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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


 

Grinches

Despite the best of intentions, Justice of the Peace Gary Geick will officially forego his 20-year practice of not accepting eviction cases during the month of December. But he most likely will continue to take his annual vacation during the holiday month and that will, for all intents and purposes, most likely delay any actual court hearings that fall during that period.

The Texas Judicial Conduct Commission grinched Geick last week and I’m sure pleased some people who really had their dander raised by his unorthodox practice. However, the state was right in one observation: Geick had his heart in the right place when he established the 20-year long regime. Geick said that while he sympathized with landlords who wanted folks out of their homes for lack of payment, he also could not personally put a family on the street during the holidays. He noted that the little children could not help what was going on financially in the family and such an event would be devastating to them.

Well, now he can’t consider the human factor when carrying out business in his court. Kind of sad, but the law is the law and he is required to uphold it. End of topic.

Vets to get rides

Hats off to Clyde Jacks and other Fort Bend County officials for approving a pilot plan to take local military veterans to the VA hospital by bus for a nominal fee. Our veterans are promised a lot when they enter the military and find out, sadly, that a lot of these promises are so much BS when they try to get the promised services. That is a very sad state of affairs and while the federal government seems to talk out both sides of their—well, let’s just say mouth because this is a family newspaper—it is nice to see that our local officials are doing what they can to make veteran’s feel a bit more appreciated. Of course, the hundreds of thousands of vets who have been denied “promised” medical care probably don’t feel too appreciated by those who asked them to lay their lives on the line all these many, many years. That is another topic that must be addressed at a higher government level and we should demand that these wonderful politicians live up to those promises to the men and women in the armed forces—from World War II to those who are now serving. It is the very least this country can do.

But for now, locally, plaudits to those who do care!

Hurricanes shouldn’t be scoffed at

Every year I do the somewhat boring stories on hurricane preparedness. I, like many others, get a little exasperated at all the storm hoopla that generally is put out by emergency management people and the weather forecasters. After all, it isn’t often that a hurricane actually hits the Gulf Coast now is it? Nope, thank goodness, however when one does anyone who scoffed at the suggested preparations will really wish they had listened. When Hurricane Carla hit the Gulf Coast in 1961 as a Category 5 storm, those of us who lived through the resulting devastation locally are not likely to forget it. I was a teenager (barely) when the storm meandered on the coast of days with forecasters scratching their heads on where and when the fickle lady would roar in. This storm was devastating to many inland areas in Texas. While holding a category 5 designation, Carla weakened slightly to a “strong category 4” storm as she made landfall Just before landfall, between Port O’Connor and Port Lavaca, , on the September 11. At the time, Carla became the largest hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin. And she will long be remembered in the area.

I can still see the skies turn dark blue and black as the fierce storm came into Houston. Street lights turned on, wind started increasing in speeds and the rain, torrential and fiercely fueled by the winds, plummeted the area. Now, as a teen this was an adventure that those with common sense didn’t appreciate. Dumber than dumb, most of my friends and I disregarded the elder warning to stay inside until they could battle their way home from downtown Houston work locations (took up to four hours for many). So, we enjoyed the dangers by doing really idiot things like holding on to stair bannisters and letting the wind whip us like flags. And, we walked against the wind to try and show we could get where we were going despite nature’s force. We couldn’t. But then the winds increased and even the most adventuresome bolted for cover. Days of rain, wind, flooding and downed trees made those unscheduled school holidays less pleasureable. Intermittent power outages and no way to get water and other needed supplies made it even worse.

So, take the warnings seriously. It doesn’t happen often; there are more stores, better warning systems and a lot of concerned officials who are trying to make things a bit better than we had it in 1961. The truth of the matter is that it really isn’t a matter of “if” another big one hits, it is a matter of “when.” Therefore taking a little while to plan for this event really doesn’t hurt and could save you a lot of grief.

And, don’t forget the manual can opener!! Now that is a priority item.

 

Contact skinnerc1@tconline.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 06, 2008