(week of Nov. 29)

GOP JUDGE RACE LIKELY HEADED TO RUNOFF

A three man race is shaping up in the Republican county judges race in the March Primary. Those announced are incumbent Brint Carlton, Kenneth Robert Luce, of Vidor and Dean Crooks, who lives in the center of the county, in the Orangefield School District. Judge Pete Runnels, Pinehurst mayor, is not expected to run because of mass destruction of his home by Hurricane Harvey. Rebuilding, even just getting sheetrock up will consume his time. For that reason I believe he will bow out of the race, plus my belief is that he sees a good candidate in Crooks, a retired law enforcement officer with a good resume. He brings a long list of qualifications and many years experience working with the public. He bills himself as being “Citizen Friendly.” My best estimate is that nearly 8,000 votes will be cast in the first primary and only 5,000 will return to the polls for a runoff election. About 3,000 votes would then elect the county judge, the same amount of votes that elected Carlton three years ago. There are 50,000 registered voters in the county, so well over 40,000 eligible voters will not have a choice in the Nov. General Election. Voters will have to accept the choice 3,000 people made in March, nine months earlier. That is if no qualified person steps up and runs as an Independent or Democrat. Running as an Independent is awfully difficult. The easiest solution would be to ‘Piggy Back’ on the Democratic ticket in March to get to the general election. A candidate can then declare their independent views. That is the only way the majority of voters will have a choice. That gives every candidate an equal chance. Like Obama was deferential to Democratic candidates, I look for Trump to be a drag on those running as Republicans in November. There is no better time than now for a qualified Democratic candidate to step up. Deadline for filing is Dec. 10. Remember, it is never good for an incumbent to get caught in a runoff in a primary election regardless if they finish first or second. If you know someone who is qualified urge them to sign up. They will get a free pass to the general election if they are the only candidate running on the Democratic ticket.*****I’ve got to move on. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm. Let’s get with it.

BAD MOVE FOR COMMISSIONERS

Commissioner’s Court is toying with a very bad idea. Assistant District Attorney Doug Manning, who has been advising commissioner’s court for nearly two decades, is retiring from the DA’s staff in January. The Court has been looking at different options. The very best option for everyone, other elected officials, department heads, citizens, district attorney’s office, as well as the court, is to keep a staff member from the county attorney’s office serving commissioner’s court, as well as other elected officials. For the Court to have their own ‘hired gun” representing only the court puts them at odds with all other elected officials, as well as the district/county attorney staff. An employee from the district attorney’s office would do duel work and would not require two new employees, one replacing Manning, one working only for the judge and court, costing taxpayers extra. The other option is a no brainer. Hire an outside attorney to advise them. In some cases it makes sense to bring a specialist, for a special case if the occasion ever occurs. Otherwise, it’s an unknown cost, like court appointed attorneys, whose fees often run up higher than expected. The system, as is, has worked well for as many years as I can recall. Why does the court want to go off on its own? Commissioners Court doesn’t need to create a power base that could be detrimental to other elected officials. The district attorney’s office is charged with many functions that a ‘hired gun’ couldn’t perform anyway. The most reasonable action is for the court to have an understanding with the DA on how they would like to proceed with the assistant that was selected. The District Attorney is a check and balance for any conflict between other elected officers and the court. I guarantee any other move would polarize the court against other department heads. If it ain’t broke, leave it alone. Be reasonable and move on. The long standing practice has worked at no additional cost.

IMPORTANT HOSPITAL DISTRICT MEETING

A very important forum to discuss the Orange County Hospital District will be held Thursday, Nov. 30, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Cypress Center, Lamar State College, 209 Green Ave., Orange. To attend this question and answer meeting is the best way to be an informed voter. The worse place to get accurate information is on Social Media, Facebook etc. If you can’t attend the meeting, depend on your local news outlets to furnish the most accurate reporting. A second meeting will be held Dec. 5, at the same location. Organizers are in hopes that citizens from throughout the county will attend. The election is set for December 19. Creating a hospital district is a very important election. The need for a hospital is obvious, but other questions must be answered.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2007

The annual Orange Jaycee parade was a big success. Compliments to Quincy Procell for all the work he did to put the World War II vets on a special float. Quincy even fed gumbo to the troops before the parade. Neighbor Cox, who rode the wagon with Dr. Williams and 14 vets, said he didn’t know Orange County had so many people. The route was lined with folks from start to finish. The old heroes appreciated the recognition. Even Quincy got emotional talking about their sacrifices and why they are the ‘Greatest Generation.’ We are losing their number at a rate of 1,300 day. *****The West Orange-Stark Mustangs lost their playoff game 20-12, at Waco LaVega, in Huntsville Friday. The story doesn’t tell the whole story. The Mustangs, trailing 13-12 after two missed extra points, with only 1.35 left on the clock, purposely let Vega score the last TD so they could have at least a shot. *****Sen. John McCain lost his Christian ‘Mojo’ when Jerry Falwell died. Now Jerry Jr. has endorsed Mike Huckabee. ***** Dec. 6, marks two-years since Bubba Hubbard died at age 71. *****Evel Knievel, 69, died on Nov. 30. He defied death many times and was the greatest dare devil of my time. Poor health from diabetes finally was one challenge he couldn’t beat.

