Written by Nick Kammerer
Stevie Ray Vaughan is unarguably one of the largest musical influences in the Blues genre. The accomplished singer and guitarist grew up in Dallas, and is known for quite a few of his famous songs including “Pride and Joy”and “Texas Flood”.
A little over twenty-three years ago, Stevie Ray Vaughan was tragically killed in a helicopter crash that crippled the American Blues community. Despite the tragedy that unfolded on that infamous day, his musical influence and legacy lives on and continues to spread to a younger generation of musicians.
Hundreds of Blues and Rock enthusiasts gathered with Stevie’s friends and family to celebrate the late musician's life at this year's 19th annual Stevie Ray Vaughan Remembrance Ride and Concert on Sunday, Oct. 6. The event was hosted by the popular radio station, LoneStar 92.5, and Hooters.
The motorcycle ride began Sunday morning at the World’s Largest Hooters, in downtown Dallas. The bikers paraded west and arrived at Cowboys dancehall in Arlington for a tribute concert that featured American Blues legend, Johnny Winter.
The popular ride and concert aim to raise money for the Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial Scholarship Fund that benefits young, aspiring musicians who desire a college education.
Last Updated on Monday, 14 October 2013 14:34
Written by Phil Cerroni
The discomfort of Stage 2 water restrictions may pale in comparison to the backdrop of the federal shutdown, but standing atop a windy hill in Wylie, TX where construction is underway on a water treatment facility, Texas Governor, Rick Perry, told guests that the statewide water shortage, caused by persistent droughts and the introduction of the new residents and businesses that are fuelling Texas’ economic boom, could have catastrophic consequences.
“A week ago I stood next to an empty reservoir in San Angelo. That is a city, and a substantial city, that could essentially run out of water in the next 15 months. And that’s far from the only community in the state of Texas that has major water woes that it has to deal with,” Gov. Perry said.
A water shortage could stop Texas’ meteoric economic development dead in its tracks. Projections show that as the population in North Texas doubles by 2060, its private and business water usage will increase by 86 percent.
“The simple fact is we can’t conserve our way out of the need to develop additional water supply projects across the state of state of Texas,” said Jim Parks, the Executive Director of the North Texas Municipal Water District. “Almost all of the developable raw water supply sources locally have already been developed, and so what DFW area water suppliers must do now is to look at project sites that are much further away from us...and or to technologies that are much more expensive than conventional water treatment. Water providers have long been concerned with the ever increasing cost of supplying high quality treated water to the citizens of Texas.”
But the Governor proposed a solution: Proposition 6. Pending voter approval on Nov. 5, prop. 6 will authorize a one-time, $2 billion transfer from the Rainy Day Fund to create the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT). No state taxes will increase as a result of creating this fund.
Last Updated on Monday, 14 October 2013 14:32
Written by Phil Cerroni
Bush library invigorates history through source texts
As we become further removed from the tumultuous events of the early 2000s, children learn of its significance not from memory but from second hand accounts and entries in history books. But the scrupulous melding of source texts and modern communication technologies may connect a younger generation and reconnect older ones to the living, breathing events of Sept. 11, 2001 and the early days of the War on Terror.
This was a partial focus of the presentation given by Alan C. Lowe as the new Director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library spoke to the Irving Heritage Society on Sept. 30. He used his 24 years of experience roaming the National Archives from California to Washington, D.C. to demonstrate the importance of connecting Americans to the source documents of their history.
“We say in the library, ‘To really understand history, to understand the issues and events and people, look at the primary sources,’” Lowe said. “…(Digging) deep into the primary documentation – this is a great example of the resources of presidential libraries.”
Lowe used a draft of Ronald Reagan’s 1983 Evil Empire speech, which shows President Reagan’s detailed edits, as an example of how the libraries contribute to Americans’ understanding of history.
Last Updated on Monday, 14 October 2013 14:29
Written by Phil Cerroni
For almost 10 years, Sharon Johnston has integrated both school and charitable organizations into her own effort to alleviate teen homelessness, and the State Education Board in Austin finally acknowledged her success by conferring on her Texas’ Heroes for Children award on Sept. 20 in Austin.
According to the website for the Texas Education Agency, Heroes for Children recognizes people who “volunteer time, effort, and support to public schools and students, and who advocate for students and public education… The awards are given annually in recognition of outstanding service and dedication to helping provide each Texas student with a meaningful, positive learning experience in school.” Each year, the board salutes one person from each of the state’s 15 SBOE (State Board of Education) districts.
Johnston was nominated last year, and Irving has traditionally had a strong showing. In 2012, the city fielded twelve nominees for SBOE District 13.
“It’s really exciting to have won because it brings attention (that) we have a problem, and there is a solution. (There are) a lot of people who are engaged in trying to fix it,” Johnston said.
Something of a general in the War on Teen Homelessness, Johnston seems to coordinate virtually all the city’s efforts, as well as carrying out an energetic campaign of her own.
In the mid-2000s after learning, at a presentation to the Irving’s Women’s Network, that hundreds of schoolchildren in Irving spent the year couch surfing or living in inconsistent housing situations, Johnston immediately mobilized the Network. The group bought 100 pairs of jeans, t-shirts and hoodies for IISD’s Project P.A.S.S. (Project for Assisting Students in School).
Last Updated on Monday, 14 October 2013 13:52
Written by Sissy Courtney
IRVING – The Great Harvest, Irving Cares’ biggest fundraiser of the year, yielded approximately $256,000 to benefit the poorest of the poor in Irving. The event, hosted by Chairperson Cydney Roberts, included live and silent auctions and dinner attended by nearly 360 supporters at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas Fri., Oct. 4. Irving Cares is an organization dedicated to identifying and providing Irving residents with temporary assistance and training to help them reach self-sufficiency. The same event last year raised $223,000.
“We are very behind on money this year,” said Irving Cares CEO, Teddie Story. “We don’t know how Federal Government changes are going to impact us, but it’s quite alarming that the poorest of the poor people are getting a lot of cuts (in funding), and it makes it very hard for them to survive. It’s hard anyway, but then when they do the cuts, it’s even harder. So far, nothing has been cut that directly affects our work. So far.”
Story said they are fearful because of the proposed cuts to Federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) funding and the recent Federal shutdown.
“One of our biggest programs is the Food Pantry, and if more people don’t receive their Food Stamp benefits, then they would need to rely more on a food pantry,” Story said. “Already, we are serving 800 families a month, and if that goes up higher, we’re going to need more help from the community to raise more money and donate more food.”
That was the purpose of The Great Harvest.
“It raises general operating money we can use for the yearlong budget of Irving Cares, nearly a $2 million agency now,” Story said. “Last year, we served more than 44,000 people which is 20 percent of the community – one in five Irving residents.”
Last Updated on Monday, 14 October 2013 13:47