Columns/Opinions

Wed
28
May

Big posts at stake in state primary runoffs

By Ed Sterling.

Early voting ended May 23 and Tuesday, May 27, was state primary election runoff day. Voting records available to the public at the Office of the Secretary of State show that turnout is historically low for mid-term primaries and even lower for primary runoff elections. But what’s different about this set of runoffs — and something that should stimulate voter turnout — were the powerful offices at stake.
 
Wed
21
May

Get ready for more of the same from Congress on Capitol Hill

By Lee Hamilton.
 
Congressional inaction is spurring states and big-city mayors to try to fill the national power vacuum by going ahead with their own minimum-wage measures, tax increases, and other initiatives designed to legislate where Congress won’t. I felt a brief surge of hope about Congress a few weeks ago. It was returning from Easter recess, and Capitol Hill was filled with talk about immigration reform, a minimum-wage bill, a spending bill to keep the government operating, and maybe even funding for transportation infrastructure.

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Wed
21
May

Speaker wants highway fund for transportation only

By Ed Sterling.
 
House Speaker Joe Straus on May 14 said the Texas House of Representatives would propose a budget next year that uses all of the money in the state highway fund for transportation instead of sending chunks of it to other state agencies. Taxes and fees such as the gas tax and fees on drivers’ licenses go into the state highway fund to pay for transportation, but for almost 80 years, Straus explained, some of that money has helped fund agencies that are not directly related to transportation.

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Wed
14
May

Life full of incentives to become a ‘big loser’

By Carol Spicer.
 
Recently I was talked into signing up for the county “Big Loser” program at Goodall-Witcher Fitness Center and all I could think was – yeah, right. But sometimes one learns that incentives can be found anywhere. By simply cutting out the snacks, I managed to lose almost three pounds in the first week. Of course it helped that I was busy “working out” with mowing, weed-eating, cleaning, and doing all the normal spring chores – but eating right was simply easy to do, too.
 
Wed
14
May

Decision upholds prayer in public meetings

By Ed Sterling.
 
Governmental bodies’ right to begin meetings with a prayer — so long as the prayer does not favor a particular religious denomination — was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision rendered May 5. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott reacted to the decision in Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway et al.

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Wed
07
May

The Supreme Court Justices and the scramble for cash

By Lee Hamilton.

Wed
07
May

Toyota selects Plano for North America headquarters

By Ed Sterling.
 
Toyota Motor Corporation on April 28 announced its decision to locate the headquarters of Toyota Motor North America headquarters to Plano. Toyota said the move is “designed to better serve customers and position Toyota for sustainable, long-term growth.”

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Wed
30
Apr

Child abuse in Texas: Things have changed

By Greg Abbott.

In recent months, there have been many news stories resulting from cases – both nationally and here in Texas – which focus on the failures within our justice system in the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases, particularly child sexual abuse, in the early 1980s and 90s. Like most Americans, I find myself heartbroken for the victims who did not receive the justice and healing they deserved, and equally troubled by instances involving wrongful convictions resulting from bad evidence, usually resulting from the compromised statement of a child victim or witness.
 
Wed
30
Apr

State officials jump into river boundary case

By Ed Sterling.
 
When a temperamental river with mud banks and sand bars defines the border between two states or two countries, there’s a natural potential for conflict between humans on both sides of it. And so, a 140-acre plot of land along the Red River border between Texas and Oklahoma became a growing news topic last week.

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Wed
23
Apr

Government as innovator? You bet!

By Lee Hamilton.

Both government and industry are needed to solve big problems. Collaboration puts us in a stronger competitive position than either sector acting alone. Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it’s down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: there are many reasons to reduce government spending. But in this case they’re wrong. We need to boost the government’s investment in R&D, not slash it.
 

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