Columns

Thu
15
Oct

Pets are like people. Some like you and some don’t

We don't have to work at getting along with our friends and acquaintances. It seems to come naturally when you have things in common. Lots to talk about and share and the longer you spend with those friends, the easier it is, like family.

There have been people in my life (as in yours, no doubt) with whom I felt an immediate kinship. And then there have been those with whom I just couldn't click; one time I was introduced to a woman I had never seen before, and within 30 seconds I absolutely could not stand her. She irritated every cell in my body. I found out later that she affected lots of people that way. 

Tue
13
Oct

State Capitol HIGHLIGHTS

Governor requests border help from Washington

Gov. Greg Abbott on Sept. 30 wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, requesting immediate action to address “the significant increase of illegal border crossings.”

Nearly 10,000 immigrant families and unaccompanied children were detained after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in August, an increase of more than 50 percent over August 2014, Abbott said, quoting official reports.

Abbott mentioned the strain on state coffers and urged the immediate input of federal assistance to:

• Assign 250 more U.S. Border Patrol agents to Texas;

• Provide five more tethered surveillance blimps to watch for cross-border smuggling activity;

• Provide a list of conditions under which individuals would be released to relatives or to private organizations in Texas communities; and

Sun
11
Oct

Fall into the VZC library

Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, Retirement—these words are prominent in the news right now.  

The Friends of the Van Zandt County Library will offer an informational program that will help decision making on these subjects at the Oct. 12 regular meeting.  

The enrollment period is coming up so this is a very timely subject.   The meeting is at 10 a.m. in the Buchanan Room of the Van Zandt County Library.

After the meeting, anyone interested in organizing historical papers is asked to stay and work with old newspapers, bags of notes, just “stuff” that has accumulated over the years, and may or may not be of any value.  Help!

Tue
06
Oct

RAWR! into reading

RAWR means “Let’s go read” in dinosaur talk.  The Van Zandt County Library has an extensive collection of children’s books.  

Children that are too young for school need to be exposed to books and reading from infancy.  Not only is it fun, it has been established that early reading is a positive influence on school performance.  Storytime continues at 10 a.m. every Friday for preschoolers.

Support the Friends of the Library. 

At 10 a.m. Oct. 12 there will be an opportunity to hear about changes in health and retirement plans that may affect you in the coming year.  It is an information only program.  There is nothing to buy.  It is also an opportunity to become more involved in the daily operation of the Library, and to contribute (money, of course) your time and effort to continue library excellence in Van Zandt County.

Mon
05
Oct

State Capitol HIGHLIGHTS

Lawmakers get input on jails, suicide prevention

The July 13, 2015, death of Sandra Bland, a woman arrested and jailed after a traffic stop in Waller County, has prompted meetings of Texas House and Senate committees. Bland, whose body was discovered in her jail cell three days after she was put in custody, was ruled a suicide.

Charged by the lieutenant governor to conduct an interim study, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee met for more than four hours on Sept. 22. The panel listened to invited testimony and discussed jail safety and inmate suicide prevention in county jails.

Under direction of Committee Chair Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, the panel received input on how inmates are assessed and processed at intake, how inmate populations are grouped and managed based on risk category and mental health condition, and how jailers are trained.

Mon
05
Oct

Today’s library so much more than book

How do you library? 

Many people get stuck in their thinking about libraries and only focus on the obvious library use, checking out books.  Today’s library is about so much more than just checking out books. 

Yes, we do provide books. We also have audiobooks and DVDs for check out.  You can even checkout out eBooks, download audiobooks, and stream video with your library card. 

Your library card also give you access to several databases that can help you in every area of your life.  These databases can help prepare you for entrance exams/tests, they can help you learn about your family history, they have much better medical information can you can find on a typical internet search.  The databases have child-friendly areas where children can go to do research without accidentally finding material that is not age appropriate.  There’s information on small business, small engine repair, home improvements, and so much more. 

Mon
28
Sep

Hey Grandpa! Will I be Able to Retire?

Hi there!  I’m GRANDPA.  As I have said in previous articles - I am here for you.  I am here to take your questions or concerns and give you the best advice I possibly can.  Age, gender or walk of life doesn’t matter, I am here for everyone and all types of issues.

Here’s my most recent inquiry: 

Hey Grandpa, I am 35 years old and I work hard every day and I want to retire someday.  You are probably retired so maybe you know something about how to do that successfully.  What do I need to do to make sure that at least financially I am able to retire say by the time I am 60 or 65?  Signed, HopeTo.

Sun
27
Sep

Ask not what your library can do for you …

What can you do for your library? 

The next time you get ready to order flowers or a plant for a funeral or memorial service we would love if you would consider making a memorial donation to the library. 

All you have to do is bring by or mail in cash or a check and let us know who it is in memory of and we will send the family a card acknowledging the donation in the name of the loved one who passed.  You can also give donations in honor of someone. 

If you know someone who doesn’t want or need gifts you can give to the library in honor of them and we will send them a recognition card as well so that they know about your gift.  The next you come to the library grab some loose bills from your purse or wallet or spare change from your car and drop it in our donation jar. Every cent counts. 

There does not have to be a special occasion to give to the library. 

Sat
26
Sep

State Capitol HIGHLIGHTS

American Community Survey updates poverty statistics

Texas’ poverty rate improved to 17.2 percent in 2014, according to U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey released Sept. 17.

Embedded in that statistic is this: more than 4.5 million Texans — 1.7 million of whom are children — still live in poverty. In 2014, the poverty line for a family of three was about $19,000 per year.

Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities, a non-partisan research and advocacy organization, said the poverty rate for Texas children of 24.6 percent remained unchanged from the previous year.

“Although the state is growing, too many Texans struggle every day to make ends meet,” Jennifer Lee of the Center for Public Policy Priorities said. “High levels of child poverty continue to undermine our state economy and affect the future prosperity of our state,” she added.

Thu
24
Sep

We could use a few more Friends

Are you looking for a way to give back to your community?  Do you have a little free time that you would like to share? 

The Friends of the Library is always looking for new members to join their group. 

The Friends of the Library meets the third Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. at the Grand Saline Public Library. Most months, the meeting is the only time requirement we have for people who serve on the Friends leadership team.  Although there are a few events throughout the year that the Friends sponsor and help work, the time commitment is minimal. 

Some of the events that they Friends of the Library host are our annual fundraisers such as the baked potato luncheon and the pictures with Santa event at the library.  The Library Board of Trustees serves in an administration role for the library but they cannot fundraise so the Friends of the Library is vitally important because they serve as a fundraising body for the library.  

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