Letters to the Editor

To the Editor,I just spent my Friday afternoon at the Round-up activities and something that happened to me for the first time ever has outraged me. That being I had to pay to park. I am a tax paying citizen of Sweetwater/Nolan County. Why do we as locals have to pay to park on our city and county properties to enjoy the Round-up activities? There is something wrong with that picture in my book. I was planning on returning on Saturday as well, but you can bet that I won't be since I will have to pay to park, unless I choose to park as far away as the high school area.I know I always hear local folks say (those not a Lion, JC, Gun Club or NCSP) that they are either leaving town or never leaving their house the weekend of the Round-up and now that those of us that have been braving the craziness of the event even have to pay to park to attend, I'm sure you will see an even bigger decline in your local folks attending the events. I implore the folks of the Gun Club, the Lions Club, the JCs and anyone else to look into this matter. Also, I implore other citizens of Sweetwater and Nolan County to also voice your outrage to this. A simple solution, to me, is to show your Sweetwater or Bittercreek Water bill stub to wave a parking fee.What's next? A toll at all the entrances of town for anyone that even wants to get into town Round-up Weekend? Maybe that would help solve some of our City's concerns for money.Rick NelsonSweetwater, TxDear Editor,Are the residents of Nolan County and surround area aware that Representative Farias of San Antonio introduced House Bill 1788 that would require anyone collecting live rattlesnakes to have both a Texas Hunting License plus a special $10 Stamp or be guilty of a Class C Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor?The state of Texas is clearly desperate for money, but is Texas so desperate for funding that you support imposing a tax on anyone collecting live rattlesnakes for the annual Rattlesnake Roundup?Apparently anyone who participated in the Rattlesnake Roundup would have to purchase a Texas Hunting License plus the special $10 Stamp. Out-of-state participants would apparently have to purchase the nonresident Texas Hunting License.Too many members of the Texas Legislature from urban districts might not recognize a rattlesnake even if it was coiled under on their desk, or maybe even voting from one of the adjacent desks. One would hope that HB 1788 is one of the many bills that will languish without serious consideration until adjournment kills it.Anyone who has killed a rattlesnake may have observed that even a headless snake can continue to strike. Residents of areas infested with rattlesnakes should take steps to assure that HB 1788 is safely dispatched.The best defense against this folly is for concerned citizens to communicate their opinion on HB 1788 to their state representative and senator.Should HB 1788 pass through the Legislature without being amended to exempt collection of live rattlesnakes, and Governor Perry signs it, anyone cited for a violation should demand a jury trial and hope that jury panel includes one or more rural residents who live near a rattlesnake den.Although I live in an urban location now, I was reared in Fisher County where family members still own prime property for rattlesnake dens. I know that I could never find a defendant guilty of collecting live rattlesnakes without paying a tax to Texas. Could you?JH McHaneyHouston, TXDear Editor,One life is all we get, so don’t smoke that cigarette. I was once a heavy smoker myself, but all the while, I knew it was not a good thing. I knew all the time it was a very bad thing to do. Finally, I got enough courage to quit. I knew that if I didn’t quit, I would die very soon. I smoked for about four years, I then developed a bad cough. I went to a Veterans Hospital. I was told that I should stop smoking. I knew they were right. I soon discovered how hard it was to quit. After I had smoked for about four years, I knew I had to stop, or I would soon die. It was very hard to quit, to see people all around me smoking, but I finally succeeded. It was worth all the effort that I put into it. That was some years ago, I’m 83 years old now, and going fairly strong for my age. It’s a little hard to quit, but well worth it and most important, I have very good health. Try it, I know you will like it very much, and you will live longer. If I did it, anyone can.Roy G. DillonSweetwater