Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
By Peggy McCracken
December 8, 1998
Lights make bright
'Tis the season to be jolly! Christmas lights all
over town herald the birth of Jesus, and carols waft on
the cold, cold air.
After the annual living nativity at West Park
Baptist Church Sunday night, I took a circuitous route home
to view some of the lights. It seems a lot of
neighborhoods are lighted this year for the first time. Some of the
most spectacular displays are in older, run-down neighborhoods.
Then, of course, there are the usual displays such
as the Leo Elliott home on West Fourth Street. Leo added
to his display every year for a long time, but I couldn't
detect anything new this year. Maybe he ran out of space to
The three homes that were open Friday night for
the Chamber of Commerce Women's Division "tour of
homes" are all brightly lighted outside as well as inside. I
missed the tour, but enjoyed the outside displays.
Have you noticed the new strings of light that
hang down on just about every other decorated house,
making a broad band of light all along the eaves? They look
so delicate that I wonder how they will withstand these
West Texas winds.
For the past several days, a truck with cherry
picker has been parked at the Reeves County Courthouse,
where someone is replacing bulbs or re-stringing lights in
the trees. I've wondered all year how those bulbs were
faring and how many would survive from one Christmas to
And don't the street-light decorations look nice?
They welcome travelers as well as cheering local residents
and reminding us that the big Day is only two weeks
and three days away.
Have you done your Christmas shopping? It's
hard for me to get started before Christmas Eve. I did place
one order via the Internet, and it was so easy I may do them
all that way. If I do any more shopping, that is. My kids
have agreed to meet me in San Antonio for a niece's
wedding the day after Christmas, and that will be our gifts to
each other. By the time we pay travel and lodging
expenses, there won't be much left for gifts, anyway.
So many are hurting this Christmas season. The
best gift may be to provide some relief to those who
are unemployed, sick or elderly. Outside our own
country, the flood victims in Central America need all the help
we can give them. I just received an e-mail from a friend
in Honduras who said that life is so hard there he is trying
to find a job in Texas. Wish I had one to give him
"...the LORD has anointed me to preach good news
to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the
brokenhearted..." Isaiah 61:1
EDITOR'S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is the webmaster of the Pecos Enterprise. She can be
e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Petty infighting slows
the community's progress
As we wade into the thick of the season of warmth
and harmony, the community of Pecos would do well
to consider that as a theme for the new year. Warmth
and harmony. Such a resolution would do wonders for
Little happens in this city without a struggle. We
have an amazing ability to make things look tough.
No better example exists than the recent squabble
over the appointment of a fire chief. Why should that be
so difficult? Pecos City Council finally appointed a new
chief last week, but only after a controversial, tortuos process.
A smoothly-running fire department is essential to
the safety of our citizens and their property. Tales
of volunteers lurking in parking lots to avoid riding to a
call with the chief are disheartening at best.
There is more. If we are to have any success at all
in the new effort to lure more jobs to Pecos, it will
depend on total commitment and cooperation of all
sectors backing the economic development program.
Then, there is the situation where two groups, in
effect, compete for dollars to fund Christmas programs for
kids. While they may not be at odds with one another,
they would be more effective if they combined their
efforts and pulled on a single rope.
There is a well-known cartoon of two mules, ties
tailed together, pulling in opposite directions, each looking
over his shoulder at the other with a look that says, "it's
Pecos progress is hampered by pettying infighting
and ingrained politics. We need to start pulling together.
Designated driver idea curbs drunk driving
With the holidays fast upon us, 'tis the season
for celebration at holiday parties with family, friends and
co-workers. While those of us at Rio Pecos Sales
Company know the importance of celebrating responsibly,
the holiday party designated driver is this season's hero.
Americans recognize designated drivers as an important group of people. A recent poll shows that
more than 90 percent of the public endorse the designated
driver concept as an excellent or good way to curb drunk
driving. And 109 million American adults say they have been
a designated driver or haver been driven home by one.
Drunk driving deaths are the lowest in 16 years.
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently released
the 1997 drunk driving statistics showing that drunk
driving fatalities have decreased 39 percent since the
government began tracking these numbers in 1982. Designated
drivers certainly deserve some of the credit for this
downward trend. Obviously there is still room for improvement,
and we can't be satisfied until the number is zero.
Remember that by choosing a designated driver
this holiday season, everybody has a good time, gets
home safely, and everybody wins.
Board of education should be represented by voters
Even we who believe in local control of education have to
admit that there are certain decisions involving all Texas schools
which must be made at the state board level. The question is who should be
on that state board of education?
Texas Senator Bill Ratliff is about ready to submit to the legislature
his proposed rewrite of the Texas Constitution. Sen. Ratliff's idea
is that the state board of education should not be elected by the
voters of Texas but should be appointed by the governor.
The next question we should ask then is who influences a governor?
It certainly is not "the little guy." Typically the two groups
who influence any governor are his wealthy campaign contributors
and the special-interest lobbyists.
Now let met get this straight. Under Sen. Ratliff's plan,
the decisions which impact every public school student and educator in
this state would be made by state board members who are beholden to
the governor who is beholden to wealthy contributors and lobbyists.
Maybe we Texans should give this a little more thought.
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Ned Cantwell, Publisher
Peggy McCracken, Webmaster
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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