Maybe it’s the dog days of summer, or is it that a mad dog is running loose and frightening the bejeezus out of everyone? Things keep getting as screwy as a twister puzzle. Or maybe I’m just cranky because I fell off my bike and limping is awkward.
Events needing my two cents keep piling up so you can pick which one pushes your button. Here are a few starters.
No farmers at the market
I really wanted some freshly shelled cream peas which spells “summer” to me, but surprise. Our beautiful new Farmers Market Square, with actual public bathrooms sufficient for a hot summer night event, currently only offers food trucks. They are a nice addition to Gainesville esthetics, but there are no farmers at the market because the food trucks have taken the spaces with electrical outlets.
So did the citizens of Gainesville approve those bonds to create an modern entertainment square, or was it to give actual farmers a place to market their produce? Shouldn’t it be both?
I was told that farmers would be moving in as soon as they could get into the muddy fields to pick. Since then, now with a month of 110 degrees the fields resemble bricks so getting into them isn’t the problem. Finding something pickable in them is. Good thing farmers have brought produce in from elsewhere all along.
Farmers haven’t been eager to rush back to town to contract for a stall without electricity, an enclosure or adjacent parking. Setting up from farther distances and lugging heavy boxes of fresh produce isn’t an ideal situation. It’s hot enough out there as it is.
I thought I remembered hearing that the farmer’s market property was deeded specifically to be for a farmers market, but that might be hearsay. I do know that Colwell’s Produce on U.S. 377 south of Collinsville has tried to get some cream peas in from an East Texas farmer for me. Just try asking Thomas Smallfinger Grocers to do that.
Amendments upon amendments
If you don’t read a newspaper you may not know that the one thing our Texas Legislature accomplished this term was creating a list of ten new constitutional amendments for the citizens to approve. This venerable document needs less, not more. Fifty years ago it was already the longest state constitution in existence.
More than half of these amendments could have been solved the old fashioned way — by partisan voting. (Little joke there.)
Four of the propositions seem justified, dealing with bonds and infrastructure assistance. Check out Nos. 2, 4, 6 and 8 and see if you agree they’re worthy. But honest to Pete! Surely it doesn’t take a constitutional amendment to approve that a handler can care for their retiring service animal. As if any animal lover or handler would do otherwise? What are these people thinking?
Read the others and weep, because you are being asked to decide what the elected officials couldn’t bring themselves to do.
Be sure that you are registered to vote—deadline probably very soon – because this election is Nov. 5. Get in the habit of voting every time the polls open, or as they jested about Lyndon Johnson, vote often. You need to know the drill to prepare for November 2020.
Truly, our fate hangs on citizen involvement. So few come to the polls that your informed vote becomes even more vital. Even if the choices make you gag.
And I ‘m still on a roll. Next is another sports absurdity. No, not the fearless Dallas Cowboys who have to rent a mint to pay their high profile jocks.
The U.S. Women’s National (Soccer) Team, two-time winners of the World Cup championship who are fearless, talented and incredibly exciting to watch, sued the U.S. Soccer Federation in March over gender discrimination and unequal pay. Then they stunned the world via TV by kicking the shins of every international team they played. They agreed to mediate the matter after the games in France ended, where they beat the Netherlands in July to earn the World Cup.
After putting such an inspiring face on American athletes, and getting a ticker tape parade in New York City, they ended up taking home a paycheck that is 40% less than the men’s soccer team — who have lost most of their games. The women get accolades and trophies but the men get the cash.
This is all women’s history, but here’s a case that screams for justice. The federation offers conflicting figures for an eight-year period, but the players claim they are misleading and look forward to a jury trial. Sports organizations should be the first to support their players and pay them equally. Women’s soccer brought in the advertisers, and they earned the bacon!
We’ll blink twice and out our flags go for Labor Day. Be glad for a country that honors that work that made us who we are, and be proud for your contributions to it. That’s my two cents.
Next time, we’ll discuss other coins. How high can you count?
Shelly Kuehn is a resident of Gainesville and a volunteer on the Gainesville Daily Register’s reader advisory board.