Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: November 15, 2007”

Sammons says Highlands needs new defibrillator

By LEWIS SPEARMAN
HIGHLANDS – Kacey Sammons presented the Highlands Chamber of Commerce with a rousing case for new defibrillator for the Highlands Volunteer Fire Dept. at the November 8 meeting.
Highlands one of the last districts in Harris County not to tax an extra penny on sales for ambulance service is endeavoring to raise enough money through volunteer contributions to add a new state of the art defibrillator to their ambulance crews. The equipment is designed to resuscitate patients with heart attack or heart related problems with a 12 lead monitor that is capable of being used by professional paramedics as well as in the basic modes. While Highlands has a defibrillator the case was made with emphasis and humor for another. The Highlands EMS are answering calls ahead of the state recommendations – when every second counts.
State representative Joe Crabb reminded the department to always ask for voluntary contributions and asked that she state the address to send contributions for the new defibrillator: Highlands Volunteer Fire Dept., P.O. Box 584, Highlands, TX 77562
Highlands is collecting packages to send to say thank you for soldiers in Iraq. The most requested item, baby wipes, it’s hot there.
The Chamber is also collecting food for the Food Drive on November 16 and 17 at the Highlands Chamber Office on San Jacinto Street.

An Underground Movement via MySpace

By AISHA FARHOUD
“Rock hasn’t died, it’s just moved underground”
That’s what someone said to me when I told him rock was dead. At the time I thought it was just a nicer way of saying it was dead, but I’m beginning to realize that the underground movement in music is growing stronger by the minute with the help of the Internet.
Popular networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook aren’t just for teenagers looking to message their friends anymore, these sites are becoming powerful tools for musical groups. Musicians can create a profile and upload full-length songs off of their latest album, list upcoming tour dates and locations, post photos and articles, and, perhaps more importantly, include a link to a page where fans can purchase their album on mp3. Fans can add their favorite performers to their friends list, further increasing Internet exposure.
In essence, the music industry is changing completely thanks to these websites. 10 years ago we wondered what tiny media we would be purchasing for our music, as the bulky record had transformed into the cassette tape and then the nearly paper-thin CD. But with the advent of the mp3, tangible music media began to vanish. Even MTV has let music fans down, evolving from a kooky 24-hour music video channel into a commercialized empire that airs programs such as “The Hills” and “Pimp My Ride” over music videos in what looks like a ratio of 20:1.
A few nights ago I went to a concert of a band named I Am X (with Chris Corner of the Sneaker Pimps, a trip-hop group that had decent radio exposure in the mid-90s). I stumbled upon their MySpace page and noticed that under “Label” they listed “Unsigned”. Yet the turnout at the concert was fairly good, and they seem to have a pretty strong fan following, with some people travelling all over the state to see them perform. This means that even without label support bands are able to sell digital copies of their albums and organize concert performances; websites such as MySpace and Facebook help them do just that. The music industry has definitely taken notice. Universal Music even threatened to sue MySpace over “copyright infringement” in 2006, which arguably shows that they felt endangered by the website’s increasing prominence.
It appears as though television is following a similar path with the help of websites such as YouTube. In fact, I know several people who no longer own a television and instead watch their favorite TV shows online. Although YouTube frequently deletes copyrighted videos uploaded by users, this does not stop them from reappearing later, nor does it stop similar websites from offering copyrighted material (in a similar fashion to what happened after the music-sharing network Napster was shut down in 2001). We may even see independent television shows and movies appearing on websites such as YouTube in the near future.
The revolution will indeed not be televised, but rather broadcast over the internet for all to see.

