Monthly Archives: February 2010

Citizen asks if it’s ethical for newspaper publisher Peek to serve simultaneously as County Treasurer

Is there a conflict of interest if Rockwall Enterprise-Success newspaper publisher and owner David Peek is elected as Rockwall County Treasurer was a question essentially asked recently by a Rockwall man to the The Dallas Morning News Managing Editor.

Here’s the question and response:

“Trevor writes from Rockwall County to ask whether it’s ethical for the owner of a local newspaper to also run for election to a government office. “Can a newspaper owner ethically hold a public office, or is there a conflict of interest?”

“That’s an excellent question for voters to answer for themselves, it seems to me. At The News, we wouldn’t allow reporters or editors to run for office, or to have any significant political involvement. But publishers are not news reporters. Newspaper owners in the U.S. have a long history of political involvement, with varying results. Benjamin Franklin was a newspaper publisher. So was William Randolph Hearst, whose rich political life was treated fictionally in the movie Citizen Kane. At many papers today, the owners, not the editorial writers, determine who the paper endorses in elections.”

What do you think?

I don’t see any problem with David Peek serving as Treasurer while publishing a newspaper.  I don’t know how qualified he is for the position, and intend to find out, but I have known David personally for several years and  know him to be honest and very dedicated to serving his community – just as he served his country in the military for many years.

TX gubernatorial candidate Medina suggests government may have been connected with 9/11

Wow! Did you hear how Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina answered Glenn Beck on his highly-popular nationwide talk radio show this morning when he asked her if the government was in any way connected with bringing down the World Trade Center on 9/11?

She said “some very good questions” and “arguments have been brought up in that regard” and that “the American people have not seen all the evidence” so she has not taken a position about that.

What? Medina actually believes the government MIGHT have been involved?

I personally heard the exchange, understood the context in which she was speaking and can report that what she essentially said was “Maybe.”

Now news media and people all across the country are buzzing about her comments and wondering if they have doomed her campaign – just after polls were recently released showing she is very close behind Kay Bailey Hutchison for second place in the race for Governor behind Rick Perry.

Beck said after the interview that her answer really caught him by surprise. He said he only asked her the question because he’d received some emails from people stating that she was a “9/11 truther,” who believe there was a government conspiracy that killed nearly 3,000 Americans and people from other nations.

Glenn said he expected her to say a simple “No” and be done with it, but she sure didn’t.

Medina quickly put out a statement after the show clarifying what she meant, which just so happens not to sound like anything she said.

“I was asked a question on the Glenn Beck show today regarding my thoughts on the so-called 9/11 truth movement. I have never been involved with the 9/11 truth movement, and there is no doubt in my mind that Muslim terrorists flew planes into those buildings on 9/11. I have not seen any evidence nor have I ever believed that our government was involved or directed those individuals in any way. No one can deny that the events on 9/11 were a tragedy for all Americans and especially those families who lost loved ones.”

How’d the response go over in Texas? Well, if the opinion of Dallas Morning News blogger Colleen McCain Nelson is any indication, about as well as The Who performing at the Super Bowl.

“…To me, this sounds like an effective way to put your campaign on the fast track back to the fringe,” Nelson wrote.

Another one bites the dust…at The Harbor

Still another business closed last week at The Harbor in Rockwall.

Add the “Rija Boutique” clothing store to the list of businesses that have closed there:

  1. Bath Junkie
  2. Celebrity Cafe & Bakery
  3. Cote d-Azur
  4. Fashion Focus Eyewear Boutique
  5. Harbor Girl
  6. L’Egantz
  7. Rija Boutique
  8. Real Estate Information Center
  9. Savoy’s Gifts
  10. Scooters
  11. The Baby Planner
  12. Valore Italian Restaurant

Have I forgotten any? Seems like there was at least one more.

Amazing is that The Harbor’s very own out-of-date website still shows photos of the closed Fashion Focus, Harbor Girl, L’Egantz and Savoy stores on their website, and lists L’Egantz as one of their existing businesses on its Shops page and Cote d-Azur on its Dining page.

Guess even their webmaster can’t keep up!

Plus the outdated “About” page doesn’t even tell viewers when the facility opened, and includes not a current but an old video produced before the Harbor was built showing what it’s going to look like from an architect’s view.

Compare the list above to the businesses still open:

  1. Affinity Salon & Spa
  2. Agave Tappas Bar
  3. Hilton Bella Harbor Hotel
  4. Blue Canyon Kitchen & Wine Bar
  5. Cinemark
  6. Cold Stone Creamery
  7. Dodie’s Cajun Diner
  8. En Fuego Tobacco Shop
  9. Genuine Jakes
  10. Gloria’s
  11. Hollywood Nails
  12. Juvanew Medspa
  13. Potrillo De La Sandia
  14. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
  15. Ruby Tuesday
  16. Tastee Freeze
  17. Zeus

So at least 12 have closed out of about 29 (41%) businesses which have opened there since it opened (as best as I can remember).

