Commentary

Fri
13
Oct

Vegas tragedy hits close to home

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

On Oct. 1, I was shocked, along with the rest of the Highland Lakes, to hear about the mass shooting at a country music festival along the Las Vegas Strip which claimed the lives of 58 people (excluding the shooter) and injured 489 others, many of them critically.

The horrific tragedy especially hit home for me for several reasons. First of all, Las Vegas is where my wife and I were married in 2014. It is where my best friend, Bobby McCooey, and his family live. Bobby and his wife Michele stood up for us as best man and matron of honor at our wedding and were our official witnesses.

Fri
01
Sep

Red Cross on the front lines of disaster

State Rep. Terry M. Wilson

Special to The Highlander

In the wake of the historic damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and the resulting unprecedented flooding, I would like to make sure that everyone in our district has information on where to get help if they need it, or provide help if they are safe.

Fri
01
Sep

Disaster preparedness starts by identifying risks

Pat Williams Moore is unique in the disaster recovery and business/service resumption industry. She has been a pioneer since 1982 helping to drive the disaster recovery industry beyond the emergency response phase, and data-center-information technology recovery side into the organization-wide/enterprise-wide full recovery and continuity of operations strategic planning and implementation for businesses, institutions and communities. Moore is a Certified Disaster Recovery Professional and a Fellow of the Business Continuity Institute, and FEMA's National Business Person of the Year.

Editor's Note: The following is the first in an ongoing series of columns covering disaster preparedness and disaster recovery topics from Pat Moore, one of the country's leading disaster recovery educators who lives in Marble Falls.

By Pat Moore

Reprinted with permission

Wed
30
Aug

Harvey takes after sisters Katrina, Rita

Twelve years ago, Katrina made landfall as the 11th named storm and fifth hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. By the time she dissipated on Aug. 31, 2005, she was the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States and one of the five deadliest storms ever to hit the mainland.

More than 1,800 people died in Katrina's destruction – not just from her hurricane-force winds, but also from her storm surge and flooding, which was augmented by the failure of more than 50 levees and other protective structures around greater New Orleans, which was 80 percent submerged in water at the height of the storm.

More than $108 billion in damage was reported from Katrina and she drove thousands of residents away from the Crescent City, including some who eventually made the Burnet County. The Smoking for Jesus Ministry observed the 12th anniversary of their deliverance from Katrina to Texas this past Sunday.

Wed
30
Aug

The vote not taken

Over the last eight months, I have received more communication from the district about the Speaker of the House than any other topic. Some think he should be replaced; some think he is the only one with any sense. Spending the 140 days of the regular session immersed in the culture and process of the legislature has given me a slightly different perspective on the issue than I had going in, one I feel deserves sharing.

The problem with singling out one member of the legislature, one leadership team, or one Speaker of the House as being the problem is that it assumes that the problem lies with the person and not with the power itself.

Thu
10
Aug

Jail 'depopulation' draws response from Llano County Sheriff

The sheriff responds, here, to ideas heard in a Llano County Commissioners Court budget workshop. They were published in the Tuesday, Aug. 8, edition of The Highlander and here, on HighlanderNews.com.

A Letter from Llano County Sheriff Bill Blackburn:

I would like to address the article in last week’s paper concerning the “depopulation” of the Llano County Jail.

First, only in the last two weeks did I know the term “depopulation” existed.

As to my current understanding of the term, it would mean shutting down jail operation, firing all jail personnel, transfer all prisoners to Burnet County Jail, transport people arrested in Llano County to Burnet for incarceration, which includes all arrest made by the City of Llano, Sunrise Beach Village, the portion of Horseshoe Bay that lies in Llano County and all arrest made by Llano County SO in all of Llano County, all arrests made by Texas Rangers, Texas DPS troopers, Texas Parks and Wildlife and any and all Federal Agencies that arrest in Llano County.

Wed
24
May

'Train' concert rolls through Austin

Lew K. Cohn/The Highlander

Train lead singer Pat Monahan snaps a selfie with Highlander Managing Editor Lew K. Cohn's cellphone during a Saturday night, May 20, concert at Austin360 Amphitheater.

 

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor, The Highlander

Few bands can boast a discography as diverse and celebrated as that of Train, the San Francisco-based roots rock band which released its tenth studio album, “a girl, a bottle, a boat,” earlier this year and made a stop at the Austin360 Amphitheater Saturday night on its “Play That Song” tour with opening acts Natasha Bedingfield and O.A.R.

That's because while some musical acts cannot weather change, Train owes its success to not only dealing with change, but embracing it. Their touring lineup Saturday included lead singer Pat Monahan as the lone holdover from the band's debut self-titled 1998 album, which brought them to the nation's consciousness with their infectious calling card of a tune, “Meet Virginia.”

Fri
21
Apr

Texas 71 deadly

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

The curvy, hilly stretch of Texas 71 between Spicewood and the Pedernales River bridge may seem serene and majestic to some, but it certainly can lay claim to being one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the Hill Country.

Since last year, at least five people have died on that leg of Texas 71, including earlier this month, when three Round Rock women died after their vehicle crashed into a charter bus carrying the Huston-Tillotson University baseball team on its way back to Austin from a game in New Mexico.

The women failed to yield the right of way to the bus as they turned left from Fall Creek Road and pulled out in front of it shortly before midnight on April 1. June Smith, 18, Isabella Torres, 17, and Taylor Mendez, 17, all of Round Rock, were killed in the crash. The bus driver, Adolphus Kimbro, was injured and taken to a local hospital.

Thu
23
Mar

Garden shows this weekend and next, think about planting

The Hill Country Lawn and Garden Show will be going on Saturday, March 25, from  9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Burnet Community Center, 401 East Jackson Street.

Demonstration, many vendors, kids’ corner, many plants, native and garden, plus supplies will be featured. For more information call Irene Dauphin 254-498-6009 or to be a vendor Roxanne Dunegan 512-756-9396.

The Llano Master Gardener Lawn and Garden Show follows on  Saturday, April 1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the St. James Lutheran Church 1401 Ford Street in Llano. Plants, prize drawings and programs are on the agenda.

Asparagus!!

Thu
23
Mar

You can go home again

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

They say you can't go back home again, but this past weekend, I did.

I went back to Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Utica, Mississippi, this past Friday, March 17, for the first time in 30 years for my cousin Savannah Garst's Bat Mitzvah celebration. The last time I had been at Jacobs Camp, I was an awkward 16-year-old teenage counselor-in-training, or CIT.

Jacobs Camp was a formative place in my youth. It was a home away from home for four weeks every summer, from third grade to eighth grade, and again as a senior when I became a staff member.

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