Aisha Farhoud is the Youth Editor of the Northeast News. She can be reached by email at aishafarhoud, yahoo

Crosby wins district title; resumes rivalry with Dayton

By BOBBY HORN JR.
CROSBY—Going into Friday’s game with the New Caney Eagles (2-8, 2-5) the Crosby Cougars (8-2, 6-1) already had a playoff berth secured but they needed one more win and some help from Barbers Hill to win the district 21-4A Championship.
The Cougars were successful on both counts; beating New Caney 33-18 while in Mont Belvieu Barbers Hill defeated Galena Park in a come-from-behind win 35-30. Although the Cougars technically have the same record at Smiley at 6-1 in district play, Crosby fans can brag that they dealt Smiley that single loss.
Chance Casey gave the Cougars their first points of the night three and half minutes into the game on a five-yard touchdown run. A missed extra point gave Crosby a 6-0 lead. Casey ended the game with 87 yards on 12 carries. These yards pushed him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season.

About a minute and a half later New Caney took their only lead on the night when Chad Jackson scored on a 57-yard run. The Eagles kicked the extra point for a 7-6 lead.
The Cougars struck back quickly.
Toris Doze fielded the ensuing kickoff on the 20-yard line and brought it back the length of the field for an 80-yard return. A second attempt at the PAT failed leaving the score 12-7.
The Cougar defense cracked down on New Caney forcing them into a fourth down situation late in the first quarter. Rather than attempt the conversion and risk bad field position the Eagles chose to go with a 30-yard field goal.
Durran Starks led his team back down the field in the Crosby version of the two-minute drill. The drive ended with Starks’ 22-yard touchdown pass to Preston Cantrell. Starks completed 15 of 23 passes for 248 yards.
Crosby increased their lead to 26-10 in the second quarter on a 13-yard run by Doze.
In the third quarter Starks came through again with a six-yard pass to Kyle Miller to give the Cougars a 33-10 lead.
New Caney would score once more in the game. In the fourth quarter Crosby made one of its few mistakes in the game when they lost control of the ball. Chad Jackson picked up the fumble for New Caney and took it back 64 yards for a touchdown.
With the regular season over, the Cougars turn their attention to the playoff.
Crosby will face Dayton in the Bi-District round. Dayton is coming off a 40-7 win over Port Neches Groves.
The two teams are familiar with each over having faced often in either district play or in the playoffs.
“They are a fast, physical and well coached team,” said Coach Head Coach Kevin Flanigan, “ I know there are going to bring everything they have.”
The past couple of years have seen a heated rivalry between the schools with Dayton getting the better of the exchange on the field.
In 2005 the two teams met in the final game of the season with the then-District 29-4A title on the line. Dayton beat Crosby 21-3 to win the championship, knocking the Cougars into third place.
Last year the Cougars and Broncos met in Dayton for Bi-District. The heated emotions of the game came to a head in the third quarter with a bench-clearing brawl that had to be broken up by police. Dayton knocked the Cougars out of the playoffs with a 35-0 win.
Flanigan said that his team is not focusing on the rivalry. “For us it’s just another game. We played really hard this week and I expect us to play Dayton just as hard.”
Injuries are a bane to a football team. Galena Park, the preseason favorite for the 22-4A title saw their perfect season come to an end two weeks ago as they lost three starters to injuries. No such problem for Crosby. “Everybody’s health and we’re ready to play,” Flanigan said.
The Bi-District game will be played Friday at Cougar Stadium in Crosby. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Considering Bonds? Be aware of “call risk”

When you buy a bond, it’s yours until you sell it or it matures, right? Not always. Sometimes, the bond issuer can buy it back early. If that happens, your investment strategies can change – so you’ll want to be prepared to take action.
Why would a bond issuer buy back, or “call,” a bond? The answer is pretty straightforward: to save money. When market interest rates drop, the issuer, such as a corporation, or state or local government (virtually all U.S. Treasury bonds are not callable) may decide to call its bonds, pay off bondholders like you, then reissue new bonds at the lower rates, thereby saving money on interest payments – and depriving you of a high-yielding asset.
At first glance, this scenario may not look particularly favorable, but you’re not quite as vulnerable as you might think. First, “callable” bonds, because they contain the risk of being cashed in early, may offer a higher interest rate than comparable, but non-callable, bonds. Also, some issuers may pay you a “call premium” – such as one year’s worth of interest – when they call your bond.

