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Community Columnists

Sunday 05/03/2015
FITSKO: Don’t postpone what matters
Posted: May 03, 2015 - 12:00 am

“The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy.” – Author Charles Swindoll

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HAILE: Forgotten sidekick never escaped The Kid’s shadow
Posted: May 03, 2015 - 12:00 am

Henry Brown laughed under his breath as he rode through a heavy downpour into Medicine Lodge, Kansas on May 1, 1884.

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MCKEE: Mistreatment of captives leads to bloodshed
Posted: May 03, 2015 - 12:00 am

By the spring of 1840 the Comanche Indians were feeling the effects of the increased numbers of colonists and losing more of their men while on raids into the central part of Texas. They were now being shot at on sight by the Rangers and groups of civilians. In January, 1840, a delegation from the Comanches met with the Rangers in San Antonio asking for a meeting to work out peace agreements and to gain recognition of tribal lands. As part of the meeting, the Comanches would be required to bring in all captives, including the famous one, Cynthia Ann Parker.

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MIMS: Fire ants return to Geronimo Creek thanks to moist spring
Posted: May 03, 2015 - 12:00 am

Brazil’s fire ants have spread far beyond their native land. They are now found in parts of the US, China, Australia and a string of other countries.

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Friday 05/01/2015
LINDEN: Civil unrest nothing new
Posted: May 01, 2015 - 12:00 am

We are seeing it again! People out in the streets using a lot of language and behavior that is not what we expect in our “civilized” society. What do we call this social activity? Some people call what happened in Baltimore this week, Ferguson, Missouri four months ago, and New York recently “riots.” Others call the same activity nothing more than protests. Like a lot of other things, it all depends on the beholder what the social unrest is.

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Thursday 04/30/2015
KUTSCHER: Meeting might aid flood victims; new courthouse update
Updated: April 30, 2015 - 5:31 pm

April has brought unexpected weather that included considerable rain and in some areas damaging straight-line winds. A number of calls came into the county concerning down trees and limbs in and along the roadways. A big thanks to our road and bridge department for the long hours, prompt response and hard work to clear those roadways for safe travel while assisting homeowners with access. Even with the inclement weather, the rains have been much-needed and appreciated, especially since we are so close to the beginning of summer. Unfortunately, we have become accustomed to extremes in weather like droughts and sometimes even floods.

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Wednesday 04/29/2015
LAW: Redefining Seguin’s alternative high school
Posted: April 29, 2015 - 12:00 am

A few weeks ago I was asked to explain what is Mercer-Blumberg Learning Center (MBLC). I’ve been overusing the same old definition of MBLC as being an alternative high school, and then having to go on to explain that by alternative I don’t mean discipline, but rather non-traditional.

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Educate Seguin is committed to improving the district
Posted: April 29, 2015 - 12:00 am

Can we talk? Because we are concerned that the answer, all too often, is “no”. As members of the Educate Seguin Steering Committee, we have, of late, been subjected to some unfortunate name-calling from members of the community. Phrases such as “influence-peddling” and “hidden agenda” have been bandied about in these pages and elsewhere by people who, to the best of our knowledge, we have never met. Clearly, we have failed to adequately communicate who we are and what we are trying to accomplish. Clearer still, we must do better.

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Sunday 04/26/2015
MCKEE: How Seguin got its name
Posted: April 26, 2015 - 12:00 am

After Texas won its independence at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836 and Santa Anna had been captured, Sam Houston directed everyone to return to their homes and try to salvage their businesses, farms and ranches. Those returning to Gonzales found the markers for property lines gone and only two buildings remained standing. Some even claimed property locations in the town square. In addition to the Rangers, Juan Seguin and Manuel Flores returned to Walnut Springs along with several families that had been unable to locate their land in Gonzales.

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FITSKO: Live your life out loud
Posted: April 26, 2015 - 12:00 am

It must have been in my 7th or perhaps 8th grade English class when I first saw the name Emile Zola scribbled across the chalkboard. As you may know, Zola was the distinguished 19th century French philosopher and writer twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was also known for his eternal optimism and an “unshakable belief in human progress.”

