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Posts published in May 2007

Battle of Anahuac Anniversary – Historical society finalizes plans for celebration

By PUDGE WILLCOX
CHAMBERS COUNTY– The Chambers County Historical Commission conducted a Regular Meeting in the Archives Building and the main item of discussion was the upcoming Celebration recognizing the 175th Anniversary of the Battle at Ft. Anahuac.
The various committee chairs gave reports of their activities and the program is now almost complete.
The Celebration will be on Saturday, June 9th, beginning with a Grand Parade starting from the Courthouse at 9:00 am. County Judge Jimmy Sylvia will be Parade King and he will be joined by former County Judge Alama Lois Turner who will serve as Parade Queen. They will lead the parade from the Courthouse to Ft. Anahuac Park riding in a horse drawn surrey. The parade will consist of an array of floats, shiny cars and music.
Festivities in the park will begin at 10:00 am. They will consist of music by live bands, an address by Sam Houston IV and a battle reenactment conducted by the Texas Army and the Royal Rangers. The Houston Camp of the Buffalo Soldiers will be present and local County Officials will participate as well.
Trophies will be awarded to winners in the Beard Growing Contest and the Period Costume Contest as well as to three categories of parade winners. There will be a silent auction of numerous items donated by individuals and businesses and a live auction conducted by County Judge Jimmy Sylvia.
There will be plenty food and drink booths available for lunch as well as craft and antique booths selling their wares. The community is encouraged to attend the celebration which recognizes a most historic event in the history of Anahuac as well as the State of Texas.
Anyone that would like to participate in or assist with the celebration should contact Commission Chair Bob Wheat at 409-267-6599.

Financial Tips for Newlyweds

It’s June – a popular month for weddings. If you’re getting married this month, you have a lot to think about: a rehearsal, a ceremony, a reception, possibly a honeymoon. But most important of all, you’ve got the anticipation of starting a new life together. To help make that life a happy one, you and your new spouse will need to communicate with each other on all types of issues – and one of the most important of those issues is your joint financial situation.
So, once the wedding festivities are behind you, take some steps that relate to your future financial well being. Here are a few suggestions:
*Establish financial goals. You and your spouse can become disciplined money managers if you’re both working toward some joint long-term financial objectives, such as a new home. If you eventually have children, your goals may expand to include college. And throughout your working life, you’ll want to put money away for retirement. No matter what your goals are, you’ll have a better chance of achieving them if you set out a strategy – and stick to it.

*Don’t put off investing. How much money you have available to invest depends on your income and expenses. When you’re just married and establishing a household, you may not feel that you have a lot of cash to spare, but make it a priority to put away something each month, even if it’s only a small amount. If you can get into the investment “habit” right away, it will serve you well throughout your married life.
*Take advantage of retirement plans. If you and your spouse are both working, you may each have access to a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan. Contribute as much as you can afford to each plan – at least enough to earn the employer’s match, if one is offered. Also, look closely at how you are each allocating your dollars within your respective plans. Try to avoid duplicating each other’s investment choices. By spreading your money around a range of investments, the two of you can potentially reduce the effects of market volatility and give yourselves more chances for success. A financial advisor can help you identify the investment choices that are appropriate for your risk tolerance, goals and time horizon.
*Get control of your debts. Your debts, and those of your new spouse, are now of concern to both of you. While some debts – such as a mortgage – may be inevitable, it’s generally a good idea to keep your debt load as low as possible. That’s because the more money you spend on debts, the less you’ll have available to invest for your future. By going over your student loans, car loans, credit cards, etc., you may be able to develop a strategy to reduce your overall debt load.
By following these suggestions, you can start married life off on the right foot, at least in regard to your financial situation. As for who gets to write the thank-you notes for the wedding presents – well, that’s another matter.

