The West Nile Virus outbreak in our area is an unprecedented public health emergency. Bing Burton, the director of the Denton County Health Department is a very measured and pragmatic expert in public health. I have worked with Dr. Burton on the Denton County Public Health Advisory Board and let me assure you he does not take the recommendation for aerial spraying lightly. This spraying is certainly not a magic bullet, but is a more advanced step to help control West Nile. Everyday we make judgements based on a risk benefit analysis. I urge municipalities to support aerial spraying at this time because the risk benefit scale is tipped heavily in favor of spraying. The ravages of the West Nile virus are well documented. If there are measures that can be taken to limit the effects on our citizens, I would strongly urge support for these measures including aerial spraying.
The Flower Mound Town Council met tonight, and decided in a 5-0 vote to approve Denton County's plan for aerial spraying over the town. We're told it was a full crowd, and about 20 people got up to speak. Of those, we're also told that it was about evenly split for and against.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa had this to say about Head's statement:
There are a lot of unanswered questions here. Does Judge Head expect the United Nations to come in riding a couple of combines? Does Lubbock also need an Air Force? A Navy? Will the revenues from this tax increase be put into a dedicated account to fight the U.N. invasion? Will the money be returned to taxpayers if the U.N. army doesn’t make it into Lubbock County? What will happen if the Sweetwater militia defeats the vicious blue-beanie peace-keepers before they reach Lubbock?
Judge Head’s statements on the United Nations invasion raise serious questions about his mental competency to hold elected office. Ted Cruz is clearly in good company. Republican crazies have now taken over the Lubbock County courthouse.
I think the guy is clearly delusional, and should be evaluated by a mental health professional. Seriously. He should resign, so that Lubbock County can have some sane leadership.
Thanks to those of you who like me, wrote letters to Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson asking him to carry out the voters' will, and release $300 million for public education. Patterson responded to us today with a very insulting letter. We need to prove him wrong about us being "slacktivists", and let him know that we care about our schools and expect him to hold up his promise.
At 5:48 it's a cool 91 degrees. Tonight, the temps will get down to the high 60s. Friday there's a 20% chance of a thunderstorm but otherwise, partly cloudy with the high being 91 and the low getting only to about 77 degrees. Temps for the rest of the week should be about the same. Rain chances are 20% on Saturday and a better chance on Monday at about 40%.
As the number of cases of West Nile virus has continued to increase in North Texas, Denton County Judge Mary Horn has declared a health emergency Wednesday afternoon, making the option of aerial pesticide spraying available as a measure to control mosquitos that carry the disease. The declaration requests assistance from the state.
The Denton County Health Department is recommending aerial spraying, saying that ground spraying and the use of larvacide has not been successful in containing the outbreak. “We are very concerned at the number, rate, and severity of cases of West Nile Virus among Denton County residents”, stated Bing Burton, Ph.D., director of Denton County Health Department. Most of the Denton County cases of West Nile have been South of Lewisville Lake.
Precinct 3 Denton County Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell, whose precinct covers a large portion of Southern Denton County said this afternoon that the county health department staff would be meeting Thursday to discuss plans for spraying. Horn's order is effective for 7 days, after which time, the commissioners must approve any extension.
Mitchell says she is in favor of spraying, due to the success of the program in Dallas County. There have been 112 cases of West Nile reported in Denton County this year, with one of those resulting in a death. Of those cases, 27 have been reported in Lewisville.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that a gender gap exists here and elsewhere. According to the American Community Survey from the US Census Bureau, full-time working women made about 91% of what men made in Lewisville as of 2010. That’s actually not that bad compared to the statewide average: According to a 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics report (PDF, page 37), women in Texas made 84% of what men made in weekly pay; men averaged $714 per week and women averaged $611. Economists, statisticians, and sociologists have spent the last 40 years arguing about why this gender gap exists, but since that’s not my field, I’m not going to try to figure that out today.
But here’s the interesting part: In 1939, female employees in Lewisville made about $16.42 per week ($257.60 in 2010 dollars), while male employees earned around $16.83 ($264.02 in 2010 dollars). Think about that for a moment: Women in Lewisville made almost 98% of what men made in average weekly pay in 1939.
City officials will distribute free larvicide "dunk" tablets to residents on a limited basis on Aug. 23-24. Residents can visit Central Fire Station, 188 N. Valley Parkway, between 5 and 9 p.m. either day to receive two free tablets per household. This will be a drive-through service operated by volunteers from Lewisville Fire Department Reserves and the American Red Cross. Residents will be required to show a driver's license or current water bill bearing a single-family Lewisville address in order to receive their two free tablets. Packets will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis until the supply is exhausted (about 1,600 households). If supplies last, a second giveaway will be held Aug. 31, 5-9 p.m., and Sept. 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Central Fire Station [map] for households that have not already participated.
Tablets should be used according to directions provided at time of pick-up and are intended to kill mosquito eggs and larvae in standing water sources, such as ponds or planters. Residents, business operators and apartment managers also are reminded that larvicide tablets can be purchased inexpensively at many local retailers. While larvicide tablets can be effective in controlling the mosquito population within a localized area, residents who use the tablets should continue to practice the simple precautions listed in the city website.
Lewisville’s pro-business climate has scored again. A new building has been erected to house an Aldi’s Supermarket across the parking lot of the LISD Administration Building on the northeast corner of W. Main and Garden Ridge Blvd.
Aldi’s is a German owned grocery chain with a few wrinkles for us Americanos. Bags are either purchased at the checkout, or customers bring their own. If a shopping cart is used, a 25 cent deposit* is required, the deposit is returned when the cart is returned to the rack. Aldi’s management claims these measures allow lower prices at checkout. Whether that is the reason, or not, their prices are consistently lower than major grocery chains prices.
Credit cards are not accepted, nor are personal checks. Payment is required in cash or by Debit Card.
Inside the store customers will not see the brand names shoppers are accustomed to. The Aldi chain contracts for several different store brands.
With the election slipping away like a handful of mercury on a turbocharged merry-go-round, Mitt Romney managed to change the conversation from unreleased tax returns and foreign misadventures by plucking Paul Ryan out of the Wisconsin wilds to be his running mate. "Romney-Ryan." Short, alliterative and one syllable more conservative than "Obama-Biden."
The situation appeared so desperate the choice couldn't wait until after closing ceremonies of the Olympics, forcing the House Budget Committee chairman to share the weekend spotlight with enough English pop stars to clear out the hairspray aisle at seven Boots drug stores. The Republican Congressman may be famous for his P90x work-out regimen, but the Spice Girls have much better legs. And they're way older.
Ryan was universally hailed as a bold choice. Yeah, well, maybe, but bold is not always synonymous with good. Whiskey for breakfast is a bold choice. Spun glass underwear is bold. Forehead dragon tattoos. Passing an 18-wheeler on a blind curve doing 80 in the rain. Incredibly bold. Not necessarily smart.
Another white male Christian conservative. That is bold. But only when not compared to absolutely anything else. It's been speculated a major reason for awarding the Wisconsin congressman the prize spot at the bottom of the bumper sticker was to energize the base. And total slam-dunk there. The question is: Which base?
Republicans are shaking like a Brazilian supermodel on a Lake Superior beach shoot in January. Only happier. Haven't seen them this excited since John McCain hooked up with some governor of Alaska. Meanwhile, Democrats are salivating so uncontrollably, they'd be advised to invest in bibs to keep from soiling their $5,000 Man-of-the-People suits.