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Obituaries-10 Years Ago-2007

Theresa Fillyaw, 45, passed away Friday, November 30.. Funeral services were Monday at 2 p.m. Theresa was a teacher at Little Cypress Elementary. She is survived by her husband Bobby and son Marshall.*****Jimmy Lee Young, 70, passed away on December 1. Funeral service will be 2:00 p.m., December 4. Jimmy served in the United States Navy for eight years, worked at Livingston Ship Yard and later became a captain on a fuel boat. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Penny Young, four children, Shiela Colvin, Joyce Young, Sandi Rogers and 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.***** Patsy Jo Scott, 74, of Orangefield, passed away Thursday, Nov. 29. Funeral services were Saturday, Dec. 1. Patsy had lived in Orangefield for 45 years and was a housewife and mother. She is survived by her husband of 54 years E. L. Scott, sons, Frank Scott and Jim Scott  several granddaughters and a host of other loving family members and caring friends.***** Mercer Cameron Eason “Mutt”, 87, of Orange, died Monday, November 26. Funeral service was held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, Nov. 30. He was retired from Dupont, was a WWII Navy Veteran, a Master Mason, a member of Shriner Casian Grotto and a lifetime member of VFW. Eason is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Ann Colleps, sons, Paul Cameron Eason Sr. and Karl Harvey Eason Sr. and grandchildren,

40 Years Ago-1977

The Leroy Breauxes were busy with preparations for son Donald’s wedding to Angela Delahoussaye that took place on Saturday. Everything was going great until Mrs. Breaux fell shortly before the rehearsal dinner. She had to leave her guests and all the good food she had prepared to go to the hospital for X-rays. Her arm was broken at the shoulder joint. She did get a pass to attend the wedding before returning to Doctor’s Hospital. A lot of other things went wrong but Donnie and Angela just seemed to have one thing on their minds.*****Joe Kazmar joined Jim Austin Oldsmobile-Cadillac-Toyota.*****Attorney Jim Wallace wrote a weekly column, ‘Point of View’ for the Dunn family owned Opportunity Valley News.*****Don Jacobs wrote an article for the OVN titled ‘Elvis-What Did Happen?’*****Gordon Baxter, in ‘By-Line’ wrote on the memories of his dear Port Arthur High School.*****Harold Beeson, in his column, was mad because local KBMT, an ABC affiliate, did not air the Texas-A&M Turkey Day game.*****Dick Corder, in ‘Let’s Go Fishing’ wrote on night-hole hunting.*****Joe Kazmar, in ‘Kaz’s Korner,’ cleared up the bowl picture.*****Pretty Ann Lieby wrote about the happenings and the people of Bridge City in her ‘Between the Bridges’ column.*****Roy was the writer behind ‘Down Life’s Highway’ and ‘Roots of My Raising.’ (Editor’s note: Today, Kaz and Roy are the only ones doing local columns. Other columns that appeared in the OVN were ‘Acadian Tales’ by Joyce Poche, ‘Show Biz’ by Lowell Scribner, ‘From Where I Sit,’ by Betty Em, ‘Lagniappe’ by Wilda Martin, ‘Haley’s Comments’ by Lula Strother Haley and Mark Dunn, ‘Section Three Entertainment.’ ‘Ear to the Ground’ by the Office Hound, at the time, was one of the area’s most popular columns. It was the talk of the town, with the ‘Hound’ requesting cakes from folks caught she’ing and he’ing.*****Sheila Beeson was editor and wrote a weekly column named ‘Reflection.’*****The OVN also featured a weekly Washington report from U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson. ( Editor’s note: People would be lined up at the OVN office, on 6th. St., to get the latest issue.)

