Port Aransas South Jetty (Port Aransas, Tex.), Vol. 34, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 15, 2004 Page: 3 of 18
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Murray and Mary Judson
Phone (361) 749-5131 E-mail: southjetty@centurytel.
Port Aransas South Jetty
South Texas Press Association
Texas Gulf Coast Press Association
Texas Press Association
National Newspaper Association
Thursday, April 15, 2004 3A
Gov. Rick Perry is
finding that guberna-
torial power is much
easier to exercise nega-
tively than positively.
His threat to veto
any new taxes last year
kept legislators from
'even considering new
taxes them, not want-
ing a pro-tax vote on
.their record if the
measure was doomed.
But now, even busi-
ness leaders are beg-
ging, “tax us.”
“Underspending on public education de-
prives us of the quality work force that will
cause businesses to expand,” I>avid Laney of
the Dallas Chamber of Commerce told a spe-
cial legislative committee on school finance.
Something positive, such as raising
teacher pay significantly, takes leadership
, — as former Democratic Gov. Mark White
discovered. In 1982, he pledged to raise
teachers’ pay without raising taxes. Legisla-
tive leaders finally made him choose which
promise to break.
Goaded by billionaire Ross Perot, a school
reform special session in 1984 brought a
id\ iiicicand mglici icaviici pay — but
also competency testing. Texas moved up
in state teacher pay charts for a change, but
teachers hated the test.
Teachers, and legislators, had come to
distrust White, and it spread to voters. In
1986, they were even willing to take back
Republican Bill Clements, whom they’d
ousted in 1982.
Perry could faces similar dangers, for
. slightly different reasons. He has jawboned
about his commitment to quality education,
and the need for a special legislative ses-
sion to revamp school finance, which he
announced will convene on Tuesday.
But teachers, who think his veto threat
helped push legislators to cut the state’s con-
tribution to their health insurance in half
last year, are saying “show us the money.”
After Perry went off to the Bahamas to
bone up on education with school voucher
sugar daddy James Leininger and anti-taxer
Grover Norquist, one teacher group, the
J Association of Texas Professional Educa-
tors, withdrew its support for a special leg-
• islative session.
“li appears that a special session wiii be
more about politics and education reform,
and less about ensuring academic success
*of our students,” said ATPE association
spokesman Mike Crouch.
Perry also angered local officials by call-
ing for a 3 percent annual cap on increases
in property appraisal rates without a vote.
Combined with a proposed limit on local
revenue increases without a vote, they think
Perry’s plan amounts to avoiding the state’s
funding responsibilities, but putting a lid
on locals’ ability to make up the gap.
The governor and key legislators are look-
ing to up “sin” taxes — on tobacco, alcohol,
and licensing video lottery terminals. But,
even if they put the state further into the
gambling business, gambling only goes so
The only sure things, it’s said, are death
and taxes. Perry’s dilemma is if he raises
taxes to help schools, he may be politically
dead. But if he doesn’t, he may also.
Two Republican women — U.S. Sen. Kay
Railev Hutchison, quietly, and Comptroller
Carole Keeton Strayhorn, loudly with al-
most daily blasts at Perry arc waiting to
see if Perry can figure it out.
Contact McNeely at 512/445-3644 or
to the Editor
Letters to the editor must meet
the following criteria: • Letters should
be of interest to the readership of the
South Jetty • should be limited to
about 300 words • must contain a
valid signature • must contain a valid
mailing address • must contain day
and evening telephone numbers
where the writer may be reached •
names of persons writing letters will
not be withheld from publication •
unsigned letters will not be pub-
lished -only one letter per person per
30 days period will be published • let-
ters endorsing or opposing political
candidates are considered political
advertising and should be taken to
the advertising department • all let-
ters are subject to editing • letters of
complaint about private businesses
will be forwarded to the business in
question and will not be published •
“thank you” letters are considered
classified advertising and should go
to the classified ad department •
deadline for letters is 10 a.m. Mon-
day for inclusion in the following
This change you’re sure to notice
Response from readers and advertisers to
last week’s color edition of the South Jetty
was gratifying. We were excited because it’s
our “baby" taking a big step forward. We felt
like proud “parents” when our product was
received with so much enthusiasm.
That enthusiasm will carry us in to the
weeks ahead as we continue to publish the
newspaper using what is called in the indus-
try “process color”.
This is a milestone in the history of the
South Jetty that is on the same level as pub-
lication of our first broadsheet (full size)
edition in December 1983. It’s right up there
with changing from a photo-based produc-
tion process to “desktop"
publishing in 1985.
was reached about two
months ago as we began
transmitting our pages to
the printer via e-mail.
Last week’s issue was
transmitted via the
Internet using an FTP
(file transfer protocol)
site. (If I sound like I
know what I’m talking
about, it’s because we
have such a knowledge-
We bought the South Jetty in the final
months of 1980 and published our first is-
sue on Jan. 8, 1981. The excitement we felt
then was matched last week when we pub-
lished our first color issue.
