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Why it’s important for everyone to vote

From the time I was a child, my parents, Harold and Oleta Walker of the Sandy community north of Ravenna, always stressed to my brother and me the importance of community, church and civic involvement. In community improvement clubs and councils, at the county fair, on boards of companies and organizations, in societies and clubs, and in church, both our parents taught us, by their example, to participate.

False nostalgia

It’s probably silly, because I’m only 23 years old, but I often find myself feeling nostalgic for time periods I was not around for – I call it “false nostalgia.”

Judging fourth-dimensionally

In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. On that much, we can agree. The list of things beyond that which can be stipulated is pretty scarce, but in summary: someone at some point decided Columbus should get credit for discovering the Americas. Someone else, in turn, decided that was reason enough to declare a holiday on the anniversary of his “discovery.” And bingo-bongo, bank cashiers have been big fans of Cristoforo Colombo ever since.

The right question about the death penalty

On Friday’s opinion page, Texas A&M University School of Law Professor Meg Penrose, and David B. Muhlhausen, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, debated the question: “Has the death penalty become too costly to administer in America?”

LETTER: Fed is loosing control of economy

For those of you who think the Fed is capable of returning this economy to full recovery, I would like to give you something to think about. In order to induce the banking system to make loans the Fed initiated and has continued a program known as Quantitative Easing introducing massive amounts of money into the economy.

LETTER: Van Alstyne spending out of control

I am concerned that Van Alstyne is accumulating more and more debt, which it will not be able to pay back. Each citizen in our town of around 3,050 now has a per capita burden of over $5,800 — that’s principle and interest combined. That is because the city is borrowing and spending money it does not have.

Curb the complaining

My wife, Kimberly, has a story she is fond of telling about her little cousin. We often tell it to illustrate what a vibrant — and of course adorable — little girl Kimberly’s cousin, Avari, is.

Prop 1 will support Texas infrastructure

This November, voters will have an opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment, Proposition 1. This amendment was a joint resolution that was passed during the 2013 legislative session. However, because it changes the Texas Constitution, it needs voter approval before it can take effect. If passed it will direct some of the severance tax from oil and gas production to transportation funding.

Contests and Promotions

Only in a small town

A few years ago I had a birthday. I don’t always have them since I am now on Social Security, but my lady friends wanted to have a party, and this was as good an excuse as any. I was to pick the place, date and time. We’d meet and eat lunch. I would open my gifts. And then we’d go home. No big deal.

Will freezing your eggs really help your career?

WASHINGTON — Tech companies are apparently offering egg freezing as a benefit to their employees. There’s some suspicion among women I know that this is supposed to help/force women in technology balance family and career by delaying childbirth — it’s not a good time in your late 20s and early 30s, so freeze those eggs and have kids when you’re ready.

Speaking Texan

Recently I was looking through some old copies of the paper to read up on something. In my pursuit of the topic I chased, I came across an article about Norman Bennett who, as many people know, was a local teacher, television star and movie actor.

The rise of unretirement

We are living longer, something to celebrate. The average life expectancy was about 62 years in 1935 when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, and it’s now nearly 79 years. And, as in many things, the baby boomers are at the center of another revolution: unretirement.

JAY AMBROSE: Leon Panetta shines helpful light on the White House

Thanks, thanks and more thanks to Leon Panetta, a former congressman, secretary of defense, budget director,White House chief of staff and head of three different agencies, including the CIA — someone, in short, who knows his way around Washington. He has made it clear the current political stalemate there is at least partly traceable to the leadership shortcomings of President Barack Obama. The observation matters.

Why I’m logging off Facebook

As the summer wound down, I found a letter from my son’s headmaster under some junk on my desk. He was asking the kids to be sure to read two books over the summer. Oops, I thought. This was one I should have read immediately. Even though we bug my son to read, find him books that seem perfect for his taste — usually about dystopian, post-apocalyptic societies — he doesn’t manage to get through too many. There are distractions. Particularly the Internet and social media. Research abounds about Internet use and the young, their drop in reading and their reduced, choppy attention spans.

Goldwater would have hated ‘Citizens United’

Barry Goldwater’s favorite response to an idea that earned his disdain was “Hell, no.” And that’s exactly how the late senator from Arizona would likely have responded to Washington Post columnist George F. Will after he attacked a common-sense constitutional amendment that would authorize limits on the influence of money in politics.