GUSHER: For Longview resident David Fleming Jr. and all the other Allied troops who took the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago, a big step toward winning a great victory over fascism. Fleming was part of an Army Air Corps unit that flew in support of the D-Day operation, then joined Gen. George Patton’s Third Army on its push to liberate Paris and win the Battle of the Bulge. All who cherish freedom will always be indebted to the heroes of D-Day and the great victories that followed.
DUSTER: For “educators” who engage in improper relationships with students. In the past few days, charges have been filed against two more who are said to have been involved in such misdeeds. The list they join already is too long, but keeps growing. We also are disappointed that school districts often fail to make public information about such incidents, and we saw that happen again in the latest cases. Parents, students and other districts deserve to know.
GUSHER: For the Kilgore Bulldogs baseball team, which had an amazing run to the semifinal round of the Class 4A state championship. The team fell to Sweeny this week, but these players do not owe any of us an apology. They had a great season. We agree with Coach Eugene Lafitte, who told his players, “It just didn’t go our way. You can be talented and all that, but there is a little luck involved. ... Things just didn’t drop our way. Thats OK. That’s baseball and that’s life.” Well said, coach. Good season, Bulldogs!
GUSHER: For those across the city who are working in many ways to put together a blockbuster celebration and commemoration of Longview’s 150th anniversary next year. Plans are beginning to come into focus, with one of the latest decisions being the tentative selection of the public library as the site for burial of the sesquicentennial time capsule. An April parade, January ball and other events also are shaping up.
DUSTER: For those residents and businesses that fail to minimize mosquito breeding habitats. Though the buzzing, itching and swatting is bad enough, such careless folks also waste taxpayer money, because enough mosquitoes lead cities and counties to spray citywide. Though largely ineffective, mosquito fogging brings some residents comfort. Better would be to stop mosquitoes where they breed.
GUSHER: For the increasing passenger counts on commercial flights at East Texas Regional Airport. Airport Director Roy Miller said this week the growth in traffic has American Airlines considering adding service at the airport south of Longview. Gregg County and the Dallas-based airline have a good partnership we hope to see continue and grow stronger.
DUSTER: For the federal government for so long keeping secret the names of hundreds of nursing homes, including at least four in Northeast Texas, found to have serious health, safety or sanitary problems. Budget cuts are partly to blame, as fewer resources are available for inspections and other work. That is unacceptable, and we’re pleased a Senate report at last has named these troubled facilities. Sunlight on the issue will bring changes.
GUSHER: For all those who have been appointed and reappointed to serve on various boards and commissions in Longview. Though often unheralded, the work of such committees is where the rubber meets the road on official activities relating to housing, development, transportation, parks, the animal shelter and other important matters. We appreciate all who serve.