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Poor Gramm turnout an embarrassment

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U.S. Senator Phil Gramm (R-Tx.) was in Pecos Saturday to meet with
people, hear concerns and explain a bill he is pushing entitled, "The
Sexual Predator Identification and Notification Act of 1996."
Only a handful of people - about 20 or so - showed up at the Reeves
County Courthouse to hear what he had to say and speak to Gramm, a man
who was a legitimate candidate for president only a few months back.
Gramm has great influence in Washington and is Texas' senior senator.
He has been to Pecos a number of times, something that is not often the
case for politicians who are as busy as he is.
The bottom line on all this is that it was embarrassing for Pecos to
not have any more people show up to see Gramm. We wonder what's wrong
with our country? When people don't care any more than they do, they
have to take what they can get. While he may be a Republican, he is
still OUR senator.
Our representatives in Washington do what they believe we want them to
do. If we don't have contact - and Saturday was a perfect opportunity to
have eye-to-eye contact - then we have to take what they assume we want,
which often is not at all in line with our wishes.
We need to do better. The next time a politician such as Gramm or Sen.
Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Congressman Henry Bonilla comes to town, we
need to turn out and let them know what we think of what's going on.

By Mac McKinnon

Active train depot is

bright spot on horizon

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The economy in Pecos is facing certain challenges as I noted in my
column yesterday.
Although there are problems, there are positive signs on the horizon
that hopefully will help our lifestyle as well as improve the community.
The Chamber of Commerce is ever busy promoting Pecos and while all of
this is slow going, there are several prospects on the horizon.
One of the most interesting subjects is the fact that chamber manager
Tom Rivera is working diligently along with others to get something done
with the old railroad depot. Those efforts have been underway for some
If you'll recall, a number of Texas Tech architecture students came to
town several years back and worked up a plan for the depot which has
been deeded to the city.
A recent situation that is still unfolding is the possibility that
Amtrak will come through Pecos and follow I-20. Amtrak, if you're not
aware, is the passenger train system operated by the federal government.
It now operates the route along the southern part of the state going
into Houston from El Paso as a link with the West Coast.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have an active railroad depot, one which is
restored for many civic uses such as gatherings and art displays and
also to be a railroad passenger depot?
The idea of riding the rails piques my interest. If you've never ridden
on a train, you've missed a real treat. There's just something special
about it. I've always contended that moving people and goods by rail was
the most efficient and economical way of doing business.
However, because of the expense of the rail business and, in many
cases, bad management and planning by railroads as well as the American
romance with the car, railroading has not prospered. Things appear to be
better in that business now than in the past.
That's just one of many things that are exciting prospects for our town
as a number of potential industries are giving us a looksee and several
businesses including Anchor are expanding all the time.
In addition, farming seems like it has better prospects now than in the
past although the types of crops have changed from cotton to vegetables
and hay.
Our world is ever changing and we have to change with it to keep up.
That's why I always encourage young people to get a good education and
read everything they can to stay up with changes and to be able to take
advantage of those changes.
Some people have a difficult time dealing with change, but that is the
only real constant in our world. We'd better be able to cope.
<ap6;fn11> Mac McKinnon is editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise.
His column appears on Wednesday and Friday.


School funding plan

looks good on paper

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It is probably a bad year for President Clinton to propose, as he did
last week, giving school districts nationwide $5 billion to repair or
replace dilapidated school buildings.

The money is definitely needed. A recent General Accounting Office
report painted a horrifying picture of the terrible condition of too
many American school buildings, citing $111 billion needed to fix the
situation. Those suffering, according to GAO, are 14 million American
children who attend school in decaying, even unsafe, buildings. These
are buildings with leaky roofs and plumbing that doesn't work and walls
that may be crumbling.

But Clinton's initiative (he would offer $125 billion per year to
districts to help defray the cost of financing school building
replacement or repair, and he would pay for it with money from the
auctioning of communications licenses) comes in an election year and is
one of several education proposals he has made with the election in
mind. Thus they will be met with partisan suspicion.

Yet this one should be given serious thought, even by Republicans. This
is not a program that proposed any kind of federal control over local
education. Local districts can make their own plans and sell their own
bonds, and the federal government will merely pay some of the interest
charges. This program would not prescribe a curriculum. It wouldn't
dictate the ethnic makeup of the student body using the schools. It
would merely help local school trustees achieve something that is badly
needed, and at a lower cost to local taxpayers.

It's a deal that school districts shouldn't refuse if Congress opens
the way.
-- The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
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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