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Aug. 19, 1996



By Mari Maldonado

Teachers are there

to help their students

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Kids, by the time you read this, you will have more than likely already
completed the first day of the new school year.

I say these few things now in hopes that you'll keep them in mind
throughout the whole school year.

Last week while at the first day of school for Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD
staff, during the first day of in-service, I was really impressed with
the enthusiasm these people show, considering most are coming off of
summer vacation, just as you are.

In conversation with a friend recently, it was discussed that teachers,
aides and all others that tend to the wellness of your education have a
real tough chore.

I can't really comment on statistics, as I haven't seen any, but I hear
that fewer and fewer people choose to go into the professional field of
education in the seconday and elementary levels. Why? I don't know.

I suppose the best way to answer that question is to put yourself in
your teacher's shoes, your principal's loafers, you're aide's heels -
you get the picture - and ask yourself, "could I do this nine months out
of the year?"

I remember my first year in high school I took Algebra I. I was totally
intimidated by the class, as I had no confidence in my mathematical
abilities. Even more daunting was the teacher and her original ways of

I made it through that class with an "average" average - I decline to
publish my letter grade.

Anyhow, I made it through Algebra II pretty much the same way, but at
the end of the second semester, while studying and during my second
semester exam I was overcome with algebraic intelligence.

I aced the test and at the bottom of the second sheet of the exam my
teacher wrote, "I knew you could do it."

My teacher was Laura Boswell. She retired a few years back.

Ever since, I knew that there really isn't anything that I can't do and
it shed a whole new on teachers for me; I discovered they weren't out to
get me and really all along they're there to help and and to help you
help yourself.

Before I started working here I worked for the school district. It was
an experience unlike no other.

The attitude of P-B-T ISD staff, at all levels, is utterly professional.

I'll never forget it.

So kids, remembers this, if nothing else.

Stay cool...(you know the rest)...stay in school.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mari Maldonado is an Enterprise reporter whose column
appears each Monday.


Military cutbacks

will be painful

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In redrawing boundary lines for 13 Texas U.S. House districts, a
three-judge federal panel from Houston followed the letter of a U.S.
Supreme Court ruling, but it opened a new can of worms.

The new map, which affects seven Houston-area congressional districts,
six from the Dallas area and one-third of Texas' 9.7 million registered
voters, is an improvement.

The new districts are more compact. And while they left some Democrats
grumbling, Democratic Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock said, ``it appears that the
court struck a balance that can serve Texas.''

The remapping follows by two years the filing of a lawsuit by
Houston-area Republicans who contended some Texas congressional
districts were racially gerrymandered.

In June the Supreme Court agreed, and ordered three Texas districts -
the 18th and 29th in Houston and the 30th in Dallas - redrawn.

U.S. Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, in the 18th, and Eddie Bernice Johnson,
in the 30th, are black. U.S. Rep. Gene Green of the 29th is white. All
are Democrats.

In redrawing those districts, 10 adjacent districts also had to be

The three federal judges, Edith Jones, David Hittner and Melinda
Harmon, were all appointed by Republican presidents, so their handiwork
was seen by Democrats to favor Republicans.

However, the 1994 suit alleged that the Democratic majority in the
Texas Legislature that redrew district lines following the 1990 census
did so with the idea of preserving their majority in Texas' U.S. House

Where the three-judge panel went wrong was in ordering the Legislature
next year to redraw the congressional boundaries. Again!

Having done that, they should have delayed their redistricting
recommendations to be less disruptive to voters in the 13 districts this
fall. ...
- San Antonio Express-News


Railroad buffs enjoy Amtrak journey


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AUTHOR'S NOTE: I wrote this description of a recent Amtrak ride before
the bad news from Amtrak. I have decided to submit it with no apologies
for the seeming naivete of its closing remarks. I read the news of
Amtrak's withdrawal as a setback, not a defeat.

With our two grandchildren from Kermit, Pat and I boarded the
transcontinental "Sunset Limited" in Alpine July 16 at 4 p.m., three
hours behind schedule.

Originating in Florida and experiencing several washouts under the
track from heavy, hurricane-incited rains, the Los Angeles bound Amtrak
would reach our destination, Tucson, Ariz., midnight rather than the
scheduled time of 8:30 p.m.

But that venerable institution, the taxi cab, waited to whisk us to our
motel for less than $5 fare.

On the trip from Alpine to Tucson, the sleek, thermodynamic engines,
pulling 12 cars, eased out of Alpine's station and into the beautiful
country around Marfa, recently greened by rains.

A lady conductor guided us to our coach seats and showed us where to
store our big baggage. She brought us each a small pillow. Our car
carried to capacity as did all 12. Coach seats are roomy and, of course,
reclining. Lower leg rests and foot rests contributed to comfort. A
full-size tray dropped out of the back of the next seat. Windows are big.

From here we roamed to the observation car, the lounge-snack car and
the dining car, culminating in a grand march from rear car to baggage
car, immediately behind the engines.

Our grandkids, Jennifer and Matthew Creager, felt too wobbly and tired
that evening to enjoy their first meal in a dining car.

The eastbound "Sunset Limited" pulled into Tucson station only 30
minutes tardy the next morning. Now the kids were ready to appreciate
the pleasures of "Old Fashioned Railroad French Toast" in the finely
appointed dining car.

For the return trip we had reserved a private room. This gave us one
giant seat, a single seat, an upper bunk and a bathroom with shower.
Here we could read, watch electrical storms out the window, play games,
nap and make forays to the snack bar; the far reaches of the train in
either direction.

Breakfast, dinner and supper meals were unfailingly delicious,
plentiful, varied and included in our fare.

Did the air conditioning fail? Were the rest rooms allowed to
deteriorate over the course of the day and night? We four will give a
resounding "no" to both questions. The cooling system remained
refreshing and the restrooms were well stocked and clean.

Pat and I believe that when Amtrak comes to the I-20 Corridor that
Jenni and Matt with their Dad and Mom will be among the first to train
to Odessa-Midland and/or Fort Worth-Dallas.

We believe that our first Amtrak run to Odessa-Midland and back will
mean just as much to us as our several treks to Rochester, N.Y., and
Springfield, Mass., over the past decade.

And you can tell, like Johnny Cash, we love trains. We'll ride them,

- Rod Peacock
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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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