April 22 marks the 42nd anniversary of the first observance of Earth Day, and there is much to celebrate. We've made remarkable progress in protecting the environment since 1970; today the Cuyahoga River no longer burns. And we've also mustered the political will to address major threats to the environment such as acid rain and the impact of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) on the ozone layer.
However, there are dark clouds on the horizon. The Tea Party has essentially declared war on the environment. Sadly, renewable energy is a favorite, and a frequent, target.
With respect to renewable energy, the Tea Party's vocal opposition spans the entire gamut from tax incentives in Florida, to continued participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (REGGI) in the Northeast. Of course, as Florida Governor Rick Scott's recent refusal to veto new renewable energy tax breaks demonstrates, such pressure is not always successful. It is, however, relentlessly applied.
The opposition to renewable energy programs is particularly unfortunate. Globally, the United States already lags behind other nations, such as Germany, in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources.
Remember way back when his own staffer said Mitt Romney had the convictions of an Etch-A-Sketch? Well, stand back, because as we speak, the former governor of Massachusetts is being flipped over and shaken so hard the fillings in the back teeth of his whole family are starting to rattle and cascade like some great crumbling Utah Butte.
Fear not the rubble, little ones. This simply means we're entering general election territory, so anything Mitt Romney might have said up during the primary... no longer applies. We're beginning anew. Re-shuffling the deck. The winter of our discontent has been made glorious summer by this Son of Dork.
We're not even playing the same ballgame anymore. Fast-pitch hardball has morphed into beach volleyball before our very eyes. And the sand's been replaced with money. Unlike the previous six months, the object is no longer about how hard you hit the ball, rather how long it stays in the air. On your side of the net. You may recall this from pre-video game childhood as Keep Away.
A Republican primary is consumed with hard right angles. No quarter asked for, no quarter given. The general election is much more soft focus. Nice, round, spongy contours. Less muscular retorts, more sly evasions. Gauze is being spread over the lens and next comes the two fingers of Vaseline. Best keep a towel handy.
Already the severely conservative former governor has turned into a moderate kind of a regular guy. Mr. Hyde sunk behind the lab island and Dr. Jeckyll rose to walk forward with an outreached hand. Mister "It's okay to call Susan Fluke a slut" is now the soul of Chivalry.
Lewisville Rotary recognized Seo (Kelly) Jung Kim (Top photo,2nd from right) as its Student of the Month for March 2012, and Logan White (2nd photo, 2nd from right) as its Student of the Month for April 2012. Each month during the school term, Lewisville Rotary recognizes an outstanding student from the Lewisville High School campus as selected by teachers and administrative staff at the school. The student is normally accompanied by family and the school’s principal, Mr. Brad Burns, to Rotary’s regular lunch meeting on the third Wednesday of the month to receive a plaque and recognition before the club.
Kelly is the daughter of Kim Jin Young and Ku Sun Kyung of Lewisville, and Logan is the son of Robert and Connie White of Lewisville.
Mr. Burns provided the following information on Kelly and Logan:
This is just so wrong. The teens who did this need to be monitored for the rest of their lives, because they are probably psychopaths. If we're going to have sex offender registries, then we need psychopath registries.
Jim Morriss has a good piece in the Cross Timbers Gazette about the people who lived here in the early 1900s, and the hardships they had to endure just to get by and raise their children. Reading this and thinking about how I might react to such challenges makes me doubly grateful for the blessings that we have to live where we live in the time that we live.
This is beyond stupid. We have to weed this out of the Democratic party. Buying votes is not a Democratic (big "D") or democratic value.
A Lewisville man learned that if you steal $53 million, you get 10 years in prison. His mistake was that he didn't steal billions. If you steal billions in this country, you get off scot free. Then again, get caught with too much marijuana, and you'll spend more time in prison than this guy.
The people have been on an accelerating downward slide under the class war waged by the robber barons and their political stooges especially for the last 31 years since the false idol Reagan took office. Many millions of honest, hard-working Americans have been tricked by three decades of lies into voting for the purveyors of the false free-market cult, voting for the very same predators who steal their jobs, their homes, and their standards of living.
Too many people who had positions of influence through which they could have combated the lies failed to do so. When false messages are not vigorously contested it is easy for the lies to fill a vacuum. Far too many people get elected on populist-sounding platforms, and then it turns out that either their platforms were fraudulent or they don’t have the guts to live up to them. And far too many journalists and academics take the easy and convenient path of acquiescence to the power of money.
Keep Lewisville Beautiful will conduct the 26th annual city-wide Spring Clean Up on Saturday, April 21st. Volunteers will converge on litter problem spots around the city with trash bags and pick-up sticks to clean up litter.
Families, scout groups, civic groups, corporate teams and individual volunteers are all welcome, and there is friendly competition among groups to see who can pick up the most litter.
All equipment is provided, and volunteers receive goody bags that include T-shirts. Clean up is from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, and free lunch is provided afterward. Various sponsoring local businesses have donated prizes, which will be awarded by drawing during lunch.
What: Spring Clean Up When: Saturday, April 21st, 2012, 9 a.m. Where: Residential Convenience Center, 330 W. Jones St., Lewisville Who: All ages Note: Wear sturdy shoes and clothing. Bring sunscreen and a hat if you need them.
