailed to letters@vicad.com.


VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Tuesday, November 13, 2012 — B3

VictoriaAdvocate.com

VIEWPOINTS

C

ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Editorial page editor: Lauren Hightower-Emerson, 361-580-6590, lhightower@vicad.com

– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

FROM US

Inpatient services coming back to Victoria T ■ Topic: Gulf Bend Center expansion ■ Our View: Good to see mental health services returning to area

he Gulf Bend Center is planning a major expansion, and we are pleased to see it. After receiving approval for a $250,000 grant from the Victoria City Council, the center plans to build a facility to house some of Victoria’s most vulnerable residents, including respite, transitional, and permanent and long-term mentally disabled limited clientele adults. Gulf Bend Center Executive Director Don Polzin says he hopes the center will be open by late 2013, and we are excited at all the possibilities it will offer for mental health

treatment in the Crossroads. The Victoria area has been without an inpatient service provider since Citizens Medical Center shut down the One South unit in April 2010. Since that time, if Victorians needed help that required inpatient treatment, they had to go to one of the surrounding cities, such as Houston, San Antonio or Corpus Christi. But with this new planned facility with Gulf Bend, people from Victoria or other Crossroads cities will not experience nearly as much inconvenience as they receive treatment. Now, Gulf Bend is negotiating to buy a nearly three-acre site in the

1100 block of Nimitz Street to be the location of this new facility and is partnering with the Johnson Foundation, which has agreed to match the city’s grant. But even then, Gulf Bend will need to raise more funds to make this a reality, and we encourage members of the community to take any chance they can to show their support and invest in the mental health of Victoria and the Crossroads by contributing to this cause. When the facility is open, it will offer a new facet of mental health care Victoria has been without for more than two years, and the effects of that option could be much

wider than convenience for area residents seeking care. Polzin says the effects could extend from fostering a better social environment and safer communities to fewer incarcerations. The main improvement will be the quality of life for those able to receive treatment in a comfortable, familiar environment close to home. We applaud Gulf Bend for taking this step to meet the needs of Victoria and the Crossroads. Mental health is a vital part of any person’s quality of life. We appreciate everything they do and hope to do to improve the mental health of our friends and neighbors in the

FROM OTHERS

Crossroads community. In addition, we applaud all those working with Gulf Bend to see this facility become a reality. We are glad to see the Johnson Foundation and the city council stepping forward to offer solutions for those suffering with mental health issues, rather than treating the issue with the stigma so much of society seems to accept. Thank you for all your help and support. We look forward to seeing the positive effects of this facility once it is built. This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

FROM YOU More people should follow cheerleaders’ lead Editor, the Advocate: Could allowing religious banners be a slippery slope? Not for those who are Christians. I feel for Annie Laurie Gaylor. I think we should all take a knee for her. This country was created on faith in God. As far as a lawsuit, I believe it is the work of the devil, and those who are in this who are not thinking about what is right. Look at the leaders of this country and what has happened since they allowed abortion, same-sex marriage and so on. These kids making religious banners for the games are doing the right thing and taking back the right to show their faith and Christianity. Others should join in on this fight for our rights, too. I would like to see more schools pledging allegiance to the flag in their functions with all the words, including “under God,” as it was first written. Have prayers before the games to keep the kids safe while they’re playing, as it was done years ago. There are a lot of kids who have been taught to respect their parents, teachers and elders, but there are many who show no respect. I pray for the school of Kountze High and their town and hope that they get behind these great kids. They are God-sent and can help get this country back to doing the right thing. I would like to see more schools get involved in doing the right thing and let the kids show their faith and spirit. Let’s get behind these kids! Let’s take back our great country!