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HAILE: From cheerleader to king of prime-time TV
Posted: April 26, 2015 - 12:00 am

Aaron Spelling, the biggest big-shot in the history of television, was born in Dallas to poor immigrant parents on Apr. 22, 1923.

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MIMS: Field guides enhance outdoor adventures
Posted: April 26, 2015 - 12:00 am

Spring is the ideal time to become acquainted with the natural world.

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Friday 04/24/2015
LINDEN: Defaming Hillary Clinton
Posted: April 24, 2015 - 12:00 am

I am not a big Hillary Clinton fan, but at least I want to hear what she says about helping America. I know that there have been issues with her — more specifically, with her husband. She was tangentially involved in some of his questionable practices, but to my knowledge, she was not found guilty of any of them. One would not think so if one is listening to any of the candidates from the Republican Party for the presidency.

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Wednesday 04/22/2015
HERRERA: Overcoming tragedy to attain a dream profession
Posted: April 22, 2015 - 12:00 am

If you would have asked me months ago what I would be doing this time of the year, I would have said doing what I love to do, teaching prekindergarten. I knew the first time I stepped into an early childhood classroom that education is where I wanted to be, and so I began my career as an early childhood educator.

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Sunday 04/19/2015
ALMON: The Silver Center has two requirements
Posted: April 19, 2015 - 12:00 am

There are two absolute necessities for the Silver Center to survive.

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MIMS: Invasive plants can be more than a nuisance
Posted: April 19, 2015 - 12:00 am

Have you noticed fields covered in bright yellow wildflowers across Central Texas in recent weeks?

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HAILE: “Sport of kings” flourished in Texas during depression
Posted: April 19, 2015 - 12:00 am

In April 1934, a year after pari-mutuel horse racing became legal, Texas’ fourth track opened in San Antonio under the name of Alamo Downs.

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FITSKO: Kindness everywhere
Posted: April 19, 2015 - 12:00 am

“A Spiritual Samaritan lives knowing that if we were to leave this world tomorrow, we were the best humans we could be and we touched the lives of as many souls as possible. We are not asked to be perfect. We are asked to make a difference” – Molly Friedenfeld, creator of the Violet Wisdom Radio Show.

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MCKEE: In wake of Alamo debacle, Houston wins at San Jacinto
Posted: April 19, 2015 - 12:00 am

By Feb. 15, 1836, Santa Anna was crossing the Rio Grande with 6,000 soldiers with the goal of suppressing the Anglo settlers' revolution against Mexican rule. He had already directed General Urrea to eliminate the threat of Colonel Fannin and his army of 400 men at Goliad. (Fannin's defeat resulted in the Goliad Massacre on March 27, 1836). By Feb. 24, 1836, Santa Anna had arrived in San Antonio and had surrounded the Alamo where William B. Travis and Jim Bowie commanded a force of 187 men.

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Friday 04/17/2015
YOUNG: What’s new in New Berlin?
Posted: April 17, 2015 - 12:00 am

The Seguin Silver Center Country Music Show will be held on Thursday, April 16. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. There is a $6 cover charge. Food and drinks are available to purchase throughout the evening.

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DR. FOWLER: Keeping parasites in check is important
Posted: April 17, 2015 - 12:00 am

South Texas is a warm and welcoming environment. As such it is frequently seen as a perfect place to live. Unfortunately for us this also includes many other creatures that we may not enjoy sharing our homes with.

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LINDEN: Beware the same old tricks
Posted: April 17, 2015 - 12:00 am

Democrats had better pay attention to the Republican warnings about immigrants. They have been cautioning Americans about the danger of immigrants for years, but the Democrats have not paid attention. They made a great effort when President Obama was running for office. Remember, they wanted to see his birth certificate to prove that he is an American. The Republicans also raised the very strong possibility, in their minds, that the President’s mother actually had a birth announcement in Honolulu newspapers announcing the birth of Barack Hussein Obama from Kenya.

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RODRIGUEZ: Fighting fire with fire in an effort to reach South Texas Hispanics
Posted: April 17, 2015 - 12:00 am

I keep being asked by many conservative leaders, “Why do Hispanics in South Texas keep voting for Democrats?” My answer is that both the Tea Party and Republican Party seem to be missing a great opportunity by either ignorance or design.

