Columns

Sun
23
Oct

Volunteers, farm animals fill up the VZC Library


Pat Howerton

Cows, horses, pigs and chickens are some of the first animals that come to mind when you think of the farm. But when Miss Rhonda reads about the farm at preschool Storytime, there's no telling what might come up!

Come to the the Van Zandt County Library at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, and you will find out. Who knows, Old MacDonald may even make an appearance!

The October meeting of the Friends of the Library was really interesting. Members and guests learned about an event that happened near the end of the Texas War for Independence called the Runaway Scrape. Mayor Lou Ann Everett brought it to life with her narration.

The next big event for the group will be the Book Fair, Nov. 4 and 5. If you would like to donate books, please bring them in by Nov. 1. And there's always plenty to do, if you want to help; please leave your name and contact info with the librarians at the circulation desk.

Wed
19
Oct

Walking with Bob

Avoiding humongous helpings, measuring success 

The “eating out” industry is in a contest to see who can sell us the biggest sandwich, stuffed taco, loaded breakfast croissant or biggest helping on the largest plate, platter or basket. It’s OK, don’t get in a twit. There is a solution.

Order a glass of ice water with lemon, take out box, and request your meat and baked potatoes be cut in half. If they look at you strangely, tell them your health advisors told you this is what you need to have for your healthy lifestyle. That works in most situations.

Here is my helping (portion) system:

PALM SIZE: Cottage cheese, eggs, chicken, lean beef and pork, catfish, salmon or shrimp.

FIST SIZE: (a bit smaller than palm size) Whole grain bread, corn tortillas, fresh and fresh frozen fruits, root veggies like taters and sweet taters especially from east Texas. Avoid white bread and white flower. Stick with whole grain.

Tue
18
Oct

Large print in great demand

One of the things is a surprise to new patrons at Grand Saline Public Library is the number of large print book we have.

Tue
18
Oct

State Capitol Highlights

High court refuses to rehear Texas immigration case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 3 denied the Obama administration’s petition for a rehearing of United States v. Texas, a high-profile immigration case.

Heard by the eight-member high court in April, the case ended in a 4-4 deadlock in a late-June ruling. The deadlock left in place a Texas federal district court’s temporary injunction freezing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s November 2014 policies known as “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” and “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.” The policies are aimed at forestalling the deportation of an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants and providing a conditional path to citizenship.

Sun
16
Oct

Book Fair scheduled at VZC Library


Jack Evans

Finally, we're beginning to see communities appreciate the heroes who surround us. One definition of a hero is “an ordinary person facing extraordinary circumstances and acting with courage, honor and self-sacrifice.”

During the 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14, preschool Storytime, Miss Rhonda will be reading books featuring firefighters.

The volunteer profile this week is about Jack Evans who watched his wife Susan  volunteer and then decided to join her in this pursuit a year ago. He is a lifelong reader and library patron and felt compelled to help.

Jack holds degrees in music, specializing in trumpet, and in accounting/auditing. He also worked in information security at the end of his career. This experience is so valuable as he helps to keep library computers updated each month. Working an average of two hours weekly, he tries to find some time to shelve books also. Not only does he volunteer, but he serves on the Library Advisory Board.

Thu
13
Oct

Surviving the unfathomable

A word from Van Zandt Newspapers Publisher Brad Blakemore

I wanted to share something written by a colleague of mine Pete Marsh who has experienced the unthinkable loss of his son Anthony.

Only those who have lost a child can relate to his pain. His words provide great insight into his thoughts as well as a valuable perspective we should all consider before putting our feet on the ground each morning.

Since my son died, I’ve stopped making eye contact with people on the street. When approaching another pedestrian on a crowded sidewalk, I am no longer the one to politely step aside.

I’ve stopped routinely waving to my neighbors. When traveling, I’ve stopped making small talk with cashiers and hotel clerks. I tend to eat in my room so that I can avoid seeing others – especially young people – having a good time.

Wed
12
Oct

Aphids hit VZC

What’s bugging you?

Aphids have landed in Van Zandt County.  The first issue we experienced were these white “fly like” bugs flying in hoards all around our area.   This little bug is actually the Asian Wooley Hackberry Aphid. Dr. Mike Merchant, urban entomologist and extension specialist, pointed out that control is probably not necessary unless the honeydew (aphid droppings, which may result in plant covered with black sooty mold) is becoming unacceptable, in which case they might try dinotefuran (Greenlight Safari) instead of the imidacloprid recommended below.

It is faster at getting into the tree or shrub. Both of these products are systemic in nature and get into the plant itself. This is how it controls the pest when it feeds on the plant. With this being said, make sure you are not treating something like a vegetable garden or some other edible plant. This is for ornamental use only.

Tue
11
Oct

Ghosts in Grand Saline Library

As I sit here trying to decide what to write for today’s article, over the sound of the crickets chirping I heard a loud bang from the Civic Center part of our Depot Building.  Before going to investigate I asked the volunteer who is working this morning if she heard the sound as well.  After her confirming that she had heard the sound I went to the back to see if I could discover what had made the noise.  As usual, there was nothing in the back to indicate what had caused the noise.  There was only one other person in the library at the time and they were using the computers. 

Sun
09
Oct

State Capitol Highlights

State opts out of federal refugee resettlement program

Texas has acted on its threat to withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program, Gov. Greg Abbott said on Sept. 30.

Texas had demanded enhanced FBI screening of individuals “from terrorist-based nations” and expressed resistance to the federal government’s request that the Lone Star State increase by 25 percent the number of refugees to be resettled.  An estimated 7,000 refugees have taken up residence in Texas in the past year.

The federal government did not respond to a Sept. 21 letter from the state refugee coordinator with the Texas Department of Human Services. The letter gave notice that the state would no longer participate in the program if the state’s concerns were not addressed. 

Thu
06
Oct

State of Texas may withdraw from federal resettlement program

Texas officials said the state will withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program if the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement does not approve the Lone Star State’s refugee plan by Sept. 30.

In a Sept. 21 letter to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, State Refugee Coordinator Kara Crawford gave official notice of Texas’ intention to withdraw from the program. A news release from the governor’s office said the letter was in response to the federal government’s “unwillingness to approve Texas’ updated state refugee plan, which would require national security officials to ensure that refugees do not pose a security threat to Texas.”

 If Texas withdraws, the state’s role in the program would end effective Jan. 31, 2017, which is 120 days after the Sept. 30 deadline.

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