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Movie Review – Beauty and the Beast

by Bob Garver “Beauty and the Beast,” the Disney animated classic from 1991, holds a special place in my heart. It was the first movie I saw in its original run in theaters. The film kicked off a lifelong love of movies, and in that time I’ve seen a scant few that were on its level. But I’ve also seen many worse movies, including the new live-action “Beauty and the Beast.” The script remains largely unchanged. Belle (Emma Watson) is a smart, sweet young woman who yearns to escape the simpletons of her village, especially the brutish Gaston (Luke Evans). Her father Maurice (Kevin Kline) gets lost on the way to the market and seeks shelter in a castle. The castle is home to the ferocious Beast (Dan Stevens), a handsome prince cursed to spend his life as a hideous monster until he can find true love. The Beast wants to keep Maurice as his prisoner, but allows Belle to take his place since it’s possible that she can break the spell. The Beast is coldhearted and Belle is upset about being his prisoner, so they’re unlikely to fall in love on their own. But they’re pushed along by the castle’s staff, who have been cursed to live as household objects until the Beast can find love. Ewan McGregor plays a candlestick, Ian McKellen is a clock, and Emma...

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It Seems to Me

Drink From Your Own Well by Pastor Steve Ellison Verses 15-23 of Proverbs chapter 5 contain a series of related questions dealing with the issue of marital faithfulness. Really they are all part of the same question. The question is asked in three different ways in verses 16 and 20. In 17-19, God answers the question for us and gives us positive reasons for faithfulness. After rephrasing the question in verse 20, God gives three warnings of certain consequences to marital unfaithfulness. First, He reminds us that everything we do is in His full view, implying His certain punishment. Second, He reminds us that the sin we find so pleasing for a short time will indeed in the end trap us and hold us prisoner. Third, God predicts that this sin will result in our death. Finally, God minces no words in concluding that the whole blame is ours. It is brought on by our own inability to control ourselves because of our own great foolishness. Read the passage carefully, let the truth of it settle securely in your mind and heart. The message is so clear and so important. The message from our culture is polar opposite. The policies of our government promote the opposite. The devastation to innocent victims is all around us. The consequences to the guilty are so real and so significant. It is all...

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The Race is On: School and City Elections Set for May 6th

This year, one school district and two city councils are expected to hold elections on May 6, 2017. ELECTIONS Wortham ISD has two candidates vying for Place #6 on the Board of Trustees:  Russell Black and Michael Gargis. Running unopposed are Micheal Dunn (Place #5) and incumbent Jeff Jones (Place #7). City of Teague also has two opposing candidates.  Incumbent Marilyn Michaud will face off against Jack Hansel for Place #5. Running unopposed are incumbents Ron Rasbeary (Place #2) and Chris Nickleberry (Place #4). City of Fairfield has contested races for all three positions. Place #3 will see incumbent...

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Former teacher, Austin area activist effectively uses Texas Public Information Act

Open Government Champions EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in an occasional series of opinion pieces on legislators and other Texans who are openly committed to sustaining government transparency and accountability. The articles are being prepared and distributed by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and the Texas Press Association.    As an elementary school teacher more than a decade ago, Zenobia Joseph often found herself wondering why students entered her fourth-grade class “unable to write a complete sentence.” For Joseph, who was chosen Teacher of the Year at Austin’s Norman Elementary School in 2005, it marked the start...

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Texas Must Act Now to Repair Damage to Public Information

We Texans are fortunate when it comes to access to government information. Correction. We were fortunate. For more than 40 years, Texas’ open records law was one of the nation’s strongest. The Texas Public Information Act, originating during a time of scandal in the early 1970s, presumes all government records are available to citizens, unless there’s a specific exception preventing release of the document. But our modern era of openness shifted dramatically with two state Supreme Court decisions in 2015 known as the Boeing ruling and the Greater Houston Partnership ruling. Both put many government financial records off limits...

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