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Sunday Afternoon Update - Half-Way Through 2014 Edition

Blogs and Columns
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2014/6/29 22:20:00 (4459 reads)

Open in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowOpen in new windowIn case you haven't noticed, the past few weeks, articles have been sparse here. Honestly, I've had a bit of writer's block. I've got several things I have been working on, and researching, so it's not really a shortage of ideas. Actually, I think it's probably the opposite: being overwhelmed and sometimes not being able to start. I've also been a little stressed out in that I've spent a lot of time at work lately using maximum brainpower, which makes it hard to come home and jump on the computer to do this. It is frustrating, and the kind of thing that forms its own feedback loop that kills motivation. As always, I appreciate all of the volunteer writers I can get here to help us in our mission of filling in the gaps around local coverage. As for me, I don't know what it will take to get over the block, but I need to find something.

Today is June 29th, the 180th day of 2014, which is about half-way through the year. Can you believe half of 2014 is gone already?

Applications are being accepted for Leadership Lewisville - a program of the Lewisville Area Chamber of Commerce.

City of Lewisville’s Horizon Newsletter

My friend Daniel Barnett is the chairman of the Texas Democratic Party’s gun owner caucus, and he and the caucus were featured on this KERA radio report. Texas Democrats are not generally anti-gun. In fact the local Denton County Democratic Party has had shooting events. We do generally support practical and reasonable regulations intended to keep guns out of the hands of bad guys and the mentally ill. Of course, the right-wing noise machine, and the gun rights organizations derive their power from scaring the hell out of people, and continually trying to convince them that someone wants to take their guns away.

In case you hadn’t heard, the State of Texas will soon be getting rid of inspection stickers for passenger vehicles. You’ll still get your vehicle inspected, but your inspection results will be transmitted to the state, and you will not be able to renew your vehicle registration until you have it done.

Mayors see nature as weapon in battle against climate change.

The Frisco City Council considered whether council members need an increase in compensation. Locally, the Lewisville City Council receives $50 per meeting - an amount that probably is below minimum wage, given the number of hours they put in, not just in meetings, but in reviewing agendas, corresponding with constituents, and researching issues. My thought is that in Lewisville, Council compensation ought to be something decided by the citizens as part of a charter election. I will be serving on the Charter Review Board this year, and that is just one of the various issues to look at.

Conservatives and Liberals choose differently when it comes to buying consumer products, according to a study published in the journal Psychological Science. Conservatives favor established brands, while liberals are more likely to go with generic or new brands.

The United Kingdom and Germany are breaking records for solar power generation. On June 9th, Germany generated over half of its electricity demand from solar energy.

A black 2003 Peterbilt 379 show truck with trailer was stolen in Lewisville this week. The truck was a Gold Star Mothers show truck decorated with patriotic graphics honoring fallen soldiers.

The HomeE is a touch-screen device for managing family life that is being developed by Lewisville entrepreneur Mir Ali and his family. It will have calendar and meal planning features, allowing families to securely connect and share information. The Android-based device, still in the design process, will be free to households that request it. The company hopes to find advertisers willing to pay for highly geographically targeted ads on the device. The company is developing mobile apps to let family members interact with the device and its data. If you sign up by June 30th (Monday), you can get a device beginning in January, 2015.

The Dallas Observer says that Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden is alienating voters one Facebook post at a time.

Speaker John Boehner’s attack on President Obama’s executive orders ignores history, says the Washington Post.

Here is a SWAT Team Demonstration by the Lewisville Police Department from 2002, just uploaded to YouTube this past week.

Speaking of SWAT teams, did you see the officer look to see what was in the room before he threw the flash-bang device in? I didn’t either. Here’s the heartbreaking story of a SWAT team who threw one into a baby crib in the middle of the night, looking for a drug suspect who wasn’t there. The child was severely burned, and had a hole blown in his chest that still exposes his ribs. The mother says she was held at gunpoint while her son was screaming, and she could see a pool of blood forming.

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, public SWAT teams operated by law enforcement councils, funded by public tax dollars, have refused open records requests, claiming that they are private corporations. Their officers carry badges and deadly weapons, empowered by the government to arrest or even kill, but they say they are not accountable to the public.

For what it’s worth, I’m not against the concept of SWAT, but I am very concerned about the over-militarization of our police forces. There is a time and place for the use of deadly force by police, such as when someone has taken hostages or is threatening imminent physical harm to another person. But I think that the “war on drugs” has gone too far. As a society, we tell people they shouldn’t do drugs because they are dangerous, but then we lump in harmless substances with the extremely harmful substances, then use our police and courts in a way that is imminently more harmful in many cases than the substances themselves.

Lewisville Police helped bust a Utah school teacher who had allegedly uploaded child pornography. Edward Greene, 54, a 5th grade teacher in Alpine School District, was charged with 10 felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, according to the report.

Here is a nice article about last weekend’s Best Little Brewfest in Texas.

A bicyclist who was the last to see Wesley Hixson before he went missing and was later found dead, has spoken out about the experience. Hixson was 30. The cause of death is still pending toxicology and histology, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.

Do-it-yourself abortions are on the rise in Texas.

Don't sneak.

The petition to require all elected officials in Texas to take all of the standardized exams they require of Texas kids has 816 signatures. In one sense, yes - I think this idea has a snowball’s chance, but in another sense, the ridiculousness of the idea of adults taking it to prove themselves does make a broader point. In school, they beat every ounce of creativity out, and replace it with rote memorization of a bunch of facts that stuffed shirts in Austin think are so vitally important to remember, that they are happy to deny a high school diploma to a kid who can’t fit them all in his head. By the time we are adults with our own children, we lose a lot of that shallow knowledge, and couldn’t pass many of these tests, but remain imprinted by being exposed to it. Politicians intuitively know this, but still insist that if we just test more, and raise the stakes by tying it to teacher pay, we could have more “rigor” and these “lazy teachers” would find sufficient motivation to try to get these kids to remember the stuff that we have all forgotten.

Please be safe on the water, and we beg: wear a life jacket!

Chicago Tribute Authority played the Sounds of Lewisville this past Tuesday.

Coming up on Tuesday for this week's Sounds of Lewisville is The Free Loaders - Tuesday, July 1st, 7 p.m. at the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater at the corner of Charles and Main Streets.

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Other articles
2016/5/11 3:57:48 - New website
2016/5/10 2:00:00 - Vista Ridge Mall in receivership, but open for business
2016/5/8 6:50:00 - Help wanted: Journalist
2016/5/8 4:10:00 - Three-year-old struck by boat propeller is son of Lewisville firefighter
2016/5/7 23:40:00 - May 7 Lewisville and LISD Election Results.


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