Burleson Star (Burleson, Tex.), Vol. 30, No. 35, Ed. 1 Thursday, February 9, 1995 Page: 3 of 16
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Burleson Star, Thursday, February 9,1995-3
Off my mind
New emissions test catches Murphy with his back turned
By TERRY EVANS
My life generally has been ruled
by Murphy’s Law.
I expect anything to go wrong
that can. If there are multiple possi-
bilities, I anticipate seeing those that
cause the greatest damage.
This year, Murphy’s grip
I’ve told the regular readers what
happened in October when wc tried
to get an inspection sticker on the
family’s 170,000-plus-miles, 1986
Lc Baron. It flunked the emissions
Wc put some money—and con-
siderable work between me and John-
Thc-Fixcr—into it. It flunked again.
More money and labor later, it
flunked yet again.
Dawn and I were at wit’s end.
Evidently, there was nothing short of
a new engine that would satisfy the
demonic cmissions-testing machine.
New engines cost more than the
blue-book price of a 1986 Lc Baron.
Because of the just-out-of-reach lim-
its to acceptable carbon monoxide,
our car was totaled.
With all due respect to the envi-
ronmentalist—many of whom I hold
in high regard—and to the atmo-
sphere—which I always have en-
joyed breathing—this is an unaccept-
able situation. Our finances are flac-
I feel compelled to add that our
car is not a blue-smoker. It still runs,
though it shakes and rattles as it rolls.
Trading the Lc Baron was not an
option, so we resigned ourselves to
the inevitable: ticket after ticket for
an expired inspection sticker.
Suddenly, there were police cars
at every stop sign and traffic light.
We flinched every time a cop got a
full-frontal view of the Lc Baron. Wc
would drive around a block to avoid
Wc no longer cleaned the wind-
shield, hoping the patina of dirt
would blur those all-too-bold num-
bers proclaiming our crime.
Day after day, week after week,
the tension was omni present.
Then, praise the Lord, the Envi-
ronmental Protection Agency struck,
and Murphy’s back was turned.
When legislation that directly
costs people money comes down the
pike, the Evans family commonly is
caught up in it to the max.
The law mandating a more com-
plicated, extra-expensive emissions
lest, I just knew, was going to sock it
to us in spades. However, as the thing
unfolded, I read and heard that auto
owners would be required to spend
at least $200 attempting to pass, then
the government would allow us to
apply for waivers if our rides still
failed to comply.
“Shoot,” I said, “we’ve already
spent more than $200 and still can’t
gel the thing done under the old sys-
tem. This might work out OK after
The news just kept getting bet-
ter. We didn’t have to get the emis-
sions test for an inspection sticker.
We didn’t have to get it this year at
When the emissions test is rein-
stated—assuming it comes out of
Austin without dramatic changes—
it will affect those who must get their
license plates renewed in an odd or
even ^car of the same set as their
car’s model year. In 1995, no 1986
Lc Barons have to undergo the test.
Next year, we might pass. It is
possible that limits on autos 10 years
and older will be less strict: 1996
minus 1986 equals 10 years! Think
Murphy will leave us alone long
enough for that to happen? When Lc
Barons fly, maybe.
Anyway, I thought it was too
good to be true, but it wasn’t.
Driving into a reputable inspec-
tion station Saturday (hey, I said the
stress was omni-present, but, after
surviving unscathed through Novem-
ber and December with a bum slicker,
my tendency to procrastinate over-
powered it), I prepared myself for a
let-down that never came.
The guy took my car keys; I sat
in the wailing room through one
chapter of a book.
One paragraph into the next
chapter, the guy called me to the desk.
As I lucked my head so far down
between my shoulders I looked like
a football lineman, he handed me my
keys and said, “All ready to go.”
“It passed?” I almost gasped.
“Sure did,” he answered. “Why
“Oh, no reason,” said I, snatch-
ing the keys from his outstretched
hand faster than Grasshopper grab-
bing a pebble from the blind Kung
Just as fast, we were street-legal
again. My elation manifested in bi-
I cleaned the windshield. For the
first time in three months, people in
front of us will see our faces without
those mud-colored fan-shapes fram-
I was so tickled that I drove
around trying to find a cop, and make
him or her look at our brand-new in-
spection sticker. It’s amazing how
few are around when you’re trying
to show off.
