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Weekly Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


February 19, 1998

$7 million county

Now, do not get excited but the Monahans News has discovered
a way to inject close to $7 million (by our estimates, $6.9
million) into the Ward County economy right now. This
multimillion dollar economic transfusion does not require
establishing a new industry or going into the bank robbing
business. It does require determining if you qualify for the
Earned Income Tax Credit. Anyone with children probably
does. It also requires that you have gainful employment.

If everyone eligible in Ward County files for the Earned
Income Tax Credit, these individual families will have a few
more dollars to spend and simultaneously the county's
economic base is bolstered by the total of those dollars
spent. Anyone who has children at home probably qualifies.

Check the regs when you do your federal income tax. In
1997, the average Earned Income Tax Credit in Texas was
$1,600. In December of 1997, Ward County's Labor Force, as
reported by the Texas Workforce Commission was 4,344. The
IRS bureaucrats tell us most of those eligible do not file
for the credit. If they did, they'd have a few more dollars
and all of us would be thankful.

Golf and hospitals

We understand why the economy and hospitals are major issues
of the people in Ward County as we journey onward to the
March 10 primary election. We also understand why golf is a
major issue of the people. Many of you out there apparently
do not understand golf's importance to some.

You do not understand, many of you say and you say it
loudly, why the county government even bothers to pretend to
keep a golf course at Monahans or anywhere else. There is
grumbling among the masses as to why so much discussion is
wasted on a golf course when there is a real crisis afoot in
health care and a need for jobs in this county, both of
which, these malcontents say, are real issues. Then they
thunder that golf, after all, is only a game and will not
put beans on anyone's table.

This we say to you. It is correct that economy and hospitals
are the major local issues we face. It is correct golf is
only a game. But it is also correct to say that golf, and
other pastimes, are as essential to the proper survival of
humanity as beans.

We would not deny golf to any of its addicts. And Ward
County doesn't spend that much on the true sport of kings.
If you don't believe that, check those pitiful greens.

Chritie Kittley's

Cyber Gab

There is a sense of pride that comes with starting your
first homepage. It's like buying a new house.

You choose a neighborhood that suits your lifestyle. You
search for pictures to decorate it and make it more like

Your children can even have a room of their own to show the
world all about them.

The difference is you don't choose who visits. Of course,
you don't have to hide from traveling salesmen either.

Your homepage is seen by anyone that happens to click on
your page. It doesn't matter what time they come over
because the door is always open. In a way there is something
very 'small town' and friendly about a homepage.

When I got my first homepage I didn't have the slightest idea how to work it. It was a blank white page with not a word of instruction anywhere.

Luckily I had an online friend that was kind enough to tell me to calm down and click on the big 'HELP' link at the bottom of the page. I've learned that it's not nearly as hard to make a decent homepage as you think it is. It's just like making your house a home...except you don't have to clean it.

Net Tip of the Week

If you'd like to get a homepage of your own there are
several places on the internet to get one for free. Just
remember, if you get a free homepage read the rules. Most
have guidelines you must follow or you could lose the page.

This is probably the best place to get your first homepage.
The pages are set up so you don't need to know 'html', which
is code for making letters bigger, different colors and so
on. Also, you don't have to have a homepage maker program on
your computer.

Geocities is a little harder to set one up because it's
formatted in pure 'html,' and you have to know all the
commands. They are not hard, but they do take a little time
to master. You get more disk space so there is more room to
upload pictures.

This is also a website offering free homepages. I have a
small one there and it seems to be easy to format.

Hometown Homepages
Snail mail:
P.O.Box 187 Wickett, TX 79788

Letter from the Editor

It is either an indication that this newspaper is failing to
do its job to keep its readership informed of the current
problems in Ward County or we are really facing a hot-button
issue at the county subsidized golf course.

Of course, the outcome of the debate over what to do with
the hospital is obviously the Number 1 issue in the county
commissioners race. Yet, I am amazed at how teed-off some
folks are about the conditions at the golf course.

City Councilman Curtis Howard, who is an avid golfer but
does not serve on the golf advisory board, sums up the
situation thus:

"It should be obvious that we [county taxpayers who golf]
are not working with an adequate budget that is required to
have an adequate golf course."

"I hate to admit it, but I joined the Odessa Country Club
just to have a good place to play," said Howard.

I guess, to paraphrase Curtis, we need more green for the
greens. The figure I've heard kicked around for last year's
subsidies by county taxpayers on the links is $109,000.

Howard believes that with an extra $20-to-$25,000 per year,
Ward County could hire a greens keeper fresh out of college
in Snyder to come here for two years and keep the course up
to par.

"It could be their first job out of school," said Howard, "
It would be a starting place on their resume. Nobody is
expecting the county to put in an Augusta [GA] course, but
we can do better."

It has been argued before that the golf course is needed as
a lure for new businesses and tourists. It should also be
noted that a lot of young people use the course.

Well, I've a suggestion that's not going to make me any
friends out in Pyote and Grandfalls, but do we really need
those three-hole courses?

Could we shut down those six holes in those two towns and
move that money over to our bigger, better and most
heavily-used course?

Just as a show of good faith, could we offer golfers in
Pyote and Grandfalls a discounted greens fee in exchange for
their holes? Or would such an action be construed as an
example of Monahans throwing its weight around?
Just as a personal golf note, I've been playing "Drive For
Show, Putt For Dough" with Pressman Jerry Caldwell and
Sportswriter Richard Acosta

(Yes, against my better judgement I hired Acosta back after
he found out the cold, cruel facts of life in being a
substitute teacher in Ector County).

Now, if you have never seen Acosta with a 3-wood whack balls
at the driving range, then you probably won't believe me
when I say he can knock 'em hilariously close to the former
residence of John Paul Jones. But, since John Paul moved
off to Milwaukee, Wisc., it's not nearly as much fun.
Two avid golfers were playing the 18th hole next to the
highway one bright sunny day when they noticed a funeral
procession coming down the road.

One golfer turned in the direction of the procession,
removed his cap and placed it over his heart as the hearse
rolled by.

As soon as the funeral passed, the golfer replaced his hat
and proceeded to thwack a beautiful drive right down the
middle of the fairway.

As they were setting-up their putts on the green, the other
golfer finally commented, "You know, I really have to
commend you on the moment of respect you paid to that
funeral without letting it interrupt your game."

"Oh that?" the first golfer replied, "Yeah, I'm really going
to miss the old gal.

"You know, next week we would have been married for 37

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