Wynona Shannon, Victoria

Thank you for helping make book fair successful

Contest Entry

GUEST COLUMN

Sixth-grade teacher inspired passion for history

A

fter reading a recent article in the Victoria Advocate about mentors, I found myself looking back to the influential people in my life. Many of them helped get me to the point I am now, but one stood out above the rest. As kids, we are always asked what we want to do, who we want to be when we grow up. Some of us chose doctors, teachers or engineers, while others went much farther and said that they wanted to be movie stars or president of the United States. I, like so many others, said that I wanted to be a doctor, but by the time I reached high school, my sights were set on pursuing something entirely different than a medical degree. As a child, I loved to learn about the past. I watched shows on the History Channel with my dad and got into arguments over who won World War II. I soon realized that maybe

being a historian was the way to go, and by the time I finished middle school, I had BREANNA made my decision. One of the people who motivated me and gave me the urge to study the past was my sixth-grade history teacher, Mrs. Monroe-Porter. No one knew what to expect from her. Nonetheless, when Mrs. Monroe-Porter, or “Mrs. MP,” as some liked to call her, walked in the class for the first time, I could get a sense that I was going to like her, and in the end, I did. To this day, I don’t know what gave me that feeling, but I could somehow feel it in the air. Over the rest of the school year, the class played games and learned about various cultures from around the world. My favorite, by far, was the game that involved selling and

MUTSCHLER

Publisher

John M. Roberts,

President, Chairman of the Board

Catherine R. McHaney, Secretary-Treasurer

Chris Cobler,

Editor, Vice-President of Content

between sixth grade and now, but I don’t know if they would have given me that aspiration to study the “olden days” like Mrs. Monroe-Porter did. So, wherever you are, thank you, Mrs. Monroe-Porter, for motivating me to have a thirst for history. With the energy and the thirst you instilled in me, I now have the desire to pursue a history career and learn about the world’s past. Breanna Mutschler is a senior at the University of Houston-Victoria. She is currently studying history and will graduate next spring. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to receive a master’s in publishing or history. Then, she plans to teach or become a national park ranger somewhere. She also plans to be a freelance writer for various outdoor or travel magazines.

WORDS

EDITORIAL BOARD Dan Easton,

buying oil as members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC. Whenever I got to school, I could not wait to get to her class just so I could sell more oil. I can’t remember how much oil my partner and I bought or sold, but I do remember that it was a quite a number of barrels. As the school year began to wind down, I pondered my future. I recalled the fun times I had in Mrs. Monroe-Porter’s class and came to the conclusion that maybe history was my calling. As I get ready to graduate this coming spring with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities-History, I find myself looking back into my past, looking back to the days spent in a classroom with no windows playing the OPEC game. If not for Mrs. Monroe-Porter and her world cultures class, I don’t know where I would be today. I have had a few more excellent history teachers

Becky Cooper, Local Editor

Tony Balandran,

Delivery Desk Editor

Lauren Hightower-Emerson, Community Conversation Editor

Camille Easton,

Sponsorship Coordinator

Opinions published on this page under the heading “From Us” represent the consensus views of the editorial board of the Victoria Advocate, whose members are named above.

Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them. Jeremiah 32:37-39 “So, dear friend, put fear out of your heart. This nation will survive, this state will prosper, the orderly business of life will go forward if only men can speak in whatever way given them to utter what their hearts hold – by voice, by posted card, by letter or by press. Reason never has failed men. Only force and repression have made the wrecks in the world.” William Allen White, American journalist

Editor, the Advocate: Rowland Magnet Elementary School had their Fall Scholastic Book Fair the week of Nov. 5-9. The library was a very busy place. Our appreciation goes to all our staff, students and their families for supporting the book fair and making it a success. We also would like to thank the following parents who volunteered to help with library activities during this event: Allie Atkinson, Jennifer and Lynn Boatwright, Sonja Gutierrez, Bradley Hindley, Virginia Mousebauer, Stephanie Ortiz, Tonja Sledge and Ashley Solomon.

Beverly Juranek, Librarian

YOUR VOICES Callers talk about Veterans Day, more What is wrong with our courts? I was just reading today’s paper, under sentenced – some of those crimes went back to 2007. That is ridiculous. Are our courts that overcrowded? If they are, something desperately needs to be done.

Gay, Victoria I would like to wish all of our veterans a happy Veterans Day. Thank you so much for serving our country. God bless you.

