Austin Impacts
By DS Gands
Aug 4, 2004
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From the Governor’s Office:

Perry Announces $80 Million in Clean Air Grants

TERP Funds Will Help Reduce Nitrogen Oxide Emissions Across Texas

Jul. 28, 2004 (HOUSTON) – Gov. Rick Perry today announced $80 million in grants under the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions commonly used by heavy construction equipment, large trucks, locomotives, tugboats and pushboats.


“This unique, $80 million grant by the state working in conjunction with the private sector, shows we are not just talking about clean air, we are also investing in it,” Perry said. “Our plans to clean the air in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth and other areas of the state with high emissions are critical to maintaining federal funding for roads, and more importantly they are critical to protecting the public health.”


Gov. Perry Appoints Gilliam To Texas Commission on Jail Standards

Jul. 26, 2004 (AUSTIN) – Gov. Rick Perry today announced the appointment of Mark Gilliam of Rockport to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2009. The commission establishes standards for the care and treatment of county prisoners and the construction, maintenance and operation of county jails.


Note:  He is a member of the Rockport Gospel Force and sings bass.




From the Lt. Governor’s Office:

Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst Calls for Greater Accountability in State Agency Outsourcing

July 28, 2004 (AUSTIN) -Stating that Texas taxpayers deserve to know that their tax dollars are wisely spent, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst called upon all Senate Committee Chairs to work to ensure stricter oversight and greater accountability in state agency outsourcing.




From the Texas Workforce Commission:

Hot Careers in Texas

Texas will need 82,000 teachers by 2008, and 138,000 RN’s, LVN’s, and Nurse’s Aides within the next seven to ten years.  Learn about opportunities, eligibility, and financial aid at this site.




From Department of Health:

West Nile Update –

July 28 - TDH has confirmed two human cases of West Nile in Texas this year, one from Orange County and one from Jefferson County. Both became ill in June. The Orange County resident died.  County by County Statistics – a bookmark link.




From Texas Parks and Wildlife:


August 2, 2004 (AUSTIN, Texas) - For a quality, affordable hunting experience,

few opportunities can beat the special drawings for hunts offered through the

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's public hunting program. 




From Department of Agriculture:

Marathon to Marathon

Run a marathon on a certified course in mystical Marathon, Texas, the gateway to Big Bend. Events include the Marathon, Two-Person Relay, a 10K fun run, or go Horseback.  This will be the second running of the M2M under the most beautiful skies in Texas.


Profits from this event will benefit the Texas Diabetes Institute.  An estimated 15.7 million Americans have diabetes, almost 6% of the population.  Click here for more information about Diabetes and the Texas Diabetes Institute.


Texas Shrimp to Take Center Stage at Great American Seafood Cookoff

July 29, 2004 (AUSTIN) – Texans already know that Texas shrimp is second to none, but on Saturday, July 31, the state will have a chance to prove it. As part of its Texas Shrimp Marketing Program, the Texas Department of Agriculture has teamed up with Gov. Rick Perry’s office to spotlight Texas shrimp at the Great American Seafood Cookoff during the 51st Annual Louisiana Restaurant Foodservice EXPO in New Orleans.  Recipes




From Texas Commission on Environmental Quality:

Summer 2004, Natural Outlook – Environmental protection begins at home




From Texas Department of Transportation:

ATTN AREA TRUCKERS - Fill-up on Your Credentialing Needs at the “Motor Carrier Online Registration Station


Take advantage of our NEW online self-service features … get your Motor Carrier Certificate of Registration, renew and edit certificates and vehicles, print cab cards, and much, much more.  Contact us at, or call 800-299-1700, option 2, 2 to obtain a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or for help with the online process




From Texas Department of Public Safety:

Just a refresher -


There is no way to ensure you will never be a victim of identity fraud or theft. However, the more you know and more you are aware of your financial records, the better prepared you will be if you do become a victim.




From Texas Department of Homeland Security:


            Current Status:  ELEVATED **


**Be advised, the Department of Homeland Security raised the status to HIGH (Orange) for areas in New Jersey, Washington DC, and New York City on August 1, 2004.




From the Senate Press Office:

Texas Legislators Back to School Week September 20-24, 2004

What is the Legislators Back to School Program?

Your Ideas Count....That's the message lawmakers will bring to students across the country when they visit classrooms during Legislators Back to School Week, September 20-24, 2004. Texas senators and representatives are joining in a nationwide effort to promote civic education and the involvement of young people in the legislative processes necessary for developing effective public policy. This is an opportunity for legislators to let students know that their ideas count.


            Senate Committees Hearings


August 19, Thursday, 1pm - Veteran Affairs & Military Installations Committee, location - National Museum of the Pacific War, 340 E. Main St., George Bush Gallery Room, Fredericksburg, Texas




From the House Press Office:

July 27 (AUSTIN) - Speaker Tom Craddick, Midland, today announced a general staff reorganization to go into effect immediately.

Don Green, policy analyst, will assume the role of director of policy & budget. Harrison Keller, policy analyst, will become the director of research.

Both will take on responsibilities previously held by Chas. Semple, the former director of policy and research, who left the speaker's office in mid-July.


            House Committee Hearings


Teachers lose, again

July 26 (AUSTIN) -State Representative Chuck Hopson (Jacksonville) today expressed his strong objection and disappointment with the decision by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) to move forward with the creation of Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs).

In 2001, Rep. Hopson helped create Texas' first statewide health insurance program for teachers. During the 78th Regular Session, however, the reimbursement was reduced from $1,000 to $500 --a measure that Rep. Hopson strongly opposed.

Last Friday, TRS made the decision to divert that $500 supplement from the teachers' paychecks to HRAs, which will be created and managed by a private company. Teachers will only be able to use their HRA funds for "approved medical expenses."


© 2004 by DS Gands – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

DS Gands is a journalist living in North Texas and has been published in various magazines and newspapers since 1977. 


Links provided in this column are current at the time of publication.  Austin Impacts is not responsible for link validation, broken links, or damage incurred from data viewed/received from any links provided.