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Thursday 04/16/2015
KEIL: The two-way street of effective communication
Posted: April 16, 2015 - 12:00 am

Successful cities require effective communication between their citizens and the city government. Over just the past few years, communication has taken many different forms, methods, gadgets, and purposes.

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Wednesday 04/15/2015
PATE: Tips for dealing with those end-of-the-year stresses
Posted: April 15, 2015 - 12:00 am

Well, Spring Break was uplifting and refreshing, now to head into the home stretch with enthusiasm and determination. I know that just the mention of the STAAR standardized tests can bring great anxiety for teachers, parents, and most of all our students, but there are some very useful tips in preparing your child for these stressful days.

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Sunday 04/12/2015
HAILE: Record strength tornado tears through panhandle
Posted: April 12, 2015 - 12:00 am

The only F5 tornado ever to touch down in the northernmost part of the Lone Star State tore through the Texas Panhandle on Apr. 9, 1947 leaving death and destruction in its 100-mile-long wake.

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FITSKO: Thomas Jefferson turns 272
Posted: April 12, 2015 - 12:00 am

“The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time” – Thomas Jefferson

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MIMS: Chocolate’s tasty allure
Posted: April 12, 2015 - 12:00 am

Various chocolate drinks originated in Central and South America, where they were widely consumed long before the Aztecs and the Spanish arrived. The drink was made from the fruit of cacao trees, which is a pod that contains two dozen or more pecan-sized seeds commonly called beans. The beans were dried, fermented and processed to yield cocoa, which was stirred into water to produce a bitter drink. Sometimes chili and other ingredients were added.

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BADING: Guide to food safety risks
Posted: April 12, 2015 - 12:00 am

With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the food, beverage and agricultural industries working together, the United States provides one of the safest food supplies in the world. However, despite all of these safety factors, microorganisms may still exist at levels that present risks to consumers.

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MCKEE: Remember Goliad
Posted: April 12, 2015 - 12:00 am

In October, 1835, the cannon shot by the DeWitt colonist at the Mexican soldiers in Gonzales is compared to the shot at Lexington that started the American Revolution. This was the shot that started the Texas revolution against Mexico. The cannon killed only one Mexican soldier, but it was the shot that had far-reaching effects, not only the Texicans, but eventually on the United States.

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Friday 04/10/2015
LINDEN: Remembering Lincoln
Posted: April 10, 2015 - 12:00 am

This coming Tuesday will mark the 150th anniversary of the shooting of President Abraham Lincoln and the 15th will mark his death. He was assassinated while watching the play, “Our American Cousin.” It was only five days after the signing of the treaty between the Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the United States General Ulysses S. Grant.

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RODRIGUEZ: Playing word games
Posted: April 10, 2015 - 12:00 am

You can’t fight tyranny if you don’t recognize it. Once again, liberal politicians are playing with words with laws in order to fool the taxpayers, and further their liberal agenda.

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Wednesday 04/08/2015
DEPALERMO: Technology plays large role in shaping classroom
Posted: April 08, 2015 - 12:00 am

Do you remember filmstrips, overheads and movie projectors? Remember wanting to be the one to help the teacher by turning the knob to advance the filmstrip? Or wanting to be the one picked by the teacher to help load or rewind the movie in the projector? How about wanting to be the one selected to get to write answers down on the overhead projector screen?

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Sunday 04/05/2015
MIMS: The great Tambora eruption 200 years ago
Posted: April 05, 2015 - 12:00 am

On this day 200 years ago, sounds like distant canons were heard hundreds of miles across Indonesia. The sounds came from a series of eruptions from the Tambora volcano on the island of Sumbawa. They were mere hints of what was to come.

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MCKEE: Seguin man had role in Gonzales cannon challenge
Posted: April 05, 2015 - 12:00 am

After Mexico won their independence from Spain in 1821, the new government decided to open the area of Texas to colonization.

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FITSKO: Easter message hidden in tale of war time tragedy
Posted: April 05, 2015 - 12:00 am

It’s been almost 10 years since I first shared this true story about a caring nurse and a badly-wounded soldier in a time of war. It’s also a message for Easter.

