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Boo hiss to cold temps!

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By Chris Edwards

The almanac predicted an “unseasonably cold winter,” and as I write this, it’s sho’nuff colder than a well digger’s something, somewhere here in deep East Texas.

We’ll come out of this, though, and crawl back into more routine weather for our region, but it couldn’t come soon enough. Here’s a few salutes and a few boos, uttered, of course, between shivers, of a few things that popped up in headlines here and there this week.

Jeers to the uncommonly cold weather

With temperatures in the teens and a mighty windchill producing a teeth chattering heard ‘round the region, this week has been more of a “huddle up and hibernate” sort of proposition for many, as opposed to business as usual. Although Tyler County has been spared the worst of it, nearby Angelina County has seen the city of Lufkin essentially close down on Tuesday, and most of the schools in the area closed. Stay warm, and safe, friends.

Cheers to Tyler Countyofficials

Tyler County Emergency Management as well as school officials across the county have kept everyone in the loop, and safe, during the rough weather this week. On Tuesday, all five of the county’s school districts had made the decision to either cancel classes outright or delay starting the school day.

Kudos, as well, to the county’s EMC for setting up warming stations in Woodville and Colmesneil and keeping the county abreast of developments with the weather and road conditions.

Cheers to bipartisanlegislating, tax relief

A bipartisan tax package was released on Tuesday that would beef up the popular child tax credit and restore several business tax breaks. The nearly $78 billion package would also enhance funding for affordable housing and disaster relief.

Although it faces an uphill climb to passage, the provision could save taxpayers more than $70 billion, which would pay for it, and help people hit by disasters by increasing the amount of investment a small business can write-off and provide families with disaster tax relief. A glass raised high for some relief and for legislators working together.

Jeers to ‘vote at all cost’ rhetoric

At a rally on Sunday, former President, and current GOP front runner Donald Trump, implored Iowans to get out and vote in the primary, even if it were to cost them their lives.

“Even if you vote and then pass away, it’s worth it,” Trump was quoted. He was urging them to turn out and vote for him among concerns from officials, as the windchill temps dropped to -35 in the Buckeye State.

Voting is important, and in this column, I’ve stressed many times just how important making one’s voice at the polls is, but this kind of rhetoric is irresponsible. When a political leader such as Mr. Trump speaks, people listen. Voting is supremely important, but lives are more important.

Jeers to Jerry Jones

Another Cowboys season is in the books with the same predictable patterns played out. A 48-32 loss at the hands of the Green Bay Packers put Dem Boys’ season to bed, and it’s been a season of wins, high hopes from the Cowboys’ faithful flock and then choking in the playoffs.

The franchise is a reflection of its owner Jerry Jones and his bloated ego, and maybe, once he takes his finger off the button, America’s Team will find success again in the post-season. Facts are facts, folks, plus those Cheeseheads just wanted that win more.

Cheers to favoritebands reuniting

Texas has been a leader in the arts, especially in the sheer variety of exciting musical acts that have emerged through the years. In the ‘90s there were few rock bands as exciting as the Dallas-Fort Worth scene’s Tripping Daisy, which ceased to be right before Y2K when its lead guitarist died.

Sporadic reunion shows have popped up since 2017, but in a recent interview the band’s frontman Tim DeLaughter spilled the beans that the mighty Daisy is reuniting this year with a new record in store.

DeLaughter, in years since, aside from becoming a real estate and record store mogul in the Metroplex, has led the Polyphonic Spree, an ensemble that resembles a religious cult more than a rock band. Interesting as the Spree might be, it’s not the mighty Tripping Daisy.

Your humble scrivener can recall a time when TD gigs in Nacogdoches were so common, they may as well have been classified as a local East Texas band. Here’s to shows full of trippy visuals and loud, catchy tunes that made the band so great back in the day becoming a thing again.

Speaking of bandsreuniting and whatnot

Cheers to a possible return to regular performing from the enigmatic and unnaturally talented country troubadour Sturgill Simpson. Simpson has largely been laying low since a vocal chord hemorrhage put his performing career on ice in 2021, but a recent appearance at a Dead & Company-curated festival in Mexico last week made headlines, and videos posted to YouTube showed that he’s back in fine form.

With intelligent and catchy country acts now in the mainstream, like Tyler Childers, Chris Stapleton and Turnpike Troubadours, the time couldn’t be more right for a Sturgill Simpson revival.

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