I must have walked out my
home’s front door five times Satur-
day to make sure that new inspection
sticker actually was there.
Oh, my. Murphy hasn’t lost our
address after all; writing the sentence
above inspired me to go out and gaze
upon the slicker again.
It’s still there, but the left rear
tire is flat.
Flier writer's attack on Coach Lea is unfair
Many members of our commu-
nity received fliers on theircars, front
doors, and in their mail boxes last
week which made unfounded, even
slanderous accusations against BIIS
Girls Varsity SoccerCoach Pam Lea.
As a parent of four students who
have been involved in athletics in
Burleson since 1987, I’d like to
comment on these accusations.
My children, two boys and two
girls, haveplayedevery sport offered
in this town, for just abOjtt every
coach avaialable—including BYA
baseball, BISA soccer, indoor soc-
cer, Little Dribblers basketball, and,
at BJHS and BHS, football, track,
soccer and volleyball.
There are several hundred par-
ents here who know my family
through these activities. Sometimes,
my children haveexcelled at a fewof
these sports; sometimes, they have
been mediocre; and, sometimes, in
spite of lots of hard work, and tre-
mendous desire, some have been not-
There have been times when I,
too, felt that my child was sitting on
the bench more than he or she de-
served. There have been times when
1 felt that one of mine was being
overlooked, and another, inferior
player was getting more playing time.
There have been times when 1
felt that one of mine should have
made the AH Stars, but was not named.
But, there is one thing I learned
early on, raising four kids—there is
no better way to clear the air than to
quietly confront the coach, face-to-
face, and ASK WHY.
1 have never been disappointed
when I have done dais, for, although
the child might not get any more
playing time, at the very least 1 had
the satisfaction of understanding the
coach's decision, and could more
readily explain it to the child.
When there was no satisfactory
explanation, 1 used this as a lesson
that all things in life are not fair, and
that the best they could make of it was
to worlt harder, to try to improve their
skills. All coaches 1 have ever dealt
with want to win, and they are going
to play the players whogive them the
best opportunity to do so. If the child
is not satisfied with the amount of
playing time, he or she needs to dig
in, and give all their effort to improv-
ing their skill level.
The author of these fliers did not
ever approach Coach Lea to ASK
Perhaps she knew the answer.
She also accuses theBurlesonStar of
refusing to print her unsigned letter,
and, in so doing, "covering up" for
the coach. The Star has long had a
policy of refusing to print unsigned
(much less slanderous) letters to the
editor. This policy is clearly stated on
each editorial page. So, she should
have known why they would not print
Now, about Coach Lea. My
oldest daughter played -voHeyball in
seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth
grades. Her closest friendships, and
her social group, at school were made
up of the volleyball players—those
she spent most of her time with due to
all the extra practices, bus trips, etc.
She loved the sport, and gave it
110 percent of her effort. However,
when school started, in her junior
year, Coach Lea called me to let me
know that my daughter was just not
skilled enough to make the team.
She and I both cried, as we bob.
knew this meant a major upheaval in
herclass schedule, as well as distanc-
ing her from those close friendships.
As any of you who have ever had a
kid cut from a team know, this is, at
best, a terrible situation for a teen to
And, yes, at first I was angry
with Coach Lea. Couldn't she have
found something better than the bench
position she offered my daughter?
When I asked her this, she said that
there were just too many great play-
Little did I forsee (hat this great
team would go on to win two district
championships. Do 1 wish my kid
had been part of that? You betcha.
However, Coach Lea had seen
my five-foot-zero-inch daughter not
getting any taller, nor increasing her
vertical jump—one of which is an
absolute necessity in reaching over
So, during her ninth grade year,
Pam suggested that my daughter try
recreational soccer, as lack of height
is not a disadvantage in that sport.
She encouraged her to use her
strengths—speed and agility—in a
sport that she could excel at, instead
of continuing her efforts in one at
which she would be mediocre, at
Coach Lea used the knowledge
she has gained from many years of
dealing with teens and sports for the
best—both for my daughter and for
the volleyball and soccer teams. It is
my opinion that she displayed a very
concerned, and Christian attitude in
watching out for the best interests of
the. volley ball team^w.hiJe, at thesamt,
time, tty encouraging the kid to try*
another sport, she gave her a chance
to find the one sport that turned out to
be the one she excels in.