Crosby speaks out against ‘predator’ story

By BOBBY HORN JR.
CROSBY— Roughly 160 people gathered Tuesday night at Crosby Church to show their outrage over a report on Fox26 News concerning registered sex offenders in Crosby.
The report, which first aired on May 8, said that based on a population of 1,700 residents Crosby had a ratio of 30 residents for every ‘predator.’ The term ‘predator’ used by the report referred to registered sex offenders, while assuming that every registered offender was “hunting for prey.”
The Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce, along with area business and individuals, took immediate offense to the report, citing what Chamber President Steve Coon referred to as being “full of misrepresentations and inaccuracies.”
Coon said they report gave Crosby a ‘black eye.’
“The swelling hasn’t even begun to do down,” he said during this week’s meeting.
Coon said the purpose of this week’s meeting was to let the public know what had happened, inform the community about the chamber’s response as well as Fox26’s reaction and their response to letters from the chamber, local citizens and elected officials.

The main area of contention, Coon said, was reporter Caroyln Canville’s source of population figures. Coon said that the 1,700 figure quoted in the reported consisted of only a small portion of the area and that the entire population of ZIP Code 77532 is closer to 20,143. Given the 62 sex offenders registered in 77532, the ratio is closer to 1 to 343, not the 1:30 cited in the report.
Coon told the gathering that within days of the report he, on behalf of the chamber, sent a letter to the news station asking for multiple retractions, a series of “positive” reports about Crosby, and the firing of Canville as well as those responsible for conducting research for the report as well as those who allowed it to air.
Following the letter, Coon said that he has had multiple conversations with Fox, both locally as well as with their national legal representation.
In response to the complaints, Fox 26 aired multiple retractions beginning on May 22. Initially Fox26 refused to run a retraction on their website, even though the report was posted on the site. After more pressure by the chamber Fox26 said it would put a retraction on the website.
Despite the on-air apology, Coon said he was not satisfied with the news station’s response. “It just didn’t have the punch I was looking to,” he added.
“We’ve good folks,” Coon said. “Our handshakes are gold and we just want to be done right.”
The chamber has also asked the station to run a number of “positive stories” about Crosby. Canville has been in Crosby this week conducting interviews and Coon said he was looking forward to seeking what comes out.
“I felt I was able to give the opportunity to paint a positive image of the community,” said Dr. Larry Koslovsky, of Crosby Brethren Church, concerning his interview with Canville this week.
Coon said the chamber is not through with their fight.
“We haven’t stopped this,” Coon said. “This is not the end of it. We understand that we’ve been pushing hard and we have been getting very little in return.”
Speaking about the issue of registered sex offenders Deputy C.H. Collier, who works for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office’s Sex Offender Compliance division, said the state sex offender registry database is a tool which can be abused in the wrong hands, as the report showed. He noted that Crosby’s ratio is no different from that of North Houston or far West Harris County.
He also reminded the group that just because someone’s name is on the list does not necessarily mean they are a predator. He gave examples of how a 19-year old boy could have relations with a 16-year old girl. Technically this is considered statutory rape, which would require a registration. The couple could later be married and 10 or 15 years later the man would still have to maintain registry on the sex offender site. Another example he gave was of a 10-year old boy who slaps a girl’s bottom. If charges were filed, the child would be required to register for a certain number of years after he reaches 18, even if he received probation as a child.
“We do need to be cautious about broad brushing them (registered sex offenders),” Crosby Church Pastor and Chamber Board Member Keenan Smith.
Smith said that main issue was Fox’s errors and “sensational’ reporting. “There is power in words,” he said, “With greater power comes greater responsibility.”
Conn said he invited Fox26 to the meeting to explain their position as well as other Houston media to cover the media.
Not a single Houston television media outlet chose to attend the meeting.

