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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.


Only four confirmed cases of flu
in Fort Bend County
Some things just arenít right

I seldom publicly criticize other media outlets for stories that I find offensive or not quite the full story. I know that often a reporter knows more than the story can say and often uses what they can say to get the public to take a closer look at an organization, public figure or politician.

That said, I am very disappointed and somewhat disgusted at a small story that was published by one of the local media types.

The story, which coincidentally was released the night before Saturdayís election, focused on one of the candidateís default on two bank loans while campaigning on fiscal responsibility.

I happen to know this candidate (who did lose, by the way) and I know this particular person held an elected office in Fort Bend County for over two decades with a flawless and respected record of achievement. Not an easy task for any official.

However, none of this was mentioned in the expose type piece. The fact is that this candidate was, and is, experiencing serious financial hardship due to major medical bills and the death of a close family member. The candidate is actually also paying the banks under an agreement.

Each and every one of us is only one step away from financial devastation due to a major medical incident. When five years of continuous medical challenge occur, as was the case in this situation, it can be life altering.

The point I am making is that after devoting umpteen years to public service, retiring with an impeccable record and eventually seeking a small, unpaid, board position, the candidate had to get raked over the coals for being sick.

As the old saying goes: ďThere but for the grace of God, go I.Ē

We can all say that and it is a sad shame this media person didnít have the empathy to understand that while defaulting on a loan is not a good thing, some things are beyond an individualís control and certainly do not reflect on a personís ability to continue public service in a reputable way.

Iím not using the name of the reporter and Iím sure not using the name of the candidate. If you saw the story, you know who, what, where and how anyhow. If you didnít --itís over so it doesnít make any difference anyhow.

What I am emphasizing is there are times when some things just arenít right and this was one of the times.

The bug

After all the hoopla, school closings, encouragement to stay home from work if you sneeze, purchases of masks, inundating hospital emergency rooms and the list goes on .. it appears this was a serious case of overkill.

Over the weekend, the state issued a press release on the actual confirmed cases of the new flu, known primarily as the Swine Fluóeven though pigs play no part in the disease, and Fort Bend County had an epidemic of four sick people.

In actuality, if yearly seasonal flu was treated with such caution, there is no doubt that yearly outbreaks of the often deadly ďregularĒ flu would be cut down substantially. However, since only 36,000 people died of that type of flu last year, the state and federal government doesnít recommend any serious shut-downs of schools or businesses.

It took two or three confirmed deaths to launch this major offensive against this bug.

I hope the next malady doesnít get as much attention or Iím afraid that people will start looking at various diseases much like they look at hurricanes and the warnings associated with the seasonal storms with total disregard until a serious disaster hits.

The tin building

Hooray for Commissioner Grady Prestage who put his two cents in on the proposed new EMS facility.

He doesnít want a metal building this time around because it is unsightly.

And, he doesnít want a metal building for any emergency worker because storms bring disasters they have to respond to and help the public.

Storms also bring lots of lightning and metal buildings attract lightening.

Having the emergency radio systems fried is not a good thing.

Having first responders incapacitated is not good either.

Build it safely and out of brick.


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:
June 26, 2009