Joshua Star (Joshua, Tex.), Vol. 41, No. 42, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 19, 2012 Page: 4 of 10
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Page 4 ★ Joshua Star ★ Thursday, January 19, 2012
needs to stop
The issue: Tensions are rising again among the
city of Joshua and the Johnson County Emergency
Services District No. 1 after an ESD secretary/trea-
surer Keith Kelly called out the Joshua Fire Depart-
ment during a comm issioners court meeting.
We say : The relationship was starting to get bet-
ter until Kelly spoke up.
The Johnson County Emergency Services District
No. 1 has come a long way in 15 months. Whereas the
countywide fire services agency was a model of fiscal
irresponsibility (by missing the county deadline for its
audit) as late as the last part of 20 10, under new execu-
tive director Mike Johnston and new board chair Jack
Watson, it is now fiscally on track and is starting to en-
sure that all the volunteer fire departments with which
it is affiliated conduct themselves professionally.
Even the ESD’s relationship with the Joshua Fire
Department —from the city that gave the ESD the most
hassle about not being paid enough for the amount of
service it was providing —was being repaired. John-
ston and Joshua Fire Chief Wayne Baker were getting
along, and the possibilities of renegotiating a service
contract in which Joshua would again serve an extend-
ed area of unincorporated territory were growing.
In fact, the ESD was tentatively scheduled to pres-
ent its accomplishments of the past year to the Joshua
City Council at tonight’s meeting.
But in the middle of making that same presentation
to commissioners court Jan. 9, ESD board secretary/
treasurer Keith Kelly said the ESD would build a new
fire station and create a new department at County
Road 913 and the future Chisholm Trail Parkway. It
was his next statement that destroyed whatever prog-
ress in the relationship that had been made.
“We would not have bought this land had we been
able to put an engine and staff in Joshua,” Kelly said.
“There’s been bad blood and bad feelings that I hope
we could repair. So the ESD decided to move ahead and
take care of the citizens out there and let the politics
sort themselves out.”
To a person, nobody in Joshua city government
ever remembers the ESD offering to put a truck at the
Joshua Fire Station —neither the current one nor the
one about to be built on N. Main Street. To a person,
everybody in Joshua city government believes the ESD
is trying to become a county fire department with com-
plete control over the volunteer and paid departments
in the county. They all say the ESD wanted everything
its way, even after Joshua fired its medical director at
the behest of then-chair Joey Reed, then rehired him
after negotiations bogged down last year.
Kelly and Watson believe they did offer an engine
and staff to be housed in Joshua. The believe the offer
of $ 180,000 per year, a truck, staff and a smaller terri-
tory should have been accepted. A reader poll on www.
joshuastar.net shows a plurality of people believe both
sides are acting foolishly in the debate.
But the game of he said/she said is beside the
point. The question is, why did Kelly’s bomb have to be
dropped when it seemed the relationships were start-
ing to get better?
No one knows what was in Kelly’s heart at the time.
But as the No. 2 person on the ESD board, he had to
know Johnston and Baker were talking. Perhaps he was
upset at the number of Joshua representatives in the
Joshua Mayor Joe Hollarn confronted Kelly, Wat-
son and the ESD board, and Councilman A.J. Mathieu
wrote a blog post criticizing Kelly and others, and that
didn’t help matters.
But the fact is, the tensions are back for now. The
invitation to City Council was rescinded, and any like-
lihood the two agencies will get back together soon is
probably up in smoke.
It’s about time the war of words ends and cooler
Split of awards
ceremonies a plus
The issue: The Joshua ISD athletic department
split its fall sports awards cerem ony into two: one for
the football team; the other for volleyball and cross
We say : Good idea. This gives each student-athlete
at Joshua High School a better chance to be recognized.
Most schools’fall sports awards ceremonies are dom-
inated by football. It’s the sport with the most partici-
pants and the sport that attracts the most interest. This
But the other fall sports teams — volleyball and
cross country —fade into the background. The athletes’
names are announced, they get their round of applause
and then fade into the background as the gladiators of
the gridiron get their due.
But Joshua changed that this year. On Jan. 9, the vol-
leyball and cross country teams were honored in their
own ceremony at Acker Auditorium. This was their time
to shine in the spotlight, and for the athletes’ parents to
be able to demonstrate their pride. The students, par-
ents and coaches all seemed to appreciate it.
The football program gets the Acker stage Monday,
Jan. 30. That will give more time for the junior varsity
and freshman players, as well.
This is a good move. All student-athletes work hard
and should be afforded equal stature. The only minor
quibble is that team tennis wasn’t included in the first
ceremony, but those athletes will be honored after the
Though wins and losses are important life lessons, so
is school spirit and the concept of not placing one team
or program over another.
Revenge is a dish best served holy
When I was about 12, the man that
owned the property next to me raised
black Angus cows. They were really
and my favorite
place to play war
with my 1977 action
figures was right up
against the fence
where they typically
were. This was back
before video games
and the saturation
of registered sex
offenders, when kids
would and could
One day while
G.I. Joe was parachuting into snake
canyon on a mission to assassinate Evel
Knievel, the owner of the field next to
me was mowing his property. I was
oblivious because J oe and Evel were
locked in mortal combat like only a
kung-fu grip can. For no other reason
than a little boy’s need for explosions,
bombs rained down in form of dirt
clods with amazing sound effects that I
had perfected that summer.
