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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.


Many people are struggling in this faltering economy and apparently some are choosing to give up or abandon pets because they can no longer afford the food and health care that is needed for them.

This is extremely sad and most likely heart-wrenching for many families faced with such a decision.

Please help the area shelters give these wonderful little critters a second chance at life.

While I was interviewing and preparing for this story, our son called and said I was going to be a grandmother. At first my heart went into my throat because he and his fiancé are planning a very large December wedding after a nearly 7 year courtship. Then, the prankster that he is, chuckled—no he roared—and let me know my new grandchild was actually a fur-baby they had just adopted at the SPCA where he lives.

I thought it ironic that he would adopt at the same time I was getting an article ready to urge adoptions.

He knows the responsibility that goes along with adoptions, so our new grandchild, Sophie, will be in good hands. She will be welcomed home by Cheeto, an only fur-child, which Stephen adopted shortly after graduating from University of Houston Sugar Land.

I am an animal lover and have adopted as many as I can afford to feed and rescued many others—dogs, cats, deer, squirrel, raccoons and even one skunk. I hope our readers who have been thinking about adopting will choose an animal from one of our shelters here in the county.

The dog or cat may not have a pedigree but I urge you to take a walk through the shelter and look into the eyes of the animals there. They still have hope that someone will come along and give them the love and attention they once enjoyed or a chance at a secure life they’ve never experienced.

Believe me, they will be the best friend you’ve ever had. It is almost like they know the person adopting them is their second chance and possibly their last chance at life.

But before you make that trip, please make a life time commitment and don’t do it on a whim.

FBISD and those public records

I am very disappointed in Fort Bend Independent School District for not releasing public records requested by Nancy Hentschel of New Territory months ago.

About three weeks ago, after an attorney general’s opinion was handed down, the district said they had complied and the documents had been released.

Hertschel says that simply is not the case.

Now Nancy is not a tax protester. In fact she says she has no problem paying taxes for services that are for the benefit of the community. She’d gladly pay taxes to reduce the size of the classrooms and give teachers incentives to be the best they can be, she says.

But she is legitimately concerned about a plan to spend $24 million for a Global Science Center when some schools are reporting continual air conditioning and plumbing problems, some classrooms have 30 students and teachers are stressed beyond their limitations, she says.

Not only that, but Nancy wonders aloud how the district would be able to bus 800 students a day to the envisioned Global Science Center when they are having a hard time bussing the regular students to their allotted campuses.

She has some very legitimate concerns.

At first she asked for the records to see if the planned construction was really needed or could be justified.

Now, do to the hanky-panky way this has been handled, she feels there must be something they are hiding or the information would have immediately been released when requested.

I’ve seen this over and over again through the years. A citizen asks a governmental body to provide public records. The governmental body balks or refuses. A simple request becomes a demand. The demand becomes an official complaint. More people join the foray. The governmental body in question eventually complies but by then no one trusts them or believes that they have truly provided unaltered or complete information.

Things would be so simple if our public officials recognized that they are such and that transparency is required by those paying the bills .. the taxpayers.


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