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081122 robert nichols

Reports released on Uvalde tragedy

The Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center and the House Investigative Committee on the Robb Elementary Shooting released reports on their assessment of the tragic shooting in Uvalde. By Sen. Robert Nichols Sixty-four years ago this month, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which established NASA and emphasized our commitment to space…
081122 trent ashby

Helping counties help themselves

The House Committee on County Affairs is a nine-member committee that has jurisdiction over the organization, creation, governance, and finances that apply to Texas counties. By Rep. Trent AshbyDistrict 57 As we enter August and what is typically the hottest month of the year, we are experiencing severe drought and dangerous wildfire conditions across every region of Texas. Please do your part by…
FromEditorsDesk Tony

The ship of liberty has foundered

By Tony Farkastony@polkcounty
publishing.com Pardon my dour tone this week. I’m struggling with the fable of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and wondering if and when a swing in the pendulum is coming. Lots of euphemisms there, I know. But I was a touch gobsmacked about something I heard on the TV show “On Patrol” the other day. Seems that there was a fire alarm going off at a business in Florida,…
Jim Opionin

Broken people are harder to fix

By Jim Powersjim@polkcountypublishing.com Like most teenage boys in the 1960s, I was obsessed with cars. And, like most teenage boys in the 1960s, I didn’t have much money. Unlike today, though, a broke teenager could buy a running used car for a few hundred dollars. Cars were not as durable then, as they are now, so any used car I was able to buy as a 16-year-old required a lot of work to keep…
080422 my five cents

Committees discuss Uvalde reports

By Sen. Robert NicholsDistrict 3 Sixty-four years ago this month, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which established NASA and emphasized our commitment to space exploration and manned space flight. NASA later elected to build a new flight-control center outside of Houston, making Texas an essential piece of the space race. Here are five things…
FromEditorsDesk Tony

Take the wheat, leave the chaff lie still

By Tony Farkastony@polkcountypublishing.com When is a recession not a recession? When does a curve not flatten? When it’s found on social media, or sadly, in the mouths of politicians. President Joe Biden, facing criticism on his economic and national policies, did what any 8-year-old would and countered with, and said there is not recession. In the background, the administration also changed the…
Jim Opionin

Does the future exist?

by Jim Powersjim@polkcountypublishing.com Seems like a strange question to ask, right? Does the future exist? But whether it exists depends on our point of reference, and for us it is rooted in our biological nature. Our belief about the future is an existential one. Every choice we make, or don’t make, nudges the outcome one way or the other. Do we have any responsibility for the future? We are…
072822 robert nichols

‘Protect All Texans’ hearing held

The Special Committee to Protect All Texans heard testimony stating improvements need to be made to Texas’ mental health system. By Sen. Robert Nichols Committee to Protect All Texans hearing This month, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick appointed me chair of the Special Committee to Protect All Texans. The committee was formed in response to the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School. We were…
072822 staying in the know

Staying in the know is important

By Rhonda Oaks I immediately noticed the elderly lady on a cane when she walked in the door. She walked upright, tall and straight with her chin held up high and looked to be in her late 80’s. We were on the second floor of a convention center holding an open house for a future project and we don’t usually see visitors her age attend. My guess was the lady with her was probably her daughter. They…
072822 trent ashby

House committee in charge of natural resources

With Summer in full swing and most of East Texas experiencing moderate drought conditions, water is a popular topic right now. Several Texas communities in North and West Texas have already begun curtailing water usage and without some good rain in the near future, water restrictions and curtailment will become commonplace. Closer to home, many are praying for rain on our gardens and hay meadows,…
FromEditorsDesk Tony

Investigation is partisan, pointless and polarizing

While everyone is watching the economy go up in flames, our government running around approving bills that guarantee things already guaranteed, and our president, after floundering around the world accomplishing nothing, being sequestered because of a COVID diagnosis, there’s a kangaroo court being conducted. I’m of course referring to the Jan. 6 committee hearings, which is purporting to get to…
Jim Opionin

Moral intuition and the Internet troll

By Jim Powersjim@polkcountypublishing.com “Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.” Marcus Aurelius Moral intuitions are beliefs that we hold that are strong, stable, and immediate. In common parlance, we know when something is right or wrong when we see it. It’s our immediate response when confronted with a moral question. And while there is endless discussion among…
072822 teens not working

Teens not working doesn’t work for America

By Tom Purcell Here’s a trend that may not bode well for the future of our country: According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 40 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds have summer jobs — down from 75 percent of teens a generation ago. As it goes, according to the NerdWallet website, teen summer employment has been declining for decades. Why? One reason is that jobs typically tailored…
072122 ashby update

House committee in charge of natural resources

The House Committee on Natural Resources has been tasked with examining a comprehensive list of projects and initiatives related to our state’s water infrastructure. Capital UpdateBy Rep. Trent Ashby The House Committee on Natural Resources has jurisdiction over the conservation and development of water resources across our state. The 11-member committee also regulates all local water-related…
072422 stemrolling big newspapers

Big Tech steamrolling America’s newspapers

By Brett WesnerGuest columnist Google and Facebook have enormous economic and political power in society — especially over the news industry. Many ask if they have played a role in the misinformation that erodes our free press and plagues our democracy. Google and Facebook have a duopoly of the distribution of digital news content, which drives people to their platforms where they make money. The…
072155 refer madness

Lone Star ‘Reefer Madness’