“Drive Through Service” at Highlands Post Office

HIGHLANDS– A quiet afternoon last Wednesday was shattered by an auto crashing through the front door of the Highlands Post Office, travelling through the lobby, knocking out a wall of postal boxes, and ending up inside the sorting area only a few feet from work stations of 3 postal employees.
There were no injuries, as the employees were at other areas of the building or had left for the day, according to supervisor Rosemary Williams, whose desk was only about 3 feet from the car’s path.
The driver, 78 year old Gloria Dean Morgan of Crosby, also was not injured. Authorities believe she mistakenly pushed on the gas in forward gear, trying to free her car from a parked HIGHLANDS– A quiet afternoon last Wednesday was shattered by an auto crashing through the front door of the Highlands Post Office, travelling through the lobby, knocking out a wall of postal boxes, and ending up inside the sorting area only a few feet from work stations of 3 postal employees.

There were no injuries, as the employees were at other areas of the building or had left for the day, according to supervisor Rosemary Williams, whose desk was only about 3 feet from the car’s path.
The driver, 78 year old Gloria Dean Morgan of Crosby, also was not injured. Authorities believe she mistakenly pushed on the gas in forward gear, trying to free her car from a parked position partially mounted on the handicap ramp.
Her 2007 Cadillac was heavily damaged, and the front entrance of the building, and about 300 mailboxes were destroyed.
It is expected that new postal boxes will take several weeks to arrive and new doors several days.
Postal employees remember that this is the second or third time that a car has driven through the entrance, the last time occuring about 5 years ago.

Crosby VFD’s Bronto does it all

By LEWIS SPEARMAN
CROSBY – The local volunteer fire dept. has a new truck that can put firefighters where ever they need to be for rescue, and contain chemical and house fires with foam and water.
The 114 Foot Bronto Aerial Platform Truck, made by Emergency One, first arrived here May 14 and may be in service as early as July 4 once the crews have been trained for it and all forms of new equipment have been added.
According to Chief Alan Kulak, “The manufacturer will send out trainers to help us do extensive training in order to certify my people to be qualified to operate it.”
According to Russell White, “The capabilities of this truck is going to increase our capabilities immensely. You’d be amazed at the stability even at the elevated heights which is very helpful in rescue situations. The hose mounts on the platform are capable of spraying 2000 gallons per minute and the air tanks on the arms provide air to firefighters on the platform when fighting fires inside the smoke or fumes.”

Chief Kulak stated, “I did an assessment of the district, we have an estimated hundred plus buildings here or coming that we would need this truck to use on: the new church complex, the high school, the middle school, the new Wal-Mart, two chemical plants. In fact the chemical plants help to fund the foam system; KMCO and Arkema contributed $5500 went 50 – 50% to pay for that system in case they had a fire at their facilities. This truck is going to come in handy if we have to rescue from office buildings, hotels or two plus story buildings. ”
Randy Foster of Harris County ESD#80 board indicates, “A lot of study went into determining what would best suit the needs of this community and we determined this truck will best meet our communities needs now and into the future. This is the only truck of its kind in southeast Texas”
“In our last ISO audit (that provides our protection classification,) we were just on the borderline of needing a new ladder truck and actually exceeded the need with the new high school the Super Wal-Mart, Mount Rose Church in Barrett Station that put us over the limit for a standard ladder. This truck can handle those buildings. Hopefully, with this truck and some changes we are planning in the future we can get our ISO classification even lower once they come out and re-audit us. Every time we make improvements they re-audit us.”

Rodeo Tough Enough to Wear Pink featured

Tickets to the Crosby Fair & Rodeo are available online at crosbyfairandrodeo.net. The rodeo Cook-off begins Friday, June 1 with a Cody Kouba, Roger Creager concert and party with parade and cook-off the following day. Sunday June 3 is Hispanic Heritage Day with music and a rodeo. The rodeo auction is to be held Wednesday, June 6. Thursday, June 7 through Saturday, June 9 the Crosby Fair & Rodeo show will feature PRCA Rodeo and concerts from Stoney LaRue and Wade Bowen; Friday, June 8 is Shriner’s Night and will have Jason Boland and Aaron Watson. Saturday’s concert will feature Blaine Larson and Charlie Robison.