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HAILE: 'Ragtime King' left unique musical legacy
Posted: April 05, 2015 - 12:00 am

When Scott Joplin died in a New York City asylum on Apr. 1, 1917, the “King of Ragtime” was out of money and out of his mind.

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Friday 04/03/2015
LINDEN: Teaching moment missed
Posted: April 03, 2015 - 12:00 am

Recently, a major publicity event happened at the University of Oklahoma. As most of us know, a group of fraternity brothers were captured on a camera chanting racial slurs. The images went viral and there was a public outcry nationwide — in particular at the university.

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Thursday 04/02/2015
WOLVERTON: AACOG: Continuing to serve the Alamo region
Posted: April 02, 2015 - 12:00 am

The Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) is proud to have served the Alamo Region communities for nearly half a century. The agency has been consistent in offering our constituents, and stakeholders, services ranging from: aging, nutrition, benefits counseling, care coordination, regional transportation, economic development, air quality education, housing and weatherization, strategic planning and public safety, among others.

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Wednesday 04/01/2015
HOKE: The power of knowledge within music education
Posted: April 01, 2015 - 12:00 am

“As your body grows bigger, your mind grows flowered. It’s great to learn, ‘cause knowledge is power!” — School House Rock

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Sunday 03/29/2015
MCKEE: The Comanche threat
Updated: March 29, 2015 - 9:22 am

Our town of Seguin has a great and colorful history but it didn’t just begin with the Texas Revolution.

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FITSKO: A lesson taught by a student
Updated: March 29, 2015 - 9:23 am

A retired teacher friend who now enjoys substitute teaching a couple of days a week shared with me an incident that occurred at the school where she was working. I believe you’ll appreciate her story as much as I did:

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HAILE: Senator gives up seat to run for governor
Updated: March 29, 2015 - 9:23 am

On March 26, 1956, two weeks after asking Texans whether he should vacate his seat in the U.S. Senate in order to run for governor, Price Daniel went back on statewide television with the results of his dubious “poll.”

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Mosquito season nearing
Posted: March 29, 2015 - 12:00 am

A rare event recently occurred in my house when a small winged insect landed on a wall. On close inspection, the insect had long legs and a thin, needle-like rod that emerged from between its eyes. The creature was a mosquito.

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Friday 03/27/2015
LINDEN: Cruz’s anarchist platform
Posted: March 27, 2015 - 12:00 am

We now have a candidate for the Presidency of the United States. Yes, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has announced his candidacy for the Presidency. However, we do not know what party, if any, he is representing. Listening to his announcement, it is very hard to know. There seemed to be some appeal to myriad groups contained in his announcement before a houseful of young people who attended lest they be fined 10 dollars for not doing so.

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RODRIGUEZ: No real comparison here
Posted: March 27, 2015 - 12:00 am

Liberal Texas Democrats have voiced their opposition to Texas Senate Bill 185, which limits Texas cities from preventing the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Some liberal Latino lawmakers claim the proposed law will cause “racial profiling.”

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Wednesday 03/25/2015
MCCULLOUGH: Burges campus offers at-risk kids another chance
Posted: March 25, 2015 - 12:00 am

I have been teaching history in Seguin ISD for 13 years. During that time, I’ve had the pleasure to work at the Lizzie Burges Alternative Campus.

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Sunday 03/22/2015
MIMS: FOG SEASON
Posted: March 22, 2015 - 12:00 am

While we all know that fog impairs visibility, apparently some drivers do not realize that thick fog can totally block what’s ahead. Of course that’s why foggy conditions cause countless vehicle accidents across Texas and around the world.

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MIRANDA: 4-H offers local schools a chance to participate too
Posted: March 22, 2015 - 12:00 am

The 4-H club is the main way that youth participate in the 4-H program.

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FITSKO: Take ‘sole custody’ of your life
Posted: March 22, 2015 - 12:00 am

Recently I had a slight problem with my new laptop computer my wife had purchased for me earlier this year. Understanding my lack of patience and lack of luck with all things mechanical, she suggested I re-read the manual that came with the notebook-sized machine and try to resolve the problem myself.

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