A day late and a dollar short” is an old saying I remember my mother repeating. I’m more than a day late because a column about the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo (May 5) should have appeared in The Azle News two weeks ago. However, I only decided to write about it on the actual May 5 when I found some information.… Read the rest
For the Texas Legislature to accomplish its main purpose, the passage of a state budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 must be achieved.
The five House and five Senate members of the Conference Committee on the budget, House Bill 1, have been working together since late April. They must angle their philosophical pathways to something mutually acceptable to take back to their respective chambers for consideration.… Read the rest
So, I won a $50 gift card to an eatery called Twin Peaks.
I had no idea where a Twin Peaks was, but I’m not going to turn down $50 worth of food.
Come to find out, Twin Peaks has nothing to do with the ground-breaking TV series of the early 1990’s.
The clue that it was different came when it was referred to as a “breastraunt.”… Read the rest
I just returned from an amazing mission trip to Ukraine with the Singing Men of Texas. I don’t just toss that word “amazing” out lightly. We took a team of 170 people from across the state of Texas and did a concert/preaching tour across western Ukraine.
Between April 22-30, we sang 12 concerts in eight cities to a combined audience of over 14,000 and saw over 7,700 registered decisions for Christ. Yeah, that kind of amazing.… Read the rest
In last week’s column I wrote about Western novel writer Zane Grey. I mentioned that he sold three early books to the movies at $25,000 each. He sold many more for much more. This week I want to concentrate on his connection to the movies.
Movies still were in their infancy in 1919. Producers with a small crew rented a warehouse and filmed a story. Zane Grey decided he could do that himself and make more money from a book. In 1919 he began Zane Grey Productions, but took in a partner named Ben H. Hampton who actually hired the crew, actors and did the filming.… Read the rest
Legislation approved by the House and Senate last week reveal widely differing views on how to bring about tax relief to Texans in fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
Speaker Joe Straus lauded the preliminary approval of House Bill 31, legislation to reduce the state sales tax from 6.25 percent to 5.95 percent, resulting in a $2.66 billion revenue decrease, and House Bill 32, legislation cutting the franchise tax paid by many businesses by 25 percent and resulting in a statewide revenue decrease of $2.56 billion. Both bills were written by House Ways and Means Chair Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, along with several members credited as coauthors.… Read the rest
I had done almost everything I usually do while waiting for the Bride to get ready for church – found the iPad and lesson literature, listened to Get the Led Out on KZPS, prepared the coffee travel mug – when she said she was almost ready.
That meant 10 more minutes at least, of course, so I decided to check the bank balance. That’s weird; it was way lower than it should’ve been.… Read the rest
For those of us who were teenagers in the 1970’s, that title put the sweet falsetto harmonies of the Bee Gees in our minds’ ears.
Those of a different age may still think of that song, but it won’t be nearly as nostalgic and heart-warming. Most everyone tends to think of the music of their mid-teens to early-twenties as the best ever.… Read the rest
Remember the Johnny Cash song, “A Boy Named Sue”? How about a real boy growing up named Pearl?
This was the early life of Pearl Zane Grey who, according to his biographer Frank Gruber, was the Father of the Western story, perhaps the most popular author of the 20th century and writer of the best Western novel ever! That novel was Riders of the Purple Sage.… Read the rest
With barely more than a month left in the regular session of the Texas Legislature, it’s time for the House and Senate to do whatever can be done to reach an all-points agreement on House Bill 1, the state budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
A widely reported sticky area in the estimated $211 billion budget is over which taxes to cut and how much to cut. House and Senate conferees will meet this week. From both ends of the Capitol, the budget has a ways-and-means inertia to it, with House leaders pushing for cuts in the state sales tax rate and the state franchise tax.… Read the rest