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LARRY PHILLIPS: Ensuring water availability for the state

Interim charges are the issues that the Speaker asks committees to study during the time between regular legislative sessions in order to make recommendations for legislation for the following legislative session. This week I will discuss the charges given to the House Committee on Natural Resources, which primarily oversees water development and conservation in the state.

CRAIG ESTES: Disarming the Second Amendment won’t stop terrorism

Partisan spin doesn’t usually surprise me — after almost 15 years in politics, I’ve come to expect it from both sides in response to both triumphs and tragedies. But I was honestly surprised when, after the worst terrorist attack on our soil since Sept. 11, the left’s response was to blame the National Rifle Association, the Republican Party, and an imaginary class of scary-looking firearms. Remember when the country used to come together after terrorist attacks and unite against our common foes?

Dad cared for me, then I cared for him

All of us have had one. We either have one now, or we had one in the past. We may have known them quite well, not at all, or somewhere in-between. They might have nurtured us, abandoned us, or just flittered in and out of our lives. We may have loved them, hated them, feared them, revered them, or perhaps even become one of them. I’m speaking, of course, of dads.

Adventures in Parenting: Baby’s first cold

My wife and I are really lucky, because our infant son is happy most of the time, and so far he hasn’t had any of the health issues babies can have that so worried me in the months and days leading up to his arrival. He cries a lot, but that’s what babies do. I knew that going in, so it hasn’t been a shock, though the volume he can reach is impressive at times.

LARRY PHILLIPS: Committee to look at powdered alcohol

Interim charges are the issues that the Speaker asks committees to study during the time between regular legislative sessions in order to make recommendations for legislation for the following legislative session. This week I will discuss the charges given to the House Committee on Licensing & Administrative Procedures, which oversees occupational licensing and the regulation of alcohol and other industries by the state.

MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: The long game

Recently, I’ve been doing a fair amount of bricking at my church on the south side of Sherman. Bricking is one of those things that takes time, and a wall is strengthened through many well-placed bricks. Before we used the bricks, we cleaned them, because we are using old bricks that are being re-purposed in our renovation. Between cleaning them, mixing mortar, and doing the actual bricking it takes all day just to do one small opening that is probably less than 20 square feet. Now part of it may be me, and my weakness at being a bricker, but I realize, as well, that some jobs just take longer than others.

LARRY PHILLIPS: Committee looks at Texas’ wide open spaces

Interim charges are the issues that the Speaker asks committees to study during the time between regular legislative sessions in order to make recommendations for legislation for the following legislative session. This week I will discuss the charges given to the House Committee on Land & Resource Management, which oversees various issues related to the land holdings of the state.

LETTER: Women in the Christian Science church

The article “Local Catholic churches react to idea of women deacons” posted on May 26 at HeraldDemocrat.com concluded with a list of churches that “also allow women to become ordained as ministers.” Included in the list, which was originally drawn from the Huffington Post, was the “Christian Science” Church, or the Church of Christ, Scientist, founded by Mary Baker Eddy.

LARRY PHILLIPS: Texas Travel

As summer begins, families will begin planning vacations and trips throughout the state. The Texas Department of Transportation has a website, http://www.drivetexas.org , that shows current road conditions throughout the state. This tool is instrumental when planning a road trip.

MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: The growth of the church

In America today church attendance and membership is diminishing between 1 percent and 2 percent per year. Some churches here are exploding with growth; many of the old classic denominations are dying. About 4,000 churches are shut down every month in the U.S. We are in the decline of our culture, unless God does something about it.

LETTER: The meaning of Memorial Day

Memorial Day, an American holiday observed annually on the last Monday of May, honors those brave men and women who gave their lives while serving in the United States military. The true meaning of this holiday, like the true meaning of many other federal holidays, is often forgotten and thought of as just another day to shop some of our nation’s many sales or to take off from work.

SAMANTHA FOX: With water issues, could Texas be in the same boat as California?

When it comes to water, everyone knows by now that California’s in trouble. They’re in the fifth year of the worst drought in a century and are scrambling to manage their water better. Some wasteful practices were banned permanently this month, like hosing sidewalks and washing cars with hoses that don’t have shut-off nozzles. Even though El Niño rains have topped off some reservoirs, rain can’t recharge aquifers fast enough, and groundwater depletion remains a serious problem for California.

LETTER: Where the blame for school finance really rests

Don’t blame the Texas Supreme Court for its decision on Texas school finance. The court was so distressed by the condition of Texas school finance that it went far outside its normal bounds to opine on how bad the finance system is, but also showed their integrity and commitment to law by correctly ruling that the Texas State Constitution does not explicitly describe how effective Texas education must be.