Watch for a more complete story soon at TheRockwallNews.com explaining what’s going on at The Harbor, plus what its owners, City officials and store owners have to say about the future of this private/public enterprise.

Any comments from readers are also invited to help us with the story!

Kay Bailey Hutchison to speak at Rockwall GOP meeting Saturday morning

U.S. Senator and candidate for Texas Governor Kay Bailey Hutchison will speak this Saturday at the monthly Rockwall County Republican Men’s Club meeting.

The meeting begins at 8 am and is held at the Harry Myers Park pavillion.

At 10:30 am, Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and Adryana Boyne will speak at “The Well” coffee shop in downtown Royse City.

On Feb. 20th at The Well at 8am, new Texas Republican Party Chair Cathie Adams and Sen. Bob Deuell will speak at a Rockwall County Judge Coffee Round Table, featuring the four candidates for that office.

Rowlett Mayor Dr. John Harper announces re-election bid

Rowlett Mayor Dr. John E. Harper announced his bid for re-election to a second term on Monday and filed the official documents to place his name on the May 8 ballot.

He has been Mayor of Rowlett since May, 2007, and is employed as the Chief Financial Officer for The Cooper Institute in Dallas.

During his first term as Mayor, the City’s financial picture has improved. It’s bond rating has increased from “A” to “AA”, leading to lower borrowing costs. Fund balances and reserves have grown to higher levels.  The City’s debt has decreased and there have been no tax increases.

He also initiated unedited and live broadcasts of City Council meetings, plus the City-produced cable-TV news show “Rowlett…on the Lake…on the Move!” He now hosts the show with City Manager Lynda Humble to provide information about City projects and events of interest.

The Mayor says he’s focused on the economic development of Rowlett so that better services and greater amenities can be provided to Rowlett residents.  Despite the economic downturn in the last two years, Rowlett attracted new and expanded businesses and added almost 1,000 new jobs.

He said he expects extraordinary growth to come to Rowlett soon after the completion of the Bush Turnpike and the DART commuter rail projects, bringing even more businesses and jobs.

Watch for a more complete story coming soon at TheRockwallNews.com.

Heath senior Kylie Robinett signs to play soccer at Lamar Univ.

Congratulations to Rockwall-Heath senior Kylie Robinett who just signed a National Letter of Intent to play NCAA Division I soccer for Lamar University in Beaumont, TX.

She played varsity soccer for RHHS for three years and is currently a member of the Sting Royal ’93 Girls soccer club.

She is a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and the Peer Assistance and Leadership Program.

Royse City church holding food pantry drive Feb. 13, 20

Royse City’s First United Methodist Church and area Boy Scouts will be combining efforts to refill the community food pantry Feb. 13 and 20.

Bags will be left on Royse City residents doors Feb. 13 with instructions on the bags and pickup of filled bags will begin Feb. 20 at 9 am.

For info, call the Church at 972-636-0569.

Rockall ISD schedules early childhood education informational meetings in March

Rockwall ISD officials say they will host two Early Childhood Parent Information meetings in March.

Parents can learn how their children can qualify for Head Start or state funded Pre-Kindergarten, March 2, 6:30 pm, at Pullen Elementary School, 6492 FM 3097, Rockwall.

Parents may register their children for the tuition-based Pre-Kindergarten Program March 9, 6:30 pm, at the Rockwall Administration and Education Center, 1050 Williams St. Rockwall ISD officials say this is an affordable, high- quality, early childhood program for which no qualification is required.

For more info, visit Rockwallisd.com or call 972-772-2073.

Son of Heath Public Safety Chief brings home American flag that flew over Afgan Marine base

Just learned that the son of City of Heath Public Safety Chief Terry Garrett  has just returned home from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

U.S. Marine Sgt. Travis Garrett, a 2002 Rockwall High school graduate, brought with him an American flag that flew over the Marine base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Sept. 11, 2009.

The flag is now framed and hanging on the wall in the Heath Public Safety Dept. for all to see.

His mother is Mrs. Bonnie Rector of Dallas and step-mother is Rockwall High School Assistant Principal Shelley Garrett

Watch for a story soon in TheRockwallNews.com about Travis and his “kid” brother, Tyler Garrett, who’s a 2005 RHS grad and has already completed one tour of duty in Baghdad, Iraq.

The Garrett family really believes in public service. We should be grateful to have them in our community!

The above photo was provided  by the City of Heath and features:

Heath DPS officers display the American flag that once flew over a Marine base in Afghanistan and now hangs in their station. The flag was brought to Chief Terry Garrett by his son Travis, who recently completed a tour of duty to Afghanistan. From left: DPS Officers Brian Burton, Andrew Poindexter, Chief Garrett  and Mark Rogers. Inset into photo from left: Sergeant Travis Garrett, USMC, and Specialist Tyler Garrett, Army National Guard.