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

GUSHER: For East Texas groups gearing up efforts to ensure a complete count in next year’s census. That’s crucial for many reasons, not least of which is federal funding for essential programs. Committees of members from education, religious, social, health and government groups are getting set to educate our communities on the important process.

DUSTER: For the legal back and forth keeping several nurse midwives from providing care to low-income patients in Longview. The former employees of Zeid Women’s Health Center have been enjoined from practicing here for a year after they were fired by Zeid. A solution should be found to allow them to work, and the patients to receive the care they desire.

GUSHER: It’s a bittersweet bit of news both for our city and our dear friends whose family ran it for so long, but we’re pleased the final home of Johnny Cace’s Seafood & Steakhouse on East Marshall Avenue has been sold. Though plans for the 13,000-square-foot building are not yet public, its redevelopment will be a big step in improving the East Marshall Avenue area.

GUSHER: For Longview ISD Trustee Ted Beard being named first vice president of the Texas Association of School Boards. In that role, he will provide statewide leadership for the nonprofit association, and can be a valuable resource for educators in East Texas. We hope they take advantage of it.

DUSTER: For those questioning the propriety of a state district judge offering a Holy Bible, encouraging words and a hug to a former Dallas cop just convicted of murder. Such behavior by a judge is unconventional, certainly, but so is the case of Amber Guyger, the officer who gunned down an innocent man in his apartment after mistaking it for hers. A court should offer hope and Christian compassion when it can, and, after the sentence was rendered, that’s what Judge Tammy Kemp did.

GUSHER: For the area high school students, led by those in Pine Tree ISD, whose academic achievements made them AP Scholars. With 27 AP Scholars, Pine Tree led area districts in this year’s raw numbers. Hallsville ISD saw 20 achieving the distinction, Spring Hill ISD saw 17 and Longview ISD five. Congratulations to all the students, teachers and parents.

DUSTER: For yet another on an already too-long list of area students landing in hot water after making threats against schools. The latest is a 17 year old jailed after making threats last week against Marshall ISD. Parents, please counsel your children about the costs of such behavior, which require authorities to act forcefully to safeguard other students and educators.

GUSHER: For the successful private fundraising effort that will lead to Longview’s first skate park. A skateboarding and biking complex could be built next year in Ingram Park. Thanks to Brian Dodson for leading the effort, and to donors big and small who pushed fundraising to the level needed to receive matching funds from the city. This is a real public-private effort, and a great model for future projects.

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

Today's Bible verse

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

— Psalm 42:11

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