The possibilities are endless and give us
renewed energy to bring you the best prod-
uct possible, in terms of content and ap-
Using color opens opportunities we did
not have with black-and-white. It w ill change
the way we look at the community and the
newspaper that we hope reflects it.
So hang on, we’re in for a great ride!
Woes of the Sunday golfer
The preacher yawned one Sunday morn
and blessed a sunny sky.
Having tasks ahead, he left bis bed anti
heaved a heavy sigh.
"Oh to think, I could hit the links and
play a round or two
But duty calls and sinners all await what 1
But private time would be sublime, from
all my worldly deeds.
I give my all to those who call, but neglect
my personal needs.
I could be ill and Brother Bill could preach
the preach today.
Yes, that’s the key ... and then I’ll be to the
links along the way.
So off he went, and
thus he spent a one-man
Under skies of blue the
preacher knew that joy
he now had found.
His game was on, his
swing was true, sweet
birdies sang divine.
As he made the turn
his stomach churned -
five under after nine.
Then coming in, he did again bring rap-
ture to his day.
The putts did sink, he was on the brink
of a record-breaking day.
At 18 Hole - well, bless his soul, an his-
toric hole in one:
A final score of 64 - a golfing feat well
“See me,” he yelled, as in a spell, to noth-
ing but the clouds,
“A 64 should have a roar - I deserve a
Never before in golfing lore has a round
been played so well.”
Then a golden light and a voice of might:
“But who now' can you tell?”
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Color is great
What a wonderful addition color is to the
South Jetty. While you and your staff do an
outstanding job of depicting an issue or an
article of interest with the writ ten word, the
color certainly adds pizzazz. Murray’s pho-
tos just come to life and what a great issue
to begin with, coverage of the SandFest.
Thank you for the nice addition to an a!
ready great paper.
Pigeons, pigeons, pigeons, where have they
come from? In the yachting business, I guess
it could be best described as the “Ice Cream
I know it’s wrong to shoot a firearm in
the city limits, and it’s no justification, hut
I’d really like to know how to control these
ice cream factories. In my industry and the
profession of many on the island, when you
wash and shammie and maintain these mil-
lion dollar yachts to have the ice cream fac-
tories come to roost, it’s more than disap-
The police (city and county) were both
very nice and were patient, to listen to my
story. It was really funny; the eyewitness de-
scribed a person with a white T-shirt and
blue shorts shooting a brown pelican. It was
me, hut it was not a brown pelican! It was
an ice cream squirter.
About 30 minutes later, alter everyone had
lelt the dock area, 1 looked down behind
one of the boats and saw one of the biggest
sea biscuits, that even I would have been
proud of producing. 1 looked twice to make
sure of its identity and the corn confirmed
it. I thought to myself, where’s the justice?
Here I shot and killed a pigeon. How many
species of animals are you live-a-boards in
the city marina and other marinas in town
killing when you people pump your raw sew-
age in my water?
Yes, I discharged a firearm in the city lim-
its. Yes, 1 expect to he handed the maximum
fine. Yes, I will never do it again. Yes, I un-
derstand I did something wrong.
Now, it’s your turn. Right your wrongs.
Get your fellow live-a-boards to do the same.
I know killing a pigeon didn’t really hurt
the stock. 1 wonder what damage you live-
a-boards have done to the stock, now and
in the future. I’ve made a living from the
sea providing for a family. I fee! lucky. !
considered it my business. I wish you people
would quit defecating 111 my office 01 leave.
Jim E. Clouse
Great pool, guards
On the eve of our departure from Port
Aransas on sailing vessel Griffin, we would
like to say thanks to Harriet and all the crew
at the municipal swimming pool.
Over the years we have enjoyed this first-
class facility daily, and it has contributed to
our good health. It is certainly worthy of
its national recognition as well-maintained
and well-operated pool. But the real char-
acter of the place is best found in the won-
derful young people who so diligently look
after everyone’s safety. You try hollering “no
running” with a smile!
Having been a lifeguard in my distant
youth, I know well the responsibility that
rests with them. I have never seen a more
dedicated group, and they are led well by
their supervisors. Thanks to you all.
Hal Schade and Lynn Cortez
When in Rome. . .
Last week a local contributor wrote that
having “drawn and quartered Winter Visi-
tors for peddling so slowly—and having run
off some in the process - it is time, if only
for equity’s sake, to speak to some local prob-
I agree with the contributor’s points: our
IGA parking lot can he maddening; when
our kids walk roadways at night, brighter
clothing would be safer; and, yep, some lo-
cal teen drivers irreverently “donut” our
So why don’t we see letters from Port
Aransans about these local things to the
same extent we do about problems caused
by visitors? Well, seems to me it comes down
to Port Aransas being our little pond...our
little family...(and our property taxes!). And
you can he sure you won’t see the usual large
flock of Snow Birds flying down to help us
clean-up after the next really big blow. And
why should they? Afterall, they’re only visi-
tors, not family...but that’s my point.