BIRTHDAYS

A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. Nov. 29: County Commissioner Barry Burton celebrates his birthday today. Also celebrating is Vickie Fontenot, from Wal-Mart Pharmacy, Troy Manuel, Keith Lange, Angela Webb and getting a year older is Jim Bob Aven. Celebrities celebrating today are TV host Howie Mandel, 61, football player Russell Wilson, 28 and actor Don Cheadle, 52.*****Nov. 30:Norris and Pat’s reliable daughter Evelyn Brandon celebrates today. Also having a birthday, longtime friend Kirk Ellender, Monique Baker, Kenneth Manuel, Brad Braus and the “Big Red” man Vance Chauvin. Joining them are singers Billy Idol, 61 and Clay Aiken, 38 also actors Ben Stiller, 51 and Kaley Cuoco, 31.*****Dec. 1: The boy from Aggieland, Bill Hare, who we haven’t heard from in a few months, is a year older on this day. Also celebrating is John Garrison, Wesley Duncan and Kelsey Dardeau. They are joined by singer Bette Midler, 71, director Woody Allen, 81 and actor Dean O’Gorman, 40.***Also on this day Janelle and George Sehon celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary. Best wishes for many more.*****Dec. 2: Happy birthday today to Laura Hill, Beverly Blalack, Vergie Thomas and Lisa Walker. Celebrating also are singers Britney Spears, 35 and Jana Kramer, 33 and actress Lucy Liu, 48.*****Dec. 3: Celebrating today, from BCISD, is Susan MacCammond, Bill Smith’s lovely daughter and Erick’s mom Carolyn Andrus, Wayne Scales, Trisha Anderson and Chris DeCuir. Celebrities celebrating are actors Julianne Moore, 56 and Anna Fraser, 48 and metal singer Ozzy Osbourne, 68.*****Dec. 4 Dana Simmons, Catherine Allen and Dick Jackson all celebrate today. Also super model and TV show host Tyra Banke, 43, actors Orlando Brown, 29, Marisa Tomel, 52 and Jeff Bridges, 67.*****Dec. 5: Happy birthday today to Leslie Dishon, Shea Bolton, Susie Collins, Mary Bridges and Gwen Tallant. They are joined by actress Paula Patton, 41, country singer Gary Allan and rocker Little Richard.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

We were sorry to learn of the death of Ardice Ray Ener, 80, who passed away Nov. 22. Service was held Nov. 27 at St. Helen Catholic Church. Most everyone knew him through his interest in Bridge City sporting events. For many years he was active in Little League and was an umpire. He was a great guy, liked by everyone who knew him. Our condolences to his family. Please see obits.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s this week and will have a special gathering at Van Choates’ Tuffy’s Restaurant next week. Everyone always welcome.*****Our friends at Gulf Coast Cardiology Group, in Port Arthur, tell us they are seeing a lot of Orange County patients. You won’t find a more caring group of doctors. Dr. Morbia will even give you his private cell phone number to reach him, day or night. If you are over 60 it is a good idea to get a heart check. These folks will check you out, and keep you heart healthy. Tell them we sent you.*****The movie Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman was released 75 years ago this week but wasn’t released nationwide until January 1943. Sometime in 1943 I saw it for the first time. Roosevelt was president and we were in World War II. Several famous quotes from the movie have lasted the ages, “Here’s looking at you kid, is one of the most famous. Also “Play it again Sam,” and “We’ll always have Paris.” Casablanca won three Academy awards. The movie established Bogart as a romantic leading man.*****It seems like Gen. Mike ‘Lock her up’ Flynn is cutting some kind of deal, probably to save his son and just a little time for himself. He won’t burn Trump but to get a deal he will have to burn someone.*****I understand that longtime political activist, John Baker, is now the new Orange County Democratic Chairman. John is a good guy.*****Can Texas A&M land Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher? That question should be answered after Florida State plays LA. Monroe Saturday. If Jimbo becomes an Aggie, it will cost nearly $6 million a year plus perks on a five year contract.*****Eli Manning has played in 210 consecutive games for the New York Giants, the most among active quarterbacks.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Joe Boudreaux him, had been drinking at Tee-Boy’s Bar & Grill all afternoon. He slowly got off of da stool and staggered out da door. As he started walking down da street. Joe had one foot on da sidewalk and da utta one in da gutter on da road. He hobble like dat down da block. Tears was starting to come to his eyes wen he got to da corner.

Policeman Fontenot saw him walking wit one foot down in da gutter, an da utta on da sidewalk and he say, “Joe, you drunk you?”

 Joe was so glad him, he say, “Tank you God, me, I tought I had one leg shorter dan da utta one.”

C’EST TOUT

Last week President Trump tweeted that he wasn’t interested in being named Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ for the second straight year. That became a joke for the comics who offered their own mocking tweets. Time said, “Trump doesn’t understand the process. He wasn’t being considered.” Trump must have gotten wind of not being in the running. His sick ego just can’t help it.*****The Gallop Poll has Trump at 33% approval. Sixty percent of voters say he is not honest, truthful and is taking the country down the wrong path. His first year in office has accomplished less than any president before him, yet he still boosts about how great the country is doing. Any intelligent person knows he is riding on Obama’s wave. He continues to embarrass the country as he did Monday with his stupid racist remark about Pocahontas. President Trump is blaming the Democrats if a government shut down can’t be avoided. That’s a ‘No Brainer.’ Republicans control the congress, senate and White House. They own it all, even the terrible tax plan that will club the poor and anyone earning $75,000 or less.***** *****Well, I have to get out of here. Thanks for tuning in. Till next time, take care and God bless.