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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 30 years."


 

Tom DeLay was one move from continuing his appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” when he almost dropped his partner at the very end of his second dance. At press time, all the votes weren’t in, so his continued appearance isn’t sure.

Many people have asked me my opinion about his DWTS appearance and I have to admit that he has done a much better job than I thought he would. In his first appearance last week, he spent more energy hamming it up as “The Wild Thing” and shaking his behind to the audience than he did actually dancing. Hey, folks, Tom DeLay has been mooning you for years, you just didn’t know it!

But I have to give him credit for having the nerve and for trying. Of course the $200,000 one gets for even making the effort on DWTS might have cushioned the fallen arches of the Cha-cha. Since many of Tom’s money-making schemes have failed since leaving the legislature, I think he’s doing it for the money. More power to him, but as usual, Tom did more acting than action, much like he did in the legislature. (Oh, stop it, Bev. You just can’t let up on the Hammer.)

I noticed on the night when the ladies were dancing that Tom and Christine were sitting on the front row right across the aisle from rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon who were there to support their dancing daughter, Kelly. So Tom and Christine are rubbing elbows with the stars. Wouldn’t it be funny if Tom came back to Fort Bend County as a tree-hugging, Gore worshiping, dope-smoking, hippie LIBERAL?

I’ve remarked before that I sometimes feel like Forrest Gump in that I seem to know personally so many people that make the news.

Would it surprise you to know that the Iron Chef Mark Dacascos, AKA The Chairman from the Food Network, is also competing on DWTS and is married to a girl from Ballinger, or at least her parents are? As many of my faithful readers know, Ballinger is my hometown and I mention it a lot.
I was telling my friend Margot Taylor that everywhere you go there is someone from Ballinger, and she reminded me, “or Port Arthur.” (Margot is from Beaumont, pronounced BeauMONT.

Another friend of mine reminded me that I had graduated from Ballinger High School in a class of 50 people and she had already met 460 of them.
Which brings up another topic....My 50th class reunion is in a couple of weeks. Do you think I have time to lose 45 pounds? Probably not, unless I cut off an appendage. Except for the fact that my high school reunion pretty well reveals how old I am, I am excited to see how many of us are left. If I had known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of my teeth, heart, lungs, etc.

.I spent about 2 1/2 weeks of my life covering a trial at the Fort Bend courthouse of a woman accused of killing her husband. There was no doubt that she killed him. This she readily admitted. But she said she killed him in self-defense after years of abuse and the jury deadlocked 11-1 to convict her. I looked at my friends covering the trial with me and asked, “What in the world did we miss?”

I felt there was no way this woman, 5’2”, 115 lbs. would be convicted of killing her 6’5”, 260 lbs. husband who, many people had testified, had abused her for years. More than one even said they were surprised that she shot him as they always had thought it would be the other way around.

Several of my lawyer friends had warned that it was very hard for a jury to agree with a woman who didn’t leave her husband after years of abuse, even subjecting her kids to that same abuse.

I argued that women that are abused are brainwashed into believing they are stupid, ineffective, incapable of taking care of themselves, whereas their abuser is stronger, better, and the woman’s only chance of living a good life.

However, no evidence of that kind was offered, even though the case of the 13-year-old girl in California who eventually had two children with her kidnapper and numerous chances to escape was on the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Additionally, no hospital records or police records of the numerous calls made at the home were offered in evidence. There was plenty of testimony, but jurors were told to ignore that by other jurors as it was just “emotion.”

Then the prosecution at the last offered a rebuttal witness who had been in the courtroom the entire time and heard all the previous testimony. He got up on the stand and testified about the trajectory of the bullets, etc. Now this “expert” had been fired by one sheriff and demoted recently to community relations by another sheriff. His first visit to the crime scene was in August, 2009 when the shooting happened in November, 2006. He offered testimony that even I couldn’t follow.

Here’s what I don’t understand. The first cop on the scene who took a statement from the lady recorded the lady out on the curb of her home, although the lady didn’t know she was being recorded. In that recording, she tells about the shooting and the abuse and her reasons for self defense. Her story never deviates from that first story one little bit.

The lady was not charged with murder until the family started trying to get all the money and sued her for wrongful death. They also put pressure on the DA to indict her.

After listening to the recording taken on the night immediately after the shooting, I can’t understand why we were even there at trial.

The jury seemed to believe that the woman had a chance to escape as she was nearest the door. However, this woman had been beaten by this man numerous times in the past and she would have been the better judge about who could make it to the door fastest.

Interestingly, this law has changed and one no longer has to retreat before firing to plead self defense. After so many home invasions, the last legislature passed a law that if you are in your own home, you don’t have to retreat before firing. It’s called the “Castle Law.”

Thank goodness, one lady on the jury wasn’t eager to just convict her and go home. She held out and refused to find her guilty.

I’ll be the first to admit that I certainly don’t know the laws about what can be offered as evidence and what can’t. Perhaps some of the records that were available and so sorely lacking could not be offered. I’m sure the case will be retried and I hope the woman gets a little better representation next time.

And I’m still not through....FBISD decided to keep its students in school last Friday instead of letting them out to attend the parade and opening day of the Fort Bend County Fair.

I think this is understandable given that so much school was lost due to Hurricane Ike last year when no electricity was the culprit. An additional instructional day never hurt anyone.

We’ve had several parents call to complain, but many haven’t even noticed.

The Fort Bend Fair did no advertising or even send press releases to the media on the east end of the county this year. Therefore the parents, except those involved in the bands and ROTC who were marching in the parade, didn’t seem to notice. And evidently, the Fair didn’t seem to care.
So I guess we are going back to the old ways when the Fair came and went and nobody in Stafford, Sugar Land, and Missouri City, except a very few, even noticed. And the Fair didn’t care. The only way it impacted them is when buyers didn’t show up for the Junior Livestock Auction and bid large bills for the students’ animals.

Remind me to tell you sometime about my efforts to get a financial accounting from the Fair many years ago. Lawrence Elkins had recently retired as superintendent of FBISD and had been hired to manage the Fair. When I asked him under the Open Records Act to see a copy of their financial records, he told me, “Nope. It’s not gonna happen.” Lawrence knew very well that the Attorney General would come down on them if they refused, so he agreed to “answer questions.” At the time I truly believe they didn’t have any financial records. So I would ask him, for example, “How much money would you spend on cokes?” Then he would shuffle through papers and answer. Then I would ask him another question. And on and on.

Bunch of old gezzers. I didn’t even care what the answers would be. I just wanted them to clean up their act. The next year, they put a woman on the board. I backed off. Those problems had been corrected, I guess. I don’t even care anymore.

So I guess that divide between east Fort Bend and west Fort Bend that is signified by the Brazos River is in full operation again.

I hate that because some of us worked very hard years ago to get both sides of the county involved in the Fair and its ties to our agricultural past.

Perhaps it is something whose time has come....and gone.

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Contact bkcstar@earthlink.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:
August 05, 2009