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Cheers and jeers: a trip through last week’s news

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Chris MetitationsBy Chris Edwards
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Many years ago, that ever-present household tome TV Guide had a weekly section titled “Cheers and Jeers,” in which the staff issued, you guessed it, praise or mocking tones of derision, to movers and shakers in the entertainment industry.

Now I do not know if TV Guide still exercises such a practice. Heck, I do not know if TV Guide even still exists in print. It’s been years since I’ve thumbed through one, much less bought an issue. Anyhow, for this week’s column I’m knuckling in on their shtick and serving up a “cheers and jeers” survey on newsmakers – from topics and folks here in Tyler County to the statewide level, and beyond – it’s all fair game.

Consider this the son of the return of my bite-sized commentaries. Experimentation is fun, y’all! So here goes:

Cheers (a big cheer section) to the dawning of spring. Although the official start of the Spring Equinox is still a few weeks away (March 20, for those interested) the season has, as they say, sprung in our neck of the woods. Looming verdancy, warmer temperatures and longer days have a most beneficial effect on everything breathing oxygen around these parts.

Jeers to all the pollen. One of the drawbacks of dwelling among so many beautiful, towering pine trees is the plentiful pollen, which blankets our vehicles, lawn furniture and everything else in its path. This writer is still exhausted from several epic sneezing sessions last week.

This is, of course, the contrast to the beauty of the burgeoning spring. As that vaunted philosopher Beavis (or maybe it was Butthead, I cannot exactly recall) once said, “In order to have something cool, you also have to have something that sucks.”

Cheers to Woodville’s municipal judge Judith Haney on her retirement. From her long career in education to her vision for promoting artistic endeavors in our corner of the world to city leadership, Judge Judy is a consummate servant of the people and of her city and county, and we wish her well on her retirement.

Cheers to Whataburger, our beloved orange-and-white Texas original for offering up the country’s healthiest cheeseburgers. As Texans have known for years, Whataburger can boast some of the tastiest burgers commonly available, statewide, but according to a recent study of fast-food brands in America, Whataburger received the highest overall health rating score.

These scores were derived from four metrics, broken down as to how much of each the burger had: sugar, fat, sodium and caloric content. The result was that Whataburger’s cheeseburger came in at an overall 8.4 rating, thus topping the survey.

So, here’s to eating better (and healthier) fare from the drive-thru window, and another blow to the incessant and pointless “In-N-Out vs. Whataburger” debate.

Jeers to Florida state senator Jason Brodeur who proposed a bill last week, S.B. 1316, which would, if passed, require any blogger in the Sunshine State writing about elected officials to register with the state. Brodeur might not be a card-carrying commie (as far as we know), but this proposal sure smacks of the Marxist playbook, as well as stinking to high heaven.

Cheers, and a tip of the Stetson, go out to Tommy Prine, the son of the late, great music legend John Prine. Prine announced last week he will be following in his father’s footsteps, with the release of his debut album This Far South on June 23. The elder Prine might’ve been a legend of country music, but he transcended the genre tags of “country” and “folk” due to the strength of his universally great, timeless songs, and Tommy, a chip off the great, ol’ block, looks to be heading down the same path based on the first song available, which I can’t get out of my cranium.

The debut single from the album “Ships in the Harbor” is a universal, great song about savoring life’s sweet moments, and should be heard by anyone who gets what it’s all about.

Jeers to state Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-Royse City) for rolling out House Bill 2889. A good bill, in theory, the bill helps to ease the property tax burden to the electorate. What makes it a bad bill is that, as worded, it would supply a homestead tax credit only to “certain married couples” in Texas. Qualifying couples under the bill, if passed, would see tax relief correspond to the size of their family; with four children equal to up to a 40% reduction in their tax levy. The way the bill is worded, a couple with 10 children would pay no property tax at all.

The bill would not allow for couples with at least one partner who has been divorced to be eligible, or couples with children adopted prior to their union or for LGBTQ couples. The property tax burden affects us all, and there are all sorts of families comprising this great state and faced with skyrocketing taxes.

Last, but definitely not least, cheers and a toast (of Coors Light, of course) to the late, great Herb Branch. The longtime Woodville resident passed recently and left a big void in the city.

Many benefitted from Herb’s leadership, words of wisdom, his humor, fun-loving spirit and the embodiment of “service above self” he represented. Slainte, sir!

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