Beth, Victoria I just want to say thank you to the Victoria Advocate for reporting how the people treat the veterans here. This has been wonderful with all of the parades lately, and it’s just a wonderful thing to do

for these people who have served us so well. Thank you.

Ruth, Victoria Phone 361-580-6587.

I think the

Voice your idea of a opinion. breast-feeding

baby doll is ridiculous. What are these people going to come up with next? And I wonder what in the world this world is coming to.

Gay, Victoria My comment is to Beatrice of Port Lavaca. I, too, pray that the president succeeds. But unless the Lord changes Obama’s philosophy, things won’t change for the better. We’ll have higher unemployment and more debt.

Howard, Yorktown

WE WANT YOUR LETTERS We want your letters because we value your opinion on issues in the community and region. We have few requirements and will help you meet these if needed. We will need your name, home address and daytime telephone or cell phone number so we can contact you to verify you want your opinion published. When sending letters by email, and if you do not hear from us within a couple of days, you should call us to see if we received your letter because, sometimes, our email filter will not let a letter through. Our letter lengths are 150 words for thank-yous, 200 words for election-related letters and 350 words for all others. We ask that letter writers submit one letter per 30-day period. Letters may be delivered at the Advocate, 311 E. Constitution St.; mailed to P.O. Box 1518, Victoria 77902; faxed to 361-574-1220; or emailed to letters@vicad.com.


VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Saturday, November 24, 2012 — B5

VictoriaAdvocate.com

VIEWPOINTS

C

ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Editorial page editor: Lauren Hightower-Emerson, 361-580-6590, lhightower@vicad.com

– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

FROM US

Thumbs-up, thumbs-down; it’s your choice THUMBS-UP

Thumbs-up to the First Baptist Church of Victoria and John Legg for the video tribute at its Sunday service Nov. 11 to all their veterans, past and present. It was a great way to salute all those who have served this great country.

the stuff in the world, but without someone to share it with, what’s the point?” Thanks for the friendly reminder.

Thumbs-up to Albert Galvan,

Mary Ann, Moulton Norman Ramirez, Arthur Vasquez, FROM THE EDITORIAL BOARD THUMBS-UP Thumbs-up and wel-

Ray, Victoria come home to AC2 (AW) Thumbs-up to the Advocate’s excellent editorial, “Take Time to Give Thanks Before Hitting Stores.” I especially liked the lines: “Americans have become so wrapped up in being consumers that we forget to be friends and family,” and “You may collect all

Thanksgiving Lunch. Thank you for reminding us what Thanksgiving is about.

Adam Daughtrey and any other veterans who celebrated Thanksgiving either at home or abroad. Thank you for your service. Thumbs-up to the Salvation Army and all the volunteers who helped at the Salvation Army

Ralph Gonzales, Eddie Ramirez and Jerry Villarreal for organizing the 29th annual Industrial Workers Christmas Party. Thank you for putting this together and collecting toys to give children for Christmas. Thumbs-up to Liberty Financial Services for holding a blanket drive from Monday to Thursday to help families affected by Hurricane Sandy. Thumbs-up to the members of First Presbyterian Church in Vic-

toria for bringing baked goods to area firefighters to thank them for all they do. Thumbs-up to the Jackson County Cattle Raisers for the Premium Bull and Replacement Female Sale planned in February to restock Crossroads herds after a rough year of drought. Thumbs-up to James Baker, who won the AdvoSports.com Pigskin Pick ’Em contest. Enjoy your all-expense-paid vacation to Disney World. Thumbs-up to Santa coming to the Victoria Mall. We look forward to seeing plenty of pictures of kids sitting on Santa’s lap sharing their wish-lists with him.

FROM OTHERS

THUMBS-DOWN Thumbs-down to all the insanity surrounding Black Friday. Shoppers can get to their preferred product without pushing and shoving. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to submit your comments. Be sure to include your contact information so we can verify you wrote the “thumbs.” Only your first name will be used in the newspaper. You may email them to letters@vicad.com, mail them to Thumbs-Up, Thumbs-Down, Victoria Advocate. P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902, or drop them off at our offices at 311 E. Constitution St.