How can you know if a bond can be called? Before you buy a bond, check its specific terms, which are set forth in its indenture – the written agreement between the bond issuer and the bondholders. These terms include the bond’s interest rate, maturity rate and other terms – such as call provisions. Some bonds are “freely callable,” which means they can be redeemed anytime.
However, you can avoid unpleasant surprises by buying a bond that cannot be called – that is, a bond that offers “call protection” – for a given period of time. For example, if you buy a bond whose first call is three years from now, you’ll be able to take advantage of your bond’s interest rate for at least three years, regardless of market rate movements. (Some bonds, called “bullet bonds,” cannot be called at all. Bullet bonds, like other bonds with call protection, are typically more expensive – i.e., they pay lower interest rates – than callable bonds.)
Nonetheless, you may not always be able to find the bonds you want with call protection. And if you own a bond that is currently callable and pays more than newer bonds of identical quality, you may well get a call in the near future. You should be prepared for bond calls well before they occur. To help protect your portfolio from call risk, you may want to create a “bond ladder.” To build a bond ladder, you buy bonds with varying maturity and call dates. Then, if some of your bonds are called, you’ll still have other bonds with many years left until maturity; some of these bonds may still enjoy call protection. So, while some of your bonds may still be at risk of being called, your bond ladder can help provide you with some overall portfolio stability.
You can’t prevent a bond call – but if you know it may be coming, you can at least be poised to take positive action.

AmeriCorps wraps up year of service in Liberty Co.

LIBERTY— A team of 10 AmeriCorps* National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) members from the Central Region campus in Denver have been working with the Center for Faith and Health Initiatives on a variety of service projects in Houston and Raywood since Sept. 15.
While at Langetree DUCK FARM Eco Center in Raywood, the team has worked on updating the country’s largest labyrinth, constructing a greenhouse, erecting a meeting pavilion and planting numerous donated plants. They have also built 10 ramps for the elderly and disabled, performed 10 home restorations and presented disaster preparedness information to community members at the Chinese Community Center in Houston.

Corps Members are required to perform 80 hours of independent service during their 10 month term in AmeriCorps*NCCC, on top of their normally assigned projects. While in Houston, many Corps Members have exceeded this requirement, volunteering on their days off with local organizations, including the Houston Habitat for Humanity, Stages Repertory Theater, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and at the Houston Zoo.
Prior to this project in Houston, team members completed projects assisting with ongoing hurricane recovery along the Gulf Coast, as well as other service projects throughout the central United States. The team will be returning to Denver on November 1 to wrap-up their program year and graduate.
AmeriCorps*NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program in which 1,100 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, Corps Members – all 18 to 24 years old – work on teams of 8 to12 on projects that address compelling, self-identified community needs. These projects, usually lasting six to eight weeks each, improve the environment, enhance education, increase public safety, address unmet human needs, and provide rapid and continuing disaster relief.
AmeriCorps*NCCC has responded to every national disaster since the program began in 1994, including 1 million hours of service to date in response to Hurricane Katrina.
In exchange for their service, Corps Members receive $4,725 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, leadership development, team building skills, increased self-confidence, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can indeed make a difference.
AmeriCorps*NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
For more information about AmeriCorps*NCCC, visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.

In appreciation

At a recent Dayton City Council meeting Mayor Stephens and Police Chief Dozier were each presented a plaque commemorating 15 years of support for the Dayton Ole Tyme Days Festival. Stephens and council accepted the award from Wendy Bode, festival chairperson, on behalf of city employees that contribute to the success of the festival.
The 16th annual Dayton Ole Tyme Days Festival will be held April 18-20, 2008. All proceeds from the festival go to scholarships benefitting local graduating high school students. For more information, visit www.oletymedays.com.