Friday, December 15, 2017

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Gushers & Dusters: A weekly look at what we liked -- and didn't

Nov. 16, 2017 at 11:38 p.m.

GUSHER: For Gladewater Mayor Harold Wells, who may be the most hands-on elected official in the land. Seeing an opportunity a few years ago to make his city's Everett Park more inviting, he put on his work gloves and picked up his tools to make it so. The mayor sets a wonderful example of the good that can be wrought by those willing to take time to brighten the corner where you are.

GUSHER: For the success of area marching bands at state competitions. Mineola High School won first place in the class 3A division, while New Diana High School placed sixth. Union Grove and Queen City high schools also were among area programs that advanced to state competitions, offering another reminder of the breadth of excellence in our East Texas school districts.

DUSTER: For the fact Texas has not had a single day in 17 years without a highway fatality. The Texas Department of Transportation is highlighting that grim streak in hopes of breaking the trend. Its #EndTheStreakTX campaign this month will share information about highway deaths and, we hope, make a difference. Be careful out there.

GUSHER: For all those who have stepped forward to run for elective offices locally and across the state. Several competitive races have materialized in the Longview area, and that is good news. Our democracy is best served when voters are presented with choices, and we appreciate all those who serve — and who aspire to. The filing period for 2018 elections continues through Dec. 11.

GUSHER: For all those who turned out to help make Longview beautiful during fall Green and Clean. The city's largest community event, it prompts neighbors to clean out their garages, clean up their neighborhoods and provides a one-stop shop for recycling. Thanks to Keep Longview Beautiful for making it happen twice each year.

DUSTER: For a suspicious fire at a vacant house that reminded us how fortunate we are to have dedicated professionals in our fire departments — and of our disdain for firebugs. A Longview firefighter suffered minor burns taking on this blaze, and while he was able to return to work it could have been much worse.

GUSHER: For the concern East Texans have shown for our neighbors in Sutherland Springs through donations collected and delivered to the community by the founder of J-Star Ministries. Patrick Johnson understands that "thoughts and prayers" are not enough in the wake of an event like the one that hit Sutherland Springs, and he acted on that fact.

DUSTER: For the immature idiots who continue to put innocent motorists' lives at risk by racing on public roadways. Another pair was nabbed this past weekend as Longview police continue a crackdown on the dangerous practice. Keep after 'em, officers.

GUSHER: For the Longview Public Library, whose Harry Potter Week celebration is providing another reminder of what a great asset the library is for our city. The popular series of books about the young wizard named Harry turned 20 this year, and the library is using the anniversary as an opportunity to stoke young readers' imaginations, creativity — and build excitement for reading. Expecto patronum!

— Readers are invited to nominate events as gushers or dusters. They may be emailed to or mailed to Letters, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.



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