FROM YOU Thank you for comfort, help during time of grief Editor, the Advocate: The family of Abel Barrera would like to express their appreciation for surrounding us with love and care during our grief. We were touched by the prayers, calls, visits, food, flowers and words of encouragement. Your kindness and generosity provided us with comfort. The loving sympathy you have shown during this tremendously difficult time is so greatly appreciated. It is a great comfort to know you are thinking of us as we grieve Abel’s death. In God’s love,

The Abel D. Barrera Sr. family, Victoria

Election results may signal end of freedom Editor, the Advocate: It’s a sad day in America when a candidate who plays the role of Robin Hood wins the presidency. It’s a sad day when the incumbent president is able to bribe enough deadbeats with increased food stamps and welfare payments, free cell phones, extended unemployment benefits, etc., in exchange for the presidency. Combine that with the 47 percent who do not pay income tax and a pandering media ... victory is almost inevitable in our current social climate. Obama is now talking about a “fiscal cliff,” for which he is largely responsible with his give-away programs to buy the election. He, along with the mainstream media, will now portray the Republicans as obstructionists if they fail to go along with large tax increases to pay for more give-away programs. After all, his voter base will expect more of the same. They don’t know or don’t care where the funds come from or how it affects the economic status of this country. They just expect Obama to deliver. The demographic trends favor a continued growth of this socialist movement. We may have seen our last chance to retain the freedoms our forefathers and our military personnel have fought and died for.

Contest Entry

Jerry Janak, Hallettsville

GUEST COLUMNS

Mentor never lost her passion for teaching

A

s the Victoria Advocate continues its education campaign, it’s important to remember the valuable teachers who influenced all of us. Every day, we hear about the dangers of our schools and the failures of our school system, so it’s easy to get the idea that the great teachers have left. This is completely untrue. There was one teacher who helped me and many others to not only master the problems of a high school English class but also to prepare for the more difficult issues of growing up. I first met her while at elementary school at Faith Academy. My Mom often had to work late, and there was no one to watch me until the high school English teacher offered to help. Her name was Judy Hahn, and she was famous for being the toughest

teacher at school. On the days when my parents were working late, she would let PHILIP me stay in her classroom and loaned me her private copies of books. I fell in love with reading sitting in that classroom. As I went through all the everyday difficulties of being a nerdy kid, it always helped to know that, of all people, Mrs. Hahn had faith in me. In high school, I came back to Faith Academy as a student. Things had changed, not only for me and my classmates, but also for Mrs. Hahn. When I was a kid, things were simple. I took the lunch my Mom packed me, went to class and hoped I could get through with good grades and a good time. By the time I came back, that

COLLINS

Publisher

John M. Roberts,

President, Chairman of the Board

Catherine R. McHaney, Secretary-Treasurer

Chris Cobler,

Editor, Vice-President of Content

good advice. She was the backbone of our entire class, and the one person we knew we could always talk to, no matter what. High school has been over for years now, and I’ve had to experience what happens in the “real world.” Things have been more difficult and more exciting than I’d expected. My classmates from Faith Academy have all scattered, and we’re all living wildly different lives than any of us could have imagined. I don’t know where we will be in the future, and I can’t guess. I do know one thing: Wherever we are, we have gotten there with the help of a very special woman who did far more than teach us English.

Becky Cooper, Local Editor

Tony Balandran,

Delivery Desk Editor

Lauren Hightower-Emerson, Community Conversation Editor

Camille Easton,

Sponsorship Coordinator

Opinions published on this page under the heading “From Us” represent the consensus views of the editorial board of the Victoria Advocate, whose members are named above.

