Letters to the Editor, Sept. 21

September 21, 2013

Response overwhelming

for this ‘Action Man’

Re: “Jack Wilson, Action Man” by HCN reporter Kathy Cruz.

I wish to thank you for the fine article that the Hood County News published about me in the July 31 edition.

At first it was hard for me to imagine that I was the subject of the article, inasmuch as there were/are so many of my fellow gymnasts at The Nutcracker that far exceed my gymnastic performance and ability.

Mary, the photographer, gave my trainer (Guy Owens) and me about an hour of her time in taking the pictures. Both ladies did an excellent job.

I want to also thank Joe Thompson of your staff for he is the one responsible for getting my story into the paper in the first place. Joe and I will occasionally work out together at adjacent exercise machines or stations.

Hood County is a target retirement area, with lots of oldsters like myself already living here. Some of the older people (and some of the younger ones too) sometimes get bored with life due to not having enough interesting things to do. Many of us just sit around mopping about things i.e. sleeping, reading, or watching TV, or eating, or doing other things that aren’t very interesting or productive.

But Joe’s plan, or idea, is working! The Nutcracker Gym has already had quite a number of new applicants. As a matter of fact, Guy, my trainer, told me just a couple of days ago that he has been overwhelmed with new applicants for membership.

And I’ll just bet that the other gyms too are adding new members. And a lot of this activity is the direct result of your newspaper article about me.

Your publication article about me has brought me some fame and much joy. For example, my gym mates have been wonderful to me; they have shared in my revelry and my glory; they feel that they are a part of the story, which they are.

Also, people on the streets, in stores, restaurants, churches and elsewhere that I go will walk up to me and say “Hi, Action Man” or other nicknames as used in the newspaper article. They shake my hand and congratulate me, pat me on the back and some of the women will even give me a hug, which all 87-year men love. I have received phone calls from all over Texas, from Alaska, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Alabama, New Mexico and some places that I don’t even remember.

God has been good to me!

Jack Wilson
Pecan Plantation

Someone paid for facilities

when we went to school

As a member of the GISD family and a graduate of GISD, I was honored to serve on the Bond Steering Committee. We were shown the wish list that was gathered by the committees that had worked most of the 2012-13 school year to assess the needs of the GISD. We meet weekly during July and into August.

First the security of the schools was outlined because of the activities that have been happening across the U.S. Most of our buildings have a security lock on the front doors which is activated to allow persons to enter. The “guest” is now in the hallway with access to our children and can choose to go to the office to sign in … or not.

The plan is to route persons entering the schools directly through the front office before they can proceed on through the building.

Then two of the campuses have PE facilities that were built after the schools were built and are not connected to those building. The new facilities would be attached to the present building where the students will not have to leave the building to go to PE.

Then we come to the High School.

To start with the 9th graders being on another campus was a great idea to help with overcrowding in the early 2000s, but has made for a difficult situation now. First, not all courses that are offered to the 9th grade can be offered there on their campus, so they are transported to the high school for activities. Seventy-two percent of all the 9th graders are transported from the ninth grade center to the high school at least once a day.

Building the 9th grade area at the high school campus would alleviate that need for transporting students. The transition of the 8th graders to high school expectations took about a semester when they were coming to the high school as 9th graders and now it takes a year to get them in tune to the high school way of doing things since they are sophomores.

The fine arts area is in sore need of expansion because of the number of students who are in the classes. There is no area for choir and band to work with ensembles of kids because of that lack of space. The drama students do not have a sufficient space to work on scenery or to store them once they are built except on the stage itself which makes the stage unavailable for use.

Then we come to the Career and Technical course area. The classes of this department are spread out all over the building and it would be more useful to have them in one location. The Foods lab that exists was designed when the building was built in the early 70s. There are three cooking stations with regular household ranges. The classes have usually 24 in them so it is hard for everyone to have access to lab. This is in an area that can’t be remodeled to work as a culinary arts lab.

The computer labs are in two different areas and it makes it difficult to coordinate activities. These would be moved to the Careers area. Four of them were added during the 1994-1996 remodel of the high school, with one being the old typing room and the other the art/drawing rooms of the original building.

The Ag area was developed for 2 teachers offices and 2 classrooms and a shop and there are now 3 ½ Ag teachers. The building has had some upgrading but is mostly like it was in 1973 when they moved into it. Most of the work done inside of the four walls was done by the Ag students during classes. One of the Ag teachers is teaching the classroom part of the Auto Technology class curriculum.

The Auto Tech Shop is the biggest problem of them all. There is only one entrance/exit to the shop. To get a car on one of the two lifts you must back out all the other cars in the building and then move that car in. The object of this class is to produce Certified Mechanics for the auto industry and with the current facilities this is impossible. Some of the Auto Sales companies have tried to help get the things they need for the course but without the correct facilities it is hard to have a productive program.

Then they have a nursing program that is housed in a regular classroom with a class area and a training lab in part of the room. This course has produced a number of nurses to serve our community. This program could produce more nurses if they had a facility that was close to the normal room and equipment layout of a hospital.

I am like many of the taxpayers in the GISD voting area who do not have children in GISD schools but someone paid for the facilities when my children and I went to school here. If we don’t have good quality schools it will be hard to get industry and people to move to Granbury.

Gary Best

Granbury

Facts about city buying

parking lot near square

This letter is in response to the “Sound Off” in last week’s Hood County News that questioned my integrity in reference to the purchase by the City of Granbury of the much-needed public parking lot on East Pearl St.

These are the facts regarding that purchase by the city. The Granbury City Council authorized me as mayor to buy the parking lot. The wording of the motion should have been clearer and for that I accept responsibility.

The City of Granbury purchased the lot from Granbury Square Partners; whose principle owner, at that time, does not live in Granbury and did not live here when the city purchased the lot. As mayor, I met with him twice in reference to purchasing the parking lot. The asking price was the least that he would accept, and in fact, was much less than the city would have spent on the cost to buy land, demolish buildings, and construct a parking lot that close to the courthouse square and its businesses.

The owner of the parking lot planned to end public parking at that location if they continued to own the property. The need for parking near the town square was apparent to community leaders because much of the parking on or near the square was going to be closed for an unknown length of time due to the restoration of the Hood County Courthouse and the Granbury Opera House.

There were no special accommodations made while I was mayor of the City of Granbury.

David Southern

Granbury

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