Friends, co-workers salute Hendrix at retirement celebration

By BOBBY HORN JR.
CROSBY—Dr. Don Hendrix, who has given Crosby ISD the past 21 years of his life as well as the past 42 years as an educator was honored on Saturday night with a retirement celebration.
The affair, held at the high school commons, featured a three-part program followed by a coffee and cake reception.
Serving as master of ceremonies, superintendent-elect Mike Joseph narrated a multi-media presentation on the life and career of Hendrix. Going back to his days as a child on a sharecropper’s farm and early years in Highlands to his graduation from Deer Park High, Joseph told how he moved from “Coach Hendrix” at Lyford High School to principal in Johnson City. During the presentation pictures of Hendrix with a mustache or wearing striped bell bottom slacks drew laughs from the audience.
“Crosby ISD will never be the same (without Hendrix),” Joseph said.
Following a standing ovation, a series of special presentations began.
The administration staff composed a humorous film called “Searching for Dr. Hendrix,” which concluded with a sentiment from Hendrix’s assistance Veronica Ramos that was felt throughout the audience “We will truly miss you.”
Each campus followed with their own creative tribute to Hendrix.

Crosby Kindergarten presented a DVD that featured a “Dr. Seuss-style” book tribute. Barrett Primary followed with the Crosby ISD version of “Jeopardy” featuring Hendrix trivia.
Newport Elementary gave Hendrix a basket of memories which included a photo of how he looked when he was hired in 1986, blueprints from the high school and his “final test,” a certificate for golf at Newport County Club.
Drew Intermediate’s presentation featured students performing a traditional Mexican dance and faculty as “The Drew Girls” plus ‘Rustina’ performing “Hard to Say Goodbye.”
Recognizing Hendrix’s love for Zydeco music, students from Crosby Middle performed a Zydeco selection.
Students from Crosby High created a video tribute which focused on Hendrix’s first day of retirement. The film concluded with Hendrix serving as an official Crosby ISD greeter, much like those at Wal-Mart. Hendrix was even given a red vest to wear, special retired superintendent parking sign and a “key” to the district.
Following an intermission the laughs continued with a “roast and toast”

Adventures in the garden

Did some sod busting this morning by digging up potatoes. Scratched around and below the plants for a few with my hand to see if I could find some. Bout the time a couple of nice ones were dug up something sharp went into and under the fingernail, right middle finger.
It was enough to make one want to say NO MAS but there is too much sweat labor invested in the potato patch to give it up. I decided then and there I was going high tech and used the shovel.
Managed to dig up about half bushel of red potatoes out of that little space. Took them in the kitchen and the Mrs. asked what I was going to do with all those potatoes.
Have been told not to wash the potato until you are ready to cook it.
One thing for sure, next year’s potato patch will not be planted as deep.

The briar patch is narrowing down with the blackberries. The birds have sure seemed to enjoy them. After the next picking, the patch will be trimmed and manicured for next year’s growth. By doing so, this will allow next year’s crop to produce more berries, up a bit higher rather than near the ground. Of course the upper briar branches are tied to a wire to grow up rather than over.
Thinking of planting purple hull peas next, when a bit more room becomes available in the little garden. As has been said before in Two Cents Worth, it’s amazing what you can do with dirt.
A little caveat to you pea/bean eaters – legume (big word that means opens along the seam, i.e., split in two) has been proven on yours truly that they will kick in the gout with its high purine content no doubt!
Grew up on peas and cornbread, guess one evidently needs to limit the serving of the other good stuff, eh?
Can ask the twins this day if they know what a bowl of special is, and they will tell you.
Tis peas, cornbread, diced tomato, diced onion and a glass of tea.
Taught the boys to eat hot peppers with that dish. Take itty bitty bites of pepper, not too much cause it’ll burn. Always eat a pinch of pepper with food in your mouth, other wise it’s too hot.
They have since discovered the day after hot too.