The State of Texas: August 26, 2014
The site of the restaurant with the “World’s Most Insulting Closing Notice” has been razed. Sava! Italiano closed in September 2013 and gained notoriety (it earned a Bum Steer Award!) because someone with the business posted a very mean note explaining why the restaurant shuttered its kitchen doors. You can check out a picture of the physical destruction here, via the Amarillo Globe-News. Or, if you dare, look below for the verbal destruction that will last forever:
The Perry Novella — Need a late-summer read? Then has Rick Perry got just thing for you. It’s his (lawyers’s) sixty-page motion to dismiss the two charges brought against him in the indictment heard ’round the country. There’s also a Cliffs Notes version: “The two-count indictment against Gov. Rick Perry defies common sense and should be dismissed ‘immediately if not sooner’ as a violation of the U.S. and Texas constitutions, Perry’s legal team told the trial judge Monday,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. “The wide-ranging attack argued that Perry’s criminal charges were based on state laws that are unconstitutional or, at the very least, were misinterpreted — constituting an improper attempt to criminalize politics and limit gubernatorial power in ‘intolerable and incalculable’ ways.” No matter what Senior District Judge Bert Richardson decides, there will almost certainly be a sequel that takes longer to get through than Balzac’s magnum opus.
All Well And Good — Anti-fracking opponents have clearly been throwing their pennies down the wishing well. The “Texas agency that oversees oil and gas is proposing a regulatory overhaul,” of fracking practices, according to the Associated Press. “The Texas Railroad Commission is proposing new rules that would require would-be operators to submit geological information in their permit applications and give the state the authority to take away permits when wells can be linked to earthquakes — a notable gesture by an agency run in large part by industry executives.” If it is just a symbolic gesture to keep angry residents of Azle from making any more rumblings, then it’s certainly a very showy one. The “new rules would also give the Railroad Commission the authority to modify, suspend or terminate permits for disposal if the wells are believed to be causing earthquakes.”
Lockdown 101 — To mark the start of the new school year, the Wall Street Journal decided to give our state a little attention. “More Texas public-school districts have adopted rules allowing employees to carry guns on campus in an effort to deter—or quickly respond to—shootings,” reads the article’s first sentence, while quickly ceding that, well, “most schools have chosen not to arm their staff.” While it is nice of an East Coast publication to once again make clichéd observations about our state, “Texas is among at least eight states that have passed laws since  … At least 78 of Texas’ 1,024 districts have reported adopting a ‘school guardian’ plan in which designated staff are authorized to carry a gun, up from one district before Sandy Hook [Massacre].” Like school itself, the story’s not as exciting as promised, as “[s]o far only seven Texas districts have sent employees for marshal training.”
Evil Books — Speaking of back-to-school, the east Texas town of Cleveland had an unfortunate beginning to the nine-ish months specifically meant to foster knowledge, education and creativity. “Several Christians leaders in Texas are urging a local library to remove books for teenagers that deal with vampires and other ‘demonic’ content,” reports the Christian News Network. “There are 75 books, according to the library, that deal with the occult in the teen section,” insisted Phillip Missick, pastor of King of Saints Tabernacle during a recent city council meeting. The books, Missick told TRK, are “dark. … There’s a sexual element. You have creatures that aren’t human. I think it’s dangerous for our kids.” One book mentioned was the Twilight series, which was written by a devout Mormon, leans heavy on abstinence promotion and is—according to the Christian Science Monitor—“steeped in religious sensibility.” The town’s head librarian, Mary Merrell Cohn, replied with what is either a terrible justification or a really great comeback. “Cohn told Missick that the library’s collection includes the Bible. Therefore, she argued, the vampire books should be permitted.”
Ice Age: Texas — There’s lots of great things buried in Texas besides oil, like ancient beasts of yore! “The skeleton of an ancient woolly mammoth has been uncovered in North Texas by a family excavating a gravel pit on their land,” according to the Houston Chronicle. “Experts say the skeleton is almost perfectly preserved and somehow has remained in pristine condition for the tens of thousands of years since it died.” Manny is so intact that “even an untrained eye can make out the different parts of the skeleton.” What’s better, the family has donated the fossilized creature to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science where, next month, it’ll be put on display for all to see.