Gain some “Common Sense” at the library

Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” Horace Mann’s “Annual Reports,” and John Kenneth Galbraith’s “The Affluent Society,” are three titles are included in a volume called “Books that changed America,” which is found at 028.1 DOW in the Van Zandt County Library. 

This is a book of discussions of 25 books that are important in American history.  In the same area of the library, “Literacy in America,” and “500 Great Books for Teens,” and other titles highlight some of the classic books that have influenced the American public.   

Some—but not all—of the titles mentioned are in the library, but alas, many have been removed from the shelves to make way for material that checks out often.   It is public library policy to remove books that have not checked out in five years.  It is interesting to see how many of the authors and their works that elicit the comment: “I never heard of that.”


County Blotter

The Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Department reported the following arrests for Aug. 11 - 18, 2015

Jackie William Ballard, 62, Canton, was arrested on a warrant for injury to a child, elderly, or disabled with intentional bodily injury.

Ruby Mitchelle Barcenas, 30, Rice, was arrested on view for assault causing bodily injury.

Garry Winston Boyd, 44, Chandler, was arrested on site for manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance and transfer of precursor substance for unlawful manufacture.

Laura Michelle Dean Brimer, 23, Grand Saline, was arrested on a warrant for violation of probation.

Ashley Amber Diane Buswell, 21, Grand Saline, was arrested on two warrants for false report to police officer and prostitution.


State Capitol Highlights

AUSTIN — A bronze statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, will be moved from the Main Mall of the University of Texas at Austin campus to UT’s Center for American History for interior display, in accordance with a decision made last week by UT President Gregory Fenves.

Fenves said he appointed a task force in June, shortly after he became president, “to identify options for the statues along the Main Mall that have long been a source of discussion, debate and more recently, controversy.” The task force reported its findings to Fenves on Aug. 10.  


Remembering and saying thanks

Roger Johnson

May 10, 2015,  is a day the citizens of Van  will never forget. The tornado damage and loss of life in our community made us realize how fragile we are and how things can change in a matter of seconds.

The resilience of the people in Van and support from people and organizations in and around Van Zandt County have been an essential part of our recovery process. This support has given the people of Van the hope and strength to move forward.

Helping Van in their tornado recovery process will take many years and we will continue to need help in so many ways from so many people. 

The Swing For Van Recovery Golf Tournament held July 25 at The Van Zandt Country Club was nothing more than a group of volunteers coming together to show their support and it was a huge success.


State Capitol Highlights

AUSTIN — Even if the Texas Legislature did not intentionally pass a voter identification law that illegally discriminates against voters who are black, Hispanic or poor, the practical effect of the law is discriminatory and in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act.

A 49-page opinion of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals was released on Aug. 5. The panel ordered that much of the case be remanded to a federal district court in Texas for further consideration.


County Blotter

The Van Zandt Co. Sheriff’s Dept. reported the following arrests for Aug. 4 – 11, 2015

Ray Chane Alexander, 23, Edgewood, was arrested on a warrant for burglary of a building.

Jason Paul-Martin Anderton, 31, Quinlan, was arrested on site for passing in no passing lane.

Daniel Bryan Barr, 35, Temple, was arrested on a warrant for possession of a controlled substance.

Shae Morgan Blackburn, 24, Wills Point, was arrested on a warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Christopher Matthew Britton, 23, Grand Saline, was arrested on three warrants for terroristic threat, public intoxication and traffic miscellaneous.


Judge not thou cat nor dog

"Judge not, lest ye be judged.” One of the more important life lessons.  "Don't judge a book by its cover."  Also very true. 

When we judge without knowledge, we just show the world how foolish we are. Stay informed!  Get the facts!  "I have often regretted my speech, never my silence." A direct quote from Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson or one of those really important guys. This is true as well.


A Balancing Act

The Balanced Life…is it real or a myth?
In the hectic, busy world we live in, can we experience peace?
How often we become entangled in “stuff.”  Organizing the school carnival (no one else would do it), chaperoning field trips (no other parent was available), baking cookies for school parties (we’ll do anything for our kids), and before we know it we’ve overextended ourselves.  We hit the floor running each morning and accelerate our pace throughout the day. 

We’re tired!  And it shows, because we easily become frustrated and short-tempered dealing with every day occurrences.  Flat tires, broken washing machines, colicky babies, and demanding toddlers and teenagers keep our heads spinning and lives turned upside down.  


Summer gives away to school

Large print books coming to VZC Library

Summer programs at the Van Zandt County Library are giving way to thoughts of school starting.  The staff, The Friends of the Library, The Library Advisory Board –and of course the children who enjoyed the programs—are grateful for the support of the Community that made it possible.  

Trinity Valley Electric Corporation underwrote the performers who presented a widely varied range of subjects to an average of 100 kids and half that many adults each Friday morning for seven weeks. 

The Canton Rotary Club provided a $50 bill for each session to one lucky child. 

The Canton Lions Club provided a vision screening clinic one Friday.  Drawings for smaller gift bags each week closed the programs.


State Capitol Highlights

AUSTIN — The Texas House Committee on County Affairs met July 30 to hear testimony on Sandra Bland and jail standards.

Bland, 28, was pulled over by a state trooper in Hempstead  July 10. Soon after, she was placed in the Waller County Jail and was found dead in her cell July 13. Investigators ruled the death a suicide. The story, covered by local, state, national and world news agencies, has emerged in the context of other tragic outcomes involving black citizens and law enforcement.

“How does someone get pulled over for not signaling and end up dead three days later? It just does not compute,” said Committee Chair Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, in opening the hearing. Coleman called for discussion on how such an event might affect the Texas Department of Public Safety’s training of officers and how Texas county jails might adjust their practices in the incarceration of mentally ill inmates.


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