ort in campaign Thank you for help, supp cate: Editor, the Advo y campaign for who helped in m l al to u ual elecyo k an Th s a long and unus wa It r. ne io iss m g. Thanks to Mr. county com of the redistrictin e us ca be ar ye tion rs ll-run campaign. Mallette for a we the enormous support from vote by ed bl m hu I am d sition to help, an in Precinct 1. s put me in a po ha ce rd en id Lo nf od co go ur e Th th yo entrusted me wi you (voters) have always strive to do my best to ll ll wi to do this job. I ur concerns. I wi eds and hear yo represent your ne rs no different than if I were lla treat your tax do money. n ow y m live, and I am spending a great place to is ty un Co ia or ct Vi suring that we a small part of as can conexcited in being we so and prosper continue to grow community. ng ro st a tinue to be ankful for this th I have a lot to be re. d beyond measu year. I’m blesse g, vin gi Happy Thanks

Danny Garcia, Victoria

Philip Collins is a Victoria native and a senior at UHV. After graduation, he plans to work as a freelance writer.

WORDS

EDITORIAL BOARD Dan Easton,

world was gone. The classes I had were just as filled with hopeful students, but now they had the pressures of adulthood staring them down. Not only were my classmates and I trying to master the problems of grammar and literature, but we also had to face problems like drug addiction and coping with broken homes. As if teaching a class of students as messy as mine wasn’t difficult enough, Mrs. Hahn had also been diagnosed with severe macular degeneration. The teacher who had spent every day reading to her students was now going blind. Remarkably, this did not even slow her down. As her eyesight weakened, her character and love for her students was strengthened. Hardly a day went by that she did not spend part of the class praying for her students or encouraging them with

SPOTLIGHT LETTER

In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the Lord. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. Jeremiah 33:13-15 “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.” James Allen, New Zealander statesman, minister of defense

WE WANT YOUR LETTERS We want your letters because we value your opinion on issues in the community and region. We have few requirements and will help you meet these if needed. We will need your name, home address and daytime telephone or cell phone number so we can contact you to verify you want your opinion published. When sending letters by email, and if you do not hear from us within a couple of days, you should call us to see if we received your letter because, sometimes, our email filter will not let a letter through. Our letter lengths are 150 words for thank-yous, 200 words for election-related letters and 350 words for all others. We ask that letter writers submit one letter per 30-day period. Letters may be delivered at the Advocate, 311 E. Constitution St.; mailed to P.O. Box 1518, Victoria 77902; faxed to 361-574-1220; or emailed to letters@vicad.com.


VICTORIA ADVOCATE, Sunday, November 11, 2012 — H3

VictoriaAdvocate.com

PERSPECTIVES

■ YOUR SEAT AT THE TABLE We invite you to a seat at the editorial board. Send us your ideas and issues to share with community to the Advocate, 311 E. Constitution St.; mail them to P.O. Box 1518, Victoria 77902; or e-mail them to editorialboard@vicad.com.

Editorial page editor: Lauren Hightower-Emerson, 361-580-6590, lhightower@vicad.com

FROM OTHERS

ONLINE POLL OF THE WEEK How many of the candidates you voted for were elected? 1. All 2. Most 3. About half 4. A few 5. None 6. Didn’t vote Comment:

To vote on this question, go to VictoriaAdvocate.com, or call 580-6587 to voice your opinion on our Speak Out line.

■ YOUR ONLINE COMMENTS

Contributed Photo

A WORD FROM VISD

Small changes can have big effect in education

O

n Wednesday, I will have the distinct honor and privilege of presenting the “State of the District” report to the Victoria Chamber of Commerce. As we prepare our report, we are constantly reminded of the story 212 Degrees – The Extra Degree of Effort. You see, at 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. With boiling water comes steam and steam can power a locomotive. Raising the temperature of water by one extra degree means the difference between something that is simply very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine. This example reminds us all that seemingly small things can make a tremendous difference. Henry Ford once stated; “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is

progress, and working together is success.” In VISD, I am proud to state we are ROBERT working together and experiencing success. Regarding our curriculum and examining the best research-based practices for success, Robert Marzano (2003) concludes that a guaranteed and viable curriculum is the most powerful school-level factor in determining overall student achievement. In the VISD, our commitment is to ensure that the intended curriculum (the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) is implemented effectively, accurately and consistently by all teachers and that what students actually learn is aligned with the intended and implemented curriculum.