I was so into this game I hadn’t
noticed the mean old man next door
had gotten off of his tractor and was
standing behind me at the fence. I had
grown a little wider that summer and
my backside didn’t fit into my jeans the
way they did a few months earlier. So
unbeknownst to me, I had been moon-
ing my neighbor with a sever case of
That old geezer kicked dirt on my
glorious posterior and I jumped up in
time to hear him cuss me and send me
off running to the house. I was trauma-
tized. Now the difference between me,
that summer and the summer before
was that I was 12 and just a few months
away from being 13.1 had already de-
cided to be a bad 13-year-old.
Several of my hoodlum friends rode
their bikes over to spend the night
and exact sweet revenge on the naive
fossil next door. (He was probably my
age now.) We found some white spray
paint in my dad’s garage, which was the
precursor to Home Depot, and spent all
night long catching those pitch black
We awoke the next afternoon for
the daylight to reveal the magnificent
sight of a dozen animals that looked
more like walking black billboards with
white block letters “EAT ME” painted
on the sides of all of them. At the time,
I thought it was the funniest thing I had
ever seen and it went down as one of
the greatest days of my young life.
I found out later that while God
probably thought it was funny, too,
He doesn’t appreciate it when we steal
revenge from him. Revenge after all,
belongs too Him. It’s one of the guns in
the spiritual cabinet that the kids are
not aloud to play with.
I have also found out that once we
grow up and walk in our inheritance,
He is willing to share all that He has
with us. Let me show you how God
shares revenge with you and me.
When God, through Moses, brought
the children of Israel out of 400 years
of bondage, there were lots of big
miracles that happened. The 10th
plague sent Egypt into a serious change
of attitude toward slavery, and in one
day, more than a million Israelis made
a mass “exodus” for parts unknown.
On their way out, the Bible records
that there was serious payback in-
‘The Lord had made the Egyptians
favorably disposed toward the people,
and they gave them what they asked
for; so they plundered the Egyptians. ”
— Exodus 12:36 (NIV)
I read that and start cracking up
every time. Can you imagine if, on the
Emancipation Proclamation here in
the south, not only were the slaves set
free but every plantation had to give up
its wealth to the very people they had
enslaved? That would have been righ-
teous payback, and it is exactly what
happened when the Jews got out of the
pyramid-building business for good.
It’s not enough for God to deliver
you out of something. He wants the
devil to have to cough up serious pay-
back in the process of you coming out.
Its your right and your heritage. If you
are somebody that came out of drugs,
help deliver somebody else and get your
revenge. If you came out of something
terrible let God change you in a way so
that you get something valuable out of
it. Revenge, when in the right place, is a
really sweet thing.
Troy is senior pastor of Open
Door Church in Joshua. Contact him
through www .op endoor experience,
Reed Rubinstein, senior
council of the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce, began his presen-
the farmers and ranchers
in his audience, that was no
surprise. But Rubinstein also
claimed that unfortunately
the Sword of Damocles hangs
over the head of many other
business entities. He spoke of
the growth of the regulatory
juggernaut and the complexity
of environmental law.
It’s a governmental
phenomenon that does not
necessarily respect the divi-
sion of Democrat or Republi-
can administrations. George
W. Bush did not have the
reputation of being necessar-
ily green, but EPA regulations
grew during his eight years
in office. Even that might be
viewed as a speed break after
the last three years of the
Barack Obama administra-
Rubinstein told his audi-
ence that it’s helpful to look at
the structure of government
agencies and their workforce.
Regulators are hired to
regulate, and that’s what they
do. He quoted government
communications that pretty
much admit that many of the
“big” environmental issues
have been solved, or nearly so.
So now, this great regulatory
apparatus, built to regulate,
will continue to regulate.
For agriculture, that
means “beginning a trans-
formative process of col-
Volume 41, Number 42
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laborative efforts” toward
sustainability in agriculture.
This, despite acknowledgment
that agriculture has made
substantial progress not only
in production but in farming
The audience did not have
long to wait for the BIG ques-
tion. Rubinstein asked it.
“Who gets to define what
I’d put a big bet down that
it won’t be farmers. Those of
you who’ve read me know that
I have some problems with
that word. “Sustainable” has
far more political than scien-
tific meaning. It will mean,
almost certainly, whatever the
regulators want it to mean.
Rubinstein says that the
EPA operates today by law-
suit. The formula is repeated
over and over again. The EPA
is sued by a green group of
some kind. EPA capitulates.
He’s not the first to notice
that the regulators don’t put
up much of a fight on most
of these lawsuits. The un-
fortunate thing is that this
model, now being fought out
in places like the Chesapeake
Bay, will be in the laps of
farmers all over the nation
before long. Decisions ably
made by farmers and ranch-
ers over decades will be taken
out of their hands. U.S. agri-
culture might be run like the
What can be done? By the
time you get a letter from the
government, it will probably
be too late.
Sometimes, the EPA ig-
nores Congress for awhile, but
they can’t do so indefinitely.
Rubinstein (and me) encour-
ages farmers, ranchers and
citizens to approach Con-
gress in numbers and insist
on being heard. Activism...
advocacy. We have to make
it real. Some of the regs the
EPA is churning out now are
not even achievable, let alone
Speak up, speak out, or go
out.. of business, that is.
Gene Hall is the public re-
lations director of the Texas
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Sorter, Dave. Joshua Star (Joshua, Tex.), Vol. 41, No. 42, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 19, 2012, newspaper, January 19, 2012; Burleson, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth822955/m1/4/: accessed August 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Burleson Public Library.