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Conversations get lively at, where commenters are encouraged to weigh in on stories via Facebook. Here’s a sampling of some recent comments:

Grandparents’ rights

“This fails to mention the emotional trauma and financial devastation that grandparent visitation litigation generally inflicts on the custodial family. The resources that should go toward the child’s education, enrichment and future — and too often, the child’s basic needs — are instead spent on legal fees. The ultimate victims, deprived of not only these resources but of the parents’ time and attention, and caught in an emotional cross-fire that may endure for years: the children whose best interests are supposed to be the motive for the mêlée. The detailed and public airing of family secrets and disagreements, in a process whose adversarial nature magnifies every disagreement, leaves a residue of anger, humiliation and distrust which greatly reduces the chances of a peaceful reconciliation between the parents and the grandparent. ... Substantially increasing the amount of such litigation in Texas would be a grave disservice to Texas families. Chairman Dutton apparently proposed HB 575 at the urging of grandparents who seek to assist grandchildren in the care of unfit parents. Such grandparents have heartrending stories to tell about abusive, neglectful, and/or drug-addicted parents, often parents who relinquish their children to a grandparent’s care only to snatch the child back again and deny future access. Unfortunately, HB 575 is neither addressed to nor limited to these tragic and dangerous situations, which are properly the province of Child Protective Services. ... “

— Karen A. Wyle

“Grandparents would still petition to the court for grandparent ‘access.’ The court would still have to render a decision based upon each particular case, meaning not ALL grandparents would have the right to have access to their grandchildren depending on evidence. I completely agree that in situations such as you’re referring to it may not be in the best interest of the child to allow such grandparents’ access. It sounds as though you are speaking of deeper issues. This bill would protect grandparents in our current situation where there are no issues or testimony by the parent that the child’s care is in danger whatsoever.”

— Stephanie N Joey Wright

“I too, have not seen my grandson since October 2018, we had kept him faithfully at least 12-14 days and nights consistently for nearly his whole three years of living. It’s hard for me to cope feeling such a loss and I am sure he is confused as well. I pray this makes it through for the sake of our love we have to give our grandbabies. We cannot replace the time that is gone, but we can spend every bit of time we get filling it with all we got to give and pass on to them.”

— Sherah Smith

“I’m a bit on the fence. My child’s grandparents have money and love to throw it around in place of power. They also like to tell my child how and what I’m doing wrong at all times. I believe me not having the power to say or take away their rights will cause more issues. In my sister’s case, she may need this bill. In their case having grandparents involved would be beneficial. Though I’m leaning towards a no.”

— Gayla Humphreys

“It is a parents right to choose who is around their child. If this was such an issue why is your son not the one fighting for the right to see their child and allowing you to see them? The mother is in her rights to deny access to her child. Period. I have seen first hand the kind of backlash this can have on a child. Speak to your son and have him go through the courts. Grandparents shouldn’t get rights. Raise your kids right and quit trying to fix your mistakes by imposing yourself on your grandchildren.”

— Merilyn Aro

“Merilyn Aro asked the very same question I’m wondering. Why can you not see the child through your son? It’s the mother’s right, as the parent, to determine who she wants around her baby. You’re trying to take this right away, or make it easier to take her right away, but yet claim it’s not infringing on parents rights?”

— Cescley Cobio

“Long overdue for good grandparents!! It’s child abuse and it’s grandparent abuse for any child to be ripped away from the family they were raised with, especially over drug use. Children have no voices in this matter and that in itself is also child abuse! It’s funny most grandparents will step in to help any way they can but they have zero rights to help when there’s truly a problem!”

— Paula Marie Lambert

“I totally agree that we need to do this bill. I too was a victim of having my grandchildren withheld from me. It took a toll on me emotionally and physically. It’s one of the sickest feelings that you can imagine. My heart goes out to all of those who are going through this horrible situation, as I know too well how devastating this situation can be. This new millennial generation I don’t understand. In my day this is something we would have never even dreamed up. It is more like some sort of a contagious disease, this is completely a metaphor you know. The true victims are the grandbabies that don’t get to experience the love and affection and the wisdom they get from their grandparents!”

— Pam Gorsuch Hayball

“Some grandparents don’t deserve rights. Some grandparents are just poisoning these children against their parents. Why do parents need to let someone as vindictive as that access to their children? You have the opportunity to raise your child let parents raise their children! You might not be healthy for your grandchildren! Some grandparents were abusive to their children and are now just having to protect their children From that kind of abuse.”

— Merilyn Aro

“Wow, I just a week ago found out my grandchildrens’ mother has blocked us as well. And I’ve been reading up on how to legally take part in school activities. Thanks so much.”

— Valencia Jones

E. Marshall redevelopment

“Jones is a whiner.”

— Leo Leeon

“NIMBY strikes again. Jones should have done his due diligence. Jesus Burger has been going on for a decade before he purchased the property and is one of the few things doing real good for the homeless. I would like to see more churches step up like this instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars in ‘branding,’ disco lights and Six Flags trips.”

— Matthew Nehrling

“The “East Side” needs assistance too. Jones should absolutely have done his due diligence before investing his dollars on Highway 80.”

— Stephen Lamb

“Mr. Jones appears as another rich young ruler. Praying for him. Matthew 19:16”

— Matt-Susan Applegate

“Bourgeois swine. Jesus Burger was there first.”

— Anthony Neal Emmel

“Lord I ask that you settle this dispute and that they will all be able to work together in love! Thank you Lord for doing this and AMEN!”

— Colleen Marie Kerr-Mathews

“If the developer was a compassionate caring person, he would find a way to help and not try to destroy a good thing. God sees all things and will strike back at those that hinder his work. The developer could build a building up the street or finish the upgrades to the old Elks for them. Build his property and have a large tax writeoff. But he would rather destroy God’s work and keep his Satan’s money.”

— Ken Burns

“Mr. Jones is trying to make part of Longview better. A part that has been a blight on our town for two decades or more. Our town growing forward is of the most importance. Stop being so closed minded, Longview, and let this town grow.”

— D Scott Carter

“And screw the homeless people? Who cares if they don’t eat huh? You are the problem.”

— Greg Billings

Today's Bible verse

“Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ ”

Galatians 4:6

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