JAKLICH

The opportunity for all students to learn and achieve excellence can only occur when a commitment from all stakeholders ensure the written, taught and learned curriculum is aligned and organized. Our teachers, campus staff, administration, support staff, and our Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability division have done an amazing job of working together and spiraling the major competencies that our students are expected to master while, at the same time, providing proficiency and understanding. As educators, our job is to look into the future and see the organization not as it is, but as it should be. Robert Townsend stated that true leadership must be for the benefit of the followers and not for the enrichment of the leaders. In VISD, we

realize that we are not in the education business serving people. We are in the people business serving education. It is clearly evident, even in these challenging times of public education, that we are holding on to our vision of “Achieving Excellence for ALL,” and that we are surrounded by “change agents” and “difference makers” who truly serve as “champions for our children.” On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire VISD, we truly appreciate the support from our community, your commitment to excellence and your willingness to achieve more. Robert Jaklich is the superintendent for the Victoria Independent School District. Contact him at 361-788-9202 or through the VISD website visd.com.

Uncle Terry wore several hats for me. He was my uncle, a mentor, a father, a brother and a friend. I valued his opinion and advice on many things. My cousins and I spent a lot of time with him, talking about things and coming up with ways to save the world. His passing hurts. The sudden loss of someone who is so important is hard to handle. I remember what was important to him: God, family and friends, and country; and I will turn to those for my comfort. Thanks, Uncle Terry, for the time you spent with me and the legacy you passed on. I will work as hard as I can to never taint it.

James Terry and me had some great times on the booking desk at the 301 San Jacinto jail. I would share some stories but I don’t think the statute of limitations is up yet. R.I.P. Terry.

Jim Terry has been a great friend for many years. I had great respect for him and his faith in Jesus Christ. He will be missed. We will be praying for his family.

Tom

Hitting the “like” button doesn’t seem sufficient. What a loss to your family and the law enforcement family. But your loss is heaven’s gain. Praying for you all.

Steve To family and friends: Thank you so much for the thoughts and prayers that have been lifted up for our family. It isn’t easy, and I know that there is a long road ahead. It is the road that Terry and I traveled together in raising a family, working in law enforcement and, most important, serving the Lord that will get me through these difficult days. There are many memories from the time we spent in Spring, to the time on the border, and these past years in Victoria. It is a welcomed joy to see past and present friends and family that have posted showing their respects. Again from myself and my family we thank you.

Pat I went though the academy with Terry, we were detectives together and worked side-by-side at times at Harris County Sheriff's Dept. You couldn’t find a better friend if you knew him. You will be sorely missed Terry. God bless you.

Marty

HOW TO CONTACT YOUR LAWMAKERS TEXAS U.S. SENATORS

■ U.S.

OPINIONS

Person with real power in United States is you

C

onservatives can be forgiven for seeking to rationalize Mitt Romney’s loss – “media were against him,” “the primaries dragged on too long,” “Paul Ryan was a poor choice,” “Seamus ate his master’s homework,” whatever. But progressives should bite their tongues. Late on election night Chris Matthews of MSNBC blurted out that he was “glad we had that storm last week,” implying that Hurricane Sandy was partly responsible for President Obama’s win. He apologized profusely the next day. Meanwhile, his network and its competitors are spending much of their post-election time focusing on the science of campaigning, as if Tuesday’s vote occurred in some exotic computer lab. Liberal pundits are gushing over the “Chicago team” that crunched numbers, targeted voters in the right places and engineered a carefully calculated win. On Fox, Bill O’Reilly stated flatly that if Obama’s guru David Axelrod had been running Romney’s campaign, the Republican would have won. Both sides make the elec-

tion sound like a game in which the American people are chess pieces – mostly pawns. PETER The science of campaigning is growing exponentially, there’s no doubt about that. Howard Dean is often cited as the first major candidate to harness the Internet for his 2004 presidential bid, building what came to be known as a Netroots campaign and using the Internet to spread messages, raise money and track voters. Obama’s 2008 campaign took it further and, for the 2012 race – with more time, money and tools – the president’s staff ran the most sophisticated campaign in history. Of course, it was also the most expensive, with more than $2 billion spent by the two parties and their backers. In Iowa, for example, it’s estimated that the final price of each electoral vote was $12.3 million. But money couldn’t buy this election any more than computer science was able to engineer it. Karl Rove’s super PAC spent more than $100 million on television ads, and came away with