1 will always be grateful toCoach
Lea for this foresight and guidance.
This is the person I have come to
know since 1987. If the author of the
fliers had talked to Coach Lea face-
to-face, she Would have found the
same persorc The author achieved
nothing by falsely accusing the coach.
One dqes not teach a child re-
sponsibility Tor her/>wn acdons by
blaming others, if the child is sitting
on the bench on Coach Lea’s team, I
can assure you from personal experi-
ence that it is because she is not
playing on the same skill level as
those who are on the field, regardless
of what mom thinks.
Perhaps the solution lies in the
girl trying harder—reaching beyond
her own limits. Or, perhaps the gill
needs to try another sport. What does
NOT need to continue is the parent's
attempt to blame the coach for the
inadequacies or inexperience of the
To have done so in a public
manner, by distributing fliers all over
town, is a disgraceful, and undeserved
insult to the coach.
Drunk drivers choose to become criminals
This letter is in response to an
ai tide in the Feb. 2,1995, issue of the
Burleson Star, that dealt with pro-
posed changes to the DWI laws.
Specifically, I would like to
address the remarks made by Mr.
Mark Ellenberger, who was inter-
\ ie wed for the story. M r. Ellenberger's
contention is that the state's DWI
laws are stiff enough.
In particular, he contends that
DWI laws are merely a money-mak-
ing proposition for the city, and that
the enforcement of such laws only
serves to make people intocriminals.
First of all, I don't believe that a
DWI arrest generates very much
money for the city. A DWI is not a
crime that is prosecuted by the city,
but by the county in county court.
Any fines that are levied against a
violator as a result of a conviction go
to the county court.
Second, Mr. Ellenberger remarks
that "You can test a person for the
level of alcohol in his blood, but not
his ability to operate a motor vehicle
safely." This is patently untrue; there
is a direct, scientific correlation be-
tween a person's B AC (blood alcohol
concentration) and their ability to
perform divided-attention tasks (like
driving a car).
Officers do, in fact, test a per-
son’s ability to operate a vehicle
safely, with the standard roadside
Inconclusion, 1 believe that DWI
laws need to be strengthened as much
as possible. DWI arrests do save lives
and we do not make people into
criminals with our laws.
I should point out that for the last
eight and one-half years 1 have been
a Fort Worth Police officer, and for
two of those years I served in a DWI
A little over a year ago, I lost a
friend named Alan Chick, when he
was killed by a DWI driver. Alan's
killer wasn't made a criminal by the
DWI laws; he made a conscious
decision to drink and drive, and he
took a life as a result.
Any driver who is DWI is a po-
tential killer. And, all drunk drivers
choose to be criminals.
—MICHAEL S. BAGGOTT
\ oiunie .V). Number 35 • 16 Pages in I Section
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Bring on concealed weapons;
shoot 'em all; sort 'em out later
By JAMES MOODY .
Star Editor, Publisher
OK, now that the liberal estab-
lishment has bit the big one, politi-
cally speaking, il finally looks like
we’ll gel our God-given (not to men-
right to bear concealed weapons.
But that’s only half the battle
will it do to pack
iron on our hips
(or under our
sleeve or in our
socks or under-
wear or wherever
a Smith and Wesson might fit with
the least inconvenience to the
wearer) if we can’t use it?
Oh sure, we can blast away at
intruders, suspected intruders, bill
collectors, trick or treaters, and
people on the freeway who make
rude gestures at us when we force
them off the road. But, as fun as that
may be, wc likely wouldn’t be firing
off enough shots to keep in practice
if we’re limited to those targets.
I mean, in all my 21-plus years
I’ve never had an intruder or bill col-
lector at my door. If that trend con-
tinues, I might just as well carry a
roll of toilet paper in my holster for
all the good a gun would do me.
What such limitations arc sure
to create is a modern-day hired gun.
In other words, if you’ve got bill col-
lectors and your neighbor doesn't—
and you’re too squeamish or liberal
to pull the trigger yourself—then the
bounty hunter next door might be
willing to do it for you—for a price.