By Chris Edwards Last week, it was announced that a medical marijuana dispensary opened in our region. Texas Original, the provider, is one of 14 across the state, opened in Nacogdoches and the company stated in a news release that it provides the “highest quality of medical cannabis products to qualifying patients in the state.” It is a step in the right direction, but Texas is still home to…
FromEditorsDesk Tony

Here come the birds back home to roost

By Tony Farkastony@polkcountypublishing.com The headline of this column is a paraphrase of the title of a story by my favorite writer, Harlan Ellison. Without too many spoilers, it deals mostly with the subject of karma, or, if you prefer, the consequences of actions.Seems this dandy played it fast and loose with the ladies, and cycling backward, he was accosted by his former flings and…
071422 robert nichols

‘Protect All Texans’ hearing held

By Sen. Robert Nichols This past weekend our nation celebrated the Fourth of July, commemorating the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress in 1776. Here are five things happening around your state: 1. Committee to Protect All Texans hearing This month, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick appointed me chair of the Special Committee to Protect All Texans. The committee…
Kelli Barnes Publisher Points

Brookshire Brothers moving to new, digital-only strategy for selling groceries

Brookshire Brothers has been my go-to grocery store since I knew what a grocery store was. In my Lufkin neighborhood back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, I lived right across the street from one of the Brookshire store managers, Jimmy Brooks. During this time my mother began a business relationship with Wiley Eugene (Gene) Brookshire, one of the original brothers, another interesting connection.…
FromEditorsDesk Tony

The way to really win is stop riding the pine

By Tony Farkastony@polkcountypublishing.com I’ve always wondered how it would feel to be one of those guys who come home with a Super Bowl ring who actually never was on the field for a snap. Granted, they’re part of a team, and if the team wins, then everybody gets to celebrate.But what did they accomplish? What was their contribution? That is analogous to what’s going on in today’s society and…
071022 opinion column

John Philip Sousa: Composer and baseball pitching ‘ace’

In the mid-19th century, composer John Philip Sousa was one of America’s biggest "base ball bugs," as fans were then called. In his autobiography, “Marching Along,” Sousa, born in 1854, described the joy base ball (as newspapers dubbed the sport until the late 1800s) had imparted to him since way back to the Civil War. Abner Doubleday, the sport’s mythical inventor, was a Union general in the war…
071022 robert nichols

Nichols appointed to Special Committee to Protect All Texans

By Sen. Robert NicholsDistrict 3 This weekend our nation will celebrate the Fourth of July, commemorating the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress in 1776. Have a safe and fun Fourth of July. Here are five things happening around your state: Committee to Protect All Texans hearing This month, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appointed me chair of the Special Committee to…
071022 opinon piece

John Philip Sousa: Composer and baseball pitching ‘ace’

In the mid-19th century, composer John Philip Sousa was one of America’s biggest “base ball bugs,” as fans were then called. In his autobiography, “Marching Along,” Sousa, born in 1854, described the joy base ball (as newspapers dubbed tzcisive Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. Throughout the war, when soldiers on either side weren’t marching or engaged in battle, they played baseball to break up…
Jim Opionin

There be monsters among us

by Jim Powersjim@polkcountypublishing.com Men In Black was a movie released in 1997 starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones (among others) which chronicled the work of a secret organization policing extraterrestrials living on earth disguised as humans, animals, and insects. To the average human, they looked like anyone else. The Men in Black, though, who knew the truth that there were tens of…
FromEditorsDesk Tony

Not sure a court case was even necessary

By Tony Farkastony@polkcountypublishing.com Among the other cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court recently, one that was central to Maine could have far-reaching effects in all other states. In a nutshell, the court decided that Maine must make public funds available for religious schools. The state had a program by which money from a tuition program could be used for private education in towns…
Jim Opionin

They want you to lose hope

by Jim Powersjim@polkcountypublishing.com I was looking today at polling indicating that young adults in the U.S. are losing hope. They are losing hope politically, economically, and culturally. They are watching their rights being taken away and their country being torn apart by old white men, incredibly rich men and corporations, and religious zealots who have gamed the system to usurp control…
063022 trent ashby

Committee concerned with state property

The resiliency of our electric grid is critical to the safety and well-being of all Texans the summer. By Rep. Trent Ashby District 57 It’s hot. With triple-digit temperatures already across the state, Texas has had an unseasonably warm start to our summer season. As the mercury climbs, many of us are counting on our air conditioners to provide us with some welcome relief from the heat. With…
FromEditorsDesk Tony

The art of political misdirection

By Tony Farkastony@polkcountypublishing.com While the country is caught up in its response to the recent Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, there have been shenanigans afoot.The Biden administration has approved a plan that has given 145,000 people relief from student loan debt, which some estimates have placed as amounting to more than $8 billion. The program also only, as of now,…
FromEditorsDesk Tony

The fallacy of limited perception

By Tony Farkastony@polkcountypublishing.com There’s a lot of misperception out and around the country — probably the world — about the state of things and how we deal with that. For instance, a good friend of mine, who does live in Liberal Land, said he recently had to pay $6.09 per gallon of gas, but he was OK with that, since his perspective on the matter was that the rest of the world was…
062622 tom purcel

More focused than ever at 60!

By Tom Purcell “Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.” Those are the clever words of British humorist Terry Pratchett, who couldn’t have explained the aging process more succinctly.I know his words are true because I turned 60 this week. It’s a heck of a thing to have burned through six decades already. If I’d known 60 years would go by so fast, I would have taken…