FUNT

what the Sunlight Foundation computes was about a 1 percent return on investment. Despite the spending and demographic targeting, this election may have been one of the most democratic ever. It was, from the start, about issues. It was about the clear, philosophical differences regarding how government should work, and a majority of voters indicated they share the president’s views. But even in conceding that much, some conservatives point out how this philosophy divides demographically, and all of a sudden we’re back on the chessboard. The suggestion is that demographic groups – blacks, Latinos, young women – who voted heavily for the president, simply weren’t “targeted” properly. That if they had somehow gotten the message, things would have turned out differently. They got the message. And no amount of advertising, spinning or even intimidating could change it. There’s an even more sinister angle at work here, grabbing space on conservative blogs and being whispered about on cable-TV. It seems to hint that the coalition of minorities that

backed Obama is somehow less American, less deserving of an equal say. “The moochers re-elected Obama,” is how one blogger put it. Rush Limbaugh, bombastic mouthpiece for the far right, acknowledged the situation. “If we’re not getting the female vote,” he asked his radio listeners, “do we become pro-choice? Do we start passing out birth control pills? Is that what we have to do?” The best thing that can be said about Limbaugh and his followers is that they are not willing to compromise their beliefs. Voters recognized that in rejecting not only the top of the GOP ticket but also many extremists down below. Thus, with due respect to Karl Rove’s checkbook and David Axelrod’s computer, it seems Americans can be manipulated only so far. If the puppeteers on either side hope that voters will pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, they overlook the fact that the real force behind the voting booth curtain is you. Peter Funt is a writer and speaker and can be reached at CandidCamera.com.

Sen. John Cornyn: 317 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510, office: (202) 224-2934, fax: (202)228-2856 ■ U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison: 284 Russell Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510, office: (202) 224-5922, fax: (202) 224-0776

TEXAS U.S. REPRESENTATIVES

■ U.S.

Rep. Ron Paul: 203 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20515, office: (202) 225-2831 ■ U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa: 2463 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20515, office: (202) 225-2531 ■ U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett: 201 Cannon House Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20515, office: (202) 225-4865

TEXAS SENATORS

■ State

Sen. Glenn Hegar: P.O. Box 1008, Katy 77492 office: (281) 391-8883, fax: (281) 391-8818, Austin: (512) 463-0118 ■ State Sen. Juan Hinojosa: 612 Nolana, Suite 410B, McAllen 78504, office: (956) 972-1841, fax: (956) 664-0602, Austin: (512) 463-0120

TEXAS REPRESENTATIVES

■ State

Rep. Geanie Morrison: 1908 N. Laurent, Suite 500, Victoria 77901, office: (361) 572-0196, fax: (361) 576-0747 fax, Austin: (512) 463-0456 ■ State Rep. Todd Hunter: Corpus Christi 78418 Office: (512) 463-0672, fax: (512) 463-5896

VICTORIA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT ■ County

Judge: 101 N. Bridge St. Victoria 77901 (361) 575-4558 (general number for the commissioners court) ■ County Commissioners:

Precinct 1 at DaCosta 77905, (361) 575-8711 Precinct 2 at Nursery Drive 77976, (361) 575-3972 Precinct 3 at Goliad Highway 77905, (361) 578-8212 Precinct 4 at Foster Field 77904, (361) 575-5221

VICTORIA COUNTY SHERIFF

101 N. Glass St., Victoria 77901 (361) 575-0651

CITY OF VICTORIA ■ City

Manager and City Council 105 W. Juan Linn St., Victoria 77901, (361) 485-3030

Education: A Community Commitment  

Victoria residents' educational attainment level falls below both the state and national average. The Advocate formed a board of community l...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you