Hot and dry in Kosse, Texas. The forecast highs for the next week are over 100-degrees each day. I read in the Waco paper a few days ago that this year's excessive rain is killing many local trees. I'll try to remember that as we enter our annual dry season. This has been a strange weather year. Heavy snowfall in April and periodic flooding during June and July. As Tony Soprano says, "What are ya gonna do?"
I had a long and informative visit with Kosse Mayor Ben Daniells last night. This was the first time I ever talked to him for an extended period of time, and found him most knowledgeable and engaging. I don't have time tonight to go into all I found out about our Kosse city government, so will split the information up over the next couple of blog posts.
In the referendum election held earlier this year, the citizens of Kosse voted an increase of 1% in our city sales tax, with the proceeds devoted to city street maintenance. Unfortunately, the Texas Attorney General's office voided the election results due to erroneous local legal advice given to our city officials. The state statutes mandate that the 1% sales tax increase be divided among at least four city projects, versus the one project (city street maintenance) that the earlier referendum mandated. As a result, there will be an upcoming referendum in which the 1% increase will benefit four Kosse needs. The four categories will be street maintenance, sewer improvements, city water supply improvements, and Kosse economic development. The Kosse Blog will be supporting the passage of the referendum.
August 5, 2007
It's finally beginning to heat up. According to today's 7-day forecast, the high for Wednesday is predicted to be 100-degrees. If this comes to be, it will be our first triple digit temperature of the year.
I see Bobby Bonds has tied Hank Aaron's record for most career home runs. Click for article. It's fair to say the accomplishment will be tainted by his alleged use of steroids. While writing the previous sentence, it crossed my mind as to who my all-time favorite baseball player is. We lived in Houston during the late 1980's, and were avid Astros fans. We subscribed to a premium sports channel just so we could watch the games. We also attended many of their games at the Astrodome. Anyway, my choice would be one of the members of the Astros during that era, the Alvin Express, Nolan Ryan. He holds a couple of amazing records that may never be topped (strikeouts and no-hitters). He is now part-owner of the Astros' AAA minor league club, the Round Rock Express.
August 2, 2007
I was shocked to see the Texas Education Agency ratings for the local school districts. It is extremely disturbing to see that Groesbeck I.S.D. has been rated an Academically Unacceptable school district. Click for T.E.A. rating. There is no way to sugarcoat the results, as they are truly bad. There has been a large turnover rate among the G.I.S.D. administration recently, and evidently needs to be. Our school district is not among the poorest districts in the state, and it is distressing to think our tax monies have not been properly utilized. The ranking of unacceptable should be unacceptable to the citizens of the Groesbeck I.S.D.
The Bremond school district received much better results. Two of their three schools were rated Academically Recognized and the third was rated Academically Acceptable. As a regular reader of the Bremond Press, I know the Bremond Schools have faced a great deal of adversity over the past few years. Its former long-time superintendent is now in prison for theft from the district. (Click for very interesting article.) As a result of his criminal actions, the district has had to operate on a shoestring budget for the past few years. Despite this, their academic results were much better than Groesbeck's.
Another very direct effect of our Kosse kids' school district being deemed Academically Unacceptable is that it will discourage parents from moving here. We are in the early stages of great economic growth, and there will undoubtedly be many new residents coming to our area. Quality of education is among the top criteria for most parents when determining where to live, and many will choose not to live in a town with low-ranking schools.
August 1, 2007
Our warmest month arrives with daily highs in the low 90's. While this is certainly warm enough to fully appreciate the joys of air conditioning, it is slightly cooler than usual due to the inordinate amount of rainfall this year. The wet, cooler weather allowed my electric usage to drop by about 20% over the same month of 2006. I suppose global-warming alarmists would attribute this year's unusual weather patterns to the havoc mankind has reeked upon the environment. This may be accurate, but it did save me about $500 on electric bills last month.
The Texas State Comptroller's office has disbursed municipal sales tax collections for June, and Kosse is once again a powerhouse of growth. The figures were double that of a year ago. What is amazing is that last year was considered a high-growth year for Kosse business receipts, and 2007 is shattering the performance of 2006.