Lewisville Texan Journal Team As we have in the past, Lewisville Texan Journal will form a clean up team. This is one of those things we can all pitch in on and cooperate with each other, even though we may at times argue like cats and dogs in the forums here.
"Lewisville is drowning in debt. Over $160 million dollars in debt (view the CAFR - City [sic] Annual Financial Report). "
In this post, we'll look at the claim that Lewisville has "Over $160 million dollars in debt". In another post, we'll examine another part of his claim.
This isn't the first time that Hill has made such claims about the city's debt, having run twice on that battle cry before. What is new is the amount that he says Lewisville is "drowning" from. In his December 2011 election, Hill said the city was over $200 million in debt - a figure that we dismissed here.
We contacted Hill to see how he derived his numbers, and he responded as follows:
"On page 74 [of the CAFR] you find $58 million with $13 million in debt services. Page 75 another $41 million. Page 77 another $32 million. And another $7 million on the same page.
Add these up with their interest payments you get $187 million. "
Here's a summary of Lewisville's debt, the way that Steve Hill sees it*:
Under the direction of Maestro Adron, the Lewisville Lake Symphony creates a “Spring Romance” featuring clarinetist John Scott performing the “Clarinet Concerto” composed by Aaron Copland on a commission from legendary jazz musician Benny Goodman. Also on the program is Jean-Michel Damase’ “Harp Concertino” featuring harpist Laura Logan, and Ernest Bloch’s “Concerto Grosso #1 for strings and piano.”
The concert takes place at the MCL Grand in Old Town Lewisville on Friday, April 27, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. There is plenty of parking around the Grand: most is on the City Hall side of the arts complex.
Clarinetist John Scott and harpist Laura Logan perform with the Lewisville Lake Symphony on 27 and 29 April.
Tickets can be booked online at www.lewisvillesymphony.org and are $25 on Friday and $20 on Sunday. The Symphony provides a special $5 discount for seniors (60+). Student tickets are $10. Information is available at 972.874.9087
Copland wrote most of the clarinet concerto in Rio de Janeiro where he was lecturing and conducting. The work is sometimes called the “Concerto for Clarinet, Strings and Harp.” It was later choreographed by Jerome Robbins for the ballet Pied Piper.
Goodman told Copland biographer Vivian Perlis: "I made no demands on what Copland should write. He had completely free rein, except that I should have a two-year exclusivity on playing the work. I paid two thousand dollars and that was real money in 1949. Aaron and I played the concerto quite a few times with him conducting, and we made two recordings." The Symphony’s website has a link to a YouTube of Copland conducting Goodman and Los Angeles Philharmonic.
The “Harp Concertino” by Jean-Michel Damase is one of harpist Laura Logan’s favorite compositions, “The harp, for me, is an alluring, mystical and magical instrument. I especially love the Damase Concertino because the composer shows such a thorough grasp of the instrument’s potential."
Swiss-born American composer Ernest Bloch wrote the Concerto Grosso No. 1 in 1925 as a reaction to his student’s doubts that a lyrical romantic audience-pleasing composition could be written at a time when classical composers tended to write to impress other composers and audiences were voting with their feet. Audiences have been consistently enthusiastic about the work ever since its first performance.
The Lewisville Lake Symphony, according to the Dallas Morning News, is one of the most respected regional orchestras in Texas.
In a recent questionnaire posted in the Dallas Morning News, third-time candidate Steve Hill, who is challenging Neil Ferguson for his seat stated his position that the City of Lewisville should sign up for the 287(g) program from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Ferguson, having heard that pitch for several of the past city elections, and again from Steve Hill in this election made the following statement to the News:
"My opponent recently reaffirmed his support of 287g in an interview published by The Lewisville Leader when he announced his candidacy for City Council in March. I can only assume he is unaware that Homeland Security had terminated the program a month earlier."
In a Facebook posting earlier this week, Hill took issue with Ferguson's assessment:
"Looks like my opponents [sic] comments need a fact check on 287(g) in his snarky liberal comment about the program being terminated. Let’s see if any of our local news sources call him out?"
It sounded like an opportunity for us to dive in and take a look at 287(g) and the other alternatives, and see what the truth is.
I saw this ad yesterday on Facebook, and was sickened by the idea that a judicial candidate would stoop to this:
Willett is a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court, which is the highest civil court in Texas.
The Judicial Code of Conduct seeks to preserve the integrity of the justice system in Texas by holding judges and justices to a higher standard of conduct and impartiality.
From the Judicial Code of Conduct, Canon 5:
CANON 5 Refraining From Inappropriate Political Activity
(1) A judge or judicial candidate shall not: (i) make pledges or promises of conduct in office regarding pending or impending cases, specific classes of cases, specific classes of litigants, or specific propositions of law that would suggest to a reasonable person that the judge is predisposed to a probable decision in cases within the scope of the pledge;
So there he is selling himself for re-election based on the outcome of a case that is still being litigated, and portions of which may continue to be litigated in the future, depending on the outcome in the U.S. Supreme Court.
I really dislike the notion that we need partisan judges who sell their positions on given topics rather than their general qualifications or philosophy. It is a shame that the last branch of government that had any integrity or appearance of integrity is slowly allowing itself to sink to this level.
I hope the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct will investigate Willett's campaign and make this Justice comply with the the law.