Columns/Opinions

Wed
21
Jun

Ralph Guldahl’s short but sweet golf career

By Bartee Haile

Sam Snead was determined to beat the Texan, who only the week before had embarrassed him at the U.S. Open, in the final round of the Western Open on Jun.14, 1937.

Ralph Guldahl was born in Big D in 1911, a year before two legendary lions of the links - Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson - also drew their first breath in the Lone Star State. By age 11, the son of Norwegian immigrants was caddying at Lakewood Country Club, and in 1927 he captained the Woodrow Wilson High School golf team to the state title.

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Wed
21
Jun

Governor demands action, calls lawmakers back

By Ed Sterling

Governor signs 2018-2019, two-year state budget into law

Gov. Greg Abbott on June 12 signed Senate Bill 1, legislation that appropriates some $217 billion to pay for the state’s next two-year fiscal period.

“I am once again signing a budget that addresses the most pressing challenges faced by our state. This budget funds a life-saving overhaul of Child Protective Services, ensuring children in Texas’ foster care receive the protection they deserve,” Abbott stated in his proclamation.

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Wed
14
Jun

Governor demands action, calls lawmakers back

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on June 6 announced a special session of the Texas Legislature to begin on July 18 to address issues that went unresolved during the contentious 140-day regular session that ended May 29.

Abbott explained why he thinks it necessary to order lawmakers back to Austin.

“Considering all the successes of the 85th legislative session, we should not be where we are today,” he said. “A special session was entirely avoidable and there was plenty of time for the legislature to forge compromises to avoid the time and taxpayer expense of a special session.

 

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Wed
14
Jun

FDR campaigned in Texas during centennial

By Bartee Haile

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt mixed policking with pleasure on a reelection campaign swing through Texas on Jun. 11-12, 1936.

The first stop on FDR’s Lone Star itinerary was Houston, where the mayor proclaimed a holiday in eager anticipation of the unprecedented visit. All public buildings and many private businesses were closed, as the vast majority of the 350,000 inhabitants squeezed into the center of Texas’ biggest city to see the popular New Deal architect in the flesh.

 

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Wed
07
Jun

State budget awaits final approval from governor

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott as of June 4 had not signed Senate Bill 1, the 2018-2019 state budget finally approved by both houses of the 85th Texas Legislature on May 27. SB 1 appropriates $216.8 billion in total spending for the state’s budget during the 2018-19 biennium.

A long wait for Abbott’s signature may fit a pattern. The governor did not sign the 2016-2017 budget until June 20, 2015, the final day for him to approve or veto legislation. The governor has the power to veto line items in the bill, instead of rejecting it wholesale.

 

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Wed
07
Jun

Director made his own dream come true

By Bartee Haile

Twenty-eight year old King Vidor released his fourteenth motion picture on Jun. 3, 1923. Talent, hard work and a little luck turned the starstruck Texan into one of Hollywood’s finest film makers.

The Galveston native, who survived the 1900 hurricane as a boy of six, was mesmerized by the newfangled medium called “the movies.” Landing a part-time job at a local theater, he spent countless hours watching the screen spring to life with thrilling tales of faraway places.

 

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Tue
30
May

Booze gets the better of Dixie Dead-Eye

By Bartee Haile

Dallas Stoudenmire resigned under pressure as city marshal of El Paso on May 27, 1882 and promised to get help for his drinking problem.

After his recovery from four near-fatal Civil War wounds, the Alabaman emigrated to Texas and gave farming a half-hearted try. Deciding sod-busting was not for him, he rode with the Rangers for several months before moving onto the Panhandle. But wherever he went, gunplay was not far behind.

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Tue
30
May

Legislative session finishes to observe Memorial Day

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — State lawmakers worked through rapidly shrinking lists of bills as daily procedural deadlines took effect in the final days of the 140-day, 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature.

Party and regional divisions augmented by parliamentary actions caused the 150-member House to move in fits and starts, in contrast to the collegial, comparatively rhythmic but no less partisan 31-member Senate. Despite differences in the conduct of the two bodies, all 181 members of the Legislature had to contend with the wills and priorities of the governor, lieutenant governor, House speaker and committee chairs, whose priorities were not always aligned with the wants and needs of constituents or with those of major donors who directly or indirectly invested in election campaigns.

Tue
23
May

State budget bill moves forward with compromise

By Ed Sterling

AUSTIN — Texas Senate and House budget conferees met frequently last week and on May 20 managed to reach compromise on a $218 billion state budget for fiscal years 2018-2019.

However, Senate Bill 1 must gain final approval from both the House and Senate in order for the budget to continue on to the governor’s desk. But as pressing a matter as the budget may seem, the bulk of time in weekend floor debates was used on a variety of other measures, such as property tax reform, municipal annexation, school bathroom accommodations for transgender students and religious conscience considerations for government employees.

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Tue
23
May

Warrior priest saves Texas for Spanish crown

By Bartee Haile

Spanish authorities banished Father Juan Manuel Zambrano from provincial Texas on May 22, 1814, but the combative priest stood his ground and forced his earthly adversaries to rescind the order.

Gov. Manuel de Salcedo succeeded in sending Zambrano into exile in 1807. After three long years of isolation in the Mexican interior, the penitent priest was permitted to return to his native San Antonio over the strong objections of the governor.

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