Marvin Zindler has died of pancreatic cancer. Click for article. If you are familiar with Houston, you grew up with Marvin Zindler of Channel 13 Eyewitness News. (The linked article has a number of classic Marvin moments to enjoy.) His greatest moment of fame came while trying to close down the Chicken Ranch near LaGrange. Marvin was physically beaten by the local sheriff at one point, and the storyline of Marvin's efforts became one of Broadway's most successful productions, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas".
July 30, 2007
According to the linked article, "Tens of thousands of Iraqis from the Shiite south to the Kurdish-dominated north poured into the usually treacherous streets Sunday to celebrate a rare moment of joy and unity when the national team won Asia's most prestigious soccer tournament. Within seconds of the final whistle, celebratory gunfire echoed across Baghdad and elsewhere despite a government ban and the threat of arrest by authorities. At least four people were killed and scores wounded by the gunfire." Click for article. The Iraqis keep killing each other even in celebration. Don't they have sense enough to know if a hail of gunfire goes into the air that the bullets will have to return somewhere, and if you're in the middle of a huge city like Baghdad, that the bullets will fall within the city?
July 29, 2007
Bremond is in a growth spurt. The number of trucks going through there is amazing. A new convenience store is being built, and a large city park (with a miniature golf course) is in the works. So I figured it was time to get the long-planned Bremond restaurant plan into action. Our building is located at the four-way intersection of Highway 14 and 46 (next to A-1 convenience store, across from the new bank and new pharmacy). This is a prime spot which up to now has been used as my storage warehouse. It was previously the Tiger's Den restaurant. Artist extraordinaire Tess Kane (of Kosse Cafe mural fame) has been hired to oversee the project. She has come up with a retro-1950's motif which is most attractive. We know for sure it will be a Pizza Pro/Sub City, and are debating whether we should make it a combination Pizza Pro/Ice Cream Shoppe/Fast Food Joint. It is located two blocks from my house, so it will certainly be convenient in that respect.
July 26, 2007
The downpours are once again in the forecast. The predicted high is 87-degrees, which is almost cold for the last week of July. Thank goodness I was able to get the necessary mowing done before the rains hit. My new landscape maintenance engineer is Donald Porch (on the days when he has not pulled his periodic disappearing act). Being without transportation, I offer Mr. Porch free taxi service and lodging at my house in Bremond on mowing days. He usually ends up eating about 1/2 of my household food supply each time he arrives, but I hate to deprive the growing boy of sustenance.
The Kosse City Council has been meeting weekly for the past few weeks in an effort to re-write and revise ordinances and guidelines with the city. The first ordinance passed was in regards to animal, livestock, and fowl control. The City Council will be meeting this Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Kosse Community Center. All citizens are invited to offer input.
What a proud moment for Kosse when members of the Kosse Leo Club led the Texas Lions in the recently-held International Parade in Chicago. While there, the Leos were able to tour the 103-story Sears Tower.
July 25, 2007
Five months until Christmas and I am able to return to the Kosse Blog. I had a very nice chat with Mrs. Graeber last night. She told me she and Mr. Graeber recently celebrated their 54th anniversary. She is involved in raising money for repairs to the engine of a van which was donated to the Senior Citizens by the private prison in Groesbeck. The Kosse Cafe will be donating to this worthy project, and I know additional donors would be appreciated. Contact Mrs. Graeber if you would like to help.
My mother was buried at Cobb Cemetery today, joining my father in their final resting place. While the occasion is never wished for, a funeral gathering provides opportunity to see family and friends who are often missing from daily life. This was indeed the case today, as I visited with many I had not seen in years. The Groesbeck Church of Christ provided a highly-appreciated meal, and the service was conducted by Ministers Richard Williams and Charles Dailey. It was in Mother's personality to worry about her children, so a number of years ago she sat down with Terry Don Roach of the Groesbeck Funeral Home and pre-arranged her funeral. She did not want her funeral to be a burden on us children, so she felt this was a good idea. One aspect involved choosing the format of the funeral service. She chose to have what was basically a Church of Christ worship service; congregational singing, prayers, and a short sermon. She selected the specific songs and sermon topic, and it was a fitting end to an elegant lady's life.