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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.

Rodrigo prevails

Iíve given Rodrigo Carreon, of Fresno, a hard time several times. He is an outspoken critic of government and often ruffles the feathers of Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert. Hebert gets aggravated because sometimes Rodrigo tries to use his allotted three minutes of public speaking time to cram in 15 minutes of gripes about city, state, and federal issues instead of an agenda item.

But last week Rodrigo let us know that a nearly five year court battle with the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District had been won. And, to his credit, Rodrigo managed to fight the big guy all by himself.

The little handwritten legal responses that he submitted during the years were accepted by the court. Rodrigo said he couldnít afford an attorney and managed to prepare his responses with the help of the local librarian at the law library.

So now the CAD has to give Rodrigo a homestead exemption and credit for the years he did not receive one.

Genealogy in our backyard

One of our readers, Jenny Hurley, does family history research in her spare time.

She said she spent three days at the downtown Houston Clayton Library, which has a wealth of genealogy information.

However, last week she learned that our very own local library system has tons of information for family history researchers and can be accessed on the library computers.

Hurley said she was more than pleased and wanted other readers to know that all the libraries offer access to family history via their computer system.

I am also a amateur genealogist and I remember well when a researcher had to go in person to look through mounds of old books, tons of microfiche (resulting in headache and eye strain) and gazillions of public records.

The great thing about finding information on the computer is that you can stay focused.

Back in the search by hand days, you would walk in with one name to research but usually end up pulling out the list of 200 names and flitting from one book to another. In other words, the massive collection of information would overwhelm the researcher.

Now with a computer to aid the search, typing in one name or other associated query helps the researcher actually get real information rather than pages of useless tidbits.

So, if you are about to venture into the wonderful world of family history, start by visiting a local library. It canít hurt and it might just be the incentive you need to keep searching.


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:
September 10, 2009