I uon’i know if the “family" hypothesis
fully explains why we don’t publicly critique
ourselves as much as out-group people. But
this I do know: In the other states and coun-
tries where I have traveled and lived, I had
the best times when 1 was an accommodat-
ing visitor; when I remembered to “drive
friendly” local style and to say gracias and
As the truism says, “When in Rome...”
Community comes through
What a wonderful editorial on Sandfest
(Spinoff, April 8).
It’s so true that it is a wonderful family
event that takes the whole town to accom-
plish. Reading about it helps ease the pain
of my sore muscles from hours (days - ac-
tually a whole week) on the beach, and the
hours at the computer and so on. As we
put our personal and professional lives hack
together after Sandfest, it is just now sink
ing in, the incredible job done by volunteers
that has just happened.
No one hears of the little girl (5 years
old) lost for an hour who we searched for
and found. When 1 got the call that she
was found, I just started crying. Then a
small child walked up and his parent was
lost, hut not for long. The way everyone
jumped in to help find that little girl was
great. She was a long way off when found.
T hen there was the vendor who cut her
hand really had and showed up at Central
tent. I walked her down to our Dr. Nowotny
who volunteered to run the first aid tent.
Yes, the Sandfest has really grow n.
Thank you for all your support and the
Pi t asf see LETTERS,’ PAGE 10A
A Texas voice
He is called “a
ist” and “the
according to his
nia state Sen.
quite as oxymoronic as those labels. Indeed,
his recently proposed amendment to the
state constitution aptly illustrates another
nickname, “the Johnny Appleseed of Self-
In a hold move that would serve to en-
courage self-esteem and at the same time
court the political favor of rising voters,
Vasconcellos has put forth Senate Consti-
tutional Amendment No. 19, titled “Train-
ing Wheels for Citizenship,” which would
lower the voting age from 18 to 14.
Yes, that’s right, the kid jumping his skate-
board over the trash can next door would
he able to weigh in on the issues of the day,
just like the kids who are lining up for
tongue-piercings and tattoos at the strip mall
It would be a graduated power, though.
Those aged 14 and 15 would have a quar-
ter of a vote and those 16 and 17 would
have half a vote. So, your kids would have
to hand together to nullify your ballot.
There are many good points about his
idea, most notably getting citizens politically
involved at an early age. If “Training Wheels
for Citizenship” becomes law, then eighth-
grade civics classes take on a whole new
meaning. The subject would no longer he
theory hut reality. Let’s face it, studying for
something that you cannot put into prac-
tice for four years is an absolute waste of
time for most young teens.
T he thought is that the new, young voters
would really get involved and keep up with
what is happening in government, plus they
would get in the habit of doing so at an early
age and would continue as young adults.
And it will give California yet another
facet for entertaining America. Yes, the state
that brought us Hollywood, actor governors,
Disneyland and reality television may soon
by run by teenagers.
Just imagine the news flashes:
“The state Assembly today authorized a
$100 million grant to aid in finding a cure
“Governor Gary Coleman, in baggy pants
that drooped well below the hand of his un-
derwear, signed an executive order prohibit-
ing schixd districts from enforcing dress codes.”
“To ensure that all of California’s eligible
voters are able to get to the polls, the legal
driving age has been reduced to 13.”
“The newly formed Communication Party
has placed five senators and 22 assembly
members into state houses, running on the
promise of ‘a cell phone in every pocket and
wi-fi in every garage’.”
Seriously, there is much more substance
to teenagers than that. They have an itn
mense capacity for caring, whether it is
about their friends, welfare, the environ-
ment, international politics or their future
ability to make a living.
Think they don’t care about war and
peace? Consider who w ill be fighting in the
next war. Heck, yeah, they care.
Teens are incredibly loyal, unless some-
one does them wrong, but even then they
can prove forgiving. And they have a sharply
tuned alert mechanism when it comes to
cutting through adult nonsense, lies and
exaggeration, something that will prove a
challenge to politicians.
To go into effect, Vasconcellos’ proposal
must receive two-thirds support from the
state Legislature and then be approved by
voters, all of whom will be 18 or older.
While the idea is one us old folks will
likely laugh at, it remains something worth
considering. Some of the best advice we
might receive could come from a youngster
who has not yet had it drilled into him that
some things just are not possible.
Steee Martaindale is a self-syndicated
columnist. Write him ut
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Judson, Mary. Port Aransas South Jetty (Port Aransas, Tex.), Vol. 34, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 15, 2004, newspaper, April 15, 2004; Port Aransas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth662922/m1/3/: accessed March 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Ellis Memorial Library.