While there's a certain nostalgic
appeal to shootouts, gun fights, vigi-
lantes, and hired guns, there’s a bet-
ter solution. It’s even politically cor-
rect since it fits right in with the Re-
publicans’ Contract with America,
which wc all obviously want since
wc were so disenchanted with the
way things were: improving econ-
omy, reduced deficit, decreasing
crime rate, edneem for the young, the
poor, the elderly, the middle class,
consumers, and the environment.
It’s so simple it's a wonder Newt
or George W. hasn’t already thought
qf it—simply expand the target area
to include troublesome factions.
For instance, the poor.
Let’s face it: the poor constitute
one of the biggest political debates
between the do-gooder liberals and
the conservatives, aka the forces of
righteousness. The criteria would be
simple: if a person can’t be helped
by cuts in the capital gains tax, then
he’s beyond help—blow him away.
Certainly, it’s a well-known fact
that people arc only poor because
they arc too lazy to wort:. And why
else do poor women get pregnant
except to pad the welfare rolls?
Get rid of these people. It’s as
simple as that. If they’re as miserable
in their poverty and squalor as the
pot-smoking liberals say they arc
then we’d be doing them a favor by
getting them out of their misery.
Plus, by eliminating these people
from the face of the earth, enough
welfare and social reform programs
could be abolished to warrant further
cuts in the capital gains tax. Where
are your priorities?
And how about those pro-
choicers? Sure, sure, we know all
about those arguments that a woman
should have domain over her own
body; or that she and the baby will
both pay for her mistake the rest of
their lives because of missed educa-
tional opportunities and reduced em-
ployment choices: or that emotion-
ally and psychologically she may not
be prepared for motherhood.
Yeah, yeah. If people arc so un-
concerned about another ’s life, then
Worst of all arc the environmen-
talists. If they’re so wonied about
overpopulation, eliminate them and
give the rest of us more elbow
room.They should even be in favor
of fewer people to pollute the air and
water—not to mention the real ben-
efits: fewer extremists trying to stop
us from blasting away at spotted owls
and golden checked wtxblcrs and
fewer zealots putting health, human
rights, and preservation of the planet
above the one thing that': made this
country truly great—profits.
Of course, if we’re going to ac-
complish all these great deeds, we
peed assault weapons instead of puny
handguns. And, it goes without say-
ing, that those bullets (hat are deadly
wherever they hit a person are a must.
Otherwise, a wounded environmen-
talist or otherwise-defenseless, pov-
erty-stricken teenage mother could
become enraged and shoot back.
And what a boon open season on
liberals would be
to tort reform. Not
true tort reform, of
course, but the
kind now being
our Contract that
protects the likes of General Motors
from those whom its faulty designs
kill or maim. There’s certainly merit
to an alternate proposal that those so-
called consumer advocates—who, by
public safety lawsuits would deprive
giant corporations of their right to ex-
orbitant profits—be forced to drive
pickups that become infernos or be
injected with implants or other
chemical substances which arc nei-
ther fail-safe nor adequately tested.
The irony of that isn't lost on me,
but we're not talking irony here;
we’re talking big irons. Just get them
in your sights and gently squeeze the
trigger. It’s simple: it’s quick; and it’s
humane. Who said conservatives
have no social consciousness?
Granted, the wholesale slaugh-
ter of dissidents may, at first glance,
seem a bit extreme, but it’s certainly
not unprecedented and docs remove
most obstacles to that Contract wc all
want so badly to fulfill.
I could have included nonsmok-
ers—what right do they have to say
that I can’t inflict discomfort, aller-
gies, and lung cancer on them if I en-
joy il? And how about rude clerks?
Or rude customers, for that matter?
Both groups arc candidates for our
hit list if wc run out of targets.
There are dozens more: neigh-
bors with small children; neighbors
with teenagers; neighbors with loud
stereos, cats, cars, or motorcycles;
educators who teach human values
instead of sticking to the basics;
members of oddball religious faiths;
people who invite you over and then
show home movies...
Gccz, will the madness never
Adding a new twist to the concealed
**The criteria would be simple; if a person can’t be helped by cuts in
the capital gains tax, then he’s beyond help—blow him away!"
Here’s what’s next.
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Ellertson, Sally. Burleson Star (Burleson, Tex.), Vol. 30, No. 35, Ed. 1 Thursday, February 9, 1995, newspaper, February 9, 1995; Burleson, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth762572/m1/3/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Burleson Public Library.